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We're gonna need a bigger boat.

Damn... this is one of the greatest shows I've ever seen in my life! If the world of superheroes and superhero movies was filled with characters trying to achieve more power, Saitama is the apotheosis of that: so much power that life becomes a boring drag. It's a deconstruction/reconstruction of superpowered superhero tropes, but it comes from a surprisingly real-world sense of perfection and professionalism where you're no longer fresh or new or exciting, just trotting the same skills and materials over and over again for the rest of your life.

So, the question is not whether Saitama can power through any foe he's faced with, but his underlying battles with the world that cannot even contend with his perfection. And all sorts of related tropes and topics. In one of the show's most powerful scenes, a demon-like monster threatens a city's evacuation shelter, and many heroes of different ranks are unable to contend with him. Then comes in Mumen Rider, basically a guy on a bicycle (really), not to save the day, but just to do what he can, because that's all that matters.

The show talks around the tropes of not just power, but professionalism, and takes it for a spin: an organization is structured in a way that doesn't recognize or even fathom real power. Saitama's friend, Genos ends up getting a perfect score on an exam, while his sensei barely passes with a 71. People are herded into ganging up against Saitama, who then retorts along the lines of "I am doing this for fun, not for you!" Everyone is so eager to hear how Saitama became so strong, and his response was basic training. Believing he's hiding the real reason, he just says that's what he did, and that's what worked for him.

I definitely understand what this show is constantly uncovering. In my youth, I was so amazed at video games and animation and graphic design: it comprised a field of creative arts I wanted to get into as an adult. Every advancement I made was a brand new discovery to me, and it was exciting. Then, slowly but surely, the exciting became routine, and common, and boring. I haven't quite achieved Saitama's levels of boredom, but it is very rare that I find this work to be as enthralling as it once was. Perfection is overrated. But moreso, being perfect isn't the only thing that matters. Sometimes you just gotta be like Mumen Rider: do the best you can, because that's all that matters. Sometimes you are Genos: incredibly gifted, but no where near the level you want to be, and looking up to masters. Sometimes you are Boros: searching the cosmos for a worthy rival. You may find yourself one day among a meeting of S-Ranks: a bunch of overconfident jackasses. And if you find yourself defeating the Sea King with one blow, you may want to humble yourself for your fallen comrades. But most of the time you'll probably be a civilian who needs a hero to look up to. And Saitama is not that hero. He's just some guy who plays the hero for fun.

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There are 8 Replies

its a good show. I enjoyed it. Will watch season 2.

Posted February 2nd by s.o.h.
s.o.h.
 

OPM is good from a lot of angles. I enjoy it from a pure spectacle point of view as much as I enjoy it for it's deconstruction of the heroic pattern. Saitama (and many of the other characters) have cool, intriguing powers. The struggles are well-considered in all aspects. It strikes a great balance between impressive and meaningful when it comes to violence and destruction. And the dramatic timing of when Saitama finally shows flashes of seriousness is very well handled.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed it. Season 2 will be even better, with a main villain that makes you consider a lot of things about the roles of "hero" and "villain" and how they're set up in the first place. Garou is unironically my favorite character in the series now.

Posted February 2nd by nullfather

I am really excited for season 2... but I feel so much was already covered in season 1, and it wrapped up in a nice bow. I really hope they don't go backwards.

Posted February 2nd by mariomguy

As I read the manga before watching the anime, I can't be sure if I'm correctly remembering how many of the hooks they carried over. The material that's going to comprise S2 has been not just satisfactory but awe-inspiring, however. Not just more of the same.

And, in a strange reversal, they are cutting a filler arc from the manga to avoid wasting time in the anime. It looks like it's shaping up to be just as lean and mean as S1.

Posted February 2nd by nullfather

Gosh, I hope so! I hope we get to see Blast, the level 1 champion. I wonder if he's really as powerful as Saitama, or just another overconfident jackass. Saitama really needs to go up against someone greater than himself again. I'm not sure what else the show can do that's new without that. They could expand on what they already covered in the first season, but that's not lean.

Posted February 3rd by mariomguy

Saitama really needs to go up against someone greater than himself again. I'm not sure what else the show can do that's new without that. They could expand on what they already covered in the first season, but that's not lean.


Nothing can match Saitama's raw power...but he's a terrible fighter. You'll see...

Posted February 3rd by nullfather

OK, that's the way to go! The first season was about how powerful he is and the world cannot even comprehend it, second season is about how he still has more to learn. Awesome!

Posted February 3rd by mariomguy

Posting my favorite Garou panels.

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Posted February 5th by nullfather
Reply to: Just Finished Watching One Punch Man
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