One-Punch Man: Episode 8-9

opm9seaking

“The Deep Sea King”
“Unyielding Justice”

Mondays on Daisuki

The Deep Sea King and his army of fish-men invade, their power seemingly overwhelming. Can the heroes of the surface prevail?

Iro’s Thoughts

The long-awaited Sea King arc! We’ve seen the show start rolling out the other heroes, as Bang and Metal Knight both showed up while the meteor was falling, but they don’t start getting any spotlight until around here. I’ve said it before, but these two episodes encapsulate the basic loop of One-Punch Man: all the other heroes get a shot at the new Big Villain, get their shit kicked in, and then Saitama arrives to do his one-punch thing. I don’t know that it’s ever quite more satisfying than this time, though I might be thinking that just because the manga has such a relatively slow release schedule. Rather than two weeks, this took place over at least several months.

Anyway, the heroes at least put up a halfway decent showing this time. Stinger gets to kill some mooks, and Pri-Pri Prisoner gets to, uh… strip naked…? He is perhaps the silliest character in the entire series, a muscular giant who’s serving a life sentence… for being a serial rapist. Let’s just say that Japan has some really bizarre ideas of what’s funny, and that most of the Glorio crew don’t find cultural gay stereotypes to fall under that umbrella. That said, he’s meant to be a heroic character, and the very short bit where he’s dejected at seeing his best efforts ridiculed by the media is effective at drawing sympathy.

opm8pripriThe star of the show here, of course, is Mumen Licenseless Rider. He’s been nothing but a punchline up until now, so it’s nice to see him taken seriously, even if that involves him being brutally beaten. Moreso than Saitama, Licenseless Rider is a true hero, willing to protect justice no matter what. It’s arguably a really cheap way to evoke emotion, but we all want to cheer for the underdog, and having the kid whose balloon Rider saved earlier be the first one to start cheering was a good touch. Still, in the end it all just serves to make it all the more satisfying when the Deep Sea King finally gets taken down.

Saitama’s insistence on not taking all of the credit for beating the Sea King has proven to be divisive among the Glorio crew (BATTLE LINES DRAWN). I watch this show with Marlin, Zigg, and Aquagaze, and we seem evenly split on whether it makes sense or not. On one hand, doing the right thing is more important than looking cool, and Saitama probably doesn’t want to make everyone else look bad by comparison. On the other, previous episodes have billed his main goal as getting more recognition for his heroism, so why not take the credit? It’s a bit inconsistent, and I’m convinced Marlin and I are fine with it because we read the manga; there are several omake chapters that boil down to Saitama doing heroic things on his spare time just because they’re the right thing to do, and at least one where he deliberately makes sure he doesn’t get credit.

opm9rider

Stuff

  • I should have said this a while ago (I noticed around the Carnage Kabuto fight), but I truly love how some of the effects just look like brush/marker strokes.
  • I’m not a fan of Pri-Pri Prisoner’s shtick, but the Sailor Moon transformation was a stroke of genius.
  • The lack of the Blizzard Bunch appearing in any meaningful manner so far removes a lot of context about B-Class being “cruel and callous”.
  • Deep Sea King is voiced by Rikiya Koyama, known around here mostly for voicing Fate/Zero‘s Kiritsugu Emiya.
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4 thoughts on “One-Punch Man: Episode 8-9

  1. Am I wrong, or isn’t the real subtext of One Punch Man less a take on “what it means to be a hero,” than the sorry state of modern Japanese life? That the bureaucracy is stifling, it’s still not a meritocracy, that the job market stinks, etc., etc.

    Although Saitama has gone from a salaryman to this extraordinary specimen, at root, he’s still just a working stiff, doing his job, and not being properly recompensed or even recognized for it. He’s a good guy in a bad system. It’s actually a pretty scalding commentary if I’m right, although I rarely see anyone making reference to it in reviews, so perhaps I’m seeing something that isn’t really there!

    Anyway, I think there’s every reason in the world for Saitama to not particularly care about taking credit for his accomplishments. It’s repeatedly made clear that he’s a truly decent person and that what he wants isn’t to be a celebrity so much as just having a secure place in the world. After all, he’s never expressed outrage or even jealousy that Genos is ranked so much higher than he is; his desire to move up seems much more rooted in his longing for job security than any pettiness over not being properly recognized for his awesomeness. After all, he doesn’t really understand how he got to be so awesome anyway, and doesn’t even seem to consider it a particularly valuable skill set. There’s something wrong with a society that doesn’t properly recognize his talents, even though he himself is really just seeking his proper place at the table.

    That’s how I see it, anyway. Oh, and I think this episode, with its knockout scene of Mumen Rider turning out to be Saitama’s fan at the end, was far and away the overall best 20 minutes of this anime season to date…

    • Saitama always says that he’s a hero for fun and doesn’t seem to actually care about “the system”, but you bring up a good point. I’m personally not convinced every story has intentional subtext – let alone a comedy-action show like this – and I’d say it’s probably more likely that the author’s society informed his writing. That said, that doesn’t mean you’re wrong for seeing that. I wrote the post while thinking about just the basic context of the story, but the fun thing about fiction is that everybody sees things their own way and can come to their own conclusions.

      Anyway, the petty/corrupt nature of the hero business does rise to the surface once more characters start showing up, but I believe that’s beyond the scope of this anime season. Check out the manga, maybe.

  2. I thought I recognized Deep Sea King’s voice…
    I do definitely remember the crazy-long time it took to finally finish the Boros arc in the manga, though. Just thinking about the three or four chapters they redrew makes me want to cringe…

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