Overview (Spoilers Below)
The tournament continues to fire off match after match! Meanwhile, the heroes still struggle to handle the onslaught of the monsters popping up everywhere.

Shifting towards a secluded area, five martial arts masters of the group known as the Holy Order of the Sword gather to discuss a potential attack on Garo. While they realize Silver Fang’s strength, they are afraid of him going easy on Garo due to their master-pupil relationship. Four of the martial artists agree, but the fifth declines. As it turns out, the fifth martial artist converted himself to a monster, and now demands the others to do the same using monster cells! The ringleader of the group quickly disposes of him though, and they all head out on their new mission: to stop the Hero Association!

After numerous heated battles, the tournament comes to an end with the match to end all matches: Saitama vs. Suiryu. Suiryu gives it his all but ultimately proves futile, as Saitama wins the match. However, Saitama’s wig manages to blow off his top during the fight, thus disqualifying him from the tournament!

Nearby, the powerful monster from last week’s episode continues his Dragon Ball Z-logic journey towards the tournament stadium.

Our Take
There’s one thing I can say that’ll sum up this episode: hilarious. The comedy meter here is at an all-time high, showcasing some of the best antics of the season. There are still some minor imperfections here, but they’re not awful atrocious by a long shot. The negatives are so well hidden by the positives that it’s overall still a good bang for your buck.

As stated above, this episode provides near-funny bone-shattering levels of comedy. As funny as Saitama’s one-punch knockouts are, they hold no candle to the looniness featured during his match with Suiryu. The entire match feels like one big joke. Normally, that’d be a huge disadvantage, but this blends the perfect amount of comedy and action together just right. From Saitama caring more about keeping his disguise intact to multiple one-liners, the fight provides one non-stop joy ride of gags and fun.

There are some other special treats sprinkled in as well. Heck, the whole pacing issue with the tournament may very well have been the set-up for Saitama’s one-line punchline: “The tournament’s already over?” If that has any merit, this show is plenty more clever than I gave it credit for. Ultimately, the comedy present here continues to be One-Punch Man’s ace up its sleeves in its fight for stand-out qualities among a sea of shonen anime.

Surprisingly enough, the joke of a fight has some deeper insight up its sleeves as well! During the match, Suiryu spouts off how the heroes are all weak, and their wish for justice is simply pointless in his eyes. Saitama then rebuttals with an interesting quote: “You’re not the only one who does what they want to do.” It might not seem like much, but it could very well be showcasing one important aspect of life: everyone can do great things. The one thing Suiryu doesn’t understand about heroes is that they want to help protect the world. Even if they are weaker than himself, that doesn’t make their ambitions any less stronger or meaningful. No matter who you are out there, we all have the ability to do great things in this world.

As for the negative standouts, there are a few unpolished areas, but not enough to get into a frenzy over. Animation wise, the fight between Saitama and Suiryu isn’t its best quality. However, it’s perfectly serviceable, not distracting from the comedic moments and the high-tense action between the two fighters.

While it was interesting seeing the Holy Order of the Swords group, I fear that their introduction this late into the game isn’t the wisest of moves. I’m wondering if it’s even necessary to introduce yet another group into the picture. With only five installments left, there’s only so much one can do. I worry that there won’t be any chance for further development of these characters, which may harm the quality of the show a bit. Still, they seem like an interesting bunch, so I look forward to whatever the show does with them.

The whole Dragon Ball Z-logic with the powerful monster still heading to the tournament stadium is a bit irritating too. Sure, it may not be as bad as five minutes taking fifteen-something episodes. However, I figured the monster would have made some progress between last week and now! I could very well be misjudging the flow of time here, but from my point of view, it’s frustrating to see the villain essentially move two inches over the course of two weeks.

Lastly, the Garo vs. Watchdogman tease was not a fine move to make. It feels rather disappointing, as I wouldn’t have minded seeing this battle take place rather than yet another monster battle. Sure, it may have been just as predictable as the majority of Garo’s fights this season. However, we won’t know that for certain, unless the season decides to cram it into one of the remaining five episodes.

All in all, this episode is a true return to form for the season. This is probably the most pleasant viewing experience I’ve had with this show since the first two episodes. With excellent humor and some top-notch action for good measure, this episode is most certainly one to remember.

Josh Baade

A devoted admirer of all things animated who miraculously was allowed a platform to spat out his opinions on cartoons. When not gaining carpal tunnel from endless hours of stroking the keyboard, one can usually find him searching high and low at the local thrift stores for outdated magnetic tapes, diving into the world of manga, or simply dealing with the day-to-day adventures that come with being an older sibling.

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