Overview
Charanko, a student of the hero Silver Fang, is expelled. Looking to find answers, he steps in on Saitama’s place. Genos tells Charanko about Garo (who Charanko recognizes as Silver Fang’s former student) and the stunt he pulled at the Hero Association.

Late at night, Charanko walks through the forest only to stumble on Garo confronting another hero, Mumin Rider. Before any nasty business can occur, the hero from the previous episode (revealed to be Tank-Top Vegetarian) and a gang of his peers arrive on the scene. Vegetarian has knocked out again, thus causing his friend Tank-Top Master to pick a fight with Garo. Despite a good start, Tank-Top Master is defeated, thanks to Garo unleashing his former master’s secret techniques. Not wanting to back down, the rest of the gang, as well as Mumin Rider and Charanko, all try to take down Garo, to no avail.

Meanwhile, back at Silver Fang’s dojo, Silver Fang’s brother Bomb comes to aid his brother in the fight against Garo.
The following day, Saitama visits Mumin Rider at the hospital. The two of them, alongside Tank-Top Master, discuss the incident with Garo from the previous night. Tank-Top Master makes mention of how Garo’s techniques are geared towards targetting human weak spots.

Around sunset, Garo stumbles upon a young boy with a Hero Almanac. The two pages through the booklet, with Garo finding his next target within the book.

Back at the hospital, Saitama visits Charanko to ask if there are any martial artists to fight. Charanko suggests his master, but Saitama declines. Instead, Charanko offers a ticket to a Mixed-Martial Artists Tournament that he had signed up for. Charanko states that Saitama can only watch, not participate in the fights, but Saitama has other plans.

Ending up at a bar thanks to a tip from the Almanac, Garo confronts Golden Ball. Despite Golden Ball wounding Garo, Golden Ball is no match for Garo. Spring Mustachio enters the fray before it gets ugly, but Garo quickly wipes him out. Golden Ball then states that despite Garo’s advantage, Golden Ball was still able to harm him. Garo’s unfazed though, as he’ll be gettin’ stronger soon.

Later that night, Saitama and Garo finally meet each other for the first time. Garo goes in for the attack, but Saitama, semi-unsurprisingly, knocks him out. Saitama then purchases a disguise so he can enter the tournament in Charanko’s place.

Our Take
Well, this was somewhat of a step backward. As one can gather from the above overview, Garo beating the ever-loving crap out of everyone is this episode’s cup of tea. Seriously, that’s pretty much the entirety of the episode. The episode practically feels like television’s equivalent to a B-movie. Minimal important details are present, but the majority is just filler.

I understand that Garo is this near-unstoppable villain. But holy crap does this episode just shove that fact into the viewer’s faces way too much. Don’t get me wrong, the fights are still enjoyable to watch in all their brutal glory. However, the entire scenario just feels overused. It leaves every fight feeling anti-climatic. With one exception, Garo always beats his targets. The trope of the hero starting off on the winning end only for the villain to pull a fast one on them just feels pointless by the episode’s end. Perhaps during Tank-Top Master’s fight with Garo did it have a bit of shock value, but minimal at best, given what we’ve seen of Garo’s abilities in the past two episodes. We get it, Garo is powerful. Did there really need to be an episode dedicated to flaunting that though?

The fact that the episode didn’t really have any deep meaning to it is a major disappointment in all honesty. Granted, not every episode needs to have this element to be enjoyable, but it was such a nice touch to the first two installments. The deep meaning within the first two episodes really added an extra layer to the show. It made us think about something greater than just what was on the surface, further shaping an understanding of the dynamics of the characters, as well as the world around them.

Perhaps the episode could be hinting on some possible deep insight, but if so, it sure didn’t do much with it here. One possible theory is some possible similarities between the present Garo and the Silver Fang of the past in terms of their individual goals. The episode could have even been hinting on a connection between the present boy with the Hero Almanac and the past Garo. But again, with the information presented here, neither theory can conclusively be proven here. If the episode could have had just the tiniest hint of either of these deeper pieces of insight, then that would have vastly improved my overall enjoyment here. I can only hope this overall element comes back to play in future episodes.

The relationship between Silver Fang and his brother Bomb also feels rushed. Bomb just feels like an additional character added to the roster of powerful warriors and nothing more. Sure, the show could be saving more development of this relationship for future chapters. However, with the lack of important details in this episode, I think going more in-depth here isn’t too much to ask. There’s so much that could be discussed here. Their past, their journey into becoming powerful martial artists, troubles the two had to face, or even details regarding their relationship with Garo. Instead, Bomb feels one-dimensional, just thrown in to showcase more flare in the action-packed fights to come. The mystery is a fine element for a story, but some additional details here would have been appreciated.

Despite the episode’s downfalls, the comedy aspects continue to shine here. There were several moments that cracked me up throughout, particularly at the beginning with Hellish Blizzard and King just casually hanging out at Saitama’s place, as well as Saitama’s delightfully odd obsession with bananas. The voice acting comes out on top again as well. All of the voice actors within this episode gave off great sounding performances that felt realistic and true to the characters within the show.

Overall, this wasn’t exactly the best piece of One-Punch Man I’ve witnessed, but there’s still some enjoyment to be had here. I just hope and pray this episode is just a one-time misstep in the wrong direction, rather than a premonition of what the rest of the season holds.

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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