English Dub Review: One-Punch Man “The Resistance of the Strong”

 

Overview (Spoilers Below)
The massive monster Goketsu finally arrives at the tournament arena. Gathering up all of the fighters in one place, Goketsu issues an ultimatum: become monsters or perish. Numerous fighters take him up on his offer, whether it be for survival or new-found strength. The two heroes at the tournament (Sneck & Max) step up to defeat Goketsu but are slapped right out of the arena. The others, on the other hand, are frozen in fear, except for Suiryu.

Not one to back down from a fun brawl, Suiryu attacks the newly-turned monsters and defeats each one. Impressed with Suiryu’s level of skill, Goketsu offers Suiryu another chance to become a monster. Suiryu’s having none of it though, as he isn’t particularly fond of a monster’s appearance.

Left without any other options, Goketsu begins his match against Suiryu…or rather, Goketsu immediately pummels Suiryu to the ground. Suiryu tries multiple times to go up against Goketsu but eventually admits that Goketsu is too strong for him to take down. Goketsu’s bird minions dispose of the other fighters in the meantime.

Nearly out of time and luck, Suiryu notices Bakuzan nearby the arena and pleads for his help in taking down Goketsu. Bakuzan declines the offer, as he decides to consume the remainder of the monster cells instead. His body can’t keep up with the massive amount of power the cells give off though and falls flat on his face.

Seeing him as nothing but lunch meat now, Goketsu offers his bird minions to snack on Suiryu. Just as the birds go in for their delicious treat, Sneck and Max dish out a sneak attack. With their hero outfits now accessible to them, Sneck and Max take out the bird minions, alongside Suiryu.

Sneck and Max then focus their energy on Goketsu, while Suiryu attempts to flee from the scene. Out of nowhere though, Bakuzan reemerges and stops the fleeing Suiryu. Goketsu quickly removes the heroes from play as well.

Suddenly, orders arrive for Goketsu to come back to the Monster Association headquarters. With his business taken care of, Goketsu marches off, instructing Bakuzan to follow once he’s finished. Suiryu pleads for Bakuzan to spare him but to no avail. Suiryu cries in agony for help from a hero, but seemingly to no avail either. At the eleventh hour, Saitama emerges on the scene, planning to stop Bakuzan once and for all.

Our Take
Dry. Boring. Unexciting. These words describe in near detail the latest installment of One-Punch Man. For an episode that’s filled with high caliber events, it ultimately fails to live up to the hype. There are numerous unnecessary techniques within that just bring down the show as a whole.

The main problem here lies within the fights. This here is the show’s bread and butter, outside of comedy. Yet, the majority do not feel exciting to watch at all. It may not be to the point where I’d rather watch paint dry, but there are still some major flaws to behold here. The villains are either way too overpowered, or way too easy to defeat. The fights are hardly suspenseful, thus decreasing my enjoyment of them. They’re way too predictable for their own good. It’s nice to actually see some fights carry out for a long period of time here, but they lack energy that a brawl between good and evil should carry.

One minor issue present here is the overuse of still frames. I don’t know if I just haven’t been noticing them, but here they stuck out like a sore thumb. I understand that animation takes the money and all, but when multiple pieces feel stagnant, they don’t feel as interesting as they could be.

Additionally, the show really seems to love randomly cutting to different places, only to cut immediately back to the main action. Some of these scenes feel like absolute filler. Was it necessary to cut back to the ensuing chaos at the hospital? On the other hand, the Garo vs. Watchdogman fight could have been very exciting to witness. However, given the scenes’ execution, there’s just nothing all that fun about it. The scene cuts away just as it’s getting good. I honestly cannot understand why a series would do this. I’d rather the series focus on something for more than a split second rather than these scenes being done in the blink of an eye.

The Monster Association reveals their main objectives here and all I can say is…weren’t they obvious, to begin with? Why was this reveal necessary? I hate to sound like a broken record, but it’s so infuriating. Their objectives basically come down to ruling the world through a combination of chaos and recruitment. The show already has shown these cards throughout the previous seven episodes. There’s no point in spelling it out here. It lacks any dramatic effect it may have had because it’s blatantly obvious.

What I can say I appreciate though is the message hidden deep within the cracks of the storyline. Suiryu comes upon a pretty important revelation: the importance of hero-figures within society. Suiryu is all focused on strength, but when even that fails him, he’s turning towards a helping hand to get him out of his dark situation. Just like Suiryu states, hero figures are able to give off a glimmer of hope, a chance to combat and defeat the evils of the world. It just goes to show that no matter how strong one is, heroes are important aspects of society, and definitely one that is very much appreciated.

To conclude, this isn’t the best episode this season, not by a long shot. It lacks energy and takes too many shortcuts that decrease the overall excitement for the majority of scenes. That being said, the hidden messages within may just be this episode’s saving grace. Still, this installment is nowhere near enjoyable on the entertainment scale as its predecessors were.

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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