English Dub Review: One-Punch Man “The Troubles of the Strongest”

 

Overview (Spoilers Below)
Picking up from last time, Saitama goes on to challenge the monster form of Bakuzan. As expected, he wipes the floor with him. Suiryu thanks Saitama for the save, as well as tells Saitama details regarding the Monster Association and their power to transform humans into monsters.

Once Suiryu tells Saitama about Goketsu, Saitama heads off to challenge him…and defeats him in a flash (with Goketsu’s head literally flying all the way back to the tournament arena).

Soon after, Saitama finds out about the various monster attacks that took place during the tournament. Additionally, Saitama feels distraught over the lack of passion he feels when fighting evildoers. A nearby King sets our caped baldy straight, through some surprising deep words taken directly from a manga.

As the two wraps up their conversation, Garo intersects with them. He takes notice in King and begins the attack. However, Saitama punches him into a brick wall.

Meanwhile, two mysterious individuals bombard Speed O’ Sound Sonic. The two individuals wish to recruit Sonic to the Monster Association. Sonic initially declines, but quickly ends up intimidated by a brief demonstration of the two’s powers. They give him a monster cell and leave, allowing him to muse over the proposition. Over at a stone building, Sonic decides to become a monster so he can finally defeat Saitama.

Soon after, a barrage of quick events happens in succession. A gorilla who seems to be posing as a human appears. Silver Fang and Bomb continue their quest to hunt down Garo. Worst of all though, the Hero Association receives its first message from its latest threat: the Monster Association.

Our Take
Just as I thought we were going downhill, we get a power boost upward. There’s honestly a few truly fantastic elements at play that really bring out the series’ finest charms. Of course, it’s not completely polished, but the positives more than makeup for the slack.
After last week’s dry well of comedic antics, this episode has them coming out swinging in full force. I mean, come on, Goketsu’s head landing all the way back at the tournament arena? This series knows how to write absurd comedy for sure, and I’ll surely keep coming back for more.

Oddly enough, King shows up after a prolonged absence for most of this season…with some deep insight he read in a manga? That in itself sounds absurd, but his message definitely speaks words. When Saitama states to King that he’s in a bit of a rut as far as enjoying his hero duties go, King gives him his hard-hitting opinion on the matter. He goes on to remind Saitama that if a hero’s end goal is to battle with courage and help society as a whole, then his journey is just getting started.

I think this is one way of saying that everyone has the ability to grow throughout life. Everyone throughout society has the potential inside them to keep going and persevere towards our goals. No one’s perfect, but that’s okay! We’ll keep on getting back up again and improving in whatever the task may be. Essentially, King means to say that no one should give up because deep down, everyone has potential things to work and improve upon. If everyone was truly perfect, then life would truly be as boring as Saitama thinks it is.

While the comedy and deep thinking certainly help out this episode, there’s a fair amount of problems that stick out plain as day. A rather minor complaint is the continued use of limited animation, especially during King and Saitama’s chat. The animation there feels rather stiff and not all that lively, to be honest. Not to mention the fact that Saitama’s reaction shot to King’s words was repeated over and over! These decisions partially lose the impact that the scene otherwise could have had.

Secondly, the Garo vs. Watchdogman fight. Why are these fights being cut down to tiny little pieces? I cannot fathom why a fight where Garo actually takes a beating for once would be only shown for one minute during the entirety of this season! The series had plenty of time to show Garo defeating other heroes, yet this one, seemingly unique fight gets the shaft. It’s an issue that’s plagued other high-paced action throughout this season and I’m certainly not enjoying it one bit.

To continue on, this episode briefly introduces us to a gorilla who’s seemingly living as a human. Normally, I’d have no problem with this. It’s a rather creative idea and could provide some interesting contrast between him and the other characters. The problem I have is that the character’s introduction happens with only three more episodes to go. It’s the exact same problem I was worried about with the Swordsman group last time (who additionally don’t make an appearance here at all). There’s really not enough time to be introducing new ideas this late into the season. While I understand that this could continue onward into a potential third season, why not just save it for that season then? I’d rather the series focus on its main objective then divide itself into more ideas than it can handle.

Last, but more certainly not least, is continuity issues. After defeating Garo a second time, Saitama tells King about the hero hunter and how he wishes he’d meet him someday. Ordinarily, this joke works wonders, since he literally just met him and didn’t even know it. Except for the fact that he already met him and seemed to acknowledge him earlier this season! Back in their first brief encounter, Saitama tells Garo that he’s been looking for him all day, implying that he knew who Garo was. Not to mention, Genos told Saitama early on in that same episode about Garo, further making it credible that Saitama’s above words meant he recognized Garo the first time around. Thus, this second encounter creates an immense amount of confusion. Of course, I could be misinterpreting Saitama’s above words. However, given the context, it most definitely feels like a glaring error.

All in all, this episode may have some scuff marks, but the positives help the condition to become pretty good. The infamous comedic charm and a surprising amount of deep insight help make this One-Punch Man outing a truly decent affair.

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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