One Punch Man, a series loved by many for bombastic animation and hilarious physical comedy has been viciously murdered by J.C. Staff.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last year, it’s known throughout the anime community that Madhouse handed the second season of OPM to J.C. Staff—a studio known for cutting corners in their animation. Our expectations were low, but JESUS CHRIST THIS IS GARBAGE.
The art is awful. It’s flat, the color pallete is dull, and the shading is messy dog shit. Character designs were changed from their clean cool style to jagged and hideous imitations of their former selves. Metal
textures look especially awful; it doesn’t have a shiny effect anymore, it just looks pudgy and gray.
All of the animation is practically a stop motion slide show. When there is motion it is just excessive speed lines and other cheap light effects making it hard to tell what’s even happening. Action scenes are edited poorly, shots jump from one still image to the next rather than animating the character’s movement.
This season has a slower pace with more focus on one major villain rather than a monster-of-the-week story; it’s easy to see this as an improvement, but everything is executed much worse than the original. Extensive dialogue with very little animation is used to fill screen time in place of the abundance of action scenes in season one.
Even though the characters look bad, they’re still very likable. Garou is a great villian, and there are entertaining heroes like King and of course Saitama. However, the comedic timing is poor. Jokes don’t land with any impact. Unfunny humor is entirely due to the lame visuals, mediocre sound effects, and awkward directing.
Sequels rarely live up to their predecessors, but this is a hollow, mangled corpse of the original. J.C. Staff has been overworked and understaffed for years, and they should not have been given the responsibility of a show as big as One Punch Man.
Don’t watch this. Go read the manga instead.
To start this off, I am a huge fan of the manga and webcomic , and as an anime only you might get at least some enjoyment out of it, but for someone like me it's just a terrible adaptation.
The animation is one of the obvious criticisms, but it's not only a downgrade compared to season 1, it's also pretty bad compared to your average action anime nowadays.
The use of still images is quite prevalent, and impossible to miss, and the few well animated bits are often lacking a real impact, which makes the punches feel hollow.
Furthermore the awful effects, and confusing editing get in the way of what's left to enjoy. A great example for that would be the fight from episode 3, in which during the pivotal turning point, you can't even make out what's happening, due to shiny blue rays, covering everything.
The fights being so bad is quite the big problem, especially for the characters that have their introduction, and most of their development in their respective fights.
Another major issue is the awful artwork, it's inconsistent, ugly, and just looks amateurish a lot of the time. We all knew that they could never keep up with the manga, because Murata is a god, but as season 1 showcased, it's definetly possible to stay relativly close to the source material.The bad art is being worsened by the abysmal shading, which made all characters that have metal on them look ridiculous.
With them obviously not having enough time to finish this properly, it seems like they cut corners at every turn, a thing that makes this quite evident, is the abundance of close ups, in order to reduce the amount they need to draw. This is simply annoying, and it also ruins some of the great panels from the manga, which they should have simply copied, considering that they were still images. What is even more infuriating, and absolutely inexcusable is the lack of lip flaps during some conversations, most notably in episode 2.
There are many more things I could mention, like for example that Saitamas voice actor sounds like he is just phoning it in, or that the bad opening even spoils a major plot point, but I think you get my point. Overall this is just a bad adaption, and I wish it didn't exsist, because then there would at least be the possibility of a decent season 2, and the franchise I love wouldn't have such an awful anime representing it. The few good moments are all due to the source material being so good, the adaptation ads nothing to it, and actively hamstrings it most of the time. That's why can't enjoy anything about it, and it makes me actively mad, thus, I can't give it anything but a 1/10.
There have been a few episodes of this anime so far, and I can say while not as good as the first season, I still think it was worth my time watching. The only thing that I was actually initially worried about was how JC Staff was going to handle the animation, and I'll get into that later, but for now, here are my early thoughts on this anime.
The first season introduced us to Saitama and the world around him, which was fine, but then later on in that series, we kind of shy away from the slice-of-life storytelling, and get
some introductions to some villains that will probably be dealt with later on. This season, it's a bit different. Right away in the first episode, we're introduced into a villain named Garou, which immediately sets up the premise for a more typical hero show, which isn't a really bad thing in the grand scheme of things, and to be honest, I quite like it. Not very much has happened in the first couple of episodes, but being a manga reader as I feel like they're character introductions just with a little bit of action tossed in between those scenes, though near episode 4, things do start to heat up a bit. It's also pretty fast paced, but to be honest I don't really think that was a problem for me, though some tense moments that were in the manga didn't really translate over that will. Events are still being set up that will happen in the future, and we'll see on how Sakurai Chikara plans to execute on this; It's going to be really hard to screw this up with the source material they're working with as I personally consider it to be one of the better arcs of the series, and you may see this score change in the future, but right now it's pretty solid
Art & Animation: 7/10
With what can be said was basically studio Bones, as most of the staff was on studio Bones, thanks to director Shingo Natsume on the first season, there was absolutely no way in hell that J.C. Staff, a studio not known for their animation, could live up to what the first season brought us, but it actually exceeded my expectations on what I thought it was going to be. Some complaints that I do have are that Genos' arms look pretty wacky, and there are a lot more static lip flaps than I would like, but it actually wasn't that bad as I thought as it would be, and those rapid attacks that they had a lot in the first season were kind of like blurs, and really hard to see. There are some flashes of great animation, and it does get better so far, as episode 3 was really when they got their shit together, and I hope they keep on improving on this category. The characters I thought looked pretty good as well, maybe except for King's chin, but that's just a small nitpick, and like I said earlier Genos' arms look pretty bad. This is J.C. Staff's best work yet, by an animation standpoint, though your answer may vary on who you're talking to.
Makoto Miyazaki returns for the soundtrack for OPM, and I can say that the OST as good as the first season. There are still those badass guitar riffs that play in the background of the music that just gets you hyped for something that's about to happen, and some slower tracks when things do calm down. JAM Project returns for the OP of the second season, while not as hyped as the first season, though I would be thoroughly impressed if they were able to top that, it's still pretty good. ED I thought was pretty forgettable. We have the same cast as last time, with the exception of Garou, which I thought his voice was done pretty well.
The characters in the first season were amazing, as they all shared their amount of flaws and strengths, along with the great chemistry between our two main characters, Genos and Saitama. This season, we're introduced into to two new characters, King and Garou. Garou makes for a great villain, who has a great backstory, along with some good motivation to come along with it, and I think that we'll really see what he's capable of doing in the future, as right now, he looks like he would be a major threat to the Hero's Association and I do wish that we do get a bit more character development from him. King, while technically not a new character, we get a really proper introduction in this season, is the more interesting character in my opinion, as his current situation makes for pretty comedic scenes with, along with his eligibility make him for a great character and I wish I could elaborate more on, but that would be giving spoilers, and I don't want to do that. Fubuki is another character that we are given a much more in-depth look on, as we just got a brief introduction of what she was like in the first season, but now, she's more a full-fledged character. The most interesting part of Fubuki is her motivations for the things that she does, which I shouldn't get into without spoiling it, but they're very believable, and it makes sense, and you can't help but sympathize with her.
While I couldn't get too much excitement from the fight scenes, everything was still the same as the first season. The humor that these characters are placed in was still present in this season, though I should say that it's a little more sparse, the soundtrack was still really good, and we get a strong cast of new characters. So far, this season has exceeded my expectations, and I hope that they keep this up.
PLEASE READ THE WHOLE THING (I KNOW IT'S LONG BUT HOPEFULLY WORTH IT)
Let me get this out of the way before I say anything: I never thought the original One Punch Man was this phenomenal anime that it was portrayed as being; I acknowledge that it was a decent/good show but nothing more. With that being said, this new season is a downgrade from the original in about every aspect so you can more or less see where I'm going with this review.
Great, now that I've induced the hatred of rabid OPM fans and essentially destroyed my chances of receiving any positive feedback or "helpful"
votes, I'm going to be diving into why I decided to give this anime a 6/10... I know, it's shocking.
Actually, why not start with some positives first before I rip this show apart? For one, the cast of OPM is great, with the perfect balance of comedic moments, seriousness and badassery (yes, that's now a word) spread evenly between the characters! Saitama remains as one of the best and most likeable main characters in recent memory with a fantastic supporting cast beside him. One thing that I can't fault is the fantastic chemistry that is still prevalent between the cast; whether it be witty banter or heroic speeches, each interaction is a joy to watch; especially with the amazing voice work! However, don't expect to be blown away by the development each character receives or how original their personas are because quite frankly, they do all roughly fall into stereotypes although that actually favours the anime surprisingly! Another minor nit pick for now in the first couple of episode is that Garou so far is a lifeless edgelord who honestly holds nothing interesting to his name other than "Hey, I'm OP... that makes me a good character right?" Yet, I can't criticise him too much due to the fact that there is still plenty of time for him to grow on me so I will just avoid this factor for now. Now onto how the anime is mediocre at best:
Let's address the elephant in the room, JC Staff took over from Madhouse's previous season which worried the fans of the anime immensely and rightly so. JC Staff certainly isn't the first name an otaku thinks of when it comes to amazing action packed animation and so far... the animation has been ok. That's honestly the only way to describe it; it is by no means robust and clunky but lacks the finesse and passion that could be seen in the first season. Action sequences lack the emotion behind each blow that could previously be felt with animation short cuts being made in almost every altercation so far in the anime. Punches feel weightless as they don't show the impact of the blow as a means to save money which in turn makes me heavily disappointed considering the great action present in the original. These little things show that very little care and concern was put into the production and don't even get me started on the drawing quality! Genos looks like a bloody tin can walking about! Like seriously, metallic shading is not JC Staff's strong suit! But, in general, the animation is alright, it's acceptable and definitely gets bonus points for some fine jiggle physics so I guess that makes JC Staff worth something.
Another shortcoming has been the music; that opening song although not particularly bad, is trying to hard to renovate the original. It lacks the hype of the first opening and seems to ride the first song's wave rather than attempting to surpass it. Dare I say it, the opening almost sounds identical to the first! Only if the first one lacked any sort of feeling and was downgraded to about a 5/10. I guess endings are also a thing so I might as well talk a little about it... it's ok. I've been using this word a lot so far because it's the majority of this anime! Hell, even the soundtrack is sort of just fine and nothing special which is crazy since I actually quite liked all the music in the first season- I'm not saying it's anywhere near bad but I expected more in the second season.
My final point is about the plot. It's laughable. One of my biggest problems with the first and second season is how basic the story telling is. I get it, it's not the main focus of the show; the plot is used as a gimmick in OPM to show off action and comedy, however, no matter what form of entertainment it is, the story is essential especially when thinking critically and that's the one department where OPM falls terribly short and is probably the main reason why Mob Psycho is an a league of its own in comparison. I said I wasn't going to talk about it but I'm going to anyway; Garou's story so far is extremely predictable and basic! The hype for his character and story led me to believe that he was going to be special but is it just me or does everything related to him just seem like lazy character building and story telling so far? Again, it may be too early to judge but I cannot let it go! To be honest, in what is essentially the first third of the second season, no progress has been made in terms of the plot and no! Fubuki's tits won't help me forget how poor the story has been so far!
Let's end the review here; as you can probably tell by now, my enjoyment has been severely limited due to the negatives completely overshadowing this anime's positive aspects. It may still be too early to give it a complete verdict but I feel as though I need to share my opinion with the fan base. I'm not a hater at all; I honestly want what everyone wants: GOOD ANIME and this is not it. So, can we please stop fanboying and start criticising as to send a message that we won't stand for mediocrity? If we do this, I can guarantee that it will only benefit the industry and our enjoyment of anime in the future. Thank you for reading, I know it was long so I apologise, here's the verdict: