Monday, December 21, 2015

10 Second Anime - One-Punch Man - Episode 12 [END]

Saitama fights Boros on the ship, while the other heroes attend to matters on the ground. Season Finale.

Episode 12 - "The Strongest Hero"


Oh my, that fight was so satisfying! It became clear pretty early on that Saitama wanted to test how strong Boros really was. Saitama took Boros' attacks head on.

I often wondered how many villain speeches Saitama heard during the course of all his fights that he just got sick of hearing the same thing over and over again.

When Boros started yapping after Saitama took this hit, Saitama knew it was already over. Although he did get one pleasant surprise out of it.

One of these days, Saitama-kun, one of these days, straight to the Moon! Saitama's reward was actually exerting himself on his leap back from the moon to land on the alien ship. That was worth the boring villain speech.

He even let Boros  have his "Consecutive Normal Punches" combination to show that he needed to try a little bit.

This battle mirrored the one with the other S-Class heroes as they pummeled the lieutenant to find the marble power source they needed to break. For Boros, he had his own marble, but also used the large one powering the ship. It took one of Saitama's "Serious" punches to break both of them.

All too easy, but at least Saitama did get a small smile of satisfaction for the challenge of coming back from the Moon.

And then, it was back to only Genos and Silver Fang acknowledging his strength, while Tatsumaki had to make her irrepressible presence known.

While Saitama ignored Tatsumaki, he told Genos that Boros was "probably" the strongest he opponent he had faced. "Probably," he said!

Genos is better with words than Saitama, but both were on the same page in wanting to tell Tatsumaki to stop being so annoying.

And then Tatsumaki proved Black Luster correct in how she reacts to being told off. Interestingly enough, she was very deferential to Silver Fang. Perhaps she had only recently overtaken his rank to number 2 and it was only because he wasn't as active as she was.

Amai Mask confirmed my opinion of his character from the Sea King encounter. Genos' thoughts on his little speech were pretty good in how he compared his old self before he had witnessed someone with overwhelming power like Saitama. It's all about what mix of skills a hero brings to the situation, and with most of the S-Class Heroes being all about destructive capability, it's really unreasonable for them to anticipate an unprovoked attack or to magically evacuate thousands of survivors. That's what the numbers of the A-Class through C-Class are for.

Mumen Rider had a nice moment looking at the alien ship. It was pretty clear that he wanted to rush over and do something to help, but he knew the limits of his abilities.

The season may be over, but the story continues in the manga and the web comic. Tantalizing hints of new plot lines were dropped over the last two episodes with Silver Fang's apprentice being kicked out of his dojo, the identity of S-Class Number 1 Blast, Metal Knight somehow connected to the evil cyborg responsible for Genos' origin story, and Amai Mask antagonizing the other heroes. It may be a while before we see Saitama challenged again, but I'll be looking forward to it

Final Thoughts.

In the end, it was back to One-Punch Man. This show had amazing animation, a great musical score tied to emotional scenes, comedy, drama, tension and levity. There was a lot of character development for the people introduced during the course of the season and only character revelation for Saitama, but it worked because Saitama was the mystery that slowly gets solved.

The themes of heroism, its motivations and its pitfalls, found a perfect platform for exploration in a hero so strong he requires only one punch to defeat his enemies and a hero association with a ranking system based on deeds and popularity. It's hardly ever seen that a hero gets to complain to a whole crowd about their lack of gratitude but to have a bald uncharismatic man deliver those complaints added to the twist on the superhero premise. Our hero was not just powerful, but interesting in a non-conventional way.

I can't recommend this show enough. Go see it, many times, and then watch it again.

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