One Punch Man continues to impress, this week it shows us that it can actually carry out a villain for the entirety of an episode. Up until this point each episode has had numerous villains for Saitama to defeat with one crushing blow, but things slow down as we find a single point of focus and a hidden secret to uncover!
Starting right off from last episode the Cyborg Gorilla reveals the complex back story of the mad scientist who created him. This information is vital but once again it rattles on a little too long for Saitama’s liking and Genos reminds the cyborg to keep his description to 20 words. Let’s see if I can achieve this feat!
Genus is one of the greatest scientist the world has ever known, but he is obsessed with the next step of human evolution. A step that leads to humans and animals combining into a super species. He’s trying to create this species and rule the “new world.”
Huh, about 50 words. Sorry everyone (Sorry Saitama.)
Anyway Genus (not to be confused with Genos) believes Saitama is the key to unlocking some sort of potential in his grand scheme. I have to admit that I like that One Punch Man is tackling another common plotline in action anime. We have seen human/animal sub species appear in Fullmetal Alchemist and Hunter x Hunter. Following on the heels of those ideas are themes of evolution and humanity. Themes One Punch Man will barely touch on in this episode, but the nod is not missed.
Saitama decides they need to handle this business of a mad scientist ASAP because tomorrow is no good, there’s a special sale at the market. Genos is surprised but ready to follow his master’s lead. What follows next is a beautifully animated dash through the forests as the two race across the land to the location of Genus’ evil layer. Genos seems in awe of Saitama’s physical abilities and is surprised that his master chooses to run instead of fly. Which brings up a interesting point, can Saitama fly? In past episodes it really appeared so when he battled the gigantic brother/monster, but I also played with the idea that maybe he can just jump really really high. Saitama confirms this theory is true with a nonpulsed “Human’s can’t fly.”
When the two arrive at the Scientists’ lair, we the audience are aware that Genus has set up a series of elaborate traps that will definitely keep them stalled for at least another couple episodes f this played out like previous shounen anime.
Genos will have none of it though and destroys the entire building in one grand explosion. The action is a bit of a shock, but I do love that Genos is revealing more of his nonsensical attitude. He chooses to handle everything analytically, but in the end often chooses to blow shit up, sometimes in ways that call for way more fire power than needed.
Luckily Genus wasn’t in the actual building and was instead located in the basement, where all evil scientist lurk. I’m sure there is a rule about this somewhere. With the arrival of Saitama, Genus decides to call upon his greatest and most fearsome creation, The Carnage Kabuto. Carnage is a cross of a Hercules beetle and a human, but he doesn’t have a shred of humanity in him. All he cares about is fighting and destruction. Definitely a bad dude.
When he’s unleashed he quickly finds the intruders and knocks Genos out of commission, then invites Saitama to the ultimate training room. Because, of course, they have a training room buried deep under the Earth’s surface. Why not? The fight between Saitama and Carnage is about to go underway when Genos comes back with avengeance. What follows next is the weekly”beautiful” fight scene for this episode. It’s so fast paced I had to watch it again, but every moment is executed to perfection as Genos wields his flamethrowers liking a fire bender. He looks good while fighting, unfortunately, his abilities don’t match up to Carnage who just throws the fire back in Genos’ face and …. well, it just isn’t Genos’ day.
Finally, Saitama steps up to fight. You can tell he’s serious because he’s got his game face on. Carnage has second thoughts. He can feel a strong, menacing aura from Saitama and knows without a doubt that the hero could kill him. He demands to know how Saitama got so strong, what’s his secret. This, of course, has been a question at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Including Genos, who has agreed to go under the intensive training. Then, without hesitation, Saitama reveals the secret to his strength. The methods he used for three years and eventually led to his baldness.
His secret is…
Okay, I just really love this screen shot. And yes, his secret training regiment is getting up at 6:00 everyday and doing exactly 100 push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and running 10 kilometers. Then Genos points out this is basic strength conditioning and not a real training. It’s certainly nothing like the intensive and ridiculous training styles in DragonballZ, Naruto, or even Bleach. Heck, its not even Mr. Miyagi-Training in Karate Kid. It’s just very… basic. Yet, he talks about this regiment as if it were the hardest thing in the world. I mean, getting up early to run is pretty annoying but it isn’t impossible. The absurdity of it all is one of the best comedic reveals of the episode. And again, I love the styling provided for the moment.
Which leads me to wonder if maybe Saitama really is unique from other humans. Maybe he’s a step up in evolution like Genus believes, maybe he’s an alien. Who knows, but now we know there is definitely something weird about him.
Pretty much everyone in the room doesn’t believe him. Even Genos seems a little fed up with the reveal while Carnage’s anger pushes him into a transformation. Because every villain needs a transformation. Again, it is a rule… I think.
His new CARNAGE MODE puts him in a kill haze for a solid week, where he will cause nothing but death and destruction from now until next Saturday. Staring down his new powered up foe, Saitama is willing to admit he might have made a mistake, but not for the reasons why we think. Carnage pummels our hero in another brilliant display of colors and action while Saitama monologs a classic action hero piece. Something along the lines of, “I’ve let this go to far, He’ll rampage for a week. Until next Saturday, which means…”
Which means his worst fears are confirmed. That the bargain sale isn’t tomorrow but today!
In his anguish, Saitama punches Carnage, putting a quick end to him rampage and mourns the loss of such an eventful day. This was a brilliant way to skew a story we already know. Saitama’s distress isn’t because of a mistake he made in battle, nor is it even the threat Carnage poses on others, but in his own misjudgment of time for a personal pleasure. He doesn’t take any pleasure or even acknowledge that he’s defeated Carnage. Maybe this emphasizes that after so many large scale battles Saitama’s only joys are the little things in life.
Either way, Genos’ faith in his master has been restored after seeing Carnage’s demise. He ends Saitama’s distress by informing him there is still time before the sale ends, if they hurry home they’ll make it! They don’t even bother with Genus, who is still alive and rethinking all his life’s choices as he watches the two heroes hurry home.
Alls well that ends well…I suppose.