Remember in my last recap, how I speculated that Professor Emo could prove to be an actual foil for Saitama? Yeah. I forgot what show I was watching for a minute there.
Turns out, the Professor isn’t the true villain. No, our hero of the yellow spandex faces a much more devastating foe this episode. One that almost defeats him completely. One that is truly worthy of his incredible power.
We’ll get to that in due course, mind you, but for now, let’s take a moment to remember where we left off. It’s sort of relevant, after all.
Saitama, in an effort to kill an annoying mosquito, met Genos and delivered the Pimp Slap of Doom to Mosquito Girl, drawing the attention of Professor Emo, who runs the House of Evolution. Deciding Saitama would be useful in his experiments, Professor Emo dispatched a retrieval squad, who all got slapped down, save Armored Gorilla, who decided it was better to spill the beans than get used for punching practice.
Picking up right where the last episode left off, we get the origin story for Professor Emo, who’s name is actually Genus, which is too close to Genos, so I’ll keep calling him Professor Emo, for the sake of my spellchecker. I’m a terrible typist, and my proofreader only works on my actual novels, you see. Which means my spellcheck function occasionally just tells me to go fuck myself.
Poor thing. I really should give it a few days off now and then.
We learn that a long time ago, Professor Emo was a brilliant scientist who was heavily lauded for his brilliance. Despite this, he often espoused views that made everyone else in the scientific community regard him with the same sort of respect generally given to Scientologists. Those views, that humanity should take the course of their evolution into their own hands, was deemed dangerous and immoral.
Possibly because it was. Not that this stopped him, mind you. No, he decided to press ahead on his own, since as far as he was concerned, literally everyone else was too stupid to get how right he was. While I can understand being frustrated that nobody will give your ideas a second look, his response does at least prove out that Doctor Ego would also be a fitting name for him.
Despite the obvious fact of his ideology being flawed, due to literally everyone saying pointing it out, Professor Emo pressed forward, dedicating his entire life to controlling evolution. Eventually, at the age of 70, he unlocked the means to clone himself, and did so, leaving his work in the hands of his other selves. They promptly began creating new species of animals, and conducting human experimentation.
I think Professor Emo doesn’t understand the concept of immoral. It’s just a guess, though.
At this point in the retelling of Professor Emo’s origin, Saitama interrupts to ask how long this story is going to go on. Proving he can learn, Genos lets Armored Gorilla know that Saitama is a busy man, and to keep it to twenty words or less. Still not wanting to get Pimp Slapped, AG summarizes things by explaining that Professor Emo wants to study Saitama’s body.
It’s almost like these long winded origin stories are kind of pointless, isn’t it? I mean, Genos can be summed up with, “A cyborg killed my family so I became a cyborg to stop that from happening to others.” Saitama can be summed up with, “I felt like being a hero, so I became one.”
Kinda makes you want to stop and rethink the origin stories of other comic book characters, doesn’t it? Or at the very least, Hollywood’s bizarre fascination with retelling origin stories over and over and over and over. But, I digress…
Genos realizes that Professor Emo isn’t likely to give up easily and advises he and Saitama go on the offensive, a suggestion Saitama agrees with so much, he straight up just starts walking away. Genos seems surprised by this, but it turns out, there’s a big sale at the supermarket tomorrow that Saitama doesn’t want to miss, so he’d like to deal with this problem now and be done with it.
Priorities, folks. Every hero has to have them.
Genos lags behind a bit, almost catching Armored Gorilla in the act of warning Professor Emo of the pending arrival of our heroes. Seems he wants to know if the House of Evolution has unleashed any other cyborgs on the population in the last four years. Finding out they haven’t, he lets Armored Gorilla live, which AG is no doubt thankful for.
Considering he’s got no arms or legs at the moment, I’m not sure how he plans to make his getaway, but there’s no time to worry about that! The House of Evolution has received his warning and is in full blown panic mode. The various clones of Professor Emo all try to figure out what to do about Saitama and Genos, who easily defeated the best agents they had, before they can arrive and do the same to them.
The head clone, who I’m gonna call Emo 1, decides the best course of action is to activate all the labs traps and prepare to unleash Carnage Kabuto. This goes over like a lead balloon with the other clones, who proceed to go from panicked, to melodramatic. Apparently, Carnage Kabuto is a bad, bad man.
There is no confirmation on whether or not he tugged on Superman’s cape, pulled the mask on the Lone Ranger, or messed around with Jim, but it’s safe to assume he did all of these things.
While the Emo clones are running around, screaming and waving their hands, Saitama and Genos are running to the House of Evolution. By which, I mean they are actually running there on foot. Genos seems surprised to learn Saitama can’t fly, and Saitama thinks Genos may be an idiot for thinking he could. It’s possible Genos has built Saitama up in his head as being way more awesome than he actually is, but that’s sheer speculation.
Arriving at the house of Evolution, Genos decides to blow it up. Saitama is a bit annoyed that he’d just go blowing buildings up willy nilly, but Genos, ever logical, points out it was the quickest way. Saitama, always looking for a decent bout of fisticuffs, isn’t impressed.
While surveying the considerable damage, Saitama discovers a hatch that leads underground, and the two head down, figuring that the Emo clones are probably hiding out down there. Well, Genos thinks it. Saitama thinks it might be the basement.
Have I mentioned he isn’t the brightest guy around?
As they intrepidly enter the deadly dungeon, Emo 1 is confronting Carnage Kabuto, who it turns out is just a big ass beetle dude. Forgive me for having paid attention in biology class way back when I was in high school, but I was expecting a mantis shrimp.
Yes, I paid attention in biology class. Don’t look so surprised. Granted, that was over twenty years ago, but it turns out that you can learn lots of neat things about animals by actually listening to your teachers. Go figure.
Now, if you don’t know what a mantis shrimp is, I suggest using Google. It’s the internet age, gang. The sum total of human knowledge is at your fingertips. Go, learn. I’ll be here when you get back.
Well, I won’t be. I’ll be off making up fun stories and writing them down in an effort to get paid for playing make believe. This recap will still be here is what I meant.
I think we’ve wandered off topic.
So, Carnage Kabuto is a beetle man hybrid. He’s big, bulky, and arrogant as hell. He spends a little time slapping clones around, then waxing poetic, for him at least, about how he’s smarter, stronger, and better than everyone. Emo 1 disagrees, failing to grasp the concept of irony, but does manage to talk beetle face into going and capturing Saitama for him. Mostly by assuring Kabuo that Saitama is really strong.
This leads to Kabuto running in the halls of the underground portion of the House of Evolution with Emo 1 in his hand. For a guy that thinks he’s really smart, he obviously never learned the dangers of running in the halls while waving the clone of a scientist around. That’s how people end up putting an eye out.
Kabuto punches Genos into a wall, then politely invites Saitama to join him in the Danger Room for a little one on one face punching. Say what you want about Professer Emo, but if Xavier and the X-Men trust him to borrow their toys, he can’t be all bad.
After taking a leisurely stroll to the Danger Room, Kabuto engages in some more posturing about how awesome he is, which is even less convincing than before. Dude can’t even keep his tongue in his mouth. He may think he’s the peak of evolution, and this may just be me, but I don’t think avid drooling is a thing we’ll need a lot of down the road.
Genos shows up, having in fact had an eye put out. See? What did I say?
He goes all cyborg vengeance on Kabuto, but doesn’t manage to even put a scratch on him. Saitama encourage him to chill a bit, but Genos wants to look good in front of his new master, and throws his best flame thrower attack at the big beetle borg, only to have Kabuto blow it back, giving him a less than attractive perm.
Saitama finally convinces Genos to sit the rest of this one out, what with him being kinda beat up. Kabuto is ready to rumble, and even Emo 1 has managed to drag himself from where ever it was Kabuto dropped his ass to watch the fight. For a guy with a near infinite number of clones, he’s very hands on. I have to respect that.
Kabuto decides to start things off, using his super speed to get behind Saitama, who just stands there, waiting. Kabuto realizes Saitama may actually be dangerous, and backs up, his instincts telling him that if he’d thrown a punch, he’d have ended up dead fast. Not sure how to handle this, he demands to know how Saitama got so strong.
Anyway, Saitama decides to tell Kabuto, Emo 1, and Genos as well, the secret of his incredible superpowers. Genos thinks this is a bad idea, but Saitama is determined. They all want to know so bad, so fine. Here it is.
100 sit ups. 100 push ups. 100 squats. Run 10 Kilometers. Every day. Never use the AC or heat.
And…. that’s it. That’s his whole secret.
Genos is a little less than overwhelmed, going so far as to demand Saitama not screw around with him. Saitama swears that was all he did, even though that’s all just basic strength training. It’s not even advanced or anything. Despite his claims, nobody seems to believe him, which leaves him a little baffled.
Kabuto takes all this pretty personally and begins to think his instincts were wrong, and that Saitama isn’t really that tough at all. He gets royally pissed at Saitama for jerking his chain and decides to go into a Rage, swelling up and getting even uglier.
Emo 1 freaks out, since once Kabuto enters rage mode, nothing can stop him. Kabuto himself confirms this, claiming it’ll take a full week for him to come down from extra drool mode. Which means that until next Saturday, he’ll just rampage around killing and destroying and making a big ass mess of everything.
I’m betting that while in rage mode, he’ll even pull the tags off mattresses. The fiend!
Now in super dooper ass kicking mode, he proceeds to start punching Saitama all over the Danger Room, while Saitama grapples with a shocking realization. One so profound, for a minute, he can’t even properly defend himself.
See, Saitama thought it was Friday, which meant that big sale at the supermarket isn’t tomorrow, it’s today, and he’s missing it.
This is the foe I mentioned earlier. The ability to read a God damn calendar. Such a deadly opponent, even One Punch Man must struggle to overcome it!
Once he realizes he’s missing the sale, he one shots Kabuto and wails about the missed sale. Genos, being the good sidekick he is, points out that it runs until 10 pm, and if they hurry, can still catch it before it ends. So thrilled to realize this, Saitama punches a hole in the wall that leads right out of the House of Evolution and they rush off to the store.
Emo 1 begins to realize that perhaps, his ideas of forced evolution really were wrong after all. I guess seeing your ultimate monster one punched to death will do that.
After the credits, the Men In Black arrive at the remains of the House of Evolution to assess the damage, and realize that Genos was responsible. What this means, we’ll have to wait until next week to learn.
While part of me was half way expecting One Punch Man to at least tackle the basic concepts of the superhero myth after last weeks episode, this week reminded me that the show is more interested in taking those myths apart. So, instead of the first member of a rogues gallery, we get Professor Emo realizing his ideology actually was wrong all along.
I’m assuming he linked arms with his clones and they all Riverdanced into the sunset after this. I mean, that’s just logical, right?
The other aspect of superhero mythology they took apart this week was the idea that heroes always serve an idea of justice. Saitama only went to the House of Evolution because he didn’t want Professor Emo’s creations bugging him again, especially when there was a big sale going down the next day. Likewise, he only fought Kabuto because he thought the big beetle boy might actually provide him with a decent battle. Nowhere in there is anything to do with morality, justice, or anything else.
Saitama was just bored, and didn’t want the only thing he was actually looking forward to interrupted by these guys and their dumb ideas. That’s it. That was his whole reason for doing any of this.
In the midst of all this, we did finally learn the secret of how Saitama became so insanely strong, though much like Genos, I can’t help but wonder what all Saitama was leaving out of that story. There had to be something else to it, possibly even something he isn’t aware of himself.
Unless it really does just come down to Saitama’s dedication to becoming strong being the key factor. There’s a lot to be said there, really, about someone who develops super human abilities just by wanting it bad enough, and working at it as hard as he knew how.
I’m sure this will all get touched on at some point.
Until then, I’ll see you again next week, for Episode 4: “The Modern Ninja”