As we enter the final episode of One Punch Man, there is this urge to reflect back on what brought us to this point, and just how well the entire series has been laid out. Part of me wants to give huge praise to Madhouse, but really, the credit belongs mostly to ONE, who crafted this insane tale of a hero who can defeat any enemy with a single punch.
Of course, those kinds of thoughts will have to wait, as I am planning a series recap post for next week. I don’t want to get ahead of myself on things, but I do feel it is only fair to give credit where it is due. This story, it’s freaking awesome, and ONE is a master storyteller.
Credit also goes to Yusuke Murata, who pretty much defined the look of OPM. From what little I’ve seen of the original webcomic, the art was rough, so Murata coming aboard really helped flesh out the style that would end up carrying into the anime.
Which just means that the ultimate collaboration of ONE, Murata, and Madhouse is the gift that keeps on giving. Any fan of superhero comics, shonen manga, and anime as a whole should be thankful for having OPM brought about the way it was.
Especially with this finale. It is so over the top, so insane, and so perfect that it’s kind of crazy. A fitting place to end the series if ever there was one. While I unabashedly hope that there will be a second season in the near future, for now, the OPM anime has hit a high mark, and can bow out with all the mad awesomeness that it deserves.
With all that said, lets dive into the final episode of One Punch Man.
We pick up exactly where we left off, with a now powered up version of Boros throwing down with Saitama. What’s interesting about this part of the battle is that Saitama isn’t really trying to do anything but block Boros, and is doing it with one arm, even though Boros is throwing everything he has at Saitama with both fists.
He does finally manage to push Saitama back, but in yet another display of how absurdly awesome he is, Saitama just quickly walks backward, forcing Boros to chase him. The entire thing is a subtle, crazy nod at just how insanely powerful Saitama really is. It gets unsubtle pretty quick, though, when Saitama does decide to throw a punch, taking off Boros’ arm.
Boros manages to hide just how surprised he is, but not well. I bet this guy sucks at poker. He does, however, take a moment to admit that, though he has unleashed his full power, Saitama is managing to keep up with him, prompting Saitama, in typical fashion, to admit that Boros is pretty strong, as well.
This little exchange actually matters a bit later in the episode, but for now, let me again say that there’s an element to this show that I have always enjoyed. That the villains are often pretty respectful of Saitama, much more so than the heroes. It’s an odd touch, but one I’ve greatly enjoyed, as the people he is often at odds with are the only ones, besides Genos, who seem to both acknowledge and respect Saitama’s strength.
While that’s happening, the show takes a moment to turn its attention back to the events on the ground, as Tank Top Master, who we’ve seen nothing of since this whole thing started, decides he should get involved.
Thanks, dude. I’m sure the whole world is grateful that you’ve finally managed to decide to actually do something. It’s no wonder the whole Tank Top themed gang is such a bunch of dipshits.
As it turns out, the main reason he’s doing anything is because, despite Tornado being Rank 2 of Class S, he doesn’t feel he can leave everything to one little girl. While I’m sure that in his mind, he’s being noble or something, let me say two things here. First, what a sexist jackass. I mean, seriously. One little girl? Dude, what the fuck? Because, two, have you seen what that “little girl” can do? She dropped a god damn meteor on Godzilla, and didn’t even break a sweat doing it!
Completely blind to his own ingrained sexism, Tank Top Master picks up a gigantic piece of rubble with on hand, and throws it at the alien spaceship. Now, I will give him his due here. That was impressive. The guy clearly has superhuman strength. He’s no Saitama, but he is strong on a level that surpasses human limitations.
As if to answer me calling him out on his sexist remark, Torando shows up and uses literally everything in the area to lay siege to the ship. She even tells him to scram before using her telekinesis to hurl buildings, entire sections of roadway, and pretty every thing in the area. All Tank Top Master can do is fumble his way to safety, admitting he can’t compare.
I won’t lie. I laughed. Because Tornado is epic.
Speaking of epic, her entire scene here is just amazing. She’s just calm as fuck as she levies an endless barrage of debris at the alien ship, never letting up, and sending the surviving aliens into a panic as they begin to realize they fucked with the wrong planet.
Oh, and it turns out that Fred Fredburger is still alive, and still wants to go home. I can’t say I blame him. Honestly, between Tornado and Saitama, these guys are so totally fucked, it isn’t even funny.
Even Genos gets it, as he watches with Child Emperor. At least, until Drive Knight wanders up to let Genos know he has errands to run, so he’s taking off. Apparently, several Class S heroes decided this fight for the future of humanity was just too droll and have checked out.
Wow. Seriously? Alien spaceship levels City A and you guys just shrug and leave? Man. Fuck you guys.
Before he takes off to pick up his groceries or whatever, Drive Knight does let Genos know he should avoid Metal Knight, as the two are now “enemies”. Just what he means by that is unclear, but it was nice of him to let Genos know. You know, before he left to play bingo or whatever.
Meanwhile, the battle with Headsup continued, though I guess I should start calling him Headup, if ya know what I mean. (In my defense, that was hilariously funny in my head.)
He’s still trying to pop past Atomic Samurai’s sword and squeeze his head, a feat that is obviously easier said than done. Despite the fact that Triple P’s junk is being cleverly hidden by a fallen piece of pipe, much as Saitama’s was way back during the battle with Mosquito Girl, Headsup is totally focused on Atomic Samurai, and still failing to get anywhere. Personally, I give him credit for that, as I’m sure Triple P’s junk is pretty amazing to behold.
Just as Headsup begins to believe victory is within grasp, Bang returns, to my eternal joy. Seriously, this old man, I adore him. Just as Tank top Master was schooled on thinking women the weaker sex, Bang is proof that age isn’t a limit to being awesome. To put an exclamation point on the matter, he calmly states the stiffness in his shoulder is gone.
This guy. He’s too cool for words.
Headsup has a brief moment to be shocked that Bang isn’t dead, and that’s all Atomic Samurai needs to unleash his special Atomic Slash move, turning Headsup into confetti. He calls it insolence, and starts to reform, but Bang just straight smooth walks up, pointing out that while he moves his marble around his body to keep it hidden, his regeneration always starts with his head. Adding that even a monkey could figure this shit out, he punches through the half formed head to grab the marble and shatter it, putting an end to Headsup.
The entire battle with Headsup was just amazing to me. Sure, Saitama might could have one punched Headsup, but then again, he might not could have. Dude had five of those marbles, which means Saitama still would have had to break them all, and I have no doubt he could have, but that is beside the point. This battle was to show the skill, power, and tenacity of these Class S heroes, and in that, it is a total success.
Saitama is not the only superhuman in the world. He’s the pinnacle, to be sure, but far from the only one. Every one of these people, especially Tornado, deserve the ranking they have. They are all heroes, and they are all superhuman.
My only real complaint is that Genos sits this entire fight out. He does not do a single, blessed thing, and that’s a shame, because we all know he’s fucking amazing. Still, from a writing standpoint, giving all of these characters a moment to shine was executed brilliantly, and I loved it.
Knight Man is in awe, even as Atomic Samurai jokingly accuses Bang of stealing the glory. For his part, Bang thinks he needs to do more full body workouts, while Triple P celebrates their victory. Metal Bat, however, points out that the ship is still there, and they all look up to take in the wide spread carnage that is Tornado’s ongoing assault.
Meanwhile, Mumen Rider, Stinger, and Lightening Max are rounding up the last of the survivors and taking them to safety. As the other two escort the survivor to the armored tuck, Mumen pauses to take in the ship, before joining them. It’s done so very subtly, but it speaks volumes to the way heroes of every class can play a role in a disaster of this level. While Saitama is fighting Boros, Tornado is trying to destroy the ship, and the other Class S heroes were preventing Headsup from killing any survivors, the others were rescuing those same survivors, something they could only do because Headsup was too busy fighting the Class S group.
It’s a nice touch, this idea that even those without powers they are heroes. To the people they saved, I’m certain Mumen Rider, Stinger, and Lightening Max are the real heroes of the day. Despite being more or less ordinary people, they acted heroically, and that matters.
All of this happens in the first five minutes, by the way, which is a real feat of storytelling that has me a bit in awe, and more than a little envious. It’s masterful writing, of the kind I hope to be capable of myself someday.
For some years, I’ve tinkered with an anime inspired four book series, and it’s watching stuff like this that helps me find better, stronger ways of telling that story. Maybe one of these days, I’ll be able to do justice to the medium I love so much.
With all the other subplots more or less resolved, we rejoin Saitama as a more kickass, high energy version of the shows opening theme song kicks in. Well, it seemed that way to me, anyway. It may have been the same as always, but combined with the imagery of Saitama and Boros fighting, it felt like a more kick ass version.
And rightfully so. Everything about this is just mindblowing to behold. I could screencap the whole fight, and I doubt it would do it justice as Saitama and Boros throw down. It is, without a doubt, a benchmark in terms of animating fight scenes.
On a side note, I had more screencaps for this episode than I could reasonably use. This whole episode was so OP with screencapable moments.
Hush you. Screencapable is so a word.
Boros throws a few hundred punches, which Saitama blocks. Boros looks eager. Saitama looks bored. Boros punches Saitama through half the ship, then delivers a drop kick that even the WWE would cringe at. Saitama shrugs it off, and the two fight all the way up to the top of the ship.
Boros compliments Saitama on being strong, even telling him that none of the other powerful beings he fought in the past survived this long. Saitama says nothing, just giving that same bored stare. Boros unleashes the full might of his destructive power into a blue fireball looking thing, without shouting HADOKEN first, I’m sad to say. Instead, he tells Saitama that anything caught in it would find even their bones vaporized.
It’s a pretty impressive attack, as it sets the entire top of the ship on fire. Saitama, however, is unfazed, and still bored. Boros gets behind him and punches him so hard the wind from his blow puts out the entire fire atop the ship. He manages to move Saitama’s head slightly, as well, which is actually really impressive, if you recall that when the Deep Sea King did the same thing, Saitama didn’t even flinch.
Thinking he has Saitama on the ropes, Boros tells him that while he is strong, the outcome of this battle was always clear. And then he starts monologuing. For real. He just straight up starts monologuing, because when you think that you have all but beaten your opponent, the thing to do is give them time to catch their breath while you natter on.
He goes on a bit about how his species won the fight for survival on their harsh homeworld, gaining incredible regenerative abilities, and he’s the best of them all. To prove it, he regrows the arm Saitama punched off, something he points out Saitama could never manage, since he’ll just grow more injured and exhausted.
As he’s about to launch into even more monologuing, Saitama tells him to shut up. Boros is surprised for a moment as Saitama asks him if he’s done with all this, but only after throwing in my all time favorite use of the classic “Blah, blah, blah.” It’s freaking beautiful.
Boros admits he isn’t done and goes all Dragonball Z again, unleashing his special move, Meteoric Burst, punching Saitama so hard that for a moment, Saitama actually looks a bit surprised. It also sends him flying, and incinerates a huge part of the ship, along with any aliens unfortunate enough to be caught in the wake of it.
Capitalizing on his momentum, Boros goes nuts with punching Saitama, telling him all about how his power works was he does. Seems he has surpassed any limitation, and after knocking Saitama into the air, kicks him so hard that Boros digivolves into Ralph Cramdon.
Bang. Zoom. To the moon!
Seriously. The next thing Saitama knows, he’s on the freaking moon. Say what you want, that’s one hell of a kick.
For his part, Saitama actually manages to seem a bit nonplussed about this. He takes a moment to survey his situation, realizes he should be holding his breath, then pinches his nose just as an extra layer of precaution. Grabbing a rock, he measures the gravity, nods, and prepares to jump. From the moon.
Ya know, I’ve gotten use to Saitama being absurd in terms of power, but this is a whole new level. Mostly because, he does it. He literally jumps from the moon, leaving a fucking crater behind that covers almost the entire half of the moon that faces the Earth, and lands on the alien ship.
I can’t even. I’ll never be able to even again. Most likely, all my even was used up on that single move. I mean, just look at this crazy shit!
While Saitama is having his moonwalk fun, making Buzz Aldrin point in outrage, Boros is letting the viewers know that going full out like this is bad for his health. Apparently, it shortens his life, and is only meant as a trump card to end fights quickly. Sadly for him, Saitama returns at that point, hitting the ship so hard it begins to list.
That all it did was list a bit was a testament to how well the ship was built. Obviously the aliens didn’t outsource the construction to China. Say what you will about them, that’s something.
Down on the ground, Superalloy Blackluster, who has been conveniently absent during all the real fighting, tells Tornado she’s doing it, thinking the ship listing is a result of her onslaught. Tornado, however, clearly knows that isn’t the case, and seems curious as to what the hell just happened, seeing as how all the action between Saitama and Boros is atop the ship, and as such out of everyone else’s sight.
Atop the ship, Saitama steps up out of the crater, casually commenting that he made it, while looking slightly surprised, and pleased with himself. Boros, however, looks like he could be knocked over with a feather, and honestly, I don’t blame him. What Saitama just pulled off is too absurd for even an alien demigod to quite believe.
He gets over being surprised pretty quick, and turns to overjoyed. Saitama makes him want to go all out, meaning that until now, he hasn’t been. Hurling himself at Saitama, he attempts to do so, but gets punched in the gut for his efforts. After being hurled half the length of the ship, he manages to stop himself, but is clearly hurt, though, surprisingly, not dead.
Saitama could not one punch Boros. If ever there was a testament to how powerful Boros is, that’s it. Pulling himself up, he seems to be even more overjoyed that Saitama is finally starting to fight back seriously, going so far as to call him an opponent worth defeating.
Saitama doesn’t have time to chat, though, and unleashes his Consecutive Normal Punch move. We’ve seen it before, when he fought the lion guy waaaay back. As there, so here. Boros is turned into a red mist, as the shockwaves from Saitama’s flurry of blows obliterates parts of the ship, and even leaves craters in the ground beyond, due to the ship listing so heavily.
A small part of Boros survived, however, his eye to be exact, and it looks pretty shocked. It’s enough for him to pull himself back together in much the way Headsup did, though a lot faster. Once he gets his shattered body back in one piece, he declares that he will defeat Saitama, by unleashing all of his energy in one mega move, incinerating both Saitama and the entire planet.
Overkill, Boros. This is the actual definition of it.
Using a move called Collapsing Star Roaring Canon, which actually sounds super badass, he unleashes an even bigger Hadoken than before. Seeing this, Satiama decides he will use his final move as well, and I’m just going what the fuck? Saitama has a finishing move? Why? He one punches everything! What kind of a finishing move could he even have?
Killer Move: Serious Series Serious Punch, that’s what.
Serious Punch. You’re trolling me now, aren’t you Saitama? You, of all people, have a serious punch? I take back what I said before. I still had even to can’t. It’s gone now, though. I’ll never be able to even again. Ever.
Saitama throws his Serious Punch, the force of which shatters the ships power crystal, and… well… just look at it! I mean, Jesus bicycling Christ! Look! At! It!
In the aftermath, a severely devastated Boros realizes that he lost the battle. For his part, Saitama is surprised he is even still conscious, and I don’t blame him. I can’t imagine that after one punching everything ever, he expected anyone, anywhere, to still be alive after he gave a serious punch.
Which is when we get another of the many fascinating facets of Saitama. He compliments Boros for being strong. Boros thinks that it is the prophecy holding true, that he would meet his match on this world. He calls the battle hard fought, and Saitama agrees that it was.
Boros realizes though, that for Saitama it really wasn’t. At no point did Saitama ever really go full out. He never had too. Boros realizes that the prophecy was a load of crap, because for Saitama, this wasn’t even a fight. Saitama knows it, as well, but as Boros lays dying, Saitama tried to give him the dignity of thinking that it had been a hard battle for him.
That Saitama would do that, speaks volumes of his character. Sure, Boros was his enemy, destroyed City A, caused countless people to die, and would have destroyed the entire planet, but in a way, Saitama understands. Like him, Boros just wanted a decent fight, a challenge that made him feel alive.
It calls back to the first episode, where Saitama had the dream of fighting the Subterrans. That sensation of not knowing if he could win, that feeling of being truly alive, fighting a foe that was worthy of absurd strength. As I said last week, Boros is the opposite side of the coin to Saitama, and Saitama himself seems aware of this, as in the final moments, he tried his best to let Boros feel as if his life, and his death, had held meaning.
For Saitama, however, that desire to find a worthy opponent continues. Perhaps that is why he did it, rather than boosting. Because he understands, and feels compassion for a kindred spirit. In the end, it makes me respect him even more, for at heart, Saitama is a truly good person.
With the power sphere that held the ship aloft broken, the entire thing begins to come down. Outside, Genos wonders if it is Saitama’s doing, while inside, the aliens freak out. Fred Fredburger cries for his mommy, and I just can’t even feel any sympathy for the guy. Suck it up, Fred.
Under the ship, the Class S gang sees it coming down and decide a hasty retreat is in order. Triple P starts yelling Angel Dash, while Metal Bat wishes he’d just shut the hell up and run already. For once, I kind of agree with Metal Bat. Quit yelling and just run your naked ass somewhere safe, Triple P.
Atomic Samurai has to carry Knight Man, while Bang leaves them all in the dust. With that, the ship crashes, and Genos and Superalloy decide to head over. I imagine Tornado is hovering around somewhere trying to figure out what the shit just happened.
This is when Amai Mask decides to show up, giving a disapproving look at the situation and generally spreading condescension around like its hot butter. He spots the Class S gang, and demands they explain themselves. Seems he was filming a drama in the next city over when things went down, and casually hurried over to find City A flattened.
Metal Bat explains what happened, and Amai Mask gets pissed, demanding to know how this is a victory. While on the one hand, I get what he’s driving at, on the other, dude, shut the fuck up. You weren’t there. The city was flattened in a single instant, before the Class S heroes even knew what was happening. It isn’t like they could have prevented it. Hell, I doubt anyone could have prevented it.
Not content to accept that, Amai Mask turns into Captain Hindsight and basically calls the Class S group a bunch of losers for not having prevented something they couldn’t have possibly seen coming. I like this guy less and less every time he shows up.
Each of them point out that he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about, and Metal Bat is about to rearrange his face when a pod lands, and one of Metal Knight’s drones arrives, looking to salvage the ship so he can develop more advanced weapons. Genos takes issue with this, but Metal Knight doesn’t give a shit.
Amai Mask points out that powerful weapons in pathetic hands are worthless, and I hate having to agree with the douchebag. Metal Bat is ready to go, but Superalloy interrupts, having found some alien survivors, among which is our friend, Fred Fredburger.
The aliens wonder what is going to happen to them, and kind of hope they can just talk their way out of this. In a way, they were just following orders, so they aren’t really to blame. I can’t imagine many of them had a choice in following Boros. It was that or get killed most likely, so a fair hearing should be in order.
Or Amai Mask can just kill all of them. I suppose that’s an option, too. He calls it justice, but I can’t really agree. Frankly, I’d kind of like to see Saitama punch this assferret right now. His idea of dispensing justice is a little more unilateral than I’m okay with.
Amai Mask takes a moment to piss on Genos, as if he has a right, then saunters away, too cool to be seen with people who actually work for a living. Bang suggests Genos not respond, but Genos had no plan to. Looking at Amai Mask, he sees himself before he met Saitama, and doesn’t particularly care for the view. For my part, I don’t think Genos is giving himself enough credit. Even back then, he wasn’t so callous. Still, he thinks maybe Amai Mask has a tragic backstory, which may be true, but doesn’t excuse him being such a dick.
Realizing he still doesn’t know where Saitama is, Genos goes looking for him. As he does, Tornado is floating about, being her sexy badass self, when Saitama punches a hole in the side of the ship and wanders out. She starts demanding to know what Saitama was doing in the ship when Genos arrives, asking if Saitama defeated the alien leader. Saitama admits he did, and that Boros was the strongest foe he’s ever faced.
What they don’t do is pay attention to Tornado, and if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know she really hates it when that happens. As Saitama is explaining to Genos that prophecies are rubbish, Tornado explodes, first demanding answers as to how a Class Be hero got inside the ship, then launching into a truly amazing display of name calling. I mean, seriously, it’s just epic.
Saitama, being the guy he is, encourages Genos to say something. Genos, being the dork he is, calls Tornado a spoiled bra and orders her to shut up or else. Tornado, being the delicate flower she is, screams that she’s older than Genos and plants him somewhere deep inside a piece of ruble. Saitama, being the weirdo he is, does… well… this…
Before a throwdown between Tornado and Saitama can start, Bang shows up and calms her down. She whatevers out, leaving Bang to wonder why there are so many weirdos in Class S. Saitama tries to help Genos out of the rubble, but accidentally pulls his arm off, as Bang wanders over to join them, bitching that his back is killing him.
I feel ya, bud.
With the alien invasion quashed, Genos narrates what happened after, as media coverage of the events eventually died down, the alien ship was salvaged, and where City A once stood, a new Heroes Association headquarters was built that allowed for more rapid deployment f heroes to trouble areas all over the world. Also, heroes of Class A and above were allowed to live in the new headquarters, and a very prominent memorial to the residents of City A who lost their lives was built.
After the credits, we get a brief final scene as a reporter is talking about a monster appearing in City Z, naturally, and rampaging all the way to City Y. As it turns out, the critter is a freaking giant pig that calls itself the Underworld King, and it basically is condemning humanity for all kind of things. You know, the usual.
It spots a small child, alone in the wreckage, and is about to wipe him out when Genos rescues him. Piggy sees this, and asks who we have here, to which Genos replies a great man who is a hero for fun, and profit. Piggy seems to find that amusing, just before Saitama punches him into oblivion.
Genos smiles at the kid, and adds, “And his disciple”, as Saitama bemoans the fact that bad guys have gone back to being one punched.
With that, the anime saga of One Punch Man comes to close, and what a fitting end it is. While things have come full circle, ending as they began, so much has changed. Saitama is no longer unrecognized in his efforts, because Genos is there, and even more people are beginning to notice him, as well. I doubt Saitama will be Class B for long.
It’s also been one hell of a fun ride. One of the things OPM set out to do was to both deconstruct the hero myth, while at the same time, exploring what made a real hero. In both of these things, it is, without a doubt, a total success.
As gorgeous and wonderful as Saitama’s many battles with evildoers has been, it has been his humanity, his every day qualities, that has made the show so watchable. It’s been in those clever little explorations of character that this story has shone the brightest, and seriously upped the bar for superhero and shonen stories everywhere. While I doubt anyone can reach this height any time soon, that the goal now exists is really something.
Like I said at the top, there’s a lot to say about the show overall, but that’s going to have to wait for next week, when I do my series recap. The week after that, I’ll have a look at both the original webcomic and the Murata drawn manga that the series is based on. I learned my lesson from trying to do all of it at once with Gakkou Gurashi.
The Winter Season doesn’t officially kick off until January, so I don’t know yet what I’ll be recapping, or if there will even being anything worth keeping up with. I know Snow White with the Red Hair is coming back, but since I didn’t cover the first half, I won’t be doing the second, though it is the only thing right now I am eagerly looking forward to.
I do want to say that OPM has been the shining star of the fall season, however. Of everything that came along when it did, nothing held my interest as well as this did. The Perfect Insider, a show I had high hopes for, became a burden to get through, and the other show I considered recapping, Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen, has utterly lost my interest as it wanders about searching for a plot, with a bloated cast of female characters who seemingly only exist for fan service.
That said, I do regret not recapping Comet Lucifer, since it was the only other show that I really enjoyed this season. While there was nothing original about it, what it did well was character work, and in that, it was simply amazing. Ah well. If you didn’t watch it, go give it a try. It was pretty good.
See you next week for my One Punch Man series recap, and the week after, for a look at the webcomic and manga that inspired it.
Have a wonderful Christmas, and enjoy the One Punch Man theme song, one more time.