The mass speculation surrounding One Punch Man season 3 is far greater than the level of anticipation enjoyed by any other anime in recent times. And for good reason. The One-Punch Man series was widely considered to have broken through to the mainstream community with its critically acclaimed first season itself.
It has become the benchmark for newer action anime to live up to because of its dynamic 2D animation sequences crafted by the anime industry’s finest artisans.
It is a series that originally started out as a webcomic published by ONE in early 2009. The name of the artist is a pseudonym. Their work was later remade in the digital manga form by the mangaka, Yusuke Murata.
Madhouse got the adaptation rights to the manga and made the anime’s first season that aired in 2015. A couple of video games based on One-Punch Man have also been released.
What’s The One Punch Man Anime All About?
Storyline of season 1:
Our main character, Saitama, is portrayed as a gag character who’s meant to be unbeatable and satirically incongruent to the story. He annihilates his enemies without even breaking a sweat. The plot follows him and his adventures. Simple, right? We wouldn’t blame you for thinking that the base story makes for a very boring synopsis. The show, however, pulls you straight in with the action that surrounds Saitama.
The world is in chaos with dangerous monsters and villains running amok. In response to the rapid annihilation of cities and towns on Earth, a millionaire named Agoni creates the Hero Association. This organization has a hierarchy complete with different tiers of superheroes. The ranking system puts the S-tier heroes, who are the strongest, at the top, and the C-tier league of heroes, who are considered to be the weakest, at the bottom.
Our main character Saitama, has trained himself vigorously, allegedly following his own custom-made workout schedule. This has led to his remarkable power that can eviscerate any enemy with a single punch. Unfortunately, he has lost all his hair in the process. Continuous encounters with different kinds of enemies with varying degrees of strength have made him realize an inevitable truth — he can defeat every single one of them by expending virtually no effort at all.
Saitama wonders what the point of his training was. The excitement he feels before every battle has started to fade away. All the motivation he had to fight monsters is also withering away.
In the anime, the story starts here. Saitama meets Genos, a cyborg human, and saves him from a perilous monster. He reluctantly takes latter on as his disciple to avoid the overly-enthusiastic Genos from stalking him for the rest of his life. They start to become well acquainted with each other as the cyborg jots down anything of value from watching Saitama fight so as to grow stronger himself.
Meanwhile, the Hero Association calls up a meeting consisting of the top heroes in the organization. The conference is taking place due to a terrible prophecy which spells the destruction of the world. This vision from the future is conveyed to them by the famous seer, Shibabawa, before she dies. Immediately after this meeting, an alien invasion begins.
The heroes spring into action and encounter the alien invaders at City-A, which is transformed into a massive pile of rubble after the battle. Most of the top fighters are holding off the invasion outside the main ship, a space vessel transporting the invaders across the vast expanses of the universe. Saitama’s disciple, Genos, is left with the heroes fighting outside the ship.
His master, however, wastes no time and breaks through the enemy defenses as he reaches the innards of their vessel. He swiftly defeats a top officer controlling the ship and heads to a throne room where he meets Boros. The battle that ensues is nothing short of spectacular. Even though Saitama seemingly puts effort into defending Boros’s attacks, both he and the alien commander know that it is nothing but a façade.
Saitama eventually defeats Boros as the latter acknowledges the fact that the superhero did so while holding back. His massive contribution to saving the world is not recognized as no one could attest to the fantastic battle that took place. This is where the first season ends.
Storyline of season 2:
In the sequel, we’re introduced to Garou, who is labelled a “Hero Hunter”. His backstory is sprinkled throughout this season. Garou is a rogue martial artist who was a disciple of the S-class hero, Bang. He attacks and defeats heroes to get stronger. This aptly earns him the title, “Hero Hunter”. In the background, the world is struggling to contain an influx of new and powerful monsters.
We learn that this rapid emergence of monsters is due to an organization called the Monster Association. Its sole intent is to spell the end of the Hero Association.They attack and destroy a plethora of towns, kidnap a Hero Association executive’s son and recruit fighters by offering them “Monster cells”. These cells transform humans into monsters with enhanced fighting capabilities and unique attack skills.
Meanwhile, Saitama gets wind of the Hero Hunter and is surprisingly intrigued by him. He has heard of Garou’s fighting style, Water Stream Rock Smashing Fist, which is a form of martial arts — a fighting technique that Saitama doesn’t know a lot about. He thinks the moves that the martial artists perform look cool and is fascinated by them. Saitama decides to see what martial arts is all about.
He dons a disguise and participates in a mixed martial arts tournament. As expected, Saitama defeats his opponents one by one. Suiryu, a fan favorite to win the competition, acknowledges Saitama’s strength and is confident that he can beat our bald, cape-wearing superhero. It doesn’t take long for Suiryu to discern the insurmountable gap of power between him and Saitama.
However, Saitama is disqualified and leaves at the end as impersonating a tournament participant is against the rules. As soon as Suiryu is presented with his trophy, the Monster Association attacks the venue. Saitama returns and saves the other participants from impending doom.
Coming back to Garou, he is seen fending off multiple heroes who have resorted to teaming up against him. Genos enters the fray at the end of the Hero Hunter’s spectacular performance against the team of heroes. Just as the cyborg is about to finish him off, Bang aka Silver Fang shows up and takes the reins in dealing with his student.
Bang obviously appears to be bearing the guilt of having his former disciple go rogue as he tries to make amends by attempting to kill Garou himself. Those in the Monster Association have other plans for Garou and try to take him with them — most likely for recruitment, as he’s a remarkable fighter even without the monster cells.
Their initial attempt is thwarted and they summon the Elder Centipede to distract and potentially kill the other heroes. The Elder Centipede is a dragon-level mysterious being and an executive member of the Monster Association. Bang and his brother are able to wound the threat. But the monster swiftly regenerates.
Before Genos attempts to fight the Elder Centipede, King arrives and challenges the behemoth to a fight as a distraction. Saitama then shows up according to plan and effortlessly destroys the monster with his Serious Punch technique (but not before King soils his pants in fear, as revealed in volume 17 of the manga). This concludes season 2 of One Punch Man.
Is Season 3 In The works?
Information about the upcoming season is scarce and nothing is official as of now. However, there has been no news of cancellation of the third season either. It’s not all doom and gloom for fans as the manga keeps on giving. There is no shortage of source material. We will keep updating you as news of the season 3 release date trickles out.
Expected Plot Of Season 3
The plot of One Punch Man season 3 will most likely pick up where the second season’s story ended in the manga series. We’ll be seeing the Hero Association launching a counter offensive against the Monster Association. The next season will be filled with action-packed fight scenes. It will also introduce a wide array of monsters while shedding light on the lesser explored S-Class heroes of the previous two seasons.
Basing our guess off the manga, it’s evident that Saitama won’t be getting a lot of screen time. The story might instead focus on other characters, their background stories and their interaction with the world in general. The characters that will get some limelight include Atomic Samurai, Child Emperor and Garou.
Expected One Punch Man Season 3 Release Date
There has been no official announcement on the One Punch Man season 3 release date yet. Many fans had speculated that we’d be getting a third addition to the series in June of 2020. Other expect the anime to come out in the summer of 2022. This is most likely tied to the fact that the gap between season 1 and season 2 was four years. However, since the 4-year gap was mostly due to the exchange of licensing rights, the community was optimistic that the OPM season 3 release date announcement would come sooner.
Since there exists less than 3 months for 2021 to come to an end and there is no announcement of production in sight, fans might have to wait for awhile to experience the story in the anime form. If you’re not particularly keen on waiting, you can check out the books. There are a total of 23 manga volumes of OPM as of August 2021.
Why Did Season 2 Receive Negative Reviews?
Most fans can’t seem to understand why Madhouse dropped the series after the first season considering its massive success. It’s important to note that while Madhouse was the studio behind One Punch Man season 1, a big chunk of the contribution towards its success most likely comes from its director, Shingo Natsume.
The eccentric director is a behemoth in the industry. His fame and general artistic passion encouraged several talented animators from all across the industry to be a part of the first season of the show. He understands the consequences of cutting corners for animation standards in key plot points throughout an anime.
When Shingo Natsume was no longer available, Madhouse relinquished its rights to adapt the show and passed it on to J.C. Staff, the production studio behind Food Wars. The second season was thus animated and produced by the latter. From there, things took a nosedive. It’s fair to say that the quality of the animation in season 2 is significantly inferior to its prequel.
The art style in key frames of the animation is quite good but it comes at a cost that many of us expected. The crisp and fluid animation that we experienced in season 1 is non-existent in the second one. In season 2, there are a lot of still frames animated with shaky cam effects which is borderline disorienting. The sound design is atrocious, to put it lightly. The addition of underwhelming 3D CGI didn’t help either.
The silver lining would be the story content behind all the generic animation sequences. The way the plot of season 2 correlates to the manga is arguably better than its prequel.
Many fans were disappointed as they felt that the season 2 plot from the manga deserved a better adaptation than what was offered to them by J.C Staff. The studio is by no means bad – they’ve worked on some great shows in the last decade. However, they aren’t known for their action animation sequences.
Why Is The Anime So Popular?
The season 1 boasted a level of animation that wasn’t seen by the community in recent anime history. Do note that the last decade saw the biggest exposure of anime to the mainstream Internet community. One could say 2016 was the beginning of an influx of new fans to the medium. This might be related to OPM as several anime fans cited the superhero series as their first exposure to the medium. The 8.8 rating for the show on IMDb, a site which netizens who don’t usually watch anime frequent, is one of the many reasons why it continues to gain an audience.
Another basis for its immense popularity would be the unique and distinguishable story the series is built upon. A superhero capable of defeating enemies with a single punch? How boring would that kind of a story be? People may get put off by the synopsis but feel forced to watch it due to peer pressure despite the apparently boring premise of the series. They check the anime out, figuring they will drop it as early as episode one. And then the story pulls them in.
The journey you are taken on as you progress through the anime will make you invest in the characters and the world it tries to build around them. Saitama, for his part, isn’t just a juggernaut of an over-powered gag character who mindlessly kills his foes with a single punch. He deals with his own struggles that the average person could relate to.
How many seasons and how many episodes are there in the anime?
- Episode 1: The Strongest Man
- Episode 2: The Lone Cyborg
- Episode 3: The Obsessive Scientist
- Episode 4: The Modern Ninja
- Episode 5: The Ultimate Master
- Episode 6: The Terrifying City
- Episode 7: The Ultimate Disciple
- Episode 8: The Deep Sea King
- Episode 9: Unyielding Justice
- Episode 10: Unparalleled Peril
- Episode 11: The Dominator of the Universe
- Episode 12: The Strongest Hero
- Episode 1: Return of the Hero
- Episode 2: Human Monster
- Episode 3: The Hunt Begins
- Episode 4: The Metal Bat
- Episode 5: The Martial Arts Tournament
- Episode 6: The Uprising of the Monsters
- Episode 7: The Class S Heroes
- Episode 8: The Resistance of the Strong
- Episode 9: The Troubles of the Strongest
- Episode 10: Justice Under Siege
- Episode 11: Everyone’s Dignity
- Episode 12: Cleaning Up the Disciple’s Mess
- Atomic Samurai
- Child Emperor
- Metal Knight
- Drive Knight
- Pig God
- Superalloy Blackluster
- Watchdog Man
- Flashy Flash
- Tank-top Master
- Metal Bat
- Puri-Puri Prisoner
- Mumen Rider
Where can I Watch The One Punch Man?
Since the first season came out back in 2015, almost all mainstream streaming sites have added the show to their roster. These include Hulu, Netflix and Crunchyroll. Viz Media owns the exclusive rights to all One Punch Man content and has made the second season of the anime series available on Hulu.
Fans from Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and South Korea can watch both seasons on Netflix. However, people who do not live in the regions listed above cannot watch the second season of the show on Netflix as Viz Media hasn’t made it available on this major streaming platform. It might change, given the success of season 2 despite negative reviews. The second installment to the franchise will likely air on Netflix for more regions in the near future.
The Season 3 is definitely coming. It isn’t a question of if, but when. There is enough source material to prolong the series for years to come. Bottomline – if you’re tired of waiting, head on over to read the manga. The art-work is stunning in both the digital and paperback forms. The official word-to-word translation, courtesy of Viz Media, is adequate even if they do get some details wrong now and then.