One Punch Man 2×08 Review: The Resistance of the Strong

A thematically-fascinating episode suffers from poor animation but sets up an exciting finale.

As previously noted, this season has suffered from mixed animation quality, largely due to the change in the studio producing it. While several episodes have actually had great animation, this was not one of them. In fact, it had what were probably the worst fight scenes this entire season. I suspect this is saving the budget for the last few episodes, to help produce a dynamic and memorable finale. However, considering One Punch Man’s popularity I’m still unsure why this was even an issue.

But enough on the animation quality, let’s take a look at what’s going on in the episode. “The Resistance of the Strong” still has some laugh-out-loud ridiculous moments, but the tone and focus are a bit more serious than usual, allowing for some intriguing late-story character development. Spoilers ahead!

Immediately after Suiryu is announced winner, a troop of monsters led by Goketsu invades the arena, demanding that all the Martial Artists consume the monster cells. It appears my prediction from last week was right, the monster cells (or “monster seeds” as I called them) are what transform people into monsters. It turns out Goketsu was the winner of the first martial arts tournament, and he was not killed by monsters years ago. He was kidnapped and taken to their headquarters, where he chose to consume a monster cell. Already powerful, he became the, well, monstrous monster he is today.

It’s interesting to see which of the contestants consume the monster cells and which don’t–along with their reasonings why. Perhaps the most surprising decision was by Suiryu, who chose to not eat one and stayed to fight the monsters. After he was defeated in the last episode by Saitama, he’s exactly the person I would expect to want the kind of power the monster cells offer. Apparently not. His reasons are not noble, however. It is out of vanity, he doesn’t want to look “ugly”.

Some heroes even return to help who lost early in the tournament, bewildering Suiryu. He simply doesn’t understand why someone would willingly put themselves in harm’s way to help others. What makes it all the more ironic is they came back to help him. Eventually, it doesn’t matter, all the contestants are either defeated or “monsterfied”, including Shuiryu, who is being beat up by another strong monster, Bakuzan (the name reminds me of Bakugan, I wonder if there’s any connection, or if it’s complete coincidence and they just sound similar). Finally, at the last moment, Saitama returns, suit on, answering Shuiryu’s cries for help. It’s a nice “hero moment” that plays out pretty effectively, and having learned that the monster’s headquarters are right outside Saitama’s home city, we can expect some, well, punching to happen soon.

On a side note, we finally got to see Watchdog Man in action. It was a fun moment that’s been teased since last season, but unfortunately, it was pretty short. Hopefully, we’ll see more of him in the last few episodes of this season.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 6 Episode 3 Review: Fear and Loathing on the Planet of Kitson

“What happens on Kitson is contagious and burns.”

If nothing else last week’s episode of Agents of Shield was fun. And it does move the plot forward a bit. That being said, the writing was subpar and the pacing felt clunky. Spoilers ahead!

With the exception of a brief “end credits” scene, “Fear and Loathing on the Planet of Kitson” took place entirely in Space. This allowed for some momentum on the “Finding Fitz” storyline and some hilarious hijinks.

It turns out that Fitz and Enoch are now wanted criminals (for reasons that aren’t yet clear but are hinted at, and will likely be expanded upon in a later episode). The crew they just saved has now abandoned them on a planet even scummier than the Mos Eisley Spaceport, with only one credit. It turns out Enoch is quite skilled at gambling, so he and Fitz set out to earn enough to buy a ship. This leads to a series of misadventures and close brushes with death.

In Episode Two we watch as once again Jemma misses Fitz by mere moments. Get ready for this to happen again. But first they will find each other! The search team led by Daisey does actually manage to make it to the same planet as Fitz. Unfortunately (at least for them) most of the crew unknowingly eats a snack food toxic to humans. While harmless to most aliens, it’s a hallucinogenic for people. This leads to a comical “Girl’s Night” storyline for Jemma and Daisey.

After each groups’ own respective misadventures, Fitz and Jemma finally reunite. But, only for a moment. The bounty hunter who has been hunting Fitz and Enoch throughout the episode grabs Fitz at the last moment and teleports away. Enoch is left behind with the search team, and will likely assist with them for a few episodes.

In the standard “end credits” scene we cut back to earth, to witness Not-Coulson and his side-kick place some kind of energy web around the atmosphere of Earth. The exact purpose(s) and function of this are still unclear, but based on what we’ve seen before it can’t be anything good.

“Fear and Loathing on the Planet of Kitson” served well as a fun, light-hearted break from the overall story yet also managed to move the plot forward, an interesting combination most shows never pull off. Unfortunately, it’s hampered by some mediocre dialogue and disjointed pacing. That’s not to say it’s a bad episode or not enjoyable, it just falls short of the typical Agents of Shield standard and the relatively strong first two episodes of this season. Hopefully, this is a one-time slip and not a reoccurring issue, considering Season 6’s shorter episode count. Overall this was an “Ok” episode.

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One Punch Man 2×07 Review: The Class S Heroes

A better than average episode finished up the tournament arc and introduces several new heroes.

In spite of the title, “The Class S Heroes” is only partly about the titular hero rank. We do see several Class S heroes enter the fray and fight against the surprise attack of the Monster Association. The Martial Arts Tournament also ends, with a bit of a twist, though of course Saitama “wins”. We also learn a shocking revelation about Monsters and potentially how they’re created.

Episode 7 continues Season 2’s trend of mixed animation quality, perhaps even exemplifying it. Most fights are fast-paced and dynamic, though some scenes are little more than moving slides. The hero and monster designs are as good as ever, though.

Worry not, for One Punch Man is still hilarious. Full of clever dialogue, visual gags and intentionally ridiculous dialogue this episode doesn’t disappoint.

Garou is largely absent from this episode, though his threat does lead to a meeting of the Holy Order of the Sword. Worried about the growing danger of Garou, all but one member decide they must take him on. This one member had apparently been approached by the Monster King and given some sort of “monster seed”, the exact nature of which is not made clear. They do grant some kind of monstrous power, perhaps even transforming those who take it into monsters. The traitor is quickly cut down though, so we don’t learn more (at least yet).

As mentioned before, Saitama wins the tournament with ease, though in the final round his wig falls off and he’s disqualified. After finally experiencing “real martial arts”, he’s a bit disappointed, and comes to the conclusion it merely makes you look “cooler” when you fight (in one scene he hilariously tries to make up his own martial arts moves).

At the end of the episode we find out Genos is still alive (Shocker! Not really) and a new, extremely dangerous monster is closing in. What happens next, only time will tell.

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