My Top Ten Anime of All Time

To celebrate my 900th blog post, I decided to make my top ten anime of all time lists. When coming up with the top ten I focused on series that had the most impact on me. At the same time I also choose anime that can and have stood the test of time (even from an animation stand point), and I would recommend to anyone. I don’t think any of these series are going to be surprise anyone, as most are mainstream to an anime audience.

[Note] One Piece, Naruto and Bleach aren’t on the lists because I prefer(ed) the manga.


10. Dragon Ball Z

If this was a list of the series that I was the most nostalgic about Dragon Ball Z would be number one. Most of my childhood was centered on DBZ . The Cartoon Network would torture me by repeating the same arc’s over and over again. I must have watched the Radditz arc at least 50 times before they moved on to the saiyan arc. The series has come to define anime for many anime fans and non-anime fans. It’s hands down one of, if not the most popular anime series of all-time. Dragon Ball Z has been often mocked for it’s constant screaming and it’s “inaction sequences.” My mother would often comment “did they start fighting yet” as she would walk past the t.v. Despite it’s iconic status, DBZ as a series had a lot of problems. This is mostly due to running up against the manga. DBZ had many bad fillers, dragged out fights and at one point took ten episodes for planet Namek to explode. Even with this, the series had some of the most epic fights and has clearly left a mark on anime in general. Dragon Ball Z still remains an anime series that I consider a must see.


9. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

A mecha anime series by Gainax, Gurren Lagann focuses on mankind’s rise from a subterranean existence to the galactic exploration. Taking place in a future where Earth is ruled by the Spiral King, Lordgenome, a young digger named Simon and his “brother” Kamina dream of reaching the surface. As they and Team Gurren make their way to the skies, they engage in epic, over the top mecha battles. Gurren Lagann features high quality animation, surprising deaths, fanservice, theme music power ups and cool mecha designs. Gurren Lagann resulted in another anime classic for Gainax.


8. Made in Abyss

My favorite anime genre tends to be shonen, but Made in Abyss made me appreciate the seinen genre more. Made in Abyss plays with expectation, if you think the adorable characters are going to have a fun adventure, you are wrong. While only having one season under it’s belt, Made in Abyss had a profound impact on me. Exciting, ruthless, filled with body horror, tear jerking moments and has a intriguing mystery to discover. Made in Abyss is not for the faint of heart, but it’s worth the emotional scarring.


7. Hunter X Hunter

For some reason I kept avoiding Hunter X Hunter. After running into a little bit of an anime drought, I decided to give the series a try. I wasn’t disappointed. On the surface Hunter X Hunter feels like a typical shonen series, but it’s more than that. Gon Freecss, the main protagonists, is a prime example of the undermining of shonen tropes this series does. I loved it’s complicated power system (Nen), character development, action and the uses of a narrator. Narration seemed unnecessary at first but I think it is an amazing addition to the series that adds to it.


6. Mob Psycho 100

An anime from web-comic creator ONE, Mob Psycho 100, is about a 14 year old boy named Shigeo Kageyama. He aims to be ordinary despite the fact that he’s extraordinary with telekinesis. He is a complicated young man struggling with his emotions and fear of his power harming others. Mob Psycho 100 main moral lesson is that despite having an extraordinary abilities you still need work to improve yourself as a human. Mob in particular embodies this theme. Despite his psychic powers he doesn’t think he’s better than anyone. That said, Mob Psycho 100 is still a shonen series with fluid animation, bright colors, humor, funny characters and epic battles.


5. One Punch Man

The creator of Mob Psycho 100 is also the creator of One Punch Man. The title is to be taken literally, as the main protagonist, Saitama is capable of defeating most monsters with one punch. One Punch Man is a parody of the shonen superhero series. It makes fun of the over the top and somewhat silly nature of the typical shonen anime, that results in the main character always defeating the bad guy. It’s surprising how satisfying you find Saitama’s one hit victories. The series does have interesting action, usually it’s other less powerful characters are doing the fighting though. Despite this the series does manage to keep us wondering, which monster can make Saitama hit it more than once. The first season is considered perfect, the second one, not so much. Still, One Punch Man remains an important series for anime fans to watch.


4. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

The story of the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse is a sad, tragic tale. Born into a world that practices alchemy, the brothers arrogance leads them to believe that they can break one of the most important rules of alchemy. Trying to resurrect their mother, Ed loses his right arm and left leg and his brother loses his entire body. The brothers go in search of the “philosopher stone,” so they can transmute without consequences. While maintaining a sense of humor, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, is full of themes like sacrifice, death, selfishness, what is truth, and the value of life. If you want to watch an anime series that balances dark themes, comedy and great action, FMA is it.


3. Attack on Titan

If you read this far it’s clear that I love anime series that manage to successfully combine dark, mature themes with great action and top animation. Attack on Titan is a series that lives up to those standards. What separates Attack on Titan from typical series is the level of dreariness. While the main characters are largely safe, you’ll never certain. Secondary characters and any other character are fair game. With characters that are constantly underdogs, failure is the most likely outcome. Often in anime you feel that everything will be fine, in Attack on Titan your surprised that half the squad is still alive. Attack on Titan has mystery, what are titans (weird giant humanoids) and why do they eat humans? Conspiracies, what is the government doing? As they fight for human survival, the scouts deal with trauma, lost and death.


2. Cowboy Bebop

For many Cowboy Bebop is the greatest anime ever. Considered to be a masterpiece, Shinichiro Watanabe blends elements of westerns with elements of film noir. The classic anime series Lupin the third was a visual influence and the three main characters of Cowboy Bebop are inspired by Lupin, Jigen and Fujiko from Lupin. The overall story is influence by Japanese cinema. Cowboy Bebop also uses a jazz heavy soundtrack that is iconic on it’s own, marking a major departure from the common use of J Pop. Cowboy Bebop focuses on mature themes like loneliness and difficulties escaping the past, it’s well animated, well (voice) acted and generally entertaining. Cowboy Bebop is considered a “gateway series” for anime, and I couldn’t agree more.


1. Neon Genesis Evangelion

When I first began watching Neon Genesis Evangelion it was for the epic and violent mecha battles. I couldn’t comprehend the more complex themes and imagery woven into the narrative. Evangelion is credited with revolutionizing anime as a medium. Set in the year 2000, a global cataclysm called the “Second Impact,” changes the world. Antarctica is destroyed and the planet’s axis shifts, causing flooding and a altered climate. After nuclear war, half the worlds population is wiped out. Teenagers, Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langley Soryu and Rei Ayanami pilot massive mecha called Eva’s. Their enemy are physic altering monsters dubbed Angels.

Evangelion explores complex themes like depression, human subjectivity, and child abuse. The series makes many references to philosophical, psychoanalytic concepts, as well as references to Kabbalah, Christian and Jewish religions. Evangelion even uses religious texts like the Book of Genesis within the series and the Angels share names found in religion like Sachiel. The series has been described as both a ” both a critique and deconstruction of the mecha genre.” On the surface, Neon Genesis Evangelion, is a mecha anime with distinctly designed robots that engage in brutal battles. However, the series has levels of deeper and more sophisticated themes that makes Evangelion one of the most well regarded series ever.

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One Punch Man S2 – Episode 12: Recap & Review

Garou taking a beating

Episode 12, Cleaning up the Disciple’s Mess

Bang dominates an injured Garou, as Genos notes that Bang is better than Garou. It seems unlikely that he would be able to win considering Genos, Bang and Bomb are so strong. Phoenix Man is flying around, tasked by Orochi to get Garou. He of course is hesitate as he would need to get past all the heroes. Garou concludes that in order to survive he would need to kill, Bomb, Bang and Genos. What is interesting is that despite Garou being hurt, Bomb AND Bang fight him together. Garou remembers his childhood which predictably saw him being bullied by his Tatsu. While playing hero, Garou is always casts as the “monster.” He associates his childhood with the belief that heroes fighting monsters is always unfair. This is important to know as Bang and Bomb prove his point by attacking him together. However, Phoenix Man arrives and takes Garou.

Bang and Bomb double team Garou

Genos decides that he’s going to kill them both with his Spiral Incineration Cannon. Elder Centipede interferes. Bomb, Genos and Bang rescue the fallen heroes. Phoenix Man explains to Garou that he should kill the heroes instead of leaving them alive.I think so far what has kept Garou from truly being a monster is this fact. Phoenix Man goes on to say that Elder Centipede is going to destroy “everything.” According to the monster strategist, Gyoro-Gyoro, there are ONLY four heroes that can defeat the Elder Centipede. Terrible Tornado, because of her psychic powers, Metal Knight, that “hoards military might on an unknown scale.” King, the “strongest human alive,” and the top hero Blast. Of course we know that King is weak and it’s Saitama that’s the strongest human. Regardless, Elder Centipede joined the Monster Association to get revenge.

Elder Centipede

Neither Genos or Bang aren’t well suited to combat Elder Centipede. When Bang and Bomb land a devastating attack it molts, and heals as if nothing happened. Genos decides that he will fight the Elder Centipede alone. Genos ends up cut in half but is able to reconnect himself. He gets swallowed and uses his Ultra Spiral Incineration Cannon. It still does nothing. Bang, Genos and Bomb flee with the other heroes. As Bang prepares to die fighting, King arrives claiming that he brought Blast. As the Elder Centipede comes to attack King, Saitama arrives and defeats it with One Punch.

Saitama destroys Elder Centipede

This is ended rather abruptly if you asked me. Maybe they didn’t have enough time or money to animated the entire arc? Regardless, I’m hoping they find a better animator for the next season. While I could tolerate this season it wasn’t the beautiful animation form the first season. Anyway, Saitama really took a step back this season. Instead we focused on a human villain. It was a bit refreshing. I’m predicting that Garou becomes a actually monster, as he’s not strong enough as he is. Genos seems to have figured out his limits. Genos has everything but “power.” This isn’t completely true as he is a S Class hero, but he’s also not as strong as many monsters or other S Class heroes. I wonder how strong he and Garou will become.

One Punch Man S2 – Episode 11: Recap & Review

Episode 11, Everyone’s Dignity

Death Gatling explains why they want to defeat Garou. Respect. The Hero Association only really pays attention to the S Class Heroes and ignores the rest. This dynamic seems to permeate throughout the series. How do lower heroes gain respect when they aren’t effective against the most dangers monster? The biggest dangers get the most attention and the heroes that defeat them are the strongest and therefore will get the most attention in return. Does that mean lower heroes don’t matter? Does that mean they never contribute to the betterment of society? The answer is clearly no.

However, lower ranked heroes fighting higher level villains can help them gain attention but if they fail it can be held against them. In addition to that if they defeat higher level monsters like Garou, wouldn’t they become S Class heroes? Seems like they will only ever continue the be trapped in this cycle, only becoming higher ranked leaving lower ranked to be ignored. Regardless, Garou defeats Chain Toad, Shooter, Gun Gun, Glasses, Stinger and Wildhorn. This leaves Death Gatling alone. Gatling uses his final move despite the Garou telling him about Tareo.

Of course Garou doesn’t have any trouble blocking all the bullets and defeats Death Gatling. Genos arrives and begins to fight with Garou. Genos nearly manages to kill Garou, who escapes proclaiming that he “as the monster that no one can defeat.” Genos responds that Saitama will defeat any monster because he “strong.” Garou basically responds “who’s that.” A group of monsters arrive to attack Genos. They’re easily defeated. Before Genos can attack Garou again, Bang arrives. They prepare to fight as Bang remembers the first time he meet Garou.

One Punch Man S2 – Episode 9 & 10: Recap & Review

Episode 9, The Ultimate Dilemma

Bakuzan remembers that Saitama is the one that defeated in the tournament. Now that he’s a demon he figures he can get his revenge. He begins with a series of attacks, first he uses Demon-Weeper Low Kick, Bear-Killer Mid Kick and Carnage Punch. Of course none of this matters, it’s Saitama we are talking about. As he tries to remember who Bakuzan is, Bakuzan uses Hell-Bringin Hand Chop. Bakuzan is defeated as most of his enemies are. Saitama introduces himself to Suiryu as a hero. He explains why he joined the tournaments to find the hero hunter (Garou).

Suiryu warns Saitama against Gouketsu. Saitama mostly ignores him. Suiryu overhears the fight between Saitama and Gouketsu. He assumes that Saitama is dead until he sees the decapitated of Gouketsu. After seeing Saitama he decides that he wants to become a hero. Meanwhile, Puri Puri Prisoner defeats a demon-level monster called Free Hugger. Saitama has a difficult time finding his excitement in being a hero. King tells him that he has ” lost track of himself and should aim to be the best hero.”

Garou is defeated by Watchdog Man. Garou says he’s lucky to have escaped, having difficulty fighting against the four legged style of Watchdog man. Garou seems excited that he can get “stronger.” However, he runs into Saitama and King. He attacks King, but Saitama simply kicks him through a wall. I don’t know why but I found this moment to be so funny. The human shaped hole in the wall is something that’s a was common in the old animated cartoons I use to watch as a child. Anyway, Saitama has easily defeated Garou twice now. Most humorously he doesn’t realize it.

Elsewhere, Genos is taken to Dr. Kuseno for repairs, while, Sonic is introduced to two powerful ninja, Gale Wind and Hellfire Flame. They offer him monster cells and he accepts. However, because he cooks them before he eats them he just get’s diarrhea. S Class Hero Rank 8 Zombieman decides to follow Martial Gorilla. He runs into the Armored Gorilla going to get some groceries. Martial Gorilla is upset that he’s trying to blend into society and attacks him. Armored Gorilla easily defeats Martial Gorilla. A monster manages to infiltrate the Hero Association to deliver a message.


Episode 10, The Encircling Net of Justice

Saitama loses to King multiple times in a fighting video game. Meanwhile, the message from the Monster association claims that they just want peace. It’s all bullshit as the monster association’s Destrochloridum kills an executive. S Class Rank 11 Superalloy Blackluster kills Destrochloridum. The monsters gather to plan the next attack. Lord Orochi eats Awakened Cockroach because he lost. Orochi asks where Gouketsu was. Meanwhile, Garou awakens assuming that King defeated him not Saitama. Elsewhere, Genos is repaired Dr. Kuseno. He’s given an upgrade. It is revealed that the Hero Association and Monster Association are going to “war.”

After reading the paper many monster head to find and join the monster association. However, Saitama kills them all while rushing to take the garbage out. Meanwhile, Garou tries to recover in a shack. The kid he’s been getting the hero book from, Tareo enters the shack to tell him to leave. Garou tells him that he should get stronger if doesn’t want to be picked on. Meanwhile, Death Gatling arrives with Stinger, Smile Man, Wildhorn, Chain Toad, Glasses, Gun Gun, and Shooter. Together they take on a limited Garou, that holds his own but clearly isn’t going to overpower all these heroes. My prediction is that either Garou will take Tareo hostage or Tareo will interfere allowing him to escape, I doubt that Garou will be defeated here.

One Punch Man S2 – Episode 8: Recap & Review

Gouketsu

Episode 8, The Strong Ones Fight Back

With Saitama being disqualified Suriyu receives the winners trophy. A monster named Gouketsu arrives to make the fighters and offer, become monsters like him. Lightning Max and Snek try to defeat him and they’re defeated in one hit. Gouketsu was a human that won the Martial Arts Championship years ago. He was defeat and captured by Orochi and Gyoro. In exchange for his freedom they offered him a monster cell becoming the monster he is now.He tosses a few monster cells on the ground. Either the fighters eat the or he’ll kill them anyway.

Lightning Max and Snek

Choze and many other fighters become monsters. Suriyu defeats them easily. He then fights Gouketsu. He doesn’t fare very well. Gouketsu orders the crows to attack the other fighters and eat Suriyu. Bakuzan decides to eat three monster cells to become stronger and refuses to help Suriyu because he hated him so much. Lightning Max and Snek arrive to help Suriyu. Together they defeat the three crows. They decide to let Suriyu escape while they hold off Gouketsu. When he tries to leave to get help Bakuzan interferes. He’s become a Dragon level demon.

Bakuzan’s demon form

He brutalizes Suriyu and becomes full of himself believing that he’s the strongest. Gouketsu shows him that he’s actually stronger. Suriyu admits that he’s defeated and pleads with Bakuzan to let him go. Bakuzan says he loves abusing fighters that are weaker that him. He starts stepping on Suriyu as he screams in agony. Suriyu begs for a hero to come help him. When Bakuzan tries to stomp on Lightning Max and Snek, Saitama arrives to save them.

What’s interesting is how Suriyu changes so quickly. He declared the winner but ended up being humbled by his defeat. Being humbled and seeing the heroics of Lightning Max and Snek, resulted in a change of heart regarding heroes. This all culminates in Suriyu begging to be rescued by the very heroes that he disrespected in the previous episode. I wonder if he will become hero himself, but he definitely has more respect for them.

Saitama arrives

One Punch Man S2 – Episode 6 & 7: Recap & Review

Saitama defeats opponent quickly

Episode 6, The Uprising of the Monsters

Lightning Max loses to Suiryu, while Genos gets a message regarding the monsters. Snakebite Snek defeats Benpatsu, Sourface beats Jakuman. Saitama faces off against Bakuzan, who he easily defeats (of course). Genos easily defeats many monsters until he encounters a Demon-level Cockroach. It looks unimpressive from the way it looks but turns out that even Genos has difficulty keeping up with his speed. However, Genos uses super glue to trap the Cockroach then blasts it to death. He detects a fast moving enemy and is attacked from behind.

Genos verses Cockroach

Do-S manages to brainwash all of Fubuki men. She stats that she really wants to fight Fubuki’s sister, Tornado. Fubuki and Do-S notice the destruction that Tornado is bringing as she arrives. She tells Fubuki to go home. Tornado is rude and dismissive of her sister. She even attacks Fubuki’s men. Meanwhile, Suiryu and Sneck fight. Suiryu avoids all of Sneck attacks and taunts him angering Sneck. He defeats Sneck with one hit. After the credits, we see that Genos, Metal Bat and Metal Knight were defeated.

Tornado arrives

Pig God eating Eyesight

Episode 7, The Class S Heroes

The monster association deduces that they’re damaged the Hero association. In this episode we get a series of introduction to the other S Rank heroes. Child Emperor (S Class Hero Rank 5)uses his robot to analyze a the monster Eyesight’s poison. Eyesight finds Child Emperor and is interrupted by Pig God (S Class Hero Rank 10). Pig God then creepily eats Eyesight. Garou then tries to attack Watchdog Man (S Class Hero Rank 12) but he is beaten to it by a monster.

Atomic Samurai defeats Haragiri

Drive Knight (S Class Hero Rank 9) threatens a monster for information. Death Gatling (Class A Hero Rank 8) gathers other heroes to fight against Hundred Eyes Octopus, who is quickly wounded by Flashy Flash (S Class Hero Rank 13). As he’s about to kill it, Tornado then does so. Accusing him of taking too long. Amai Mask kills the monsters that interrupted his concert. The monster association doesn’t seem to care about the arrival of the S Class Heroes. Meanwhile, Atomic Samurai and the council of swords-masters to discuss Garou.

Saitama defeats Suiryu

Haragiri admits to the group that he’s now a monster, having consumed a monster cell. He claims at the cost of his humanity he has gained greater ability. When Haragiri attacks Atomic Samurai he is easily defeated. At the tournament, Saitama and Suiryu face off. Suiryu attacks Saitama while he tries to keep his wig from falling off. When he goes on to insult heroes Saitama gets upset. He allows Suiryu to land a kick on him, knocking his wig off. Saitama is disqualified. However, after embarrassing Suiryu, he attacks him. Of course none of this has any real effect on Saitama. Who then dismisses martial arts before defeating Suiryu.

One Punch Man S2 – Episode 5 Recap & Review

Metal Bat verses Garou

Episode 5, The Martial Arts Tournament

Metal Knight arrives and tries to defeat Elder Centipede, failing miserably. This episode is filled with a large list of new heroes and monsters. Most of them will be red shirted and exists to be fodder for the stronger characters. Anyway, Metal Bat and Garou square off, with Bat doing far better considering his injured state. Garou admits that Metal Bat would have defeated him if he could have landed a hit. Metal Bat is actually about to hit Garou with a major blow when his sister Zenko arrives.

Fubuki verses Do-S

She gets in the way of Garou as he tries to kill Metal Bat. Garou leaves seemingly having a soft spot for children and goes to find Watchdog Man. Metal Bat collapses. Pineapple and Mohican are attacked by Rhino Wrestler and easily defeated. Two other monsters Phoenix Man and Sludge Jellyfish attempt to recruit Garou into the Monster Association. I don’t know if I missed it, but this is the first that I heard of the MA. It seems that like the Hero Association, the monsters are trying to gain notoriety. It’s unclear whether they are ranked or not.

Lightning Max verses Ring Ring

Many monsters (Martial Gorilla, Do-S, Hundred Eyes Octopus, Pure-Blood, and Make Plasma) arrive simultaneously overwhelming the heroes. Fubuki makes an appearance saving a hero from Do-S. Meanwhile, the Fighting Tournament begins and we are introduced to a massive group of heroes. Lightning Max returns, while new fighters Bakuzan, Suriyu, Ring Ring, Hamukichi, Choze, Zakkos and Snek enter. Saitama is assumed to be “weak” and is paired with Zakkos.

Saitama defeats Zakkos

After the credits, Saitama defeats Zakkos with one slap. The outcome between Zakkos and Saitama was always going to be predictable, I do have an issue with putting part of the episode after the credits. It’s not the end of the world but I often turn the episode off before the credits (mostly to avoid seeing the trailer for the next episode). Anyway, it’s a weird thing to do, I wonder why they made that choice.

One Punch Man S2 – Episode 4: Recap & Review

Metal Bat

Episode 4, Metal Bat

It is revealed that when Garou was younger he was always a fan of the “bad guys.” He hated the popularity of the heroes and rooted against them. To him ” monsters were always the ones trying their best to win, but will lose all the time because they were seen as freaks.” I feel like this is suppose to tells us something about hero worship, but it was clear to me what the message was. Garou awakens without much memory of what happen when he encountered Saitama the night before.

Senior Centipede and Raffleseidon

Garou targets Watchdog Man and Metal Bat. Meanwhile, Saitama enters into a fighting tournament. He meets “Sour Face,” a former disciple of Bang. He reveals to Saitama that last years victor was a contestant named Wolfman, whose clearly Garou. Regardless, the real Wolfman was found tied up. The result is that a new rule was made to prevent “imposters.” The consequences of pretending to be another fighter keeps getting mentioned over and over. I’m assuming that it will become important later, however, I doubt Saitama would get banned.

The Elder Centipede

The Hero Association decides to assign S Class heroes to protect the officials. Metal Bat is charged with protecting Narinki, a sponsor of the Hero Association and his son. They are attacked by two monsters, Junior Centipede and Venus Mantrap. Metal Bat defeats them instantly. However, he’s attacked by Senior Centipede and Raffleseidon. Metal Bat takes on the two Demon level monsters by himself. When Metal Bat feels that he’s finished another monster, a Dragon Level named Elder Centipede.

Garou and Metal Bat face off

Garou arrives and is surprise to see that Metal Bat was knocked out. He demands Metal Bat fight him, regardless of the fact that Metal Bat is injured and Elder Centipede is rampaging. It seems that Garou doesn’t have any honor, ask he attacks Metal Bat in his weaken and distracted state. With Saitama fighting in the martial art tournament I don’t think he will save Metal Bat or kill the monster. That said, Genos is likely going to help.

One Punch Man Episode 03 Recap & Review

Silver Fang beats his student up

Episode 03, The Hunt Begins

Garou takes center stage in this episode. It turns out that he was a former student of Silver Fang. Saitama and Genos are informed by Silver Fang’s current top student that he was brutally beaten by Silver Fang and expelled. Genos suggests that this was due to the reappearance of Garou. Charanko while walking home contemplates defeating Garou himself. He overhears Garou as he approaches Mumen Rider. Before they fight Tank Top Vegetarian arrives with his crew.

S Class Tank Top Master

Garou defeats him quickly, but has difficulty with Tank Top master. When Tank Top Master manages to get the upper-hand and is about to deliver the finishing blow, Mumen Rider interferes. Meanwhile, Silver Fang’s brother arrives to help his brother defeat Garou. Tank Top master attacks Garou again, this time Garou counters with the techniques that Silver Fang taught him. He gains the advantage over Tank Top master and turns his attention to his gang.

The results of Garou’s hunt

Mumen Rider attempts to stop him with Justice Crash and has his head brutally smashed into the ground. He easily defeats the Tank Top crew as Charanko enters the fray. Like the others he’s defeated. All this would have more impact if Garou actually killed any of them or if I didn’t have confidence that Saitama would beat him. Garou’s next victims will be Class A Hero: Golden Ball and Class A Rank 28 Hero: Spring Mustachio. In a comical ending, Garou mistakenly assumes that Saitama wants to fight him. He chops Saitama, that has no effect. Annoyed, Saitama responds with a chop of his own, knocking Garou out. Saitama’s dominance is predictable but never gets old.

Saitama meets Garou

Funko Pop Anime One Punch Man-Saitama Toy

One Punch Man Episode 2, Recap & Review

Garou the new big bad

Episode 2, The Human Monster

We are introduced to Garou. He’s a human that has decided that he wants to side with the monsters. He defeats everyone, hero or villain, leaving only the President of the Hero Association to spread the word of his power. Meanwhile, Saitama is playing a Playstation Portable, as Genos does chores. Genos mentions how Saitama has slow risen in the hero rankings. Speed O Sound Sonic arrives to challenge Saitama.

Blizzard powers up

Lady Hellish Blizzard shows up, while Genos and Sonic battle elsewhere. She wants Saitama to join her faction. When he refuses she orders her men to attack him. Of course this results in their quick defeat. Blizzard attacks Saitama with her psychic powers, while her powers are impressive it ultimately does nothing. Saitama questions why she’s a hero. Basically, she acts like a gang leader, trying to undermine other heroes. Saitama becomes distracted by the fight between Sonic and Genos.

Genos and Sonic do battle

Sonic calls Genos “slow” suggesting that he could never touch him. Genos speeds up, managing to cut the ponytail of Sonic. Genos plans to use a massive explosion to counter Sonic as he gets faster. However, Saitama stops him due to the potential that it will blow up his apartment. Saitama fights Sonic, defeating him with his “Killer Move: Serious Series Sideways Jumps (by doing side jumping really fast).” He knocks Sonic out cold.

The three Class A Swordsmen

Blizzard talks about how she can’t get any higher than Class A Rank 1 because heroes like, Class A Rank 4, Bushi Drill, Class A Rank 3, Okama Itachi and Class A Rank 2, Iaian. All three are disciples of S Class hero Atomic Samurai. The reason that Blizzard and the three Class A swordsmen can’t progress further is that Handsome Kame Amai Mask is ranked 1. The politics of the hero profession is starting to seem more interesting than I thought. Hopefully, we are going to get to see more of the other heroes.

Class A 1 Handsome Kame Amai Mask

One Punch Man S2 Episode 1 – The Hero’s Return

King and his ominous face

The long awaited return of One Punch Man has finally arrived. The question is does it live up to the standards that season 1 set up. My initial answer is NO. Maybe that too harsh. The story wasn’t bad at all. Seeing Saitama and Genos resuming their domestic life was entertaining. The subtle comedy this series offers remains intact. The biggest issue that was a disappointment was the animation.

King afraid to fight

While some fans though the animation would be worst that it was, I still didn’t really like it. To me the animation is too stiff. The original season not only had more fluid animation the camera angles were dynamic as well. The drop in quality is disappointing but not disqualifying. Basically, the animation is good enough. However, it is common for an anime series to see an increase in animation quality during more important fights. Nothing in this episode would be worthy of better animation.

Saitama saving

This season seems to have begun a more singular narrative. The first season was mostly just a monster of the week format. The Organization was introduced in the last season but they really didn’t seem involved in the larger story. We are introduced to the prophecy of Shibabawa’s, that predicts disaster. Genos is plotting revenge on a mysterious cyborg that has killed many and hopes to get into the to of the S Class. The King storyline had funny moments, but I don’t see the point in introducing him yet.

Searching for Saitama

Overall, while the animation took a hit and this episode wasn’t that compelling, I think One Punch Man will still be good. This is largely due to the fact that this episode was largely a reintroduction of the series and well hope. I’m of course excited to see how high the scale of enemy will go. One Punch Man was basically an anime masterpiece, I probably shouldn’t have thought this season would be just as great.

One Punch Man season 2 to premier in April 2019

One Punch Man is an anime and manga series created by an artist and writer that goes by the name ONE. It focuses on the world strongest hero, Saitama. He’s basically invincible and can defeat his opponents with just one punch. One Punch Man does a magnificent thing, while being a parody of the shonen genre it manages to also be a great shonen series itself.

The first season of One Punch Man premiered in 2015, was well received and a massive success. It’s has been considered to be one of the best anime series ever. Viz Media is the publisher of the series in English and covers digital streaming, TV broadcast, media and merchandising. Viz Media announced that One Punch Man will return in April. There’s currently no information on which streaming platforms the season will be available on.

The production of the second season was delayed for reasons unknown. Madhouse stopped working on the series, resulting in J.C. Staff (Food Wars!, Toradora) handling the series. One Punch Man will be directed by Chikara Sakurai, who has worked on many Naruto: Shippuuden movies. The trailer doesn’t show much from the upcoming season but does introduce some of the new characters.

The Salty Anime Challenge Day 9: Least favorite anime trope(s)

Clothing Damage

If you’ve wanted anime long enough you notice that during the battle sometimes an anime characters clothing will get damaged. Often this is a pathetic attempt to justify fanservice. Clothing damage in anime can ridiculous. Bleach for example has this problem, while it seems that only the male characters are susceptible to clothing damage. The main protagonists, Ichigo even stated that “his outfit changes when he assumes bankai, his shirt takes damage in proportion to how much spirit power he loses. As he rests, the robes mend.”

The most famous example is of course the Dragon Ball series. Goku in particular displays this troupe. You can often comically determine the point in the fight based on Goku’s clothing. If he’s still has his shirt on the fight cannot be over. Strangely enough his pants are apparently made of stronger fabric than his shirt. His pants may get torn, but they never get blow off like his shirt does.

Defeat means Friendship

In popular manga and anime, Fairy Tail, both Gajeel and Juvia join the guild after they are defeated. In the Dragon Ball series almost all of the Z team at some point tried to beat or kill Goku at one point. Krillin even stated that “all of the Z-Fighters were enemies with Goku at some point.” More specifically:

  • Piccolo, was an enemy of Goku until mutual respect for Goku’s fighting ability.
  • Vegeta, prince of the Saiyan’s was nearly killed when he and Nappa tried to steal the dragon balls. Through the series Vegeta slowly becomes a permanent member of the Z team.
  • Majin Buu, has about ten different forms. Fat Buu and Ubuu become members of the Z team.
  • Android 17 & 18, both were created to kill Goku. 18 later marries Krillin, 17 actually doesn’t even meet Goku until Dragon Ball Super.

In Naruto, Neji and Gaara are transformed after Naruto defeats them and changes their lives. The problem with this troupe is that it’s unrealistic. For example, Piccolo, Vegeta, Buu, and Gaara kill many people and seemingly go unpunished for it, other than being defeated in combat.

Not Worth Killing

It is common in anime that a hero or villian will conclude that their opponent is too weak to be worthy of death. This is clearly design to keep the average skilled friends of the main character alive when the “main” bad guy decides that they don’t warrant being killed. It’s also a good way to display the power of a villian while not causing the lives of heroes. However, we all know that eventual the hero will surpass that villian.

  • DBZ, Goku is notorious for leaving villains alive, hoping that they have “learned their lesson,” or even hoping that they comeback stronger because he loves the competition. He does this too often with Frieza, who then goes on to destroy the planet TWICE. He manages to kill everyone on Earth in “Resurrection F ” on for Whis to reverse it.
  • One Piece, even though this series features much fighting, it is rare that they end up in death. Luffy fights brutally but I can’t think of any situation that resulted in anyone being killed by him. This doesn’t necessary mean that villains learn from their mistakes or go to prison, in fact some villains end up better off. For example, Wapol, become “an incredibly wealthy toymaker and tyrant of another kingdom, and Eneru went to the moon like he originally wanted.”
  • Bleach, many of the fights in the series ends with the loser remaining alive due to being unworthy of death. Kenpachi leaves Nnoitra after defeating him, he turns around to leave and Nnoitra attacks him forcing Kenpachi to finally kill him.

Stock Shonen Hero

If your a fan of Shonen anime or you’re just aware of it, you should be able to easily identify which character is the main protagonist. Goku is the template for most of these hero types. They tend to share the same characteristics and are even created to emulate Goku as the creators were inspired by DBZ. The most famous characters that represent this troupe is Natsu from Fairy Tail, Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece and Naruto from Naruto. Some of the the characteristics are:

  • Simple mindedness that borders on stupidity
  • Massive appetites
  • Have orange hair or clothing
  • A tendency to show mercy to enemies that have commit horrible crimes
  • A mastery of difficult techniques in short time
  • A need to train excessively despite quickly learning these techniques
  • Often fights for the thriller of it, and if necessary will surpass all limits to always win

Interestingly, Ichigo from Bleach shares many of these characteristics particularly in battle, however, he’s a smart student.  Edward Elric shares personality traits of the typical Stock Hero but is highly educated due to his mastery of Alchemy. However, some characters subvert this troupe:

  • Boruto from Boruto is actually the opposite of his father, Naruto. While he looks just like him, he’s actually considered to be a “genius,” and wants to be like Sasuke, sharing more qualities with him than his father.
  • Saitama from One Punch Man also subverts this troupe, he does wear orange and trains a lot but because he became too powerful none of his fight thrill him and he’s now bald.
  • Shigeo Kageyama from Mob Psycho 100, is average in many ways, he’s emotionally limited, hates to fight, his usual hair style is a bowl cut and wears all black.
  • Izuku Midoriya from My Hero Academia, has a powerful quirk but his most important ability is his intelligence and ability to analyze and be strategic.

Alright, this post is already too long. I could go on and on. There are many other troupe that bug me, but these are some of the most obvious.

Mob Psycho 100 is a visual marvel

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I’ve been hearing about “Mob Psycho 100,” for a while and some of my friends have suggested that it is the greatest anime ever created. That may be a bit premature, but the sentiment may prove accurate one day. There is a danger in over-hyping any series. Even if it’s good it will fall short of peoples expectations.

The story is centered around the main protagonists, Shigeo Kageyama aka Mob. Mob is an eight grader, who is an Esper. He has a distinctive bowl/helmet hairstyle and a muted emotional range. Mob suppresses his emotion due to his tremendous psychic powers. He fears that he can cause a great deal of harm if his emotions reach a high level. To this end, when his percentage of his emotions reach 100, he loses control and uses his full power. Mob apparently possesses “an unknown power,” this power “far surpasses even the height of his abilities, but is uncontrollable and only awakens when unconscious.

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Episode 001 – Self-Proclaimed Psychic:

Reigen Arataka And Mob

The First Episode introduces us to Mob’s “Master,” Reigen Arataka who presents himself as a real psychic but is a total fraud. Arataka is the comic relief of the series so far. He’s an emotional and dramatic presence. Mob in comparison doesn’t seem to impressed with any of the “missions.” During what appears to be his first mission, Arataka uses salt to defeat a ghost. He fails miserably and is shocked that it didn’t work. He casually calls Mob, whom instantly destroys the ghost.

Reigen seems to be manipulating Mob to help him make money by doing all the work. I got the impression that he cares for Mob, but it may be due only to his value as a financial asset. Anyway in the climax of the episode Mob and Reigen face-off against what was suppose to be a powerful spirit. Mob easily defeat it, freeing the spirits that were trapped.

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Verdict

Mob Psycho 100 is created by ONE (the pseudonym for the anonymous Japanese manga artists) the creator of One-Punch man. The similarities between the to series are clear in the style of the main characters, mainly the eyes. In addition to this ONE seems to be fond of characters with powers that surpasses most of their enemies. I haven’t seen any of the other episodes, but it seems like he never in danger. It’s unclear the reason ONE doesn’t have characters that are less powerful and build the strength up. However, I have enjoyed One-Punch man even though I was skeptical.

The animation in this series is spectacular. The character models are distinct from the background and other aspects of the series. They feature a bold outline and can feel 2D in a 3D environment. This can seems strange at first, but I think you’ll get use to it. The series features vibrant colors and imaginative ghost designs. The emotion depicted in the series is dramatic, but effective. It highlights the contrast between Reigen personality and Mob’s. This is a series I think is worthy of it’s hype.

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