Image: TV Tokyo

TV Tokyo has renewed One-Punch Man for a Second season to premiere in Early 2017

Release Date of #OnePunchMan S2: Early 2017

Based on a popular digital Manga, One-Punch Man is an anime series which follows the adventures of Saitama – a hero so strong he can defeat any enemy with a single punch. The webcomic was conceived by an author known as ONE and originally published in 2009. The series, which plays with Japanese culture by referencing a children’s show in its original title, became immensely popular, surpassing all viewership expectations in 2012.  At that time, a digital manga series was released, retelling the story with updated artwork for a hopefully broader audience.  It was popular enough to warrant physical publication which now boasts over 10 million copies in print.  This new form was also licensed for release in an English version by Viz Media.  When the animated series was commissioned and aired in Japan, originally on TV Tokyo in October of 2015 and later by other networks in Japan and online, Viz Media also retained the licensing for broadcast in North America.  It is also available to stream from various providers around the world.

The series in all its forms begins with Saitama deciding to become a hero after saving a small child from a monster.  He spends a good deal of time, referred to in the story but not actually part of it, honing his strength and skill.  Having idolized superheroes since he was young, when he thinks he is ready he tries to become an honored member of the Heroes Association in City Z.  They accept his application, but are unsure he is really worthy to be part of their organization, so he sets out to prove it to his barely-willing peers.  Along the way he faces adversity from friends and foes alike, as well as an increasing ennui because his opponents no longer challenge him.  Though he is terrible at remembering names and placing faces, which gets him into interpersonal trouble, he seems to have uncanny luck at being where his strength is most needed.  With the help of a cyborg sycophant-turned-sidekick named Genos, the protagonist often finds himself at odds with the nefarious group House of Evolution.

Style and tone clearly indicate this offering, in all its forms, is meant to be somewhat satirical in nature.  Many traditional superhero themes are exaggerated and lampooned.  Some jokes are a bit more subtle, such as the continent on which the action takes place being the shape of the Japanese region from which Saitama gets his name.  The humor is also expressed in the extremely plain nature used to depict and describe the protagonist.  He tries desperately to be a hero, but no one takes him seriously because he doesn’t look the part.  With the many layers of humor, even though some may be specific to Japanese culture and not translate well to the English speaking crowd, and the undeniable heart of the hero, this show offers a compelling story.

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Having just finished airing season one in December 2015, there has been no official word yet on whether a second season will be produced.  However, Yusuke Murata who draws the manga version and did the artwork for the animated series, has said he is already working on making it happen.  Being that there are nearly seven years’ worth of webcomic storyline

available from which, it is not inconceivable to see the show continue for many season to come.  Thus far the webcomic, manga, and anime have all stayed fairly true to each other.  There is no reason to believe the animated series would deviate at this point, but it might be interesting to see some variation.  The creators might use this opportunity to seek alternate endings to previous stories or take our hero on as-yet-untold adventures.

The crazy anime One Punch Man will debut its season 2 in 2017 alongside a new mobile game. Apparently the only way to get the second season adaptation of a series is when it is bundled with merchandise! Fans rejoice, as this will be the quickest (and possibly only) anime dub turnaround since Pokemon became a big thing.

UPDATED July 5, 2016

Great news Anime fans! Adult Swim announced during a panel at the Anime Expo that the English dub of the 'One-Punch Man' anime series will be premiere on July 16. Max Mittleman has been cast as the English voice of Saitama, while Genos will be voiced by Zach Aguilar. Other English dub cast members include Robbie Daymond as Mumen Rider and Erik Scott Kimerer as Speed o' Sound Sonic.

UPDATED April 15, 2016

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