One-Punch Man season 2 has almost been more like "The Garou Show" than the continuing story of Saitama - but then, Garou is a villain worthy of the screen time. The self-proclaimed "Hero Hunter" and "Human Monster" has demonstrated more depth than most fans would've expected, and the latest episode, "The Varieties of Pride", has added another layer onto Garou: potential hero.
That's right, you heard it right: during an epic battle with a group of Class A heroes, Garou actually managed to so something heroic!
One-Punch Man episode 23 picks up with Garou being ambushed at his hideout by a Class A hero posse consisting of Death Gatling, Chain Toad, Shooter, Gun Gun, Wildhorn, Stinger and Glasses. Against all odds and injuries, Garou manages to take out the entire hero group in an epic fight, until it comes down to just him and Death Gatling left on the battlefield. Death Gatling resigns to use his ultimate move, "Death Shower," against Garou - a move that basically pours all of the hero's ammo into one gigantic barrage. The only problem with Death Gatling's strategy was that the hero didn't know that Garou's young child friend, Tareo, is hiding in the shed behind the villain. Death Gatling's bullet barrage is basically a death sentence for Tareo - that is, until Garou intervenes.
Garou bravely steps in front of Death Gatling's "Death Shower" attack and takes the barrage head-on, using his uncanny speed and flowing fists techniques to block and/or snatch the bullets out of the air. When Death Gatling's ammo is spent, only Garou and the small piece of his hideout shack where Tareo is hiding are still standing. The defensive act costs Garou some real blood and sweat - but it's worth it when he finally lays Death Gatling out for good.
Garou has always had a twisted sort of code for how he commits his monstrous acts, as well as a strange camaraderie with Tareo, who is obsessed with heores. His defense against Death Gatling was definitely out of consideration for the boy, but before we get too far into thinking that Garou is about to hop onto the side of the angels, it must be noted that even this benevolent act is done in the Garou way. The villain is somewhat surprised when Tareo turns up alive thanks to his efforts - and it's arguable that Garou's entire effort was motivated more by his disgust of Death Gatling's recklessness as a hero, than his desire to save Tareo. This same episode helps connect the villain to his kid cohort through a flashback of Garou's own childhood, where he was teased for liking villains. Ultimately the Hero Hunter learns he and Tareo are nothing alike, as the boy is sent shrieking in fear after seeing what Garou did to Death Gatling's team.
One-Punch Man Season 2 is now streaming on Hulu, and on Crunchyroll outside of the United States. The season is directed by Chikara Sakurai (Naruto Shippudenepisode director), for new production studio J.C. Staff. Yoshikazu Iwanami serves as sound director, and Chikashi Kubota contributes new character designs. The second season will run for 12 episodes, and Viz Media has licensed the season for an English release.
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