It would be putting things lightly by saying One-Punch Man had a lot to live up to this year. After years of waiting, reports confirmed the anime would release its second season in January 2019. The long-awaited debut had fans all over the world hyped given the huge success of season one, but things didn't go according to plan earlier this year.
The launch of season two was met with lukewarm praise at best, and fans continue to lament what could have been. One-Punch Man's return could have been a knockout, but its punch fizzled out not even an episode in. Now, fans are wondering how the show can redeem itself, and the answer isn't so simple.
Within the fandom, the blame for season two falls upon a few factors. The last-minute transfer of power from Madhouse Studio to J.C. Staff was rather concerning. This was only amplified when reports informed fans an all-new creative team would oversee season two. Finally, issues cropped up regarding the season's production schedule which left fans concerned.
These issues culminated in a lackluster season two debut. Fans were stunned by the poor animation quality seen in the premiere when compared to One-Punch Man season one. There were few fight sequences and even fewer frames. With each episodes, season two left fans more upset, and they believe the only way to fix the show for season three is a total redo.
A return to Madhouse Studio would be appreciated given original director Shingo Natsume's desire to tackle the show again. If that is not possible. J.C. Staff needs to better handle its production schedule. For a show like One-Punch Man, plenty of time is needed to flesh out fight sequences and balance out Saitama's dry humor. A well-paid and well-scheduled crew could do these things, but it is up to J.C. Staff to seed its resources for success. Without such support, there is no way One-Punch Man will get better moving forward, and that would be a travesty for the well-loved franchise.
Do you have hope in a third season of One-Punch Man? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!
One-Punch Man Season 2 is streaming on Hulu, and on Crunchyroll outside of the United States. The season is directed by Chikara Sakurai (Naruto Shippuden episode director), for new production studio J.C. Staff. Yoshikazu Iwanami serves as sound director, and Chikashi Kubota contributes new character designs. The second season ran for 12 episodes and follows a hero named Saitama as he tries to find a challenging villain to fight now that he's become the world's strongest hero.