In case some of you didn’t know, there was an advance screening for those that were able to purchase tickets for the live. The stream was hosted by Nico Nico Douga Live on September 6, 2015 at the Saitama City Cultural Center.
The first episode covered the first four chapters of the series with a little bit of a cameo from Genos at the end of the episode. The pilot definitely gave away why exactly the title is called “One Punch Man.” Right off the bat, we’re shown a battle scene when a monster by the name of “Vaccine Man” was out to destroy the city. Although his name wasn’t told to audience yet, Saitama suddenly comes to the rescue only to introduce himself as an “average guy who serves as an average hero” after which defeating Vaccine Man in just one punch. Subsequently, he has defeated the next couple of monsters no matter the size and number by just one punch. Although the action was straight to the point, there was also a quick flashback of Saitama three years… with much more hair than he has now.
I can’t wait to see the 720p/1080p quality because even if the stream copy was not the best, the animation honestly wasn’t that bad. I’m pretty surprised by how the side characters were drawn. Typically, we get to see them look like Saitama’s passive face from majority of the anime out there, but it wasn’t in this instance. The battle scenes were pretty decent; there was flow in the movement. They also didn’t leave out the blood and guts out of the picture. When the closeups came into the frame, the heavy outlines immediately reminded me of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. When I checked the staff behind OPM, Shingo Natsume’s name came up as the director. Then I saw that he actually worked on TTGL as a key animator, and Space☆Dandy as a director. As I scrolled down the other staff names, there were people that worked on some heavy titles such as AnoHana, Dogs: Bullets and Carnage, Gundam franchise, Inuyasha, Robotics;Notes, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo, and more. My expectations just leveled a little more with this info. Well, I can’t expect anything less from Madhouse.
It will take some time to get used to Saitama’s VA. My sister commented, “I imagined his seiyuu to sound a little playful, almost like he’s mocking, while he tries to be serious.” It’s a bit difficult to explain, but I kind of agree. To add, he needs to sound a little more passive…?
I would say I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode, and I can’t wait for the official airing on October. The appearance of Genos will make things funnier. One Punch Man is that series that doesn’t need to try hard to be a gag comedy. It definitely baffles me as to how ONE/Murata Yuusuke was able to mix it with action. For most people who haven’t read the manga, the first episode may not be what they were expecting it to be because it’s such a hyped series, but I can assure you, it just gets better and better.
VA cast: 2.5/5
I was able to finally rewatch the official aired first episode. 720p never looked so good. The battle scenes definitely looked sharper than the pre-aired version as it was really LQ. The opening and ending theme performance was very cool, most especially the opening. It made it look like one of those hollywood blockbuster films.
Sound/VA cast: 3.5/5