Series: One-Punch Man
Episode #9: Unyielding Justice
Release Date: November 29, 2015
Where to Watch: Daisuki
Synopsis: The episode begins with a bang: Genos and Mumen Rider challenge the Sea King and are both swiftly repelled. It takes Saitama showing up and one good punch to lay the Sea King low and prevent the deaths of more innocents. Despite this, Saitama is still considered an outcast and cheater in the overall superhero community. He is rewarded for his efforts, however, and he ranks up to become a B-Class hero.
This episode. This episode. This episode…wow. This has to be my favorite episode in the series so far. The action, the character exploration on Saitama’s part, even the inclusion of Mumen Rider, everything was just awesome in this episode. But I don’t want to sit here and squeal about how much fun it was, so let’s get into what made this episode so great.
If there’s something Genos is known for, it’s epic entrances.
First off, I loved seeing Genos finally take on a huge villain by himself: the series is definitely showing Genos progress from someone searching for a purpose to a full-fledged hero, and it’s really becoming more and more evident with these more recent episodes. From Genos challenging Saitama himself, giving his all to stop the meteor, and now taking on the Sea King, he’s really trying to measure himself up to the standard set by Saitama, and it shows in his ferocity and recklessness. This is what gets him into trouble in this episode, however; he takes a ball of acid in the back, courtesy of the Sea King, and he’s downed.
A new challenger approaches!
Mumen Rider really comes into play in this episode, and he seems like he’ll become a bit more than just a side character as time goes on. He feels a little like Sokka from Avatar: The Last Airbender: he really wants to help, and he does his best despite not having any powers. Also, he starts off like the comedy character, but you grow to learn that he’s a lot deeper than you might originally believe. He’s not the most powerful hero by any stretch of the imagination, and he himself recognizes his own weakness:
Mumen Rider knows who he is. But he doesn’t let that stop him.
But he fights anyway. In his own words, “it’s not about winning or losing! It’s about me taking you on, right here, right now!” Even when faced with insurmountable odds, he still fights on. Because he’s a hero: that’s his duty. This really resonated with me as a believer. How many times have I given up and given into sin just because the temptation looked too big for me to say “no” to? How many times have I neglected to pray and ask for God’s help and guidance, simply because I felt I wasn’t strong enough to overcome a habit or a sin that came my way? Shouldn’t it be my automatic response to turn to God because it is my duty as a Christian?
Despite being taken down fairly quickly by the Sea King, Mumen Rider is not discouraged. But it does take the powers of someone greater than him to defeat the Sea King.
We could have a while series dedicated to Saitama’s one-liners.
The Christ parallels with Saitama grow really strongly with this episode. His nearly miraculous instant takedown of Sea King is one of them:
Well, that was easy.
But it really grows when one of the people saved my Saitama starts to complain about him, saying that the Sea King had been weakened by the other heroes, that the other heroes were all weaklings who died in vain, and that by extension Saitama isn’t much of a hero. And some of the people begin to believe him, and general disdain for all heroes begins to spread. And then Saitama does something very unexpected. He basks in the glory…kind of.
In a very Kirito-eqsue manner, Saitama pretends to be a glory-hogging jerk in order to focus the anger and disappointment that people had against heroes solely on himself. I’ll be the first to admit: I was annoyed at this. As viewers, we’ve grown to love Saitama and his good-natured helpfulness, so it annoyed me when I saw people hating on him for literally no reason. How the heck could people even believe that kind of garbage, and so quickly after they’d been saved by him?
In actuality…very easily. The entire book of Judges is full of instances of God saving the children of Israel from another nation, and as soon as they were returned to normal, the next generation forgot all that God had done for them and went back to the sins of their forefathers. This even occurred when God led the Isrealites out of Egypt for the first time, and even Jesus faced this when people hated him for doing His Father’s work, calling him demon-posessed. And yet Saitama, like Jesus, loved those around him enough to take the blame and the hurt for them, so that they wouldn’t need to suffer.
The episode concludes in a fairly relaxed manner. Saitama is summoned to the City Z branch of the Hero’s Association where he is tested to become a rank B hero, and on his way home he stops by a small udon shop and shares dinner with Mumen Rider. All in all, a nice way to end an episode.
Gimme the Skinny!
This was definitely my favorite episode in the series so far: lots of action, lots of character development from our main hero, and an awesome soundtrack that keeps the mood just right for each scene. Seriously, from pulsing electro-metal to a smooth piano to a moody acoustic guitar, the music for One-Punch Man is always spot-on and sets just the right tone for whatever scene is being depicted.
I’m definitely loving the way the series is headed. Saitama shows more and more Christ-like qualities with each episode, and he and Genos are really developing as heroes and individuals. We still don’t know the secret of Saitama’s power, we don’t know why the heck he’s so overpowered, but we don’t care; he’s just too great a character for us to care.