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One-Punch Man – S1E4 – The Modern Ninja

Previously on One-Punch Man, “The Obsessive Scientist

The world of One-Punch Man opens up as new factions arrive and clash. An awkward meeting with a ninja gives One-Punch Man his first rival, but he must face his biggest problem.

One-Punch Man S1E4 - The Golden Turd

The Quest For The Golden Turd

In the city, a group called the Paradisers, led by a man named Hammerhead, are on a mission. They don’t believe in being slaves to work, everyone should share, and they must build a utopia. Hammerhead’s utopia is a world where people who want to work do it, and support everyone else. After getting no reaction from the people in the streets, they decide to go after Zeniru, a wealthy man with a decadent penthouse people call “The Golden Turd.” They figure he couldn’t have made his money legally, so, clad in new experimental battle suits they stole, topple the wrong high-rise with one punch. Hammerhead and crew shake it off before heading in the right direction.

Meanwhile, Saitama jumps out of his sleep screaming like a girl about not playing rock, paper, scissors against someone with a booger on their finger before flipping the news on. The report on Hammerhead and the Paradisers’ rampage doesn’t faze him until he hears they all have bald heads. Not only have they infringed on his look, but every bald headed man is now suspected of their terrorism. Now One-Punch Man has to smash their heads in.

Grand Opening, Grand Closing

The Paradisers are march to the penthouse is interrupted by the bicyclist for justice, The Mumen Rider, who is dressed like Kamen Rider without the helmet. The people have faith, but with one punch, they’re calling for an ambulance.

One-Punch Man S1E4 - Mumen Rider Down

Zeniru begins to panic with his aid until his ninja bodyguard offers to handle them. Sonic, like the hedgehog, has super speed. As the Paradisers get a good view of The Golden Turd, Sonic materializes from a shadow. No one ever escapes Sonic, so he gives them the chance to surrender and live. Of course, with the numbers, Hammerhead sends his Paradisers to their deaths. In a series of old school ninja dash ‘n slashes, everyone but Hammerhead is beheaded in a matter of seconds. His upgraded suit saves him, allowing for a shockwave attack that buys him enough space to start launching boulders. The first, aimed at Sonic in the trees, hits The Golden Turd above Saitama, who is pleading his innocence to people on the street. Sonic dodges barrage of boulders, and when the dust settles, the boulders have formed a straight path to Hammerhead. Sonic accepts the challenge and races forward, breaking sound barriers, but it looks like Hammerhead was able to crush him with a tree. However, Hammerhead’s victory speech is cut short when he catches a dagger to the back of his head. Sonic takes his eyes off the body a few seconds to call in his report, and it is gone before he turns back. Hammerhead runs through the woods, thanking his genetics for an extremely thick skull, when he runs into Saitama.

One-Punch Man S1E4 - Genos Prime and Dr Kuseno

Lucky Day

Meanwhile, Dr. Kuseno is busy repairing Genos and listening intently on the many tales of Saitama. On the operating table with his chest open, Genos looks suspiciously like Optimus Prime did in the old ’86 animated movie. And the doc had to have a ridiculous haircut. No old school anime important doctor character got away without having one. After an earful, Kuseno breaks the news that he’s working on upgrades for Genos that could help him surpass Saitama, but second guesses himself when he thinks on how strong Saitama is to cause Genos to go on about him.

Back with Hammerhead, Saitama bluntly states he’s there to smash their heads in but is wondering where the rest of them are. Hammerhead gives him a super powered punch that does nothing to One-Punch Man. Saitama’s disappointment makes Hammerhead dig deep, powering up the flames on his suit, and unleashing his Spin Attack. OPM recognizes the move as something he did as a kid, which causes him to feel a connection. He nonchalantly blocks the move and shatters the suit with one elbow.

One-Punch Man S1E4 - One-Punch Man Hammerhead

The Pulled Punch

With a girlish shriek, Hammerhead realizes he’s naked, but is relieved when Saitama let’s him go. After Hammerhead disappears into the forest, Sonic appears and mistakes One-Punch Man for a Paradiser. Saitama tries to plead his case but has to catch a throwing dagger, and then Sonic’s sword from hitting his eyes. He tries to explain again but gets his feelings hurt since Sonic has never heard of him. It doesn’t matter to Sonic though, OPM read two of his attacks, that he has honed since childhood, so now it’s about pride. Saitama can tell Sonic really just wants to try out his moves on a worthy opponent by his “innocent smile.”

One-Punch Man S1E4 - Innocent Smile Sonic

The ninja darts around the trees, breaking the sound barrier, but is shocked when he begins to dash in and Saitama faces him, asking to go home. Sonic switches to his Wind Blade Kick, that Saitama dodges and raises his fist for the “Checkmate.”

One-Punch Man S1E4 - Saitama Sonic Checkmate

Sonic’s momentum is too much, and that fist collides with Sonic’s beef sacks in slow motion. OPM quickly apologizes before a technical difficulties messages pops up. When we return, Sonic has gathered himself, proclaiming he is Speed-O’-Sound Sonic and nothing else matters but training to beat Saitama. As the camera pans out, we see Sonic is still knock-kneed and shaking before running off.

The Real Problem

At home Saitama tells the story to Genos, whose first problem is the redundancy of Sonic’s name. Genos offers to take care of Sonic, but OPM doesn’t think Genos is much better. He’s tired of Genos being around and talking about needing to become stronger. Besides, there’s a much bigger problem he’s wrestling with: nobody knows who he is. In three years, no hero comes close to doing what he has done, but he has no fans or notoriety. Being mistaken as a terrorist, and Sonic knowing nothing proved it to him today. All the credit somehow went to Mumen Rider on the news. Unknown to Saitama, there’s the Hero Registry. A quick internet search turns up that they only have to pass test to join. Once in, they can officially call themselves heroes while getting paid from donations to the association. Per the website, if you are only a self proclaimed hero, “you’re a weirdo who is spouting nonsense and is viewed under great suspicion.” Genos agrees to register with Saitama to officially become his disciple.

One-Punch Man S1E4 - Cyborgs

That night, OPM realizes that the Paradisers and him aren’t that different, wondering if he could’ve ended up like them. Back in the woods, two cyborgs from the organization who built the battle suits track down Hammerhead. They let his group steal to the suits to record data, but it’s time to tie loose ends. One blow to the head and Hammerhead seems to be dead, but once again, his hard head allows him to play dead. Post credits, Saitama and Genos walk up to the hero testing location.

One-Punch Man S1E4
  • 9/10
    Plot - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Dialogue - 8/10
  • 9.5/10
    Action - 9.5/10
8.8/10

Summary

Another week, another great episode. Quietly, this show is beginning to weave a world around the day to day chaos of Saitama’s life. We already had the group hunting down Genos, and now we have the mysterious cyborg association, Zeniru and Sonic’s crew, along with a community of superheroes that Saitama and Genos have been ignoring. But the biggest achievement of this episode was getting me to laugh at a nut shot. As a kid, years of America’s Funniest Videos mostly killed it for me, but once in a while, a good one gets through. Another notch in OPM’s belt.

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About Stephen Smith (72 Articles)
Stephen Smith is an old military brat who claims Houston, TX as his hometown. Growing up on a steady diet of anime, comic books, and video games, he has always kept his nerd light shining bright. Now, as a married father of 4, he passes on the tradition to his kids, while trying to not be too much of an adult in his bid for world domination.
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