Sunday, October 11, 2015

Episode 2: "The Lone Cyborg"

孤高のサイボー/Kokō no Saibōgu
"The Lone Cyborg"

Manga/Anime Notes

  • Like last episode, this episode covers four chapters: 5-8.  Which means, incredibly, that they’ve basically torn through almost the entire first volume in just two episodes: OPM vol.1 includes eight chapters of the main story plus one bonus chapter, so they’ve now covered everything except the bonus chapter.  This time, it felt a bit rushed in places, possibly because chapters 5-8 include more dialogue than 1-4.  They really had to cruise through Genos’ origin story (but I guess that’s part of the joke).
  • Of course, last episode included Saitama’s “I’ve grown too strong” speech that began chapter 5, so technically this episode only covers, like, 3.8 chapters or something.  They have to rearrange things a bit to cover.  In the manga, Saitama’s inner monologue (which he thinks to himself while watering his cactus) ends with him sadly noting that all his battles are now as easy as squashing bugs, and as he thinks that, a mosquito flies by…which he then comically fails to swat.  Next we see him watching the talk show discussion of the mosquito outbreak (he’s apparently no longer concerned with swatting that one mosquito).  Then there’s the public warning about the mosquito swarm approaching City-Z and how all residents are advised to stay inside.  Saitama thinks that this is City-Z and he’d better close the windows.  This cuts to outside with the looter who gets killed, then Genos starting to fight Mosquito Girl, and then the chapter ends with Saitama trying to swat a mosquito again (presumably the same one from before, but it’s not clear how/why he got back to swatting it).
  • In the anime though, it starts out with the TV show about the mosquito outbreak, and Saitama goes out on the porch to water his cactus, thereby missing the sudden announcement that all residents should stay indoors.  This means there’s no line where Saitama thinks that he better close the windows (it seems out of character for Saitama to look as scared as he is when he says this line in the manga, so perhaps that’s one reason they left it out?).  Then while he’s out on the porch, that mosquito wanders by and Saitama fails to swat it.  So in this version, Saitama trying to swat the mosquito doesn’t start as him trying to illustrate how all his fights are like squashing bugs, and he keeps on trying to swat it all the way through, rather than taking a break in the middle to watch TV for some reason.
  • As Saitama tries to swat that darn mosquito, it zooms out to show part of the big mosquito swarm zip by, and further out to show Genos standing on a building observing the swarm.  Cue the opening theme.
  • The anime doesn’t show the looter snap in half at the waist after the mosquitoes mummify him.
  • In the manga, while Mosquito Girl complains that her mosquitoes aren’t bringing her enough blood, she suddenly notices that several mosquitoes nearby have been killed, which tips her off to Genos’ presence.  Genos then starts talking about how she apparently controls the swarm and it should disperse if he kills her.  In the anime, Genos just starts off firing at Mosquito Girl instead of attacking any of her mosquitoes first.
  • The anime shows Genos and Mosquito Girl grappling in midair a bit before getting to the part where they rip some of each other’s limbs off.  In the manga, Chapter 6 starts off with Mosquito Girl dodging one of Genos’ blasts and removing his arm while he removes her legs.
  • The anime has Saitama chase after his mosquito with a can of bug spray (in the manga he’s empty-handed, apparently still just trying to swat it).
  • After Genos tells Saitama that the swarm contains a will of its own and will attack if it notices him, in the manga he then immediately blasts the swarm, while in the anime the swarm…swarms at him first, at which point he blows it up.  So yes, in the manga Genos shoots first.
  • Mosquito Girl’s powered-up form is red in the anime, and smashes part of a building to first demonstrate her power (in the manga she immediately attacks Genos).
  • In the anime Mosquito Girl knocks Genos around so much that he’s falling through midair by the time he starts to activate his self-destruct mechanism.  In the manga he’s still standing on the ground.
  • As Mosquito Girl rushes in for the kill, the manga shows Saitama slapping her in “slow motion”, for lack of a better term, devoting three panels to the sequence (including one whole panel showing the moment where she begins to recoil from Saitama’s slap).  In contrast, the anime slows down as Genos prepares to self-destruct, then has the slap be extremely abrupt in contrast.  Also, in the manga Mosquito Girl is knocked straight through a building (the top of which breaks off in cartoonish fashion), while in the anime she splatters against the building instead, leaving an enormous blood stain.
  • So that’s two chapters in the first half of the episode (the Mosquito Girl ones) and two in the second half (the aftermath and Beast King and co.’s attack).
  • Genos launches into his long and detailed origin story despite Saitama saying he’s actually not interested.  The anime adds in a line where Saitama notes that Genos doesn’t listen very well, after Genos starts his story despite Saitama’s disinterest.  Then when it looks like Genos’ story is wrapping up, the anime adds in another line where Saitama starts to say “I see”, but gets cut off as Genos continues on (talking faster and faster the whole time).  During Genos’ story, there are long, lingering shots of Saitama’s apartment both inside and out, and we see Saitama tapping his foot in increasing irritation.  In the manga this entire info-dump is presented just as two panels full of text, the first with Genos talking, the second (and even more text-packed panel) with Genos talking and Saitama looking annoyed.
  • Over at the House of Evolution, in the anime we see that Professor Genus’ computer screen includes images of several S-Class heroes we’ll be meeting later on, including Metal Bat, Blackluster, Pig God, and Watchdog Man.  Is he investigating them or something? 
  •  In the manga Professor Genus dismisses Mosquito Girl as a weakling "if she hasn't drank any blood", but then one of his clones informs him that she was defeated despite having consumed a large quantity of blood, and in one blow to boot.  That's what finally convinces Genus that whoever defeated her is strong enough to be worth checking out.  In the anime though, there's no distinction made between Mosquito Girl's with-blood and sans-blood forms: Professor Genus just hears that she's been defeated in one blow and dismisses her as a weakling.  This ties into the whole issue of where Mosquito Girl is supposed to rank in strength compared with Armored Gorilla/Beast King/etc, but I'll save that for another day.
  • The anime version of Beast King wears a skintight (furtight?) black shirt over his chains.  Like the chains, the shirt snaps off when he flexes his muscles to show that he means business.
  • After Saitama climbs out of the ground, the anime has Beast King start to say “I’ll show you the power of the Beast King!” before getting interrupted by Saitama talking about how he’s got dirt in some weird places now.  Then once Saitama’s done talking, he goes “Now I’ll really show you the power of the Beast King!”  The manga just has Saitama’s dirt line followed by Beast King’s power line, without Saitama interrupting Beast King first.
  • I was really hoping the anime would add more to Genos’ fight against Armored Gorilla, since this is one of the few fights he actually wins and we don’t even get to see how he does it, but no dice: like in the manga, we cut away from the Genos/Armored Gorilla fight to the Saitama/Beast King/Ground Dragon “fight”, and by the time we cut back to Genos he’s already won.
  • The NEP this time: over at the House of Evolution, Professor Genus’ many clones rush around in a panic, discussing the defeat of their hit team, when Genus-Prime arrives and asks what's up.  Then Mosquito Girl gives the next episode’s title and talks about it a bit. 
  • So, it seems in general that the NEPs for the show consist of two parts: a quick teaser showing some cryptic scene relating to the next episode (without featuring any actual footage from the next episode), followed by a character giving a voice-over introducing the next episode’s title and a bit about the plot.  When the episode airs on Tokyo TV, there’s a brief commercial between the two halves for the CD release of the opening theme.  Viz’s stream takes the commercial out, logically enough.  But that’s why last week I thought the TV Tokyo broadcast version didn’t include Crablante’s narration: once the commercial started, I assumed the NEP was over and tuned out.
  • Next up: “The Obsessive Scientist” (執念の科学/Shūnen no Kagaku-sha).  The apparent episode naming scheme: “The [modifier] [noun]”
About two hours until episode 2 airs
Saitama: "Oh, is that tonight?"

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