What They Say:
A group of battlesuit-clad terrorists called “The Paradisers” appears in City F, led by an enormous man known as Hammerhead. Calling for the redistribution of wealth, the group targets the fat-cat Zeniru, who in turn dispatches his bodyguard to defeat them. Unfortunately, Saitama is on the same errand.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This week’s villains are Hammerhead and his Paradisers, a group of NEETs who have some decent ideas but push them too far and end up serving as some sort of comical commentary for both that Japanese phenomenon and philosophies like communism. On their own they might not seem like much, but as always there are always bigger factors that make each element of this series, especially its tragically brief (for now at least) anime adaptation, more important in the long run. As one could guess from the episode title, the focus is in fact not these episodic villains but a new third party who arrives to combat both them and our self-proclaimed hero. Hammerhead and his boys can do some serious damage and immediately take out a local celebrity of a hero in the manner that this series is so skilled at, but they could never serve as a true threat. In some ways neither could the new ninja who joins the cast, but these villains do manage to show us just how skilled he can be when faced against any kind of normal enemy (in other words, not Saitama), as he brutally slices countless heads apart. This newcomer is Sonic, and he’s here to stay.
The other reason to care about the group full of losers who were almost entirely made into mincemeat for the sake of a character introduction is the only reason they were able to execute any of their destructive plans in the first place, the technologically advanced suits they’re equipped with. The ending of the episode teases further involvement from the source of these suits, and connects everything further to ensure that the trend of no episode being any kind of waste continues. To be fair, Hammerhead himself could’ve been a decently powerful enemy in another scenario, but as it stands the people he happens to find himself surrounded by are just abnormally overwhelming, and the multiple levels of that are so very shounen by design.
So why does Saitama care about these guys? The bastards all shave their heads and make the innocents assume that anyone with that look must be involved! While otherwise bored with the idea, this is enough to set Saitama into motion and ultimately involve him in the encounter with Sonic, setting up what ends up being a one-sided rivalry that puts Sonic on the level of most non-Saitama characters in this series very shortly after his dramatic and impressive introduction. Such is the fate of those who would shine in this universe, but in the process Saitama only becomes more depressed as he realizes that, despite years of hard work to take out the monsters that plague the area, nobody recognizes him, much less counts on him as the hero they need. This sounds like the setup for a future development! Ah yes, of course this world would have an actual hero system, and Saitama can’t call himself a hero or be acknowledged as such until he does a classic anime test to prove himself. Considering his ponderings late in the episode that cause him to realize he may not be so different from his baldheaded opponents that day, it’s a good move.
More villains arrive with more silly characteristics, but many greater purposes are served by their inclusion than may first be apparent. Now Saitama has something of a rival, even if the scales aren’t really any more balanced than ever, and the inevitable test to reach a status is set up.
Streamed By: Hulu (also available on Daisuki)
Roku 3, Sceptre X425BV-FHD 42″ Class LCD HDTV.