WARNING: The following contains spoilers for "The S-Class Heroes," the seventh episode of One-Punch Man Season 2, available now on Hulu.
Since the beginning of One-Punch Man's second season, the Hero Association has faced an ominous prophecy that an assault by monsters would overwhelm them within six months and eradicate humanity. For the past two episodes, the monster-fueled apocalypse has appeared to arrive early, with attacks by the behemoths on cities across the globe going relatively unchecked, as most of the heroes that oppose them are defeated. However, with the anime's latest episode, the heroes regroup and begin to take the fight back to the onslaught of monsters.
The highest-ranking members of the Hero Association belong to the highly respected S-Class. As the A-Class heroes struggle against the full might of the monsters, their S-Class counterparts take over defensive duties and begin drive back the creatures. The Monster Association suffers heavy casualties in the face of this renewed defense, with Hundred Eyes Octopus killed by Tatsumaki, Eyesight devoured by the S-Class hero Pig God, and Tank-Top Master and Amai Mask driving back monsters that attack them at a hospital and a concert, respectively.
Despite the heroes' resurgence, the Monster Association's leader, Monster King Orochi, appears unfazed by the apparent setback. The hulking, red leviathan has operated from the shadows to ensure the monster apocalypse comes to fruition, coordinating attacks on sponsors to the Hero Association and several high-profile members, with varying degrees of success. To handle the loss of several monsters, Orochi plans to replenish his numbers with means revealed later in the episode; potentially providing the origins for monsters in the anime and answering how so many have appeared in such a short time.
With the hero-hunter Garou still on the loose, a council of swordsmen outside the city plans to track down the self-proclaimed human monster. It's then revealed that one of their own has transformed into a monster, and offers his fellow swordsmen the opportunity to join him and the Monster Association by consuming monster DNA, or else face certain death. Garou received a similar offer earlier in the season, and the means to join the creatures' ranks has now been revealed. With the monster swordsman easily destroyed, the heroes decide instead to turn their attention to the newly revealed Monster Association itself.
With Saitama distracted by his newfound interest in martial arts, the past several episodes has seen cities razed by a sudden uptick in monsters, heralding an early arrival to the prophesied apocalypse. However, even with its mightiest hero occupied and oblivious, as usual, the Hero Association has brought out its heaviest hitters to fight back, even with Garou still hunting new heroes to ensure the apocalypse comes to pass.
Saitama has long been the secret savior of humanity, dispatching opponents with his trademark single blow, and occasionally defeating enemies completely by accident. However, the Hero Association has proved itself capable without him, driving back the initial wave while also discovering the existence of a Monster Association. Whether those revelations and the inevitable confrontations with Garou and Monster King Orochi will be able to be vanquished without Saitama has yet to be seen.
Produced by J.C. Staff, new episodes of One-Punch Man debut every Tuesday on Hulu.