It's been over three years since the first season of One Punch Man premiered in October 2015. Since then, it's become one of the rare anime nearly every otaku has seen; and in fact, even people who don't usually watch anime are at least aware of it, or have seen it.
Those fans who have been waiting patiently for more of the anime should be happy to hear that the series is returning soon! However, those same fans should be prepared: some things are going to be very different about the show upon its return.
THE PREMIERE DATE
One-Punch Man's Season 2 premiere will be on April 9, 2019 in both Japan and America. New episodes will air weekly.
WHERE TO WATCH
One-Punch Man Season 2's subtitled premiere will be exclusive to Hulu in North America, at least initially. It remains to be seen whether a dubbed version will eventually air on Toonami like Season 1 did.
In case you somehow missed the first season, the premise of One-Punch Man is fairly self-explanatory: it's about a guy who can defeat anyone with just one punch. How did Saitama gain such incredible abilities? He attributes it to a strict training daily training regimen (100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, a 10 km run, eating healthy, and not using air conditioning or a heater). Why did he put himself through all this and aim to be a superhero? "For the fun of it."
At the start of season 1, the "fun" of being a hero has faded for Saitama. He's so good at his job that it's become kind of boring for him. He decides to spend his time mentoring Genos, a younger cyborg hero who looks up to him. When the two apply for membership in the official Hero Organization, Saitama finds a foe he can't take down in one punch: standardized testing. Despite his unmatched power, he did poorly enough on the application exams that he's only deemed a C-Class hero (Genos is in the highest-ranking S-Class). As new enemies push the S-Class heroes to their limits, ultimately it's up to Saitama to save the world from Lord Boros' alien invasion.
Season 2 is set to introduce a new villain: Garou. Garou was mentioned in episode 10 of Season 1 by the martial artist Bang as a former trainee who went rogue. In Season 2, you'll get to see just how evil this former hero apprentice has become. In the Season 2 trailer, Garou declares, "This'll be a slaughter party." Between Garou's emergence and a foretold rise in monster attacks, Saitama and his fellow heroes will have their work cut out for them.
One-Punch Man's path to becoming a global phenomenon was an untraditional one. The original manga, by the creator known only as ONE, was a self-published webcomic with decidedly crude art. Despite the MS Paint-style artwork, the story's humor and heart shined through, and it went viral shortly after its early 2009 launch.
In 2012, Shueisha's Young Jump started publishing a remake of the webcomic. This manga retained ONE's scripts, but the art received a major upgrade from Yusuke Murata, the manga artist best known for Eyeshield 21. This is the version of One-Punch Man that Viz has translated into English, and the version that influenced the anime's polished visuals.
THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES SHAKE-UPS
The one big cause for caution in regards to the anime's second season is that it's not being made by most of the same team that made the first one so great. Shingo Natsume of Space Dandy fame directed the first season, with animation by the legendary Madhouse studio.
Season 2 has a new studio (J.C. Staff) and a new director (Chikara Sakurai), and there are some questions about whether it will live up to the first season's standards at least in terms of animation. Fortunately, original screenwriter Tomohiro Suzuki, character designer Chikashi Kubota and musical composer Makoto Miyazaki are still on-board, so even if some things are different, enough should stay consistently great to make the series well worth a watch.