‘One-Punch Man’ Season 3 Has Finally Been Announced—Here’s Everything We Know
More Saitama coming soon!
When the first season of One-Punch Man came out in 2015, it became one of the first truly viral anime in mainstream American culture. Celebrities who I would never peg as anime fans said they had watched it. And yet, we had to wait four years for the second season. Earlier this year, we learned that Fast and Furious franchise-favorite director Justin Lin was directing a live-action adaptation. And now, after years of wondering if One-Punch Man would ever come back, it seems like we’re finally getting the third season. Four years later—right on schedule.
In the first news about the anime since the second season wrapped up in 2019, a new promotional image was shared to the show’s official Twitter account (early morning Japan-time) on August 18, 2022. It shows Saitama and season two villain Garou, looking off in opposite directions very seriously, with a big ol’ “3” in the middle. The statement confirmed that the series is in production, but did not name a release date. I’m going to make an incredibly educated guess that it won’t be joining this year’s Lose My Life To Anime October. (Creator One’s other anime adaption, Mob Psycho 100, will be.)
Season three of One-Punch Man felt like an obvious choice. Lack of material was never the issue—there’s much more of the One-Punch Man manga to adapt. The manga is actually still publishing, and is inching it way towards chapter 200. For perspective, the final episode of season 2 adapts the 85th and 86th manga chapters. So, there’s tons more One-Punch Man to be had. Theoretically.
Give it to me straight: who’s directing?
Before this image, who would take up the directorial mantle on the third season was a huge outstanding question. One-Punch Man‘s two seasons have had two different directors. Shingo Natsume, who directed season 1, did not return for season 2 and is doing other projects which have a slower, more cerebral vibe. For instance, Natsume released the widely acclaimed Sonny Boy last year. He’s presently working on Yojohan Time Machine Blues, the sequel to one of my favorite anime of all time, The Tatami Galaxy.
Season 2’s director, Chikara Sakurai, has also moved on to other projects. His first anime since One-Punch Man, Shenmue, wrapped up its first season in June 2022. And without saying it outright, it seems very much like his new project will be season three of One-Punch Man. Because—plot twist!—Sakurai is the artist behind that new promotional image.
This may not be great news to many people. I happen to sympathize immensely with this group. While I adored One-Punch Man‘s first season, I found season 2 to be… a disappointment. The biggest reason for the adverse reaction to season 2 was the gigantic plunge in animation quality. Season 1’s Natsume was working with Madhouse, one of the most impressive anime studios in the biz, and delivered a positively stunning season. The anime moved studios in season 2, to JC Staff. And Under Sakurai and JC Staff, the anime looked… blah. Incredibly blah.
Still, the continuing love for One-Punch Man is unmistakable. Maybe season three won’t completely lack visual charisma! But if you compare the promotional images of season three of One-Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100… I have my concerns. Different studios, of course (Mob is animated by Bones, another GOAT). But still. (Yeah, I’m quoting my own Tweet—deal with it!)
In the meantime, fans of One’s other major creation, Mob Psycho 100, can enjoy that series’ third season much sooner. As I mentioned earlier, it’s part of the monster Fall 2022 anime season, which kicks off in October. If you haven’t watched Mob Psycho 100, I highly recommend it. Unlike One-Punch Man, its second season is (arguably) even better than its first.
(image credit: Chikashi Kubotao)
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