‘One Punch Man’ Season 2 Release Date: Q3 2017 Debut Plausible, According To Anime Production Timeline

One Punch Man, Madhouse’s blockbuster satirical anime based on ONE’s hit webcomic, is getting a definitive second season. Teasers for One Punch Man Season 2 have been around since September last year, but details about the production’s progress have been extremely scarce. If a recent leak is any indication, however, initial work has already commenced for the anime’s second season, which means that it would now be possible to predict when OPM Season 2 would debut on air.

The first official indication that One Punch Man Season 2 was coming was released September 2016, when a teaser image was uploaded on Twitter. The image did not offer any other details apart from the anime’s title card with the number two in the background, but it was enough to get many fans of the hit series’ fans excited. After all, many felt that the anime’s first season, which ran for a single cour (12 episodes) was far too short, considering that the OPM universe is incredibly vast.

After the September 2016 announcement, however, very few details about OPM Season 2’s progress were officially revealed. The rumor mill has been busy with One Punch Man Season 2, with various speculations emerging about the upcoming anime’s actual plot. Some were entirely plausible, such as reports stating that OPM Season 2 would be based on the manga’s Hero Hunter Arc, while others were far more outlandish, such as speculations stating that a Civil War would happen among the heroes in the anime (coincidentally, these rumors emerged during the heyday of Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War).

The lack of official information about the anime’s second season has continued well into 2017. That is, however, until now. In a recent Twitter post, noted manga/gaming fan Ken Xyro uploaded a scan from a Japanese publication stating that One Punch Man Season 2 has finally entered production. No upcoming release date has been revealed in the leaked scan, though considering the conventional timeline for anime production schedules, it is at least now possible to infer a likely release date for OPM Season 2.

The world of anime production is one that remains quite a mystery in the West. Fortunately, a pretty compelling and accurate portrayal of the ins and outs of an anime production firm was depicted in Shirobako, an anime that is, interestingly, based on how anime is made, according to MyAnimeList. Critics have lauded the series for its accurate portrayal of the lives and tasks of anime producers, as well as all the efforts that go into the making of a great animated series.

According to the acclaimed anime series, the creation of a single cour of anime roughly takes around 35 weeks (eight months or so) from initial conception to the airing of the project’s final episode. Official production usually starts around six months before the premiere episode is aired, with the production firm beginning work on the storyboard and the layout of the anime. Once the storyboard is completed, the writers start work on the dialogue. These are all done even before the first frame of the first episode is drawn and animated.

Key animators begin work on the project later on, with artists hand-drawing the scenes in black and white. When applicable, CGI animators start work on the project at this point as well. This is a tedious process that takes a significant length of time. One Punch Man, for example, is noted for its smooth hand-drawn animated sequences, and those are, at times, shot at 24 frames per second. That translates to roughly 60 frames per movement, which would, unsurprisingly, take numerous hours. When all these are done, a separate team begins coloring the scenes that the animators have worked on. These are all cross-checked by the director, who approves or rejects the animators’ output.

While these are all being done, voice actors and sound designers work on the anime’s script and sound effects. The opening theme and ending theme are also worked on. Overall, the actual production of a single anime episode takes more than a week, and, augmented by pre-production tasks and meetings with promoters and the like, the whole process gets even longer. Of course, anime such as One Punch Man, which are extremely close to the manga, would take slightly longer, since the mangaka (the comic’s author) is commonly consulted about how the upcoming anime would be depicted onscreen.

With these in mind, and considering that One Punch Man Season 2 would involve heavy action scenes with elaborate details, it appears that the upcoming anime might get released around six months from now. Since anime is currently on its second cour (April to June), it seems possible to speculate that One Punch Man Season 2 would begin airing on the fourth cour, which would run from October to December 2017. The first season aired from October to December 2015, as well, so a similar release date for Season 2 appears highly likely.

Nevertheless, it appears that One Punch Man Season 2 is indeed coming this year. The signs certainly point to it and leaks seem to confirm its eventual release date. If these speculations prove true, then anime fans would be treated to yet another epic season from everyone’s favorite deconstructed superhero.

[Featured Image by Madhouse]