Who Animated One Punch Man? (& Why Studios Changed Between Season 1 and 2)

One Punch Man has been a beloved anime for many years, boasting tons of action and entertainment for fans around the world. But, with the One Punch Man animations being so different between seasons, many fans wonder why the studios changed between seasons 1 and 2.

Season 1 of One Puch Man was directed by Shingo Natsume and animated by Madhouse, while season 2 was directed by Chikara Sakurai and animated by J.C Staff. The main reason for the change was that Natsume left One Punch Man, along with others who joined to work with him, which demanded a complete animation overhaul due to a limited timeframe.

While the sudden shift in studios brought a plethora of adaptations to the classic One Punch Man anime style, many fans still wonder what the reason behind the change was. Stick around to find out about the production of One Punch Man for seasons 1 and 2, how they differ, as well as why the studios were changed between seasons.

Who Animated One Punch Man? (Season 1 vs. Season 2)

The One Punch Man saga is easily one of the most well-recognized titles within the anime and manga community, instantly becoming a smash hit from the very beginning. It’s really no surprise since there is a ton to love about One Punch Man – including some legendary combat as well as comedic elements, but its animation really made it stand out among the rest.

Below are the major changes in the One Punch Man anime series team between season 1 and season 2:

One Punch Man
Season 1
One Punch Man
Season 2
DirectorShingo NatsumeChikara Sakurai
Sound
Director
Shoji HataYoshikazu Iwanami
Animation
Studio
MadhouseJ.C Staff

One Punch Man Season 1: Shingo Natsume & Madhouse

One Punch Man Season 1 was directed by Shingo Natsume and was animated at Madhouse studios with Chikashi Kubota acting as the lead animator. Madhouse was responsible for numerous iconic anime series as well, including Paranoia Agent, Black Lagoon, Death Note, Highschool of the Dead, and Hunter x Hunter.

Madhouse’s work on the One Punch Man saga was incredibly impressive for fans as well as the studio itself. The studio did really well in capturing the lighthearted feel of One Punch Man, selling all of the title’s comedy and action with flare.

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Due to the execution of the animation itself, One Punch Man was really well-received after it made its on-screen debut. As a result, One Punch Man fans were hyped to see what Season 2 had in store.

One Punch Man Season 2: Chikara Sakurai & J.C Staff

However, fans were surprised to see a drastic shift in One Punch Man’s style and overall feel once they finally got a glimpse of Season 2. The change was really obvious, and it wasn’t well-received by the vast majority of One Punch Man fans worldwide.

The primary reason behind all of the changes in style, look, animation, and feel was due to a change in studios. Shingo Natsume was replaced by Chikara Sakurai, while the production studio switched from Madhouse to J.C Staff.

It can’t go without saying that J.C Staff is a really good animation studio, since this team was responsible for some really popular titles such as Bakuman and Food Wars. Considering that the team had experience, the quality and style provided in One Punch Man season were expected to be maintained at the very least – but, this didn’t appear to be the case.

Why Did The Studios Change Between Seasons 1 & 2?

The reason behind the sudden change in One Punch Man’s animation studios between seasons 1 and 2 is rather simple – and quite unfortunate for One Punch Man fans. It appeared that Natsume was too busy with other projects at the time.

Considering that many other talented professionals had already joined the series to work with Natsume, the animation needed a total overhaul to fill the gap. Many people who wanted to work with Natsume ended up leaving, which caused problems in creating the highly anticipated One Punch Man season 2.

Even though J.C Staff had tons to offer, the circumstances essentially meant that One Punch Man season 2 would have needed to be created from the ground up – and, there is only so much anyone can do within a limited timeframe. It ultimately all came down to rushed production, although all of the professionals who worked on both One Punch Man seasons 1 and 2 are all considered topnotch.

Why Didn’t Fans Like One Punch Man Season 2’s Animations?

While the style and feel of One Punch Man season 2 were similar to season 1, there was a noticeable dip in quality according to most fans. It is still fair and high-quality concerning art and animation, but the motion seemed a bit off compared to season 1 – featuring a completely different style, in addition to still frames and flash animations.

Check out the video below, posted by IGN, discussing the aftermath of the animations featured in One Punch Man season 2:

The animations were not as fluid, vibrant, and crisp as they were before, instead being replaced by more generic animations, and the overall feel appeared more oddly paced. One Punch Man season 2 also made use of 3D computer-generated animations, which is almost never a hit within the anime community. Style and designs differ slightly between seasons 1 and 2 as well, as pointed out by fans on Reddit:

Quite a few One Punch Man fans have begun arguing that bringing back Madhouse will resolve the issue, as if it’s primarily due to the new animation studio’s work being far from a knockout – but, this is not exactly the case, as pointed out by a One Punch man fan on Reddit:

At the same time, blame has also been passed over to the new director, Chikara Sakurai, with many fans being disappointed in Shingo Natsume leaving the team. Quite a few posts were made on social media following this topic as well, as seen below.

However, neither J.C Staff nor Chikara Sakurai can be blamed for the underwhelming animations in One Punch Man season 2, as there’s much more to the case than it might seem. As pointed out by a devoted anime fan on Reddit:

“If we should learn anything from OPM S1 vs S2 is what all anime could look like with a proper staff, budget and time vs what most anime usually looks like. S2 is only bad compared to S1 and most anime movies, and maybe a few other shows. But once you spoil an audience it’s bound to go downhill eventually.”

There are countless factors that affect the quality of an anime series over and above the choice of creators. While Shingo Natsume leaving did play a massive role in the quality of season 2, it’s not for the reason fans might have expected.

RELATED: Is One Punch Man Over, or Is Season 3 Coming Out?

It seems that the main reason behind the change in studios and directors came down to timing, while the adjustments in the animations themselves came down to limited time. If this is truly the case, there’s really no telling how One Punch Man season 2 May have been received had it been handled by any other studio.

One Punch Man season 2’s storyline and characters were still well-received by fans, the animations just left viewers feeling underwhelmed. Since there has been a fair amount of time between season 2 and season 3’s release, we’re hoping that One Punch Man season 3 will restore the iconic animations and feel that we all know and love.

  • Jeijei is an eccentric oddball obsessed with anime, sci-fi, and fantasy. She spends her free time enjoying movies and video games, especially MMOs & RPGs, whether it be PC, console, or mobile.