At the very outset, it seems that Saitama is a hero who’s well, a hero for fun. One Punch Man has left few leaves unturned in proving the meteor point that Saitama’s entire purpose is to defy the laws of anime physics. Anime physics states that what makes a hero great is his struggle, hardships, and camaraderie with others. Something akin to that faced by the rising story of the 7th Hokage or the current on-going journey of the future Pirate king. They ask, How Strong is Saitama?
I have personally seen and heard multiple people who have accused Saitama of being too overpowered. This is an accusation that isn’t possible to completely draw away from, for it’s unsurprisingly true. But there’s more to Saitama than just being the parodical epitome of overpowered character trope in anime. And I am here to write why. Also I will keep this as spoiler free as possible, with only minor spoilers from Season 1.
The Story of Saitama
- One Punch Man is a webcomic by mangaka ONE which has been adapted into a Manga and an anime. One Punch Man follows Saitama, a guy who trained so hard that he became the strongest in the world (universe).
- Saitama was initially motivated by strength, the need to become stronger. It started when he realized he was weak, so weak he couldn’t even defend a child against a Crab monster.
- But what began as a motivation for protecting the weak soon became exhilaration to might. Yet Saitama soon reached the peak of himself, exhausting the very fuel that burned him towards further glory. And, well, anything possible for a mortal.
- Saitama followed a routine that involved 100 Push Ups, 100 Sit-ups, 100 Squats, and 10km Running.
How Strong Is Saitama?
The point in which Saitama mentions these kinds of questions is where he downright jokes it off or says “Meh, I am just a hero for fun”. One is gruntled to believe that this is a parody of an anime.
- This is a show that is meant to admonish all the hero development tropes of most anime story writing. Because it makes no sense that Saitama truly honed skills that surpass anything remotely capable of achieving just by doing basic exercises.
- And although fans have attempted to speculate the reason why Saitama is strong, it’s unlikely there is any that ONE will use to justify.
- I think the point of ‘How strong is Saitama’ in his written universe is a second wall break of some despicable means. (Second wall is the point where the character acknowledges the story).
Before we ask how strong is Saitama, we need to ask how strong is Saitama supposed to be.
— Lunah (@lun_ahss) September 16, 2022
How Strong is Saitama Supposed to Be?
I think the entire point of One Punch Man is not a parody. One Punch Man is much more than just comic relief. Although there are moments when Saitama is outright hilarious, ignorant, or blood-right airheaded.
- In these moments the audience thinks Saitama has no idea how strong he is. They think this is a parody anime, something similar to Daily Life of Highschool Boys and that there should be audible laughter SFX added. But that’s wrong!
Saitama is Not A Parody
There’s a greater theme that needs to be addressed here.
- Saitama’s narrative is that he broke the plot barrier of falling down to growing up. He broke the trope, he broke the niche and he now stands atop all life.
- Despite the speculations, I don’t think One Punch Man will ever describe or elaborate on what exactly tipped Saitama’s power scale off of the universe.
Moments Where Saitama is Aware of How Strong He Is
1. Saitama vs Genos
- The moment where we truly see that Saitama knows ‘how strong he is’ is during the time when Genos challenged Saitama in the first season.
- Until then we got very close when he fought Carnage Kabuto, or so we thought. Saitama had just missed his Sunday discount sales or something if I remember it right.
When this happened, I as an audience was sure that Saitama will never truly acknowledge his own strength.
- But finally, when Genos asks him to show him his full strength, Saitama bulges. He attempts to hit Genos, as the earth strikes and Genos sees the overwhelming aura of death looming over him, Genos realizes that there’s no point in gauging his sensei’s power.
- Saitama is simply unreachable. It is at this point that Genos becomes introduced to the idea of not surpassing Saitama, but only being capable enough of being by his side.
2. Saitama Vs Boros
- Saitama is unbelievably strong. So much so that Boros himself admitted that despite Boros giving his all, earth’s mightiest but C-ranked hero had the strength to spare. Yet when Boros mentioned this, we see Saitama make a face of sorts. The kind that says that he feels empathy for Boros.
- We also see a glimpse of this when Saitama measures the moon’s gravity by trying to toss a rock up. Saitama is no novice, he has battle sense and a good gauge of his own abilities. One who doesn’t wouldn’t be able to do this.
Does Saitama Know How Strong He is?
That’s a good freaking question. Kudos to me for asking this. Moving forward with my much-deserved narcissism. The answer is yes from the analysis above of the fight between Boros and Genos which are two very distinctly accurate examples.
What Makes One Punch Man’s Saitama Truly Strong is Not Just His Physical Prowess
- So the thing about anime like these where the MC (main character) grows is that you get invested in their journey of development. In One Punch Man, what you get invested in instead is the journey of Saitama being acknowledged by everyone.
- You know that he is an overpowered god-defying entity, and how nobody knows it. There’s think weird kink to people discovering the strength of a character and going all haywire. I mean, who hasn’t imagined himself impressing all the peeps at school when a kidnapping scenario happened? It’s kind of similar.
What makes Saitama Truly Strong Is His Decision To Remain Human And Not Destroy Planets on Whim
- Now you cannot compare Saitama with other protagonists. Mainly because of other protagonists like Luffy or Naruto. The entire point to them is growth and journey. But in the trope of overpowered characters, ONE really is a genius.
- Saitama is the epitome of transcendence, he is the point that when you are strong enough everything just becomes pale. He has already surpassed the shrill of overpowering and overcoming. He is the metaphorical representation and embodiment of never ceasing human boredom and purposelessness.
Yet despite it all, he bears it with humility. It’s easy to be swayed when you have power, it’s easy to want to play God. Saitama does neither and remains a human. Saitama is actually, a God who’s human for fun.
Spider-Man 2 (Sam Raimi, 2004) illustration made by Yusuke Murata (Eyeshield 21, One Punch Man, …) pic.twitter.com/O2AKMd2PAc
— Otaku's Art (@TheOtaking) September 9, 2022
That’s the end of Saitama’s overpowered-ness in my Overpowered article. Make sure to share, and subscribe to our push notifications You can also follow us on Twitter @spieltimes for the latest PS5 restock and drop. Stay Safe and Happy Gaming!