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One-Punch Man: The Unwavering Courage of Mumen Rider

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Of all the fantastical, powerful superheroes of the Hero Association constantly saving the day in One-Punch Man, one of the most unassuming and seemingly ill-suited figures within the organization is Mumen Rider. A parody of the popular Japanese motorcycle-riding hero, Kamen Rider, Mumen Rider is a low-level superhero who first appeared in Season 1 of the hit anime series. He constantly fights monsters and other opponents far above his own abilities. However, in doing so, he has quickly grown from a recurring joke character to one of the bravest figures in the entire cast.

A C-class hero, the lowest professional rank in the Hero Association, Mumen Rider boasts no superhuman abilities or advanced technology to aid in his heroic activities. Instead, Mumen Rider is covered from head-to-toe in padding as a sort of makeshift armor to protect him both in action and while casually riding across the city on his trusty, low-speed bicycle; his only regular means of transportation. Even off his bike, Mumen Rider is never seen without his protective padding, helmet, and goggles, ready for action at a moment's notice despite his relatively mundane capabilities.

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Mumen Rider makes his debut in the fourth episode of the series, confronting a villain named Hammerhead who, like the longtime Spider-Man antagonist of the same name, possesses an incredibly strong skull which he can use to violent effect. Forming his own terrorist organization of similarly bald thugs known as the Paradisers, Hammerhead begins to wreck havoc across the city only to be confronted by the lone Mumen Rider.

Despite being vastly outnumbered and unpowered, Mumen Rider attempts to stop Hammerhead and his men only to be beaten within an inch of his life. The antihero ninja, Speed-o-Sound Sonic, unintentionally rescues Mumen Rider by easily killing the Paradisers and gravely wounding Hammerhead, causing the villain to flee. Pursuing Hammerhead before mistaking Saitama for a Paradiser, Sonic leaves Mumen Rider all alone at the scene of the battle causing bystanders and first responders to assume that the brave but humble superhero is responsible for saving the day and destroying the terrorist group. The battle would be a sign of greater things to come for the Mumen Rider, albeit after enduring even more grievous beatings.

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When the Seafolk Tribe declares war on the surface world later in Season 1, various leviathans from the depths emerge to attack the major cities. Unable to respond to the alerts quickly due to his limited mode of transportation, Mumen Rider usually arrives at scenes after monsters have already been defeated. The Seafolk Tribe's leader Deep Sea King attacks a shelter housing those seeking cover from the assault and quickly dispatches the heroes protecting them, including Genos, as he grows more powerful being exposed to the pouring rain. Before he can attack the defenseless refugees, Mumen Rider finally catches up and stands between the monster and his intended prey.

Deep Sea King mercilessly beats down Mumen Rider, with the hero cheered on by his peers and the innocents he is attempting to protect. Preparing to finish off Genos, Deep Sea King is interrupted by Mumen Rider leaping back into the fray with his Justice Tackle. Enraged that such an inferior opponent won't stay down, Deep Sea King transforms into a towering behemoth and continues to pummel Mumen Rider, even as the hero refuses to surrender.

Eventually saved by Saitama, Mumen Rider is one of the few characters to realize just how powerful the bald superhero really is, sending him a thank you letter and treating him to dinner after Deep Sea King's defeat.

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While constantly outclassed, Mumen Rider's dedication to heroism, often at the expense of his own physical well-being, makes him one of the most laudable characters in One-Punch Man. Well aware of his inadequacies, Mumen Rider sets out to make a difference at whatever the cost, putting himself on the line repeatedly for the greater good. The Hero Association operates by assembling everyday volunteers to protect humanity from increasingly outlandish, powerful threats and nobody embodies that mission statement better than Mumen Rider.

Produced by J.C. Staff, new episodes of One-Punch Man debut every Tuesday on Hulu.

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