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One-Punch Man: King Finally Becomes a Hero

One-Punch Man Season 2 finale

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for One-Punch Man Season 2, Episode 12, "Cleaning Up the Disciple's Mess," available now on Hulu.

One of the biggest revelations in the Season 2 premiere of One-Punch Man is that King, the highest-ranked figure in the Hero Association, an organization of the world's greatest superheroes, was really a fraud all along. The famous individual was revealed to completely lack powers or special abilities as various monsters tracked him down, instead taking credit for Saitama's numerous notable achievements to attain such a prominent position among the world's true heroes. Fortunately, the Season 2 finale finally gave King a moment to step up and show how heroic he could be in the final moments of the episode.

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After revealing his true nature and lack of power to Saitama in the premiere, King's redemption was, in many ways, a long time coming. Saitama had largely been nonplussed when King told him his secret about taking credit for his greatest accomplishments, which he was able to do by being in the right place at the right time. In turn, the two characters had shared a mutual love of video games and spent most of the season playing each other in a fighting game with King beating Saitama 81 consecutive times to the bald superhero's mounting frustration.

One-Punch Man Season 2 finale

As this friendly commiseration continued, Saitama would share his own doubts about being a hero to King, mainly centered around Saitama's inability to find a worthy opponent, in the worlds of monsters and martial arts. King encourages his newfound friend and confidant to continue serving as a superhero, offering words of wisdom about the true nature of being a hero despite lacking any special abilities of his own. His self doubts and insecurities quelled, Saitama and King set out to rescue Saitama's protege Genos after learning that the cybernetic hero was fighting a new threat on his own.

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That new threat comes in the form of the hero hunter Garou, who spent the entire season tracking down and beating members of the Hero Association within an inch of their lives. The self-proclaimed human monster had very nearly attacked an unsuspecting King after spotting him walking through the streets with Saitama, only to be confused for a common mugger and easily dispatched with a single kick from Saitama. While Genos had since received backup in the form of the highly ranked martial artists Bang and Bomb, Garou had been plucked from the scene by Phoenix Man for recruitment into the Monster Association as the fearsome Elder Centipede covering their escape.

King One-Punch Man feature

 

The armored, flying behemoth debuted earlier in the season by defeating the S-class hero Metal Bat during its rampage in the city, while the Monster Association kidnapped the son of a wealthy financier for the Hero Association. As Bang and Bomb get a group of A-class heroes Garou defeated to safety, Genos attempts to destroy the Centipede with his newly empowered upgrades, only to discover that even the monster's weak points possess an incredible healing factor able to regenerate wounds almost instantly. Unfazed, the creature turns its attention to a nearby city, potentially putting millions of innocent lives at risk. To everyone's surprise, however, King finally steps up to face down the monster, diverting its attention.

Apparently appearing alone and unarmed, King stoically faces the charging Elder Centipede only to be saved at the very last minute by Saitama who completely annihilates the monster with his trademark singular punch. It is an unexpected heroic turn for the longtime fraud, demonstrating both selflessness and trust in his friend that had been completely unseen all season. While King still lacks powers of his own, it shows tremendous growth for the character and will hopefully continue to develop as One-Punch Man inevitably returns for a third season after Season 2's cliffhanger ending.

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