One-Punch Man: Saitama's Greatest Enemy Is Himself

As the overly powerful main protagonist of the acclaimed manga and anime series One-Punch Man, Saitama has been on the lookout for an opponent strong enough to withstand more than a single blow, but with little success. Over the course of the first two seasons of the anime, Saitama has battled monsters, human criminals, robots, extraterrestrial invaders and the highest-ranked martial artists in the world, but a worthy adversary has so far eluded him. However, while Saitama repeatedly faced frustration and disappointment by failing to find the perfect foe, he has lost his own way, effectively making his true adversary himself.

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Saitama began as a low-level office worker who stumbled across a child being attacked by the monstrous crustacean Crablante. Despite being beaten to within an inch of his life, Saitama persisted, and ultimately defeated the monster, and decided to become a superhero for the fun of it. Since then, Saitama underwent his own relatively low-key training regimen that resulted in him becoming overwhelmingly powerful, if unassuming, both in terms of physical stature and mood.

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In contrast to his first fight, Saitama can now dispatch all of his opponents with a single blow, but quickly becomes bored by the lack of challenge. That reaches an apex in Season 2 as Saitama infiltrates a martial-arts tournament with the hopes that the world's best fighters will finally give him the challenge he desires. Despite being disqualified on a technicality, Saitama easily defeats all of his opponents with minimal effort, and destroys monsters attacking the tournament. Lauded for his heroism, Saitama is nevertheless despondent and considers quitting his superhero career.

One-Punch Man

It makes sense that for someone as physically powerful, Saitama's greatest struggle would be an existential one. The unassuming superhero spent most of Season 2 distracting himself through video games and a burgeoning interest in martial arts, even as the world faced a prophesied apocalypse and the revelation that the monsters had organized themselves into the sinister Monster Association. As the threats escalated, Saitama's own participation grew more limited, in direct contradiction to why he donned the yellow-and-white costume and began training in the first place.

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The first time Saitama saved the day wasn't for his own personal glory or for the thrill of the fight, it was to save a little boy from a mean-spirited crab monster. Saitama's selflessness was underscored in the Season 2 premiere when he learned the top-ranked figure in the Hero Association, King, had been taking credit for many of his achievements. However,Saitama remained relatively unfazed. Ironically, it was later King himself who encouraged Saitama to remain as a superhero, and reminded him the true nature of being a hero doesn't rest in personal interest but pursuit of a more noble goal.

Whether Saitama's re-commitment to fighting monsters and saving the day as part of the Hero Association continues into Season 3 remains  to be seen. The Monster Association and self-proclaimed hero hunter Garou are still activ while the son of one of the Hero Association's chief financiers remains kidnapped by the evil ensemble. Saitama will inevitably be drawn into conflict once again, but hopefully he will remember that heroism lies not in his own obsessive quest to find a worthy opponent but to use his superior strength to strike down evil that threatens to tilt the world into chaos.

RELATED: One-Punch Man: Saitama Is Not As Oblivious As He Appears

Produced by J.C. Staff, One-Punch Man Season 2 sub has already complete its run on Hulu. The release date for Season 3 is not known at this time.

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