One-Punch Man: Saitama Finally Enters the Fray

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WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for One-Punch Man Season 2, Episode 11, "The Varieties of Pride," available now on Hulu.

For most of Season 2 of One-Punch Man, Saitama, the main protagonist and the secret strongest superhero in the world, has mostly stayed out of the larger action, even as a monster-fueled apocalypse threatens to overwhelm his peers in the Hero Association. Preoccupied with various distractions, a fair number of the fights that Saitama has engaged in this season have been due more to happenstance instead of his taking the initiative to go save the day.

Now, Garou, Season 2's new major antagonist, is setting his sights on Saitama's protege Genos as the season begins to near its end. Saitama prepares to suit up to save his friend, unwittingly about to plunge into what is shaping up to be the most epic brawl yet. And with the desperate Monster Association, impressed by his growing reputation for hunting down and brutally beating down superheroes despite being human, looking to recruit Garou into its ranks, all of the major Season 2 plot threads are about to converge in a fateful fight.

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At the start of Season 2, Saitama finally met King, the highest ranked superhero in the entire world. After saving King from a errant monster attack, Saitama learns that the top ranked hero is actually a fraud, an unpowered individual who happens to be at the site of various heroic feats accomplished by Saitama and taking credit for them himself, bolstering his standing with the Hero Association and general public. Rather than expose him, Saitama is more interested in challenging King to play in fighting games in King's apartment.

This burgeoning friendship is briefly replaced halfway through the season when Saitama's friend Mumen Rider is defeated by Garou. Visiting Mumen Rider in the hospital the following day, Saitama learns that this hero hunter relies on martial arts to defeat his opponents.

More intrigued by the world of martial arts potentially providing him the worthy opponent that has eluded him since gaining his powers, Saitama poses as the martial artist Charanko to enter a local tournament, eventually disqualified despite winning the tournament after his identity theft is discovered.

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Through it all, Saitama has engaged both the Monster Association and Garou himself twice, though completely by accident. Gouketsu, a major figure within the Monster Association led an attack on the martial arts tournament to recruit its strongest fighters into his organization with promises of greater power if they transformed into monsters themselves. The attack was quickly shut down by Saitama who then regrouped with King to continue playing video games, defeating Garou on the way, mistaking the villain for a common mugger on both occasions.

With Saitama frustrated over losing to King in 81 games in a row, the hero notices that Genos is fighting a high level opponent. At first dismissing the alert believing Genos more than capable of handling himself in combat, Saitama remembers that his friend is usually brutally defeated by his enemies despite his constant cybernetic upgrades.

Deciding to give the games a break due to the stress losing gives him, Saitama suits back up and sets out to aid his protege. After two seasons, Saitama did indeed find a superior opponent, it just happened to only be in the world of video games. But now that he's bored by his distractions, the hero is about to return to what he does best: saving the day.

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

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