Can Saitama from One Punch Man beat Goku?

One of the most classic and heated debates in all of anime is the general character power scaling against Goku of dragonball. In fact, it’s so well known that the phrase “can they beat Goku” has become a bit of a meme in the animanga community.

One of the more heated versions of this debate is Goku vs. Saitama from A punch. Since One Punch Man’s early fans constantly asked- can One Punch Man’s Saitama beat Goku. It’s gotten to the point where it’s become one of the most recognized power scaling debates in the community.

Assuming each character has access to all the tools and support forms in their respective universes, the answer to this debate is clear. May Saitama’s A punch beat Goku? Let’s find out.

Note: This article reflects the personal opinion of the author.

One Punch Man’s Saitama is often hailed as Goku’s kryptonite, but does the Caped Baldy really stand a chance against everyone’s favorite Saiyan?

Basic shape strength

Saitama obliterates a meteor and saves City Z with a punch.  (Image via Madhouse Studios)
Saitama obliterates a meteor and saves City Z with a punch. (Image via Madhouse Studios)

Since Saitama hasn’t really shown any transformations over the course of the series, it’s fair to compare the two in their base forms. In this regard, Saitama is the clear winner here.

Goku can do amazing things in his base form. In his own universe, Goku’s base form is probably one of the strongest characters. Yet Saitama overflows with strength in his base form, creating sounds similar to thunderclaps simply by clapping his hands to catch a fly.

It’s also worth noting that Goku’s Super Saiyan forms would surely put him on par with One Punch Man. Unfortunately, since Saitama can’t elevate his strength in another form as well, it would be unfair to compare Super Saiyan Goku to Saitama’s base. In terms of base form strength, One Punch man’s Saitama takes the win against Goku.

combat IQ

A battle-ready Goku in Super Saiyan Blue form.  (Picture via Toei Animation)
A battle-ready Goku in Super Saiyan Blue form. (Picture via Toei Animation)

Battle IQ is a whole other story though. Saitama clearly has enough battle IQ to win as often as he does throughout A punch, even in battles that take more than one punch. However, only having to throw a single punch most of the time doesn’t exactly keep his fighting senses and wits sharp.

Goku, on the other hand, is always in situations where his combat IQ is increased. Almost every fight we see Goku in, he has to push his limits to defeat his opponent. Always being the victor ensures that his combat prowess is maintained.

Unfortunately for One Punch Man, Saitama’s quick work on Dragon Level Threats leaves something to be desired in terms of combat skills and knowledge. As a result, Goku takes gold in the victory over Saitama from A punch for the best battle IQ.

Supporting elements

Goku on his trusty steed, the Flying Nimbus.  (Picture via Toei Animation)
Goku on his trusty steed, the Flying Nimbus. (Picture via Toei Animation)

Unfortunately for Saitama, the One Punch Man also starts this category at a serious disadvantage. Saitama doesn’t really use support items, but we can call Genos a support item, since the robotic student is usually at Saitama’s side. Even so, the items at Goku’s disposal seem almost insurmountable to Saitama.

For one thing, Dragon Balls (especially Super Dragon Balls) can grant almost any wish of their user, including immortality. Saitama is strong, but there’s no way he can bypass immortality with his strength. Goku can also simply ask the Dragon Balls for strength over Saitama’s. We’ve seen this wish concept succeed twice in the current Dragon Ball Super manga bow.

Even beyond that, Goku has a support element that allows him to fly in the Flying Nimbus. Saitama can surely jump to Goku’s height, but he won’t be able to maintain that altitude at all. With Kamehameha raining down from above and Saitama unable to consistently engage Goku in battle, it’s clear that One Punch Man will eventually fall.

Final results

In the end, we have a clear and “serious” answer to the question of whether Saitama can leave A punch beat Goku: no he can’t. While Saitama’s base form strength is far superior to Goku’s, Saitama’s lack of combat IQ and experience would come back to bite him during this fight.

Also, Goku having the Dragon Balls and another means of flight only tips the scales too far in Goku’s favor. We saw the Dragon Balls used to grant relative strength twice in the Granolah the Survivor arc; Surely Goku could do the same and ask to just be stronger than Saitama.

On the other hand, while seriously comparing Goku and Saitama is fun and entertaining, there’s a major reason why Goku might never really win against Saitama. Goku may have the best combat intelligence and superior support tools, but Saitama has something Goku will never have: the power of parody.

Being a parody, Saitama will always be the one to defeat Goku. Saitama’s strength is meant to be so ridiculous that it defies logic; in other words, there is no opponent he could possibly lose against. Therefore, Goku may never truly be able to defeat Saitama.

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Edited by Mason J. Schneider

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