One-Punch Man Proves Saitama’s Most Devastating Attack Isn’t a Punch
Although One-Punch Man couldn’t use his devastating strength against Garou, he apparently found a better way to defeat the villain for good.
Warning: contains spoilers for One-Punch Man Chapter 161!
As Garou and Saitama’s long-awaited battle continues in the final chapters of One-punch man, the incredible power that is on display turned the fight into a highly destructive brawl. Yet even with literally earth-shattering attacks, Saitama’s most devastating technique doesn’t even require him to lift a finger.
Saitama’s punches may be the origin of the series’ title, but time and time again, Saitama’s words have proven to be among his most effective weapons, dating back to his first encounter with Hellish Blizzard/Fubuki. . Much of Saitama’s character is based on being a fairly simple and ordinary man, which brings a bit of folk wisdom that can really surprise an opponent. While it doesn’t usually seem like Saitama uses this as a weapon, his simple point of view often frames his opponent’s situation in ways he doesn’t like to acknowledge or hadn’t thought of before. .
Ever since Saitama met Garou while the hero hunter’s young friend Tareo was around, he has promised not to kill Garou and is determined to follow through. Garou, on the other hand, is freer than ever and cares about nothing but proving his superior power. Normally this would put Saitama at a major disadvantage, but Saitama’s absolutely impenetrable defenses more or less alleviated this problem, as he was able to take every punch Garou threw at him without even a scratch. But Saitama still has to be able to fight back somehow. As he resists Garou’s blows, Saitama points out how Garou’s behavior contradicts his words – rescuing children and fighting monsters alongside heroes are not acts of self-proclaimed ultimate evil.
As any martial artist will confirm, the psychological component of a fight can be just as important as the physical component. More than that, changing someone’s mind won’t defeat them once, but every time they would have posed a threat, and can even make them an ally. Kill Garou does nothing for Saitama beyond sparing him from future attacks, he can survive easily, while persuading the “bad guy” to alter his worldview would give the heroes a powerful ally.
Saitama surely knows this on some level, but part of the reason it works so well for him is because he’s genuinely sincere in his questioning. He doesn’t understand why anyone would seek power for power’s sake, since he basically has unlimited power and all it has brought him is boredom. If he wanted to, Saitama could go mean and enact Garou’s exact plan right now, but he sees no reason to.
Saitama and Garou have been shown to have a lot of similarities during the One-punch man manga, so if anyone can hope to speak to him in words, it will be Saitama. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long to break it in because One-punch man continues, if only for the sake of the few buildings still standing.
Next: One-Punch Man’s Saitama Is So Strong He Can Now Perform Literal Miracles
One Punch Man chapter 161 is available now at VizMedia.
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