One-Punch Man’s Saitama Finally Admits He’s Not A Hero

One-Punch Man’s Saitama must finally admit he’s no hero, as his biggest failure proves he’s missing what’s most important for the role.

Warning: Contains spoilers for One-punch man chapter 166

The protagonist of One-punch man, Saitama, just admitted he’s not actually a hero. Despite being the strongest member of the Hero Association, Saitama has always maintained that he is just a “hobby hero“, although this has often been belied by the strong sense of justice he shows in the most critical moments. However, in the face of his greatest failure in the best chapter of One-punch manIn Saitama’s story, Saitama finally has to admit that he actually doesn’t have what it takes to be a hero.

Saitama stands out as a memorable character in the shonen manga landscape because he never seems or feels committed to what he does. Saitama has saved the Earth and its fellow heroes many times (although only a few are aware of it), and yet he often claims that he does this not to follow a heroic aspiration, but because he bored and has nothing better to do. Saitama’s aloofness and lack of interest in what’s going on around him is part of his charm, but the most recent developments in the series created by One and Yusuke Murata have changed things forever.

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Saitama’s newest adversary is Garou, a martial artist who hates heroes and wants to pursue his own vision of justice by becoming the world’s most feared villain. Garou is able to evolve and grow stronger multiple times before receiving a huge boost of power from God, a mysterious evil creature who manipulates people into granting them powers. Garou’s new form is strong enough to blast even Saitama, and when the bald hero returns to the battlefield in Chapter 166, he’s faced with a gruesome scene. Garou has just killed Genos, Saitama’s best friend and self-proclaimed disciple, only because he wants to draw Saitama’s true strength. Faced with this, Saitama has to admit that he lacks one of the most important qualities of being a hero, which he calls “the intuition of a hero.“He goes back to a conversation with Genos where Saitama admits, “I’m often too late…



Saitama usually appears when everyone else has been defeated or is about to be killed because that’s how it is One-punch man works. Saitama is too strong, so to give readers exciting battles with uncertain outcomes, it’s the other heroes who take center stage most of the time. It’s only when the odds seem insurmountable that Saitama shows up and usually ends things with a punch. This is the formula that made this manga work, however, this chapter shows its dark side. Because Saitama always arrives late, the other heroes have to suffer and risk their lives. What happens if, for once, he arrives too late to save everyone?


Timing is an essential quality for heroes. Saitama’s recollection of that brief conversation with Genos perfectly encapsulates how essentially flawed his approach to the hero is. Because of his careless attitude, his loved ones suffer and Genos pays a heavy price. It’s also very interesting that in their fight in the One-punch man webcomic, Saitama psychologically crushes Garou when he loudly declares that he is a “hobby hero,” and yet his motivation is always stronger than that which animates the Hero Hunter. In the manga, it is rather this attitude of the protagonist who is brutally punished by Garou. It is a cathartic moment for Saitamawho is ultimately forced to get serious, changing the future of One-punch man still.


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