Saitama Finally Gets Serious, Changing The Series Forever

A tragic event forced Saitama to not only get serious, but also get really, really angry, changing One-Punch Man’s outlook forever.

Warning: Contains spoilers for One-punch man Chapter #166

There is one thing that fans One-punch man expected more than anything else, Saitama get serious, and it finally happened. The whole concept behind the manga’s bald protagonist is that he’s so strong that he’s completely detached from everything that’s going on around him, and he never gets serious because he never needs to use all his Powerful. However, a tragic event in his last battle forces Saitama not only to get serious, but also to get angry, changing his outlook. One-punch man still.

The reason why One-punch man stands out so much in the shonen manga landscape is that it subverts genre tropes. The protagonist does not need to train, struggle and survive hard battles to become stronger, he is already the strongest there is. However, Saitama’s unparalleled strength comes at a cost: he is incredibly bored. He’s lost interest in what’s going on around him, other than trivial things like playing video games or reading manga. The only thing that drives him is the desire to find a real challenge, but he always ends up disappointed when even the strongest opponents are defeated with a single punch. However, One-punch man just changed that formula, forcing Saitama to get serious for the saddest reason possible.


Related: One-Punch Man’s New Name For Saitama Hints On The Origin Of His Strength

Chapter #166 of the digital manga, drawn by Yusuke Murata with a story of One, deviated from the plot of the original One-punch man webcomic. The former Hero Hunter, Garou, reached the peak of his evolution after accepting the power offered to him by God, a mysterious villain who manipulates events and people behind the scenes. Garou’s overwhelming strength even managed to blast Saitama temporarily, and the only S-class hero who can stand up to him is Blast. However, Genos, Saitama’s self-proclaimed disciple, interferes in the fight and is ruthlessly killed by Garou, who wants to provoke Saitama into showing his true power. Saitama returns just in time to witness this brutal scene, which cracks him up for the very first time in the series.

This is the first time Saitama has shown strong emotions in a serious situation. It’s significant that his usual obliviousness and imperturbability isn’t actually shattered by the strength of his opponent, as he’s long wanted, but by the tragic death of his best friend. Genos, in fact, was the only one who could pierce his master’s shell. Over the course of the manga, Saitama’s few glimpses of emotions were towards Genos, so it makes sense that his death is what forces him to finally get serious. It’s a complete reversal of Saitama’s usual outlook and behavior, and it will likely have ramifications for the future of the entire series.

It’s highly unlikely that Saitama will hold back against Garou again after what he just did. This means that fans will finally be able to see what they’ve been craving since the beginning of the manga: Saitama fighting at full power. There’s just no way to imagine or predict what that actually means: Saitama could destroy the planet with one punch, or maybe Garou has actually passed him and he’ll know his first loss, forcing him to evolve for the first time. One thing is certain: Saitama finally gets serious, and that changes One-punch man still.

Next: One-Punch Man’s Garou Retcon Has A Brilliant In-Universe Explanation

You can read The man with one fist new chapter now from Viz Media.

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