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It’s been a while since I talked about “One Punch Man” at any serious length. Now, it’s not that I have not wanted to, but rather I just have not had much of a reason. But now that I have this mini-series, I figured now would be as good a time as ever to revisit both Saitama and what makes the show so great.
I think most had the impression that “One Punch Man” would be just a one trick pony comedy show without much to offer beyond just a few laughs in the first couple of episodes. Now, if “Kaguya-Sama” as taught me anything, it’s that an interesting enough story can carry one joke pretty far.
Indeed, “One Punch Man’s” story definitely qualifies as interesting enough. At the center of that story, though, is Saitama. Arguably one of the most populist heroes in media, Saitama gains his immense strength through nothing but his hard work and famous workout routine: 100 push-ups, 100 squats, 100 sit-ups, and a 10km run, Every. Single. Day.
How extreme this sounds probably depends on one’s current workout schedule, as, at least for me, I do not know if I could do this at my current level. However, someone who works out consistently 3-4 times a week probably would not have much of a problem with this.
Regardless, the point is that Saitama is a hero that most people can relate to, because everything else about him is average. He lives in a normal downtown apartment, has to go grocery shopping, and loves to get sales.
Saitama also famously does hero work for fun, rather than as a job, which is what most other heroes work for. His main mission is simply to find an opponent who doesn’t lose in one punch.
To be such an average guy in so many different ways while also being this unstoppable force creates and incredibly funny juxtaposition. This continuous juxtaposition in turn keeps the show funny even past it’s initial episodes.
Saitama may not be the best hero overall, but he is certainly the funniest. His struggle to find a worthy opponent is both encouraging because of his relatability, but demoralizing because he always wins so easily.
How do you all feel about Saitama? Let me know in the comments.
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