Saitama One Punch Man
Image via Crunchyroll

13 anime characters who can beat Saitama from ‘One Punch Man’

What would it take to beat the hero?

We’ve all seen different power sources in anime over the years. Whether they may be devil fruits, chakra, or quirks, they’re always present in Shonen anime – but One Punch Man may just be the odd one out.

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The perennial debate to determine the strongest anime character will never end, but one thing’s for certain: Saitama from One Punch Man is an undeniable frontrunner. And what, you may ask, is his power? Nothing more, nothing less than his mighty punch. His unwavering determination, coupled with his unparalleled physical prowess, has earned the Shounen protagonist the distinction of being one of – if not the – strongest characters in the entire anime realm.

Since Saitama’s introduction in 2009, everyone’s been trying to identify a worthy opponent in a one-on-one battle. You may think it’s an impossible task, but I’m here to show you that several characters could potentially outmaneuver the bald hero, even if it is through some dirty tricks.

Alluka (Hunter x Hunter)

Alluka and Nanika from Hunter x Hunter
via Crunchyroll

Let’s start with Alluka from Hunter x Hunter. Naturally, she possesses absolutely no Nen ability, and in a one-on-one encounter, Alluka would have no chance against Saitama (though I’d argue he’d hesitate when it comes to punching a cute and innocent 13-year-old). Still, she is arguably the strongest Zoldyck, all due to her Nanika power that grants someone else any wish, as long as that person fulfills her own desires three times in a row. On the other hand, if someone were to deny her, they would simply implode into bits.

If she were ever to become involved with Saitama, it could go both ways: Either he would deny her wishes four times and not live to tell the tale, or Killua – the only one who can effectively tame and control Nanika’s power – could simply wish for Saitama’s demise. However unlikely this scenario may be, I believe that under the right circumstances, Saitama could indeed be defeated by Alluka, Nanika, and consequently, Killua.

Zeno (Dragon Ball)

Zeno Dragon Ball
via Crunchyroll

Arguably, one of the few characters capable of defeating Saitama in a fight would be none other than Zeno from Dragon Ball. Throughout the course of Dragon Ball, we’ve witnessed Zeno obliterate several universes and planets in fits of anger. He’s quite literally the God of Gods in the Dragon Ball universe. Plus, given the anime’s unbelievably limitless power scale, Zeno isn’t even the sole character in the series who could potentially overpower Saitama in combat.

The debate regarding whether Goku would triumph over Saitama has also been a long-standing discussion. On the whole, he probably would. While we’ve seen Goku lose and even die in battles on several occasions, his character has consistently faced formidable foes who would undoubtedly prove stronger than Saitama as an adversary. For this reason, it’s safe to assume that Dragon Ball‘s immensely overpowering world would be evident in a confrontation with the bald hero.

Light (Death Note)

Light Yagami from 'Death Note'
Image via Madhouse Studio

Death Note is one of the anime that gets a free pass against Saitama, with a little trick up its sleeve. If Light were ever inclined to eliminate Saitama, they wouldn’t need to engage in a physical confrontation. Instead, all Light would have to do is write down Saitama’s name in the Death Note, ensuring his demise right from the outset. In essence, Light wouldn’t even have to risk a face-off with Saitama’s devastating punch, since a direct encounter wouldn’t be necessary.

Similarly, Ryuk, the God of Death, would also easily outmatch Saitama due to his Shinigami powers. Ryuk can manipulate death using the Death Note and steal lifespans, in addition to being immortal himself. Comparable to the situation with Alluka and Killua, this implies that Light could only beat Saitama through the utilization of the Death Note and Ryuk’s abilities.

Sugar (One Piece)

One Piece Sugar
via Crunchyroll

There are quite a few Devil Fruit wielders in One Piece who could undoubtedly match Saitama’s abilities (if we’re talking about a fight though, that notion can surely be argued), but Sugar is one of the characters who would likely secure an easy victory against Saitama. While a punch could undoubtedly end the confrontation, Sugar ate the Hobby Hobby fruit, which bestowed upon her the power to transform anyone into a living doll and erase their existence from everyone’s memories.

Ultimately, as long as she remains conscious, the power will continue without cessation. This implies that unless someone intervenes in her ‘fight’ with Saitama, the protagonist of One Punch Man would likely have to adapt to living as a powerless doll. He wouldn’t even be able to persuade Genos to defend him by attacking a child, since Genos wouldn’t recall his teacher’s existence. Quite the advantageous loophole.

Anos Voldigoad (The Misfit Of Demon King Academy)

The Misfit Of Demon King Academy
via Hulu

While Saitama’s determination may be strong against several types of espers and other supernatural creatures, I hardly believe that would be the case with Anos Voldigoad. The Demon King of Tyranny from The Misfit Of Demon King Academy is certainly a worthy opponent for Saitama, especially if you expect him to win. Not only is he immortal, reincarnating himself time and time again (only challenged by the destruction of the source), but a snap of his fingers is enough to completely obliterate a person, even Saitama.

In fact, one could argue that for Saitama to have a chance, he would need to get sufficiently close to land a punch on Anos. However, as we all know, that attempt would likely prove futile, merely delaying the inevitable. Considering how bizarre the world of One Punch Man truly is, Anos is one of the characters who could possibly exist in the series. He’d likely be the one antagonist capable of achieving his goals.

Giorno Giovanna (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures)

Giorno Giovanna Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
via Crunchyroll

Needless to say, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is full of weird powers and hacks. After all, ‘bizarre’ is in its name. So naturally, one can easily expect a few characters whose powers and abilities are strong enough to defeat even the strongest of fighters — Saitama included. In this case, Giorno Giovanna is one of the many characters who could emerge victorious.

Utilizing the power of Gold Experience Requiem, the protagonist from part five would undeniably be able to triumph over Saitama by reverting any and every one of Saitama’s actions, nullifying them. Therefore, if Saitama were to ever attempt to punch Giorno, his passive ability would activate and completely nullify the action. At worst, it would result in a never-ending battle, with neither one being able to defeat the other.

Gojo (Jujutsu Kaisen)

Satoru Gojo from 'Jujutsu Kaisen'
Image via MAPPA

Another character who could at least evade Saitama’s power is Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen. Before anyone comes for me, yes — Gojo would technically stand no chance against Saitama’s punch. However, considering the power core in Jujutsu Kaisen is based on cursed energy and cursed spirits, Gojo would undoubtedly have the upper hand in a non-physical fight with Saitama.

To begin with, the bald hero wouldn’t even come close to Gojo due to his unlimited void expansion technique. In the end, the one move that would potentially give Saitama an advantage would inevitably be rendered null. While Saitama would still be extremely quick on his feet, we’ve all seen how Gojo remains unaffected by his opponent’s speed. Although Saitama’s determination might prevent him from feeling overwhelmed inside the limitless void, he would likely lose some sense of reality, resulting in a loss against Gojo.

Rimuru Tempest (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime)

Rimuru Tempest in That Time I Got Reincaranted as a slime
via Crunchyroll

Rimuru Tempest also possesses a sort of cheat code when it comes to fighting, which could easily overthrow Saitama: the ability to stop time. Now, there are plenty of anime characters who can essentially halt time itself (and a few more who can still win regardless, such as Giorno Giovanna), and while there has been discussion about whether or not Saitama could evade time stopping, nothing has ever been confirmed.

Assuming he wouldn’t be able to escape having his surroundings — and consequently himself — frozen in time, Saitama wouldn’t ever be able to elude Rimuru’s grasp. In addition to this ability, the Demon Slime also possesses the capacity to regenerate after an attack, even against something as brutal as Saitama’s assault. So, for the sake of this article, let’s assume Saitama wouldn’t be able to move even with time stopped — although his gag-character privileges might persevere after they both exhaust each other.

Aizen (Bleach)

Aizen Bleach
via Hulu

Similar to Dragon Ball or Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Bleach is another anime rich with a multitude of extraordinary abilities that allow us to identify several characters who could potentially overcome Saitama, whether in battle or through other means. While a prevalent fan theory suggests that Baraggan Louisenbairn is the top contender for a character capable of defeating Saitama, I am actually here making the case for Aizen.

The former captain of the 5th division would undoubtedly have the upper hand in a battle against Saitama with his Complete Hypnosis ability. Though it’s uncertain whether hypnosis would affect Saitama, this particular power manipulates an opponent’s five senses, causing them to lose touch with reality and misinterpret their surroundings. While the person grapples with the overwhelming flood of sensory input, Aizen could deliver a fatal blow. Additionally, he possesses a form of semi-immortality, adding another layer to his power.

Saiki Kusuo (The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.)

via Crunchyroll

There has long been a prevailing belief within anime circles that Saiki K. would undoubtedly emerge victorious against Saitama, and for once, I find myself inclined to agree. Saiki possesses the ability to leap through time, allowing him to eliminate Saitama as a baby or even prevent his parents from conceiving him, making it a decidedly uneven fight.

Moreover, in a physical altercation, several of Saiki K.’s other abilities could certainly aid him and potentially overcome Saitama. Using teleportation or even turning Saitama into stone are also viable options. While both Saiki and Saitama were conceived as gag characters intended to be ridiculously powerful, it is fair to say that Saiki’s power is uniquely eccentric, tipping the balance in a way that could ultimately overpower Saitama.

Simon (Gurren Lagann)

Simon protecting another character from Gurren Lagann
via Crunchyroll

Some anime have downright ridiculous power cores, and Gurren Lagann is one of them. While it might be a story many of us haven’t watched, we’ve surely heard about it at some point. Possibly because they throw galaxies at each other — no, I’m not joking. Simon can actually throw galaxies at his opponents.

Naturally, as strong as Saitama may be, he’d have a hard time fighting someone who can summon a robot as big as the observable universe. You could argue that in the One Punch Man world, Saitama could punch his way through a fight, but in this particular instance, he wouldn’t have time to even react to Simon and how stupidly overpowered he is.

Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon)

Usagi Tsukino / Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon)
Screengrab via Toei Company

While Sailor Moon is unmistakably labeled as a Shoujo anime and story, there’s no denying that Usagi Tsukino could effortlessly take down most Shounen protagonists with a single shot, and I’ll firmly stand by that. In the ongoing debate of whether she could outmatch Goku, the consensus often leans in her favor, making it reasonable to assume a similar outcome against Saitama.

Talking raw strength, Saitama’s might is hard to dispute. However, Usagi brings a lot more to the table. Her powers stem from the silver crystal, a force potent enough to trump Saitama. What’s more, it grants her the automatic ability to defend against any attack and even death. With immeasurable and unlimited energy, the silver crystal places the entire universe under Usagi’s command. She’s practically indestructible and invincible, armed with limitless power – the winner is as clear as day.

Arale (Dr.Slump)

Arale from Dr.Slump smiling
via Prime Video

If we’re considering Dragon Ball characters, it’s only fair to add in Arale from Dr. Slump, also created by Akira Toriyama. Much like Saitama, she’s a gag character, and as we all know, Toriyama has a penchant for creating absurdly overpowered universes and characters. This means that while Saitama is undeniably powerful, he’s not invincible – and that’s where Arale steps in.

Picture this: Saitama throws a punch at her, maybe feels a pang of guilt about hitting a kid, only to see Arale pop her head back into place, and just like that, the fight continues until she wins. After all, we’ve seen Arale effortlessly take down Dragon Ball Super Vegeta and keep pace with Super Saiyan Blue Goku, using just 1 percent of her power to match his Kamehameha – in the end, Saitama would pose no threat to her whatsoever.

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Francisca Santos
Passionate about gossip, a dedicated music enthusiast, and an unapologetic weeb, Francisca is a freelance writer at WGTG. When she's not writing, she can be found taking her dog on walks, defending BTS' honor, and re-reading 'One Piece'.