What if you could vanquish your enemies with just one punch? One hilariously-timed punch that could demolish any obstacle in your path? Enter One-Punch Man. Putting an incredibly satirical spin on the superhero genre, the Japanese anime follows its titular hero, Saitama, on his path to greatness. Along the way he meets countless other heroes, villains, and monsters, but the show is called One-Punch Man for a reason. One-punching is kind of Saitama’s thing, so despite all the fanfare and monologuing, no one stands a chance against the bald-headed hero.
Cue the guitar riffs and wild characters. Once you’re hooked on One-Punch Man, you’ll be transported through an animated fever dream worth every minute of its two-season arch. After a while, you might ask: who’s the strongest character in this universe, anyway?
The obvious answer would be the One-Punch Man himself, but that’s a total cop-out. It would be equally as easy to go off of the hero rankings within the show, because that’s another clear metric of established power. To understand how everyone’s power level stacks up, we must go beyond only those with the title “hero.” Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are some of the strongest characters in the One-Punch universe: heroes, villains, and all.
Starting with Saitama’s steadfast disciple, Genos is his stoic cybernetic sidekick. Half man, half-machine, Genos doesn’t have to worry too much about things like pain or fatigue, and these attributes come in handy when facing down some of the show’s tougher foes.
Not to mention the fact that due to his robotic nature, he’s always getting upgrades. This makes the Demon Cyborg more formidable with each rendition, and crazy fun to watch. By using his wits he almost always seems to push himself to the absolute limit, all the while seeking the approval of a hero (in Saitama) that many don’t think is as powerful. Either way, the pair’s relationship serves its symbiotic purpose. Genos gains his humanity and Saitama learns a little something about discipline.
Deep Sea King
The first monster on this list, the Deep Sea King is a powerhouse. Basically leveling an entire city, the aquatic ruler has no shortage of serious strength. His innate ability to sense and predict incoming attacks, as well as being strengthened by rain, makes him a truly terrifying enemy.
Over his two-episode arch, he is able to defeat a slew of heroes that come to challenge him. Some considered incredibly powerful, even Genos the Demon Cyborg is cut down by the behemoth. Plus he wears a little crown and has hearts for nipples. Terrifying.
Tornado of Terror
This telecentric wunderkind is the second strongest hero in the show, according to The Hero Associations ranking system. Tornado of Terror, or Tatsumaki, is also one of the only official female heroes present during the story and surpasses the boys in nearly every category.
She is sharp, unrelenting, and has some seriously cool powers. She manipulates all forms of matter to bring down her enemies while producing an awesome green aura around herself. Fiery and commanding, Tatsumaki deserves her ranking amongst the big boys.
Quite possibly the only monster in the show that comes close to Saitama’s power level, Boros actually follows a similar path to One-Punch Man. The alien conqueror scours the universe for an adversary worth his immeasurable power. The alien’s main abilities are strength-based, and he wields them well. Essentially he gets bored and wants a challenge.
Boros even wears special armor to seal in some of that boundless strength, eventually breaking it in his final showdown with Saitama and giving us this incredible moment.
He was still no match for the show’s hero, although it’s worth mentioning that in Boros’ case, it took a little more than one punch, which is unusual for Captain Baldy. So Saitama busts out a new move: Consecutive Normal Punches. It does the trick.
The oldest character on the list, Bang, better known by his hero alias Silver Fang, is a martial arts master. The greatest in the world, he possesses a healing factor and heightened reflexes.
As an elder statesman of One-Punch Man, Silver Fang provides guidance and aid to all the heroes and is one of the only ones who understands Saitama’s true power. He also created the martial arts technique Water Stream Rock Smashing Fist, which just sounds badass.
Interestingly, the next character on this list is a fallen apprentice to Silver Fang. (There’s always one, isn’t there?)
A monster-human hybrid, Garou is a powerful hero turned villain. His monster forms are what gives him true power, and on top of raw strength, Garou is able to predict his opponents’ movements. In a way, the more Garou battles, the stronger he becomes due to his accelerated growth. The Human Monster goes out looking for trouble and almost always finds it.
An old disciple of Silver Fang, the character was banished from his dojo for going on a rampage and has held a grudge ever since. During his time in exile, he and Saitama cross paths several times, producing some hilarious interactions. Only time will tell where the show takes this villain.
His name is Atomic Samurai. Even if he weren’t incredibly powerful, he’d be on the list entirely based on how killer the name is. The sword master is no slouch, though, and is one of the strongest heroes of the series. Swinging his sword at supersonic speed, even some of the faster characters can’t keep up with his movements.
Only appearing in a few episodes, the hero still leaves his unique mark and deserves his given title: the greatest swordsman in the world. Anything is a deadly weapon in the hands of Atomic Samurai, even a toothpick.
The last antagonist on this list, Speed-O’-Sound Sonic is fast. Wildly fast. His ninja quickness is able to break⏤you guessed it⏤the speed of sound. This ability allows for him to be nearly undetectable to the naked eye, barring a few characters that can keep up.
His ambiguous nature keeps him out of true villain territory, at least this far in the series, and he acts more as just a thorn in the side of our main hero. Speed-O’-Sound constantly berates Saitama, but to no avail. Maybe someday he’ll be able to provide a challenge, but for right now the ninja assassin is stuck playing the fool.
There you have it, a comprehensive list of some of One-Punch Man’s strongest characters. But that’s not all. It wouldn’t be right to leave out these honorable mentions:
We love Watchdog Man. He’s the guardian of Q-City, the hero we don’t deserve. Watchdog Man sits atop his post, a lonely vigil, prepared for all forms of evil. Perhaps the weirdest character on the show⏤which is saying a lot⏤Watchdog Man is endlessly powerful and incredibly fast. Using his four-legged fighting style, Watchdog Man even surprised Garou with his prowess. Next time you look at your dog, think of our beloved Watchdog Man.
He doesn’t have speed, he doesn’t have strength, and he doesn’t have cyborg implants. He has a bike⏤that’s it. The only powerless character on this list, what Mumen Rider lacks in hero DNA he makes up for in charisma and courage. Mumen Rider is a hero because of his passion for hero work and desire to help the disadvantaged. A true class act, Mumen Rider is an agent of justice, and no matter how many times he gets knocked down, he gets back up again. To that, we say “JUSTICE CRASH!”
And last but not least, it wouldn’t be a One-Punch list if we didn’t include THE One-Punch Man.
Here he is in all his glory: One-Punch Man. There’s not much to say about this hero that hasn’t already been said. So far, he’s the most powerful being on earth, it’s just that nobody really knows it. He’s always in the right place at the right time, but despite his best efforts never has much of an audience for his heroics. Saitama’s driving desire isn’t vanity, though, and regardless of a crowd he always does the right things and saves the day. A breath of fresh air to the hero genre, his dry humor and casual attitude lands him a top spot amongst contemporary superheroes.
If you’d like to train like One-Punch Man, here’s his “intense training regime.”
There you have it⏤the strongest characters in the One-Punch Man universe. Granted, there are plenty more, so do yourself a favor and check out the whole show on Hulu. With Season 3 around the corner, you won’t want to be behind once Saitama is back in action.