Top 10 strongest characters from ‘One Punch Man’

One Punch Man manga
Image via Viz Media

Season one of the One Punch Man anime first aired back in 2015, with fans enjoying the superhero genre with a twist. Saitama, our protagonist, is so over-powered that he can destroy all in front of him with one punch, as the series title implies. The anime is set in a world where there are threats on a daily basis from natural disasters or monsters which are then handled by heroes.

The show is considered a satire of the traditional hero trope, often overdoing the cliches in regards to all the surrounding characters, such as the handsome hero with a dark past fighting for vengeance in the form of Saitama’s disciple, Genos. Saitama has no such backstory or quest for power. As he clearly states throughout the show, he is a hero for fun. Comically, despite Saitama repeatedly taking down monstrous villains, no one really knows who he is, as his deeds are always attributed to other heroes. This theme has been one of the main draws of the show and a refreshing take on the genre for anime fans.

What makes this list difficult is that we have no idea how powerful some of the villains, such as Vaccine Man and Bicep King, could have been, as Saitama takes them out so quickly and we cannot assess their strength and how difficult they may have been if another hero had taken them on. Also, viewers are introduced to many characters and are told of their strength but we don’t actually see a lot of them in battle. Though the show has its own scripted rankings, this list will be based on what is displayed in the show.

The list will look at the 10 strongest characters from the anime One Punch Man. This list will be looking at only the anime and only characters we have seen on our screens, so the likes of Blast or villains such as Black Sperm will not be joining us here today. Let’s take a look at the top 10 strongest characters in the One Punch Man anime.

10. Garou

Garou, One Punch Man

Garou was once the disciple of Bang, learning the ‘Water Stream Rock Smashing Fist.’ He was a natural, easily progressing to become the dojo’s top student. Upon doing so, he felt there was nothing else to learn, and Garou turned on his fellow students, beating them up so badly that they fled the dojo. After growing up sympathizing with the monsters in TV shows and being the object of bullying because of this, Garou despises heroes. As a result, he projects onto them his feelings towards those that bullied him. He intends to get stronger by taking out heroes, calling himself the ‘Hero Hunter,’ and we see just that. He takes down multiple A-Class heroes as well as some S-Class heroes, such as Tank-Top Master. He is defeated by Watchdog, emerging injured and bleeding, but even then he can still take on multiple A-Class heroes at once and continues to find the strength to fight Genos, Bomb, and his former teacher, Bang. His endurance is astounding as he fights severely injured and poisoned, only getting more fired up as he goes. These multiple fights in a row pushes him to the edge of his limits and he is only saved by the monster association that have plans for him, marking the end of season two.

9. Watchdog Man

Just because he looks funny and fluffy, do not underestimate this Pro-hero. Watchdog man watches over City Q sitting on his pedestal, much like the Hachiko statue found in Shibuya, Japan. He has enhanced senses and can hear and smell threats to the city from this point and attacks much like a dog, launching himself around on all fours. He primarily cares about protecting his own territory, staying within City Q, but will hunt down and kill any monsters within those limits, piling up their bodies and sitting atop them. One of the key indications of his strength in the anime is that the Hero Hunter Garou aims to defeat him but finds that he cannot land a blow on him and Watchdog Man simply “shakes” his attacks away. He doesn’t aim to kill humans such as Garou but instead ensures he pushes the antagonist off of his territory. This shows his enormous physical strength as he manages to seriously injure Garou whilst still holding back.

8. Dr Bofoi aka Metal Knight

Dr. Bofoi is the brains and architect behind much of the Hero Association, he is responsible for the association’s weapons and the design of their headquarters, including the re-design after the alien invasion in season one. His strength lies less in his physical abilities and more in his intelligence. He is a weapons master and has a huge armament, the exact extent of which is unknown, even to the association. We often see Metal Knight turning up to battles primarily to field test his new weapons or even to extract materials he believes will be useful. Seen as Dr. Bofoi himself is not at the battles and is piloting the robots remotely, he is never in any real danger himself, making him seem less heroic than others in the S-Class. He appears more concerned with military might than saving lives. For example, he is more than ready to leave City Z to their fate at the hands of the meteor after his weapons fail to break it down. Genos is told by fellow cyborg Drive Knight that Metal Knight is his enemy and that Genos should be wary of him, so we are yet to discover if Metal Knight is a hero or a villain.

7. Kamikaze aka Atomic Samurai

Kamikaze is ranked 4th among the S-Class heroes and tough he is not the only bade-wielding professional hero, or even the only S-Class blade wielder, he is the strongest. He also sits on the Council of Swordmasters. He has incredible speed and reflexes and claims he can deliver 100 strikes in one second, in a move known as “Atomic Slash” which is seen in his fight against the alien Melzargard. He has incredible strength, described as being “nuclear powered,” and uses that ability to cut through almost anything in his path, even the force of the wind created by the slash of his blade is destructive and fatal to most. So deadly is his skill in cutting down opponents that in season two, when one of the Council of Swordmasters has turned into a monster and threatens the others, he cuts him into pieces using only a toothpick. Like Bang, he also has disciples and is a dedicated teacher.

6. Bomb

If we recognize Bang’s strength (see number 5), then we must include his older brother Bomb. Bomb is also a master of martial arts and it has been said that in his prime he was stronger than Bang, and could still be the more powerful of the two. He acknowledges that he is older now and doesn’t have the same experience fighting monsters as his professional hero kid brother. Bomb joins his brother in season two as they hunt the latter’s former disciple Garou. Like Bang, Bomb also has his own dojo, where he teaches his martial arts technique, ‘Whirlwind Iron Cutting Fist.’ Worried that if Garou went after Bang’s former disciples, he could come for his too, Bomb teams up with Bang to help find and defeat Garou. We can see that Bomb is more than capable of taking out monsters and even takes on Dragon-level threat Elder Centipede as well. In this battle, the brothers combine to perform a move that they state they can only resort to once, but it is enough to cause serious damage to the giant monster. Unfortunately for them, Elder Centipede’s regenerative abilities renders their attempt futile.

5. Bang aka Silver Fang

Bang, One Punch Man

Bang is ranked 3rd within the S-Class heroes. He is the eldest of the heroes and is an expert martial artist, revered as an almost god-like figure in the martial art world. He developed the ultimate defense/offense technique ‘Water Stream Rock Smashing Fist.’ Unlike most heroes, Bang uses nothing but his own martial arts skills in his battles, making him one of the deadliest heroes using just his fists. He is probably one of the only members of the Hero Association to understand just how powerful Saitama is, and even invites him to his dojo to teach him and Genos his technique, which they both turn down. Bang runs a dojo with only one disciple, Charanko, after his protege, Garou, turned on everyone forcing them to flee. We see his incredible strength in the alien invasion arc against Melzargard, Elder Centipede, and also when he takes on his former student turned villain, Garou. The other heroes admire Bang for his noble and wise nature.

4. Elder Centipede

Elder Centipede, One Punch Man

Elder Centipede is a Dragon-level Mysterious Being and is seen fighting numerous heroes in season two. His design is based on the Japanese mukade centipede, which is large in size, poisonous, and very tough to kill. Elder Centipede is extremely strong and is said to have engaged in a battle with the Hero Association’s strongest hero, Blast. Though defeated, he survived. It is also stated that the only heroes that might be able to take him down are Blast, Tornado of Terror, Metal Knight, and King (though obviously, this means Saitama). We do see Metal Knight’s drone bot engage with him, but Elder Centipede retreats underground and Metal Knight latches on to gain intel. We later see Metal Knight in chains, though we aren’t clear who defeated the robot exactly. Elder centipede is able to take on three powerful characters at once in his battle with S-Class heroes Bang, Genos, and Bomb. Bang believes that taking down the monster will cost him his life, luckily he is saved from doing so when Saitama shows up and… destroys the monster in one punch.

3. Tatsumaki aka Tornado of Terror

Tornado of Terror, One Punch Man

Tatsumaki ranks as S-Class Rank Two, falling just short of Blast (but we aren’t including him in here as we have yet to see him or his abilities in the anime). Tastumaki is an esper, which gives her psychic abilities to control and manipulate objects as well as the ability to fly. The very first time we see her use her powers is against the Ancient King, a ginormous dinosaur monster who claims the only thing that could defeat him is a meteor. Tastumaki immediately complies and brings down a meteor from space with her psychokinesis reducing the giant to bones and smoldering ash in an instant. In the alien arc, we see her respond quickly, saving the lives of many S-Class heroes as she stops and redirects missiles back at the spaceship with a simple flick of her wrist. She is considered one of the Hero Association’s greatest weapons, and though she is tiny, she certainly is terrifying, as she could take out most of the other S-Class heroes if she wanted to.

2. Boros

Boros, One Punch Man

Boros is the leader of the Dark Matter Thieves, a band of aliens that roams the universe, and calls himself “Dominator of the Universe.” He is the main antagonist of the alien arc within season one and has been traveling the universe to look for someone who could give him a worthy battle. Upon arriving, his ship immediately destroys City A, leveling it in one go. Boros himself is exceptionally powerful, and boasts of his regenerative abilities (which allows him to re-grow entire limbs instantly), physical prowess, and ability to fire energy blasts. He is even able to withstand one of Saitama’s normal punches, which would have annihilated anyone else, but in this case it only breaks Boros’ armour, which was actually holding in Boros’ true strength. Even Saitama admits he is the strongest opponent he has ever come across. In the end Boros falls to Saitama’s serious punches, with our hero not even breaking a sweat.

1. Saitama aka One Punch Man

Saitama, One Punch Man

Of course, at the top of our list is our eponymous hero for fun, Saitama. Nobody, not even One Punch Man himself, knows where he got his powers from. One day he was a dead-eyed man out job hunting and after three years of “intense” training (100 push ups a day, 100 squats a day, 100 sit-ups a day and a 10km run a day) he has become so strong he defeat anything with a punch. We can’t even tell the extent of Saitama’s powers, because he has yet to go up against anyone or anything that he has had to seriously fight against, leaving our hero with an existential crisis as he is bored by all his battles, saying, “I am so powerful. No one can beat me.” He is ridiculously durable and has yet to be injured by anything; even when he lets his guard down, most likely because he got distracted, and does get beaten he doesn’t seem to feel a thing and comes away unscathed. Saitama is a law unto himself and is one of the most powerful characters to exist within the entire anime genre.

About the author

Laura Pollacco

Laura Pollacco

Laura Pollacco is Freelance Writer at We Got This Covered and has been deep diving into entertainment news for almost a full year. After graduating with a degree in Fashion Photography from Falmouth University, Laura moved to Japan, then back to England, and now back to Japan. She doesn't watch as much anime as she would like but keeps up to date with all things Marvel and 'Lord of the Rings'. She also writes about Japanese culture for various Tokyo-based publications.