Who are the strongest One-Punch Man characters? How do you define strength? Is it one’s ability to obliterate any foe with a single blow, or is it one’s ability to persevere regardless of what people think of you?
This is one of the central themes of the anime series One-Punch Man. Now, if you’ve never watched the animated series before, then we should probably explain the concept. You see, One-Punch Man isn’t your typical shounen series about a hero working to become the best or strongest around.
Instead, it is a comedy series about Saitama, the world’s strongest man, who can defeat any foe in a single blow. With no one able to match his strength Saitama’s become jaded and bored, but he perseveres fighting monsters as and when they appear. As he does so, Saitama attracts a group of followers inspired by his strength. But which of the various heroes and anime villains Saitama has met are the most powerful? Who are the strongest One-Punch Man characters?
One-Punch Man characters ranked by strength:
- Mumen Rider
- Elder Centipede
OK, we know that Mumen rider’s a physically weak character (although we’re willing to bet he’s considerably fitter than The Digital Fix team), but strength isn’t just measured by how hard you punch. Strength’s also about your ability to endure, your tenaciousness, your spirit – for lack of a better word – and few characters have as much spirit as Mumen Rider.
How else would you describe someone who, despite the fact they lack any superpowers, would willingly throw themselves against monsters that even S-ranked heroes would struggle to overcome? Mumen Rider is basically what every hero should aspire to be, someone who’s a hero not just for fun but because they’re compelled to help those in need.
Genos desperately wants to become stronger so he can finally get revenge on the cyborg that destroyed his village, yet despite his incredible powers, he still falls short of his goals.
Well, it doesn’t help that he’s reliant on tech upgrades to get stronger, but it’s also partly because Genos is what’s called in the wrestling world a ‘jobber’. It’s a jobber’s job to get beaten up to make the real hero, in this case, the other S-ranked heroes, look good — sorry, Genos, but at least you’ve got Vegeta for company.
An exceptionally skilled martial artist Garou wants to become the most powerful monster in existence so humanity will unite against him. Garou’s a long way from his goal at the moment, but few One-Punch Man characters have Garou’s monstrous potential.
Seriously it seems like every time you think he’s been defeated, Garou comes back stronger and stronger. Could he be a threat to Sitama one day? Absolutely not. Still being the second strongest being on Earth is still pretty impressive.
Gouketsu may have only made a brief appearance, but he left quite an impression. An embittered martial artist turned Dragon-level monster, he’s no slouch when it comes to fighting — defeating the S-ranked Genos, two A-ranked heroes and Suiryu.
As an executive member of the Monster Association, he was considered so powerful that Genos thought even Saitama would struggle against him. That turned out to be wrong, but it sounded ominous at the time.
Bang, also known as Silver Fang, is a top-ranked S-tier hero who’s basically a god of martial arts in the One-Punch Man world. This isn’t some honourary title, though. Bang backs up his reputation with skills that’d put even Goku to shame.
With his Water Stream Rock Smashing Fist technique, he’s capable of tearing through dragon-level opponents with relative ease, despite his advancing years and is more than capable of battling toe-to-toe with some of the strongest monsters around.
There are a lot of centipedes in One-Punch Man, but Elder Centipede is the strongest one we’ve met in the anime. He was supposedly so strong that he even survived an encounter with the Blast, the top-ranked S-tier hero.
In the anime, we saw Elder Centipede was also able to face off against an attack from Genos, Bang, and Bomb. According to the Monster Associations Gyoro Gyoro, only Tatsumaki, Metal Knight, and Blast could defeat him, but then he had the bad luck of running into Saitama.
As the leader of the Monster Association, we’re guessing that Orochi is the most powerful, mysterious being currently alive. That said, we’ve not really seen that much from him yet, so putting him any higher on the list seems a little unearned. Still, maybe he’ll move up when we know what Orochi’s capable of in season 3.
There’s a lot to like about Boros. We’ll start with the obvious, he’s incredibly powerful, containing apparently “limitless” energy in his body. That’s obviously proven wrong (or Saiatam just has infinity +1 energy in his body) when he fights Caped Baldy. Still, he was considered a grave enough threat that the hero association assembled all the S-Rank heroes it could to deal with him.
He even managed to survive one of Saitama’s punches, the first being in the series to do so. Even now, there are fans who think Boros is the strongest enemy Saitama has ever fought in the anime, and the upper limit of his strength was never really explained. Also, he gets points for being so obviously inspired by all of our favourite Dragon Ball Z characters.
Most of the monsters and heroes on this list fight with their fists but not Tatsumaki. She is an esper and fights with her brain. What does that mean? Well, Tatsumaki is a powerful psychic. In fact, she’s the most powerful psychic on Earth and is believed to be the second most powerful hero after Blast.
In the anime, we’ve seen her stop Boros’s ship from bombing the Earth, and she dealt with Godzilla-like Ancient King like he was nothing. Basically, with Bang currently missing, Tatsumaki is the Heroes Association’s greatest weapon against the monsters threatening humanity.
Who else did you expect to be top of the list? Saitama is the One-Punch Man.
If you love all things anime, check out our list of the best anime movies, we’ve also got a guide to the best anime characters, and if that’s not enough, we’ve written down everything we know about the One-Punch Man season 3 release date.