Stories about superheroes who are too powerful are boring. The anime series One-Punch Man, based on a hugely popular manga, understands that and makes it central to its own premise: Saitama possesses such immense strength that he’s become utterly bored by the lack of a challenge and struggles to find meaning in his life.
As a twist on usual superhero stories, it’s downright brilliant. And now we know almost precisely how strong One-Punch Man‘s Saitama is, and the truth is breathtaking. While we wait for One-Punch Man season 3, the One-Punch Man manga has provided a means of measuring our hero’s immeasurable strength with its Monster Association arc, in chapter #157.
During a climatic clash with the Monster Association Executives, the monster Evil Natural Water (the result of the evil Psykos’s twisted experiments) absorbs an astonishing amount of ocean water and swells to an almost incomprehensible size, threatening a nearby aircraft carrier in the process. As a solution, the strongest One-Punch Man character himself contemplates simply picking up the ship and moving it to safety, but the only thing stopping him is that he can’t find secure footing in all the water.
Eventually, Saitama finds another way out (riding the aircraft carrier to safety like a surfboard) but by even considering the first option, we can now definitively say that Saitama has the strength to lift an aircraft carrier, at least. Why is that important? Primarily because an aircraft carrier is shockingly heavy, providing a genuinely useful barometer for Saitama’s power.
So here’s what you need to know: a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier (currently in service in the US Navy) weighs over 100,000 tons. So, Saitama can lift at least 100,000 tons. We can give that number even more context, but you’ll need to prepare for a lesson in physics and math.
Using the formula ‘Force (F) = Mass in kilograms (M) x Gravity (G)’ (so here we’re working with 90718474 x 9.8) we can work out that the force required by Saitama to lift the aircraft carrier would have been approximately 889 million joules. We did some more math (and got a headache) and figured out that this is the equivalent of a magnitude 5 earthquake on the Richter scale, or several nuclear bombs.
Let’s think about that for a second in the context of One-Punch Man: Saitama would have required the strength of a magnitude 5 earthquake to lift the aircraft carrier, and the only thing stopping him was that he couldn’t establish his footing. That’s mind-blowing and truly gives a hint at Saitama’s astonishing power. What’s more, there’s no indication that Saitama wouldn’t have been able to lift something even heavier, so in theory this is the base level of his strength.
We can’t wait for the One-Punch Man anime to catch up with the manga so we can watch this epic scene in animation. It’s moments like this that make it one of the best anime series around, as Saitama’s immense power is contrasted with his otherwise mundane issues, like his bald head, or struggles with money.
And, it could even be adapted in season 3, which looks set to cover Saitama’s battle with the deadly Garou from chapter #86 onward as two of the best anime characters collide. Hopefully, it gets back to the same level of quality as season 1.
For more anime fun, see our picks for the best anime movies, and find out if Saitama has ever lost a battle. Or, check out the best horror anime you can watch on Crunchyroll right now.