One-Punch Man returns from hiatus with stellar new episode

Photo: One-Punch Man. Courtesy VIZ Media
Photo: One-Punch Man. Courtesy VIZ Media /
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One-Punch Man is known for being outrageous and funny at times but the latest episode touched on some philosophical dilemmas that superhero shows tend to gloss over. Read on for a breakdown of Season 2, Episode 9 “Troubles of the Strongest”.

The One-Punch Man anime isn’t the most nuanced, nor does it delve into the deepest of dramas, but Saitama’s purpose on the show may hold greater significance than anyone could’ve ever predicted.

In “Troubles of the Strongest”, Saitama aka the One-Punch Man, finds that neither monster or human stand to be challenges for him. He experienced a small level of difficulty whilst fighting Lord Boros in Season One but has yet to meet anyone that’s his equal.

Because of that factor, Saitama is struggling with the reality of becoming the world’s strongest hero. Saying so should be an achievement but Saitama points out the folly in being stronger than everyone else. Technically it’s King who makes the brilliant epiphany but Saitama contributes to the conversation too.

What Saitama and King come to realize is that no hero begins their journey without a destination in mind. Regardless of how Saitama feels about his physical strength, he’s not yet learned the meaning of being a hero. As long as he remains in the mindset of assuming he’s the “strongest”, he’ll never truly become one — unless he attempts to improve himself.

Photo: One-Punch Man. Courtesy VIZ Media
Photo: One-Punch Man. Courtesy VIZ Media /

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For Saitama, the type of evolution he requires isn’t necessarily one of physicality but rather one of philosophy. He believes that by becoming physically strong, his journey as a hero has come to an end. Such a thought has made Saitama apathetic towards the whole situation but that’s where King has to correct him.

King calls his friend out for the thoughtless philosophy, emphasizing that he’s missed the entire point of what it means to be a hero. Physical strength is one factor to consider but it has very little to do with identifying one’s self as a hero — just ask Mumen Rider — a hero with very little physical strength to speak of. King reminds his friend of the truth — without knowledge of how Saitama once stood as a weakling against insurmountable odds. Saitama found that his courage granted him the strength needed to conquer the deadliest of foes, which ultimately fueled his drive to become a hero.

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By the time they finish their conversation, Saitama once again understands why he chose a warrior’s way of life. He forgot exactly what persuaded him to become a defender of the weak and purveyor of justice but King reminds him of those lofty ideals. In doing so, Saitama’s reason for existing is renewed and he can continue his journey towards actually becoming the world’s strongest hero.

What did you think of the latest episode of One-Punch Man? Let us know in the comments section below.

One-Punch Man Season 2 airs Tuesdays on Hulu. For more on OPM, follow us on the Hulu Watcher Twitter Account @HuluWatcherFS or on the Hulu Watcher Facebook Page.