We have all grown up watching various types of movies and series casting heroes from various backgrounds, ethnicities, and even sexualities. One of the most common traits that one sees is the visual appeal these characters hold. Most of these characters are made to look a certain way for the audience to idealize them and incorporate their appearance into their own style. That's where the character Saitama comes into being. Saitama is the protagonist of the anime series “One Punch Man” authored by the artist ONE.

He might be considered as one of the heroes with a bald head (yes, I remember Deadpool). This can be considered revolutionary because, in the anime space, visual characterization holds a huge value. Despite the bold move to make the protagonist bald the character development is still overall fulfilled with other traits of heroism, humility, and humor. For those who haven't seen ‘One Punch Man’ here’s a synopsis on the same. The plot revolves around a world where there are both monsters and heroes, in order to protect the civilization an organization is created called the Hero Association. Saitama on the recommendation of Genos, the second lead protagonist and his disciple, joins the association together. But they end up being on different ranks B & S respectively (S being ranked the highest). Saitama on the journey from a powerless human to achieving the super-strength he holds, which is to finish his opponent in one punch loses interest in life and continues to live in boredom. The only thing that makes him move forward is the challenge of defeating monsters and someone who can come up to his level to give in a proper fight.


What makes Saitama different from other heroes is his carefree attitude about fame and power. Even though he is the most powerful human being who has crossed all limits of strength, he is the most down-to-earth hero amongst all the other ones who just care about ranks and fame in the society they thrive in. Another aspect that comes to the light is the class divide even amongst heroes and how they get treated because of the same and the way they look down on each other. The sex ratio in most of these series is quite disturbing as well, the way women are portrayed is either feeble and fragile or on the other hand short-tempered and hot-headed. They are most of the time left out during major crises because they are shown as troublemakers or an added burden. In this series, there’s only a handful of female heroes and they have been showcased as arrogant and power-hungry depicted in the patriarchal archetype the genre displays.

As mentioned earlier, Saitama holds immense power enough to finish off his nemesis in just one punch. The troubling part is that due to his appearance the strength is overlooked and mocked at first glance by almost all the monsters and fellow heroes in the association too. This brings us to the fact that looks can be deceptive and the proverb Don't judge a book by its cover applies here. And due to this reason, he often gets labeled as a fraud. His magnanimity of heart is to be seen in this one event where he defeats a monster in just one punch whereas other heroes before him gave up their lives to even get close to it. To mask the shame of other heroes' defeat he claimed the kill to be easy because of the previous efforts taken by the heroes to weaken the monsters. Thus once again to be looked on as a con in the eyes of the public and being humiliated.

"If I Had Taken A Wrong Step, Would I Have Ended Up Like That, Too?"

This statement was made by Saitama when he saw one of the villains before his hero journey being shown in the news for looting and creating havoc. He shows empathy towards this villain because he once was in the same place as the latter, unemployed and directionless. He retrospects that a person is just a step away from turning themselves into an evil entity. This reflection shows how the protagonist is self-aware and never ceases to take his powers to his head.

Saitama in the entire series remains unfazed during battles with dangerous levels of threats that most of the higher rank heroes shirked away from. This is not because Saitama was overconfident of his strength but that he truly is a person who doesn’t let himself be consumed by worrying himself so long as the worry isn’t a pressing matter. The character development of the protagonist is relatable to the audience. Despite his title of a superhero and possession of immeasurable strength he is shown to care about household chores, buying groceries, and worrying about paying the bills. It shows no matter what profession one takes up, they are grounded by the harsh reality that chores don’t get done automatically. This anime series is a must-watch to feel light-hearted and can easily bring out anyone from their sulky mood.

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