One-Punch Man: Saitama Is Stronger Than Goku for Very Specific Reasons

The sheer untapped power of Saitama from One-Punch Man beats Dragon Ball’s Goku in terms of strength.

Goku fueled for battle on the left with Saitama holding up a fist on the right


There are two names repeatedly brought up when discussing the most powerful anime characters. First is Son Goku from the classic Shonen series Dragon Ball. Second is Saitama from the highly popular One-Punch Man. Both leads are known for their immense strength and for defeating some of the strongest villains in each of their universes. Even questioning the power differential between Saitama and Goku begins inevitable fan wars in comments and threads. Anime fans have always been known for their loyalty, so both sides have offered arguments in favor of their preferred choices.

However, it seems that Dragon Ball fans tend to ignore the fact that Saitama is overpowered beyond logic or common sense. More importantly, One-Punch Man could very well be a satire of the Shonen genre, making this entire debate pointless. Given the lack of clarity in this situation and the sheer dedication of the fandom, Saitama can be treated as an official Shonen hero. He’s not merely powerful — his actions have proven that he’s on another level compared to countless anime heroes. That said, it’s not an easy task to definitively prove that Saitama is stronger than Goku.

Updated on August 4, 2023, by Ajay Aravind: Although Dragon Ball is technically more popular than One-Punch Man, both anime have a particularly vocal set of fans. Any argument comparing Saitama vs Goku is unlikely to have satisfactory results. And yet, the evidence shows that Saitama is (or at least can be) stronger than Goku. As such, we’ve updated this feature with some more relevant information.

Saitama looking upward with a goofy smile in One-Punch Man

Saitama is a B-class hero and just a plain old human, at least according to the Hero Association. He experiences everything an average human does and presumably ages with time — it’s too early to tell if Saitama is somehow immortal as well as omnipotent. That said, he has no special abilities like regenerative or magical powers. Goku, on the other hand, comes from an alien warrior race with superpowers. He can fly, use ki blasts, and enhance his strength through his numerous Super Saiyan forms. Saiyans age slowly compared to humans, as stated by Vegeta in Season 9 of Dragon Ball, which is a huge advantage. Further, Goku has battled multiple cosmic entities, while Saitama has only fought Boros at this point in the One-Punch Man anime.

Despite this massive gap in their basic genetic makeup, Saitama displays as much strength as a regular Saiyan without any effort. In fact, even exerting a fraction more than his regular power shows that his strength is comparable to Super Saiyan levels. The anime audience can only imagine how powerful Saitama could possibly get if he goes beyond his normal and serious punches. Recent manga chapters have shown how Saitama develops newer and far more effective techniques than the average brawler, including time travel and copying his opponent’s abilities. Goku would be hard-pressed to fight Saitama if the latter decides to go all out.

If Saitama Trained Like Goku, He’d Be Unstoppable

Goku's Black Haired Super Saiyan Form from DBZ Episode 195

Goku trains in martial arts in many different environments. He has even gone to other planets to improve his skills and endurance. There is even a specific episode where he uses a gravity machine to train under 100 times gravity and still reaches 10,000 situps. Since he also enjoys fighting, he regularly spars with his friends and children, all of whom are ludicrously overpowered characters. Goku also has some truly impressive trainers, such as Mr. Popo, Master Yoshi, Korin, King Kai, Whis, and the Yardrats. Not only does he improve his techniques in battle, but his power levels also surge with each victory (or loss).

On the contrary, Saitama has only mentioned sticking to his daily workout of 100 push-ups, situps, and squats, as well as a 10 km run. He doesn’t have a single trainer or mentor, either, making him one of the few entirely self-taught Shonen heroes. This could also be why Saitama doesn’t treat Genos like a typical student. However, since Saitama has never lost a single battle, it appears that there’s no need for him to improve or change. If harsher training has managed to increase Goku’s power, this should also apply to Saitama, who currently relies on traditional methods. As such, it is reasonable to hypothesize that Saitama would be more powerful than Goku if both of them receive the exact same training. Can Saitama beat Goku, though?

Who Is Stronger, Saitama Or Goku?

A blank- faced Saitama throwing a serious punch in One-Punch Man.

Though both protagonists are powerhouses, it’s evident that they have glaring differences. One is a brawl-hungry extraterrestrial being, while the other is a convenience store part-timer turned hero. The fact they can even be compared on equal footing at all shows Saitama might just have the advantage in this battle of power.

He exhibits the same strength effortlessly and yet still has more room for growth. At this point, he has never needed to use his full power, whereas Goku frequently needs to reach his limits before he can become stronger. In fact, Saitama regularly holds back against his opponents, as Lord Boros himself states during their earth-shattering battle.

All in all, the outcome of a Goku vs Saitama battle is extremely clear. Goku might have nearly destroyed Universe 7, but that doesn’t mean Saitama can’t perform a similar feat. After all, he doesn’t seem to have any regular Shonen limitations. Of course, Goku will always be one of the greats, but the evidence of his restrictions is clear. There’s no greater weapon than the infinite possibility for growth, and Saitama’s potential appears to be even greater. Fans are excited to see what Saitama does next.

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