One Punch Man: Why We Shouldn’t Rank Others

ONE PUNCH!!!!! Saitama knocks out every threat, no matter how big or small. He is the strongest hero, and I personally think Goku, Superman and the Hulk couldn’t touch him (leave your replies below, I am ready…). He doesn’t even try to fight, and he himself knows it, which makes it boring not to find a challenge.

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Scary…..

As the series progresses, Saitama discovers that there’s a Hero Association that he can join to get registered and recognized for his triumphs over evil. After doing so, heroes are placed in various classes, starting at Class C, then B, A and finally S. Even though he broke all the physical fitness records during his exam, Saitama ended up in Class C. This lowered his self-esteem, which in turn drove his competitive side to rise through the ranks.

Heroes that are at a higher class tend to look down on him, or think he’s weaker than them. They have no idea that his average guy appearance doesn’t reflect his power, nor does he care much about what they think. Instead, he saves the day every time they can’t, thus making them jealous or making them think he cheated.

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Nothing can stop him from saving the world….not even flying rocks and purple colors.

Class isn’t very important to Saitama. In fact, it’s not that great a concern. He just wants recognition for all that he’s doing, since Class C heroes aren’t paid any attention by the media. Going up the ranks is just a means to an end, while for other heroes they just want to be the best of the best. As I continued to analyze the heroes, I noticed that the higher ranked had more pride and ego than the lower ones did. This reminded me of humanity and our pursuit to be at the top of the mountain.

People tend to class themselves as well. From the workplace to the church and school, many times I have seen people who make more money, own a new toy, or attend more church services than others and believe they are better. I am guilty of wanting to be the most knowledgeable during gatherings because I want others to see how wise I am. At times, I have to remind myself to just be quiet and if what I have to say is beneficial, to share it, if not then politely listen instead.

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Just say no to your ego. That rhymed….and Saitama thought it was great. Seriously.

Even children like making fun of their peers that can’t read as well as they can, aren’t as fast on the track or can’t dribble the ball as well. Whatever it is, that competitive spirit gets in the way of our goodwill towards others and we just don’t care anymore, we want to be the best! How humbling is it though, when we see someone who we think isn’t that great yet they are the smartest or most adept in the room.

Rich people like Bill Gates, who looks like a plain geek, or Mark Zuckerberg, the  creator of Facebook with an average, college guy face, don’t physically look like anyone special. They don’t have some fancy outfit on, or some cool hair-do, or a tattoo that makes them more noticeable. I am sure you can think of more names, but the point is that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Saitama was constantly being hated on because he looks like someone who was pretending to cosplay, and is out there fighting monsters the size of cities! Yet, if not for him, the world would likely end. How did those heroes survive without him?

Whenever we go about our daily lives, rethink how to interact with others. Don’t look down on other people just because they look different, just starting out on something new, are younger or whatever the case. I encourage you to learn from Saitama, and don’t let ego get to your head. When you are doing good, helping others or just being a friend, even when you don’t get the recognition for it (which will be most of the time) know that God takes notice, and you’re making the world a little better because you decided not to let that be your focus.

5 thoughts on “One Punch Man: Why We Shouldn’t Rank Others

  1. President Harry Truman is quoted as saying, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” It’s an apt point. We learn, we work, we strive and at times we feel we are undeserving of something. Some recognition. Some glory we deserve. The truth is, what we deserve is miniscule and many get what they don’t deserve.

    Saitama is an example of one who never seems to get the recognition he deserves. He’s a hero, the most powerful hero in the world of OPM. Yet, he’s a Level C hero. He deserves more recognition, but doesn’t get it. Others, who are haughty and obnoxious are level S and A, constantly tooting their own horn. Saitama just does his work of helping others. Sure, he’d like people to know he’s a hero and not think he’s some rando off the street in a costume, but there are moments where he lets people blame him for misfortune or allow others to be given credit when it’s instead his, which show his true humility. It’s something we can all do a better job emulating.

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    1. Thanks so much Newman for the comment 🙂 Yes, and it’s funny how many times that’s happened to us all in life right? We are desperate to get credit for something, and sometimes we do something great and think “wow, now someone will notice me!” and you get nothing. Nobody even knows, and if you try to explain it, many won’t believe you or not even care much.

      To me, when that happens, I look to my Heavenly Father and give Him glory because I want Him to get the credit for what was done. That way my ego gets out of the way, and His will is fulfilled in my life.

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  2. I literally just finished watching One Punch Man this week (figured it was time I jumped on that bandwagon), so the timing of this article is perfect. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on humility and pride. It was definitely a thematic I picked up on while binge-watching the first season.

    In a way, Saitama is an everyman character who represents the struggle of the individual VS the societal system. He can’t get a job, can’t get a decent score on the entrance exam (because society has imposed incomplete standardized testing, which cannot properly measure him), can’t get any recognition (because society says beauty and looks are more important than actual talent). The sociologist in me went nuts over this anime’s satirical nature.

    I have found it true that those who most want fame are the least likely to receive it, and those who do things for reasons other than fame are often the ones blessed with it. It’s certainly not a cut-and-dry case every time, but I think that as Saitama desires fame less, he’ll find himself more successful and recognized in general. In the anime, it’s often when Saitama is just “doing his job as hero,” and not actively looking for an opportunity to boost his heroic ego, that he finds success.

    Contrasting his earlier self with Genos shows this principle at work as well. Genos doesn’t want fame, bulks at the mass of fanmail he receives, and shows no interest in popularity because he considers it superficial (he says something along the lines of “they only like me because they’ve seen my face and think I’m good looking, but they haven’t seen my actual skills yet so their assessments are baseless.”). It’s what you said about “judging a book by its cover.” That saying certainly goes both ways.

    While Saitama’s desire for fame is often tongue-and-cheek, he becomes increasingly selfless as the series progresses–to the point where he makes a martyr of himself for the sake of preserving the other heroes’ standings in the eyes of the populace. I really enjoy watching the chemistry between him and Genos, and in many ways Saitama serves as a Christ figure in the series (I like the Master and Disciple wording, especially). Looking forward to the next season!

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    1. Awesome points! I had not thought of comparing him to Christ, nor about Genos rejecting the fanmail and all that. Didn’t notice that. And yes, so true that those not looking for fame are often the ones that get it and thise that are don’t. I have learned in life, that your gift (skills, talents) will make room for you. Thats in Proverbs. Those that are just good at what they do, fame or notoriety will find them without having to do much.

      Honestly even me as a writer, I have been asked by several geek sites to write for them and I have never gone asking either!

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