Art by @_natyjs on twitter
Saitama from One punch man is known to beat villains with a mere punch into their defeat. Yet the bald hero we are so familiar with wasn’t always someone with such amazing powers.
Through hard work and efforts he had reached that which he described in today’s quote and why is this quote so meaningful or relatable do you ask?
Because despite the different scale and environment this anime is set in with supernaturals and superheroes being a norm, there is a simple and valuable message in Saitama’s words which come from a place that most of us may understand and which shows us that there are still things that connect to our world.
Let’s start with the first part of the sentence, “When I was a little boy I wanted to be a hero”, clearly we see Saitama already being that at the beginning of the anime which let us know that he reached the goal he wanted, still we go a bit back to the time where he used to be something else in-between being a little boy and a hero.
The Saitama who utters those words is clothed in a suit, resembling a salary man and at this point he still had black hair which covered his head unlike the familiar face we know now. It indicates that at this point Saitama still didn’t fully reach his goal of becoming a hero which will be discussed in the next part of the sentence, but the important thing that is mentioned here is that Saitama as well had dreams he wanted to fulfill and goals he wanted to reach, aspirations and ambitions which the current Saitama seems to lack most of the time as he already reached part or most of it.
“Not some damn businessman”, no matter how hard it is to imagine the man in the yellow suit as an office worker, it was still something he was about to do in order to get a job. We mentioned that Saitama explains to the lobster villain that as a little kid he wanted to become a hero and with this statement it shows us in-between he lost sight of his dreams and goals.
In a society one cannot always get what he wants or is forced to do something he doesn’t want to do out of distress. For Saitama he wanted to be a hero and yet he was stuck in a suit coming from a job interview.
Why was this moment and this sentence crucial?
It was a little reminder what Saitama lost sight of: After meeting the villain and seeing an innocent child being in danger he was reminded of something he may have forgotten or given up in order to make a living. Being a businessman may have been a bit easier to achieve at that moment and a healthy income which could have made his live easier but not happier.
But it happens to many of us too, that we have dreams and goals we want to reach yet sometimes we have to take detours or other paths in order to survive in society, Saitama shows us that very example here as he looked much more serious in his expressions and was just a step away of giving up his childhood dream.
“Not some damn business man. But a superhero who could send rotten villains like you flying with one punch”, at that moment when Saitama remembered what he actually wanted after being lost in the monotonous daily life that was forced upon him in order to accepted as a valid member of that society he also adds a little detail: with one punch.
What is the anime about?
A hero that does exactly what Saitama aspired to be and at the end he became what he wanted to be as a child.
Now it’s a bit clearer to see why this message is connected to our world and has a meaningful message.
There are three phases: the dream he had as a little boy, being lost in doing something else and becoming what he dreamed of.
The first and third phases may seem more connected and the second phase is also a part of life in which most people feel lost between their 20s and 30s, which fits with Saitama’s age as well.
But what is the important thing that is mentioned here?
There are times we may feel lost and lose sight of those wonderful and various dreams we once had or still hold subconsciously but in the end we always go back to them or are reminded of the things we actually wanted to do.
The risks of wanting to fulfill our one dreams are much higher and come with much more effort, even hopelessness to achieve them, so it might seem easier to simply give them up and do something that gives us a steady position in life to be acknowledged and validated.
Saitama nonetheless went back from his forgotten dream and did his best to achieve it, and after many hardships he achieved that dream. He might not have gone bald if he went for a businessman career, he might have had a steady income and he may be integrated into society more properly if he chose something he never wanted to do. Yet he stayed true to himself and did take all the risks in order to do what he wanted to become.
Instead of being comfortable in something we don’t want to do, we always can go back to the dreams we once had if we work up the courage and bite through it.
The choice is ours, and Saitama shows us it’s never too late to go back in order to achieve those dreams.