Were it not for the protagonist, Saitama, One-Punch Man would probably not be as popular. On the other hand, the hero hunter Garou is one of the franchise’s greatest villains. But who is stronger between the two? Who would win in a fight between Saitama and Garou?
Saitama definitely wins against Garou in every aspect. The two of them have already fought twice, and the bald-headed protagonist has managed to defeat Garou on both occasions. Garou is powerful, but he is nowhere near Saitama’s level. Also, the two of them had a food eating contest, and Saitama won that one as well.
The rest of this article will further elaborate on the above-given answer, as we are going to compare Saitama and Garou in more detail. Through several categories, you are going to see who the stronger of the two is and why our answer is like it is, i.e., why Saitama was ultimately able to defeat Garou in all of their encounters so far.
Strength and durability
Saitama possesses disproportionately large physical strength and is thus able to effortlessly defeat powerful monsters and villains with a single blow. One punch from Saitama is so powerful that many enemies simply explode or disintegrate when hit. He is also shown to be able to effortlessly destroy large structures.
An example of this offensive power is when Saitama launches himself from the top of a building to head to hit the Giant Meteor. A “normal” punch from him has proven fatal to a being as durable as Boros. Saitama has also shown that he is capable of controlling the force of his attacks, but still tends to overdo it on occasion, causing massive devastation.
Garou’s strength is superhuman and on par with S-Class heroes. He is able to rip Blue Fire’s arm off without too much difficulty. Using one arm, he can throw a manhole cover at high speed. He can severely injure Tanktop Master with a barrage. He is shown easily breaking Heavy Tank Fundoshi’s arm and knocking out several A-Class heroes with one hit each.
He is also capable of drilling holes through Major Centipede, an Ogre threat level monster (webcomic only). Even in his weakened state, he defeats all A-Class and B-Class heroes with a short barrage of hits or a single hit.
It is quite difficult to overestimate Garou’s physical strength, which he combines so well with the other aspects of his character, but Saitama is simply too powerful for him, which s why he gets this point.
Points: Saitama 1, Garou 0
Saitama was able to complete a 1,500 meter race in an instant three times in a row during his hero trials. He has been shown capable of maintaining a much faster speed than Sonic, who is capable of moving at hypersonic speeds. Even Genos’s computerized location systems have a hard time tracking him due to how fast he moves.
Saitama has also shown the ability to run down a building to save a piece of salmon he had for lunch and jump back up to said building without anyone noticing that he had done so.
He was able to easily dodge some of Boros’, Gouketsu’s and Orochi’s extremely fast attacks, and even managed to dodge some of Garou Monster’s attacks, as well as being able to face the powerful Golden Sperm. Ironically, despite his incredible reflexes and speeds he still has trouble swatting a simple mosquito or picking up an object like a helmet or hammer when playing rock-paper-scissors.
Garou can quickly dodge a large number of Golden Ball’s bullets from multiple directions. He can also dodge Metal Bat’s bat strikes. However, he admits that he would lose to Flashy Flash’s speed. Even in his weakened state, he was still fast enough to outrun the group of Class A and B heroes. Garou later displayed speed to the point of being able to dodge and block Orochi’s extremely fast attacks, while the monsters watching died in an instant without realizing what hit them.
Yeah, while Garou might be really, really fast, the fact that he could not outrun Saitama still stands and that is why the latter wins this point as well.
Points: Saitama 2, Garou 0
Stamina and endurance
Saitama has never been shown to tire from fighting villains. Even when he unleashed a punch more powerful than a planet-destroying attack, Saitama showed no signs of fatigue. The only time Saitama was shown to be panting and out of breath, he recovered only a few seconds later.
Garou also possesses inhuman durability. He can withstand multiple attacks from Tanktop Master and remain standing. He even survives an all-out assault from three Fiend-level monsters: Royal Ripper, Bug God, and Elder Centipede (webcomic only). Even when he was severely weakened by Saitama and Watchdog Man’s combined attacks, he was still able to fight off the group of Class A and B heroes and withstand the pain.
Even Shooter’s poison arrows and Gun Gun’s bullet hole didn’t slow him down, as noted by Goggles. His durability also increases exponentially as he evolves, during his fight with Orochi, Gyoro watches and comments on how Garou is able to withstand Orochi’s fire breathing attacks and punches like it’s no big deal.
This is a category where we actually had to split the points, but not because Saitama is not good in this aspect as well, but because Garou’s stamina is truly on an incredible level, and we had to honor that in our comparison.
Points: Saitama 3, Garou 1
Due to his incredible superhuman physical condition, Saitama is an extraordinarily powerful and dangerous fighter in close combat. After three years of intense training and fighting countless criminals, Kaijin, and evil organizations, he not only gained unparalleled power, but also developed a wealth of combat skills through combat experience.
Due to his boredom, he often uses poor attacks that lack finesse or flair; However, once serious, he becomes a very competent and cunning fighter.
Saitama uses basic fighter moves and street fighting techniques to grab and knock down his enemies, having excellent battlefield awareness, and is able to read the moves of highly skilled warriors such as Boros and Garou, the former being a universal emperor, with centuries of experience and the latest a martial arts prodigy.
Garou is an extremely skilled fighter, adapting to combat and using the advantage of his opponent’s weak points to gain the upper hand in fights. His learning ability allows him to learn countermeasures for other people’s fighting styles, while also making his own fighting styles. He displays this ability against Tanktop Master, where he attacks his weak points and quickly turns the tables.
He also displays this unique ability in his fight with Metal Bat, where he comments that Metal Bat’s attacks become predictable and weird. While fighting his opponents, Garou accesses his fighting styles and techniques simply by witnessing them once. Also, when he fights, Garou searches for vital points and joints so that his opponents quickly lose the ability to defend themselves.
Furthermore, by analyzing his opponent’s line of sight, posture, muscle tension, breathing, energy, movement patterns, and center of gravity, he can almost perfectly predict his opponent’s next move. His prediction accuracy only improves as Garou gets stronger.
Finally, we have no doubt that Saitama would easily defeat Garou in a proper fight, like he did all of his opponents. This is why Saitama wins this category as well.
Points: Saitama 4, Garou 1
Saitama vs. Garou: Who wins?
We could, actually, give you a proper analysis of the things we have written above but that wouldn’t really do the trick when compared with what we have decided to go with. Namely, as Saitama and Garou have, indeed, fought in the manga and the anime, we thought that it would be better for us to just recap these two clashes and show you how Saitama managed to win.
Their first brief clash happened in Chapter 51 of the manga series, which was adapted in Episode 15 of the anime series. We witness a scene of joyful discussion between two young women and a man who speaks with pretension of his “glorious” work at the Association of Heroes, evoking in passing the major importance of donations in the financing of the organization.
While he promises the ladies a meeting with the famous and seductive Bogosse Masked in exchange for a kiss, he is approached by Garou who accepts his deal. Garou kisses his own fist, and – the next moment, the man is lying on the sidewalk. Garou was annoyed to hear him claim he was working for Justice. Then, he stops when he hears a voice exclaim “Here he is at last!”.
He turns around to find himself face to face with Saitama. Without certainty that he is a hero, because his head does not come back to him in memory, he chooses to take the lead with a sharp blow of the edge of the hand in the left shoulder. Barely buried in the ground, Saitama seriously challenges Garou. Garou sweats up sensing his mistake!
He hasn’t the faintest idea what’s gotten into him, but he doesn’t tolerate being disturbed during his runs, so Saitama inflicts a slash in return with his hand on the back of the neck. Garou collapses KO. Saitama goes to buy a wig displayed in the window that was behind his attacker. Garou.
The next morning, Garou wakes up surrounded by garbage bags, unable to remember everything he experienced that night. Back home, Saitama tries on his toupee. He is surprised at this moment by his roommate. Without delay, Genos calls Kidob to prepare for a hair transplant operation.
Their second clash happened in Chapter 77 of the manga, which was adapted in Episode 21 of the anime series. In it, Saitama is accidentally accosted by King, out of his house hoping he could buy a video game. They talk together, and Saitama expresses his anxiety. Relying on his background as a geek, King does his best to cheer him up with plenty of advice and examples of occupations outside of professional superhero work.
Saitama always finding an excuse to reject his proposals, King sees it as ill will: Saitama does nothing serious to change his annoying condition. As a last resort, King challenges Saitama to a fight on a video game, and he promises to win with just two fingers. Saitama gives in to this provocation. We find Garou, injured on the road.
He couldn’t do anything against Watchman-Hound, lacking a martial art that was ineffective against enemies with non-humanoid movements. Moreover, Watchdog-man fought effortlessly. Despite his defeat, Garou remains determined to progress on the path of the monster. A few moments later, Garou is surprised to see the strongest man in the world in front of him: King.
Although he knows that it is a near-unbeatable enemy, he decides to attack anyway. Garou charges with maximum concentration, but he is immediately ejected to the side by a kick from Saitama (which Garou hadn’t even noticed). After this altercation with this stranger, King and his friend continue their march. Tired of not seeing the end of the uninteresting enemies, Saitama is still wondering when he will finally meet the famous hero hunter.