One of the tried and true debates of the anime fandom is deciding who would win in a fight between two heroes, villains, or any fan favorite characters. Since official crossovers are so rare, fans have forever imagined how a fight could play out through between two universes. One of the top debates overall is deciding who would win in a fight between Dragon Ball's Goku and One-Punch Man's Saitama. The two fighters are among the strongest of their respective universes, but truly deciding who wins is a little more complicated than you would expect.
There are several factors to consider, so let's say the base parameter of the fight is that they are at their top form in any point of their respective continuities. But then it starts to unravel from there. Depending on who's universe you chose in the fight, it could really go either way. Read on for a breakdown of what Goku and Saitamabring to this fight, and let us know who you think wins!
Goku Has the Martial Arts Edge
As One-Punch Man explored in the second season, Saitama does not have a grasp on martial arts nor has a semblance of what they are in general. This gives Goku an immediate edge as his skills in combat can offset some major strength or speed differences. This has been seen several times in his fights throughout the series as Goku has learned how to use his ki efficiently and effectively. Couple this with how he bends his techniques in the moment (such as using his Kamehameha Wave to ride on Kefla's ki blast in Dragon Ball Super) using his previous experience and knowledge through a life of fighting, and Goku is walking into the fight with a major advantage.
Mastered Ultra Instinct is on Par with the Gods
If the two of them are fighting at full health and full canon capacity, then Goku will have Mastered Ultra Instinct on the table. This technique has been shown to have power on par with the Dragon Ball universe's gods (especially important if Saitama enters the Dragon Ball universe at god level), and gives Goku a huge boost in speed and strength. This is on top of the other edge he already has with martial arts, and Mastered Ultra Instinct Goku is a major threat. He'll probably work his way up to it against Saitama, and Goku's limited use of the form will play a role, but Goku's peak ability has been shown to work wonders.
Goku Has a Reason to Fight
With knowledge comes experience as Goku has been fighting his entire life. His purest motivation in any arc is fighting strong opponents and challenging himself, but it doesn't always lead him to victory. Through wins and losses in his fighting career, Goku has built up a physical and emotional stamina that will carry him through the rest of his life. In the fight with the rookie Saitama (who has rarely had to use more than a few punches), Goku's stamina and force of will are yet another edge in this fight. He's used to drawn out battles, and a fight between titans like this wouldn't end in a few seconds because Goku won't let it. He's too proud.
Saitama's Fights End in One Punch
Considering that they will enter the fight at peak canon capacity, Saitama has such a godly level of strength and speed at his disposal. After training harshly for three years, Saitama has grown so strong that nearly every one of his fights end in a single punch. There have been a few examples of which Saitama has used more than a punch before, but those were shown to be complete displays of forceful passionate dominance (like Saitama is so annoyed that he uses 100 normal punches to desolate). We have yet to see a being stronger in the One-Punch Man universe, so Saitama could very well end the fight against Goku in single punch.
We Still Haven't Seen Saitama's Full Strength
As Saitama reigns supreme in the One-Punch Man universe with no monster or opponent that has made him expend any major effort, we still don't have a firm grasp on just how strong Saitama is. This also means we don't have a proper ceiling for his in universe power level. Unlike Goku, who exists in a universe of a concrete power level hierarchy, Saitama has yet to be measured to anyone. He exists entirely as a plot device in his universe because he's such a force that he can push the story forward without any effort. Which means that the "story" of the fight between Goku and Saitama will make Saitama as strong as he needs to be to get the win.
Saitama Has a Reason to Fight
Ultimately when factoring in all sorts of hypothetical universes clashing together, one of the major factors that would decide who wins in this fight is why they are fighting in the first place. Assuming the base motivation of the two of them surprisingly meeting and coming to blows immediately after sensing how strong one another was, Saitama will finally get close to his dream. If for the sake of this fight Goku is stronger than every other character in the One-Punch Man universe, Saitama will find the challenge he's been searching for.
Which means Saitama will try for the first time, and we'll see what he's really made of. Goku will sense that joy, and find that happiness for the same reason. But Saitama just might get the edge here. There's a difference between finding joy in your first real fight vs. fighting yet another opponent stronger than you.
Who Wins the Fight?3comments
What do you think? Who wins the fight between Goku and Saitama? Would Goku's fighting experience, Mastered Ultra Instinct state, and Goku's desire to win bring him to victory? Would Saitama's single punch fights, unknown power ceiling, and desire for a fight bring him the win? How would the fight go in the Dragon Ball universe? Would the result change if they were in the One-Punch Man universe instead?
Let us know your thoughts about who wins and settle this fight once and for all in the comments! Or if you'd like, you can debate about it and talk it out with me directly @Valdezology on Twitter! Let's talk anime!
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.