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Chapter 168 of the One Punch Man manga has recently released, and it was a great chapter. If you haven’t read the chapter, but have been following the story so far, the title is not click bait. Chapter 168 concludes the fight between Saitama and Garou, and this has lead to the defeat of the hero hunter.

In my One Punch Man Chapter 168 review, I’ll try my best to give you something a little bit different than what you may come across on YouTube or the internet. By now, many of you may have already seen many videos discussing the feats of strength, but I want to focus more on what this chapter represents, what we may see in the next chapter, and discuss a few points I loved about it.

Before I discuss details about the chapter, as always I’ll provide a link here so you can read the chapter for yourself. Thank you in advance for reading my One Punch Man: Chapter 168 Review.

What Is Chapter 168 of One Punch Man?

One Punch Man: Chapter 168 Cover Art
One Punch Man: Chapter 168 Cover Art

Chapter 168 opens with Saitama fighting Garou on Jupiter’s moon, IO. Garou and Saitama trade blows as they’ve done in the previous chapter, but Saitama begins to increase to unheard of levels of strength.

In the previous chapter, one thought I had regarding Garou’s copying ability was if it had any limitations. If Garou could just copy Saitama endlessly the fight would never end. Which led to my initial thoughts of Garou either reaching some kind of limit as to what he could copy or it would be revealed that Saitama had too much strength to copy. I turned out to be partially correct, as in this chapter we learn what Saitama is truly capable of.

Saitama’s Strength Explained

Saitama copies Garou's Techniques

Saitama actually continues to increase in strength so drastically that Garou cannot keep up, and is eventually overwhelmed. Saitama taunts Garou throughout the fight and even uses his own techniques against him. In later panels, Garou actually states that he is hitting Saitama with the exact level of strength, but with each punch, Saitama counters with increasing levels of strength.

Saitama's Strength Explained

Next, we get a cool graphic explaining the differences in their strength. At the start, Saitama only had a slight advantage over Garou, but as the fight progresses Saitama can grow so fast and so often that any opponent he fights will shortly get overwhelmed. This makes me think of the beginning of Saitama’s story when we get Saitama’s own explanation of strength. Saitama longs to get a “real fight”, which is one where his human emotions can return. He also mentions that if he fights back, even a little the fight is over so quickly that there isn’t a chance for him to learn or feel anything from it. With Saitama’s power increasing so fast without any limitations, you can see why his fights end so quickly. Any opponent that fights him would need to have the physical endurance to withstand his punches as they gradually increase, which is a near impossible feat all on its own.

The Fight

The fight between Garou and Saitama in this Chapter is fun and enjoyable. I always like to see Saitama really let loose, and since the two are fighting in outer space, anything is possible. Garou is simply outclassed in this fight. There was some speculation on YouTube, with various content creators stating that Saitama might have been bleeding in the last chapter, but once we see Saitama here there is absolutely zero damage taken.

One small detail I noticed in the artwork, is that as Saitama’s strength grows the artwork continues to become more and more detailed on him. I’m not sure if this is a visual detail that shows the increased growth or simply an artistic choice, but either way, it’s a cool thing to see.

The Serious Sneeze

Saitama Sneezing at Garou

As the fight progresses, you see Saitama’s speed increase. It’s clear here that Garou is just simply trying to survive, while Saitama continues to punch him. This fight is more about how long Garou can last rather than if Garou can actually win. We get to see some cool and impressive feats of strength from Saitama, one of which is called the Serious Sneeze.

Saitama abruptly stops Garou’s punch and begins to sneeze. Garou evades this just as any of us would, but the sneeze actually blows a large portion of the atmosphere away from the planet Jupiter. I’ve seen a few people online that don’t realize the actual size of Jupiter, but just to give you a brief summary, Jupiter is many times larger than earth. One example I was able to come across online, is comparing Earth to the size of a nickel and Jupiter to Basketball. Here is a helpful article if you’d like to know how big Jupiter is.

Saitama's Serious Sneeze

This feat is super impressive, and a feat I’m not sure you can compare with many other characters unless you are comparing Beerus from Dragon Ball Super. I’m not going to go into Saitama versus Goku in this article, but a channel that gives a detailed analysis of Saitama’s strength is a channel called Anime Balls Deep. They have a great video that I’ll include below for anyone interested.

Saitama and Garou’s Return to Earth

Garou See's Earth in One Punch Man: Chapter 168

Saitama’s sneeze moves the two through space, which allows Garou to get a viewpoint of the sun, the moon, and the earth. Garou states that as long as he can see his destination he can teleport to it. Garou tries to escape Saitama by pushing him into what appears to be the sun. This way Garou can teleport back to earth to continue his reign of terror known as Absolute Evil. Saitama catches up to him by farting (yes I do mean farting), and this fart is so powerful it propels Saitama right behind Garou.

Saitama catches up to Garou

This by itself is just plain silly and represents the kind of humor the One Punch Man series is known for. I’m glad that the writer is able to convey humor in this chapter since the last chapter had a much darker tone. Once Saitama catches up to Garou, he punches him from Space down to Earth, and this is where we get the defeat of Garou, which may need an article all to itself.

The Defeat Of Garou

Saitama Punches Garou

Garou and Saitama both land on the earth, and Saitama uses Garou’s face to break his fall. I haven’t seen many people talking about this feat alone. Garou took this punch due to his heightened durability after taking God’s Powers. He’s able to take this punch, which breaks his face, but he’s still conscious.

Garou sees Tareo's Dead Body

Once the two land, Garou finally comes to his senses and sees the destruction he has caused. Garou sees Tareo’s dead body, and this breaks him. From what we can tell, everyone that was in the vicinity has died, including the S-class heroes. Garou wanted to become Absolute Evil with the goal of bringing about world peace, it’s clear that God has manipulated Garou, and turned his goal into something much more menacing.

Garou Teaches Saitama How To Time Travel

Garou Teaches Saitama How to Time Travel

I never thought we’d ever see time travel in this series, but I’m learning that in One Punch Man, you should expect the unexpected. After shortly coming to his senses, God interrupts the two and mentions that he is taking his powers back, which is something we’ve seen him do to Homeless Emperor. I was unsure if Garou would suffer a similar fate, but this shows us that we saw this in an earlier chapter for a reason.

Garou quickly asks Saitama to copy his movements, and he has a theory that he can time travel. He realizes that Saitama can learn this ability with his immense strength, and willpower. Saitama begins to copy Garou and travels back in time shortly after Garou receives the powers from God.

Saitama Defeats Garou. The text reads, "But Zero Punches, To Finish The Battle".

Garou’s body is then turned to salt, and Saitama travels back in time to punch Garou thus ending the character’s reign, and preventing the death of the S-class heroes, and most importantly Genos.

What It Represents?

Chapter 168 concludes the epic battle of the series’ two strongest characters so far. Garou was a character that was much more complex than I realized. In this world of heroes and villains, one common theme throughout the story is what does it mean to be a hero. Saitama a character that we know has reached the peak of strength in the series is still trying to understand this question. Garou and Saitama were both alike in some ways, but they both had two different means of achieving a similar objective.

Garou is a man that was bullied growing up, and this shaped his worldview regarding heroes and villains. He states he takes the side of the monsters because they take the initiative which is a stark contrast to many heroic stories, as the hero always seems to arrive late such as the case with Saitama. He toyed around with Garou early on, and this allowed Garou to obtain powers from God and kill his best friend.

When Saitama returns he is handed Geno’s core, which led to the epic fight that just concluded. In the end, Garou died a hero, which in my opinion is always what he wanted to be. As a child, he was never given the option, and as an adult, his hero hunting was the outward manifestation of a man that is still that child who is yearning for the ideal hero to come and save him. In the end, he was saved by the ideal hero and also became one.

Saitama is a hero “just for fun”, but in small moments like this, he shows us that there is much more to his perception of what a hero is.

What It Means To Be A Hero

What does it mean to be a hero? Is it overwhelming strength? Is it popularity or achieving heroic feats? Is it looking out for the innocent, and risking your life for someone in need? These are all deep questions, that One Punch Man’s overall story is trying to tell, and it tells it in a humorous and at times poetic way.

If I had to take a guess, being a hero can include strength, protecting the innocent, and using your talents and abilities for the benefit of others. I am intrigued by this story, and cannot wait to see how One Punch Man will dive deeper into the heroic ideals as we’ve come to know them.

Since time travel is thrown into the mix, the growth of Saitama which we see by his inner dialogue in chapter 167 may all have been washed away. If so, I think that is a tragedy as we finally get to see what Saitama is thinking, and I’d like to see Saitama use this going forward as we move on to future story arcs.

What Can We Expect Next?

In the next chapter, we should see the conclusion. I’d like to get a final tally on which heroes survived, and which ones, if any, didn’t make it. I’m also curious to know if Blast and his team have retained any of the memories of what happened. I figure the writers would not simply introduce Blast and his team, just to leave us with no resolution. I think we have to know something about what they will be doing next, even if it’s continuing their galactic battle with God, or trying to recruit Saitama.

My earlier prediction is that Blast would join what is known as the “Saitama Group”, or become pals with Saitama to some degree. After all, Saitama was able to remember his name after they first met. We also have to see the long-awaited meet-up of Garou, Bang, and Tareo. I assume Garou will not die in the next chapter, since we’ve already witnessed his demise. I think Garou will realize the error of his ways, and even interact with Saitama again to some degree. It’s possible that this may play out like what we saw in the original webcomic.

In that conclusion, the S-class heroes were all calling for Garou’s death, but in the midst of all of their arguing Garou escapes. We do see him later in the story, but Garou is working a regular job and trying to find his place in the world.

Feedback

I hope you enjoyed my lengthy review of Chapter 168 of the One Punch Man Manga. Now I’d like to hear from our readers. How did you enjoy chapter 168? Also, do you think Saitama can now beat Goku or is this still taboo even amongst anime fans? Let us know by leaving a comment below.