Sonic’s constant attacks on Saitama paid off when he demonstrated his improved abilities in Chapter #197 of One-Punch Man. Sonic compares his opponent to Saitama and realizes that they are not even comparable, motivating him to aim to surpass Saitama in strength. While Genos’ growth depends on upgrading his robots, Sonic only gets better through his attacks on Saitama, proving he is actually a better “disciple”.
Warning: Spoilers for One-Punch Man Chapter #197 (JP)/#195(EN)Man one punch chapter #197 puts recurring villain Speed-o’-Sound Sonic in the spotlight, but it turns out Sonic has improved a lot throughout the series, and surprisingly it’s all thanks to Saitama. In fact, based on his development shown in this chapter, it’s fair to say Sonic is a more successful student at Saitama than Genos.
Chapter #197 sees Sonic meet Flashy Flash at a designated location for what is intended to be a battle to the death. The two have not actually met since they were children in the Ninja Village, and thus Flashy Flash is unaware of Sonic’s abilities in the present. As it turns out, so do fans, as Sonic’s abilities actually match those of Flashy Flash, a top S-Class hero.
Flashy Flash is impressed and wonders if their strength is enough to defeat the leader of the Ninja Village. However, at that moment, a large group of ninjas from the village appeared with the intention of killing Flashy Flash.
The English version of One-Punch Man published by Viz has different numbering because the author added or reworked chapters in the original Japanese version.
Sonic’s desire to defeat Saitama took him to greater heights
When faced with a crowd of elite, highly trained ninjas, Sonic stands up to them, declaring his duel with Flashy Flash will replace theirs and threatening to fight them. They were shocked at his audacity, but it was later revealed that Sonic was comparing their strength to Saitama’s and that it wasn’t even comparable. Saitama has set a new standard for Sonic’s true power, a standard he intends to aim for and surpass. Flashy Flash notes that Sonic must have had a lot of practice and this was clearly training to take down Saitama.
Even Sonic’s most random defeats at the hands of Saitama seem to have made him realize his shortcomings and train to overcome them. Since Saitama won’t kill Sonic, he can try again and again, improving in some way each time while also discovering new weaknesses he needs to overcome. In a way, Saitama is behaving almost like an old boss, with Sonic as his student, although he doesn’t realize it. Sonic grew up in the harsh Ninja Village and is especially familiar with this type of training. If Sonic’s abilities are now on par with an S-Class hero, then he has improved significantly from his first appearance.
Genos does not gain much power when he is near Saitama
Compared to Sonic’s progress, Saitama’s self-proclaimed disciple Genos seems to be lagging behind. Recently, Genos even had a sad realization about Saitama, concluding that their relationship was one-sided. In reality, Genos’ advancement in power depends on his robot upgrades, so he can’t learn much from Saitama. While they both truly benefit from each other’s presence emotionally, from a strength perspective it is Sonic who gains the most from Saitama. With Sonic’s progress, he can definitely claim that he, not Genos, is Saitama’s most successful “disciple” in Man one punch.
One-Punch Man is available from Viz Media.
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