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Tear Jerker / One-Punch Man

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    In General 
  • Saitama's nearly constant apathy to life. He fulfilled his dream to become a superhero thanks to his Training from Hell, only for him to get Story-Breaker Power that take away all the challenge of being a superhero. It is Played for Laughs but it can make anyone sympathize when the things you loved and dreamed to do ultimately turn meaningless.
    • This is made incredibly stark in the first episode of the Anime with his dream about fighting the Subterraneans. Nearly all of mankind is dead. The city is rapidly falling into ruins. And yet for the first time in years, Saitama is truly, genuinely happy and alive as he gives the battle his all against an entire species of truly worthy foes and the music soars beautifully. And then he wakes up.
    • The first fight we see Saitama take part in on the show is as epic as epic can be. Huge monster, one guy nonchalantly takes it out and saves a life in the process ... and then he falls to his knees in disappointment and misery. From Saitama's line afterwards, we can HEAR all the pain he's holding in daily from his ennui and desperation for a challenge.
      Saitama: Not again ... all it took was one punch ... ! DAMMIT!!!!!
  • Just seeing how the public treats Saitama. While he doesn't care what they think of him, just watching the people say bad things about him after he saved their lives and disbelieve his abilities is quite painful to watch knowing that he deserves better than this.
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Introduction Saga

    House of Evolution Arc 
  • Genos' backstory may be treated as an Overly Long Gag in the series, but it is quite a tragedy. At age 15, his family was killed and his town was destroyed with him being the lone survivor at the brink of death. He then sacrificed his humanity in order to destroy the cyborg who killed his family. His desire for revenge lasted for 4 years and would have led to his death against Mosquito Girl had he not met Saitama.
    • It's even worse knowing that later in the manga, his greatest fear is not being able to save anyone, and even triggers a moment of Heroic BSoD that's likely spawning from the event.

Hero Association Saga

    Sea Monster Arc 
  • Several of the heroes risking their lives to try and halt the Deep Sea King. Sure, they failed, but that really doesn't justify that one Ungrateful Bastard practically mocking their efforts.
  • Mumen Rider's speech against Deap Sea King. And the crowd cheering him on fervently.
  • In the anime, while Puri-Puri Prisoner goes to the hospital to visit Stinger and Lightning Max, he sees a newspaper on the ground with an article calling him a "S-Class Failure" and he just stands there in silence with a solemn look on his face.

    Alien Conquerors Arc 
  • Saitama walking away with a solemn, yet somehow sorrowful expression after killing Boros. Because he just gave him another reminder that he really is lonely at the top.
    • Just look at Saitama's expressions throughout the whole Boros fight. It's clear through the whole thing that, while Saitama wants to believe that Boros is a Worthy Opponent, he's feeling the same sort of apathy as ever. And despite the apparent beating he takes, the closest thing to 'damage' Saitama takes is a torn cape.
    • Boros is also the only villain to take Saitama seriously up to that point, treating him as a Worthy Opponent from the very beginning. Yet in the end, he knows Saitama was unable to feel the same excitement that he felt and is likely saddened that he failed to live up to Saitama's expectations, mournfully saying his name before dying.
  • Not counting the very last scene with Saitama and Genos, the anime's credits end over the image of a memorial surrounded by flowers, erected to commemorate all the people who perished in City A's devastation. It becomes even more poignant with the ending song lyrics "Kanashimitachi wo Dakishimete" (literally "Clinging to Our Sorrows") in light of the recent real-world tragedies.
    Riding a wind heading for tomorrow, we cling to our many sorrows
    “It’s alright, let’s just rest a bit. Then let’s move forward again.”
    The world will keep on spinning, until we eventually come to know pain
    that won’t ever fade.
    Nonetheless, we close our eyes…

    … and our memories will become smiles –
    Our hopes allow it to be so…
    And when the sun begins to suddenly wane, we’re enveloped by sleep.
    Oh memories, turn to smiles!
    Once we’ve carefully stashed away only the happiness of our meeting,
    We’ll say, “Goodbye”… and wave our hands tenderly in parting.

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Human Monster Saga

    Monster Raid Arc 
  • Suiryu's brutal Trauma Conga Line at the hands of Gouketsu and Bakuzan. Sure, his actions before this didn't garner much sympathy from fans. But even so, to see a confident fellow like him broken, begging and desperate, and at the complete mercy of such relentless cruelty... It's actually rather hard to watch. Even more so in hindsight when he realizes that this is how "the weak" must often feel. His desperation is even more palpable when he tries to keep Saitama from going after Gouketsu.
    "I'm not going to just lie here and watch my hero throw his life away!"

    Hero Hunt Arc 
  • When Bang finally confronts Garou, there's a brief flashback to the angry and misguided kid that Bang first took pity on and decided to train... before cutting back to the near-feral monster Garou has deliberately turned himself into.

    Monster Association Arc 
  • Chapter 105 has Pri-Pri Prisoner find out that his old prison inmates had become monsters because of the Monster Association, and while they had actually let themselves turn into monsters to spite Pri-Pri Prisoner and his gay tendencies, Pri-Pri Prisoner is basically in denial when all this is going on, thinking that it was because of the Monster Association that the prisoners became this corrupted, refusing to believe they chose to be evil from the beginning. He then accidentally kills them when trying to pursue Dragon-Class Monster Nyan. Poor guy.
  • Darkshine is one of the strongest and nicest heroes there is. Yet, as Garou eventually gets the better of him, he comes to the realization that he wasn't battling in the aim of pushing his own limits or fighting for justice but instead to feel good about himself. As the thought he could lose comes to his mind, his insecurities dating from when he was weak, before he started to train resurface. He starts to question himself: if he fights to feel good, is there any worth in his accomplishments, is he even a hero or just a phony pretending to be one? Even after the attack against the Monster Association, the fear still haunts him.
  • When Saitama and Garou clashes, Garou unleashes a Motive Rant about how villains and monsters are needed to save this world, because heroes just can't do enough. Given how most of the heroes in this story are selfish jerks, he's not wrong.
    • Then Saitama drops him with his own Breaking Speech, in that he decided to be a monster because it was easier than being a hero and standing firm against the world.
  • When Garou is finally defeated, most heroes decide that the only appropriate action to take is to kill him now before he cause more trouble. Saitama objects to this while Garou is a broken man. Silver Fang offers to take care of things, beating up his student and calling him an idiot but in the end is unable to kill his student. Then Amai Mask offers to finish the job. It's only when the kid Garou saved earlier confronts Amai Mask that he finally decides to escape.

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Neo Heroes Saga

    Psychic Sisters Arc 
  • Tatsumaki and Fubuki's relationship is littered with bits and pieces of tragedy that cultivate into a very sad, dysfunctional relationship.
    • Tatsumaki was born with her psychic powers and was taken away at a young age to be studied, unable to see her parents or sister. As much of a Jerkass as she is, it came from a Breakthe Cutie experience from her childhood and resulted in her being overly protective and clingy towards her sister. While Tatsumaki truly loves Fubuki and wants her to be happy, her methods in expressing make her out as a psychotic control freak.
    • Fubuki didn't get it any better either: she was isolated and lonely and bullied due to her powers. When Tatsumaki was allowed to see her, she became so overprotective of Fubuki that her little sister's inferiority complex developed from always being second best to in her sister's shadow and have to rely on her as well as not being able to make any friends. It cultivated in her creating the Blizzard group in an attempt to be able to stand up to her sister one day, which as Saitama points out was just a delusion. If her childhood stands to reason, it looks like people liked, respected, or even acknowledged her only when she became a hero and made that group.

    Neo Heroes Introduction Arc 
  • Genos challenges Saitama to a rematch and starts it by emitting an intense light to blind Saitama and attack him while he can't see. Then... nothing. As Genos notices that Saitama isn't even bothering to put up some kind of defense, Genos comes to the conclusion that he hasn't made any kind of progress and stops the match right there. In spite of not always being the most perceptive person, Saitama notices Genos is down and tries to act as his teacher and say something helpful. Genos desires to be as strong as Saitama because he believes the next time he meets the Mad Cyborg who destroyed his village, he must absolutely defeat him no matter what. However, as he speaks with Saitama they bring up the possibility that perhaps the Demon Cyborg might have unknowingly been defeated by Saitama, the implication being that perhaps Genos is wasting his life on a pointless quest for power.

    Supreme Hero Arc 
  • Amai Mask reveals to Saitama that he was originally an ugly man named Beaut who despite his appearance still believed in beauty on the inside and joined the Hero Association. He originally operated as a masked hero called "Secret Mask" and became popular which caused him to receive a lot pressure and fear from how they would react to his ugly appearance. This caused a monsterization process which caused him to gain his current handsome face, but warped his mind into a ruthless and remorseless man who only managed to retain his humanity through killing monsters.
  • After he finally becomes a monster, Amai Mask is proven right when the people he just protected immediately turn on him because he is a monster, regardless of the fact that he just killed the monster that was about to kill them. His next act is to ask Saitama to kill him so that the latter can finally become what he believes an ideal hero should be like.

Others

    Bonus Chapters 
  • Saitama's past is quite tragic, starting in middle school. He forgot to do his homework and got publicly scolded by his teacher. Then he suffers a Curb-Stomp Battle from two bullies, who mock him for being dirt poor (an allowance of 200 yennote ), and then another one when trying to fight a piggy-bank monster that assaulted the bullies to reclaim the money. He returns to school to be reprimanded by the teacher for arriving late to the schoolroom with a torn uniform and his story being thought to be an excuse. Saitama then leaves the school with a Heroic BSoD from the experience.

    OVA 
  • OVA 1 shows that although Saitama is a Humble Hero with no regard to the opinion of everyone else, his occasional wishing for fans is more out of desire for someone thanking him for his heroic deeds. Imagine risking your life to protect someone and not even getting a single word of gratitude from anybody for three years. Fortunately, the OVA ends with Genos, who has been studying Saitama from afar, finally deciding to ask him to become his disciple. It becomes heartwarming because Saitama not only gets a disciple, albeit reluctantly, but also a best friend and the first person that ever appreciates him for his heroism.
    Saitama: If I continue being a hero, this won't be the last time someones out for revenge against me. That is my fate. It can't be helped. I just need to change how I think. Right! I need to think positively. I just have to believe there will be people in this world who appreciate all the things that I do. I became a hero three years ago. I'm not saying I need fans, but it would be nice if someone noticed what I've been doing... Oh yeah, there was that guy who wanted to be my disciple.

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