In One Punch Man, the Rank 1s of each lettered-rank have the opportunity to move up to the next rank.

After that, everyone in that lettered-rank moves up a rank.

Why wouldn't everyone keep moving up until they're all S-rank?

  • 1
    Handsomely Masked Sweet Mask stop them, he secure the A class rank 1 position to keep the weak from becoming S class
    – Darjeeling
    Dec 27, 2015 at 0:37
  • 1
    Then why wouldn't everyone be A rank?
    – Quill
    Dec 27, 2015 at 0:37
  • 1
    At the moment the top heros in C, B, and A rank all don't want to move up, which explains why this hasn't happened yet. But presumably that isn't always the case, so it would seem that the ranking system is rather unstable in the long term, and I don't know of any explanation in the series for why this isn't a concern.
    – Logan M
    Dec 27, 2015 at 0:43
  • 2
    That's not a long term solution though, like Logan says. Ranks move around and it's reasonable to assume they may change their minds at some point. With Saitama getting adequate credit, it may mean Mumen Rider falls below Rank C.1 and someone else moves up, the system then changes. The top ranks in each lettered-rank don't want to move up isn't a long term answer.
    – Quill
    Dec 27, 2015 at 0:47
  • I think you are all confusing necessary and sufficient conditions. Dec 27, 2015 at 5:57

2 Answers 2


Is it possible for everyone to be on S rank this way?

Nothing has been mentioned on this subject in the manga.

However, we could imagine that there is a time limitation such as:

After someone moves up to the next rank, the one taking the #1 place must wait XX days/months before being able to rank up.

But this is only speculation.

What's more, every hero who desires to rank up have to make an interview to decide if the hero is worthy enough to rank up.


Why isn't everyone S rank during the manga?

Even though we don't know anything about rank limitations, we do know that:

When they are ranked #1 they can choose to stay at the top of their class or start at the bottom of the next class.

If you look at the hero registry we see that:

  • The first of C-rank is License-less Rider, which knows that he won't be ever good enough to be an honorable B-rank.

License-less rider

  • The first of B-rank is Fubukim who desires to stay as the 1st rank to dominate the B-rank.


  • The first of A-rank is Sweet Mask, who wants to control who is ranking up to S rank.

Sweet mask


As you stated, you must be rank 1 to receive a promotion. The current rank 1 in A-Class is the hero Sweet Mask. Sweet mask made a point that the reason he stays rank 1 in A-Class instead of moving up to S-Class is to prevent unworthy heroes from being promoted.

Rank 1 A-Class hero, Sweet Mask

Aside from being rank 1, you must also pass an interview. Ultimately, the decision to move up is not in the hero's hands but is the association's decision. Saitama had already decided that he wanted to move up, but there was still much consultation and discussion of whether or not he should be allowed to move up before he was given the promotion.

From the One-Punch Man Wikia:

Overhead of the interview, there are several Heroes Association staff observing and discussing about Saitama. They discuss whether or not he is a sham. After a short discussion, Sweet Mask is seen as an advisor on whether or not Saitama should move up. Sweet Mask replies that they do not need him for such as trivial task as promoting someone to B-Class. Sweet Mask additionally states that he only wants a say in promoting people to Class A and higher as they tend to have a strong influence on the association's image.

The fact that Sweet Mask was consulted here instead of the association just promoting Saitama as soon as he asked to be promoted shows there is more to the promotions than just reaching rank 1.

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