35 Of The Strongest Anime Characters, Officially Ranked
With so much combat-focused content in anime, it’s no surprise that debates about which character is stronger than another are a staple of the fandom.
Anime is pretty great by itself and talking with other anime fans in digital or physical spaces can greatly enhance the experience. Some of the longest-running conversations in the anime fandom center on which characters are stronger than other characters, or who would win in a fight. These debates are likely to go on for as long as new anime air every season.
While anime can tell a broad range of stories and the affordances of animation allow anime to tackle just about every genre of fiction, combat-focused anime (usually in the shonen category) tend to be some of the most popular and commercially successful anime around. With so much combat-focused content in anime, it’s no surprise that debates about which character is stronger than another are a staple of the fandom. Of course, this conversation is always in flux since there’s more anime airing than ever before and everyone’s favorite protagonists get stronger all the time.
It may be impossible to say for sure who would win in a one-on-one fight, but the strongest characters in anime can be ranked when they are at their strongest and most capable. These characters are by far some of the strongest in all of anime.
Updated on April 11th, 2021 by Amanda Bruce: The world of anime continues to grow every year. With the increasing popularity of western anime series and the development of new fictional mythologies, there are always more heroes and villains coming to the screen. While some anime characters get their start on the pages of a manga, others come to the screen without audiences knowing anything about their journey. The strongest of anime characters see a mixture of both varieties. Some of the strongest characters in anime have bold power sets, while others are physically strong, and still, others find their strength in their emotions. These different approaches to heroes and villains create a vast array of the strongest anime characters.
35 Light Yagami - Death Note
Light Yagami, the protagonist of the dramatic and suspenseful Death Note anime, would get smoked in a heartbeat if he fought any of these other anime characters in a direct fight. However, he doesn’t really have to fight anyone directly.
His genius intellect and utilization of the lethal Death Note allow him to destroy anyone in any way he desires so long as he knows their full name. Light ends countless people effortlessly in Death Note and defeats nearly everyone who tries to uncover his diabolical plot. With these abilities, Light can defeat nearly any other anime character in existence.
34 Ruby Rose - RWBY
One of the newest anime characters thanks to Rooster Teeth's popular series, some might argue Ruby Rose isn't even the strongest character in her own series. That honor might belong to Salem - at first.
Ruby Rose has her own version of super speed, she's skilled with a scythe, and she's got magical silver eyes that can stop her enemies in their tracks. She might not have the magic that the series villain Salem has, but she has something Salem doesn't: room to grow. Even several volumes into the series, Ruby is still learning how to pull off impossible feats, making her a truly formidable opponent whether she's taking on Grimm or other Huntsmen.
33 Kenshiro - Fist of the North Star
Master of the Hokuto Shinken, Kenshiro wonders a post-apocalyptic world and fights against those who abuse the weak and defenseless. He possesses incredible strength, a ridiculously honed battle sense, and the ability to end any opponent if he strikes the correct pressure points.
While he has quite a bit less of a character arc than the other entries and doesn’t get much stronger over the course of his series, Kenshiro is still a devastating opponent who can defeat any foe if they let their guard down for even a moment.
32 Guts - Berserk
The Black Swordsman, Guts is a powerful warrior who manages to end impossibly powerful demons with his massive Dragon Slayer sword, prosthetic arm containing a hidden cannon, and pain suppressing armor.
While his exploits are best viewed in the Berserk manga than in the anime, Guts slays demons like a man possessed and even manages to butcher gods during his quest to take down his former comrade Griffith. Although he has no mystical powers, he stands at the absolute peak of humanity and could emerge victorious from nearly any battle against even the most powerful foes.
31 Baki Hanma - Baki the Grappler
Baki Hanma is a ridiculously muscular teenage boy with the sole goal of defeating his father, and the world’s strongest living creature, Yujiro Hanma. Baki constantly trains his body by placing himself in dangerous situations.
He defeats countless masters of various fighting styles; including the prehistoric Pickle, a caveman who could take down any dinosaur and survived to the modern age while frozen in a glacier. Baki’s immense strength comes entirely from honing and disciplining both his body and fighting technique, making him one of the most formidable martial artists in all of anime.
30 Edward Elric - Fullmetal Alchemist
A young man who gained a natural command over alchemy after tragically losing his right arm and left leg while trying to bring his mother back to life, Edward Elric is extremely powerful. He can alter the terrain of any battlefield with his alchemy skills, and transform nearly any substance into a weapon to complement his versatile fighting style.
His abilities all him to go toe to toe against homunculi and even beat a god-like figure into oblivion. Although he relinquishes his powers at the end of Fullmetal Alchemist, at his peak Edward could best just about any other anime character.
29 Sakura Kinomoto - Cardcaptor Sakura
It might seem unlikely that a ten-year-old girl could go up against any of the strong warriors in anime, but Sakura is a whole lot stronger than she looks. After accidentally releasing a deck of magical cards into the world, Sakura is tasked with recapturing them, and she becomes a sorcerer in her own right.
In fact, in the sequel Clear Card series, Sakura's own magic is so great that she rewrites the cards over the course of the series. She can use the magic inside of her to augment the cards, make them stronger, or create her own. The use of the cards allow her the power of flight, super strength, speed, and more. She is, however, still one of the youngest Magical Girls in anime, ensuring that she lacks the same ruthlessness of some of her older counterparts.
28 Akame - Akame Ga Kill
The titular character of the series, Akame spends most of her life training to be a ruthless assassin. She might have better hand-to-hand combat skills than most anime characters in general, but that isn't enough to land her amongst the strongest.
Akame's speed and reflexes are so great that her enemies can barely touch her in a fight. In fact, only one person ever actually lands a direct hit in the original manga series. If all of that weren't enough, Akame also carries a magical poisoned blade that kills anyone she strikes.
27 Inuyasha - InuYasha
The half-demon Inuyasha is a warrior from feudal Japan who can slay any opponent who gets in his way, whether they are human or demon. The son of the most powerful demon in the world, Inuyasha is the most powerful half-demon and his strength only grows over the course of the anime as he gains new mystical transformations and techniques for his shape-shifting sword.
His skill in battle is almost unrivaled and with the ability to absorb the energy of his opponent and turn it against them, he and his mystical blade are an almost unstoppable force.
26 Akira Fudo - Devilman
Akira Fudo, the protagonist of numerous Devilman anime and other works by Go Nagai, gains the power to transform into the powerful Devilman after conquering a demon spirit that tries to possess his body.
Gaining the strength and speed to take on the fallen angel Satan and his apocalyptic forces, Akira is humanity’s last hope as long-hidden demons begin to rise up. Although his efforts proved futile in the end, Akira’s power is undeniable and he obliterates even the strongest of demons with ease as he tries to save the world.
25 Natsu Dragneel - Fairy Tail
Fairy Tail mage and fire dragon slayer, Natsu Dragneel is a monstrously powerful wizard. He learned his versatile magic from his adoptive dragon father, Igneel, and is able to push his body past his natural limits by consuming material embedded with magic.
When he enters this ‘Dragon Slayer Mode’ he can defeat immortal and apocalyptic beings like the Black Mage Zeref. Fighting primarily with flame-enhanced melee attacks and the occasional blast of fire breath, Natsu is famous for destroying anyone who challenges him or his guild and destroying anything in the vicinity of his brawl.
24 Yusuke Urameshi - Yu Yu Hakusho
Spirit Detective Yusuke Urameshi starts off as a delinquent who passes in a car accident and by the end of Yu Yu Hakusho becomes a nigh-unstoppable half-demon who is feared by demons all across the spirit world.
His spirit gun can destroy landscapes miles long and mortally wound even the highest class of demons. Furthermore, his mastery of the Spirit Shotgun and the Spirit Wave technique makes him a versatile fighter capable of dealing with any opponent, regardless of their fighting style. Growing both as a person and a fighter over the course of Yu Yu Hakusho, Yusuke is both a terrific character and combatant.
23 Usagi Tsukino - Sailor Moon
Usagi Tsukino is one of the most powerful Magical Girls to exist in manga or anime. She begins her series as a young woman afraid of her own shadow who literally uses her own crying to combat her enemy. Over time, she becomes a force to be reckoned with, on par with some of the goddesses in other series.
Usagi, however, doesn't have all of this power on her own. As Sailor Moon, her strength is buoyed by her team of Sailor Senshi. They do most of the work for her in a fight while she lands the finishing blow. She often draws on the strength of her friends and their love for her to be able to save the world. It's her compassion and humanity that help her come out on top.
22 Big Mom - One Piece
Though her real name is Charlotte Linlin, she goes by Big Mom as the leader of the Big Mom Pirates. She is all about control.
Big Mom uses the Soru Soru no Mi Devil Fruit to maintain that control. With it, she can manipulate pretty nearly anything - living or dead - by transferring the soul of a human into it. While this means the human whose soul she uses loses some of their life force, it also means she has even more control over her creations. One of her creations even manipulates the weather for her.
21 Korosensei - Assassination Classroom
An experiment gone awry, Korosensei is a usually yellow squid man with nearly unmatched speed and destructive power. He can easily avoid gunfire, outfly a fighter jet, and is able to punch a hole through the moon.
He takes the entire world hostage and threatens to destroy it unless a group of troubled children are able to end him before the end of an academic year. With a keen intellect, inhuman abilities, and a body with more tricks than tentacles; Korosensei is able to obliterate nearly any opponent if he so chooses.
20 Meliodas - The Seven Deadly Sins
The Dragon’s Sin of Wrath, Meliodas is the son of the Demon King and is as strong as he is durable. Possessing monstrous strength, command over the flames of hell, the ability to reflect any magic, and a cursed immortality; Meliodas is perhaps the strongest character in The Seven Deadly Sins and anime in general.
While his small stature and cute appearance might imply a lack of physical prowess, he actually holds an incredible demonic strength.
19 Erza Scarlet - Fairy Tail
Like many of the strongest anime characters, Erza Scarlet is incredibly skilled in a fight. Unlike some of her fellow anime characters, however, Erza is able to add to her skill set with the help of magic.
She can literally swap out weapons and armor in the heat of battle in seemingly the blink of an eye. Considering she's an expert with most weapons–and has access to more than 200 swords–that's quite the magical skill to have. She's also telekinetic and can imbue her swords with magic, giving her an edge over her enemies, though she never thinks of herself as the strongest fighter.
18 Ken Kaneki - Tokyo Ghoul
Over , Ken Kaneki goes from a timid bookworm to a figure of worship known as the One-Eyed King. After transforming into a half Ghoul and training his body, he’s able to destroy entire cities easily and command legions of monstrous beasts that can transform others into Ghouls.
In exchange for only being able to consume coffee and human flesh, Kaneki gained superhuman strength and the ability to regenerate limbs and even his entire body. This makes him a borderline undefeatable fighter who only grows stronger with each injury he sustains.
17 Ichigo Kurosaki - Bleach
This oranged-haired Shinigami has a broad, and sometimes confusing, set of powers that allow him to defeat even the most overpowered of foes. His strength and swordsmanship allow him to take down all-powerful deities and reality-bending gods while he gains new powers from each set of foes he defeats.
His ability to adapt to new opponents is almost unrivaled and he best nearly any foe with a combination of his keen intellect and lethal energy slashes. Even if fans were never able to see the , Ichigo is undoubtedly one of the strongest characters in anime.
16 Tatsumaki - One Punch Man
Tatsumaki is one of the few anime characters here who doesn't actually need to have great hand-to-hand combat skills. Her power comes from her psychic abilities. She's called the Tornado of Terror as a result of what she can do.
Tatsumaki is able to create a psychic whirlwind that can deflect multiple opponents at once, but that's not all she can do. She can also create psychic barriers to protect herself and others as well as control the Chi of other people. That means she can inflict serious pain without even having to touch them. Of course, she can also use her psychic abilities to pick things up and move them without touching them. She barely has to lift a finger in a fight.
15 Naruto Uzumaki - Naruto
Everyone's favorite loudmouth ninja, Naruto can go toe to toe with nearly any other character in anime. His ability to enter Sage Mode and his control over the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox grant him impossible strength and the ability to form massive monsters out of chakra.
Furthermore, his relationship to the other tailed beasts lets him wield every element of chakra and even combine them for greater devastation. Even without these abilities, he can still create an army of clones that allow him to overpower any foe that tries to fight him or do harm to his friends.
14 Alucard - Hellsing Ultimate
The mythic Dracula goes by the name Alucard in Hellsing Ultimate and he does the legendary figure justice. Functionally immortal at the beginning of the series due to the number of souls inside of him, and then literally immortal by the end of it, Alucard cannot be ended.
His dual pistols are also essentially cannons and he is able to summon the souls of those he’s eaten to form an army of servants. As if those aren’t enough, Alucard has an army of demon dogs at the ready that can tear nearly any enemy it shreds in an extremely painful instant.
13 Lucy - Elfen Lied
Though dissociative identity disorder means "Lucy" has many voices that make up her character, Lucy tends to be the strongest of the bunch. It's Lucy who most often utilizes the character's numerous abilities.
In addition to being a deft fighter and a near-perfect marksman, Lucy has telekinetic abilities most often seen through her psychic "vectors." These vectors are like invisible arms she can use to extend her reach and power. At her strongest, Lucy's vectors are able to be used to sink landmasses the size of small countries. She could, conceivably, destroy the whole world.
12 Isaac Netero - Hunter x Hunter
The former chairman of the Hunter Association, Isaac Netero is one of the strongest martial artists in anime. After subjecting himself to training that was supposed to end him, Netero gained incomprehensible speed and strength.
If those ever fail him, though, he is also able to summon a massive karate god that can destroy nearly anything and stop the most durable foes in their tracks. He will see victory even in his passing, though, as he has a small but lethal bomb implanted in his chest that will obliterate whoever manages to end him and poison anyone who manages to survive the blast.
11 Eren Yeager - Attack on Titan
The titan shifter Eren Yeager is a very powerful anime character who has the ability to transform into a 15 meter tall Titan with incredible regenerative abilities. However, the reason he’s so high up on this list is because of his ability to command legions of Titans with the power of the Founding Titan inside of him.
Using this ability, he can bring entire nations to ruin with a simple command that brings thousands of 50-meter tall Titans to action. Entire armies could not stand against this ability, and that makes Eren one of the strongest characters in anime.
10 The Avatar - Avatar: The Last Airbender And The Legend Of Korra
Quite possibly the most popular western anime of the last 20 years, Avatar: The Last Airbender introduced audiences to a character who could wield the power of all four elements and communicate with the spirit world. While in most anime the hero can control one of the elements, Aang got to utilize all of them.
It's hard to consider Aang as the strongest, however, since Korra is able to come back from not being able to use her abilities at all and Kyoshi creates her own island. Each Avatar has the same abilities as the others, but their strengths are all suited to different tasks.
9 Mob - Mob Psycho 100
Kageyama Shigo, or more commonly known as Mob, is an ultra-powerful esper who can destroy anyone or thing with a simple thought. His powers are so intense that he has to shackle his emotions to keep them from running wild.
However, if he feels something too strongly or falls unconscious, his abilities come rushing to the surface, and wields powers on par with large-scale natural disasters. Not only does the nature of his abilities make them impossible to guard against, but the strength behind them is also so great that even the strongest psychic buckle beneath them.
8 Jotaro Kujo - JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Jotaro Kujo is the main protagonist of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, and one of the strongest characters in anime. He’s as smart as he is tough and able to discern and counter the abilities of anyone who tries to fight him.
His standability, Star Platinum, allows him to stop time and strike his enemies with impossibly powerful blows both within and outside of frozen time. There’s no way to defend against this technique and it’s powerful enough to mortally wound anyone who stands against him.
7 Simon - Gurren Lagann
Simon is a simple earthling who incorporates spiral power into the attacks of his giant mech for devastating results. Commanding a mech so large it spans galaxies, Simon can create a drill with the ability to rip reality apart and destroy literally anyone or thing that stands in his way.
With a nearly god-like command over life and the afterlife, as well as reality itself, this metaphysics bending warrior is nearly unstoppable and can obliterate the universe itself if he chose to. Only beings with the ability to destroy entire universes can hope to stand a chance against him.
6 Son Goku - Dragon Ball Super
The strongest martial artist in all of anime, Goku is the strongest fighter in his own universe and all of the .
With his newly acquired Ultra Instinct form, he can beat any fighter so long as he is able to tap into that power. Even outside of this form, though, if he clashes with strong enough foes for long enough he runs the risk of destroying an entire universe as collateral damage. With these impressive abilities, it’s hard to believe that his story started with him as a young, monkey-tailed boy living alone in the woods.
5 Kaguya Otsutsuki - Naruto
Known as the Rabbit Goddess, Kaguya is one of the franchise, not to mention the most powerful woman in anime. Not originally from Earth, Kaguya travels to the planet in order to take the fruit of the God Tree. Her plan was to unite people by making them fear her, which definitely works.
It's not hard to imagine people, even Naruto's powerful shinobi, afraid of a being who can read minds, manipulate memories, travel through space, and control the elements. Once she partakes of the God Tree's fruit, she's also able to heal her own injuries, making her nearly indestructible.
4 Tetsuo Shima - Akira
Tetsuo Shima, , awakens his immeasurable psychic powers after a collision with another psychic. His powers quickly grow in strength and before long he runs the risk of obliterating the entire universe.
Thankfully, before that can happen, he warps himself to a place outside of reality and the force of his psychic explosion gives birth to a whole new universe. Few other anime characters possess the ability to both create and destroy reality, and that’s what makes Tetsuo one of the strongest characters in the medium.
3 Kyubey - Madoka Magica
Kyubey from Madoka Magica is the personification of entropy or the heat ending of the universe. He is omnipotent, immortal, and lives only to bring all of existence to ruin. Although he is not particularly strong himself, he manipulates people and reality into continuing the cycle of destruction that inevitably leads to the erasure of all matter in existence.
If something exists, Kyubey will destroy it eventually and there is virtually no way to escape his destructive force. Quite simply, his power is oblivion and there are only a few anime characters that hope to stand a chance against this overwhelming power.
2 Zeno - Dragon Ball Super
Zeno is the ruler of every reality in Dragon Ball Super and he can both create and destroy all of existence in a single instance. The child-like god possesses absolute power and can erase anyone and thing on a whim. He doesn’t have any techniques or special moves, he is simply an all-powerful god that commands space and time with youthful abandon.
He’s destroyed numerous realities for his own entertainment and plays with galaxies as though they were marbles. There is no way to stand against this god and only a single other anime character has a chance of beating this god in a fight.
1 Saitama - One Punch Man
Saitama from One Punch Man is the strongest character in anime. is different from most other combat anime, in that the protagonist is already the strongest person around, rather than striving to reach that goal. After three years of rigorous training, he can withstand any blow and defeat any enemy with a single serious strike.
However, this unbeatable strength leaves Sitama depressed, and the series explores the emptiness that follows achieving a lifelong goal. Saitama is the most powerful character in anime because the entire point of the character is that the pursuit of strength or one’s goal is more fulfilling than holding such a position.
Are there any other anime characters you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments!
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