If there’s one thing anime fans love, it’s power-scaling. Since its origins, anime fan culture has always enjoyed debating about who is the strongest amongst the many powerful heroes that our favorite shows have given us.
It’s clear that this is something nobody is ever going to completely agree upon. That doesn’t mean there’s no fun in sharing opinions about it, of course. In a medium where ascending to godhood is a regularity, It can be fun to think about how our anime heroes and villains might compete with each other on a grander scale, especially when you think about just how strong some of these characters are shown to be.
Here’s our list of the Top 10 strongest anime characters, in ascending order.
Shigeo Kageyama (Mob Psycho 100)
Shigeo Kageyama, also known as Mob, is the peculiar protagonist of the eclectic anime Mob Psycho 100. Despite appearing to be a fairly normal guy who seems to lack enthusiasm or emotion, he makes the list due to the latent potential that lies within.
Shigeo carries with them an immense amount of power that is sealed behind his emotions. With psychic abilities such as telekinesis, astral projection, and psychic energy transference at his disposal, Shigeo is highly capable of unleashing incredible powers during heightened emotional states, making him a fiercely strong combatant.
Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece)
Monkey D. Luffy deserves to be on this list for his sheer tenacity alone. Although Luffy may not be the strongest even amongst the One Piece cast, he has a sheer willpower that is difficult to ignore. It’s for this reason he’s able to best foes that vastly outclass them in terms of strength. This is what has given Luffy such a reputation amongst pirates and the government in the world of One Piece: Luffy just doesn’t give up.
In addition to his tenacity, Luffy has a variety of peculiar abilities given to him by eating a devil fruit at a young age. He’s ‘made of rubber,’ allowing him to stretch and contort his body into weird shapes to give him excellent advantages in terms of range and power. Luffy is also one of the few One Piece characters that has access to all three types of spiritual energy known as haki, which gives him unique supernatural abilities that enhance his strength even further. Luffy is up to any challenge, which puts him at the number 9 spot on the list.
Koro-Sensei (Assassination Classroom)
Koro-sensei is the strange creature that lies at the heart of the acclaimed action series Assassination Classroom. As an alien that used to be the universe’s top assassin known as ‘The Reaper’, Koro-sensei arrives on earth equipped with an excellent tactical mind, ready to (literally and figuratively) school a classroom full of assassins-in-training.
Koro-sensei is well-versed in every method of murder and is able to effectively subvert every attempt on their life throughout the series. In addition to a strong theoretical and practical knowledge of assassination, Koro-sensei also has a range of natural talents such as superhuman strength, speed, and even superhuman digestion as a result of their extra-terrestrial form. This is one octopus-looking alien that you don’t want to mess with.
Kenshiro (Hokuto No Ken)
Straight from the influential shounen battle anime Hokuto No Ken/Fist of The North Star, Kenshiro is the 64th successor of the Hokuto Shinken, the legendary deadly martial arts style that the series focuses on. Stoic, careful, and equipped with a broad range of devastating hand-to-hand combat styles, Kenshiro is not only a strong character, but one aware of the responsibilities that come with such strength.
Kenshiro has ridiculous levels of speed, strength, and accuracy, and is well known for his ability to kill his opponents without them even realizing, which you may be familiar with due to the memes of Kenshiro’s catchphrase: ‘Omae wa mou shinderu!’ This alone is enough to put him on the list.
The legendary vampire hunter from the critically beloved Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate, Alucard is not just a vampire but a living weapon constructed to bring death to the enemies of the Hellsing organisation.
In addition to superhuman speed and strength granted by his vampiric nature, Alucard also has powerful regenerative abilities, allowing him to withstand mortal wounds and recover from the damage caused by any physical injury or ailment. In practice, this is an ability that is shown to work very quickly. Alucard has been described as functionally immortal due to this ability. Alucard also has a range of other unique abilities that give him an edge in combat including transfiguration, teleportation, and even the ability to absorb people’s souls. Alucard is as powerful as he is terrifying.
Jotaro Kujo (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)
Ranking just below another JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure character on this list, it’s difficult to deny that Jotaro Kujo has one of the most effective skillsets of any of the main characters in the series. As well as being physically talented in his own way, his Stand, Star Platinum, would make him a formidable opponent in any context.
Star Platinum protects Jotaro with everything he’s got, and also has a torrent of physical attacks that he’s willing to unleash at any moment. In addition, Stat Platinum’s last-minute transformation into Star Platinum: The World also gives him the power to momentarily stop time for all that surrounds him. This is shown as one of the most impressive abilities even amongst other powerful Stand users in the world of JoJo and allows him to overcome his equally powerful and menacing rival, DIO.
Giorno Giovanna (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)
There are quite a few JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure characters that would be ripe for inclusion on a list like this. After some debate, I’ve ultimately settled on including only two, with Giorno being the strongest JoJo character that has appeared in the anime thus far. The abilities of his Stand, Gold Experience, which allows him to create life from inanimate objects, are used creatively by Giorno to overcome a variety of unique challenges.
What makes him worthy of inclusion at the coveted number four spot, however, is how his abilities scale when his Stand, Gold Experience, is upgraded to Gold Experience Requiem, which allows him to essentially undo small chunks of reality and separate ‘cause’ from ‘effect.’ This allows him to capture adversaries in an infinite cycle of death, as we see at the end of the anime adaptation of Golden Wind.
Madoka Kanamae (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
In a slightly different inclusion for number three, Madoka Kanamae from the Puella Magi Madoka Magica series makes the list due to her subversion of the natural forces of the universe. Although it’s unclear if she’s physically strong in the traditional sense, at the end of the Madoka Magica series, she rewrites the fabric of reality in order to save magical girls who had entered into a contract with Kyubey, essentially becoming a deity-like being with immeasurable levels of power. She deserves a spot near the top of this list just for that, because frankly, who knows what she’s capable of?
Son Goku (Dragon Ball)
There are many who might claim that Son Goku should be at the number one spot on this list. I can appreciate the argument for that ranking: Son Goku is extraordinarily powerful, after all. In addition to decades spent defeating some of the toughest beings in the galaxy in the original Dragon Ball manga and Dragon Ball Z anime, his most recent levels of combat prowess as of the end of Dragon Ball Super demonstrate that Son Goku still has what it takes to kick things up another notch.
His ‘ultra instinct’ abilities gained in the Dragon Ball Super allow his body to react on pure instinct, his consciousness separated from their body. This ability allows him to fight with immense speed and strength without the limitations of needing to think about it. It’s pretty intimidating stuff, even in the hands of the ever-kind Goku.
Saitama (One Punch Man)
If you’re an anime fan, I’m sure you probably expected this guy to make the list. You may have even expected them to make it all the way to the top. Nobody could blame you for having that expectation: in the canon of One Punch Man, Saitama is not just a skilled combatant, but an unstoppable force of nature the likes of which have never been seen before.
Because of the earnestly silly way One Punch Man tells its story and creates the world in which it exists, Saitama is established as being able to defeat literally anything with just one punch, having ‘broken their limiter’ through a rigorous training method and unlocked power far beyond the natural potential of humans. With beyond superhuman levels of strength and speed, the titular hero of One Punch Man has yet to face a challenge he couldn’t easily best, much to his own disappointment.