In the world of anime, there are no rules. Creators can do just about anything they want when it comes to setting and characters, and anime studios have taken plenty of creative licenses when it comes to overpowered protagonists. As seen in Dragon Ball Z to One-Punch Man, anime series have a thing for heroes who can level-up to infinity and beyond.
Here at ComicBook.com, we’re counting down 10 of the most powerful anime characters of all-time. So, take a peek at our power rankings and then get ready to go in for a gym membership; These anime heroes are going to make you want to buff up in a real way.
She may look sugary sweet, but don’t let Sailor Moon’s glitzy appearance fool you. The cosmic guardian may be split between two worlds, but Sailor Moon has plenty of powerful to defend the entire cosmos if need be.
In Sailor Moon, the titular heroine is the only person alive who can wield the universe’s power, literally. As a teenager, Sailor Moon was gifted the Silver Crystal, an ancient and mystical item that contains absolutely limitless power. Sailor Moon uses the crystal to empower her fellow Sailor Scouts as they save the galaxy on numerous occasions. And, as the show stresses, Sailor Moon’s ability to love compliments her magical prowess in a way that makes her nearly invincible.
Naruto Uzumaki is undoubtedly one of the strongest anime heroes to-date. Believe it!
Created by Masashi Kishimoto, the whiskered hero is the star of the Naruto franchise. Hated since birth, Naruto vowed to become the strongest ninja in order to gain the respect of his fellow villagers. The uncouth boy then joined Konha’s ninja academy and was sorted into an all-star rookie team with Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno. Over the years, the three have become know as the ‘Second Age Sannins’ due to their overwhelming power - but Naruto beats all his peers out. The hero’s sheer persistence and birthright as a host to the bijuu Kyubbi endows Naruto with untold strength, and he uses it to save the world time and again.
In the world of One-Punch Man, there’s not a single person who can beat Saitama. Even invading aliens and whacked-out baddies can’t beat the overpowered hero, but Saitama wishes they could.
If you are not familiar with One-Punch Man, then you should know the story follows a man named Saitama in an alternate reality where superheroes are real. These heroes are tasked with saving the world from a constant stream of villains looking to raze the planet, but none of these baddies can hold a finger to Saitama. The hero has trained to the point that he can defeat anybody or anything with a single punch, but Saitama has realized that being all-powerful isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
When Serial Experiments Lain debuted in 1998, anime fans were taken back by its complex story. The series follows a young, introverted student named Lain Iwakura after she discovers the mysterious virtual-reality world known as the Wired. And, when the series came to an end, Lain had shed her status as a mere mortal and become a de facto god.
The anime is set in a world where the Wired contains every aspect of human communication and knowledge. The virtual space threatens to break into the real, physical world - and the Wired needs Lain to do that. In the series, Lain learns her actual self is little more than a computer program made corporeal, and that state gives her unlimited access to the real and virtual worlds. Lain is omniscient, deceptively strong, and can even warp reality to suit her needs. For her, destroying the fabric of time and space would be as easy as breathing.
Sure, Vegeta may be a bit cocky and a little headstrong, but can you say the Saiyan doesn’t deserve to be a little smug? The princely character is one of the main protagonists of the Dragon Ball franchise, and his power levels most definitely peak above 9000 when he heads into big battles.
When it comes to Dragon Ball, Vegeta is the eternal rival and sometime ally to Goku. The two Saiyans have a complicated history, and their fraught relationship has often led them to fight one another. Throughout the long-running franchise, Vegeta has managed to best Goku in battle time after time thanks to his training and dogged determination. However, Goku always manages to make a comeback just before Vegeta can finish the job, leaving the latter dismayed and ready for round two.
When anime fans think of overpowered heroes, they will like think of Goku and his Super Saiyan state. Fans were introduced to the extraterrestrial hero decades ago in Dragon Ball, but Goku displayed her true, uninhibited powers when Toei Animation premiered Dragon Ball Z. The rest, as they say, is history.
If you are not familiar with Goku, then you should know the warrior is one of the most powerful characters in Dragon Ball. The gullible, lovable man is the leader of a group of warriors know as the Z Fighters. The squad takes it upon themselves to protect the Earth from potential threats, and they stay busy since many baddies seem determined to face Goku for themselves. Armed with his various Super Saiyan states and unwillingness to retreat, Goku is the team’s strongest member. If one of his Kamehameha assaults cannot take down an enemy, then the rest of the Z Fighters know things are about to get bad.
Dragon Ball is known for its powerful characters for a reason. The show glorifies strength and camaraderie, but it also loves its extended battle sequences. Since the series houses characters like Goku and Vegeta, Dragon Ball needed to come up with some terrifying villains to preoccupy the Saiyans - and that is where Beerus comes in.
Affectionately called ‘Bills’ by fans, Beerus can absolutely wipe the floor with Goku and Vegeta. The villain is Universe 7’s God of Destruction, and he takes that title very seriously. The character can easily demolish planets with a single attack, and even Goku failed to beat Beerus when he entered the Super Saiyan 3 form. Not even the Super Saiyan God form could phase the insanely strong god, leaving both Vegeta and Goku at the playful alien’s mercy.
While it may seem impossible, there are others in the Dragon Ball universe who are more powerful than Beerus. The god can take on the show’s strongest Saiyans without breaking a sweat, but Beerus can be bested by Whis with just a single strike.
Fans were introduced to Whis shortly after Beerus had defeated Super Saiyan God Goku. The graceful character knocked out Beerus with one move, and fans were left to wonder just how powerful Lord Beerus’ attendant was. Whis is the one who trained Beerus, and his brief conflicts with Goku and Vegeta left Whis painfully bored. Even the creator of Dragon Ball has said Whis is basically unbeatable. If Super Saiyan God Goku had a power level of 6, Beerus would be a 10 while Whis lords over them both at level 15.
Effectually, Whis and Vados share very similar power levels. The siblings are both attendants and martial arts teachers to Gods of Destructions, but Vados’ age gives her the leg-up over Whis when it comes to battle.
Vados may look serene, but her calm facade obscures the torrent of power she hides underneath its surface. The character is the trainer of Champa, Universe 6’s God of Destruction. She claims to be slightly stronger than Whis - a fact which he denies - but her power cannot be ignored. In the anime, Vados can be seen incapacitating her God of Destruction with a light blow to the neck, and she once destroyed an entire planet with a tap of her staff.
Alright, Zen-Oh doesn’t look like much of a threat. The adorable character’s bulbous head, doe eyes, and chibi stature leave fans in awe rather than fear - but do not let his appearance deceive you. Zen-Oh is the most powerful character of the Dragon Ball franchise, and he can wipe anyone’s existence from the universe if he so wished.
Zen-Oh is known as the King of the 12 Universes in Dragon Ball. The lovable character is not someone who likes to fight and would much rather spend his days cheering on Goku than unleashing his wrath. However, the character does take his title seriously, and Zen-Oh has more than enough power to keep the known cosmos in line. After a small temper tantrum, Zen-Oh obliterated 6 entire universes on accident. Even Whis concedes unilateral defeat in the face of Zen-Oh and his power.