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In the anime, the great characters box be intimidating, powerful and destructive. But not always! In fact, small anime characters often hide incredible power in their small size.
Anime is a magical playground where anything goes. The physical size has been subverted so many times that it is almost expected for tiny characters to have tricks and secrets up their sleeve.
Of course, the longer an anime series takes before revealing a small character’s hidden power, the more surprising it ends up being. Too soon and there is very little impact.
Here are some of my favorite examples of small anime characters that are much stronger and deadlier than they physically appear.
14. Yachiru Kusajishi (Bleach)
With Yachiru perched on Kenpachi’s shoulder, it almost looks like she’s using him as a bodyguard. And why wouldn’t she? Kenpachi is a fierce swordsman and one of the strongest captains in Bleach.
But in reality, Yachiru is quite capable herself. Our only regret is that Bleach never fully explored how strong she could be.
Yachiru’s calm and easy-going attitude in difficult situations shows us how confident she is in her ability to get out if needed. She also has a sinister aura as terrifying as Kenpachi’s during his fight with Ichigo.
13. Pikachu (Pokemon)
Ash’s Pikachu is a cute, electric little Pokemon, but it packs a lot of power into its small frame, enough to take down bigger opponents like Charizard. The trusty Pikachu stays by Ash’s side throughout his journey and eventually earns him a World Championship title!
12. Jaw Titan (Attack on Titan)
Compared to other Titan Shifters, the Jaw Titan has a noticeably smaller physical frame. Despite its size disadvantage, the Jaw Titan possesses incredible speed and agility, as well as powerful jaws and claws.
In many ways, the Jaw Titan is the fiercest of the Titan Shifters, to the point where he almost got the better of Eren’s Attack Titan. (If he hadn’t been interrupted by Captain Levi, who knows how things might have turned out.)
Seriously, the Jaw Titan is so strong its jaw is the only something that is able to break the crystal cocoon of the Warhammer Titan.
11. Tanya von Degurechaff (Youjo Senki: The Saga of Evil Tanya)
She is small and young, but Tanya von Degurechaff is a wicked threat to her enemies on the battlefield.
Although she is a young soldier, she possesses the coldness, ruthlessness, and tactical prowess needed to excel in an age of war.
The funny thing is that before Tanya was a soldier, she was actually a salaryman who was killed in her real world before being isekai‘D in this alternate world. I guess that explains it!
10. Rimuru Tempest (The Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime)
Whether in real “slime” form or in human form, Rimuru Tempest is always small. In fact, in slime form, it is often worn by his subordinates like Ranga and Shion.
But Rimuru is no ordinary slime. He’s a Demon Lord! He has many different skills, attributes, and immunities that he gained through his Predator ability (including Veldora, which resides within him).
9. Krillin (Dragon Ball)
Krillin may not be as strong as the Saiyans of the dragonball universe, but he is far stronger than any other human like him.
He proved himself worthy of being one of the Z Fighters during the Tournament of Power, hosted by the Omni-King Zeno, which involved fierce participants from many different universes.
8. Eri (My Hero Academia)
This cute little kid is not to be taken lightly. Eri has the Quirk called Rewind, which allows her to return anything to any of its former states, and it works on people too.
In other words, Rewind can take an object or person back so far that they end up in a state where they didn’t exist.
Luckily, once she was taken over by Pro Heroes, her Quirk became much more stable and less dangerous to be around.
Related: The best animated superhero series
7. Tony Tony Chopper (One Piece)
Chopper is the ship’s doctor for the Straw Hat Pirates. He’s cute and looks harmless and vulnerable, but there have been times when he’s fought alongside the crew as a close quarters combatant.
He has many different forms, including the Monster Point, which allows him to transform into a gigantic monster. In this form, he is able to take on Queen and even send his opponents flying.
6. Makarov Dreyar (Fairy Tail)
The former Guild Master of the Fairy Tail Guild, Makarov Dreyar, is a short old man who has the magical ability to transform into gigantic and full of brute strength when needed.
Apart from his brute strength, he is also good at using other magical attributes, most notably Light Magic.
He can also use Fairy Law, a technique exclusive to Fairy Tail. This is a large scale attack that deals heavy damage to those he considers enemies, leaving his comrades unharmed.
5. Alluka/Nanika (Hunter X Hunter)
Alluka is completely harmless, at least until she starts asking for something. When everything she has asked for is granted, Nanika appears to grant any wish to whoever fulfills it, no matter how impossible the wish.
But if his demands aren’t met, that’s when things get dangerous. She will crush and eliminate anyone who won’t give her what she wants, as well as those associated with them.
4. Gon Freecss (Hunter X Hunter)
Killua would be a very good fit for this location, but he’s clearly dangerous and skilled early on. Because of that, we’re going with Gon instead.
Gon started out as a young boy determined to pass the Hunter Exam so he could go out and look for his father. With each step he grew more powerful, eventually becoming the powerful boy he is now.
What makes Gon truly terrifying and powerful is that he’s willing to give up his own life in exchange for tremendous strength, which he does when seeking revenge for Kite’s death.
3. Nezuko Kamado (Demon Slayer)
demon slayer has a great example of this trope in Nezuko Kamado. She is a demon who can transform into a cute childlike form, which allows her brother, Tanjiro, to carry her in a box strapped to his back.
Yet when it comes time to fight, she is as deadly as any other demon. When she returns to her normal self, she grows sharp fingernails that can tear demon flesh.
Nezuko also has a badass ability called Blood Demon Art: Exploding Blood, which allows her to ignite all of her own blood that has been spilled and cause severe damage to enemies caught inside.
Related: The best demonic characters in anime
2. Zeno (Dragon Ball Super)
Grand Zeno the Omni-King is a small creature in Dragon Ball Super who is feared by everyone, even the mighty Gods of Destruction.
With his bodyguards always at his side, it seemed at first that this “king” was helpless and vulnerable, unable to do anything on his own.
But in truth, the Omni-King is a superpowered being who can easily obliterate entire universes, which he demonstrated to chilling effect in the Tournament of Power.
1. Captain Levi (Attack on Titan)
Compared to the other soldiers in the Scout Regiment, Captain Levi is a little shorter. In fact, his height is mocked throughout the The attack of the Titans series.
But don’t let its size fool you. He is by far the most skilled Titan Killer in the series. He’s fast, he’s wild and he’s deadly.
He was even able to take on the Beast Titan on his own and successfully extract his Titan Shifter by severing its neck. He is so gifted that Commander Erwin trusts him and fully believes in him.