Images via One Punch Man/Mob Psycho 100/Dragon Ball Z
Everyone loves an underdog, one who has to fight what initially seems like an overwhelming opponent to get stronger. There are hundreds of anime series based on this premise, with viewers rooted for the hero to tackle seemingly insurmountable odds, but what about those who are already strong, and not just strong, but totally, incredibly overpowered?
There are a handful of anime series featuring these types of characters, the ones who defy belief and whose powers are so absurd that going against them is a fool’s errand. This list will look at 10 of the most powerful anime protagonists, what their abilities are, and what exactly sets them apart from the rest. We’ll be looking specifically at protagonists rather than supporting characters, so even if a show contains a divine figure such as a Zeno from dragonball ⏤ who can destroy existence with a single thought (and is therefore very overpowered) ⏤ we will not consider them in this particular list.
When we first meet Naruto he is still young but due to the presence of the Nine-Tailed Beast, Kuruma, sealed within him at birth, he is already feared for his potential power. Unlike many others on this list, we watch Naruto take on opponents stronger than him, but he naturally proves to be immensely powerful and with training and experience he becomes unstoppable. Naruto has an extremely powerful life force, granting him immense stamina and longevity and access to a wide range of abilities.
Naruto is similar to Goku in that he keeps getting stronger as he overcomes more opponents and is also able to unlock new forms such as Nine-Tails Chakra Mode and his Strongest Form , the Baryon mode, which made him the strongest character in all of history. using his own chakra in combination with Kuruma’s, similar to nuclear fusion.
9. Goku (dragonball)
Goku, an anime version of the mischievous Monkey King of Chinese legend, is one of the most powerful protagonists in anime history. The Dragon Ball universe contains some ridiculously powerful characters, and no matter how many people go up against it, Goku usually ends up winning. Although he’s been defeated in the past, given enough time and practice, Goku can grow strong enough to defeat anyone.
He grows from strength to strength, attaining new forms, such as his various Super Saiyan forms, to face tougher and more powerful opponents, eventually distinguishing himself as one of the best warriors in Universe 7 and at the level of gods of destruction. There are still characters in his universe that he has yet to overcome, such as Jiren, but since the manga is still ongoing, that might change eventually.
8. Koro-sensei (Assassination Classroom)
Koro-sensei is the definition of a science experiment gone wrong. Previously a master assassin by the name of “The Reaper”, he was trapped and experimented with, anti-matter giving him abilities far beyond anyone else on the planet and allowing him to take the form of a yellow octopus. After claiming to have destroyed 70% of the moon, he threatens to destroy the entire world in a year and asks to teach the misfit class at Kunugigaoka Junior High School, 3-E. As homeroom teacher, he teaches them all of their regular lessons with the addition of an assassination lesson, allowing students to attempt to kill him to prevent the destruction of the world.
Koro-sensei is hard to kill and is basically indestructible. If the world’s greatest assassins can’t do it, then how on earth can students do it? He has superhuman abilities such as speed and invulnerability as well as a genius intellect. Combined with his old skills as an assassin, they make him an extremely overpowered being in his world.
7. Anos Voldigoad (The Misfit of Demon King Academy)
Anon is the resurrection of the Demon King from 2000 years ago and the protagonist of The Misfit of Demon King Academy. He is a demon of destruction and possesses immeasurable strength and magical abilities, which makes him unbeatable. Anos is imbued with so many magical abilities that he must hold them tightly so as not to destroy the world when he fights.
Along with his overwhelming physical and magical powers, Anos also wields a sword capable of cutting through anything in creation, manipulating reason itself. Although the protagonist of the series, he can be brutal at times, killing and resurrecting a comrade with the flick of a finger until he surrenders just to make a point. Pretty scary stuff. The anime is relatively new, with only one season currently available and a confirmed second season.
6. Shigeo Kageyama (Mob Psycho 100)
Shigeo Kageyama is your average middle schooler, appearing so bland that he’s given the nickname “Mob” (モブ is a Japanese expression for a background character). But hidden behind the simple facade is a boy who possesses a terrifying amount of psychic power, enough to destroy everything around him if he can’t control his emotions. Once his rage meter hits 100%, it’s checkmate for anyone foolish enough to go against him.
Mob has the abilities of an esper, with psychic powers he can use to manipulate his surroundings. He trains with quack Reigen Arataka, who says he can help teach Mob how to control his emotions so he doesn’t lose control of his powerful abilities, but as he continues to face more and more more challenges, he finds it difficult to control these emotions.
5. Alucard (Hellsing/Hellsing Ultimate)
Alucard is a dark and twisted character, one that audiences can only support as he fights for the good of humanity alongside the Hellsing organization. He is the strongest vampire in existence and an absolute nightmare who loves to smash and humiliate his victims before killing them. At no point in the series is he ever against the ropes unless he’s just being sneaky.
Alucard can take any form he desires ⏤ including smoke and shadows ⏤ and has many abilities that you would commonly associate with the famous character of Dracula (his true identity). The anime adds a few more for good measure, namely teleportation and soul absorption, and in the end he gains omnipresence, being both nowhere and everywhere at once .
4. Saiki Kusuo (The disastrous life of Saiki K.)
Saiki Kusuo is the main character of the anime The disastrous life of Saiki K. Unlike many others in this list, the anime isn’t filled with battle scenes or big fights, but is about a godlike character trying to live a relatively normal life. Saiki is an esper and controls reality at will. His list of abilities is seemingly endless and includes clairvoyance, size manipulation, mind control, electrokinesis, flight, pyrokinesis, super strength, and telepathy.
At the age of four, when his abilities were discovered by a nation pursuing him for their own needs, Saiki destroyed the entire nation and decided to hide his abilities, trying to live as normal a life as possible, with humorous results.
3. Rimuru Storm (This time I got reincarnated as a Slime)
Sato Mikami, a middle-aged worker, is fatally injured while rescuing a co-worker and his dying wish is to have a body that is invulnerable to the injuries he succumbs to. His wish is granted and Sato is reborn in a fantasy world ⏤ as a slime. Sato is renamed Rimuru Tempest by his friend, a dragon, and uses his slimy new body to become one of the most powerful beings in the world.
What makes Rimuru so overpowered is that he can absorb other people’s bodies and skills, making his growth essentially endless. He quickly becomes powerful enough to rule his own nation in hopes that monsters and other beings can live together. Despite his blobby origin, Rimuru’s threat level is no laughing matter, as he is essentially immortal and invulnerable, only getting more powerful by the day.
2. Ainz Ooal dress (Suzerain)
This is another anime where a normal individual finds themselves in a fantasy world, only this one takes place in a virtual reality, similar in style to SAO. Suzuki Satoru is a regular player, joining the YGGDRASIL game as Momonga, becoming the Ainz Ooal Dress Guild Leader. But when the game’s servers go down, Momonga remains inside and finds himself trapped in the VR world, where non-player characters begin to gain sentience.
With all the magic and equipment Momonga has built, he is easily the most powerful being in the world he is now trapped in. He officially takes the name Ainz Ooal Gown, orders the NPCs to swear allegiance to him, and becomes Wizard King of the land.
1. Saitama (One-punch man)
When you think of a “super-powered protagonist,” it’s hard not to immediately jump to One-Punch Man himself, Saitama. The show revolves around the idea of a character so overpowered that they can defeat anyone, and in Saitama’s case, with a single punch. Saitama starts off as a normal human being, not born with any special abilities or even a tragic history, he simply trained his body for three years and at some point became the super-powered bald hero he is now.
The show is comical in its portrayal of Saitama’s abilities, as he takes down most of the villains with a bored expression on his face, his own subdued existence becoming tedious for him as he finds no thrill in any of his fights. The best fight Saitama has is against Lord Boros, Dominator of the Universe ⏤ an alien being who traverses the universe, destroying planets in order to find a worthy opponent, but against Saitama he is rendered powerless, realizing even while dying that, “I never had a chance.
While the order is of course open to interpretation, there’s no denying that all of the characters on this list are mastered in their respective anime and you definitely wouldn’t want to end up on the wrong side!