Who are the best characters created in the history of anime? It’s a debate that has been held on Internet forums since Internet forums were invented. We thought it was time to revisit this hotly-debated topic and hopefully bring some new perspective to the conversation, so we’ve compiled a new list of the most original and awesome characters in Japanese animation. Take a look below for our list of 10 of the best and most epic anime characters.
1. L From Death Note
L is quite secretive, and only communicates with the world through his assistant, Watari. He never shows his face to the world in person, instead representing himself with a capital letter L drawn in “Old English MT” or “Cloister Black” typeface. It is more likely to be “Cloister Black” as Watari’s “W” is different in “Old English MT.”
After meeting the Japanese Task Force, he requests that the task force refer to him as “Ryuzaki” as an additional safety measure. The Task Force never learns his true name, and it is revealed in neither the manga nor anime.
L is very intelligent, though his disheveled and languid appearance masks his great powers of deduction and many question his abilities upon viewing him. L tends to second-guess everything he is presented with, and is extremely meticulous and analytical. He is good at deceiving his opponents, and is willing to take drastic measures to solve a case. Some of his tactics are quite bold, such as having death row inmate Lind L. Tailor pose as himself on live TV in order to draw out Kira, while others seem bizarre to those involved, such as handcuffing himself to suspected-Kira, Light Yagami. He is also shown to have a dry sense of humor, and he isn’t above making sarcastic remarks to people. Although he tends to be polite, to some (such as Task Force member Shuichi Aizawa), L can seem condescending at times.
Using subterfuge, misinformation, disinformation, and an analytical knowledge of human nature to help lure a suspected murderer into a false sense of security and possibly make him carelessly over-confident, L sometimes gets what he wants through abnormal or possibly criminal channels. Whenever L gives percentages to indicate how much he suspects a person of committing a crime, such as “five percent,” he may in fact be over ninety percent convinced of their culpability. Although L tells Light that he is among the least likely suspects with one of the lowest percentages of probability, in reality L is “pretty certain” that Light is Kira. As series writer Tsugumi Ohba said laughing, making light of L’s tactics: “The truth is, he’s a liar.”
He also has several quirks, such as preferring to crouch rather than sit, eating only sweet foods (like desserts, candies and fruits) and holding items by using only a thumb and a finger. He also has an unusual way of sitting, with both of his feet on the chair. He claims that if he sits normally, his reasoning ability would drop 40%. Interestingly, in the manga, he is seen sitting on the floor in a pose similar to how one would meditate, while thinking deeply about the Kira case. He is often seen arranging objects and very intently stacking, or in other ways playing with, his staple food items. L is almost always encountered while performing actions that are considered inappropriate or rude in public. These actions/habits include biting fingernails, placing feet on furniture, slouching, chewing with an open mouth, talking with his mouth full, and calling out personal observations that may offend others.
With his status as the world’s greatest detective, he, like Light, has a very sensitive pride, being afraid to be wrong in his deductions and theories, evident through his drastic measures (torturing Misa and confining Light during an unnecessarily lengthy amount of time), and lethargic behavior during the beginning of the Yotsuba arc.
Although he is often seen sitting and inactive, L retains a high athletic ability. L stayed in England for five years, and during that time he was the tennis champion in the England Junior Cup. He also has a knack for martial arts, which is demonstrated in his brief fight with Light. In chapter 38 of the manga, L suggests that even though he eats only sweet foods, he remains underweight because the brain uses the most calories of any organ in the body.
When asked about L’s ethnicity, creator of the series Tsugumi Ohba responded, “I think of him as a quarter Japanese, a quarter English, a quarter Russian, a quarter French or Italian, like that.” Ohba said that L is the most intelligent character in the entire Death Note series because “the plot requires it.” He added that he personally views L as “slightly evil.”
2. Edward Elric From Full Metal Alchemist
On the surface, Edward displays an immature sort of personality. He is decidedly stubborn and strong-willed, frequently letting his pettiness and vindictiveness get the better of him (it is this stubbornness that contributes to Führer Bradley’s decision to codename him “Fullmetal,” as “Hagane” (literally meaning “steel”) is a term in Japanese that denotes someone of obstinate disposition.) and often has to be restrained or reprimanded by Al or whoever else is present. He is somewhat selfish and self-absorbed, generally acting more out of self-interest than any sort of philanthropy as well as taking several opportunities to stroke his own ego or flaunt the governmental power and monetary license of his military position. He is largely hostile towards figures of authority and feels little incentive to follow orders with which he disagrees, earning him the distinction of being a loose cannon of sorts.
Edward is also rather quick-tempered, resorting more often to steel-fisted violence than calm negotiation to settle disputes (even going so far as to suggest that refraining from hitting Paninya because of her gender is a sexist notion and, therefore, against his principles). He has a reputation for being foul-mouthed and is an incurably sarcastic cynic, only too happy to bluntly and harshly relieve others of their comfortable delusions regarding God, reality, or their own self-importance. Edward has also displayed a propensity towards impatience and an inability to sit still for long, which perhaps contributes to his love of travel.
However, for those few people who have made an impact on him, Ed shows his deeper nature to be one of marked selflessness, unflinching loyalty, and great compassion. As someone who has had to suffer greatly at such a young age, Edward cannot ignore the true suffering of others and becomes sympathetic upon sensing pain and resolve in people’s hearts. Though his solemn advice to such people is often tempered with brusque criticism, it is only because he genuinely wishes to place them on the most direct path forward. As one who has to struggle with a maimed body, he urges those with healthy bodies to use their strong legs to move forward, and as one burdened by the mistakes of his past, he stresses the necessity of people taking responsibility for their own errors. Though he will intervene on behalf of the oppressed if he concludes that a situation has called for it, Ed tends to help only those with the will – but not the means – to help themselves, in which case his recklessness and disdain for authority often has him bending the rules to dole out a Robin Hood-esque justice in accordance with his strong belief in the concept of Equivalent Exchange, earning him notoriety and popularity as a “hero of the people.”
A defining trait of Ed’s shown throughout the series is his guilt complex; as far as he’s concerned, his and his brother’s current states are his fault, partially because it was his idea to transmute their mother in the first place and partially because Al lost his entire body as a result of the experiment, while Ed only lost an arm and a leg. He was even convinced that Al hated him for what happened to his body, and was scared to ask him about it for years. As a result of this trait, he starts off as highly standoffish, trying to accomplish everything on his own and not accepting help from anyone but Al, as well as being convinced that he can solve all of his problems through Alchemy. Over time, however, he learns to depend more on his friends and share his burdens with others. But while he may work on his guilt, it never truly goes away, as even towards the end of the series, he’s still beating himself up over Nina Tucker being turned into a Chimera, despite having saved countless other lives along the way.
Of course, the most noticeable of Edward’s dispositional characteristics is his Napoleonic denial of his shortness. Even in moments of relative composure, any and all references to his stature cause him to violently lose control of his emotions and lash out both verbally and physically. One of the most common reasons for these outbursts is if anything related to his size, since he has a complex about being shorter than average (his height is 165 cm). Distinctive to these outbursts is Ed’s tendency to take even the most casual mention of his height as a gross insult and interpret it exaggeratedly, mistaking words as simple as “small” for phrases as contrived as “so-tiny-that-he-need-not-fear-being-crushed-by-a-boot-because-he-fits-so-easily-between-the-grooves-of-the-sole” and the like. Those unfortunate to utter the word “small” in his presence are fated to suffer one of his vindictive tantrums unless he is in the wrong and needs to be put in his place such as when Izumi Curtis calls him a runt while scolding him and Al in the manga. He also accepts Nina referring to him as “Little big brother” in the 2003 Anime.
This part of his personality is presumably no longer present by the end of the series, given that he has grown to normal height by then.
Though Edward professes that he does not believe in gods, his spiritual sensibilities tend more toward the agnostic than the atheistic; in private, though he does not pray, he frequently acknowledges the existence of a God in his speech, whom he often blamed for the difficulty of his life. Ed’s aesthetic sensibilities are also quite twisted in that he is a great fan of gothic or macabre fixtures and will usually transmute decorations filled with monstrous or demonic imagery and unnecessarily gaudy details, much to the dismay of anyone who receives a gift or service from him. He has also made it known that his trademark red coat is part of this general lack of taste, as it is what he says is: “a badass color [that] gets the blood going.”
3. Vegeta From Dragon Ball Z
Vegeta is one of the most powerful mortal warriors in Universe 7 and the multiverse as a whole.
From a young age, Vegeta showed tremendous power even by the standards of First-Class warriors and the royal bloodline of the Saiyan race. King Vegeta pridefully stated that Vegeta greatly broke all previous records in Saiyan history. Vegeta has even noted that his entire combat experience and fighting style is purely self-taught, having grown-up with no teachers, further showcasing his prodigious talents as a warrior. He effortlessly defeated eight Saibamen simultaneously and is noted to have even surpassed his father, King Vegeta, putting his power level over 10,000. Ultimately, his power prompted the interest of Frieza, who decided to add Vegeta to his personal elite forces.
By the time he first arrived on Earth as an adult, his power reached about 18,000, putting him well above Nappa, who proudly declared he was the second strongest Saiyan. Once fighting against Goku, it took Goku tripling his power with the Kaio-ken to overpower the prince. This convinced Vegeta to transform into a Great Ape, although using his Power Ball was stated to have decreased his power. In his Great Ape form, Vegeta states that his power increased tenfold, technically making him more powerful than the entire Ginyu Force. Even when badly battle-worn from Goku’s various attacks and having reverted to his base form, Vegeta showed remarkable resilience, able to continue fighting against the Earth’s defenders and even held his own against the Great Ape Gohan. At this time, Vegeta’s Galick Gun had enough power to at the very least ravage the entire surface of the Earth.
After healing from his defeat on Earth, Vegeta’s power rose to 24,000 thanks to the Saiyan Power (offset by losing his tail, which is known to reduce a Saiyan’s strength), putting him above Frieza’s personal-guard in Dodoria and Zarbon, albeit the latter quickly pummeled Vegeta after transforming. After healing again, Vegeta’s power increased enough to easily defeat the transformed Zarbon and cause some minor damage to Recoome, putting his power level just under 30,000. After healing from his battle against Recoome, Vegeta showed an especially potent increase in power, easily outmatching Jeice and Captain Ginyu and being able to fight on par with the full power of Frieza’s first form, putting Vegeta’s power at about 530,000. After Frieza transformed into his second form, Vegeta became terrified of his power and was unable to harm him with a Galick Gun. Once healed by Krillin’s blast in an attempt to become a Super Saiyan, Vegeta’s power level shot up once more, becoming able to perceive Frieza’s movements in his true form, but ultimately proved no match for the tyrant. After being revived from death, Vegeta found that his power had increased greatly.
In the three years preparing for attack of the Androids, Vegeta trained under intense amounts of gravity, eventually reaching 450 times Earth’s gravity. By the time the Androids arrived, Vegeta, having finally obtained Super Saiyan, was able to effortlessly outclass Android 19 and 20. Piccolo noted that Vegeta may have surpassed Goku. According to Kami, Vegeta’s power surpassed Future Trunks’, as he lasted far longer against Android 18 than Trunks himself. The prince mainly lost the fight due to the Androids infinite stamina. After proving too weak to face either Android 17 or 18, Vegeta trained in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. On emerging, he was effortlessly able to subdue Cell in his Semi-Perfect state with his Super Saiyan Second Grade form. After being soundly defeated by Perfect Cell, Vegeta chose to train again in the Time Chamber, fueled even more after learning of Goku and Gohan’s newfound mastery of Super Saiyan. At the Cell Games, Vegeta’s continuous rivalry experiences a breaking point after Goku proves able to fight on equal terms with Perfect Cell, which Vegeta could not do despite having spent more than twice as much time training compared to Goku.
Vegeta continues training for the next seven years, eventually reaching 500 times gravity. By then, Vegeta became stronger than Gohan, who previously defeated Cell while obtaining Super Saiyan 2, as the hybrid slacked off on his training since. On Babidi’s spaceship against Pui Pui, one of Babidi’s strongest warriors that even Shin was concerned to face, Vegeta effortlessly repelled the possessed foe’s repeated assaults, even while exposed to 10 times Earth’s gravity. After seeing a glimpse of Goku’s increased power, Vegeta lets himself get possessed by Babidi because he wanted to receive Babidi’s magic and get more powerful. In this state, combined with Super Saiyan 2, Vegeta becomes able to fight on par with Goku’s Super Saiyan 2 might.
Ultimately, however, Goku managed to gain the upper hand and overwhelm Vegeta, forcing the prince to feign a draw long enough to catch Goku off-guard and knock him out. Later, against Majin Buu Vegeta initially began pummeling Buu about, shocking all spectators. Even Piccolo noted that Vegeta’s might eclipsed Gohan’s against Super Perfect Cell. In the anime, as a Super Saiyan, Vegeta also managed to defeat the fake Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks and fake Piccolo who possess as much strength as the originals. Once facing Kid Buu with Super Saiyan, while soundly pummeled by the primordial monster, Vegeta still returned to his fight and defiantly returned to fighting, momentarily scaring Buu. Super Saiyan 2 Vegeta then managed to briefly hold his ground in a power struggle against Buu.
In Dragon Ball Super, Vegeta’s training in the gravity chamber reached a point that he was no longer affected by the chamber’s max gravity setting. When Super Saiyan 2 Vegeta faced off against Beerus, he was easily knocked down by the God of Destruction. However, after witnessing Bulma getting slapped by Beerus, he underwent a rage boost, able to get several hits on him, something that Super Saiyan 3 Goku, Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks, and even Ultimate Gohan couldn’t do – Beerus even claimed that he hadn’t needed to use 10% of his power for a long time before Vegeta. Months later, determined to master Super Saiyan God on his own, Whis notices Vegeta’s progress, complimenting it and noting that with proper guidance he could catch up to Goku. Later on, Vegeta trains on Beerus’ Planet with Whis for six months, to which Goku admits upon their reunion that Vegeta may have surpassed him. After training with Goku, his strength further increases, and both Goku and Vegeta unlock the Super Saiyan Blue form. As a Super Saiyan Blue, Vegeta easily defeated a tired Golden Frieza.
In preparation for the Tournament of Destroyers, Vegeta and Goku train together in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for three years (the equivalent of three days in the outside world) – though it is noted by Vegeta that their power would not increase very much in this time.
During the Tournament of Destroyers, Vegeta, as a Super Saiyan, defeated Final Form Frost with one punch, albeit Frost was considerably battered and exhausted from his previous matches. Against Auta Magetta, while Vegeta was initially able to casually evade the massive opponent’s assault, Vegeta’s attacks proved to have no effect on Magetta and forced to use Super Saiyan was Magetta’s power increased. Even after doing so, Vegeta was almost ringed out, however, this was largely because of Magetta’s heat suffocating Vegeta in the dome.
Ultimately, it took Vegeta unknowingly exploiting Magetta’s weakness to knock him out of the ring. In his base form, he had a slight advantage over Cabba and quickly pummeled Cabba with Super Saiyan. Once Cabba turned Super Saiyan, the two fought evenly, however Vegeta seemed to be holding back, as he took no damage from Cabba’s solid hits. As a Super Saiyan Blue, he beat Super Saiyan Cabba with one punch. Against Hit, even as a Super Saiyan Blue, Vegeta was dominated, though this was largely because Vegeta had no knowledge of Hit’s Time-Skip and was tired after his previous 3 fights.
Days after the tournament, when Vegeta traveled to Planet Potaufeu, an exact copy of Vegeta was created that proved unfazed by Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks and likewise defeated the fused warrior with only a few blows in just his base form. Afterwards, Duplicate Vegeta proved able to essentially fight on par with Goku in their respective matching base and Super Saiyan Blue forms.
In preparing for his encounter with Goku Black, Vegeta trained in the gravity room arduously. In the anime, upon facing the mysterious fighter, Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta proved powerful enough to overwhelm Black in base form (albeit he showed no visible damage from the assault) and quickly recover from the foe’s powerful kick. Once Black transformed into Super Saiyan Rosé, Vegeta still proved able to fight on par with the enemy, until he was caught off-guard and stabbed by Black’s God Split Cut, taking him out of the fight. Despite his severe wound, Vegeta was able to stay conscious and gather enough energy to re-enter Super Saiyan Blue long enough to fire a blast able to distract Black and Future Zamasu.
In the manga the fully powered up Super Saiyan 2 Vegeta held an advantage over Super Saiyan Black and as a Super Saiyan Blue easily overwhelms Black. Once Black recovered thanks to Future Zamasu healing him, Black’s power increased tremendously to gain a slight advantage over Vegeta. Once healing again and refined his power into Super Saiyan Rosé Goku Black, Black gained a commanding lead over Vegeta, even after healing himself from his severe injuries. Future Trunks states that Vegeta has trained and pushed his body to its absolute limit at this point and as such cannot get any stronger.
Later in the anime, after healing from his battle against Black and training again in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for six months (half a day in normal time), his power was able to destroy the Time Chamber. Upon his rematch against Black, Vegeta proved able to gradually push back the Saiyan-wannabe, even block his energy blade with the back of his aura-shrouded wrist. As he began voicing his disdain at Black for mocking Saiyan pride by masquerading as one for a quick path for power, the rage from these feelings gave Vegeta a boost able to utterly overwhelm his foe, leaving Black battered and baffled at the gap in power. In the manga.
Vegeta learns how to switch between Super Saiyan God and Super Saiyan Blue. Able to conserve and replenish energy more efficiently through his God form while using Blue form in the moments he blocks and attacks, he could extend how long he could maintain the max power of Super Saiyan Blue, using this tactic to overwhelm Super Saiyan Rosé Goku Black. After Fused Zamasu’s time-limit ran up and forced the rogue Kais back into two but mutated back into their merged form separately, Vegeta unleashed a Gamma Burst Flash which proved able to blow the two foes into pieces, albeit they both quickly regenerated into an army.
In the manga following Zamasu’s defeat, Vegeta is on Beerus’s planet training with Whis, who actually compliments Vegeta’s speed as being much improved but still too slow to hit him. Beerus approaches and is annoyed so Vegeta arrogantly challenges Beerus to a fight and powers up to Super Saiyan Blue and attacks, believing himself to have surpassed Beerus. Beerus initially toys with Vegeta and slaps him through a mountain into a lake where Vegeta emerges and reveals he is also able to perform the Completed Super Saiyan Blue form and attacks again. Beerus still not impressed until he is pushed back for a moment and gets serious by defeating Vegeta in one blow. Though, Beerus notes that Vegeta is now strong enough to become a candidate for God of Destruction in a different universe.
In preparation for the Tournament of Power, in the anime Vegeta trains in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber for one hour (the equivalent of half a month inside) to raise his power. When discussing bringing Frieza back for the Tournament of Power, Goku notes that either he or Vegeta can defeat Frieza if he betrays them, although this was without knowing about Frieza’s further growth while in Hell. In the manga the now stronger Frieza believes that he could beat the now much stronger Vegeta, and Goku says that he is not sure who would win between them.
Alongside Goku and Frieza, Vegeta is seen as one of the trump cards for Universe 7’s potential victory in the Tournament of Power.
During the Tournament of Power, in the manga, Vegeta blocked joined attack from Catopesra and Nink, easily throwing both into the air simultaneously before blasting them off to eliminate them. In the anime, Vegeta easily knocked away Nigrissi and Obni with a barrage of punches. He struggled against Hop and Lavender, however, once they were distracted, Vegeta knocked Hopp out of the arena with an Amazing Impact. Once he turned Super Saiyan, he easily defeated both Hyssop and Oregano with a Final Galick Cannon. When the Trio of Danger fired their Triangle Dangers Beam, he and Goku turned Super Saiyan Blue and overpowered the beam with a Final Kamehameha, knocking the Trio out of the arena in the process. As a Super Saiyan, Vegeta struggled against the Bota Magetta combination: Botamo’s invincible body and Auta Magetta’s steel psyche. As a Super Saiyan, he was able to fight on par with Ribrianne.
In the manga, Toppo declared Vegeta to be Universe 7’s second best warrior. This however angered Vegeta being considered weaker than Goku. Using Perfected Super Saiyan Blue, he was able to catch the superfast Dyspo off guard to easily knock him aside and then pressured Toppo with his relentless assault push him back. Impressed with Vegeta’s display, Toppo acknowledged Vegeta’s raw might as on par with Goku. Later, Perfected Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta is knocked out of the arena by Legedary Super Saiyan Kale with one punch (though he saves himself using an energy sword). As his fight resumed against Toppo, Vegeta gained ground to overwhelm the Pride Trooper, forcing the foe to access his godly ki to continue fighting Vegeta.
In the anime, in his base form, his Galick Gun was powerful enough to knock Prum and Dr. Rota out of the arena. He was able to effortlessly deflect one of Final Form Frost’s Chaos Beams with one hand in his base form. As a Super Saiyan, he was able to match Final Form Frost, who has become stronger than before, and Auta Magetta in combat simultaneously. Also, against the latter, Vegeta’s new might proved to be able to push back the highly durable foe unlike their previous battle. When he turned Super Saiyan Blue, he scared both Frost and Magetta, and made the former retreat. In his base form, Vegeta easily knocked Monna away with a Ki Blast, who previously overwhelmed Super Saiyan Cabba.
As a Super Saiyan Blue, he was able to clash with Toppo. When Toppo caught Vegeta with a Justice Rear Naked Choke, Vegeta managed to resist the pain and free himself with a blow powerful enough to keep Toppo disoriented and passed out for a few moments. In an attempt to access Ultra Instinct like Goku, he willing let Catopesra attack him. After taking a barrage of blows from the opponent’s x300 power increase of his Raging Battle Mode, base Vegeta is left merely annoyed by the assault, quickly pummeling his foe. As a Super Saiyan, Vegeta was able to overpower Katopesla’s strongest attack, Katopesla The Final Mission, with a Final Flash. In his base form, Vegeta was able to hold his own against Team Universe 3, even after his movements have been analyzed. Against Koichiarator, Vegeta and Goku turned Super Saiyan Blue and were able to hold their own against the mighty fused warrior, even being able to match Koichiarator’s beam with a Galick Gun and a Kamehameha. Against Anilaza, as a Super Saiyan, Vegeta was overwhelmed by the giant warrior. Together with all the remaining members of Team Universe 7, Vegeta engaged in a beam struggle with Anilaza as a Super Saiyan Blue, and even then, Anilaza almost overwhelmed Team Universe 7.
It was only when Android 17 damaged Anilaza’s energy reactor that Vegeta and his teammates were able to knock Anilaza out of the arena. Against Jiren, Vegeta as a Super Saiyan Blue at first was easily knocked away, however after seeing through Jiren’s attack, he was able to land a punch on Jiren, shocking everyone, even Jiren himself. Vegeta then proceeded to fight on par with Jiren, even managing to land a kick to his stomach. However, Vegeta calls out Jiren, saying that he was faster and stronger when he fought Goku earlier. Jiren then proceeds to overpower and almost knock Vegeta out of the arena with a Power Impact, seriously injuring Vegeta. However, Vegeta manages to get back on his feet, turn back into Super Saiyan Blue, and fire a Final Flash powerful enough, that Jiren needed to block, and also almost destroy the spectator bench. However, Jiren reveals that he took no damage from the Final Flash, although he admitted that the force of the attack wasn’t half bad. Jiren then easily knocks Vegeta unconscious with an energy attack.
Despite this and the severe injuries he sustained, Vegeta was able to get back up on his feet. Then, being driven to keep the promise he made to Cabba, Vegeta was able to break his self-limiting shell and achieve a transformation beyond Super Saiyan Blue. In this state, alongside Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken Goku, the two were able to fight on par with Jiren, and throw him off balance. Against Destroyer Form Top, Vegeta at first was overwhelmed by him. However Vegeta’s disgust at Top casting aside all of his beliefs in order to win caused him to power up further allowed him to reverse the situation, even being able to destroy his Energy of Destruction with an energy punch. When Top powered up to his maximum and fired a Sphere of Destruction, Vegeta unleashed his Final Explosion, which knocked his foe out of the arena. Vegeta had also gotten strong enough that he was able to withstand the full power of the Final Explosion without dying, however, he used up all of his energy, leaving him so battered and exhausted that he could barely stand. Impressed by Vegeta’s performance, Jiren openly voiced his respect and admiration for Vegeta. This ultimately prompted Jiren to unleash his full power.
Despite the injuries he sustained, Vegeta retained enough strength and stamina to continue using Super Saiyan God SS Evolved and fight alongside his allies. Ultimately, the combined assault between Vegeta, Goku, and Android 17 at their full might was repelled by Jiren with only moderate difficulty, leaving Vegeta and the others worn out. Despite Vegeta no longer having enough stamina to transform at all, he still managed to endure Jiren’s assault for an extended period of time, earning Jiren’s respect at Vegeta’s tenacity upon finally eliminating the prince. Despite this, Vegeta retained enough energy to transfer it to Goku, giving his fellow Saiyan enough energy to transform again.
In the manga, in anger at Goku breaking his limits and getting one step ahead once more, Vegeta achieved a heightened state of Perfected Super Saiyan Blue, blowing Top back in the process. Using this enhanced state Vegeta began pressuring Jiren – who noted that Vegeta in this state had given him more trouble than anything else he had faced during the Tournament of Power aside from the “ascended state” that Goku has displayed shortly before – openly acknowledging the Saiyan prince. To which, Jiren then revealed more of his power, at which point he easily took down Vegeta. Teaming with Goku after he lost Ultra Instinct, their combination proving greater than the sum of it’s parts and allowed them to gain an edge over the greatly weakened Jiren.
During the Galactic Patrol Prisoner Saga, Vegeta noted that he was fast enough in his base form to fly from Capsule Corporation to Satan City in five seconds. Against the infamously powerful wizard Moro, Vegeta impressed the foe with his might, stopping him from consuming a Namekian. While initially overwhelmed by Moro’s dark magic, even up to Super Saiyan 2, Vegeta quickly overcame the unseen powers of Moro with Super Saiyan God, forcing Moro to get serious. As Moro began using his power to manipulate the very nature of New Namek, Vegeta was pressured into using Super Saiyan God SS Evolved, easily broke through Moro’s defenses to beat him down. However, convinced Moro was defeated, Vegeta powered down, which let Moro absorb the bulk of his energy and easily defeat Vegeta.
Later, Vegeta at full power proved able to easily defeat several followers of Moro even after their power was each increased considerably by Moro’s magic. However, once Moro drain most of Vegeta’s power, leaving barely able to maintain Super Saiyan, he struggled to fend off even a single one of Moro’s men. Despite losing so much energy, he was still able to fly and fast enough to catch up to a speeding Galactic Patrol ship.
Later, after completing basic training of Spirit Control under Pybara, Vegeta’s power went through a massive boost, as even a simple ki-blast proved to have devastating power and range. In battle against Moro’s empowered men, Vegeta exhibited such tremendous raw power, able to calmly swat away a giant building thrown at him with a single hand and likewise effortlessly defeated the foes in base form.
In Dragon Ball GT, the difference in power between Vegeta and Goku continues to become even greater, as Goku has gained the Super Saiyan 4 form while Vegeta is still in the Super Saiyan 2 form. During the Black Star Dragon Ball Saga, Vegeta is mentioned by Trunks’ to be one of the people on Earth stronger than him and Pan. During the Baby Saga, Vegeta is remarked by Goten to be the strongest Saiyan on Earth. While possessing Goten, Baby notes that gaining Vegeta’s body would allow him to surpass even Trunks and Goku. He is able to easily avoid Super Saiyan Baby Gohan’s Kamehameha in base, and is able to easily overpower him in Super Saiyan, though has trouble when he is backed up by base Infected Goten.
Vegeta is remarked by Baby to be the mightiest body in the universe and the perfect one for him to be able to defeat Goku. This is proven correct when the two become Baby Vegeta. Their power levels are much closer when the two (Goku and Vegeta) are using the same form. Vegeta believed that he could defeat Goku while they were both in their Super Saiyan forms during the 31st World Martial Arts Tournament. During the Super 17 Saga, the fully-powered Super Saiyan Vegeta was able to hold his own against Super 17 for a short time, though the android was toying with him. During the Shadow Dragon Saga, Vegeta believes that the only difference between the two is the Super Saiyan 4 that he does not have access to (due to his lack of a tail). However, Vegeta manages to temporarily gain the Super Saiyan 4 form, allowing him to battle Omega Shenron alongside Goku. In a short bout with the powered-up Nuova Shenron, Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta is outmatched.
4. Goku From Dragon Ball Z
Goku is one of the strongest mortal warriors in Universe 7, with the majority of the multiverse (deities included) referring to him as the fittest among them during the Tournament of Power, and one of the most powerful characters in the franchise. A prodigy of combat, he learned a great deal while a young child and would continue to near-effortlessly learn practically any new technique he encountered. His natural talent for battle along with his unwavering drive have taken his power to unprecedented levels. Ultimately, his might rivals the strongest mortal warriors in the multiverse and even the Gods of Destruction on occasion.
As an infant, he could drag large rocks tied to him while pursuing food and resist his adoptive grandpa’s attempts to hold him down. When first meeting Bulma, he was unfazed when rundown by her car and shot, quickly picking up and throwing her car with her in it. He defeated a Pteranodon, a pack of wolves and a Bear Thief with ease. When meeting Yamcha, Goku fought on par with the bandit despite being weakened from hunger. Later, as a Great Ape, Goku effortlessly destroyed Emperor Pilaf’s castle.
While training under Master Roshi, Goku consistently outperformed Krillin and amazed the teacher, including moving large boulders and running a 100-meter dash in 8.5 seconds. Goku and Krillin accomplished various grueling labors a day that outperformed an entire work-force of adults. By the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, Goku’s might could move a massive boulder. In the tournament, he breezed through the preliminaries while holding back significantly and developed various new techniques against his foes. In the finals, Goku fought on par with the seasoned veteran “Jackie Chun” and likewise replicate practically every maneuver his opponent used on him, narrowly losing by lack of stamina after a double count-out.
While fighting the Red Ribbon Army, Goku did not experience any serious trouble against the majority of their fighters, with only General Blue providing any meaningful resistance through the use of his telekinetic abilities. In hand-to-hand combat, however, Goku still managed to handily come out on top after a short but intense struggle. During this time, Goku had also fought on par with the Pirate Robot, an ancient but powerful fighting machine, before finally defeating it with an aeriel assault.
When facing Mercenary Tao, Goku was toyed with by the deadly assassin and only managed to mildly hurt the foe with his Kamehameha before being defeated himself. After training with Korin, Goku defeated Mercenary Tao with ease, able to block Tao’s Dodon Ray with only mild pain. Goku then proceeded to single-handedly destroy the entire Red Ribbon Army’s headquarters and defeat all of its soldiers. Even Staff Officer Black’s Battle Jacket was beaten easily.
To get help from Fortuneteller Baba, Goku faced and defeated her supernatural foes including Bandages the Mummy and Spike the Devil Man with mild effort. He then fought on par with the resurrected Grandpa Gohan, who resorted to grabbing Goku’s tail to get an advantage.
During the 22nd World Martial Arts tournament, Goku defeated a former champion in King Chappa in the preliminaries. He gradually overwhelmed Krillin, even taking Krillin’s Kamehameha with a single hand. As Krillin attempted to stop Goku by grabbing his tail, Goku is revealed to have trained it to be as strong as the rest of his body. Goku then defeated Krillin too fast for anyone but Tien to see. Against Tien in the finals, Goku proved able to counter virtually everything Tien used on him, forcing him to instead rely on a count-out by destroying the ring while he flew.
Against Tambourine, Goku was bested due to his exhaustion and hunger after the aforementioned tournament. Once he regained his strength, however, Goku easily defeated and killed the monster. Almost immediately after, Goku was confronted by the weakened, aged King Piccolo himself and dominated at first due to taking him by surprise. However, once King Piccolo got serious, he soundly defeated Goku and easily withstood his Kamehameha. After drinking the Ultra Divine Water, Goku’s potential was unlocked, enabling him to easily defeat Drum, King Piccolo’s most powerful warrior who had effortlessly beaten Tien, and fight on par with King Piccolo himself, who was restored to his prime and eventually defeated him.
After training under Mr. Popo for three years, Goku’s all-around performance increased remarkably to surpass his teachers. In the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, with weighted clothes, he effortlessly made it to the semi-finals. Once removing his weighted clothes, Goku’s speed proved too great for Tien to even perceive and quickly defeated Tien. In the finals, Goku noticeably outfights King Piccolo’s stronger reincarnation, Piccolo Junior, gradually wearing down the foe to ultimately defeat him and become acknowledged as the strongest in the world.
While Goku’s might was extraordinary by human standards, it was revealed that by even Low-level Saiyan standards, Goku’s power was considered extremely pitiful. This is evidenced by how he was outclassed by his older brother Raditz, considered a mid-class warrior himself. Despite aid from Piccolo, he only managed to defeat Raditz by dying with his brother while holding him and also taking Piccolo’s blast. After training with King Kai, Goku easily defeated Nappa, the Commander-in-Chief of the entire Saiyan Army, and fought on par with Vegeta, a Super Elite warrior, although he needed to use Kaio-Ken x3 in order to overpower the Saiyan prince.
After healing from his fight with Great Ape Vegeta and training at x100 Earth’s gravity, Goku’s power far exceeded Saiyan standards, easily defeating Ginyu Force members Recoome and Burter, the former of whom pummeled Vegeta and Gohan, and fight on par with Captain Ginyu himself. After healing from his Body Change experience, Goku’s power increased immensely, and through various tactics and newfound strategies, forced the powerful tyrant Frieza to fight seriously at 50% of his true power. Only when he used Kaio-ken x20, could Goku land an attack on Frieza at 50% power, and even then, his attack failed to give Frieza any major damage. After transforming into a Super Saiyan, Goku completely outmatched Frieza at 100% power, calmly dominating the foe once fighting seriously.
After training with the Yardrats, Goku’s power increased enough to defeat both Mecha Frieza and King Cold, as he originally would have if not been for Future Trunks doing so. In their brief spar as Super Saiyans, Goku effortlessly deflected all of Future Trunks’ sword attacks with a finger, leaving the hybrid in awe, albeit Goku noted that Future Trunks wasn’t fighting with true desire.
After training for three years to prepare for the Androids, Goku, at Super Saiyan, easily dominated Android 19 and would have defeated him had the heart virus not hindered him. After training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Super Saiyan Goku showed far more power than any of his allies, enough that it shook the Lookout and nearly destroyed Korin Tower, all while at less than half his might. Against Cell, Goku fought on par with a restrained Perfect Cell, a feat no one could match (let alone top) but Super Saiyan 2 Gohan.
In the anime, upon meeting Frieza, King Cold, and Cell, they were all amazed at his tremendous increase in power, which he used to instantly defeat most of the Ginyu Force with his energy alone. Later, Goku fought in the Other World Tournament against the greatest warriors in the history of Universe 7 with countless millennia-worth of experience each where he reached the finals against Pikkon, seemingly the mightiest warrior of Other World.
Seven years later, base Goku easily carried eight tons of weighted clothing for training and 40 tons as a Super Saiyan. When joining Shin and Kibito to defeat Babidi, base Goku easily fended off Yakon, even void of sight from Yakon’s pitch-black world. As Super Saiyan, Goku was noted to have 3,000 kili – power to destroy several planets. Goku also said he can defeat Dabura, a foe who is the strongest in the Demon Realm, without too much difficulty. Vegeta noted that Super Saiyan 2 Goku surpassed Gohan’s power when he defeated Super Perfect Cell.
With just transforming into Super Saiyan 3, Goku causes worldwide earthquakes with Tien worrying Goku could destroy the planet by the sheer weight of his power. Against Buu, despite the Majin’s limitless resilience and unpredictable nature, Super Saiyan 3 Goku could fight on par with and continuously pressure him. Ultimately, Goku admitted to be holding back considerably as Super Saiyan 3’s intensity was draining Goku’s time in the Living World and probably could have defeated the fat Majin if he tried to.
In the anime, Goku manages to hold his own against Super Buu (Gotenks absorption) as Super Saiyan 3. Later, Super Saiyan 2 Goku fended off Kid Buu for an extended period of time, even parting a mountain with his bare fists. Once using Super Saiyan 3, Goku initially pressured the Majin until he began tiring against Buu’s near-limitless healing. It was noted that his full power could wipe out the Majin. However, he had trouble gathering the necessary energy since his living body hadn’t adapted to the form yet.
Upon meeting base Goku, Beerus highly doubts Goku could defeat Frieza. When using Super Saiyan 3, Goku’s power impressed Beerus and Whis, albeit he was still utterly defeated by two playful strikes from Beerus. After Goku attained Super Saiyan God, Goku is strong enough to face Beerus and inflict some damage, to which their fight caused the universe to start crumbling from the massive energy they exerted. After Super Saiyan God form’s time limit ended in the anime, Goku reverted to Super Saiyan, but was still able to compete against Beerus as he managed to absorb the godly power. Goku managed to destroy Beerus’ Sphere of Destruction, though it used up all of his power to do so.
While Goku trained under Whis, in the anime, Whis noted that Goku was only on the lowest levels of godly power. At this point, base Goku could survive an unrestrained ki blast from Beerus. In the anime, base Goku and Final Form Frieza fighting was noted by Krillin and Gohan to move too fast to be seen. Also, Goku pressured Frieza in his strengthened true form, whose first form easily defeated Super Saiyan Gohan. Despite then revealing Super Saiyan Blue, Goku was completely outmatched by the tyrant’s new Golden form and had to rely on his superior stamina to outlast Frieza, whose lack of proper control over the new form exhausted him. Once he was drained, Goku soundly defeated his nemesis with limited effort.
During the Tournament of Destroyers, Goku briefly struggled against Botamo’s unusual body, forcing him to instead rely on strategy to defeat him and then went on to dominate Frost, who resorted to poisoning the Saiyan in an attempt to achieve victory. Against Hit, base Goku held his own and began pressuring Hit as he adapted to his Time-Skip assault. In the anime, his Super Saiyan Blue overwhelmed the assassin’s full power. This forced Hit to imprint and improve his battle prowess to counter Goku, which in turn drove Goku to use x10 Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken, allowing him to outmatch the assassin’s improved Time-Skip. In the manga, Super Saiyan Goku outmatched Hit until Hit’s tactics retained more stamina than Goku. Super Saiyan God Goku was on par with Hit’s full power and immune to the Time-Skip. With Super Saiyan Blue, Goku broke the Time-Skip completely.
In the anime, when meeting Goku Black in the present timeline, Super Saiyan 2 Goku is able to fight on par with Black, gradually wearing down the evil doppelganger. Later, when Super Saiyan 2 Goku fights Zamasu, Gowasu notes that Goku’s power is in the same realm as a destroyer’s (although Beerus is offended by this statement), having gradually overwhelmed and defeated Zamasu. Super Saiyan Blue Goku fought on par with Super Saiyan Rosé Black, occasionally outmaneuvering him, but was critically hurt by Black’s Black Kamehameha while held down by Future Zamasu. During Vegeta’s battle with Black in the manga Future Trunks states that Goku has trained and pushed his body to it’s absolute limit at this point and as such cannot get any stronger. During the third battle in the anime, upon learning Black killed his family in the previous timeline, despite the hole in his chest, an enraged Goku overwhelmed Black and Future Zamasu simultaneously. Goku also proceeded to briefly overwhelm Fused Zamasu using his Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken in the anime despite his injured arms, and in the manga overwhelm the fused god using Perfected Super Saiyan Blue.
In the anime, as the Omni-Kings’ tournament grew closer, Beerus openly viewed Goku as the trump card for Universe 7’s potential victory. Once Goku faced Hit again, he was overwhelmed by Hit’s new skillset, but mainly due to Hit’s ability to phase through attacks. During the second round, Goku quickly realized the truth of Hit’s improved abilities and adjusted, able to overpower the assassin with only Super Saiyan Blue, noting that Hit’s Time-Skip techniques would no longer affect him. To his point, Goku’s sheer energy shattered Hit’s Tides of Time pocket dimension. Ultimately, the fight ended in a stalemate.
In the anime, during the Zeno Expo, base Goku matched Bergamo, the strongest warrior of Universe 9. With Super Saiyan, he easily outpaced the giant Bergamo before easily defeating him with Super Saiyan Blue, to which the gathered deities noted that Goku’s power rivaled the gods. Immediately afterwards, Super Saiyan Blue Goku fought against Top, a Universe 11 candidate for the God of Destruction, and gradually overwhelmed his opponent. In the manga, while watching the Zen Exhibition Match between all twelve Destroyers, base Goku stayed conscious from Rumush’s Battle Roar, which knocked out all the Supreme Kais present.
During recruitment for Team Universe 7 in the anime, base Goku matched the highly strengthened Shape-Up Good Buu but is defeated by ring out. He also fought mostly on par with Android 17, who was much more powerful than he was years ago, with a number of his forms, but both agreed that the Saiyan was still holding back considerably. Against Gohan’s Potential Unleashed state, Goku fought on par with Super Saiyan Blue and then used the Kaio-ken to defeat Gohan instantly. In the anime, base Goku withstood Sidra’s Energy of Destruction, though he was unable to get control over it, requiring Beerus’ aid and at Super Saiyan Blue, had a brief exchange with Golden Frieza and proved his equal despite his tremendous power increase.
During the Tournament of Power, numerous deities, acknowledge Goku as the most powerful warrior of Universe 7 with at least a few of them considering him the greatest threat after Jiren. All throughout, base Goku held his own against multiple opponents such as the Trio of Danger, the Universe 3 robots Koitsukai, Panchia and Bollarator, the Universe 6 Saiyan Caulifla, and the Universe 2 warriors Ribrianne, Roasie, Zarbuto, Rabanra, and Zirloin with his power, skill and determination. This is made all the more impressive by the fact that during at least half of these encounters, he was extremely exhausted. At Super-Saiyan Blue, Goku was outmatched by only Kefla and Jiren. In the anime, even with X20 Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken, Goku stood no chance against Jiren. In the manga, Goku pushed his body well-beyond the normal limits of Perfected Super Saiyan Blue, using this increase in power to momentarily overwhelm Jiren. However, the strain quickly caught up, allowing Jiren to rebound unfazed.
Goku eventually gained Ultra Instinct Sign which allowed him to hold his own against Jiren. In this state, Goku’s ki shook the entire Null Realm, a realm of infinite size. Against Top and Dyspo, he nonchalantly blocked their simultaneous assault and dodged the former’s Justice Flash. He later eliminated Kefla while in her Legendary Super Saiyan 2 form. In the final one-on-one confrontation against Jiren, Goku achieved Ultra Instinct Sign again and began to overpower Jiren. Eventually Goku mastered Ultra Instinct, leaving all the present deities observing in awe.
He then easily overwhelmed Jiren until he unleashed his hidden power, but ultimately Goku was still able to gain an advantage over Jiren until his body broke down. In the manga, upon mastering Ultra Instinct Goku quickly overpowered and almost eliminated Jiren. Despite this, Goku’s lack of training in Ultra Instinct made him quickly lose stamina and dropped back to base form. Goku teamed up with Vegeta against the battered Jiren, overpowering the foe from their synchronized assault – Goku and Vegeta’s combination proving greater than the sum of it’s parts.
During the Galactic Patrol Prisoner Saga, when facing Moro, the infamous dark wizard was greatly intrigued by Goku, both at his power and abilities such as being able to instantly find him. Upon returning to Earth, after training with Merus, his power grew tremendously to amaze his Earth-bound allies. Goku easily defeated the strongest of Moro’s soldiers, including the Miza Iwaza Kikaza Fusion and Zauyogi with a single blow and calmly overwhelmed Saganbo despite the immense boost of power gained from Moro. Even as the latter began to overdose on Moro’s power, Super Saiyan Blue let Goku easily fend the foe off. This compelled Moro to see the full extent of Goku’s growth. Goku then showed the fruition of his training, able to access [Ultra Instinct Sign]] at will. With it, he gained an advantage over the wizard, able to evade Moro’s energy absorption power and pressure Moro onto the defense. However, once Moro unleashed his full power, he proved able to fight on equal footing with Goku, able to bypass Goku’s automatic defenses.
Ten years after Kid Buu’s defeat, at the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament, he felt certain that only Kid Buu’s reincarnation, Uub, would be a challenge for him.
Five years later in Dragon Ball GT, Goku’s true power is not shown as he is turned into a child by the Black Star Dragon Balls, apart from fighting on par in base form with Uub, who later who could hold his own against Super Baby Vegeta 2. Still, Goku retains far greater strength than when he was truly a child and still much stronger than his allies. While hunting for the Black Star Dragon Balls, he fights and overpowers base Rilldo, who is stated to have greater power than Majin Buu’s.
When Baby conquered Earth, base Goku was able to defeat Gohan and Goten, both as Super Saiyans, simultaneously and also breaks through a dimensional barrier. While Super Saiyan 3 Goku could compete against Super Saiyan Baby Vegeta, his child body couldn’t keep up that form for more than a minute. Once obtaining Super Saiyan 4 he fought on par with Golden Great Ape Baby, to which once he obtained full power, he proved much stronger and quickly defeated Baby.
Later, against Final Form Frieza and Super Perfect Cell, base Goku easily repelled the two dead foes, horrifying them at his might. When facing Super 17, Super Saiyan Goku fought on par against the android that all the Z Fighters combined were swiftly overpowered by (until he absorbed Goku’s energy).
Against Syn Shenron, the strongest of the Shadow Dragons, using Super Saiyan 4 at full power easily overwhelmed the enemy. Furthermore, using Dragon Fist, he obliterated Syn on his Omega state. After undergoing a mysterious change, Goku was cloaked in an aura that stopped even Omega Shenron’s attacks from having any effect on him.
5. Naruto Uzumaki From Naruto
Naruto was born on the night of October 10th to Minato Namikaze (the Fourth Hokage) and Kushina Uzumaki (the second jinchūriki of the Nine-Tails). He was named after Naruto Musasabi, the protagonist of Jiraiya’s first book, which made the Sannin his godfather. The Third Hokage made special arrangements for Minato to preserve Kushina’s seal containing the Nine-Tails while she gave birth to Naruto in a remote location, escorted by midwives and Anbu. A masked man, Tobi, tracked down their location, however, killed the midwives and Anbu, and captured Naruto, forcing Minato to quickly rescue him and teleport him to a safe house.
With Minato gone, Tobi captured Kushina and released the Nine-Tails from her, using it to devastate Konoha. Minato saved Kushina and left Naruto in her care before he went to protect the village, eventually defeating Tobi and freeing the Nine-Tails from Tobi’s control. Returning to Naruto and Kushina’s location, Minato realised the only way to stop the Nine-Tails was to seal it within Naruto, believing that his son would someday need the fox’s power to defeat Tobi when he returned. Since the Nine-Tails’ chakra was too immense to be sealed into an infant, Minato sacrificed his soul to split the fox’s chakra in half, sealing the Yin half within himself and the Yang half within Naruto. After telling Naruto how much they loved him, Minato and Kushina succumbed to their wounds from protecting their son from the Nine-Tails and passed away.
Orphaned, not having parents or anyone else to provide for him, Naruto received monthly income from the village in order to afford daily necessities. Naruto grew up not knowing who his parents were, receiving only his mother’s surname, as Hiruzen wanted to protect Naruto from his father’s enemies. Minato’s dying wish that Naruto be regarded as a hero was honoured by the very few who could put aside their pain and losses caused by the disaster, while the majority of Konoha, however having no knowledge of the circumstances surrounding his birth, openly ostracised and resented Naruto for containing the beast that devastated the village and took many lives; some even viewed Naruto as the Nine-Tails itself. Soon, the Third Hokage forbade anyone from mentioning the Nine-Tails, hoping that the younger generation would not blindly hate Naruto as their parents did. However, Naruto’s peers emulated their parents’ hatred of him, despite not knowing why. This social isolation caused Naruto to crave acknowledgement, which he would gain by pulling pranks.
On the day of his enrolment in the Ninja Academy – Naruto first met Hinata Hyūga, who was being picked on by three bullies. Despite not knowing her, Naruto immediately came to her defence, but he was outnumbered and knocked unconscious, and the bullies damaged his red scarf. When Naruto awoke, Hinata thanked him for helping her and returned his scarf to him, but he let her keep it. He was unaware that the girl’s growing affections for him began from that moment onwards.
In the Academy, Naruto became a student of Iruka Umino, who acted as a surrogate older brother to keep him in line and help him work harder. Naruto also met his class-mate Sasuke Uchiha and tried to befriend him, since he was alone as well. Jealous of Sasuke’s skills and popularity, however, he developed a one-sided rivalry in his pursuit to prove himself just as good as, if not better than, Sasuke, wishing that someday, Sasuke would accept him as an equal. Naruto also grew close with the owner of Ramen Ichiraku, Teuchi and his daughter Ayame, being welcomed as their favourite customer.
6. Monkey D. Luffy From One Piece
Monkey D. Luffy, also known as “Straw Hat Luffy” and commonly as “Straw Hat”, is the main protagonist of the manga and anime, One Piece. He is the founder and captain of the increasingly infamous and powerful Straw Hat Pirates, as well as one of its top three fighters. His lifelong dream is to become the Pirate King by finding the legendary treasure left behind by the late Gol D. Roger. He believes that being Pirate King means having the most freedom in the world.
Luffy is the son of the Revolutionary leader Monkey D. Dragon, the grandson of the Marine hero Monkey D. Garp, the sworn brother of late “Fire Fist” Portgas D. Ace and Revolutionary Chief-of-Staff Sabo, and the foster son of Curly Dadan. He is one of the few people in the world that carry the Will of D.
Luffy has gone up against many of the global powers around him, starting with fighting the most powerful pirates in the East Blue and moving to clashes against the Marines, Shichibukai, World Nobles, and Yonko in the Grand Line; he has emerged victorious in the majority of these battles. Luffy’s accomplishments and heritage have caused him to be labeled as a “Dangerous Future Element”, earning the wrath of Fleet Admiral Sakazuki, the Marine Headquarters and even the World Government.
Luffy also has a penchant for attracting followers and is currently the unofficial leader of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet, consisting of seven pirate crews who will aid him whenever he wishes. After learning of this and his exploits against the Big Mom Pirates, the press has labeled him the “Fifth Emperor of the Sea”, though many prominent figures consider this to be exaggerated.
These acts, among other things, have given him his current bounty of Beli 1,500,000,000. Having had a bounty of Beli 300,000,000 prior to his arrival at the Sabaody Archipelago, Luffy is one of eleven rookie pirates who simultaneously reached the Red Line with bounties over Beli 100,000,000, a group which would go on to be referred to as the “Worst Generation”.
7. Spike Spiegel From Cowboy Bebop
Spike is a slothful, nonchalant, indifferent, and lazy character. He passes the vast majority of his time on the Bebop lounging, watching TV, or sleeping. In a few rare occasions, he is also seen practicing Jeet Kune Do, a martial arts practice he is very skilled in, being among other things passionate of Bruce Lee and his philosophies (for example, he follows Lee’s “water” analogy for his style of fighting). He is a hardened smoker, shown with a cigarette in his mouth in practically every shot (the poor conditions in the cigarettes that are depicted recall those of Daisuke Jigen.)
Although he rarely acknowledges it, Spike has very little patience. He repeatedly states he hates dogs, children, and women with attitudes, and is anything but happy when each one of the three joins the Bebop, but as the series progressed, he warmed up to Edward, Ein, and Faye, all three of which fall in the category of the three things he particularly hates. He also claims to dislike cats. Spike is rarely seen excited about something and, even less frequently, says he likes something.
He usually behaves phlegmatically and walks slouching almost as if he is sleepwalking. He appears to be tormented by the ghosts of his past and has frequent nightmares of his life in the Red Dragon. He considers he already died once and therefore doesn’t show the slightest fear of the possibility of being killed, often acting as if to challenge death, so to prove he is still alive. However, in a conversation with Faye, he admits to not wanting to die because of “the hate to.
One of the recurring themes surrounding Spike’s character is how he views himself and his life. Following the implant of an artificial eye, he says his left eye, the real one, sees the present while the synthetic right eye sees the past, making the past indelible in his mind, not allowing him to get rid of or forget about it. Despite that, he usually encourages others to forget the past as “not important.” Spike’s star sign is Cancer, which fits with his inability to let go of the past.
When he is not working, Spike is very laid back, sarcastic, and lively to the dismay of his crew mates. He is typically found either resting on the couch or reading magazines. Spike’s philosophy seems to be based on the ancient samurai ideals of immediacy, such as considering oneself as dead and the idea of death as being an awakening from a dream, which are both elements of bushido illustrated in the Hagakure.
Although people often talk about cowboys in an almost heroic sense, his image is far from the idea of one and, on the contrary, has characteristics typical of an antihero. He never acts to protect anyone, but only for interest, so he often has to be persuaded to commit himself to a hunt he considers only a little exciting, has a rather sharp and cynical sense of humor, when he pursues a bounty, he throws himself headfirst into action, regardless of damage caused to people and buildings, and doesn’t have the slightest moral scruples of having to kill someone. In the movie, he even tells an old woman that he and the Bebop crew don’t serve and protect and that their work is strictly business, though Jet doubts that he actually means that.
In spite of all this, Spike still has a good heart and, whether he admits it or not, is more caring than he lets on and more than willing to help out others without expecting anything in return, which is rather ironic considering his line of work. A good example of this is in Session 7, when Victoria Terpsichore offered him a wad of cash, and he only took a single note while saying the rest was for her husband. He has also shown compassion for Rocco’s blind sister in Session 8, even buying flowers when he went to visit her in hospital and being saddened and sympathetic by the loss of her brother.
He treats Ein as kind of emergency food and Ed as a burden, but in reality, despite never showing his companions appreciation, Spike nurtures an obvious affection for each of them and often seems willing to help them. This affection is shown through his constant choice to not interfere as they face their past, even if meaning he has to pass up a bounty. In particular, Spike shares a genuine brotherly affection with Jet, and it is safe to say that they consider each other their best friend. In fact, they are often seen talking together like two old friends. Although they often fight because of the excessive stubbornness of Spike, occasionally resulting in him being banned from Bebop, these arguments are always resolved in short time. Jet is also the only person Spike confides about his past.
Spike’s most complex relationship in the series is the one he has with Faye. Most of the time they usually bicker, however, in moments of danger, Faye has always shown concern for Spike, and Spike has shown some empathy for Faye’s situation, but perhaps due to their stubborn natures they can’t outright admit to this. Faye has also always taken care of Spike when he was injured, although she still kept a bitter attitude.
The affection between them is quite obvious, and many people have speculated that Faye could be in love with Spike and desires to find a connection with him. Watanabe has addressed the subject, saying, “Sometimes I’m asked the question, ‘What does Spike think of Faye?’ I think that he likes her quite a bit. But he’s not a very straightforward person and makes sure not to show it.”
8. Levi Ackerman From Attack On Titan
As a result of his early childhood years, Levi is described as a “clean freak” by those who know him personally as he prefers his environment and himself to be spotlessly clean. He is averse to having either himself or his equipment soiled, and has been known to wipe down his blood-smeared blades while still on the battlefield. However, he will not hesitate to touch filth if he deems it necessary.
Despite his preoccupation with cleanliness, Levi is not very approachable. He rarely shows emotion, giving a cold impression to others. His manner of speaking tends to be very blunt, even insulting, and his comments are often coarse or inappropriate. He is not above provoking or belittling those who oppose or irritate him. His sense of humor tends toward the vulgar, insulting, and dark. All of this makes him unsettling to a great number of people.
In his pre-Survey Corps criminal life, when he lived in the Underground City, Levi refused to take orders from anyone (as Petra Ral tells Eren), though he placed a great trust in his comrades, something he would later do with his subordinates. However, after he joined the Survey Corps, he came to greatly respect Commander Erwin Smith, whose orders he follows willingly because he trusts in Erwin’s vision for the Corps.
Levi’s obedience is strictly limited to individuals he respects, and he has no problem showing open disdain for authority from anyone outside of this circle. At Eren’s tribunal, he insulted the merchants by calling them “pigs” and told the Military Police that they were not competent enough to handle Eren, mocking several MPs by observing that they have never battled or even seen a single Titan. He even sardonically suggests that they join the Survey Corps, which caused them to back off. He openly resents most of the MPs for their continual attempts to undermine the Survey Corps, and also presumably because of the criminal life he led before he joined the Corps.
Although he rarely shows it, Levi has a strong sense of morality and empathy. One of his most defining characteristics is the great value he places on preserving human life; this is especially shown when it was revealed that all Titans might have once been human themselves. The thought that he had unknowingly been killing humans all this time disturbs him greatly.
Though he bore no malice against Eren, he was willing to resort to violence in order to save his life at his tribunal, eventually asking Eren whether he resented him for the beating. Levi himself has stated that he hates unnecessary casualties, and he tells his subordinates to use their judgment so that they can avoid blunders that may cost them their lives.
Because of their hazardous profession and his personal values, he cares greatly for his subordinates’ welfare. This is seen several times: when ordered to retreat early to Wall Rose at the end of the disastrous 57th Expedition, Levi was visibly distressed that so many of his soldiers had died on a fruitless mission. Later, he risked his life against the Female Titan in order to retrieve Eren from her mouth and also to protect to Mikasa, who had gone after her recklessly looking for vengeance. As they re-entered the gate, Petra’s father approached him, cheerfully talking about his daughter and her unwavering devotion to the Survey Corps. Unbeknownst to him, his daughter had just been killed; Levi remained silent, he was too overcome with grief to reply. Levi was visibly affected by the loss of his entire original Special Operations Squad at the hands of the Female Titan, stating that he carries the will of his fallen comrades, and that their collective grudge against the Titans further strengthens his resolve to continue to fight.
Despite his obedience to Erwin, Levi operates rather independently. Many of his Titan kills are solo, accomplished with little direct cooperation from other soldiers (due to him usually assigning them to hunt other Titans in the vicinity). Although he is looked up to by many, and he does not hesitate to give orders when necessary, Levi does not see himself as a leader in the same way Erwin is. He does not seem to have much use for hierarchy in general, and he leaves decisions up to his subordinates as often as he can.
Though Levi is aware that his battle skill is in a different league from that of almost any other human soldier alive, he is not particularly arrogant about it, as he knows from experience that no human soldier is invulnerable. Few will argue with his claims that only he can handle certain difficult tasks, because he has proven his ability to accomplish them.
While Levi shows loyalty and empathy for his comrades, he shows no mercy towards the Titans, slaughtering them indiscriminately with obvious indifference. However, when the Titans are former friends and subordinates, Levi can briefly hesitate and wonder if they are still aware of their actions while trapped inside their Titan forms; regardless, Levi has displayed no problem in killing them. When dealing with individuals he perceives to be enemies to mankind, Levi is capable of behaving sadistically, even vindictively.
For example, when the Female Titan was captured, Levi told her he enjoyed watching her suffer and described in chilling detail how he intended to mutilate her human body. He has also tortured Djel Sannes with Hange Zoë, punching him and twisting his already broken nose. After defeating Zeke Yeager a second time, he sadistically made it clear that he was going to torture Zeke for his crimes against Paradis and the Survey Corps, impaling him with a Thunder Spear. Levi displays no emotion during these times aside from bloodlust, shown by his methodically slicing apart Zeke’s legs.
Levi is occasionally known to lose his calm demeanor and to use threats or violence to get others to listen to him, even if they are fellow members of the corps. An example of such behavior was shown when he directly ordered Historia Reiss to take on the role of queen when the question was presented to her. When she shakily says she is unfit, he grabs her and lifts her off the ground, choking her and telling her to fight back if she does not like it. He then drops her and yells at her to make her decision, but is however calm once again when she complies with his demands.
9. Itachi Uchiha From Naruto
Itachi was the first child born to Mikoto and Fugaku Uchiha. His early childhood was marked with violence: when he was four years old, the Third Shinobi World War waged and he witnessed first-hand many of the war’s casualties. The death and destruction he experienced at such a young age traumatised Itachi and made him a pacifist, leading to him training non-stop to achieve his dream of becoming a ninja among ninja in order to erase fighting from the world. At age 5, after becoming a big brother to Sasuke, Itachi was approached by Shisui, who offered to train together.
Soon, the two became best friends, forming a brother-like bond as they continued to teach the other new tricks. During the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox’s Attack, he was home alone looking after Sasuke, followed by Itachi rescuing Mikoto from falling debris, and in the anime seeking shelter with Izumi. The Nine-Tails’ attack had soured relations between Konoha’s leadership and the Uchiha, the former believing the latter to be responsible. The Uchiha were relocated to the edge of the village, isolating them from the rest of the village and making it easier to monitor them.
At age six, Itachi enrolled into the Academy, where he consistently scored the highest in each subject and quickly learned any skill taught to him, resulting in him being praised as the best of his generation. After four months, his teachers unanimously agreed let him take the graduation exam early due to Itachi being more than advanced enough for genin-level, which he passed later that month. During this time, he began seriously studying the history of the world, gaining a great appreciation for it. On the day he graduated as the youngest post-war graduate, he was approached by Danzō Shimura, who assessed Itachi’s thinking.
Joining Team 2, Itachi went on to honing his skills to chūnin level, leading to him drawing the attention of Konoha’s leaders. Meeting the criteria, Fugaku allowed him to sit in on clan meetings in the Naka Shrine basement. Nearly a year since graduating, Itachi had mastered ninjutsu to the extent his missions went too easy, though Yūki Minazuki didn’t recommend him for the Chūnin Exams. After turning eight, as Team 2’s genin had distinguished themselves the most during the year, they were tasked with guarding the Fire Daimyō during his annual trip to Konoha. During the mission, the convoy was attacked by a masked individual, who killed Tenma Izumo before Itachi, resulting in him awakening his Sharingan, which he mastered at the same age. At age 10, Konoha officials allowed Itachi to compete in the Chūnin Exams by himself, which he passed and became a chūnin.
At age 11, he entered the Anbu. Itachi’s accomplishments were a source of great pride for his family, his father viewing him as proof of the Uchiha’s future prosperity and his brother viewing him as a model to live up to. Itachi spent a great deal of time with Sasuke, training with him (though rarely actually training him) and giving him the recognition their father did not. However, for all the attention he received, few truly understood Itachi, believing his isolation to be a result of the gap between his abilities and theirs and not his dissatisfaction with the shinobi’s life of conflict.
Eventually, the Uchiha’s disdain for their unfair treatment led them to plan a coup d’état. Fugaku, head of the Uchiha and the coup’s chief conspirator, encouraged Itachi’s advancement into the Anbu’s ranks as a means of spying on the village. Itachi, however, knew an Uchiha coup would lead to intervention from other villages and ultimately start another World War, something he could not support. He instead became a double agent, reporting the Uchiha’s actions to the Third Hokage and the Konoha Council in the hopes it would help them find a peaceful resolution.
Itachi shared the burden of betraying his clan with Shisui. But as time went on it became increasingly clear that peace could not be achieved. Shisui intended to use his Kotoamatsukami on the Uchiha’s leaders to compel them to negotiate, but his right eye was stolen by Danzō before he had a chance. His own options exhausted, Shisui entrusted his remaining eye to Itachi and begged him to protect the village and their family name before drowning himself in the Naka River.
Itachi was anguished by Shisui’s death, enough to awaken his Mangekyō Sharingan. When the following day some Uchiha, already suspicious of Itachi, accused him of murdering Shisui and staging a suicide, Itachi lost his composure and attacked them, defeating them easily. A rift was created between Itachi and his family, and his warnings to them to reconsider what they were doing fell on deaf ears. At age 12, he was promoted to Anbu Captain, with his publicly disclosed promotion age being 13 due to Danzō’s request and Hiruzen’s acceptance.
Although the Third Hokage still wished to negotiate with the Uchiha, Danzō Shimura recognised that there was no longer an outcome that could see the Uchiha clan’s survival. He explained this to Itachi and left him a choice: support the Uchiha’s coup and have the whole clan, including Sasuke, killed in the ensuing conflict, or accept the assignment to wipe out the clan before the coup started and be allowed to spare Sasuke. Itachi chose his brother. Despite having made his choice, Itachi was tormented by guilt, especially with the knowledge that Shisui would most likely not forgive his choice to destroy the clan.
However, remembering the words of his father to not let other’s decide things for his life, he resolved to continue his path. While making final preparations, Itachi discovered a masked man sneaking around Konoha. From observing him, he came to believe the man was truly Madara Uchiha bent on provoking some new conflict. Itachi approached him with an offer: he would assist “Madara” with wiping out the Uchiha, taking vengeance against them for abandoning him decades earlier, if Madara would spare the village, to which he agreed.
In one night Itachi and Tobi slaughtered the entire clan. Itachi took it upon himself to personally execute his parents. Despite his betrayal, they bore him no ill-will, instead telling him in the moments before they were killed that they were proud of him and requesting that he take care of Sasuke. Racked by grief for his actions, Itachi saw in Sasuke the only person suitable to punish him for his crimes. In order to set Sasuke on this road he cast himself as the villain, done by allowing Sasuke to find him standing over their parents’ bodies and using Tsukuyomi to torment him with visions of their murders.
Sasuke fled, fearing his own death, but Itachi chased him down to divulge the lie he had concocted: he killed their family to test his mettle and now wanted to test himself against the only remaining challenge to him, the little brother he had never loved. He encouraged Sasuke to become strong enough to kill him and take revenge, and to that end suggested he acquire a Mangekyō Sharingan of his own. Itachi left, but was surprised to find Sasuke already pursuing him with a newly-awakened Sharingan. Sasuke’s attempt at vengeance failed and he passed out, but not before seeing Itachi cry with remorse.
Afterwards, he disguised a crow clone as a member of Root to threaten Danzō he would leak Konoha’s secrets to enemy villages if he touched Sasuke, having realised Danzō could not be trusted to keep his promises. For his final business in the village, Itachi visited the Third Hokage and reported his mission completed, much to the Third’s surprise and disappointment. Itachi requested that the Third look after Sasuke, which the Third vowed to do. Itachi left the village publicly a traitor but secretly with a new mission: to infiltrate Tobi’s organisation, Akatsuki, and keep it from moving against Konoha. In the anime, at some point after joining Akatsuki, he was initially partnered up with Jūzō Biwa. While growing accustomed to his new setting and working well with his partner, the duo was eventually given a mission in the Land of Water. After completing it, they were ambushed by a hunter-nin squad led by Yagura. While initially pressed by the perfect jinchūriki, Itachi was able to defeat him with Amaterasu, but not before Jūzō was slain.
Sometime later, Orochimaru tried to steal Itachi’s body in order to gain the Sharingan, but Itachi easily overpowered him, trapping him inside a paralysis genjutsu and severing his left hand to prevent him from dispelling it. In the anime, Itachi expressed his disgust at Orochimaru for his inhumane experiments and was about to kill him when Kabuto saved Orochimaru but they were both forced to leave Akatsuki. Later, Itachi was partnered with Kisame Hoshigaki, with whom he bonded over their shared notoriety for killing their own countrymen. To find a replacement for Orochimaru, Itachi helped recruit Deidara, whose art he defeated with his Sharingan’s genjutsu; Deidara would forever after swear vengeance for the humiliating defeat. In the anime, Itachi also aided in the recruitment of Hidan. Pain eventually caught wind of Orochimaru’s attempt to destroy Konoha and requested a team to investigate, which Itachi immediately volunteered for out of concern for Sasuke’s safety.
At some point, Itachi contracted a terminal illness. He kept himself alive through the years with medicine and sheer willpower so that he could live long enough to die by Sasuke’s hand.
10. Himura Kenshin From Rurouni Kenshin
Soft-spoken, serene and humble, Himura Kenshin’s usual demeanor suits his effeminate appearance perfectly. Always willing to put others before himself, both in terms of well-being and social standing, Kenshin usually refers to others with the noble honorific of “-dono” while nearly always speaking of himself with the particularly humble pronoun “sessha” (translated by Viz Media as “this one”) and ending his phrases with the formal verb “de gozaru” (translated by Media Blasters as phrases like “that it is” or “that I am”). He carries himself with an air of amicable temperance, politely conversing with the people he encounters and freely giving his meager services to those who need a hand.
Kenshin doesn’t hesitate to put himself in the path of harm to shield those around him and often attempts to diffuse contentious situations with soft, calming words and a somewhat clownish personality involving feigned clumsiness and his trademark interjection “oro” (a unique pronunciation of “ara”). These traits lead those unfamiliar with Kenshin to view him as ineffectual or easily exploitable, but more perceptive people become aware in short order that his gift for placatory eloquence and veiled redirection of disagreeable situations suggest a deep wisdom belied by his youthful, unassuming visage.
Despite his demeanor in Meji era, Kenshin was a very complex man during the Bakumatsu. As a teenager, Kenshin was impertinent, idealistic, and often easily embarrassed or flustered. He often tried to maintain a certain image among his colleagues in the Ishin Shishi, being quick to anger when dealing with taunts about his relationship with Tomoe during their time before going into hiding, such as when he silently threatened Izuka with his sword for making remarks about him and Tomoe.
This tendency to be caught off guard or embarrassed in romantic or sexual matters of women remained with him well into his twenties. One such example was during the Jinchū Arc when Sano lied to Kaoru about what they were planning on doing, telling her that they would be checking out the Red Light district, embarrassing both Kenshin and Kaoru, and earning a blushing look of anger from the rurouni.
Tormented by his past as a hitokiri, Kenshin has developed an acute appreciation for life and has taken a vow in his heart to never again kill another person and to do everything within his power to protect people from being killed. This vow is the defining characteristic of Kenshin’s personality and the primary motivation for his transition into a rurouni. Despite this, however, he holds his own existence cheap and carries in his heart a grievous guilt that prevents him from becoming emotionally close to the people around him and compels him to a life of humble service and selfless personal sacrifice.
Even with his prodigious skill as a prolific swordsman, Kenshin refrains from wielding his great combat strength for his own sake, drawing his sword only for the well-being of others when words fail to appease. Though unwilling to simply be killed by unrelated attackers, Kenshin freely accepts that any grudges against his past self are well-deserved; he remembers the face of every person he has wronged as the Hitokiri Battōsai and will face their hatred or judgment without complaint, believing that he does not deserve the same happiness as others. Spending much of his alone time in quiet contemplation of his past misdeeds and future retribution, Kenshin often ponders what the right path toward redemption is and laments each life lost due to his weakness.
As such, he has a tendency toward trying to solve problems all by himself and alienating his would-be allies with secrecy so as to keep them from becoming involved in his risky endeavors. Having lived his own life carrying heavy regrets, Kenshin is reluctant to judge others for their personal actions, beliefs or mistakes and always offers hopeful encouragement so that those who have stumbled onto the wrong path might redeem themselves in the future.
However, when forced to draw his sword against those who abuse their power and undervalue the lives of others, Kenshin’s calm temperament gives way to a marked intensity capable of intimidating even other skilled swordsmen and can go so far as to become a powerful fury, despite his compulsion toward diplomacy.