Top 10 Anime Powers
Written by: ClayDragon and Shiggins
For a large number of us, these are probably the reason why we wish anime was real (others may wish anime was real due to all the women, but let’s not get into that). They’re flashy, unique, and just plain awesome, so it was only a matter of time before we did this list. For the purposes of this list, we’ve described the term ‘power’ as being ‘a distinctive ability unique to only a few characters that does not involve a transformation or being assisted by an outside source’, so things like Titan Shifting and Bankai are exempt from this list.
As is this the case with many of these lists, SPOILER ALERT. You have been warned.
10.) Quincy Abilities (Bleach) (Written by ClayDragon)
Okay, so maybe these abilities aren’t as flashy as Bankai, but they still hit all the right notes. Originally a group of humans with the ability to sense Hollows, the Quincies began to eradicate them before the Soul Society wiped them all out (or so they thought). Instead of having bodies that are naturally full of Reishi, Quincies absorb ambient Reishi from their surroundings and use it in a variety of ways. For the most part, they use this technique to manifest a bow made out of pure Reishi and fire arrows at their opponents, but occasionally they’ve been seen to create knives and other weapons instead.
|Compensating for something?|
Quincies can also perform a variant of the flash-step, called Hirenkyaku (although there’s little to no difference between the two). They can also use a technique called Blut, which greatly increases both offense and defense by making Reishi flow through their blood vessels. The only downside to this is that the two forms of Blut that increase attack and defense can’t be active at the same time, so the user is forced to choose between attacking an opponent and leaving themselves vulnerable, or protecting themselves at the cost of being unable to fully attack the enemy.
|It's so pretty...|
Even if they have been defeated, a Quincy can use Ransō Tengai, which enables them to attach strings of Reishi to their own body and control themselves as they would a puppet, allowing them to continue fighting past the point where they shouldn’t be able to move. However, their most powerful ability is the Vollständig, which allows them to reach their maximum potential. It tends to give its user an angelic appearance, and lets them use a host of abilities, including the ability to literally tear apart any object made of Reishi (which, in this series, tends to be everything – including people).
9.) Spatial Magic (Blood Lad) (Written by ClayDragon)
Let’s face it, any ability that allows you to manipulate the fabric of space was bound to make this list. This power, unique to Bell Hydra and her family, lets the user teleport across vast distances in the blink of an eye, and can even be used to travel into pocket dimensions. Provided that there’s a frame in place to act as a doorway, the portals can be placed anywhere, and can be any size necessary – from an inch across to a couple of metres wide.
|Now you're thinking with portals.|
In order to further increase the usefulness of this technique, Bell caries a collapsible frame with her at all times, and frequently uses it to mess with other characters or to escape from danger. Despite the fact that it wasn’t intended to be used in combat, the ability to create portals anywhere can come in very handy during fights. For example, Bell was able to easily defeat the main character Staz in a fight just by manipulating her frames in such a way that Staz’s punches were redirected back towards him, which resulted in him knocking himself out.
|No groin is safe.|
Even though this ability is known only to members of Bell’s family, one of the early villains in the series, Akimu, was able to use a more combat-oriented version of this power. Instead of using a collapsible frame, he used expanding rings through which he was able to attack his opponents or dodge out of the way. However, despite the fact that he had been given a fraction of Bell’s father’s magic, his powers were still no match for the real thing, as shown when Bell intervened in the fight between Akimu and Staz and cut him in half with one well-placed portal.
8.) Geass (Code Geass) (Written by Shiggins)
That’s right; we finally have Code Geass appear on our Top 10s! It’s taken a while but to celebrate the fact we got off our asses and started this series, we’re placing the power known as “Geass” on our list. For those of you who don’t know, Geass is the name of the supernatural eye powers featured on all the posters and marketing related to Code Geass. With a unique symbol (which I sadly do not know what it is yet), the Geass can come in many different forms, depending on the user.
|Is it a bird? Is it a plane? All we know for sure is, it's not Superman.|
The Geass has its limitations of course. You have to keep using it to make it stronger, and each user only gets one ability. In the most infamous example of the series, Lelouch’s Geass is "the power of absolute obedience”, enabling him to make anybody who he makes eye contact with commit any act that he orders them to do. In a series that involves overthrowing a monarchy that rules various countries, it’s probably one of the most useful powers out there.
|With all these different colours, I would want a red and black Geass eye.|
Without giving too much away, the other Geass’ are quite useful as well. From reading other people’s minds, altering memories and even causing people to “fall in love with you”, the Geass is something we’d all like our own version of. In fact, if it wasn’t for the huge risk that using a Geass results in your own will getting taken over, this amazing power would be much higher. Instead, Geass makes it to 8th place.
7.) Ki (Dragon Ball Z) (Written by Shiggins)
Next on our list is the famous Ki, also known as Chi or Energy. For those idiots out there who have never actually seen an episode of the Dragon Ball series, Ki is the energy behind every Dragon Ball power/attack/move etc. It’s the big glowing aura you see around every character as they go into battle, give a roar and charge up to massive power levels.
|Ki is also known to some people as 'the big glowing stuff'.|
Ever since the beginning of the series, Ki has been there to provide huge destructive attacks and impress us all. Admittedly at times, the Ki attacks can be quite generic (seeing a big beam of light can get quite boring if done too many times) but when they are done properly and in a clever way, it works brilliantly. Ki comes from the word “Chi” which in Japan is known as a person’s “life force”, which explains why every character technically has the capacity to learn Ki if they so wish it (yet strangely, only the men in Dragon Ball seek to learn Ki…).
|Your face when you realise just how pointless the Ki-reading scouters actually were.|
Ki also allows characters to transform into all the various forms you see in the series, including the glorious Super Saiyan, Perfect Cell, the fusion forms and of course, all of Frieza’s many forms. Another thing you will notice is just how long it takes to charge it up to use devastating attacks and techniques. My favourite memory of Ki charging is when Vegeta spent 20 minutes for his Final Flash attack… and then missed most of Cell’s body. I laughed and cried at the same time.
6.) Dragon Slayer Magic (Fairy Tail) (Written by Shiggins)
Before you complain about this magic, let me just say one thing. It is magic taught to you by a dragon! That is easily one of the most awesome concepts of all time and that alone is enough to make you want it! However, there is a lot more to it than that. You can only learn one type of Dragon Slayer Magic, for example Natsu has Fire, Gajeel has Iron and Wendy has Sky. This makes you invulnerable to the element you have learned, and in fact allows you to become stronger if you eat your respective element.
|There was also some mention of transforming into a dragon but I don't think that's important right now.|
Dragon Slayer Magic has three different classifications. The first generation Dragon Slayers are those who learned from dragons themselves. The second generation are those who were implanted with the magic, instead of learning it from dragons. And the third generation is a combination of the two. Logic dictates that the third generation would be the strongest, but we’ve seen clear evidence that the first generation seems to be the best one (maybe the implants weaken their true potential somehow?).
|All I can say to this is... Geehee.|
Another handy ability they get is Dual-Element Dragon Slayer Magic which is when they absorb another Dragon Slayer’s element and combine it with their own. For example, Natsu combines his magic with Laxus’ so he can obtain “Lightning-Fire” and Gajeel combines his with Rogue so he can obtain “Iron-Shadow”. It’s all very fancy and a bit complicated sometimes but it works brilliantly and is a lot of fun. I’m just waiting for Wendy to obtain “Poison-Sky”.
5.) Sharingan (Naruto) (Written by ClayDragon)
A specific type of eye unique to the Uchiha clan, the Sharingan has a number of stages, with each one granting the wielder more and more power. The base stage, represented by three comma-shaped marks surrounding the pupil, grants the ability to see the flow of chakra, as well as greatly enhanced perception. It also allows the user to copy any jutsu they see and use it themselves, provided they have the necessary skills.
|If you're close enough to see the reds of his eyes, it's already too late.|
The next stage, called the Mangekyo Sharingan, is represented by a pinwheel shape surrounding the pupil, and is unique to each individual. By using the Mangekyo Sharingan, the wielder can create a huge suit of armour around themselves (called a Susanoo) and manipulate it as they see fit. They can also use two secret techniques called Izanagi and Izanami. Izanagi allows the user to literally rewrite reality, meaning that they can write off normally fatal wounds as ‘illusions’ and continue as if nothing had happened. Conversely, Izanagi traps the target in a mental time loop, forcing them to replay events over and over again until they accept the truth of who they are.
|For comparison, the average human is about the size of that thing's little finger.|
To be honest, the Sharingan was going to be further up on this list, but the fact that it has partially eclipsed the plot of Naruto, and a number of plot holes associated with it, has caused it to fall down. It also loses some points for being unoriginal, as the concept of a special clan having unique eyes that turn red in times of duress and make the users more powerful was already explored in Hunter X Hunter’s Kurapika Kurta – a character created a full year and half before Naruto even began.
4.) Soul Resonance (Soul Eater) (Written by ClayDragon)
The main powerup used by Weapons and Meisters, Soul Resonance is exactly what it says on the tin – the Weapon and Meister’s souls resonate on the same wavelength and end up synchronising. As you’d expect, this makes both participants much stronger, and it’s often used to turn the tide of a battle. Each Soul Resonance is unique to the Weapon-Meister pair, and so every instance of it results in a completely different power or technique.
|If my soul started sparking, I'd be pretty worried.|
For example, when Maka and Soul perform Soul Resonance, Soul turns from a normal scythe into a huge crescent-shaped blade called Witch Hunter. When Death the Kid performs Soul Resonance with his Weapons, Liz and Patty, the two guns transform into hand-cannons that charge up his Soul Wavelength and release it in two concentrated blasts, the recoil of which is enough to force Kid back several inches.
|How can he hold them upright?|
Going one step further, it’s possible to chain multiple Soul Resonances together, meaning that one Weapon-Meister pair can resonate with another pair in order to drastically increase their power. However, it’s extremely difficult to maintain as it requires that every participant has precise control over their Soul Wavelength. Of course, if one soul is able to control the resonance to an extent, it becomes a lot easier to perform, as shown when Soul played the piano in order to create a rhythm for everyone to follow (marking the first and perhaps only time that a musician was useful in a fight).
3.) Contract Seal (Kuroshitsuji) (Written by Shiggins)
Some eye powers let you see through walls and some eye powers let you see how long a person has to live. In Kuroshitsuji, Ciel Phantomhive can use his eye to control a demon and give proof of his participation in a contract with said demon. This Faustian contract (also known as the Faustian bargain), is pretty much a “deal with the devil”, so you know for a fact that this deal has many good aspects, and many bad ones too.
|And I used to think the Sharingan looked cool...|
The stronger you want the contract to be, the more obvious the placement of the seal has to be. Ciel, being a selfish and power-hungry lad, got his contract seal on his eye. Covering it with an eyepatch, Ciel rules his demon with an iron fist and ordered the demon to become his butler, even naming the demon after his former dog; Sebastian. With the seal, Sebastian must do whatever his master wishes until Ciel’s ultimate goal is accomplished. After that, Sebastian gets to eat his former master’s soul.
|Why is he licking his chess pieces? Don't know, don't want to know.|
So far, only the anime has shown any other contract but Ciel’s, although they did follow the same rules as Ciel’s contract so we can’t complain. Every symbol is unique and Ciel’s one is a beautiful pentagram which changes from purple to blue at times, and even moves depending on the situation (and how much the animators are trying). Having a symbol on your body that becomes a “collar” to a demon is definitely something we would all like. If only we didn’t have to give up our damned souls as payment.
2.) Nen (Hunter X Hunter) (Written by Shiggins)
I love Hunter X Hunter. I only discovered it fairly recently but I already consider it one of my top 3 anime series of all time (the 2011 version I mean.) It’s clever, it’s scary and a huge part of what makes it great is the power known as “Nen”. In many ways, Nen is like Chakra or Ki but what makes it so much better is that there is so much more to it than “this person can use Fire element attacks”.
|It seems simple enough when you read it like this...|
In order to fully learn Nen, you must first figure out the four major principles of Nen; Ten, Zetsu, Ren and Hatsu. It would take too long to explain them in a way they deserve, but after learning these four principles, the user of Nen can then discover their individual Nen group by manipulating water with their Nen and observing the reaction. For example, if the colour of the water changes, then the user is an Emitter. The six groups of Nen are Enhancer, Transmitter, Conjurer, Emitter, Manipulator and Specialist.
|Do you think Nen is a motherfucking game?|
All of these groups have unique abilities and ways in which to use them. For example, Killua Zoldyck uses his Transmutation Nen to copy the properties of electricity and allow him to use it as he sees fit. On the other hand, Hisoka uses his Transmutation Nen to copy and combine the elements of gum and rubber, creating handy little rubber-like techniques. It’s fairly complicated to get your head around and although there are limits depending on which group you belong to, Nen is easily one of the best types of powers to have in any series.
1.) Alchemy (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) (Written by ClayDragon)
Was this even a surprise? Alchemy is a power that only a handful of people can attain, and those that try to get it can take years to master it. It’s described as the art of changing and manipulating forms of matter, but that doesn’t really do it justice. Alchemists can alter anything they wish, provided that they follow the three main steps. Firstly, they must understand the chemical composition of the object that they wish to transmute. After that, they use alchemy to break the substance down into a more malleable state, before reconfiguring it into the desired state.
|Aww, he looks so happy- What the hell did he do?!|
Almost every alchemist also needs to use a transmutation circle when performing alchemy, which acts as a conduit for the energy involved in the alchemical process. However, if an alchemist has attempted to perform human transmutation (attempting to bring someone back to life through alchemy), then they will gain the ability to perform alchemy without the use of a transmutation circle, but at the cost of one or more parts of their body.
|If I were to ever get a tattoo, this is what I would get.|
Of course, the main reason that alchemy makes the top spot on the list is because, aside from being incredibly consistent, it’s really, really cool. It has a multitude of uses, from the mundane (like repairing radios and creating doors and windows), to the awesome (like creating a spear from the ground or adjusting the oxygen content of the air), to the absurd (like taking the ammonia out of dynamite, or adding a drill to a pram). With so many versatile uses, it’s no wonder why we love it so much.
|Satan's Blue Flames (Blue Exorcist)|
|Command Seals (Fate Series)|
Are there any powers you feel we missed out? Or do you have any suggestions for another Top 10 List? Let us know in the comments below!
|Your face asplode!|
Thanks for reading!
ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at email@example.com. The alternative is his Skype account at kyleroulston1993, but he doesn’t use it that much. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. My thoughts on Scottish Independence: We wouldn't last two weeks.
Shiggins enjoys many strange forms of communication, especially those including cosplayers or presents or videos. However, until that wonderful day comes when people care enough to give him things for being him, you can contact him on his Skype; shigginsishere. He can also respond to you if you contact him through GMails at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere.