Friday, October 16, 2015

Top 10 Anime Characters Who Became Total Badasses

Top 10 Anime Characters Who Became Total Badasses
Written by: ClayDragon & Shiggins

Character development can be a wonderful thing. It can take weak, wimpy and annoying characters and, with a bit of time and effort, transform them into forces to be reckoned with. For this list, we’re looking at anime characters who, over the course of their series, went from being ineffective to amazing. As such, we’re not counting main characters, or characters who simply went from strength to strength.

Thanks to Cade Conner, who requested this list on! (Sorry about the wait).

As is this the case with many of these lists, SPOILER ALERT. You have been warned.

10.)        Hitoyoshi Zenkichi (Medaka Box) (Written by: Shiggins)

"That's right. And I'm Hitoyoshi Zenkichi … a high schooler who couldn't live alone, even for a second, and is as cool as the devil himself."

Medaka Box is one of my guilty pleasures. I love it far more than I know I should, because it’s silly and has trouble making sense a lot of the time and any series that has a main female with a big chest being sexy has this undertone that makes you feel perverted for enjoying it. Honestly though, it is a lot of fun and part of the reason for that is because of the main character Hitoyoshi,  who is probably one of the most “normal” characters ever. In fact, the series wants you to make extremely sure that’s the case.
Any character that starts off with this fashion sense needs to upgrade to badass before it's too late.
The emphasis on Hitoyoshi’s normal abilities is one of the series’ biggest focuses. Multiple characters like to point out how Medaka herself is such a badass with all these powers and victories, while they watch Hitoyoshi basically be an emotional lapdog for her and do whatever she says. It’s fun at the beginning to watch Hitoyoshi try to keep up and take more roundabout methods to obtain success, but we all knew it couldn’t last forever. 
Be awesome. Get bitches. That's how I'm going to live.
After the third arc of the series, featuring the fantastic Kumagawa, Hitoyoshi started to steal all the attention Medaka was used to from readers. He got new ideas, new comrades, new abilities and a brilliant goal. While the series itself started to decline in quality somewhat, Hitoyoshi only continued to thrive and surpass the main character herself. And he does take a lot of punishment during it all, but you’re not a badass if you don’t get your ass kicked every now and again.

9.)           Mako Makanshoku (Kill la Kill) (Written by: Shiggins)

I'm Mako Mankanshoku! I may be an underachiever, but I do have a name!

The best way to look as badass as possible is to start off from humble beginnings. Mako's beginnings are so humble you could say that she was basically homeless, if not for the fact she had a leaky roof over her head. Nevertheless, this comic relief managed to enjoy her ridiculous life and not only grabbed onto Ryuko Matoi wherever she went, but become both an ally and an amazing friend along the way.
In the tennis player's defence, we've all wanted to smack Mako at least once in our lives.
Possibly the most hyperactive ball of flesh and excitement you'll ever see in your damn life, Mako is unstoppable and that's probably her best feature since she's very bland in appearance compared to the extreme faces and bodies of Kill la Kill, and she's quite weak most of the time due to not getting her own suit for the majority of the series but by god, she will never shut up until she helps you!
...OH! It's a Jojo reference! I just got that! Ha!
Mako in her “Fight Club” uniform is impressive and powerful, and although she only dons it for 3 episodes during the amazing series, it's still worth remembering. She manages to take down even the toughest foes that come her way, and will defend Matoi with all her passion until she's exhausted. (If that's even possible). You can blame it on the suit if you want, but no suit can create someone as ridiculous and badass as Mako Mankanshoku

8.)           Alibaba Saluja (Magi) (Written by: Shiggins)

“Anything that you're worried about, I'll worry right alongside you and think of a solution! Just like you did with me all those times!”

Oh Magi. So many ups and so many downs. If I could be bothered, I'd use a funny metaphor for that but instead, I'll just talk about Alibaba who is by far the best Magi character. His development into badass was not an easy one, as he had to endure countless painful dilemmas and slave drivers and ugly prostitutes to get to where he is today.
I honestly see no reason to complain here.
Starting off as a butt-kisser to make a decent living, Alibaba eventually started following new boy Aladdin and the two entered a dungeon for riches and wishes. He met and helped free the violent and powerful slave girl Morgiana, who fell for him over time, and defied the slave trader Jamil who tried to command him to do all his dirty work. In short, Alibaba did a lot during that dungeon journey.
The anime makes the Djinn Equips look
These days, Alibaba has really stepped up in the world. He's fought villains and monsters, battled with his own morals and convictions and even partaken in that most horrible challenge; Politics! He fought for his country and despite a few hiccups of pathetic-ness on a boat, he does remain an endearing and lovable character within the Magi universe.

7.)           Seras Victoria (Hellsing) (Written by: Shiggins)

"It felt like if I drank the blood, it would mean the end of something important inside of me."

I'm going to have to try really hard here not to make any Hellsing Ultimate Abridged references, but honestly you probably already know all of them at this point so it'd be a waste of time. Instead, let's try to focus on the canon version of Seras Victoria, who is your classic “ordinary person changed by new strange figure” cliché, lovingly wrapped up in some sort of mud-yellow far-too-tight uniform.
Well, I'm sure being utterly adorable will be a great help when the Nazi vampires attack.
Starting off as a simple hardworking police girl, Seras' surprisingly strong hold on her virginity manages to keep her from death and instead she is transformed into a vampire by big sexy master Alu-motherfucker-card. The rest of the series is mostly her fighting the enemy, following Alucard's “teachings” and getting bigger and badder guns. And it's when she brings out the biggest guns possible that she truly takes attention.
"Gun". "Vampire powers spewing out of your arm whilst you go into a rage". Same thing, really.
Drinking blood from a French mercenary and growing the power of rage inside your body is a healthy way to get your badass-level skyrocketing (and believe me, I checked), so it was fairly difficult for us not to remember Seras as applicable for this list. Although to be fair, she'd have probably made it here before the red clothes because of all the cannon-blasting she did. For as we all know, bitches love cannons. (DAMN IT! So close!)

6.)           Leorio Paladiknight (Hunter x Hunter) (Written by: ClayDragon)

“Don’t give me that bull! Do you have any idea how much Gon wants to see you? If you talk to him, he might recover! You damned bastard!”

What motivates people? For some, it’s a desire to be with their family. For others, it’s revenge. For Leorio, it was originally thought that he took the Hunter exam in order to get rich and live a life of luxury. However, once he had gotten to know Gon, Killua and Kurapika, he revealed that he wanted to become a Hunter so he could get enough money to become a doctor and open a free hospital. As such, Leorio isn’t exactly the best fighter amongst the main cast.
For God's sake, Leorio! A boy with a fishing rod put up a better fight than you!
In fact, for the vast majority of the series Leorio can’t even use Nen, relying on hand-to-hand combat to get by (when he’s not busy goofing off). Of course, since virtually every other character in the series can use Nen, this puts Leorio at a sever disadvantage, and results in him rarely entering a fight. In fact, Leorio leaves the series roughly a third of the way through, and doesn’t come back until the final arc of the anime. But what a comeback it is.
Now you're thinking with portals.
During the election process for the next Hunter Association Chairman, Leorio shows up to ask one of the candidates, Ging, why he hasn’t gone to see his son, Gon, in hospital? After Ging gives an answer that sounds like a nomination speech for the Worst Father of the Year award, Leorio snaps and punches the podium into pieces. Except he also activates his Nen ability, allowing him to create a portal beneath his fist. He uses it to transfer his punch right under Ging’s face, knocking the Zodiac member off his seat in one of the most awesome moments of the series. Let’s face it though – Ging had it coming.

5.)           Waver Velvet (Fate/Zero) (Written by: ClayDragon)

“You are my king, sire. I will serve you with devotion. Do me the honour of leading me, and let me dream what you dream!

It’s sometimes said that fighting in a war is a sure-fire way to toughen someone up. It’s also a sure-fire way to drastically lower their life expectancy, but I digress. A student at a prestigious mage school, Waver put forward a thesis that magical ability does not depend on one’s bloodline, and spoke about methods to increase magical potential. When his teacher destroyed his paper and mocked him in front of his peers, Waver decided to enter the Fourth Holy Grail War in order to prove his worth. Stealing his teacher’s summoning artefact, he ends up with Rider – a massive, boisterous Servant better known as Alexander the Great.
"Yes, this is definitely muddy water, alright."
At first, Waver is a quiet, meek boy who didn’t get on with his Servant. Waver found Rider to be too loud and rowdy, whilst Rider felt that Waver was too young and cowardly to be his Master. However, over the course of the series the two grow closer as they learn more about each other. In fact, the bond between the two is the healthiest and most well-adjusted one out of all the Master-Servant relationships in the series, and is highlighted near the end of the series as Rider fights Gilgamesh.
If I were in his position, I'd be running away screaming.
Before his last charge, Rider asks Waver to be his retainer – a role which he gladly accepts. Unfortunately, Gilgamesh effortlessly kills Rider. But when he asks Waver if he plans to avenge Rider’s death, he’s surprised by the answer he recievers. Waver effectively stares down Gilgamesh (the most powerful character in the series) and says that, since fighting him would be suicide, he will not attempt it due to Rider’s last wish being for Waver to survive. Impressed by Waver’s loyalty, Gilgamesh backs down. When you can make Gilgamesh leave you alone, you know you’ve become a badass.

4.)           Asuna (Mahou Sensei Negima) (Written by: Shiggins)

"We're guardians. Guardians! If we let Negi go alone, we don't know what you'd do to him!"

Probably one of the lesser-known characters we have here today, Asuna is the second protagonist of the Negima series and the main female viewpoint. Unlike most of the characters on this list, she is very reluctant to become a badass and instead would rather just try to finally pass a damn exam for once and ask out the teacher she has a crush on because Negima apparently doesn't seem to think it's that big a problem.
Ugh... It's just impossible for anybody to look badass in that anime adaptation....
Starting the series off in what is probably one of the best situations for a future badass, Asuna has a few friends, is such a failure in class that she is the Red member of the “Baka Rangers” and is easily embarrassed when it comes to her mentor and teacher. Of course, this isn't helped by the presence of dorky Negi and the magic that he brings along. Also, she's one of the very few characters I've ever seen in an anime to possess two differently coloured eyes (for normal, non-magic reasons I mean). 
Nothing says badass like a blushing knight.
By the end of Negima, she's given us massive battles, amazing abilities, can nullify any magic that comes her way, survived in massive snow wastelands and even been on a date with her crush! She delivered one of the most emotional moments near the end of the series that I won't dare spoil, and unlike what most series would do; she grew to love the main protagonist, not as a partner but as an adoptive sister. She's everything a female protagonist should be, and yes I'm including the red hair.

3.)           T.K. (Digimon Adventure/02) (Written by: ClayDragon)

“That's your problem. You don't know when to talk and when to fight. Now is a good time to talk. On the other hand, it's also a good time to fight!

Sometimes, kids can be annoying. Sometimes, they can be useless. Sometimes, they can drag the group down. At the start of Digimon Adventure, all of those things could have been said about T.K., Matt’s younger brother. As the token child of the group, T.K. ended up getting into a fair amount of trouble, and usually had to rely on the other Digidestined to help him out. However, things began to change once his partner Digimon Patamon digivolved into Angemon in order to save him and his friends from Devimon.
"I don't know where I am or if I'll ever see my family again, but I'm going to smile anyway!"
This act caused Patamon to regress back into a Digi-egg and this, coupled with the subsequent splitting up of the Digidestined, forced T.K. to face situations head-on and grow as a person. Later on, in Digimon Adventure 02, T.K. became a member of the new Digidestined, and help to introduce the new chosen children to the Digital World. Rather than take on the role of an occasional mentor, T.K. threw himself into the fight against the Digimon Emperor, and it was this confrontation that cemented just how badass he had become.
"...I immediately regret all of my life decisions up to this point."
Given that most fights in the series are of the Digimon vs Digimon variety, the fact that two humans have a fight was unexpected. Enraged at the possibility of his plans falling apart, the Digimon Emperor whips T.K. in the face. The kid doesn’t even flinch. Rather, he blocks another whip attack with his bare hand and proceeds to give the Digimon Emperor the beating of his life.  Not bad for someone who used to be the tagalong child.

2.)           Choji Akimichi (Naruto) (Written by: ClayDragon)

"I can't forgive you for calling me fat! But even more than that… Not just for stealing the last chip, or calling me fat… most importantly I won't forgive anyone who insults my best friend!"

Most people don’t like being made fun of because of their weight. Even though Choji has an excuse for being fat (his jutsu involves converting his excess calories into chakra), his appearance caused him to be bullied as a child. This had the knock-on effect of leaving him with serious self-confidence issues and a rather lonely childhood. The only friend he had was Shikamaru, who stood up for him against some bullies.
"...I don't want to be a butterfly any more."
Even when he became a member of Team 10 along with Shikamaru and Ino, Choji still felt that he couldn’t live up to his father’s expectations of him (this probably wasn’t helped by the fact that he got trounced during the Chunin Exams). It was during the Sasuke Retrieval mission that Choji’s development finally got underway as he fought and defeated Jirobo, one of the Sound Five. Not only was his victory an awesome moment in its own right, but it becomes even better when taking into account the fact that the only other person to defeat a member of the Sound Five on their own was Neji – a natural prodigy.
"Come at me, spiders!"
However, Choji’s development didn’t stop there. During the events of the Fourth Shinobi World War, Team 10 fought against their reanimated teacher Asuma. At first, Choji refused to fight his teacher, and it was only through some soul-searching and encouragement from his friends that he was able to defeat Asuma and mature from a boy to a man.

1.)           Wendy Marvell (Fairy Tail) (Written by: ClayDragon)

"I don't want to despair anymore. I've decided I'm going to go on living with you, Carla. I won't cry out like a weakling any longer and I won't shed any more tears. Everyone is fighting so I can't give up either."

When you think of the phrase ‘Dragon Slayer’, a 12-year old girl isn’t the first image to spring to mind. And at first, Wendy didn’t live up to her title as the Sky Dragon Slayer at all. Introduced as a shy, clumsy girl with no fighting skills and a tendency to cry, Wendy teamed up with Natsu and his friends in order to stop the Oración Seis from destroying her guild. During this arc, Wendy had more of a supportive role, as she used her magic to heal her teammate’s wounds and rejuvenate them.
The most huggable Dragon Slayer yet.
As time went on, Wendy became less and less timid and began to undergo some major character development. Her friendship with Natsu especially motivated her to become as strong as him, and she joined him and Gajeel in a fight against King Faust, despite easily being the weakest Dragon Slayer of the three. By the time the Grand Magic Games rolled around, Wendy was considered a strong enough mage that she was put in Fairy Tail’s A Team, something that not even Gajeel or Laxus could claim.
That's a lot of development for such a small girl.
However, the defining moment that showed just how far Wendy had come was during the Tartaros arc, when she attempted to stop the superweapon Face from removing all magic from the continent. During her attempt, she was confronted by Ezel (one of the Nine Demon Gates), who nearly killed her until she activated her Dragon Force. This little girl, who started off as a meek crybaby, was able to single-handedly take down one of the strongest characters in the series at that point in time. If that’s not badass, I don’t know what is.

Honourable Mentions:

Mikado Ryugamine (Durarara!!)

Touta Matsuda (Death Note)

Yellow (Pokémon Adventures)
Is there a character you feel we missed out? Or do you have any suggestions for another Top 10 list? Let us know in the comments below!
The most terrifying scene in Fairy Tail.
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 He has an account at When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. Dang it, Mabel!

Shiggins:[Admin]   .
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, and you can find out about him or ask him stuff on


  1. 1. Thanks for writing this list.
    2. Don't worry about the wait, better late than never.
    3. What about Renji and Rukia? They're both much more badass than they were before. Or do they count as strength to strength?

    1. No problem, thanks for requesting it!
      I think the main reason we didn't count Renji and Rukia is that they were Lieutenants when the story started, so the implication there is that they were already powerful. For this list we were more focusing on characters who started out being fairly weak and (for lack of a better word) normal.