One of the most common weapons that you'll see in almost every shounen manga is a katana. From Roronoa Zoro to Tanjiro Kamado, the swordsman seems to be one of the most popular character types for shounen mangaka. Some are drawn as honorable samurai while others are simply ruthless killers who happen to use swords. But among all the kinds of swordsmen out there, some of the craziest ones have to be the blind swordsmen. So here are some of the strongest blind swordsmen who have ever appeared in manga.
5. Mamoru Hijikata from Shi ga Futari wo Wakatsu made (Until Death Do Us Part)
Mamoru Hijikata might be the least known swordsman among the other monsters on this list, but when it comes to swordsmanship ability, he stands tall as one of the best characters to ever pick up a sword in the world of manga.
Mamoru was already a highly skilled swordsman before he lost his vision. Now that he has become blind, Mamoru uses high-tech glasses and a walking stick to help him see some sort of simplified version of three dimensional objects. But when it comes to facing the enemy, Mamoru relies more on his ability to detect the killing intent of his foes.
Not to mention, Mamoru also uses a sword with a blade that utilizes bleeding edge molecular technology that allows him to cut virtually every material on earth. All of those things combined enabled Mamoru to become a much more lethal swordsman than he ever was before.
4. Yamada Asaemon Shion from Jigokuraku (Hell's Paradise)
The samurai in Hell's Paradise are not just regular samurai - they are executioners. Even more so than a common samurai, an executioner has to finish their job in one sure-kill slash because otherwise it would only add unnecessary pain to the subject. Which is why it is even more amazing for a blind man like Shion to not only be able to be an executioner, but also climb to the top as one of the best in the Yamada Asaemon clan.
The reason why Shion is capable of doing this impressive feat despite losing his vision is because he perceives the world in a different way. He has the ability to “see” life force energy, known as Tao, emitted by everything around him.
Shion has been able to see Tao since he was a child, so he is much more proficient in it than most people around his age. "Seeing" and "feeling" the Tao of his opponents allow him to use his sword in such an efficient manner with extreme accuracy. Not only that, but Shion can also use his own Tao to enhance his strength to the point that he becomes one of the strongest characters in the series.
3. Gyomei Himejima from Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba)
“Hashira” is the title bestowed upon the strongest fighters in the Demon Slayer Corps. There's only a handful of people who manage to attain this level of power in every generation. Gyomei Himejima is the current leader of the Hashira and also the strongest one of them all.
Gyomei is a bit of an outlier, not only among other Hashira, but also among other characters on this list. The reason is because he doesn't actually use a sword. Gyomei's main weapon is something called Kusarigama, a small but thick ax connected by a chain to a spiked ball.
Kusarigama is a hard weapon to use for normal people, so the fact that the blind Gyomei can masterfully use it is a testament to how skilled and powerful he truly is. One of the main reasons why Gyomei can do unbelievable things despite having no vision is due to his super enhanced hearing ability. Add to that his ability to access the "Transparent World" later on in the series, and he’s virtually one of the most powerful human beings in the world.
2. Kaname Tosen from Bleach
If we're talking about blind swordsmen in shounen manga, then one of the most iconic characters is definitely the former captain of the 9th division of the Gotei 13, Kaname Tosen. He was blind from birth, but in exchange for the loss of his vision, he gained the ability to better sense the spiritual energy (Reiatsu) of everything around him. It's like the enhanced version of Shion's ability from Hell's Paradise.
Tosen's extreme Reiatsu sensing ability combined with masterful swordsmanship, strategic combat ability, and proficiency in Kido techniques makes him one of the top fighters even among other captains in Gotei 13. Tosen famously goes toe to toe with the monster that is Kenpachi Zaraki. And if you consider the bankai and numerous attack variations that Tosen has, he is definitely one of the strongest swordsmen on this list.
1. Fujitora from One Piece
There are so many crazy strong characters within the world of One Piece. Some come from the side of the Pirates, while others come from the side of the lawful Marines. And when it comes to Marines, the ones that stand at the top of the food chain are the Admirals.
Each Admiral has the power to destroy a nation by themselves, so they’re literally monsters in human skin. But one of the most interesting admirals right now is a man named Fujitora. He is a blind middle-aged man who likes gambling. He is also a master swordsman who can control gravity.
Unlike other characters on this list, Fujitora's blindness is self-inflicted because he is tired of seeing all of the evil in this world. However, his powerful Haki enables him to perceive the world around him and it even enhances his reaction time. The full extent of Fujitora's power is still unknown at the moment, but he can easily create a meteor with his power and drop it onto the enemy. So it is safe to say that he is a one-man catastrophe.
Swordsmen, especially samurai, are some of the most popular types of characters in shounen and seinen manga. There's something so amazing about a character who can do crazy things with a traditional weapon like swords. But when the mangaka adds blindness into the equation, then it elevates the awesomeness to a whole other level. Not only that, but these characters also become the symbol of overcoming one's limitations. And that is arguably worth way more than simply being a cool samurai.
Do you know any other blind swordsmen who need to be on this list? If you do, be sure to tell us about them in the comment section below.