Taking place in the realm of fantasy, most anime feature diabolic monsters with the sole aim of killing and making a meal of humans. Usually, there are heroes that are able to take care of them with their brute strength. Sometimes, however, brute strength doesn’t get the job done. That's where those in tune with their spiritual side come in; those we call "exorcists."
It doesn't take much to be an exorcist: the ability to remove demons and evil spirits from our world is the bare minimum. It takes a lot more than that, however, to be one of the best. A master exorcist needs to have a good mastery of his spiritual powers, knowledge of the supernatural, and use his powers to help those in need. And most important of all, a good exorcist needs to have proven his worth versus the biggest and baddest of demons or spirits.
Here are 10 anime exorcists that have proven that they know how to get rid of a few evil spirits.
10. Benio Adashino from Twin Star Exorcists (Sousei no Onmyouji)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 6, 2016 - ?
Benio Adashino, the strongest exorcist in Western Japan and Rokuro Enmadou, the strongest exorcist in Eastern Japan were given the title of "Twin Star Exorcists:" the two exorcists who will give birth to the Miko, the exorcist who will bring an end to the war between exorcists and Kegare. Even though they are both very capable exorcists, Benio Adashino easily stands out as the better of the two.
16-year-old Benio Adashino comes from a very noble family of exorcists. She has dreams of becoming the strongest exorcist, and has spent her time training to pursue this very dream. As a result of her lineage and abilities she is known as a prodigy.
Benio has a great mastery of the charms and spells. She is very skill and adept in combat also, and is able to take down large amounts of kegare that cause trouble for her partner Rokuro. She still has a lot to learn as an exorcist, but they have enough potential and have helped their friends defeat formidable kegare on numerous enough occasions to make it onto the list at the number 10 spot.
9. Tsubasa Juumonji from RIN-NE (Kyoukai no Rinne)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2015 - September 2015
Having worked with his father to exorcise spirits for most of his life, Tsubasa is another young, but highly experienced exorcist to make the list. His ability to see ghosts has isolated him from others, but fortunately, it's one of his more valuable skills as an exorcist. Despite his experience, however, he has shown that he has not yet mastered his skills.
This is shown during his first encounter with Rinne, during which he tried to exorcise Rinne and Rokumon, believing them to be spirits. This inexperience is also shown in his naivety, such as his falling for tricks, like buying a "romance pendant," which also shows that perhaps his spiritual acuity is also not so high.
Despite these shortcomings, however, Tsubasa is still a fairly strong and accomplished exorcist, with a fair share of skills and tools as his disposal. His only true shortcoming during his exorcisms, however, is his indiscriminately aggressive nature towards spirits. After meeting Rinne, Tsubasa changed how he looks at exorcisms, opting to use less cruel methods: a change worthy of earning the number 9 spot.
8. Yozuru Kagenui from Nisemonogatari
- Episodes: 15
- Aired: January 2012 - March 2012
Yozuru makes this list due more to her notoriety than her proven skills. A famous onmyouji who commands respect, Yozuru is ruthless in her pursuit of ridding the world of spiritual oddities. Her idea of justice is the removal of these immortal oddities. Because of this, she hunts and kills oddities for free; an exorcist who does their work expecting no compensation is a very fearsome exorcist, indeed.
Yozuru has shown her skills as an onmyouji on several occasions, however; displaying her spiritual acuity, and fighting abilities. She easily bested Koyomi, the vampire protagonist of the Bakemonogatari series, displaying enough fighting strength and prowess to earn her the number 8 spot.
7. Hyou from Ushio and Tora (Ushio to Tora)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: July 2015 - December 2015
Hyou is a powerful Chinese exorcist who traveled to Japan in pursuit of the youkai that killed his wife and daughter. As an exorcist, Hyou is skilled in geomancy, seals, and flying spears, showing a variety of youkai fighting techniques.
Hyou actually met the youkai that killed his family on two occasions. During both of these fights, he was able to go toe-to-toe with the demon Guren. The first battle ended in a draw, with Hyou striking Guren with a charmed blade, allowing him to track him. The second fight saw Hyou displaying a high level of mastery of the exorcist arts and quick decision making allowing him to kill Guren, but also resulting in the loss of his own life.
The true scope of Hyou's skill is understood when you realize that Guren was a uniquely evil Azafuse with an abnormally cruel and bloodthirsty nature. His ability to fight this vicious demon, at the cost of his own life, has earned him the number 7 spot.
6. Abeno Haruitsuki from The Morose Mononokean (Fukigen no Mononokean)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 28, 2016 - ?
Little is known of Abeno Haruitsuki, the current owner of the Mononokean's, past. At the age of 7, Abeno was hired to work in the Mononokean by its previous master, before being made the new master by Rippou, the Legislator of the Underworld. As master of the Mononokean, he has an assortment of abilities to aid him in returning the youkai to the underworld. Two of his most powerful abilities are the ability to summon a door to the Mononokean at will and the ability to summon a portal to the underworld. Not only is he able to use a portal to the underworld two times a day, but he is above the laws of the underworld, answering only to Rippou.
Of course, a great exorcist is measured not in their privileges and skills, but also in what they do with those. With the ability to see and speak to youkai, he is able to understand easily what it is that the youkai wants, allowing him to help them cross over easily; very vital for someone who exorcises youkai for their own sake.
5. Hiroomi Nase from Beyond the Boundary (Kyoukai no Kanata)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2013 - December 2013
Hiroomi is another exorcist from a famous and powerful family. He handles the pressures that with such a position great poise, showing his intellect and judgment when the situation calls for it.
Although he failed to the half-youmu, Akihito, Hiroomi is by no means weak. In fact, his glaciate barriers have proven to stand up against formidable youmu, such as the Hollow Shadow; it was only against Akihito that these barriers failed. In addition to his glaciate barriers, Akihito also has a scarf to help him defeat the youmu. Yes, his scarf; by simply touching youmu, he is able to destroy it.
Overall, Hiroomi is an all-around exorcist showing his strengths in several different areas, and very few weaknesses. His only true weakness is his lack of focus caused by his concern for his sister Mitsuki. With many strengths and few weaknesses, Hiroomi coolly makes his way to the number 5 spot.
4. Shigeo "Mob" Kageyama from Mob Psycho 100
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 12, 2016 - ?
Although Shigeo "Mob" Kageyama is only a middle schooler, he makes his way onto the list at number 4. Because Mob's emotions cause the true extent of his psychic powers to show, he tends to refrain from showing any emotion. Currently, Mob works for Arataka Reigen, a fake psychic, "helping" him to perform exorcisms. Mob has shown the ability to take down spirits with ease. His compassionate nature has even helped some of these spirits pass onto the next world, proving that he's capable of more than just taking down spirits. Mob's greatest strength comes from his unfathomably high amount of psychic power.
Although Mob has yet to take down any truly powerful spirits, there has been two situations where his emotions have reached 100%, releasing his full psychic powers. Although one was against a spirit whose malevolence was shown in his ability to make people laugh, the ease with which he dealt with the spirits attacks, effortlessly, in fact, shows exactly how powerful Mob can be.
There is one other situation in which his emotion reached 100%. The emotion in this situation was sadness, caused by him realizing that he used his powers against another esper after his emotions reached ???%, an action that went against his belief that his powers are not to be used against other humans. The strength of his psychic powers, along with the beliefs about the right way to use them has earned Mob the number 4 spot.
3. Rin Okumura from Blue Exorcist (Ao no Exorcist)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2011 – Oct 2011
Although he began his exorcist studies which he is still undergoing much later than his brother, Yukio, Rin is ranked higher than his brother due to what makes him the most unlikely of exorcists: his demonic powers. It is these powers, however, that helps Rin to exceed his brother as an exorcist.
Rin possesses the blue flames of Satan, and as a result, he has an immense amount of demonic power, which, at first, he is only able to summon in moments of great rage. Eventually, however, he is able to control his flames, giving him, even more, strength. Rin has also defeated Amaimon, the seventh strongest of the eight demon kings, and another son of Satan.
2. Allen Walker from D. Gray-man
- Episodes: 103
- Aired: October 20016 – September 2008
Abandoned at a young age due to a deformity, Allen was found and taken in by a traveling performer. Due to the death of this parent, Allen finds himself with a cursed eye and an anti-Akuma weapon for an arm. With his cursed eye, Allen is able to see the souls trapped within Akuma, and with his arm, he is able to defeat the Akuma, or demons of D. Gray-man. Allen, due to his cursed eye and arm, is a very powerful exorcist. His cursed eye activates near Akuma and shows him the souls trapped within the Akuma.
Eventually, it gains further power allowing Allen to spot nearby Akuma, and show the trapped souls to those near Allen. A truly fearsome and useful tool as an exorcist. His cursed arm also gives him many different Akuma disposing abilities. Allen falls just short of the number 1 spot for one reason: he's not fully committed to his job of exterminating the Akuma. He has stated and shown on several occasions that he believes Akuma are as worthy of saving as humans.
1. Sanzou Genjou from Saiyuki (Gensoumaden Saiyuuki)
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: April 2000 – March 2001
The reincarnation of the god Konzen Douji, Sanzou must travel West with three demons in order to prevent the resurrection of Gyumaoh, and restore the peace between demons and humans. A priest armed only with the Maten Sutra and "banishing gun," a pistol with bullets infused with spiritual energy, capable of killing demons.
Sanzou ranks number 1 on this list due in part to the nature of his mission, as well as the strengths he has shown throughout the series. Short-tempered and fairly indifferent, Sanzou isn't your ideal priest, much like a previous entry onto the list, Miroku. This, however, doesn't affect his ability to kill demons.
Sanzou's spiritual prowess is showed on several occasions: his command of the Maten Sutra, one of the five holy scriptures, created upon Earth's creation and his ability as the only non-divine character able to restore Goku's broken limiter. In addition to being able to restore Goku's limiter, he is also able to go toe-to-toe with an uninhibited Goku, one of the strongest characters in the show, and fortunately, Sanzou's ally.
Just like the creatures they hunt, they go by many different names, but their goals are the same: to rid the world of malevolent creatures and spirits. The 10 people on this list have shown enough mastery of their craft to find themselves a spot.
Let us know what you think of the list. Is there anyone you'd have take care of your spiritual infestation that didn't make the list? Let us know in the comments below!