Anime and manga characters are amazing because the vast majority of our favourite main characters face their lives with incredible resolve and grit. That being said, it also helps that they have various abilities and powers that set them apart from other characters and give them an edge. So naturally, given the sheer number of different powers and abilities, we thought it would be super cool to put together a list of some of the coolest, most powerful and most badass character abilities in manga. So, gather your ki, chakra, quirk or whatever it is you’ve got and join us as we hop to it!
10. Lie Detector – Asahi Yuki, Iris Zero
- Mangaka: Hotaru Takana (Art), Piro Shiki (Story)
- Genres: Mystery, Drama, Fantasy, Romance, School, Supernatural, Psychological, Seinen
- Volumes: TBC
- Published: April 2009 –
In a world where every adolescent bears a superpower called an Iris, high school student Mizushima Toru is one of a small fraction of people in the world who do not have one. As a result, Toru has lived a difficult life being subject to bullying and harassment because of his apparent powerlessness. Now, Toru lives a life under a condition he calls “Minimal Exposure” – an extremely low-key way of living. However, his life of minimal exposure is ended abruptly as the school’s most popular girl, Sasanori Koyuki, confesses to him!
Asahi Yuki is Mizushima Toru’s childhood friend. Well, at least they were friends until they had an argument and she revealed the fact that he was an “Iris Zero”, an individual without an Iris. This caused him to become the victim of intense bullying, an experience which shaped his entire worldview and turned him into an extremely reclusive individuals. With her Iris, Yuki can see devil’s tails growing out of people when they lie. Her ability coincides with her strong sense of justice and when she grows up, she would like to become a police officer.
9. Healing Hands – Inuyashiki Ichirou, Inuyashiki
- Mangaka: Oku Hiroya
- Genres: Drama, Sci-Fi, Seinen
- Volumes: 10
- Published: January 2014 – July 2017
Inuyashiki Ichirou is an old man with a wife and two kids who don’t care about him. When he is told that he only has three months left to live, he realises that the only entity that will miss him when he’s gone is his dog. Soon after, Ichirou is killed when aliens crash land on earth. These aliens then rebuild Ichirou as a robot and he begins life as a machine with a human exterior. With this new lease on life, how much has he really changed?
Due to his new body and his brand new life, Ichirou now has a plethora of unique abilities. After saving a homeless man from a relentless attack by a bunch of teenagers, he decides to dedicate his new life and body to doing good. Ichirou now has the ability to heal the injuries of other people and as a man who experienced much emotional pain in addition to his slowly deteriorating physical body, one can’t help but think that Healing Hands are the perfect power for him.
8. Undead Resurgence – Tomie, Tomie
- Mangaka: Itou Junji
- Genres: Drama, Horror, Supernatural, Josei
- Volumes: 3
- Published: 1987 - 2000
Kawakami Tomie is a beautiful young woman with long black hair and a beauty mark under her left eye. She is able to seduce any man and drive them to the point of insanity. Her influence on the men around her drives them to commit gruesome acts of murder – even though the victim is usually Tomie herself. Unfortunately for these men, no matter how many times they kill her, they can’t truly be free of Tomie.
Simply put, Tomie is immortal. She is killed several times by several different people yet every single time, she comes back to terrorise more men. Tomie enjoys the effect her beauty has on men and she seduces them, manipulating them for her own pleasure. When she is bored of her current lover, she dumps him and it is this tendency to discard people she no longer has use for that has lead to quite a lot of her deaths.
7. Clairvoyance – Rin, RiN
- Mangaka: Sakuishi Harold
- Genres: School, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 14
- Published: December 2012 – April 2016
Ever since he was a child, Fushimi Kinosuke has dreamed of one day becoming a mangaka with his own work serialised in a magazine. Inspired by various compliments he received about his artistic talent from a young age, Fushimi begins to work very hard. However, Fushimi’s dream takes a hit when one of the head editors at his favourite magazine sees one of his manuscripts and tells him quit it. Meanwhile, Rin is a model who is able to see the future – how are these two linked?
Rin’s ability to see the future is uncanny – she sees visions of events past and present and is able to see the seeds of greatness that are sown in Fushimi. Her clairvoyance is handed down to her through generations of clairvoyants who came before her, one of them turning out to be herself in a past life. Rin sees the spiritual connection between herself and Fushimi and like a moth to a flame, she builds a relationship with him.
6. Consume and Replace – Mizusawa Haruka, Scumbag Loser
- Mangaka: Yamaguchi Mikoto
- Genres: Mystery, Horror, Shounen, Supernatural, Psychological
- Volumes: 3
- Published: November 2011 – December 2012
16-year-old Murai Masahiko is a high schooler who has a fetish for scents and smells, especially the stench which lingers around people he calls “scumbags”. These are people at the lowest point of the social pecking order, people who Murai believes are insignificant. One day, a beautiful girl named Mizusawa Haruka transfers into his class and soon after, the two start dating. However, Murai knows the truth: Mizusawa Haruka has been dead for five years. So who is he dating?
Long story short, the current Mizusawa Haruka is a demon who uses Murai’s childhood trauma to begin an assault on everyone else. Just as Murai remembers, Mizusawa has been dead for five years. However, the one he is dating is a supernatural entity which thrives off of consuming and replacing people. Slowly but surely, the people around Murai become better versions of themselves because unbeknownst to everyone else, Mizusawa has been eating them. The horrific reality that defined Murai’s childhood returns to define his teenage life. The Consume and Replace ability is one of the most terrifying abilities on this list and we hope it doesn’t turn out to be real… but what if it is?
5. Body Manipulation – Eve, Black Cat
- Mangaka: Yabuki Kentarou
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Shounen
- Volumes: 20
- Published: July 2000 – June 2004
Train Heartnet is a bounty hunter known as a “Sweeper”. Together with his partner Sven Vollfied, he hunts down criminals. Unfortunately, despite their success with the practical side of the Sweeper profession, the two are always broke. As a result, they accept a job from Rinslet Walker, a beautiful thief for hire and a strange girl named Eve. Soon after, they uncover a plot to completely change the world, the mastermind behind said plot happens to be someone from Train’s dark past.
Eve is an artificial human developed by the famous scientist, Tearju Lunatique. Her DNA has been fused together with nanomachines and as a result, she is fully capable of manipulating the shape of her body, as well as her genetic makeup. Falling into the hands of a ruthless mafia boss, Eve was raised to be a stoic murderer. Her ability to change her body’s shape is greatly augmented by the fact that Eve is able to memorise everything she reads and learns. The more Eve learns, the more powerful she becomes.
4. Control of the Infected – Maeda Yoshiaki, Apocalypse no Toride (Fort of Apocalypse)
- Mangaka: Kuraishi Yuu (Story), Inabe Kazu (Art)
- Genres: Action, Mystery, Horror, Sci-Fi, Shounen, Psychological
- Volumes: 10
- Published: September 2011 – August 2015
After being falsely convicted of murder, Maeda Yoshiaki arrives at Shouran Academy Juvenile Detention Centre. He then meets his fellow inmates in Cell 4: Iwakura Gou, Yoshioka Masafumi and Yamanoi Mitsuru, all of whom have been detained for various reasons. With his life already in disarray, Maeda thought it wouldn’t get much worse. Unbeknownst to everyone in the prison, the outside world has been plunged into chaos by a zombie apocalypse and soon after, a van carrying some of the infected crashes into the prison. Now Maeda and his cellmates are forced to survive in a world where humanity is slowly becoming a distant memory.
It turns out that the zombie apocalypse is the next step in human evolution and the leader of said evolution is none other than Maeda. Maeda is one of a group of leading zombies known as a Bokor – a three-pupiled zombie with increased intelligence and abilities. Maeda is capable of controlling the infected zombies. He is able to bend them to his will and with swarms of zombies at his control, Maeda is easily one of the most powerful characters on this list.
3. Anti-Magic – Asta, Black Clover
- Mangaka: Tabata Yuuki
- Genres: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Magic, Shounen
- Volumes: TBC
- Published: February 2015 –
Asta and Yuno are two teenagers who as children, were abandoned at the same church and became inseparable. As children, they promised each other that they would compete against each other to see who would become the next Emperor Magus. However, growing up, they realised that they’re incredibly different. Yuno is a magic genius, with amazing control and power, while Asta can’t use magic at all. In order to make up for his inability to use magic by training his body. When all the other kids received their Magic Grimoires at 15, Yuno got a four-leaf clover grimoire where everyone else usually gets a three-leaf grimoire. Asta got nothing. However, when Yuno was attacked and threatened for his grimoire, Asta intervened, revealing his power: the five-leaf clover Grimoire – the Black Clover.
Asta’s Five-Leaf Clover Grimoire is a legendary Grimoire which is unknown to the majority of people. The Grimoire gives Asta the ability to summon a sword from it, which then gives him the ability of the Anti-Magic which, as the name suggests, gives him the ability to nullify other forms of magic. This is obviously a very powerful ability as part of this sword’s anti-magic qualities, Asta can borrow magic from his allies in addition to physically cutting spells. Due to the fact that Asta himself has no mana, the sword and its anti-magic properties do not affect him – his powerlessness is his biggest strength.
2. Vision of Homunculi – Nakoshi Susumu, Homunculus
- Mangaka: Yamamoto Hideo
- Genres: Mystery, Drama, Horror, Supernatural, Psychological, Seinen
- Volumes: 15
- Published: March 2003 – February 2011
Trepanation is a procedure which entails the drilling of a small hole into the skull. This is said to change pressure in the cranial cavity, which causes the patient to develop their sixth sense. Nakoshi Susumu is a former salaryman who currently lives in his car. After being approached by a strange gentleman to have a trepanation in exchange for payment, Nakoshi’s sixth sense develops and he is able to see people’s Homunculi: the culmination of a person’s life experiences given form.
Nakoshi’s trepanation seemed to yield no real results at first; however, it soon became apparent when he was shocked to see various disturbing monsters and entities replacing the people he thought he was seeing. He then realises what the Homunculi are, and with help from the mysterious man who performed the procedure, Nakoshi uses his ability to help other individuals overcome their emotional and psychological trauma. This then goes full circle as the experience eventually enables him to understand himself too.
1. Antithesis – Ishida Uryu, Bleach
- Mangaka: Tite Kubo
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Shounen, Super Power, Supernatural
- Volumes: 74
- Published: March 2001 – August 2016
15-year-old Kurosaki Ichigo has always been able to see ghosts. Despite this, his life has been fairly peaceful, at least until he saw a young woman dressed in a black kimono suddenly appear in his room. She introduces herself as a Shinigami – a grim reaper-like entity whose role is to guide good spirits over to Heaven and to purify evil spirits called Hollows so that they too may see eternal happiness. Soon after she explains, Ichigo’s family is attacked by a powerful Hollow and the Shinigami sustains fatal injuries. Unable to protect Ichigo and his family, she decides to transfer her Shinigami powers to him in hopes that he could slay the Hollow. On that day, Ichigo’s life changed forever.
Since the vast majority of people are familiar only with the scope of Bleach that was covered in the anime, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to mention the manga’s final arc. In this arc, the Quincies, who were long thought to be extinct save for Ishida Uryu and his father, make an explosive return as they invade Soul Society. The Quincy King and 26 of his most powerful soldiers, a group he dubs the Sternritters, invade and cause chaos. Among their ranks is none other than Ishida Uryu, Sternritter A – The Antithesis. His abilities are simple but devastating: he is able to completely reverse a certain situation between two parties. In the fight between the Quincy King and Kurosaki Ichigo, he was able to transfer Ichigo’s grave injuries to the Quincy King.
With so many different powers and abilities out there, dropping a list of a mere ten just isn’t enough to drive the point home: manga characters have some of the most well thought-out and handy abilities and powers. Any number of characters could’ve made this list. We are certain that there are awesome abilities out there that we haven’t mentioned so help us out and drop a comment below with your favourite ability!