Most superpowers and abilities in anime tend to be very specific or come with a unique condition or cost in order for them to be used. However, despite these types of abilities, there’s always a solid chance to see someone who has a classic and recognizable ability of some sort, whether it’s super strength, the ability to fly, etc. Often, many characters will have some sort of variation on an elemental power, such as fire or wind. However, there aren’t that many characters that have an earth power.
People tend to think of characters that can control earth as being strong, muscular, and having the ability to control rocks or cause earthquakes. While this can be true to a certain extent, there’s more to earth than just the ground beneath your feet. You’ve got characters that can control certain types of earth, such as sand and wood. You’ve also got characters that are vastly different in terms of appearance and motivation, as well as subtle differences in their earth-based abilities. That being said, here are the top 10 characters to possess an Earth power.
10. Sherry Cromwell (A Certain Magical Index)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 2008 - Mar 2009
Sherry Cromwell is a powerful magician and talented decoder that works for Necessarius, the 0th parish of the Anglican Church. First seen as an antagonistic character in the series, Sherry eventually grows to become a critical ally for the main character, Touma. Of the select characters that can control earth, very few are females. However, Sherry is certainly qualified enough to stand out. With the ability to control her own stone golem thanks to her earth-based magic, Sherry can literally create the strong earthlike being most people associate with earth-based powers. She can even have it self-destruct at will or have it take in surrounding materials to regenerate itself. In addition, Sherry has another earthlike technique that involves creating multiple mud eyes in order to perform acts of espionage as well as prevent any hidden attacks on her in battle. All in all, when it comes to fighting with earth, Sherry is certainly a tough opponent.
9. Wolf Haruto (Saint Seiya Omega)
- Episodes: 97
- Aired: Apr 2012 - Mar 2014
Wolf Haruto is one of six Bronze Saints chosen to defend both Athena and the world by the use of Cloths, or special suits of armor that aid in their special abilities. Haruto is a pretty stoic character to say the least, as he tends to be a loner at times and doesn’t get along with Koga and the other Bronze Saints at first. Even though he fights on the side of good, rarely do we the audience get to see him so much as smile, which is understandable considering his tragic past. However, despite his young age, Haruto possesses many earth techniques that make him a formidable opponent. From creating shurikens out of ground-up rocks to forming a rocklike shield around his arm to even manipulating the earth to rise from the ground, Haruto uses his earth techniques both offensively and defensively in conjunction with his Cosmos to defeat his opponents. Without a doubt, Haruto has certainly achieved a balance in regards to the techniques he wields.
8. Kosuke Ueki (The Law of Ueki)
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: Apr 2004 - Mar 2005
You have your characters that are gifted with the ability to control the elements themselves as their style of fighting. Then you have characters like Kosuke Ueki, an extremely nice middle school student who is granted the ability to turn trash into trees by his homeroom teacher, Mr. K. Not exactly the type of ability people picture when they think of fighting with earth power. Kosuke’s ability, however, reminds us that there’s more than to just the element than the element itself. Even though trees themselves are mostly associated with wood, Kosuke’s ability to create them from trash and make them stronger using the surrounding earth highlights the concept of using the natural elements around you. As Kosuke gets stronger, he’s even able to take pieces of his trees and turn them into trash in order to grow even more trees, reflecting the natural life cycle that takes place all the time. Kosuke’s earth power serves as a good example of using the environment around you as opposed to just the element itself.
7. Ganju Shiba (Bleach)
- Episodes: 366
- Aired: Oct 2004 - March 2012
Formerly of the Siba Clan, Ganju Shiba is a resident of Rukongai in Soul Society. Ganju has a deep prejudice for a long time against all Shinigami due to Rukia killing his older brother Kaien. Ganju’s personality also would be more suited for fire, as he has a huge ego and quite a short temper. As a result, Ganju doesn’t get along with Ichigo at all when they first meet, as they immediately begin to fight until his older sister Kukaku stops them, starting a chain of events that would eventually lead to thei friendship. Despite what Ganju’s volatile nature may suggest, he does possess some impressive earthlike techniques in his fighting arsenal. Ganju’s most impressive ability is being able to reduce anything he touches to sand, another popular form of earth besides wood. What makes this technique even more dangerous is the fact that Ganju can perform it using his feet in addition to his hands. Even though it’s mainly used as an escape or delaying tactic, Ganju is able to use it on more than one occasion to get Ichigo and himself out of a tight spot.
6. Eshros (Zatch Bell)
- Episodes: 150
- Aired: Apr 2003 - Mar 2006
The standard definition of a villain, Eshros is the Mamodo that utilizes an earth power in the tournament to determine the Mamodo King. Manipulative, hungry for power, and completely selfish, Eshros can see nothing else in front of him but the path to power in order to win the tournament, and bends Shin, his human partner, to his will in order to achieve this. Thus, Eshros’ training with Shin allowed 8 spells to be unlocked in Eshros’ spell book, far above most of the rest of Zatch and Kio’s opponents’ levels at the time of their match. Eshros’ earth abilities are quite impressive; in addition to the standard abilities of creating rocks to ensnare his opponent and throwing up an earth shield for defense, Eshros can also create stone cannons and even a stone snake to attack for him. Although he eventually loses his battle with Zatch, Eshro’s wide variety of earth techniques in his short appearance were enough to earn him a spot on this list.
5. Iggy (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct 2012 - Apr 2013
Most anime can’t say that they have a talking super powered dog that can fight, but then again, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has characters that are exactly what the title suggests: bizarre. A dog that grew up in the streets of Ney York City, Iggy is pretty antisocial and doesn’t get along with Jotaro’s gang at first. However, we eventually get to see a change in him as the group makes their way to Egypt to take down Dio once and for all. Iggy’s stand, known as The Fool, allows Iggy to manipulate sand in a (albeit limited) number of ways: shapeshifting, strength, and speed. Despite these limits, Iggy can use The Fool to shapeshift into anyone or anything he wants, making it the most useful in terms of practicality. However, its strength in combat and being able to move at speeds most people can’t see give it an edge against Iggy’s opponents, making him one of Jotaro’s key allies.
4. Diane (The Seven Deadly Sins)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 2014 - Mar 2015
A member of the Seven Deadly Sins and known specifically as the Sin of Envy, Diane is a giant who’s introduced as having a mysterious past and chooses to assist her new friend Melodias by fighting for him. Diane’s super strength, immense endurance, and powerful durability are mainly due to her being a giant. However, Gideon, the incredibly powerful war hammer that Diane wields, allows her to be able to draw out the full potential of her Creation ability, something that can only be done by giants due to their profound connection to nature. In Diane’s case, she can manipulate the earth around her, making her a tricky opponent both in close combat as well as from a distance. A good example of this would be her battle with Melodias when they’re both under Ruin’s illusion. Just as Melodias is able to destroy some of the rock formations Diane creates and get up close and attack her, Diane sends him flying with a powerful punch into the rocks he didn’t destroy. Thus, Diane’s size and battle strategy makes her one of the strongest earth power users on this list.
3. Gaara (Naruto)
- Episodes: 220
- Aired: Oct 2002 - Feb 2007
A shinobi of Sunagakure, Gaara enters the series as being among if not the most powerful of Naruto’s peers, and has much more in common with Naruto than Naruto could’ve ever expected. After some time has passed after their epic battle, Gaara’s skills are officially recognized by his village when he becomes the 5th Kazekage, Gaara’s extraordinary earthlike abilities at a young age are what place him high on the list. Even though his main abilities involve the manipulation of sand, Gaara possesses enough of it to almost make it seem as if he’s using solid earth itself during his fights, especially for defense. Even if his opponents are able to get past the crushing sand techniques Gaara uses, the automatic sand defense that acts outside Gaara’s consciousness to block surprise attacks earned him a reputation of never being wounded in any of his fights. Combining this with the sand armor he wears marks Gaara as having one of the strongest defenses if not the strongest defense of any earth power user. Even despite this defensive strength early on, it only grows stronger later in the series. Gaara’s defense combined with his fighting strategy potentially makes him the most powerful characters on this list.
2. Crocodile (One Piece)
- Episodes: Currently Airing
- Aired: Oct 1999 - Currently Airing
Without a doubt, Sir Crocodile is one of the most powerful anime characters to use an earth power of some sort. Crocodile is one of the longest running villains that Luffy and the Straw Hats go up against, and he certainly proves his strength by being a member of a very small group of characters to not only defeat Luffy, but to do so more than once. Crocodile is known to the Star Hats as Mr. 0 for quite some time; as the leader of Baroque Works, it is eventually revealed that his goal is to take over the Alabasta Kingdom in order to use its Poneglyph to find the ancient weapon Pluton. Because Crocodile ate the Sand Sand Fruit, he can control, generate, and even become sand. Combine this earth power with his mastery of the ability, his callousness for others, his ambition for power, and his tactical intelligence, and you have yourselves Luffy’s first true opponent. Crocodile is even more powerful when he’s in the desert, as he’s able to create quicksand and multiple sand storms. It’s safe to say that despite his weakness regarding water, Crocodile is certainly a very powerful earth character.
1. Jura Neekis (Fairy Tail)
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: Oct 2009 - Mar 2013
One of the Ten Wizard Saints and recognized throughout the land for his accomplished use of Earth Magic, Jura Neekis is immensely strong when it comes to wielding earth. Jura actually fits the mold in terms of what an earth power user is typically thought to look like: very tall, muscular, and even bald. Jura’s personality, however, is the opposite of what someone with those physical characteristics might have: he is humble and down-to-earth, very modest about his incredible power, and holds great respect for his opponents, even so far as commending them for his abilities. Furthermore, Jura’s techniques are perfectly balanced in terms of variety and power. There’s a reason why the other characters refer to him as Iron Rock Jura, as he is able to make the ground incredibly solid and manipulate it however he wishes. Jura can control all the rocks surrounding him and launch them at his opponent in a variety of different techniques while at the same time create an iron wall out of multiple rock formations to defend himself. Combined with his strength, reflexes, magic power, and hand to hand combat skills, Jura is truly the most powerful earth power user.
The ability to use earth as a superpower isn’t as common as some of the other elemental techniques, such as fire or lightning. Even a number of characters on this list use earth in a variety of forms, such as sand. However, the characters that do use earth-based attacks demonstrate a lot of different uses, and some of them are even regarded as being some of the strongest characters in their respective series. As a result, there’s a lot of potential for more characters to appear in the future with earth as their superpower. Is there any anime character with an earth power that you think should’ve made the list? Should Gaara or Crocodile have been number one despite using a different form of earth? Let us know in the comments!