When people hear the word “elements” as applied to superpowers, the main ones that come to mind for most people tend to be water, earth, fire, and wind. This is understandable, as these elements tended to be the foundation for a lot of different cultures in the past. However, there are other elements that are not often considered for use as a foundation for superpowers, one of them being the element of wood, most often seen as one of the 5 elements in Chinese culture.
What defines someone as possessing the power of wood is difficult to determine, as not many characters in anime have a power or ability that truly defines what it is. Maybe it’s someone who bases their techniques around trees and actual “wood”. Maybe it’s just possessing the ability to manipulate plants to various degrees. Maybe it’s a combination of both. There isn’t really one solid answer, as every character on this list doesn’t utilize their control of wood the same way, a problem that most other characters that manipulate elements such as water or fire don’t have. Keeping all of this ins mind, here are the top 10 characters to wield the power of wood.
10. Wood Card (Card Captor Sakura)
One of the fifty-two Clow Cards in the anime, the Wood is one of the cards Sakura uses multiple times throughout the series. Appearing as a young woman with long hair and a leaf symbol on her forehead on the card, the Wood card has the ability to generate and control vines, bushes, and branches, something Sakura uses to her advantage whether in combat or in certain situations, such as rescuing a young girl falling from a great height. The Wood card also stands out in the sense that it is one of the 3 cards Sakura finds at her own home, although forgetting to sign it once she finds it leads to chaos as Wood terrorizes her house as part of her escape. The Wood card may not be that powerful compared to Sakura’s other cards or other characters on this list, but the power to manipulate branches as one sees fit certainly comes in handy.
9. Cherrymon (Digimon)
As wood is most commonly associated with trees, it makes sense for a talking tree to be represented on this list. While there are actually a fair amount of Digimon that revolve around the concept of wood with the most obvious being Woodmon, Cherrymon stands out not only in size but what he represents to the first DigiDestined with his first appearance. Cherrymon, due to his wisdom and manipulation, is able to take advantage of Matt’s self-doubt when he leaves the group by turning Matt against Tai. Convincing Matt that eliminating his biggest rival would set things right for him, Cherrymon sets forth a chain of events that will not be resolved until right before the final battle with Piedmon. In the end, it is because of Cherrymon’s wisdom that he is destroyed, as informing Puppetmon that he cannot defeat the DigiDestined ends up being his undoing. However, it’s because of his manipulation skills as well as symbolically representing the “darkness” of the forest that Cherrymon made the cut.
8. Trevenant (Pokemon)
A dual-type Ghost/Grass Pokémon that evolves from Phantump when traded, Trevenant is another character on this list that visually represents wood in a darker way. A menacing tree with claws and a giant red eye that stands on 6 curved bent roots, Trevenant’s bark-like exterior conceals the black shadow (and in turn essence) within. Trevenant’s abilities are impressive, as it can control trees at will by using its roots as a sort of nervous system in order to be connected. It can also learn Ghost-type moves such as Shadow Claw, Destiny Bond, and Phantom Force in addition to Grass techniques such as Wood Hammer and Horn Leech, resulting in some unique combinations. With all of these abilities matched with a fierce desire to protect the Pokémon living in both its forest as well as its own body, Trevenant certainly deserves to be ranked among the best wood users.
7. Sugino (Zatch Bell)
A Mamodo that Zatch and Kiyo face early on, Sugino possesses the ability to manipulate plants, and takes full advantage of the Mochinokihe Botanical Gardens with his partner Haru. Sugino’s most important contribution to the story is helping to provide Zatch and Kiyo a communication system while fighting that they continue to use throughout the series, as Haru’s tactics almost prove to be too much for them to handle. While many of Sugino’s attacks revolve around summoning giant flowers that either fire seeds or poisoning pollen, Sugino does summon a giant tree warrior as well as attacking Zatch with the roots of the trees around them. It is only due to a well-timed “Rashield” from Zatch in addition to the hostages’ help that Sugino and Haru lose, but Sugino does demonstrate a pretty solid skillset involving wood techniques despite his brief appearance.
6. Bins, (One Piece)
A member of the Neo Marines in One Piece Film: Z and once a member of the Marines in the past, Bins wields the power of the Grow-Grow Fruit, which allows him to accelerate plant growth as well as control said plants. Although Bins performs a bizarre dance to accelerate the growth of his plants, they are certainly effective both in capturing and immobilizing his opponents as well as fending off attacks, best seen against Usopp, Chopper, Franky, and Brook. With these plant techniques combined with Bins’ skills as a Marine, he is actually a legitimate foe for the Straw-Hats, as he was able to hold his own against Sanji (before succumbing to his most powerful techniques in their 2nd fight) as well as become the first opponent to ever successfully dodge Robin’s Flower-Flower Fruit attacks. While his techniques are more associated with plants as opposed to wood, Bins certainly proves himself capable in his brief appearances.
5. Kosuke Ueki (The Law of Ueki)
Kosuke Ueki is an extremely kind student who is ultimately granted the ability to turn trash into trees by his homeroom teacher, Mr. K, in order to compete in a tournament against other students with unique abilities. He is also one of the first anime characters people think of when the power of wood comes into play if they haven’t associated his ability with that of the earth element. Kosuke’s ability actually serves as a combination of both, as he not only creates the trees from trash, he is able to strengthen them using the earth surrounding him. As Kosuke continues to get stronger and stronger, he’s able to reverse the process by taking pieces of his trees and turning them into trash in order to grow even more trees. While his wood power shares strong ties with the ability to manipulate earth, the core of his ability first lies in being able to create trees, solidifying him as someone who relies on the use of wood.
4. Laki Olietta (Fairy Tail)
A young Mage of the Fairy Tail Guild with easily identifiable purple hair, Laki’s skills with magic lie in the art of wood-making, a form of Molding Magic. Laki can create a variety of weapons or other miscellaneous items out of wood that can be used for both attacking an opponent as well as defending against one. Some of her signature techniques in this regard include the Dam of Shy Love, where Laki summons multiple blocks of wood carved as weapons from the ground, and the Wood Wall, where Laki surrounds herself with a wooden wall for protection. Laki can also merge herself with the wood she creates in order to perform stealth actions, such as walking unnoticed. With a variety of wooden weapons at her disposal as well as multiple ways to defend herself or even escape harm’s way, Laki is one of the best anime characters to wield the power of wood.
3. Kurama (Yu Yu Hakusho)
A core member of the series, Kurama is a fox demon who escaped to the human world after fleeing a Sprit Detective and merged with a human baby, Shuichi Minamino, in order to recover from an almost fatal wound. Initially planning to flee once he was old enough, Kurama ends up having a change of heart when his “mother” suffers an accident and remains by her side to care for her. It is only after the events involving King Koenma’s stolen treasures that Kurama ends up becoming a close ally and friend to Yusuke and his endeavors. Kurama’s signature weapon is his Rose Whip, which he creates through channeling his Spirit Energy into a flower in order to transform it. As time goes on, Kurama reveals other plant based techniques that only grow deadlier as Kurama grows stronger, especially when he becomes Yoko Kurama during the Dark Tournament. Perhaps Kurama’s deadliest technique is his Sinning Tree, a tree that slowly drains the life of its victim as it shows them a hallucination of their worst nightmare, on Elder Toguro, who had achieved eternal regeneration abilities. With Kurama’s multiple plant-related techniques in conjunction with his superb analytical abilities while fighting, he deserves to be ranked near the top of this list.
2. Weasel (Marchen Awakens Romance)
A member of the Chess Pieces, Weasel is the oldest of the 12 Knights and the 6th strongest Knight. With a long white beard and a small tree growing out of the top of his head, Weasel looks strange to say the least, much less someone that can fight among the best warriors of the Chess Pieces. Yet Weasel fought in the final round of the 1st War Games, defeating and killing his former friend Jake, Jack’s father. As a result, Jack and Weasel face off in the final round of the 2nd War Games, and Weasel demonstrates his amazing wood abilities throughout the fight, using exploding plants and even summoning Yggdrasil, a giant tree so large that their fight continues throughout its branches. Weasel also possesses ÄRMs that wither away plants, with his other signature move being Bird of Rotten Wood, a giant wooden bird that instantly withers plant-life. In the end, however, Weasel ends up losing by suffering at the hands of one of Jack’s Guardian ÄRMs that can summon fire, who directs it at the tree on top of Weasel’s head, ultimately the source of his magic power. Weasel accepts his defeat honorably, something rare among the Chess Pieces. However, even though we only see him truly fight once in the series, the power of Weasel’s wood techniques in addition to a variety of them devastating wood and plants as well as creating them are why Weasel is up high on the list.
1. Hashirama Senju (Naruto)
Hailed as the God of Shinobi and the 1st Hokage of Konohagakure, Hashirama is one of the most powerful ninja in Naruto, and with good reason. The chakra that he possessed in addition to his abilities in both taijutsu and genjutsu were unparalleled during his time, and even afterwards. While the list goes on and on with the variety of techniques he excelled at, one of Hashirama’s signature techniques was Wood Release, where a combination of earth and water-natured chakra resulted in the creation and manipulation of wood and plants from the ground or even his own body. As a result, Hashirama could create wood clones and even completely rearrange the landscape with whatever he built with wood, so powerful were his wooden techniques. What made this ability even more amazing was that for Hashirama, it was acquired naturally; no one else can say this, and while certain ninja can replicate his techniques, they are somewhat weaker than when Hashirama performed them. For Hashirama to be able to perform these wood techniques at such a high level in conjunction with all of his other techniques and abilities as well as possessing an intelligent outlook as to when and how to use them, it’s without a doubt that Hashirama Senju is #1 when it comes to the ability to wield wood.
Using wood as a power isn’t that common, and most of the characters on this list appear in anime that lends itself to having a far reach in terms of the variety of powers used. However, it is because of that very reach that allows these characters to lay the groundwork for what might become the fundamentals a “wood user” should have. What are your guys’ thoughts about this? Should there have been a different character chosen from Naruto or Fairy Tail? Should multiple characters from the same series been chosen as opposed to the weaker characters on the list? Let us know in the comments!