The biggest films in the movie industry right now have at least one major thing in common: superpowers. Star Wars has made a comeback to the big screen, Marvel has been dominating the box office for almost a decade with their heroes, and DC has finally started building their own cinematic universe. It seem that superpower movies aren’t going away for the time being, and for good reason. Likewise, superpowers in anime aren’t going away anytime either.
A lot of the anime TV shows and movies that are the most accessible are ones where characters with special abilities are involved. Regardless of whether they differ in tone, setting, or purpose, any anime film that has characters with superpowers seems to attract an audience. This is especially true for established TV anime franchises, as most of the biggest superpower anime movies tend to be separate adventures of said TV characters. Keeping that in mind, here are the Top 10 Anime Superpower Movies.
10. K: Missing Kings
- Genres: Action, Super Power, Supernatural
- Aired: Jul 12, 2014
This movie is a bit unique in the sense that it continues off the K anime series, which focuses on a young boy named Yashiro Isana and his involvement in a psychic war between 7 “Kings”, or individuals gifted with special powers. Missing Kings focuses on how certain characters deal with the repercussions and consequences of these Kings’ actions, which is quite a lot. If you have not seen the 13 episode anime series that leads into this movie, then it may not be as impactful. However, if you have, then you will certainly appreciate the character interactions more and what is at stake as the investigation into Shiro’s disappearance continues. Certainly a unique take on superpowers embroiled in a giant mystery.
9. Yu Yu Hakusho: The Movie
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy
- Aired: Jul 10, 1993
The Yu Yu Hakusho series focuses on Yusuke Urameshi, a 14 year old kid who seems destined to amount to nothing until he unexpectedly sacrifices his life to save a young boy. This was so unexpected that not even Heaven or Hell were prepared to take him, resulting in Yusuke getting a chance to return to life. In the case of this movie, the person responsible for helping Yusuke return to life, Koenma, is kidnapped and held for ransom in exchange for the Golden Seal of King Enma, Koenma’s father. It’s up to Yusuke and his new allies to somehow rescue Koenma before things get out of hand. This movie seems to take place early on in the series, so while Yusuke and his friends don’t have a wide display of powers to showcase, they still have their go-to techniques as well as their wits to rely on when they fight. If you’re a fan of superpower fights where the heroes are in the early stages of their training, then this is a solid movie for that concept.
8. InuYasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time
- Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Shounen, Super Power
- Aired: Dec 22, 2001
One of the aspects of the InuYasha series is dealing with the consequences that arise due to the Shikon Jewel shards being spread out all over Japan, and this movie is all about that. Despite InuYasha having mastered the ultimate attack of the sword Tetsusaiga, he must fight and defeat a demon brought back to life by one of the shards along with Kagome, Shippo, Sango, and Miroku. In addition, the demon had been sealed by InuYasha’s father, meaning that InuYasha must overcome his father’s power in order to defeat the demon and set things right again. With InuYasha’s skills with Tetsusaiga in full display along with the abilities his friends possess, it certainly delivers on the powers front. There are, however, a lot of different moods throughout the film, as comedic moments occur as well as romantic ones. If you’re into the idea of superpower films being about more than just the powers themselves and focusing on aspects such as character dynamics, then this would be a good film for you to watch.
7. Blue Exorcist The Movie
- Genres: Action, Demons, Fantasy, Shounen, Supernatural
- Aired: Dec 28, 2012
Born as the son of Satan, Rin Okumura isn’t your typical kid by any means. It’s a good thing his brother Yukio and their friends fight along right beside him against various demons, and this movie isn’t any different. A possessed train, or Phantom Train, falls under Rin’s responsibility to keep suppressed, which doesn’t go smoothly for him as a festival held once every 11 years is taking place. Plenty of action sequences display the unique exorcism techniques utilized by the characters, especially to kick off the movie, and the characters themselves keep the story interesting, especially when Rin and Yukio begin to clash a bit. Definitely a must watch if you are a Blue Exorcist fan, as it strengthens the relationships of the main cast of characters in addition to showing off their powers.
6. Bleach the Movie: Fade to Black
- Genres: Action, Comedy, Super Power, Supernatural, Shounen
- Aired: Dec 13, 2008
Arguably the best Bleach film, Fade to Black focuses on the disappearance of Rukia after she is erased from everyone’s memories except for Ichigo (who only forgets for a brief time) and an Underpod Mod-Soul named Kon (who helps Ichigo remember). It’s up to Ichigo and Kon to find Rukia and set things back to normal, even if it means fighting against Ichigo’s friends in Seireitei. What makes this movie is interesting are not only the classic techniques we see Ichigo and Rukia display, but also the fact that we get to see a fair amount of the secondary characters show off their powers as opposed to their minimum displays of their powers in the show. Not to mention certain characters going up against each other that we don’t often see. All in all, Fade to Black is able to execute an interesting concept while at the same time showcase a fair amount of superpowers as well.
5. Hunter x Hunter Movie: Phantom Rouge
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Shounen, Super Power
- Aired: Jan 12, 2013
One of the things that Hunter x Hunter stands out with in the TV series is the fighting that takes place in addition to the unique techniques and power system used, and Phantom Rouge is no different. Seen as a side story in relation to the TV series, Phantom Rouge focuses on Gon’s friend Kurapika and his mission to get revenge on the Phantom Troupe, the group responsible for executing Kurapika’s clan for the red eyes they possess. While there are plenty of comedic moments (especially provide by Gon and Killua) as well as darker moments, there are plenty of fights that showcase the unique powers Gon, Killua, Leorio, and Kurapika possess in addition to those of the Phantom Troupe. Definitely a movie where you will get more out of it if you have seen the TV series through at least the Yorknew City arc, but if you haven’t, Phantom Rouge is still a superpower movie you can enjoy.
4. Dragon Ball Z Movie 07: Super Android 13
- Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Shounen
- Aired: Jul 11, 1992
If you’re trying to think of an anime movie with superpowers in it, Dragonball Z should be one of first to come to mind. In this particular movie, Goku and his friends are enjoying their time together shopping when 2 androids of Dr. Gero’s creation, Androids 14 and 15, begin wreaking havoc in an attempt to find and kill Goku. As the battle drags on, a 3rd android shows up, eventually boiling down to whose technique is stronger: Goku’s or Android 13’s Of all the DBZ films released thus far, 7 ranks among the best in terms of the various superpowers displayed. You have the transformation that take place not only by Goku, Vegeta, and Trunks into Super Saiyans but also by Android 13 absorbing components from Androids 14 and 15. You have the various energy attacks used by almost all the fighters. Most importantly, you have the classic energy techniques such as the Kamehameha and the Spirit Bomb on full display. Movie 7 may not have the best movie villain or the best movie superpower, but if you’re focused on seeing a lot of different superpowers utilized in a balanced approach as opposed to just one specific move or the strength of one hero or villain, then this DBZ movie would be the one worth checking out.
3. Gurren Lagann The Movie: The Lights in the Sky are Stars
- Genres: Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi, Space, Super Power
- Aired: Apr 22, 2009
7 years have passed since the infamous battle of Teppelin, and since that time, humans have reclaimed Earth’s surface and celebrated an era of peace. That is, until the appearance of the mysterious Anti-Spiral, whose power leaves humanity utterly powerless to fight back. Only through the reunification of the members if Team Dai-Gurren can peace be restored once again. Since this is the 2nd Gurren Lagann movie, it helps to be somewhat familiar with not only the events of the TV series but the 1st movie as well. That being said, the 2nd hour of this movie is phenomenal in terms of the various powers used in multiple battles that result in numerous explosions and casualties in their wake, especially the final battle. If you’re looking for techniques that cause destruction and go head to head against other techniques Justas if not more powerful, then this movie won’t fail to deliver.
2. Boruto: Naruto the Movie
- Genres: Action, Comedy, Super Power, Martial Arts, Shounen
- Aired: Aug 7, 2015
A lot of the Naruto films possess an aspect in their battles where it seems that whoever pulls off the biggest jutsu is the winner. That may be somewhat disappointing in terms of storytelling somewhat, but it also means that witnessing the powers on display by the characters can be impressive. This particular film somewhat falls under this category. The story itself focuses on the conflicting relationship between Boruto, Naruto’s son, and Naruto, as Naruto is particularly busy with his duties as Hokage and Boruto resents not spending enough time with him and instead receiving mentorship from Naruto’s Longie rival, Sasuke. More importantly for this list, however, are the jutsu techniques on display in the fights that occur, and they are pretty well animated as well as possessing some intellect as to how they are used, particularly the final battle. Yet another example of the fact that if you enjoyed the Naruto series and the other films, there is no reason as to why you won’t enjoy this one.
1. One Piece: Strong World
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Shounen
- Aired: Dec 12, 2009
It’s pretty obvious that when it comes to superpowers in anime, One Piece is the most popular, and a good example of this can be seen in one of the best and arguably the best One Piece film, Strong World. Most of Luffy’s crew have either eaten a Devil Fruit or have a unique superpower of some sort, and with the main villain possessing the ability to make non-living objects float once he touches it, you’ve got a variety of superpowers being used not only in combat, but also in various situations to overcome certain obstacles. This is most prevalent when Luffy’s crew is separated on Shiki’s giant floating land mass and are trying to regroup. The story may be pretty simple in terms of saving the damsel in distress and defeating the giant bad guy, but at the end of the day, if you’re in the mood for just plain simple fights that use cool superpowers and escalate into some awesome techniques, then Strong World delivers on that concept and then some.
Although anime superpower films are pretty different compared to the mainstream superhero films, the basic premise of using superpowers against an opponent will never change. Hopefully there will be more anime films with original stories that convey superpowers in their telling of the story in addition to adapting separate adventures of some of the most popular TV anime shows with superpowers. These 10 anime superpower films may not be nearly as well-known as Iron Man, Spiderman, Batman, and Superman, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deliver in terms of the characters and their abilities. But what do you guys think? Is there a better Naruto, DBZ, or Bleach film that should have been chosen? Is there a film missing from this list altogether? Post your thoughts in the comment section below!