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A list of the most powerful anime swordsman characters of all time:
One of the most iconic things in anime series is those swordsmen characters. They are usually portrayed as strong anime characters who are skilled in the art of wielding and fighting with their swords or katana. They often have a sense of honor and justice, which they strive to uphold at all costs.
In this article, we will explore some of the best anime swordsmen in history and some famous examples from popular series such as Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece.
Here we go!
29. Mikaela Hyakuya from Seraph of the End
Starting off the list of the best anime swordsmen with Mikaela Hyakuya, who is the protagonist of the Seraph of the End anime and manga series. In the show, the third Progenitor Krul Tepes turned him into a vampire against his will.
He, along with Yuichiro Hyakuya and a few others, possesses the seraph gene, which is relevant to the forbidden taboo and a focal point of the story, Seraph of the End. After becoming a vampire, Mika gains the vampire’s super strength and speed. He is also a Noble Vampire, who can wield First Class vampire swords that can consume his own blood to further enhance his strength and speed.
28. Nicolas Brown from Gangsta
Nicolas Brown is one of the most powerful anime swordsmen on our list, he is the central protagonist of the GANGSTA series.
Probably his most dangerous trait is being able to ambush skilled fighters like Doug easily, without the latter noticing. His speed sometimes appears to be as if he is teleporting, disappearing, and reappearing when in battle. Though he was easily outmatched by Ginger in that department. Being Nicolas’ primary weapon, Nicolas is highly proficient with his sword.
Also, he is able to push back Doug, a dual Kukri user, and was even able to break one of them. This demonstrated how he uses his immense physical strength in conjunction with his sword. He was also able to briefly match and then later overwhelm a fellow blade user in battle. Despite using his sword more often, Nicolas is equally lethal with his bare hands as he is with his sword.
27. Miyamoto Musashi from Vagabond
Miyamoto Musashi is one of the main protagonists in the Vagabond manga series and is a historical figure who is considered one of the greatest swordsmen in Japanese history.
At a young age, his father would teach him Jutte which helped him to create the two sword styles. Musashi is unique in terms of his sword skill for the unfamiliar movements and lack of style he uses. This is due to the fact that he spent most of his entire time in the forest having been labeled as a demon child by his village for his demeaning and wicked nature.
The forest is his home and where his master resides. He is known for his arm strength, in the Yagyu arc, he was able to cut a steel sword with one hand. Also, he created the two-sword style by wielding a katana on the offensive right hand while the Wakizashi on the defensive left hand. One of the technique’s secrets is throwing the wakizashi blade like a shuriken/Kunai.
26. Kirito from Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online is a mainstream anime series that features many characters who fight with swords in a virtual reality RPG. Kirito, the protagonist, is one of the most powerful male anime swordsmen and his fighting style is very interesting to watch. He’s very skilled in combat and has exceptional reflexes which allow him to easily defeat enemies even when he’s outnumbered. With such skills, he is one of the few people in the SAO VR world who have managed to remain alive.
25. Askeladd from Vinland Saga
Askeladd is a fictional character and a mighty swordsman from the historical anime series Vinland Saga. In the show, Askeladd is portrayed as the leader of a band of a hundred Vikings and is the one who killed Thorfin’s father. His ability to turn enemies into friends and allies signifies not only his level of power but also proves that he is an expert at bringing people around him——like Thorfinn, Thorkell, and Canute.
24. Hyakkimaru from Dororo
One of the most notable anime swordsmen on the list is Hyakkimaru. He’s the protagonist of Dororo, and he’s a ronin who is seeking revenge against demons that stole his body parts.
With the death of each Demon, he regains a part of himself that is rightfully his. He wanders alone for some time until one day an orphan, Dororo, befriends him. Along with the unlikely pair, fight to survive and regain their humanity in an unforgiving world.
23. Akame from Akame Ga Kill
Akame is the female protagonist of the Akame Ga Kill series, aside from being one of the prettiest anime girls of all time, she is also one of the most overpowered female anime swordsmen in history. This girl is cold-hearted and fierce against enemies but compassionate to her allies. She carries the burden of those lost in senseless violence, which is impressive given that she’s the symbol of a rebel in this story.
22. King Bradly from Fullmetal Alchemist
King Bradley is one of the primary antagonists in the Fullmetal Alchemist series. He is portrayed as a talented swordsman and martial artist, but his Ultimate Eye makes him even more dangerous than before after he turns into Wrath.
Bradley has enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, stamina, durability, senses, and instincts that are superior to any human. King Bradley as Wrath is a battle-hardened swordsman with incredible skill. He will fight an army all by himself and put an end to them quickly.
21. Yato from Noragami
Yato is one of the most extraordinary swordsmen in the anime world. He is the main protagonist of the “Noragami” anime and manga series. In the past, he was known as a supreme being of Disaster, but now he struggles to even have a shrine with followers.
Aside from being immortal, able to teleport, and many other powers, Yato also has sword-fighting skills, able to quickly adapt to any sword or katana and use them effectively. Notably, all of his past Shinki (spirits weapons) have been swords.
20. Teresa from Claymore
Among the best and most powerful swordswomen on our list is Teresa from the series Claymore. In the show, Teresa is portrayed as the 182nd Claymore in the Organization, previously ranked as No. 1. Among the eight No. 1 warriors, she is one of those capable of surpassing the original Abyssal Spirits and is considered to be the strongest. She is arguably the most powerful character in the whole series as she has unmatched prowess in combat.
19. Hiei from Yu Yu Hakusho
Hiei is another overpowered anime swordsman, who is the main character in the YuYu Hakusho series by Yoshihiro Togashi. Hiei is one of the fastest swordsmen in the Yu Yu Hakusho universe, being able to slice an opponent sixteen times in a blink of an eye. This has caused some to mistakenly believe he can teleport, when in fact he is just moving very fast. Such incredible speed gives him an edge in the battle against slower or close-range fighters.
18. Saber from Fate/stay night
Saber is one of the main characters of Fate/Zero and one of the three main heroines of Fate/stay night. She is the Saber-class Servant of Kiritsugu Emiya in the Fourth Holy Grail War and Shirou Emiya in the Fifth Holy Grail War.
She is among the best anime female swordsman of all time and is extremely skilled with the sword. Even unarmed and faced with a surprise attack from Taiga, said to be an unmatched kendo expert, Saber is able to easily disarm her without even taking a stance.
She takes up teaching Shirou, but only focuses on giving him as much battle experience as possible because she does not have an aptitude for teaching others. While her ability as a swordsman is proficient, it is not where her true strength lies, but rather her enormous amount of magical energy. She believes that there is no Servant that surpasses her in close combat, and she is certain that she can clear an escape route from the battlefield under any disadvantageous situation.
17. Zabuza Momochi from Naruto
Zabuza Momochi, given the moniker Demon of the Hidden Mist, was a missing-nin from Kirigakure’s Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist. During his time as a Kiri-nin, Zabuza was one of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, a group composed of the village’s top swordsmen.
In the naruto anime series, he belongs to a generation of swordsmen that were the strongest ever within Kirigakure, a further testament to Zabuza’s impressive skills. Zabuza’s signature weapon was the Kubikiribōchō, an oversized broad sword. This large weapon has the unique ability to absorb and utilize the iron from all the blood it sheds, from whoever it cuts, in order to reform itself if damaged or broken.
Zabuza is a so powerful anime swordsman, that he is capable of dispatching numerous enemies of naruto’s series, with a few slashes, and claiming that his swordsman abilities “never cut a second time”. As a result, he killed many people in a single attack.
16. Nobunaga Hazama from Hunter x Hunter 2011
In the anime series Hunter x Hunter, we have Nobunaga Hazama, one of the Phantom Troupe members, who has a physical strength that ranks ninth.
Nobunaga is so skilled at using a sword that he could close in on his enemies without getting scratched and still be able to strike them first before they even notice him.
This anime guy is one to not mess with, due to being super skilled with swords, he even swings around his huge sword like it’s nothing! and can also use two swords at once.
15. Nanashi from Sword of the Stranger
One of the best swordsmen in anime is Nanashi, one of the main characters in Sword of the Stranger. He is an honorable warrior who vowed not to kill again. But his time of peace is cut short when he meets the orphan boy Kotaro, ending up using his sword to save them from one of Ming’s members who was chasing them.
14. Mugen from Samurai Champloo
Mugen is one of the main male protagonists in Samurai Champloo and arguably one of the best swordsmen you will find in any anime. He serves as an excellent foil to Jin, who is possibly his best rival when it comes to sword-fighting skills. His sword fighting style is characterized as being reckless and erratic, which makes it harder to predict. Opponents find it difficult to decipher how he fights, making his style harder to counter
13. Gintoki Sakata from Gintama
Next up, we have a badass anime swordsman named Gintoki Sakata, who is the main protagonist of the Gintama series. He is the founder and leader of the Yorozuya, as well as a highly skilled samurai, having fought in the Joui War in the past.
During the war, he became known as the Shiroyasha “White Demon” due to his powerful swordsmanship and demonic white appearance. Gintoki’s swordsmanship is rough, but far from unrefined. He tends to wield even full-length katanas one-handed with fair wide but quick chops. His level of skill has been complimented by several esteemed swordmasters, such as Yagyuu Binbokusai, who noted that his style is something not taught but developed by Gintoki himself.
12. Afro Samurai from Afro Samurai
Among the best swordsmen of all time, we have Afro, an incredibly talented anime swordsman whose father was decapitated in front of his own eyes as a child. That traumatic experience caused an innocent little boy to have a mind flustered with revenge and, with that, Afro grew into a cold-blooded killer, willing to kill anyone in his pursuit of the number one.
Afro is a highly skilled swordsman able to deflect crossbow bolts and shatter bullets as well as perform lethal sword attacks. Afro can use his subconscious mind to create completely new combat techniques in the middle of the battle as taught by his Sword Master. He was also able to effectively fight during an aerial battle with the Afro Droid.
11. Yami Suhihero from Black Clover
Yami is one of the main characters in the Black Clover series, alongside Asta and Yuno. He is the captain of the Black Bull squad and formerly a member of the Grey Deer squad. Yami can sometimes be crude and reckless, but he’s a powerful Magic Knight who is well-respected among his peers.
He is ultimately an anime character who can be described as a skilled swordsman. His skills in swordsmanship can be seen in the way he fights, which he combines with dark magic to fight on par with enemies and easily defeat them.
10. Levi Ackerman from Attack On Titan
Next up we have a popular anime swordsman called Levi Ackerman, who is the captain of a Special Operations Squad within the Survey Corps. It is shown that he can take out titans with just his swords and has been given the nickname “humanity’s strongest.”
Levi’s fighting stance is a little different – he holds his sword backhanded, this lets him cut the opponent in a decagonal pattern, giving him a number of spinning and other rotating attacks that allow him to maintain incredible speed and agility while fighting with his swords.
9. Kenshin Himura from Rurouni Kenshin
Himura Kenshin, the main protagonist of the anime series Rurouni Kenshin, is a legendary swordsman known during the Meiji Revolution as Himura Battosai.
In the series, Kenshin is portrayed as an individual, who has been on the move for a long time, touring Japan in search of redemption. In 1878, he arrives in Tokyo and lands at the Kamiya dojo, where he’s forced to compromise on his vow of not killing anyone anymore.
8. Yoriichi Tsugikuni fom Demon Slayer
Yoriichi Tsugikuni is a powerful swordsman character in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba anime and manga series. He lived during the Sengoku Era and is considered to be the strongest Demon Slayer of all time. His ability with a sword is phenomenal. Even as a seven-year-old child, he was able to defeat someone that had been training for many years in his first time wielding a sword.
Yoriichi’s swordsmanship easily overwhelmed the Demon King, Muzan Kibutsuji and if his brother Kokushibo (turned into a demon), the strongest swordsman of his era, didn’t die of old age he would have killed him for sure.
7. Atomic Samurai from One Punch Man
One Punch Man’s Atomic Samurai is an S-Class hero and the leader of a group of heroes who specialize in swordsmanship. In the series, Atomic Samurai is considered to be the strongest swordsman on Earth and his legend says he can take out over 100 enemies at once.
His sword attacks are so fast and strong, the enemies are slashed into many pieces in an instant that they can’t even get the chance to react. Therefore, It’s not hard to see why he’s considered one of the most powerful anime swordsmen on our list.
6. Kisuke Urahara from Bleach
Kisuke Urahara is one of the most powerful and accomplished anime characters from Bleach. He used to be the captain of the 12th Division. Urahara is a powerful anime swordfighter with lightning-fast attacks and remarkable control over them. He can deal with accurate hits or stop them in an instant with precision.
Although it seems like his preferred fighting style is swordsmanship, he’s highly proficient in combining it with other skills and abilities. He is overpowered and considered dangerous by others, such as Ulquiorra Cipher, the 4th strongest Espada who avoided fighting Urahara.
5. Roronoa Zoro from One Piece
Roronoa Zoro, “Pirate Hunter”, is the right hand of Luffy, the swordsman of the Straw Hat Pirates and a former bounty hunter.
Through years of extremely rigorous training regimens since childhood. Those training consist mainly of grueling bodybuilding exercises in addition to hard training in swordsmanship. Zoro has immense superhuman physical prowess, particularly his strength and agility. After two years of intense training with Dracule Mihawk, Zoro has grown significantly more powerful than before.
As he strives to become the world’s strongest swordsman, Zoro’s three-sword style has changed over the course of the series, and he already is so powerful enough to stand up against many emperors so far. If his skill continues to improve at this rate, he might just do it in the end!
4. Kenpachi Zaraki from Bleach
Among the roughest anime swordsmen, is Kenpachi Zaraki from the Bleach anime and manga series. He is portrayed as the current captain of the 11th Division in the Gotei 13. He is the eleventh one to hold the position.
His first lieutenant was Yachiru Kusajishi and his current lieutenant is Ikkaku Madarame. However, he has surpassed all of them by sharpening his sword skills to a masterful level. Letting him strike multiple times with changes of attack type (from slash to pierce) without any difficulty.
His prowess in his childhood made him able to kill hundreds of powerful fighters and wound Retsu Unohana. His immense strength with his sword allows him to always fight with one hand free. However, he uses both hands when facing opponents he feels will beat him otherwise.
In the Bleach anime series, he is a well-respected captain of the 11th Division, due to his many powerful abilities, and being the most proficient swordsman in all of Soul Society.
3. Dracul Mihawk from One Piece
Again from the One Piece anime and manga series, we have Dracule “Hawk Eyes” Mihawk, a world-famous pirate and currently the strongest swordsman in the series’ world. He was one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, until its dissolution.
In the past, Mihawk was listed as an infamous “Marine Hunter”, and a rival of Shanks Akagami. Mihawk’s status as one of the world’s strongest swordsmen has caused Zoro to view him as an obstacle, who must be eliminated in order for him to set his sights on his goal.
2. Guts from Berserk
From the Berserk series, we have one of the most overpowered anime swordsmen of all time. His name is Guts, as known as the “Black Swordsman”, a former mercenary and wanderer who is always going through a struggle between his own plans and feelings for his friends and family.
Guts have been using oversized swords since the age of 6, which resulted in his extraordinary strength and exceptional sword skills. Although Guts has a large and strong stature, he is also very agile. He can dodge and retaliate to even the fastest attacks in the heat of battle.
1. Shanks Akagami from One Piece
Wrapping up our list of the best and strongest anime swordsmen with Shanks Akagami from One Piece. Shanks is quite literally the man. His strength and swordsmanship have been a force to be reckoned with and is one of the rulers of the One Piece’s World. He has shown himself to be an insightful, strategic thinker with a drive for justice. Though his powers may not have been introduced in the series, all of his actions point to immense power.
For example, he saved Buggy from drowning. He saved Luffy from a sea king and Koby from Sakazuki. To avoid more deaths, he was able to deflect Akainu’s attack; ending the war at Marineford instantly. As well as protecting his daughter from the Marines, which was shown recently in One Piece Film: Red (2022).