The 10 most overpowered anime protagonists of all time

Saitama, Mob, and Goku
Images via One Punch Man/Mob Psycho 100/Dragon Ball Z

Everyone loves an underdog, one who must fight against what initially seems like an overwhelming opponent in order to get stronger. There are hundreds of anime series based on this principle, with viewers rooting for the hero to tackle seemingly insurmountable odds, but what about those who are already strong, and not just strong, but totally, insanely overpowered?

There are a handful of anime series containing these types of characters, ones who defy comprehension and whose powers are so absurd that going against them is a fools’ errand. This list will take a look at 10 of the most overpowered anime protagonists, what their abilities are, and what exactly makes them a cut above the rest. We’ll specifically be looking at protagonists over supporting characters, so even if a show contains a god-like figure such as a Zeno from Dragon Ball ⏤ who can destroy existence with a single thought (and is thus highly overpowered) ⏤ we won’t be considering them in this particular list.

10. Naruto (Naruto)

Naruto

When we first meet Naruto, he is still young but due to having had the Nine-Tails beast, Kuruma, sealed inside of him at birth, he is already feared for his potential power. Unlike a lot of the others on this list, we do watch as Naruto goes up against opponents stronger than him, but he proves himself to be naturally immensely powerful and with training and experience he becomes unstoppable. Naruto has an extremely strong life force, granting him immense stamina and longevity and access to a wide range of abilities.

Naruto is similar to Goku in that he simply keeps getting stronger as he overcomes more opponents and is also able to unlock new forms such as Nine-Tails Chakra Mode and his strongest form, Baryon Mode, which made him the strongest character in the entire story by using his own chakra in combination with Kuruma’s, similar to nuclear fusion.

9. Goku (Dragon Ball)

Ultra Instinct Goku

Goku, an anime take on the mischievous Monkey King of Chinese legend, is one of the strongest protagonists in anime history. The Dragon Ball Universe does have some ridiculously powerful characters in it, and no matter how many take him on, Goku usually comes out on top in the end. Though he has been defeated in the past, given enough time and training, Goku can become strong enough to overpower anyone.

He grows from strength to strength, attaining new forms, such as his various Super Saiyan forms, to take on more difficult and powerful opponents, eventually being distinguished as one of the finest warriors in Universe 7 and on level with the Gods of Destruction. There are still some characters within his universe he has yet to overcome, such as Jiren, but since the manga is still ongoing, that could eventually change.

8. Koro-sensei (Assassination Classroom)

Koro-sensei is the definition of a science experiment gone wrong. Previously a master assassin going by the name of “The Reaper,” he was trapped and experimented on, with anti-matter giving him abilities far exceeding anyone else on the planet and allowing him to take on the form of a yellow octopus. After claiming to have destroyed 70 percent of the moon, he threatens to destroy the entire world in one year and requests to teach Kunugigaoka Junior High School’s misfit class, 3-E. As their homeroom teacher, he teaches them all their regular lessons with the addition of assassination class, allowing the students to attempt to kill him to prevent the world’s destruction.

Koro-sensei is a tough one to kill and is basically indestructible. If the world’s greatest assassins can’t manage it, then how on earth can the students? He has superhuman abilities such as speed and invulnerability as well as a genius intellect. Combined with his former assassin skills, they make him an extremely overpowered being in his world.

7. Anos Voldigoad (The Misfit of Demon King Academy)

Anon is the resurrection of the demon king from 2000 years prior and the protagonist of The Misfit of Demon King Academy. He is a demon of destruction and has immeasurable strength and magical abilities, basically making him unbeatable. Anos is imbued with so much magical ability that he has to forcefully hold it back in order not to destroy the world when he gets into a fight.

Alongside his overwhelming physical and magical powers, Anos also wields a sword that is able to cut through anything in creation, manipulating reason itself. Though the protagonist of the show, he can be brutal at times, killing and resurrecting a fellow student with a flick of his finger until he surrenders just to make a point. Pretty scary stuff. The anime is a relatively new one, with only one season currently available and a second season confirmed.

6. Shigeo Kageyama (Mob Psycho 100)

Shigeo Kageyama is your average middle school student, appearing so bland that he is given the nickname “Mob” (モブ is a Japanese expression for background character). But hidden behind the plain facade is a boy who possesses a terrifying amount of psychic power, enough to destroy everything around him if he fails to keep his emotions in check. Once his rage meter reaches 100 percent, it’s checkmate for anyone foolish enough to go against him.

Mob has the abilities of an esper, with psychic powers that he can use to manipulate his surroundings. He trains with the charlatan Reigen Arataka, who says he can help teach Mob how to control his emotions in order to not lose control of his mighty abilities, but as he keeps facing more and more challenges, he struggles to keep those emotions in check.

5. Alucard (Hellsing/Hellsing Ultimate)

Alucard is a dark and twisted character, one the audience can only root for as he fights for the good of humanity alongside the Hellsing Organization. He is the strongest vampire in existence and an absolute nightmare who enjoys breaking and humiliating his victims before killing them. At no point in the show is he ever against the ropes unless he’s just being sneaky.

Alucard can take whatever form he desires ⏤ including smoke and shadows ⏤ and possesses many of the abilities you would commonly associate with the famous character of Dracula (his true identity). The anime throws a few more in there for good measure, namely teleportation and soul absorption, and by the end of it, he gains omnipresence, being both nowhere and everywhere at once.

4. Saiki Kusuo (The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.)

Saiki Kusuo is the titular character of the anime The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. Unlike a lot of the others in this list, the anime is not filled with battle scenes or grand fights, but is about a god-like character trying to live a relatively normal life. Saiki is an esper and controls reality at will. His list of abilities is seemingly endless and includes clairvoyance, size manipulation, mind control, electrokinesis, flight, pyrokinesis, super strength, and telepathy.

At the age of four, when his abilities were discovered by a nation pursuing him for their own needs, Saiki destroyed the entire nation and decided to hide his abilities, trying to live as normal of a life as possible, with humorous outcomes.

3. Rimuru Tempest (That Time I Got Reincarnated As Slime)

Sato Mikami, a middle-aged salaryman, is fatally wounded saving a colleague and his dying wish is to have a body that was invulnerable to the wounds that he succumbs to. His wish is granted and Sato is reborn into a fantasy world ⏤ as slime. Sato is renamed Rimuru Tempest by his friend, a dragon, and uses his newfound slime body to become one of the most powerful beings in the world.

What makes Rimuru so overpowered is that he can absorb the bodies and skills of others, making his growth essentially unending. He quickly becomes powerful enough to run his own nation in the hopes that monsters and other beings can live together. Despite his blobby origin, Rimuru’s threat level is nothing to laugh at, as he’s essentially immortal and invulnerable, only growing more powerful by the day.

2. Ainz Ooal Gown (Overlord)

This is another anime where a normal individual finds themselves in a fantasy world, only this one is set in a virtual reality, similar in style to SAO. Suzuki Satoru is a regular game player, joining the game YGGDRASIL as Momonga, becoming guild leader of the Ainz Ooal Gown. But when the game’s servers shut down, Momonga is left inside and becomes trapped in the VR world, where the non-player characters start to gain sentience.

With all the magic and equipment that Momonga has built up, he is easily the most powerful being in the world he is now trapped in. He formally takes on the name of Ainz Ooal Gown, orders the NPCs to swear loyalty to him, and becomes Sorcerer King of the land.

1. Saitama (One-Punch Man)

When you think of an “overpowered protagonist,” it’s hard not to immediately jump to One-Punch Man himself, Saitama. The show revolves around the idea of a character being so overpowered that they can defeat anyone, and in Saitama’s case, with a single punch. Saitama starts off as a normal human being, not born with any special abilities, or even with a tragic backstory, he simply trained his body for three years and at some point he became the overpowered bald hero he now is.

The show is comical in its portrayal of Saitama’s abilities, as he takes down most villains with a bored expression on his face, his own overpowered existence becoming tedious to him as he finds no thrill in any of his fights. The best fight Saitama takes on is against Lord Boros, Dominator of the Universe ⏤ an alien being who traverses the universe, destroying planets in order to find a worthy opponent, but against Saitama he is rendered impotent, understanding even as he dies that, “I never stood a chance.”

Though the order is of course open to interpretation, there’s no denying that all of the characters on this list are overpowered within their respective anime and you definitely wouldn’t want to find yourself on their bad side!