“Who is the strongest anime character?” is a question that gets asked a lot in certain parts of the Internet. There is no real way to settle this. After all, it would require interested individuals to check out every single anime ever created, which would be a Herculean task. Furthermore, plenty of settings have their own rule-sets, which make it difficult to judge the outcomes of interactions between anime that were never meant to happen. Still, it is a much easier task to name some of the most powerful anime characters ever created.
By default, Puella Magi Madoka Magica’s Akemi Homura isn’t particularly formidable by the standards of this list. She can time-stop, but her fighting capabilities are limited by what she can make as well as what she can steal. What earned her a spot are the events of Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion. In it, she became Demon Homura, who unmade a goddess, rewrote the universe to her liking, and enslaved the Incubators in spite of the latter’s often god-like capabilities.
Alucard is a much-used name in anime and anime-adjacent media. In Hellsing, it refers to Dracula himself. Every single vampire in the series is superhuman. However, Alucard is far beyond them, not least because he possesses a whole host of extra powers such as telekinesis, teleportation, and the ability to control that which he consumes. In the last battle, he gets taken out when he consumes the catboy Schrödinger who possessed the ability to be anywhere and everywhere, but he eventually showed up stronger than ever after gaining control over said ability.
Ideon is the titular mech from Space Runaway Ideon. It possesses god-like power, which makes sense because it houses a god-like force called the Ide. Exactly what happens at the end of Space Runaway Ideon is interpretable. On the low end, the Ide just punished both Earthlings and their enemies by destroying them plus a good chunk of the galaxy. On the high end, well, it seems that the Ide is capable of rebooting the universe.
Mazinger Z didn’t quite invent the super robot genre of mecha anime. However, it did establish some of its most common tropes. In any case, the Mazinger franchise often talks about the titular mech granting someone the ability to be either a god or a demon. Something that the Infinity in Mazinger Z: Infinity showed to terrifying effect. In short, it possessed the power to rewrite reality by exchanging one universe with another, which the protagonist couldn’t have overcome without gaining something similar from its living control unit.
Later installments in the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series feature Stands, which are psychic entities generated by Stand users. Some are straightforward. Others are much more ridiculous. To name an example, Giorno Giovanna’s upgraded Stand is Gold Experience Requiem, which possesses the power to automatically return all actions as well as all willpower back to zero. In-story, it was even capable of working against a different Stand that could straight-up erase segments of time.
Goetia is an aggregate of 72 demons in the Fate franchise. He had to be capable of overwhelming an entire army of supernatural combatants possessing incredible superpowers. As such, Goetia possessed powers such as time travel, the ability to life-wipe the planet, and the ability to continuously revive his individual components.
Kaname Madoka didn’t do any fighting in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. However, Akemi Homura’s repeated attempts to save her by traveling back in time increased her karma again and again. On the plus side, this meant increasing Madoka’s potential as a magical girl. On the minus side, this meant increasing the potential of the Witch that would be created once she inevitably succumbed to despair as a magical girl. By the end of the series, her was powerful enough that she became Ultimate Madoka, sacrificing her existence in exchange for rewriting the universe into something kinder for magical girls.
Kujo Jotaro is another contender from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. His Stand called Star Platinum is less ridiculous than Gold Experience Requiem. It “just” possesses incredible physical capabilities plus the ability to stop time for a few seconds.
Nono is the protagonist of Diebuster, a simple country girl who turned out to be a special android built for the purpose of combating the so-called Space Monsters. That doesn’t sound very impressive until one realizes that even though the Space Monsters are the last of their kind, they are still capable of carrying a black hole around with them. The fact that Nono managed to save everyone else by warping the black hole away from the Earth is all kinds of ridiculous from a scientific perspective.
RahXephon is another super robot. In its case, when it merged with its black-colored counterpart, it became an instrument capable of “re-tuning” the world, which is a rather poetic way of saying that it can rewrite the universe. The protagonist used that ability to change things so that he and his lover were never separated while his biological donor was reborn as their child.
It is common for isekai protagonists to become extremely powerful. To name an example, consider Rimuru Tempest from That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. In short, said character started out as a slime capable of taking on the appearance as well as the powers of that which he devoured. Unsurprisingly, Rimuru Tempest became real power real fast, so much so that he is said to be immortal in the sense that he will live until the end of time.
Sometimes, comedic works have extremely powerful protagonists for the purpose of getting laughs. For proof, consider Saiki Kusuo from The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. The gist of it is that said character is someone trying to live a normal life by concealing his wide range of psychic abilities. These make him extremely powerful by normal standards but not on the same level as some of the others on this list. What makes Kusuo stand out is that he can time travel. Moreover, he is capable of changing things when he time travels.
Sailor Moon is one of the characters that pioneered magical girls as a genre. The anime version is capable of taking on casual planet-destroyers. Amusingly, the anime version is actually the weak one because her manga counterpart was capable of resurrecting herself after the destruction of her soul. For that matter, she was capable of jumping into space by accident as early as the first arc, which says everything that people need to know about her physical capabilities.
Saitama is the protagonist of One-Punch Man. Originally, he dedicated himself to becoming a hero through rigorous training. Unfortunately, his efforts proved to be too successful, with the result that he is no longer capable of finding a satisfying fight because he overpowers everyone and everything that he meets. Saitama’s exact limits are unclear. After all, his narrative role is to overcome opposition with a single blow provided that he is being serious enough. However, it is notable that he took no damage whatsoever even when an opponent kicked him into the moon.
Speaking of isekai protagonists, Shiraori from So I’m a Spider, So What? is another excellent example. She starts out as a spider monster threatened by just about everything around her. By the latter part of the series, Shiraori is an actual, no-kidding god who is capable of fighting it out with other actual, no-kidding gods.
Dragon Ball is a favorite series for people who enjoy arguing about power levels. Regardless of exactly where the series sits, it is clear that it is up there. After all, Master Roshi blew up the moon back when Dragon Ball was still Dragon Ball, though to be fair, the mangaka Toriyama Akira has never been as concerned about power levels as the more power level-focused segments of the fandom. Nowadays, Goku with Ultra Instinct is at the point that the surrounding universe is at risk of becoming collateral if he fights long enough with a fierce opponent.
Simon the Digger
Simon the Digger refers to the protagonist of Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann. To get an idea of the scale of the series, the largest mech shown in the series was approximately 10 million light-years tall. In other words, those galaxies floating around in the background of the fight scenes weren’t some kind of fancy metaphor. Instead, they were meant to be literal galaxies. The Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann probably isn’t the most powerful super robot ever imagined, but it is up there, which says a lot about the genre as a whole. As for why Simon is the one who gets mentioned rather than the mech, well, it is a relatively arbitrary decision based on their relative importance within the setting. To return to an earlier example, the pilot of the RahXephon was a rare individual who possessed the potential to re-tune the universe if he was provided with a suitable tool. However, he wasn’t the only one to possess that potential, which is why the last fight saw him in the RahXephon facing off against his biological donor in a black-colored RahXephon. Meanwhile, Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann put an enormous emphasis on the will of Simon as well as the rest of its crew, which makes sense because of the themes of the show. For that matter, there were hints that Simon didn’t necessarily need the mech to warp reality around him through the use of Spiral Power, though being a very responsible individual, he was restrained with its use because of the potential consequences.
Suzumiya Haruhi has the distinction of being both very normal and very powerful. Generally speaking, she is an extremely talented high school student with a strong interest in aliens, espers, and other unusual entities. However, what makes Haruhi terrifying is that she possesses the unconscious ability to change reality, so much so that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call her an idiot god. Much of the series is focused on keeping Haruhi entertained enough so that her unconscious impulses won’t start screwing up reality.
Turn A Gundam
The Gundam franchise created the concept of real robots, meaning mechs that lack supernatural capabilities but instead use technologies that are considered conventional within their settings. However, there are some Gundams that are much closer to what one would call super robots. To name an example, consider the titular mech of Turn A Gundam, which can be recognized by its white moustache. Most of the Turn A Gundam’s capabilities aren’t that out there. In fact, a number of its initial weapons are destroyed through their use, which is actually quite impressive considering the mech’s implied age. What makes the Turn A Gundam extremely terrifying is its Moonlight Butterfly, which is a nanomachine-based, civilization-wiping attack. This isn’t hypothetical. In-setting, the Turn A Gundam once turned every single piece of technology on Earth into sand, thus setting the stage for the start of the show.
Dragon Ball is a series with a well-honed sense of the ridiculous. For proof, consider Zeno, the master of the multiverse as well as presumably the single most powerful existence in the setting. Unfortunately for everyone else in the setting, his personality is sometimes very similar to that of a sadistic child.