Unlike fire users who throw fireballs and ice users who encase their targets in glacial cages, anime characters who have earth and nature powers tend to have really unique (and complex) skills that play with the different properties and qualities of stone, dirt, mud, and plants.
While it's usually disregarded as the weakest among the five basic elemental attributes—fire, water, air, earth, and spirit—it can be pretty badass depending on the creativity of a particular series.
There are only a few well-known earth users in anime, and it's rarer to see an earth user main character. Even so, here are my picks for the best anime characters with earth and nature powers.
15. Crocodile (One Piece)
Crocodile is one of the former Warlords in the One Piece anime series. He owns the Devil Fruit powers of the Suna Suna no Mi, granting him the ability to manipulate and create sand and even sandstorms.
What makes him even more powerful is that he's a Logia-type user, meaning he can turn his own body into sand and make himself invulnerable to most physical attacks.
But wait, there's more! Crocodile's earth powers grant him the ability of the sand to absorb moisture, thus allowing him to drain his opponents of their bodily liquids and dehydrate them to death.
However, there's a weakness to his ability: his sand body solidifies when it contacts water, making him vulnerable to attacks.
14. Gaara (Naruto)
Like Crocodile, Gaara is another anime character who specializes in sand-based abilities. Early in Naruto, he uses his sand to brutally crush his opponents using his Sand Coffin technique.
Gaara keeps his sand in a large gourd worn on his back, and the sand even acts on its own to protect him. For example, when attacks are incoming, it turns into an impenetrable Sand Armor.
And he isn't limited to the amount of sand he carries. We see later during his fight with Kimimaro that he can send his sand to crush the earth and create even more sand to use at his disposal.
13. Deidara (Naruto Shippuden)
We don't meet Deidara until Naruto Shippuden, but his Explosion Release is a creative way to use earth powers. As a Bloodline Limit, Deidara combines earth and lightning properties to create his very own style of Explosion Release techniques, which he calls his "art."
His Explosive Clay is made from earth-based materials, which he feeds to the mouths in the palms of his hands. They chew it up and spit out various shaped creatures infused with his explosive chakra.
Deidara can craft birds, dragons, bugs, and even puppets, which can either explode on contact or explode when he commands them to.
12. Cementoss (My Hero Academia)
Ken Ishiyama, known by his hero name Cementoss, is a Pro Hero as well as one of the teachers at U.A. High School. His Quirk, called Cement, allows him to manipulate any cement-based materials around him.
On top of basic manipulation, he can also change its form, like creating vertical slabs from the ground.
He's also powerfully efficient with his Quirk, as seen when he stopped Izuku Midoriya and Shoto Todoroki from throwing their full power at each other during the Sports Festival.
11. Ivan Goncharov (Bungo Stray Dogs)
In Bungo Stray Dogs, Ivan Goncharov is a member of the Rats in the House of the Dead, an underground organization led by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
His ability, or Gift, is called The Precipice and it allows him to manipulate the earth around him. He creates giant hands and golems that he uses for offense, and he makes boulders spin around him as his shields.
Another thing that makes his ability so powerful is that he can sense his enemies anywhere as long as they're stepping on the ground.
10. Kurama (Yu Yu Hakusho)
Plant-based abilities are closely related to earth abilities—plants do grow from earth, after all—so expect to see a few plant users!
For example, Kurama from the anime series Yu Yu Hakusho uses different kinds of plant-based weapons, including his iconic Rose Whip. He even keeps some plants growing in his body for emergency situations.
Apart from his Rose Whip, he's shown us several different plants across various battles, including his flesh-eating plants, his bloodsucking plants, and the extremely powerful Sinning Tree (which he uses to trap the immortal Elder Toguro in an illusion).
9. King (The Seven Deadly Sins)
Harlequin, or King, is the Grizzly's Sin of Sloth of the Seven Deadly Sins group. He's a fairy and the guardian and king of the Fairy King's Forest.
While his innate ability, called Disaster, allows him total control over life and death, his earth-based ability is granted by his Spirit Spear Chastiefol, which was crafted from the great Sacred Tree of the Fairy King Forest.
Chastiefol's forms resemble weapons, but its Form Four: Sunflower resembles a giant plant that fires a powerful beam. When further enhanced by King's Disaster ability, it becomes even more destructive. He also has Form Eight: Pollen Garden, which he uses for healing.
8. Diane (The Seven Deadly Sins)
Like King, Diane—the Serpent's Sin of Envy—is also an earth user. She can manipulate the earth and its landscape at will, including reforming land and creating towering pillars for offensive attacks.
After learning the Giant King's ability, she was able to perform Drole's Dance, deepening her connection with the earth and nature as a whole, thus enhancing her skill sets.
Her Sacred Weapon, the giant warhammer Gideon, also enhances and increases the power of her earth manipulation abilities.
7. Mimosa Vermillion (Black Clover)
Mimosa Vermillion is more of a support-type character who relies on the healing factors of her Plant Magic. She uses her plants to heal her comrades, oftentimes enclosing them in her Dream Healing Flower Basket (which recovers and heals those inside).
Because of her healing abilities, Asta carried her on his back to constantly heal him while engaging in an intense fight—and this ridiculous plan of his actually ended up being pretty brilliant.
Aside from her healing abilities, Mimosa also has some devastating Plant Magic attacks, like her Magic Cannon Flower and her recon skill Magic Flower Guidepost (which allows her to create an exact image of a location and show different paths and individuals situated inside).
6. William Vangeance (Black Clover)
The captain of the Golden Dawn, William Vangeance is an Arcane Stage mage who uses a unique magic attribute called World Tree Magic. This allows him to create world trees out of nowhere, which he uses offensively, defensively, and for healing.
While his ability is somewhat similar to Mimosa's, his magic is more of a wide-scale ability, so he can cover entire towns if he wants to. And instead of shrubs, vines, flowers, and leaves, his World Tree Magic takes on a much more sturdy, woody appearance.
This magic attribute, however, makes him the target of the Dark Triad (as one of the requirements of the Tree of Qliphoth, which will open a path for devils to enter the human realm).
5. Hanami (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Hanami is a Special Grade Curse born from humanity's fear of nature and natural disasters. This origin is what fuels his desire to rid the planet of humans who abuse nature.
His Cursed Technique, called Disaster Plants, allows him to create and control cursed plants, from giant waves of branches to flower buds that absorb one's cursed energies.
He can also perform a Domain Expansion, but instead of creating a sure-hit domain, he absorbs the life force of plants and trees around him to charge his left arm with cursed energy for an inescapable attack.
4. John Steinbeck (Bungo Stray Dogs)
In Bungo Stray Dogs, John Steinbeck of The Guild has the Gift named "The Grapes of Wrath," which allows him to grow grapevines in his body and use them as an extension of his limbs.
More than just an extension of his limbs, these vines are also linked to his senses, so he can hear people from afar simply by touching a tree whose roots extend and connect to plants near his target's location.
He can also manipulate natural flora if his grapevines are combined with surrounding trees and plants.
Steinbeck's ability was used by The Guild to exploit Q's Dogra Magra ability and link Q's body to plants and trees everywhere. Then, whenever a plant was hurt, Q's ability was triggered and caused those who hurt the plant to get cursed by the Dogra Magra, creating uncontrollable chaos.
3. Hashirama Senju (Naruto Shippuden)
Hashirama Senju is the founder of the Hidden Leaf Village (along with Madara Uchiha) and was the village's First Hokage. He has a unique earth-based ability: a Wood Release that's exclusive only to him.
Other ninjas were later able to acquire the Wood Release through experimental means—using Hashirama's cells—but their powers never stood a chance when compared to the original Wood Style user.
Hashirama can summon humongous trees and plants out of any surface and manipulate them for battle. He has several devastating Wood Release attacks, like his Deep Forest Emergence, Wood Golem, Wood Dragon, and True Several Thousand Hands (which incorporates his Sage Jutsu).
What makes him so terrifying is that his wood can absorb chakra, allowing him to drain his opponents of power. This allows him to subdue Tailed Beasts and Jinchuriki, who are all forms of immense chakra.
2. Akainu (One Piece)
Akainu is the current Fleet Admiral of the Marines. He's a powerful soldier who managed to make half of an island's environment into a fiery inferno in just a 10-day battle with Aokiji.
He has the Devil Fruit ability of the Magu Magu no Mi, which allows him to create, manipulate, and turn his body into magma.
What differentiates this ability from other earth users is that he uses molten and burning earth, granting him the attributes and qualities of both fire and earth elements.
He can launch solid burning projectiles as long-ranged attacks, or turn his fist into magma for fiery punches that can melt and penetrate armor.
His fire is said to be even stronger than Portgas D. Ace's Mera Mera no Mi, making him able to burn the Logia-type fire user who's normally resistant to heat and flames.
1. Lord Tensen (Hell's Paradise)
In Hell's Paradise, Lord Tensen is the group of immortal beings who reside on the "other shore." They're powerful beings with superhuman capabilities as well as regeneration.
What makes them belong in this list of earth users is that despite looking like normal human beings, they're actually plant creatures with plant ovules serving as their hearts, centers of life, and weak spots.
Their plant traits aren't physically seen excerpt during regeneration, when vines, branches, flowers, and roots appear to heal their damaged body parts. However, when they assume their Kishikai forms, they become plant monsters with far more powerful skills.