Some of the coolest characters we've seen in anime were blind. Most would consider blindness to be a disability, but that's rarely the case in anime. In fact, it can lead to compensated greatness elsewhere!
It's a pretty common trope for a sightless character to have heightened other senses, like superhuman hearing. Others are just so badass that their lack of sight just keeps them on the same level as everyone else.
Not to mention that innate blindness is a huge counter to anyone who usually gains the upper hand in combat by taking away one's sight.
From characters who were cursed to characters who have been living in darkness since birth, here are my picks for the best blind anime characters of all time!
11. Nizou Okada (Gintama)
Nizou Okada is a blind assassin and master of the quick-draw sword technique (iaijutsu). He first appears in Gintama during the Infant Strife Arc, then again in the Benizakura Arc (at which point he was modified by a special sword, Benizakura).
Like any blind anime character, Nizou compensates for his blindness with his other senses. But unlike most blind anime characters, who normally have heightened hearing, Nizou relies mostly on his sense of smell for direction and tracking of his targets.
His keen senses and intuition are so good that he was even able to sense the beast in Gintoki with just the single swing of a sword.
10. Kaname Tosen (Bleach)
Kaname Tosen held the position of Captain of the 9th Division of the Gotei 13 before he betrayed Soul Society. Despite being blind from birth, that's no detriment to him—he can still fight well by sensing an opponent's spiritual pressure.
It also helps that the Shikai form of his Zanpakuto allows him to use several sound-based abilities. For example, his blade can vibrate and create a high-pitched noise, which overloads a target's sense of hearing and causes them to lose consciousness.
And with his Bankai release, Kaname can create a black dome that encases him and his opponent. While inside the dome, all senses are nullified—including the ability to sense spiritual pressure—giving him the advantage because he's accustomed to darkness.
9. Ryo Shimazaki (Mob Psycho 100)
Despite being blind, Ryo Shimazaki is one of the more powerful Espers in the Mob Psycho 100 anime series.
Thanks to his psychic ability, his blindness was never a weakness for him. In fact, he grew ever stronger and became one of the most powerful fighters of the Claw Organization.
Ryo has a teleportation ability that allows him to appear or change places instantly in the blink of an eye, making him a hard target to pin down. He can also accurately sense everything in his surroundings, including the movements of opponents.
But because his psychic powers need concentration, he's often vulnerable to surprise attacks. Even so, good luck trying!
8. Komugi (Hunter X Hunter)
Not every blind anime character on this list is necessarily an overpowered fighter. Take Komugi of Hunter X Hunter, for example.
Komugi is a young girl who managed to move the heart of Ant King Meruem, a heartless creature who views humans as consumables and just wants to rule over them.
With her innocence and pure heart, Komugi bravely stood her ground against the most powerful being in the entire series. You know, the one that murdered many humans right before her. That level of courage is to be admired and respected.
Plus, Komugi remains undefeated at the Gungi board game. Not even Meruem—who studied and mastered many other games—had the slightest chance of winning against her.
7. Gyomei Himejima (Demon Slayer)
We've yet to see Gyomei Himejima, the Stone Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps, in action (at least in the anime) but we know he's one of the strongest characters in Demon Slayer.
He's tall and muscular, hulking over almost everyone else, making his fellow Hashiras look small beside him. But behind his intimidating appearance, he's a soft-hearted individual.
(Manga spoilers ahead!)
Though blind, Gyomei Himejima has superhuman hearing that allows him to pinpoint his targets using even the tiniest of sounds—even something as imperceptible as muscle movements.
He also uses a unique Nichirin weapon that compensates for his lack of sight: a spiked flail and a battle axe that are connected by chains.
Gyomei can use this special weapon to accurately land blows on his target, using the sounds of the chain to guide him—and his blade—to his enemies, as seen during his battle against the Upper Rank One Demon, Kokushibo (only in the manga, as of this writing).
6. Yomotsu Hirasaka (The Future Diary)
As the owner of a diary that predicts the future, Yomotsu Hirasaka sees himself as a hero of justice. Unfortunately, his philosophy—that winners are righteous and losers are evil—contradicts true justice.
But that doesn't stop him at all. Yomotsu takes it upon himself to be a vigilante and wears a costume and mask to hide his identity. Combined with his superhero entrance, he's obviously still a kid at heart.
Yomotsu's diary, called Justice Diary, is an audio recorder that's perfect for a blind man like him. Apart from predicting future crimes and injustices, his diary also happens to let him hypnotize people!
5. Kagaya Ubuyashiki (Demon Slayer)
Kagaya Ubuyashiki, the head of the Demon Slayer Corps, has a bit of a tragic backstory. Some of the skin on his face has rotted—due to a curse that runs in his family—and it has affected his eyes, too.
Not only is he completely blind now, but the curse continues to wreak havoc on him, slowly destroying his body and making him weak.
Yet, despite his obvious ailments, Kagaya is still respected by the members of the Corps, and even the most troublesome Hashira bows before him out of respect.
Kagaya is the pure, kind, and beloved master who guides his subordinates with his words and always remembers the names of fallen comrades, never forgetting their sacrifices.
4. Shunsuke Otosaka (Charlotte)
Shunsuke Otosaka is the older brother of Yu and Ayumi. He's more of a background character in the early parts of Charlotte, but later he becomes involved in the plot and in other characters' developments.
He possesses an ability called Time Leap, which allows his consciousness to travel back in time and enter himself at that time.
While this ability is pretty overpowered—it can alter the present and future through its rippling effect—Time Leap comes with a big downside: the more he uses it, the more he loses his sight.
Despite this risk, Shunsuke keeps using Time Leap until he does actually go blind, all in the hopes of changing the past to benefit other ability users who are currently being used as test subjects.
3. Hyakkimaru (Dororo)
Technically, Hyakkimaru of Dororo isn't blind. Well, at least not in the usual sense that we'd normally assume.
When he was born, Hyakkimaru was sacrificed to demons by his father. Those demons each took one of his body parts, including his eyes, which resulted in him unable to see anything but darkness.
However, he has the ability to see the souls of living beings, so he can live and adapt to the world he's in. With this, he's able to discern his targets (whether they're demons or people with ill intent).
So, even without his eyes, Hyakkimaru can still slay demons and enemy soldiers in the most brutal and sbloodiest ways with his swords.
2. Saigiku Jono (Bungo Stray Dogs)
Saigiku Jono appears in the fourth season of Bungo Stray Dogs as a member of the Hunting Dogs, the government's special military division that hunts down terrorists.
It's easy to underestimate him because he's all smiles and seems harmless—plus, he's blind—but he's actually formidable. He isn't a member of an elite hunter squad for no reason!
Saigiku has an ability called Priceless Tears, which allows him to turn himself into small particles and go anywhere the particles can fit. It's also a great ability for evading physical attacks.
Apart from this ability, Saigiku also possesses enhanced hearing and smell, which he can use to hear heartbeats, blood pressure, breathing, and even the thoughts of people. Yup, you read that right!
1. Admiral Fujitora (One Piece)
Admiral Fujitora (also known as Issho) blinded himself because he had grown tired of seeing the evilness in the world.
Even so, never underestimate this old man. He's an Admiral, after all, one of the highest-ranking officials of the Marines.
Despite being blind, he can still fight incredibly well because he's a seasoned swordsman. Plus, with his gravity-manipulation ability, there's just no way to escape him.
It's a powerful ability that can do everything, from pinning someone down with a heavy gravity field to pulling a meteor out of space and using it to obliterate an entire island.
Admiral Fujitora doesn't need to see. His Observation Haki is enough to sense danger, locate targets, and predict attacks. He can even see the emotions of the people around him!
And yet, even though Admiral Fujitora is one of the most powerful characters in One Piece, he still has his humanity. It's what makes him a remarkable Marine official and one of the best blind anime characters we've ever seen.