In anime, blood often appears for shock value or to induce a sense of body horror. It helps to depict the intensity of violence on screen, and it can also darken the overall atmosphere and tone of the plot.
But blood isn't always used for injuries and scene splatter. Indeed, there are blood-based abilities and special powers that allow characters to manipulate blood—even when it isn't visible.
The extent of these powers can vary widely. Sometimes a user can only control their own blood, and other times a user can bend anyone's blood to their will, making them truly troublesome as opponents.
These abilities tend to be really powerful, of course, so they're usually reserved for main heroes or main villains. Only rarely will you see a supporting character have blood-based techniques.
Here are the best and most interesting blood-based abilities and powers in anime, across various series and genres.
14. Summoning Jutsu (Naruto)
In Naruto, the Summoning Jutsu is a blood-based technique, but it doesn't actually manipulate blood. Rather, blood is more of a reagent—in order to perform the summoning, the user must draw their own blood.
The ninja will usually bite their finger for blood, and then weave the hand seals of the Summoning Jutsu to summon whomever they're trying to summon. But it doesn't always happen that way.
Injured characters may use blood from open wounds, while deranged characters like Kabuto have used another's blood to do the summoning for them (he smeared Orochimaru's blood to summon Manda).
13. Minazuki (Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War)
Retsu Unohana's Bankai, the Minazuki, brings forth a bloody atmosphere once activated. It conjures a pool of blood that Unohana can use both offensively and defensively.
In addition, her method of activating her Bankai is badass yet gory: she slides her hands along her Zanpakuto's blade as if slicing it. The blade then liquefies into thick blood that flows down the floor.
12. Flowing Red Scale (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Noritoshi Kamo has shown several different techniques of his blood-based ability during his clash with Megumi Fushiguro, but the Flowing Red Scale is one of the best and coolest.
With Flowing Red Scale, he controls his own blood to increase his pulse rate, temperature, and blood cell composition, thus granting him an immense boost to overall strength, speed, and reflexes.
11. Bloodbending (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Bloodbending is a rare technique in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, derived from a more basic form called waterbending. With this ability, a bender can manipulate another person's body like a puppet.
It's known as the highest form of waterbending, but it's rather dark and its principles are opposed to the ideas of waterbending. Waterbenders lean into the flow of water and treat it as a great force of nature, while bloodbenders use it with puppeteer-like precision.
Fortunately, bloodbending is one of the rarest bending arts, and Katara is one of the last known bloodbenders.
10. Heat Mode (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure)
Blood and fire often come together to make a super badass combination, but Esidisi of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure took that mix in a dark direction.
His affinity to fire allows him to raise his own temperature, making his blood boil and exceed normal levels.
The result? Esidisi's blood can melt anything and everything it touches. He can also inject his boiling blood into victims using his tentacle-like blood vessels that act as surgical needles.
9. Blood Field (Noblesse)
In Noblesse, Cadis Etrama Di Raizel holds the highest rank in his society and has a natural affinity to blood, giving him several blood-based abilities that are dangerous.
Blood Field allows him to control any blood in the vicinity and turn it into a destructive storm that shreds his enemies into pieces.
8. Blood Magic (Black Clover)
In Black Clover, the Witch Queen's Blood Magic is offensive, defensive, and healing. For battle, the Witch Queen can craft herself a scythe from blood AND she can manipulate someone's body.
She's also able to immobilize several mages at once using her blood pool. As for healing, it surpasses the abilities of the Clover Kingdom's healing mages, as she's even able to heal Asta's broken arms.
7. Rot Technique: Decay (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Rot Technique is an innate ability of Eso and Kechizu, giving their blood corrosive and poisonous properties. But on top of the already deadly blood properties, they can also use Rot Technique: Decay, which destroys their victim's body upon contact with their blood.
Unfortunately, that technique links both of them to Kugisaki's ability, the Resonance, which ends up resulting in their defeat.
6. Blood Demon Art (Demon Slayer)
In Demon Slayer, high-ranked demons possess the ability called Blood Demon Arts, which varies from demon to demon. These are unique demon abilities only acquired by reaching a certain power level.
Some Blood Demon Arts take on the features and structures of the user's blood (like Nezuko's Exploding Blood, Gyutaro's Flying Blood Sickle, and Rui's blood-enhanced threads) while other Blood Demon Arts manifest blood-like features (like Daki's Obi, Kyogai's Drumming, and Enmu's Sleep Inducement).
5. Vampire Powers (Hellsing)
Vampires in anime often possess blood-related abilities, particularly hemokinesis and blood weapons. There are several well-known vampires in anime, including Alucard from Hellsing, whose blood-sucking ability allows him to absorb the souls of his victims.
Abel Nightroad, a Crusnik (Trinity Blood), can craft a giant death scythe from his blood. The Chiropteran, Saya Otonashi (Blood+), can kill fellow Chiropterans from Diva's line using a katana laced with her blood.
Arystar Crory III from D.Gray-Man isn't a vampire, but his parasitic-type Innocence makes him act like one in the presence of an Akuma. Furthermore, his blood is laced with the anti-Akuma properties of his Innocence, making it a lethal poison to his enemies.
4. Blood-Induced Matter Transportation (Darker Than Black)
Wei Zhijun is one of the Contractors in the Darker Than Black anime series. His ability is called Blood-Induced Matter Transportation, allowing him to transport—or even physically delete—pretty much anything that makes contact with his blood.
While most anime characters use weapons like swords and guns to deal damage to opponents, Wei simply spills his blood over them. With a snap of his fingers, anything splattered with his blood instantly vanishes.
3. Scarlet Letter (Bungo Stray Dogs)
Nathaniel Hawthorne of The Guild has the ability called Scarlet Letter. It allows him to turn his own blood into passages of the Holy Scripture and use them offensively (e.g. whips) or defensively (e.g. shields).
This ability appears to act very similarly to Akutagawa's Rashomon in terms of range and usage, but Scarlet Letter uses a blood substance while Rashomon uses a dark cloak-like matter.
2. Branch of Sin (Deadman Wonderland)
In Deadman Wonderland, Deadmen are people infected by special worms, which grant them an ability called Branch of Sin. This allows the Deadmen to control their blood outside their body at will, serving as an extension of their limbs or as weapons.
Notable Deadmen and their Branches of Sin are Ganta (Ganta Gun), Shiro/Wretched Egg (Roots), and Senji (Crow Claw).
Power from Chainsaw Man has a similar ability. As her title of Blood Devil suggests, Power can use blood and craft weapons like giant hammers and spears, which she uses in battle as a Devil Hunter.
1. Muzan's Demon Creation (Demon Slayer)
While vampires infect their victims and turn them into one of their own, Kibutsuji Muzan can turn any normal human into a demon. That's why he's considered the progenitor of the demon race in Demon Slayer.
But instead of biting on the necks of his victim, he injects his blood into them, turning them into a demon if they survive the transfusion. Otherwise, they die a gruesome death of cellular destruction.
Furthermore, his blood can enhance the capabilities of any demon: the more blood he injects, the more powerful that demon can be, as long as they can survive and withstand the agonizing pain.