In anime, immortals always have the upper hand—whether it's against the hottest fire, the coldest ice, or even the sharpest blade.
Immortality usually comes from some kind of regenerative ability, but it could also come from a magical artifact, a blessing from the gods, or maybe a pact made with the devil.
And while immortality seems desirable at first glance, it can be as much of a curse as it is a blessing. Living for all eternity comes with all kinds of pains, obstacles, and regrets.
Here are our picks for the best immortal anime characters of all time and what makes each one stand out.
13. Elder Toguro (Yu Yu Hakusho)
Just like his younger brother, Elder Toguro in Yu Yu Hakusho was once a human who became a demon after winning the Dark Tournament (about half a decade before the main storyline).
On top of his shapeshifting ability, he can also patch holes in his body or reconnect severed limbs. He's basically immortal as long as his brain and heart remain intact.
What's more troublesome is that he can also change the positions of his internal organs, making it hard to target his two weaknesses.
12. Hidan (Naruto Shippuden)
Hidan is an immortal rogue ninja and one of the main members of Akatsuki in Naruto Shippuden. He's a certified psycho and only wants to kill people so he can please the god of death he worships.
As if his immortality wasn't enough of an issue, Hidan also has a scary technique that links himself with his targets. When he inflicts damage to himself, all of his linked targets also experience the same.
That means he can stab his own heart to death and survive, but the targets who are linked to him will perish.
11. Muzan Kibutsuji (Demon Slayer)
Long ago, Muzan Kibutsuji thought his physician was giving him fake medicine, but it was real and it cured him of his disease! But it came with a downside: it turned him into an inhuman being.
Now, Muzan craves human flesh and blood. He has enhanced strength and superhuman abilities, plus he's now immortal—he doesn't age and he regenerates body damage.
He's almost completely invulnerable except for one weakness: he's afraid of the sun! Which is why he's now on a mission to conquer that vulnerability and become truly all-powerful.
10. Ryomen Sukuna (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Ryomen Sukuna is the most powerful Curse in Jujutsu Kaisen. He's so powerful that he can't be killed, only sealed away.
Unfortunately, Yuji Itadori inadvertently unseals Ryomen Sukuna when he swallows one of his fingers and becomes his host. Now, Yuji must find and swallow the remaining fingers of the King of Curses.
But even with just a few fingers, Ryomen Sukuna has proven how formidable he can be with his frighteningly unrivaled powers.
9. Manji (Blade of the Immortal)
Manji of Blade of the Immortal has a different kind of immortality than most immortal characters in anime.
He's been cursed with an infestation of worms that keep him alive whenever he's wounded. Even if his limbs are cut off or his head is blown off, the worms repair him as if nothing happened.
But Manji is fed up with his never-ending life and wants it to end. To do so, he's given a mission: to slay one thousand evil men.
8. Fushi (To Your Eternity)
In To Your Eternity, Fushi started off as just an orb that assumed the form of a rock for a long time, until a wolf comes and dies beside him.
He takes the form of the wolf and wanders the world, eventually befriending a nameless boy. When that boy dies, Fushi takes his form—and in doing so, he starts to learn the meaning of life.
As an immortal being with no parents or past experience as a human, he has a long way to go—and it won't be easy.
7. Meliodas (The Seven Deadly Sins)
On one level, Meliodas is already pretty overpowered because he's a high-ranking demon with a regenerative ability. But the curse of the Supreme Deity of the Goddess clan allows him to cheat death.
If he ever dies, he'll eventually be revived—but he'll also lose certain emotions that make him the man he is. In other words, with every death, he returns to his former ruthless, emotionless self.
And even if he doesn't die, he'll always be emotionally broken as he repeatedly witnesses the death of his lover, Elizabeth, who's cursed with perpetual death and reincarnation.
6. Ban (The Seven Deadly Sins)
Another immortal character from The Seven Deadly Sins is Ban. But unlike Meliodas, he isn't cursed or gifted by any gods. Instead, he got his hands on the Fountain of Youth and drank from it.
Now, he's been granted a never-ending life, allowing him to survive fatal blows from Meliodas during their "friendly" matches and endure against other demons and powerful enemies.
Ban's ability to recover is extraordinary, and even when his body is split apart or crushed, he returns to life as if nothing happened.
With his immortality, he was also able to survive years in the harsh environment of Purgatory while in search of Meliodas.
5. Father (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
In pursuit of absolute power and immortality, the homunculus who goes by the name of Father devised a sinister plan to sacrifice countless lives to acquire the power of the gods.
At first, Father achieves never-ending life with the souls of his victims, and as long as there are human sacrifices left to make, he can always create more Philosopher's Stones to fuel him up.
But that's not enough for him. In order to become a god and gain dominion over all matter and energy, he sacrifices even more lives. He's certainly one of the most evil immortals in anime history!
4. Lord Tensen (Hell's Paradise)
Lord Tensen is the collective name of the seven immortal beings who reside in Paradise, where the search and retrieval corps are sent to find the elixir of immortality.
In Hell's Paradise, the concept of Lord Tensen's immortality comes from longevity, recovery, and immortality fueled by "Tan," a substance made up of Tao (the life force of every being, living or not).
Lord Tensen harvests the Tao of humans to create Tan, which is then drank by the seven immortals as if enjoying cups of tea.
3. Subaru Natsuki (Re:Zero)
Subaru Natsuki's ability—called Return by Death—feels like a cheat in an isekai world, allowing him to return to life after dying. Sounds simple but overpowered, right?
However, there's a catch: Subaru Natsuki doesn't return to life as if nothing happened, but instead returns to an uncontrollable, unpredictable, unknown time in the past.
Furthermore, every time he returns to life, he retains the memories of his life from before his demise while everyone else around him gets their memories reset. This leads to all kinds of consequences for him.
2. Kei Nagai (Ajin: Demi-Human)
In Ajin: Demi-Human, Kei Nagai is one of the small fraction of the population that's immune to death—or, rather, returns to life after death. They're called Ajin and they're hunted by the government to be subject to different kinds of inhumane experiments.
For Ajin, whatever injuries and wounds they sustain prior to death (e.g. severed limbs, broken bones, etc) are healed after reviving.
As the protagonist, Kei Nagai gets caught in a conflict between those who want the Ajin for scientific experiments and those who want to form a group of immortal soldiers to take over the world.
1. Alucard (Hellsing Ultimate)
Who's the best immortal anime character of all time? If you ask me, it's the badass vampire Alucard from Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate.
Alucard has been walking the lands endlessly, hunting and killing tons of enemies to seal their souls within himself. That includes the souls of mortals and other undead alike.
Regeneration, omnipotence, and superhuman strength are just some of the abilities that make him the worst enemy you could ever face. He's an aggressive fighter who knows how to take advantage of his regeneration and immortality to best effect.
Remember when he charges at his enemy's ship while aboard a fighter jet at full speed? That just shows what an immortal being can do to fulfill his mission and satisfy his bloodlust. Frightening!