While many anime characters find ways to surpass their individual limits and become better versions of themselves on their own, some characters rely on the teachings and guidance of masters.
Masters and teachers in anime play vital roles for the development of many main characters. Sometimes those lessons are featured episodically while others are featured as flashbacks. Regardless, those lessons often come to save the day at pivotal moments.
Many anime heroes wouldn’t exist without the teachers, masters, and mentors who stood behind them. From perverted old men to brutal instructors, here are the best teachers and masters in anime.
15. Saitama (One Punch Man)
B-Class Hero Saitama deserves a spot on this list because he’s the master of S-Class Hero Genos. Though he has nothing to say to improve Genos, Genos still finds his words useful and worth noting. Genos learns much just by watching how Saitama does things seriously.
14. Jin Ohtomo (Tokyo Ravens)
In Tokyo Ravens, Jin Ohtomo is a homeroom teacher at Onmyo Academy and teaches the class of Harutora and Natsume. But before he became a homeroom teacher, he was one of the Divine Generals and one of the most powerful Onmyouji in the series.
13. Maya Natsume (Tenjo Tenge)
Maya Natsume normally appears as an eight-year-old girl so she can conserve and prevent overflowing chi. In her normal form, she’s a beautiful woman and very deadly when it comes to combat.
She trains a hard-headed Souichiro Nagi with routines and regimens that are tough, even to the point of starving him, to help him master various moves and techniques like the Reverse Striking technique.
12. Genkai (Yu Yu Hakusho)
In Yu Yu Hakusho, Genkai is the master of Yusuke Urameshi who trained him rigorously, day and night. She also passed her Spirit Wave to Yusuke during the Dark Tournament Saga in order for him to defeat Toguro.
Genkai also trained Kurama’s recruits in the Three Kings Saga, including Touya and Jin of the defeated team in the Dark Tournament.
11. Master Roshi (Dragon Ball Z)
This perverted old man is no joke when it comes to power and training during Goku’s childhood. He can flex his muscles and make them huge enough to intimidate any opponent.
He also trained and showed the young Goku how to use his signature Kame Hame Wave. Though Master Roshi was far stronger back then than he is now, he’s still respected as a master and earns his spot as one of the strongest players of Universe 7.
10. Igneel (Fairy Tail)
Dragon Slayer Magic is a type of powerful Lost Magic. Thanks to Igneel, the Fire Dragon, who taught Natsu the Fire Dragon Slaying Magic and became a First Generation Dragon Slayer who was able to face Acnologia.
9. Kisuke Urahara
Kisuke Urahara was a former Captain in Soul Society. He trained Ichigo to use his powers before he let him set out on his mission to rescue Rukia Kuchiki, who was about to be executed.
He also appeared just in time during Ichigo’s fight with Aizen after Ichigo expended all his Shinigami powers for the Final Getsuga Tenshou, at which point Urahara sealed Aizen for good.
8. Izumi Curtis (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
This badass—and oftentimes hot-headed—alchemist doesn’t normally accept students, but did when it came to the Elric brothers. She trained them in Alchemy and martial arts for months as her apprentices.
With her abilities that are equal to State Alchemists like Mustang, the training that the Elric brothers have gone through sure was tough.
7. Eikichi Onizuka (Great Teacher Onizuka)
One of the most classic and comical anime series is Great Teacher Onizuka. The main character Eikichi Onizuka, a former gangster, moves away from violence and starts a new life as a teacher, but unfortunately, trouble seems to be his lifetime partner.
Although his ways of teaching are unorthodox and weird, he never fails to give his students the life lessons they need.
6. Koro Sensei (Assassination Classroom)
Koro Sensei wasn’t supposed to be a teacher by profession. He was a world-class assassin, one of the best in his field, who was turned into a monster after a tentacle-augmentation experiment gone awry.
Because of the disaster, which caused Aguri Yukimura’s death, he made a deal with the government that he would teach the students of Class 3-E (Yukimura’s class) with the allowance that anyone from the class is free to assassinate him at any time during class hours.
While the students are tasked to kill Koro Sensei, he manages to teach them academics, sports, and compassion, just like a real teacher would do. The students grow fond of their teacher and bond as a family, which made the last episode so very heartbreaking.
5. Eraserhead (My Hero Academia)
Shota Aizawa, known by his hero name Eraserhead, is both a professional hero and a homeroom teacher at UA High, which is where aspiring pro heroes attend for training.
He has the Erasure Quirk, which enables him to nullify Quirk abilities with his gaze, which is perfect for taming abnormal and uncontrollable Quirk manifestations in the school that could harm students.
Aside from his keen intellect and Quirk usage, he’s also a capable fighter as seen during the U.S.J. incident where he manages to hold the line single-handedly before other pro heroes enter the premises.
4. Biscuit Krueger (Hunter X Hunter)
Don’t let her childish appearance fool you. Biscuit (or Bisuke) is a pro hunter who Gon and Killua meet on Greed Island. She trains them on how to utilize their Nen abilities and make use of them efficiently.
Under her wing, Gon and Killua go on training while playing the game and enjoying the adventures of Greed Island. As a result, the duo become stronger than they were before entering the game.
3. Silvers Rayleigh (One Piece)
Silvers Rayleigh is the first mate of the King of the Pirates, Gol D. Roger, and was the one who trained Luffy during the time skip after the War of the Best at Marineford.
He taught Luffy how to use Haki, which was something he would need in order to conquer the seas and face more powerful enemies on his path.
We can see how he wanted to train Luffy as he swam the great oceans and the Calm Belt full of Sea Kings to reach the Amazon Lily where Luffy was brought after being mortally wounded.
2. Jiraiya (Naruto)
Jiraiya mentored not only Naruto Uzumaki, and not only the 4th Hokage Minato Namikaze, but also the war orphans Yahiko, Konan, and Nagato. He was a novelist, a traveler, and one of the Legendary Sannin of the Leaf alongside the 5th Hokage Tsunade and Orochimaru.
When he was with Naruto, he taught him everything that Naruto would come to use in his adventures, including the Rasengan and the Summoning Jutsu. He never gave up on Naruto, even after he almost lost his life when Naruto lost control of his Nine-Tails chakra.
He also stood in as a father figure for Naruto, if only for a short time, which is something that Naruto never had in his early life.
1. Junichirou Kagami (Ultimate Otaku Teacher)
Who wouldn’t want a teacher that has the same vibes and hobbies that we ourselves have? Junichirou Kagami is a teacher who teaches his students lessons incorporating so-called “otaku” elements.
He’s the kind of teacher you’d end up hanging with the whole day to talk about anime, manga, video games, and other fun stuff—which might even include valuable lessons to cherish for the rest of your life.