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 guidance of teachers and mentors.
Teachers and mentors play a vital role in the development of many main characters. Sometimes those lessons are featured episodically while others are featured as flashbacks.
Either way, those lessons often come to save the day at pivotal moments. Many anime heroes wouldn't exist without the mentors and masters who stood behind them.
From perverted old men to brutal instructors, here are our picks for the best teachers in anime.
20. 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.
19. Sakie Satou (Interviews With Monster Girls)
Sakie Satou is a demihuman succubus, meaning any male who's caught within her range is affected by her overflowing aphrodisiac pheromone, which causes them to instantly fall for her.
Unfortunately, this complicates her life because she's a math teacher responsible for students, many of whom are boys.
She just wants to live normally so she tries her best to avoid men as much as possible, staying several feet away and living out in the middle of the woods with no neighbors around.
18. Utage Douraku (My Mental Choices Are Completely Interfering With My School Romantic Comedy)
In NouCome (formally titled My Mental Choices Are Completely Interfering With My School Romantic Comedy), Utage Douraku is the homeroom teacher of the main character Kanade Amakusa.
Despite being 29 years old, she still looks like a child. Moreover, she knows about his curse of Absolute Choices and helps him whenever she can. Why? Because she also suffered the same curse, which she broke after completing a set of weird missions with the help of someone.
Even so, if weird choices appear before him and he chooses one that affects her, Utage won't let him off easy!
17. Yukio Okumura (Blue Exorcist)
While his twin brother Rin was still just a student, Yukio Okumura was already an Exorcist and a teacher at the cram school that trains future Exorcists. Much to Rin's surprise, he's a student of his brother!
Though his devil affinity and powers didn't manifest in the early parts of Blue Exorcist, Yukio is still a competent Exorcist who can eliminate threats using nothing but his guns and experience.
16. 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.
15. Master Roshi (Dragon Ball Z)
This perverted old man is no joke when it comes to power and training during Goku's childhood. Master Roshi 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.
14. Kisuke Urahara (Bleach)
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.
13. 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. Izumi Curtis 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.
12. Kalego Naberius (Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-Kun)
Kalego Naberius is a teacher at the Babyls Demon School where Iruma is enrolled. He's cool and powerful, given that his rank is one of the highest in the entire school (just below Headmaster Sullivan).
Unfortunately, Kalego was turned into a familiar after Iruma performed a summoning technique using Kalego's seal. In his familiar form, he's a cute and fluffy flying creature with tiny bat wings.
But he's still powerful, even if his Cerberus became a puppy—a cute pet befitting a cute master.
11. 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.
10. Korosensei (Assassination Classroom)
Korosensei 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 Korosensei, 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.
9. 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.
8. Biscuit Krueger (Hunter X Hunter)
Don't let her childish appearance fool you. Biscuit Krueger 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.
7. 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.
6. 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.
5. Glenn Radars (Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor)
In Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor, Glenn Radars first entered his class as a substitute teacher who had no intention or motivation to teach. (We can't really blame him since his background isn't really in teaching.)
Across the series, he grows as a person and shows his class what he's truly capable of, becoming an effective teacher.
Glenn doesn't resort to usual teaching methods, even stating that textbooks are useless. He turns to his own unorthodox ways of teaching, which eventually catches the attention of his students.
4. Satoru Gojo (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Satoru Gojo is one of the most badass teachers at Tokyo Jujutsu High. He seems to be a happy-go-lucky guy, but when it comes to his duties as a Special Grade sorcerer, he takes them seriously.
While it was Aoi Todo who honed Yuji in using Black Flash, it was Satoru who trained and taught him about cursed energy and how to utilize it.
He even got Yuji to experience firsthand the magnificence of Domain Expansion during his battle with Jogo.
3. Mitsuyoshi Anzai (Slam Dunk)
Mitsuyoshi Anzai is the respectable coach of Shohoku's basketball team. Under his guidance, he helped his players progress in their basketball careers—especially Sakuragi, who was a total noob at the game.
Coach Anzai was formerly known as the "White-Haired Devil" because of his strict training regimen. However, he later had a change of heart and became a milder and more approachable person.
In fact, at one point Sakuragi even played with his jelly-like belly. Don't we all wish we had that kind of relationship with a teacher?
2. Genji Kamogawa (Hajime no Ippo)
Here we have Genji Kamogawa, another sports coach who trained a total noob. Genji is the owner of Kamogawa Boxing Gym, where the two champions—Ippo Makunouchi and Mamoru Takamura—came from.
Despite his old age, Genji is still able to train his big guys and stand toe-to-toe with them, able to catch their explosive punches with his mitts and body pads without crumpling into a pile of nothing.
During his prime, Genji was once a great boxer. He speaks with experience, which is why he's so strict when it comes to training.
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.