One of the best things about anime is how creative different series can be. They allow us to experience all kinds of power fantasies, from teleportation to invisibility to world-shattering explosions.
But even more interesting is how these different anime powers and abilities are often girded by well-designed rules of logic—and how these systems influence the worldbuilding of an anime series.
Sometimes it comes down to the manipulation of natural elements. Other times it's all about channeling the power of love. And other times it's all about inheritance and bloodlines. When done well, it doesn't matter how powers come about; we only care that they're really cool.
Here are some of the coolest anime powers and abilities that we've seen, how they work, and why they're so awesome.
12. Dragon Slayer Magic (Fairy Tail)
This type of magic used by Dragon Slayers is one of the strongest abilities in the Fairy Tail anime series. Although it's said to be a type of Lost Magic, many characters actually possess this powerful skill.
Dragon Slayer Magic can be taught by an actual dragon, or it can be acquired through artificial methods (like lacrima implants). The irony is that Dragon Slayer Magic is taught by dragons to defeat dragons, pointing to the fact that even dragons have their disputes.
Notable Dragon Slayer characters include Natsu Dragneel (Fire Dragon Slayer Magic) and Gajeel Redfox (Steel Dragon Slayer Magic), who can manifest immunity to their respective elements and replenish their power by consuming the elements.
11. Ope Ope no Mi (One Piece)
Ope Ope no Mi is a Paramecia-type fruit in One Piece, which grants the ability to create a spatial area (called the "room") within which the user can manipulate the environment according to their will.
The name of the Ope Ope no Mi comes from the word "operation," which shows that the spatial area is to be a sort of operating room. Trafalgar Law wields its abilities and utilizes them so well that he's even been dubbed as the Surgeon of Death.
It's a quite overpowered ability, enabling the user to telekinetically control objects at range and even swap positions with them, which comes in handy to escape attacks via teleportation.
The user can also do almost anything to anyone inside their range. Trafalgar Law can cut people apart without killing them, and assemble their dismembered parts in peculiar positions.
10. Anti Magic (Black Clover)
Asta doesn't actually have the Anti-Magic ability himself, but his swords do. With his trained body and inhuman strength, he can make full use of the anti-magic properties of his weapons.
First seen after the Grimoire Acceptance Ceremony where he failed to receive a grimoire, a five-leaf clover grimoire appeared during his fight (along with Yuno) with Revchi.
His five-leaf grimoire holds all four of his blades: the Demon Slayer (which nullifies and deflects magic), the Demon Dweller (which projects anti-magic), the Demon Destroyer (which removes the effects of magic), and the katana he got from his captain, Yami Sukehiro.
At one point in the series, Asta does manage to channel the ability from his sword to his body, which makes him the vessel of anti-magic as long as he wields his blades.
9. Mangekyo Sharingan (Naruto)
In Naruto, the Sharingan is an ocular ability possessed by the Uchiha Clan, while the Mangekyo Sharingan is a much higher-level version of the Sharingan that grants unique powers depending on the user.
The normal Sharingan increases the user's perception and combat abilities, allowing them to fight better and even copy the techniques used by opponents in battle.
The Mangekyo Sharingan is awakened when a Sharingan user suffers immense trauma at witnessing the death of someone very close. While the Mangekyo Sharingan grants special abilities, the downside is that the user eventually loses their sight with prolonged usage.
Examples of Mangekyo Sharingan powers include: Tobi's Kamui (where he sucks targets into a time-space void), Itachi's Tsukuyomi (where his targets suffer days of torture in an instant), and Sasuke's Amaterasu (which creates black flames at his focal point).
8. Hardening Quirk (My Hero Academia)
Although Eijiro Kirishima isn't the main character of My Hero Academia, his Hardening Quirk is one of the coolest abilities in the entire series.
With it, he can harden any part of his body at will. The hardening can protect him against pretty much any threat of damage, and he can use hardened body parts offensively (like using his arm as a spear).
He later enhances his ability to make a new skill called Red Riot: Unbreakable, which reaches hardening of maximum strength and maintains for a certain amount of time.
7. Titan Shifters (Attack on Titan)
In Attack on Titan, most titans are dumb titans who aren't able to shift into human form. However, there are a handful of Titan Shifters who have the ability to transform between human form and titan form.
Every Titan Shifter has a unique titan form that appears different from normal dumb titans, and each Titan Shifter displays signs of intelligence even while they're in titan form.
The power of Titan Shifting can only be acquired when a dumb titan eats and consumes an existing Titan Shifter.
6. Haki (One Piece)
Late into the narrative One Piece, we learn that Devil Fruits aren't the only source of abilities. There's also Haki, which is the ability to use one's spiritual energy to manifest all kinds of effects.
For example, one can use it to predict another's movements or coat one's weapons with extra damage. Some can even use Haki to intimidate and completely overpower another's will.
A Haki user can even inflict damage to a Logia-type user, who normally isn't vulnerable to physical attacks except ones coming from an attribute that's stronger.
5. Cursed Energy (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Cursed energy is the main source of powers and abilities in the Jujutsu Kaisen anime series.
It's said that cursed energy arises from the negative emotions and experiences of human beings. However, the ability to manipulate and utilize one's cursed energy can only be learned at a jujutsu educationa institution, like Tokyo Jujutsu High.
Cursed energy can be used to accomplish all kinds of effects and purposes, such as summoning creatures or enveloping one's own body to protect against destructive attacks.
4. Nen Chains (Hunter X Hunter)
In Hunter X Hunter, Kurapika's Chains are great weapons that cost a heavy price to use.
To achieve the perfect Nen ability, Kurapika used the Covenant and Restriction that allows him to use a deadly weapon and instantly kill any target as long as that target is a member of the Phantom Troupe—otherwise, he dies.
His chains include the Guiding Chain, Jail Chain, Holy Chain, and the Judgment Chain, which are products of all Nen types Kurapika uses.
3. Perfect Vision (Chivalry of a Failed Knight)
There are many characters who possess cool abilities in the Chivalry of a Failed Knight anime series, but the protagonist Ikki Kurogane holds the coolest and most unique skill.
His ability Blade Steal—which is later upgraded to Perfect Vision—can adapt to whatever battle he's in. By using his keen senses and battle analysis to copy and match his opponents, Ikki can overpower any foe in conjunction with his sword.
2. Sonic Minimum (Hamatora)
The anime series Hamatora features abilities called Minimums, which are innate to individuals who are called Minimum Holders.
Nice's ability is the Sonic Minimum, which allows him to move at the speed of sound by moving in the sound. Any opponent who's within sound range is guaranteed to be hit by Nice's fast movements.
1. Ay and Bee's Double Lariat (Naruto)
Double Lariat is a special move of the Hidden Cloud ninjas, and most feared in the form of the Ay and Bee combo.
It involves a two-man team who each attack the same opponent using Lightning Release: Lariat, aiming the catch the target's neck in their attack in order to decapitate them. The perfect Double Lariat requires equal strength from both attackers to achieve a lethal blow.