Forget ninjutsu, Haki, Quirks, Devil Fruits, and all the other different special powers we see in anime. Let's look at swords.
These great blades are the weapons of choice for most melee fighters, if only because swords are so darn cool. But when you dig deeper into a sword's details, you'll often find some interesting lore and backstory that makes the weapon even cooler in context.
Like anime powers, swords can possess abilities and characteristics that make them stand out as special. They can also have cool names, creators, owners, and relationships with their wielders.
Here are some of the coolest anime swords we've ever seen and the interesting things worth knowing about them.
15. Enma (One Piece)
Unlike the other swords wielded by Zoro, it looks like Enma has an appetite for tremendous amounts of haki, as seen when Zoro's arm thinned quite a bit after a single slash.
The sword drains its wielder's haki, which is the price paid for the help it provides on the battlefield once Enma is tamed and utilized with haki-imbued techniques. Enma's roots run even deeper with Zoro's past as its creator has ties with Kuina and her family.
Enma is noted to be the only sword that managed to scar the invincible skin of Kaido. Formerly owned by Kozuki Oden, Oden's daughter Hiyori inherited Enma and traded it for Zoro's Shusui.
14. Sandai Kitetsu (One Piece)
Sandai Kitetsu is said to be a cursed sword—one so cursed that its shop owner refused to sell it to Zoro.
But when the swordsman bet his luck against the curse of this blade, he left the shop with a free Yubashiri sword, along with the Sandai Kitetsu, and his arm which he used to test the curse.
13. Wado Ichimonji (One Piece)
Here we have another sword of Zoro, which was noted as being his longest-living blade. The Wado Ichimonji is the sword of Kuina's family and was crafted by her grandfather, who also crafted the Great Sword Enma of Oden.
This sword possesses extreme durability as seen when it managed to stay intact and in one piece after being hit by the Supreme Grade Sword Yoru of Dracule Mihawk.
The Wado Ichimonji was supposed to be inherited by Kuina, but she died at a very young age. Zoro asked her father for the sword, who in turn willingly gave the swordsman the Great Grade sword.
12. Murasame (Akame ga Kill!)
Murasame is an Imperial Arm, a long katana owned by Akame. It's also called the One-Cut Killer because of its ability to kill its victim instantly with its cursed poison. One can only prevent death if he/she removes the affected part immediately and stops the curse from spreading.
Its Trump Card ability, the Little War Horn, gives the wielder enhanced battle abilities if they can cut themself with the sword and resist the curse. Once the ability is unlocked, the curse will strain the wielder's body with unbearable pain—even if the sword is destroyed.
Akame also said that the Murasame remembers all of its victims, and she will accept responsibility for their deaths as she resists the curse of the blade upon activating the Trump Card.
11. Nozarashi (Bleach)
In Bleach, Nozarashi was the name of Kenpachi's Zanpakuto—a name that even Kenpachi himself didn't know until later in the series.
It was one of the many mysteries of the series, given that knowing the name of one's sword is an important step in unlocking its full potential. Because Kenpachi never had that bond with his weapon, the sword appeared chipped and worn from many tiring battles.
When Ichigo ends up fighting Kenpachi, he can actually hear Nozarashi screaming. Ichigo's own Zanpakuto tells him that when a sword and its wielder don't trust each other, they will overpower each other's strengths rather than synergizing harmoniously.
10. Zangetsu (Bleach)
Zangetsu is the name of Ichigo's own Zanpakuto in Bleach. In its initial form, it looks like a large chef's knife with the same height as Ichigo. Later on, in Bankai form, Zangetsu appears as a long black sword with its crossguards forming a manji.
The spirit of the sword made Ichigo fight many battles just to prove he's truly worthy of wielding him—all the way until he was able to unleash the Final Getsuga Tensho against Aizen.
Final Getsuga Tensho allows its wielder to become Getsuga itself. As its name implies, it can only be used once, draining Ichigo's Shinigami powers and making him a normal human.
9. Shusui (One Piece)
Shusui was the sword Zoro acquired in the Thriller Bark arc, meant to be a replacement for the destroyed Yubashiri. But before he got his hands on the Great Grade blade, he had to fight its wielder, Shimotsuki Ryuma, who was now a zombie of Gecko Moria.
After being defeated by Zoro, the zombie swordsman entrusted his sword to him, marking the day of his destiny with the Wano Kingdom.
8. Demon Slayer Sword (Black Clover)
The Demon Slayer Sword is the first to appear in Asta's grimoire and resembles a large black sword with dust and dirt all over the blade.
It has the Anti-Magic ability, which cuts and repels any magic attack. Because Asta has no mana or magic in him, he can hold the sword without suffering its effect: to be drained of magic.
His grimoire was originally owned by the Elf named Licht, who had Sword Magic and was later possessed by a demon. That demon, Liebe, who's also magicless like Asta, enhanced his being and is the source of the Anti-Magic ability in Asta's swords.
7. Nichirin Blade (Demon Slayer)
Nichirin Blades are the weapons of the Demon Slayer Corps in the Demon Slayer anime series. They're made out of a special ore and sand, which are able to absorb the sunlight—the only thing that can kill a demon.
The Corps candidates choose their own ore after passing the Final Selection process, with the chosen ore turned over to the blacksmiths for forging. The finished blades are then delivered to their owners.
The blade changes color the first time the wielder draws it out, and its change in color indicates how powerful the wielder is. Tanjiro's Black Nichirin blade is said to be a bad omen because no wielder ever lived long enough to see or describe the powers of a black blade.
Other Nichirin Blades have different designs and colors, like Kyojuro Rengoku's sword with its flame-like design in the tsuba and a red blade that resembles his flame abilities.
6. Yukine (Noragami)
Yukine is the name of the teen Regalia of Yato, who turns into a sword when the name Sekki is called. He's a stubborn and cold-hearted lad who's always hiding his true feelings from everyone.
Sekki, the sword, is a long blade with a handle wrapped loosely in bandages. When he was first called out by Yato, the god saw everything in the boy's past life and felt a burden that made him cry.
5. Teacher (Reincarnated as a Sword)
In many isekai anime, characters turn into monsters, slimes, and other creatures when they're whisked away to whatever foreign world they end up in. But in Reincarnated as a Sword, our protagonist Teacher finds himself turned into a sword—a legendary and overpowered one.
He also picks his own wielder, who happens to be a slave catgirl named Fran. Upon termination of her contract with her former owner, Fran becomes an adventurer with Teacher guiding her throughout their journeys, all while sharing his abilities with her.
4. Harusame (Shaman King)
Harusame is the sword that Yoh Asakura uses in Shaman King, and it has a pretty interesting story behind it!
This blade was once owned by two friends: Mosuke (who created it) and Amidamaru (who wielded it). After 600 years passed, the sword ended up in a museum and was called the Weeping Blade because Mosuke cried after failing to deliver it to Amidamaru in time.
3. The Sword of Totsuka (Naruto Shippuden)
The Sword of Totsuka is a special weapon in the world of Naruto. It was in possession of Uchiha Itachi and was used against Orochimaru after the latter emerged from Sasuke during the brothers' final fight.
Anyone stabbed by the Sword of Totsuka is sucked into the gourd and put under eternal genjutsu. While Orochimaru manages to escape that fate, the reanimated Nagato's soul was sucked and sealed away.
The blade's namesake comes from a Japanese myth where Susano'o defeats Yamata no Orochi with a Sword of Totsuka. This legend is reenacted in Naruto with Itachi's Susano'o killing Orochimaru in his eight-headed giant snake form.
2. Ryujin Jakka (Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War)
We never got to see the full potential of Captain Yamamoto's Ryujin Jakka in the original run of the Bleach series. However, the follow-up Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War showed how terrifying it is.
Ryujin Jakka was disguised as a wooden staff that perfectly fit Yamamoto's old-man facade. But when needed in battle, it reveals its true form and appearance as a sword.
Even in its Shikai form, it releases an extreme amount of power and fire. With its Bankai release, Ryujin Jakka absorbs all the flames created by the blade and gives off heat so powerful that it could obliterate most of Soul Society if the fight goes on too long.
One cool detail about Ryujin Jakka is that its Bankai form looks like a worn-out blade, which resembles its wielder: fragile in appearance but incredibly powerful on the inside.
1. Monohoshizao (Record of Ragnarok)
In Record of Ragnarok, Monohoshizao is the long sword (odachi) that Kojiro Sasaki uses in his fight against the Greek god Poseidon. But this blade isn't an ordinary long sword—it's a "Volundr" of the Valkyrie named Hrist, imbued with the ability to kill a god.
Monohoshizao is later broken into two by Poseidon, which seemed like another loss for mankind. However, it then became a daisho (a pair of long and short swords), resembling Hrist's dual personality.
With his new blades, Sasaki—the greatest loser when he was alive—is able to earn humanity's first win against the gods.