Age is just a number when it comes to badass old-timers in anime. Even if signs of aging are visible on them, they still manage to keep up with their younger counterparts—and it’s truly amazing to watch.
Some of these old guys were badasses when they were young and stayed that way well into their age. Others only got more powerful as they grew older, and yet others lost their edge but can still kick butt when necessary.
They may look old, fragile, and weak, but never underestimate them. Here are some of the most badass old anime characters we’ve seen, ranked up to our favorite!
18. Master Genkai (Yu Yu Hakusho)
Master Genkai is the master of Yusuke Urameshi in the Yu Yu Hakusho anime series. She’s known for various techniques, the most notable one being Spirit Wave (which Yusuke inherited as the Spirit Wave Orb).
She helps a lot of characters in the series reach their potential through rigorous training, which includes Kurama’s recruits for Yomi’s team during the Three Kings Saga.
17. Kaku Kaio (Baki)
This centenarian is someone who can put up a fight against the Ogre, Yujiro Hanma. This thin short man—who holds the title of the Greatest and Supreme Grandmaster of Chinese Kenpo—is someone who abides by its discipline and has huge pride in his Martial Arts.
As a show of disappointment with the current status of Chinese Martial Arts, he skewers the hands of the Association’s Elders and cut them off with a hand chop. He even fights the Ogre barehanded, but ends up defeated as he dies of old age during the climax of the fight.
And when he comes back to life again (as if nothing happened), he comes to see Yujiro and tells him that he deserves the title of “Sea Emperor” and “Strongest Man of the World.”
16. Gouki Shibukawa (Baki)
Another badass old man from the Baki anime series is Gouki Shibukawa. He’s a master and friend to Baki, and one of the best fighters in the Underground Tournament.
He has some of the most formidable techniques, which unfortunately are now impossible to conduct in his fragile old body. Still, even though he’s old, he has a battle-ready personality and calm mindset that make him a dangerous enemy.
He’s able to face down different powerful opponents during the tournament and still survive despite his old age.
15. Kuzen Yoshimura (Tokyo Ghoul)
We know that the manager of Anteiku is also a Ghoul just like the others who are working there, but not the Owl the Doves are hunting. During his younger years, he managed to tame two dangerous Ghoul leaders who now work with him in the coffee shop.
When standing in front of everybody, he’s just like a normal human: standing straight with a welcoming smile. But during his battle with the CCG investigators, he shows his terrifying Ghoul form—a huge humanoid figure with different forms of kagune.
14. Hiruzen Sarutobi (Naruto)
Hiruzen Sarutobi was the Third Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village after the late Second Hokage, Tobirama Senju. He was one of the elders of the village and trained the Legendary Sannin of the Leaf.
His strength is greatly deteriorated in his old age, which is corroborated by Orochimaru during their fight when he states that he definitely would’ve lost if Sarutobi was ten years younger.
Yet during his battle with Orochimaru (along with the reincarnated First and Second Hokages), he still manages to single-handedly seal the Senju brothers and his student’s hand using the Reaper Death Seal.
13. Bookman (D.Gray-Man)
Bookman was supposed to be the name of the clan that records everything without being biased to either side. The current Bookman is an old man of small stature, but with great fighting ability.
Since the Bookmen aren’t supposed to side with either good or bad parties, their battle abilities are only used when necessary to aid the side for which they’re recording something.
The current Bookman always tells his Bookman Jr., known by the name of Lavi, that he shouldn’t tie his emotions in their work as it may taint the recordings of history.
12. Gran Torino (My Hero Academia)
Gran Torino is a retired Pro Hero who mentored both All Might and Izuku Midoriya. Though it’s said that he had retired from duty, he still assists in the heroes’ investigation regarding the League of Villains.
His Quirk (called Jet) allows him to shoot air from his feet, which he uses to shoot himself forward at incredible speeds and to enhance his kicking abilities so greatly that he can knock them out in an instant.
11. Makarov Dreyar (Fairy Tail)
Makarov is the Guild Master of Fairy Tail and known as one of the Ten Wizard Saints. This old man, who looks like one of Snow White’s dwarves, is respected in his guild and even elsewhere.
His magic grants him the ability to turn into a giant, which makes up for his small frame. But that isn’t all. He can also use lots of other magic abilities, like his very own Light Magic and the iconic Fairy Law.
10. Yoshinobu Gakuganji (Jujutsu Kaizen)
Yoshinobu Gakuganji of Jujutsu Kaisen is an old man who carries an electric guitar—and if he were to play a head-banging tune for you, he’d surely rock your world.
His cursed ability allows him to use his body as a speaker that amplifies the sounds of his instrument. With this choice of ability, we can guess that Principal Gakuganji was a badass rock band member when he was young!
9. Genryuusai Shigekuni Yamamoto (Bleach)
Yamamoto was the Captain of the main military of Soul Society in the Bleach anime series. He’s an old man, but don’t let that deceive you. Beneath his oversized Shinigami robes, he hides an extremely built physique and the powers to match.
His Zanpakuto, named Ryujin Jakka, allows the Captain to burn everything down to ashes. He’s also noted as being able to fight even without his sword, using only his fists, strength, and speed.
8. Bang (One Punch Man)
Bang, also called Silver Fang, is a Class-S hero in One Punch Man. He normally has a crooked back when walking around, but when it comes to battle, he has a body that he can flex arrogantly.
He’s a Martial Arts Master and even made his own style named “Water Stream Rock Smashing Fist.” During battles, we can see how skillful he is in hand-to-hand combat—like in the scene where he fights his student Garou the Hero Hunter.
7. Monkey D. Garp (One Piece)
Monkey D. Garp is one of the highest-ranking Marine officials and the grandfather of our favorite pirate, Luffy.
His feats became the fear of most pirate groups that roam the sea, and he grew into one of the most famous figures during the Pirate King Gol D. Roger era, along with Rayleigh and Whitebeard.
Though he has a funny personality, he’s brutal and strict when it comes to training, battles, and his position. He demonstrated that in the heartbreaking scene when he had to stop his grandson from saving Ace during the Marineford War.
6. Master Roshi (Dragon Ball Z)
Master Roshi is likely the first well-known old anime character you’ve encountered. He was especially iconic in the 90s when the classic anime series Dragon Ball Z was still airing on TV.
He’s a thin weak-looking old man with a big turtle as his companion. But in the episode where he starts training Goku and Krillin, we were all shocked when he turned into a well-built guy—and more shocked when he showed off his signature move, Kame Hame Wave.
5. Whitebeard (One Piece)
Here we have yet another great old man from One Piece: Edward Newgate, also known on the seas as Whitebeard. He’s so strong that he can fight on equal ground with Gol D. Roger (during their prime).
Though he grew old and sick, he still managed to hold his title as one of the Emperors of the Sea and wreaked havoc during the Marineford War. He fought Akainu and beat him down, even though his innards were roasted by the admiral.
4. Isaac Netero (Hunter X Hunter)
Isaac Netero is the former chairman of the Hunter Association. It’s said that he knew Zeno since the latter was a baby—so, estimating his age, he should be over a hundred years old.
But that number means nothing in the face of his speed and reflexes, as seen when he plays ball with Gon and Killua, or when he fights the Ant King all by himself.
He looks like an easy-go-lucky old man with jokes up his sleeve, but when it comes to being a Hunter and a Nen specialist, he deserves to hold the title of the Chairman as long as he lives.
3. Silvers Rayleigh (One Piece)
Silvers Rayleigh, also known as the Dark King, was the first mate of the Pirate King. He was still famous even after the crew disbanded and all retired from being pirates. After the Marineford War, he trained Luffy to be strong and conquer the seas.
Though his battle history wasn’t emphasized much in the series, him being alive and training the Future Pirate King is proof of how strong he is, which makes the name of Dark King suit him well.
2. Zeno Zoldyck (Hunter X Hunter)
Zeno Zoldyck is the grandfather of Killua and Illumi, belonging to a family of hired killers and assassins. He’s known to be a comrade of the Hunter Association’s former chairman, Isaac Netero.
He’s a skilled Nen user with enhanced human skills, which comes in handy for his assassination missions. He’s also known to have an immense aura that he can use whenever and wherever he wants, like when he fires the Dragon Dive in Meruem’s location.
1. Jiraiya (Naruto)
Easily one of the most beloved old anime characters of all time: Jiraiya, the Toad Sage, master of two great Hokages. Not only is he one of the Hidden Leaf Village’s Legendary Sannin, but also a novelist who travels the world for… “inspiration.”
Yes, he has plenty of badass feats under his belt and plenty of badass abilities up his sleeve, but he’s mostly found sneaking around public bathhouses and ogling at vulnerable women.
Although he himself qualified to be the next Hokage after the passing of his master, Third Hokage Sarutobi Hiruzen, he passed on the opportunity in order that Tsunade could be the Fifth.
He taught Naruto and trained him in so many fundamental ways. It’s heartbreaking that he never got to see him become Hokage.