In My Hero Academia, the all-out war between the Pro Heroes and Tomura Shigaraki and his goons is primarily awesome because it's decked out with amazing characters with all kinds of interesting developments.
Ever since the overall story shifted towards a "do or die" theme, the characters have gone beyond their limits and exceeded their potentials, showing us who's truly the strongest of the strong.
Even characters who only appeared as background noise in the early arcs have stepped up and started contributing significantly to the story, leading to many memorable and impactful scenes.
From the most effective heroes to the most overpowered villains, here are the strongest characters from the My Hero Academia anime series.
9. Shota Aizawa (Eraser Head)
Shota Aizawa, known also as Eraser Head, is a Pro Hero and a teacher at UA High School. His Quirk, called Erase, allows him to nullify Quirks—which can obviously be very crucial in battle.
However, Erase has a grave limitation: whenever he closes his eyes, even just to blink, the nullification instantly ends. That can give his opponents just enough time to break free and attack.
To compensate for this weakness, he wears eye gear that conceals his eyes, making it harder for his opponents to see his blinks or whom he's targeting for nullification.
Eraser Head is also proficient in hand-to-hand combat, including with the specialized scarf he uses to grab onto his opponents.
8. Izuku Midoriya (Deku)
Izuku Midoriya, known by his nickname Deku, is the ninth wielder of the One for All Quirk. He inherited this Quirk from All Might after undergoing rigorous training and body conditioning.
Though he still experiences drawbacks when he uses the full potential of his Quirk, he devised techniques that allow him to only use a limited percentage of his power to avoid being damaged by the Quirk.
He was born Quirkless, and that's why he's the perfect vessel for the One for All Quirk. He can tap into and use the powers of the stored Quirk factors inside, and he's increasingly skilled at battle because of it.
7. Enji Todoroki (Endeavor)
Enji Todoroki, also known by his hero name Endeavor, is the current Number One Hero after All Might's retirement. His Quirk is called Hellflame, allowing him to generate intensely majestic flames.
He's physically built, making his punches not only extremely hot but also equally explosive. We saw him go full power during his fight with a Nomu, when he needed to be far above and away from the city in order to perform Prominence Burn: Plus Ultra.
Eri is a small child yet she possesses a terrifying Quirk called Rewind, which can make anyone return to any previous state of being—even back to before they existed.
She may be physically and emotionally weak, but her Quirk is what earns her a spot on this list.
Due to her Quirk, she becomes a guinea pig for Shie Hassaikai's dark experiments, who seeks the power to remove Quirks from people.
Her dangerous Quirk was also used by Izuku Midoriya during his fight against Overhaul in an attempt to "rewind" the drawbacks of One for All, making him able to use his Quirk to its full potential.
Equipped with several different Quirks—probably granted to him by All for One—Gigantomachia is an unstoppable brute.
He's a loyal servant of All for One, and that makes him one of the arch villain's primary puppets, one who will stop at nothing until his master's orders are satisfactorily fulfilled.
Adding him to the League of Villains' roster made the group far more dangerous than they were in the early arcs of the series.
4. Kai Chisaki (Overhaul)
Kai Chisaki, known also as Overhaul, is the leader of Shie Hassaikai. He has the Quirk called Overhaul, which allows him to disintegrate anything he touches—then reassemble it any way he wants.
While his Quirk is really good as a destructive force, it's also useful as a way to manipulate his environment. We saw this in action when he reassembled the floor and produced spikes from it.
He can choose to destroy someone without reassembling them (like he did with Magnet), and he can even reassemble something into his own body to absorb its properties, attributes, and even Quirks (as he did with his fallen comrades).
3. Tenko Shimura (Tomura Shigaraki)
Tenko Shimura, now known as the villain Tomura Shigaraki, was once a young kid who admires heroes. However, the tragic nature of his Quirk awakening made him vulnerable to manipulation by All for One.
His Quirk is called Decay, which is one of pure destruction. With just a touch, he can disintegrate anything into dust, making it possible to kill any living entity. It's a lot like Overhaul without the reassembling.
To make matters worse, Tomura Shigaraki received body modifications that pushed his capabilities even further—and he also possesses the original All for One Quirk, which allows him to manifest the terrifying abilities of his master, All for One.
2. Toshinori Yagi (All Might)
Toshinori Yagi, known by his hero name All Might and the nickname Symbol of Peace, is the eighth wielder of the One for All Quirk.
Though he was gravely injured to the point of forced retirement, he still works as a hero and assures the public that everything is safe and sound as long as he is around.
In battle, he relies on the One for All Quirk's enhancement capabilities, which grant him brute force and explosive punches. Even without using the other stored Quirk factors from previous owners of the Quirk, All Might still managed to defeat All for One—twice!
1. All for One
In terms of battle prowess, All for One tops every single character in the My Hero Academia series. His Quirk, also called All for One, can steal Quirks from others for himself—and he's good at it.
He has tons of stolen Quirks in his arsenal, ready to be used at moment's notice. For example, he can use the Impact Recoil Quirk to counter One for All's destructive punch and send the damage right back.
All for One is also incredibly manipulative, able to sway people so that his plans come to fruition even while he's chained up in prison. Most notably, he relies on Tomura Shigaraki, whom he nurtured into his best pawn.