There are many powers and abilities featured in anime. Some characters can control fire or breathe it out like a dragon, while others can create weapons of ice, and others are simply superhuman in strength.
A lot of these powers and abilities are common across anime. But then you also have less common ones—like those who can defy the laws of time or even bend time to their will.
Anime characters who can control time are unique needles in a haystack. It's a great power to have, but time manipulation can be quite risky and dangerous with all kinds of drawbacks.
Here are some of the best anime characters—both allies and villains—who have time powers, time magic, and time control abilities.
20. Ultear Milkovich (Fairy Tail)
Ultear has the Lost Magic: Arc of Time, which gives her the ability to restore or damage things. She also has the spell called Last Ages, which rewinds time and costs a lot of magic power and her own time.
19. Merlin (Seven Deadly Sins)
In Seven Deadly Sins, Merlin is the mage blessed with both the Supreme Deity and the Demon King. She lived long enough to learn different spells that are offensive, defensive, and supportive.
But Merlin also has the Infinity spell, which can control the time of her spells—make them work continuously without a time limit, and only able to be dispelled if she undoes them herself.
She has also used Chrono Coffin, a time manipulating spell used to stop the cocoon of the Demon King from maturing.
18. Dio Brando (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure)
Dio Brando is the antagonist of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. He has the Stand named "The World" with the ability "Time, Stop" that can literally stop time long enough for him to evade attacks, strike back, or plan his next moves before he attacks.
Interestingly enough, Dio doesn't see his ability as time manipulation but more as a kind of teleportation—the ability to move to certain points in the blink of an eye, or simply at incredible speed.
17. Nice (Hamatora)
Anyone who has the ability of superhuman speed can do a lot of things simply by traveling very far very quickly, defying the second hand and minute hand of any clock.
In Hamatora, Nice's Sonic Minimum ability allows him to save time by moving at the speed of sound. A simple yet creative application of speed in time manipulation.
16. Baraggan Louisenbairn (Bleach)
Baraggan is the Espada of Aizen's army, who has the ability to render death by old age. Using Age Acceleration, he can kill someone by making them old instantly, thus defying the natural flow of time.
He can also make an area or a field where time is slowed, so attacks are easier to see and respond against.
15. Tomura Shigaraki (My Hero Academia)
Just as aging is related to time, so are decay and decomposition—which happens to be the Quirk of our favorite villain in My Hero Academia, Tomura Shigaraki.
He has an ability that uses the same principle behind the aforementioned Barragan's ability—Age Acceleration—but Tomura's victims reach their decomposition state instantly.
14. Eri (My Hero Academia)
Eri is another character from My Hero Academia who can manipulate time, except her Quirk is called Rewind and allows her to make things (or people) revert back to a previous state.
This ability can be used to heal wounds, remove modifications, and the worst case, it can be used to take someone back to a point in time where they haven't even been born yet, thus ceasing to exist.
13. Whis (Dragon Ball Super)
In Dragon Ball Super, Whis is the Guide Angel Attendant of Beerus, the God of Destruction of Universe 7.
He has an ability called Temporal Do-Over, which gives him three minutes to travel back in time and undo something. It's said that he used this technique to prevent the destruction of suns caused by Beerus' sneeze.
He also used Temporal Do-Over when the desperate Frieza destroyed Earth in his fight against Vegeta.
12. Gasper Vladi (High School DxD)
Gasper Vladi is one of the male protagonists in High School DxD. Using the Longinus: Aeon Balor, he possesses the ability to stop time for everything in sight. The duration of the effect depends on the user's own power and mastery of the Sacred Gear.
11. Ain (One Piece)
Ain is second-in-command of the Neo Marines in One Piece Film: Z. She has the ability of the Modo Modo no Mi devil fruit, which can make anyone she touches 12 years younger. If used enough times, she can make them disappear and cease to exist.
10. Syaoran Li (Cardcaptor Sakura)
Syaoran is a Cardcaptor just like Sakura Kinemoto. He managed to capture the card "The Time."
Just like Sakura, he became the master of this card, allowing him to use the ability of The Time to stop time, such as in the scene where Sakura fought The Strength card. He stopped time and made Sakura win the tag-of-war, which is a total cheat.
9. Esdeath (Akame ga Kill!)
Esdeath, the villain of Akame ga Kill!, has an ice-based ability that allows her the skill to freeze time itself. Though she utilizes her abilities well in harmony with her swordsmanship, Akame managed to defeat her by outwitting frozen time using her afterimage.
8. Hit (Dragon Ball Super)
In the series and manga, Hit has tons of techniques derived from his ability called Timeskip. He can freeze time to attack or defend, and he combines his moves to execute a deadly attack within the Timeskip frame, which makes it unblockable.
7. Oda Sakunosuke (Bungo Stray Dogs)
Manipulating time isn't only about stopping time or accelerating time or even jumping through time. Another way to manipulate time is to get ahead of it and know what's going to happen before it happens.
Oda Sakunosuke is a member of Port Mafia along with Dazai, and has the ability to see five seconds into the future—but only when the event will put him in danger. It's powerful, and the only way he's defeated is when he meets someone with the same ability as himself.
6. Ainz Ooal Gown (Overlord)
Ainz Ooal Gown is an overpowered character in the Overlord anime series. Though he has no reason to use Time-Stop because he can literally obliterate armies in an instant, he still uses this tenth-tier spell to control time and make other attacks and spells worthless.
5. Julius Novachrono (Black Clover)
The Magic Emperor of the Clover Kingdom, Julius Novachrono is a mage who uses Time Magic and has spells that can manipulate time for a certain target or even a wide range of area.
He even managed to cheat death by imbuing the Swallowtail device with his magic a long time ago, then releasing it after the battle with the elves ended. It did, however, make him return to life as his younger self, leaving him with the magical capabilities of his young age.
4. Miranda Lotto (D. Gray-Man)
The most tragic time-manipulating ability user is Miranda Lotto of D. Gray-Man. She has the ability to return items and people to a former state, which heals wounds and repairs damage, as long as her Innocence is active or she's alive and conscious.
Tragically, after one battle, Miranda doesn't want to deactivate her Innocence because then everyone who was wounded by the Akumas will die. But in the end, she does release her Innocence—and was only left among a broken ship of dead bodies.
3. Yu Otosaka (Charlotte)
Yu Otosaka's original ability involves taking over someone's consciousness and being able to control that person's body. However, his ability also allows him to steal the ability of the person he's possessing (if that person is also an ability user).
One of the abilities he stole was Time Leap, which he got from his older brother Shunsuke in order to prevent the disaster that took their sister's life. Time Leap allows him to jump back through time—or, rather, his consciousness takes over his body in a past timeline.
2. Makoto Konno (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time)
Makoto Konno is a high schooler who stumbles upon a weird object, which is later revealed as some sort of time-traveling device. At one point, she unconsciously activates it and luckily escapes death.
After she realizes the device's time-leaping ability, she starts using it for fun and for her own personal benefit (like getting herself good grades, which is a total cheat).
However, she eventually realizes that she only has a limited number of time leaps remaining—and once she reaches that point, she starts using those time leaps for much more important things.
1. Homura Akemi (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
Homura Akemi is one of the main magical girls in the famed magical girl series Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
While she's seen wielding guns and bombs, Homura's primary weapon is a magical shield that allows her to freeze or turn back time. She can also make someone unaffected by her time magic with just a touch.
Eventually, it's revealed that Homura can also travel through time, which had her witnessing Madoka's death multiple times. The entire time, Homura has been trying to prevent Madoka's tragic fate.