Top 10 most popular powers in shounen anime

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Shounen anime is synonymous with superpowers. After all, although not all of them use superpowers, the vast majority of shounen anime do use some kind of superpowers. Different nicknames may have different ways of displaying powers, such as magic, technology, chakras, cursed energy, etc. However, some forces end up being used by many different chains, such as elementary forces. These kinds of powers are just about everywhere in a shounen anime that you might expect to see in a new series. With that being said, here are the Top 10 Popular Powers of Shounen Anime.

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10. Mind control

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Let’s start this list by talking about one of the most insidious forces in animation, which is mind control. As the name suggests, this power allows its users to control the mind of its target and make them do what the users want them to do. Some users of mind control like to turn their target into a puppet-like state, while others can inject their power without anyone realizing that the target is under strong mind control. Some of the most skilled mind controllers are Shinso from My Hero Academia, cunning Shokuhou from A Certain Scientific Railgun, and stern Shisui from Naruto. Some of the power users who like to treat their target like puppets are the ruthless Q from Bungo Stray Dogs, and the demonic Marik from Yu-Gi-Oh! and the ambitious Lelouch of Code Geass.


9. Illusion

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The ability to cast an illusion may not sound very interesting. After all, compared to the other force on this list, this one seems to be the most passive one. However, this is not the case at all. In the hands of certain characters, illusion can be a very versatile tool, or even outright lethal. This ability is usually used in conjunction with other types of attacks. Some of the more dangerous users of illusion in the anime are the mysterious Itachi from Naruto, the manipulative Aizen from Bleach, and the enlightened virgin Shaka from Saint Seiya. Although their techniques aren’t as dangerous as the first group, other notable illusion users are the awkward Tanizaki from the Bungo Stray Dogs, the cheerful Mavis from the Fairy Tail, and the pathetic Kenny G from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.


8. Telekinesis

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Telekinesis is the ability to move objects with the power of the user’s mind, also known as psychokinesis. This is one of the most, if not the most, versatile powerhouse on this list. After all, while most of the powers mentioned here are great for combat, telekinesis is also very useful in everyday life. This is why most of the characters who use telekinesis are very creative and resourceful. Some of the most powerful users of telekinesis in the anime are the psychotic Tetsuo from Akira, the brutal metronome from A Certain Magical Index, and the disastrous Tatsumaki from One-Punch Man. There are also characters who often use their powers in everyday life, such as the weary Saiki from The Disastrous Life of Saiki K, the affectionate Shigeo from Mob Psycho 100, and the childish Chiaotzu from Dragon Ball.


7. Super power

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Sometimes, instead of using some complicated and complex superpower, the author might decide that all of their characters need a simple and straightforward superpower. However, it can be a bit difficult to deal with these types of personalities. After all, their fighting style is much more limited compared to characters with unique superpowers. But if the author can implement it correctly, he can be such a fun character to follow. Some of the characters that have managed to gain their popularity due to their brute strength alone are the iconic Goku from Dragon Ball, the relaxed Saitama from One-Punch Man, and Glutton Toriko from Toriko. Other than the main characters, there are also side characters who have absurd power, such as the unbreakable All Might from My Hero Academia, the brutal Uvogin from Hunter x Hunter, and the awesome Major Armstrong from the Fullmetal Alchemist.


6. Shadow

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One of the classic power pairs that are usually destined to fight each other is the power of light and dark. However, dark is easily the most common, especially when it comes to shade. Although Darkness and Shadow are often associated with evil and secret operations, there are plenty of good characters who use it out in the open like any regular attacks. Some of the good guys who fight with shadows are the cunning Shikamaru from Naruto, Tokuyami Reserved from My Hero Academy, and Fushiguro from Jujutsu Kaisen. As for the bad guys, well, there’s the ruthless Pride from the Fullmetal Alchemist, the arrogant Moria from One Piece, and Alessi from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.


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5. Gravity

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We now turn to the force that comes from nature, gravity. This power allowed its users to influence not only their attractiveness, but also everything around it. Some even have the ability to affect the attractiveness of other objects as well. Besides telekinesis, gravity is easily one of the most versatile forces of the bunch because it can be used to attack, defend, support and even set some traps. Some of the most famous characters who use the forces of gravity are the eccentric Fujitora from One Piece, the daredevil Shiki from Eden Zero, and the lovable Uraraka from My Hero Academia. But not all of them are good guys, there are also some bad guys who use the power of gravity, like the evil Dante from Black Clover, the disjointed Ishiguro from Mob Psycho 100, and the cunning Chuuya from Bungo Stray Dogs.


4. Lightning

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Now we enter the most common category of superpowers, the basic elements. Let’s start with the sparkling force, lightning. Just like the nature of lightning, characters with this elemental strength often sound expensive, loud, and a bit ostentatious. This is why they often have one of the most exciting and entertaining fight scenes in a particular series. Some of the characters who perfectly embodied the aforementioned traits are the freak Enel from One Piece, the wild Kaminari from My Hero Academia, and the glowing Sinbad from Magi. However, there are also characters completely opposite to the stereotypical lightning user, such as the calm Gilthunder from the Seven Deadly Sins, the moody Laxus from Fairy Tail, and the crybaby Lambo from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!


3. Wind

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Another common element strength in Shounen anime is wind. Unlike fire and ice that are often aggressive even though they live on the other end of the spectrum, wind forces can be gentle as a breeze, or as dangerous as a hurricane. This is largely a description of the characters who have this power. Some of the most notable wind users that feature in the shounen anime are the lovable Yuno from Black Clover, the mighty Hauser from the Seven Deadly Sins, and the adorable Wendy from Fairy Tail. There are also wind users who use tools to produce wind, such as the charismatic Temari from Naruto, the cheerful Fuuko from the Flame of Recca, and the reclusive Kagura from Inuyasha.


2. Ice

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However, with the theme of natural elements, the next force that you can often spot in most shounen anime is Ice. There are characters who use their original form, which is water, however, ice is the more popular choice between the two. And like the way fire is handled by reckless characters, ice is often used by cool and humble individuals. Some of the most famous ice users are the cute and adorable Haku from Naruto, the calm and collected Hitsugaya from Bleach, and the straightforward Todoroki from My Hero Academia. There are also some eccentrics in this category, such as the somewhat scattered Aokiji from One Piece, the involuntary nudist Gray from Fairy Tail, and the sadistic Esdeath from Akame Ga Kill.


1. Fire

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Fire is by far the most common power that you can see in a shounen anime. There seems to be something so appealing to this natural force that many creators bless their characters with this specific element. Some use fire through certain types of tools, while others can produce fire directly from their own bodies. When it comes to characters using fire created directly from his body, there’s the cheerful and crazy Natsu from Fairy Tail, the cool and attractive ace from One Piece, and of course the mysterious quest from My Hero Academia. Similar to the wind users, there are also those who light a fire with certain utensils, such as the fiery Kyojuro Rengoku from the Demon Slayer, the feline Roy Mustang from the Fullmetal Alchemist, and the friendly Tsunayoshi from the Katekyo Hitman Reborn!


last thoughts

Superpowers are an integral part of most action-oriented shounen anime. However, coming up with a new and innovative superpower is not an easy task, which is why similar superpowers have ended up being used in different titles. This list represents some of the most common superpowers that you can find in shounen anime. However, this is by no means an extensive list. So if you know of any other common forces that deserve a spot on this list, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

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