Protagonists in anime can be pretty overpowered during the series without much training but there are others who’ve practiced millions of times and earned years of experience. Here are some powerful old men in anime that you definitely have to respect!
*DISCLAIMER: I will be ranking these people in terms of mainly strength and battle intuition/skill. People who shine greatly in just the strategy won’t beat people who are strong AND somewhat strategic in this list*
Table of Contents
20. Dot Pixis – Attack on Titan
At the bottom of our list is a man built on the foundation of truth and exploration. Commander Pixis is the 67th Commander of the Garrison Troops mounted atop the walls, protecting from any Titans attempting to destroy the walls’ base. Pixis carries an essence that can make him indistinguishable from a normal citizen, never carrying a shred of arrogance. He patriots the idea of acknowledging all aspects to a problem in order to find a solution and almost all of these strategies are amazing with intricate details and causalities that fit a genius commander like him. His experience as solider has made him flexible towards many things, such as accepting the fact Eren was a Titan-shifter quickly and used him to hole up Wall Rose. Pixis is most notably known as a very relaxed man who is friendly with everyone he meets. However, his nerves of steel and burning passion to fight and live garners him immense respect from all divisions of the military, even the Commander in Chief himself. Not to mention his chilling speeches.
19. Walter. C. Dornez – Hellsing
Walter. C. Dornez is the sophisticated, polite, and mercilessly brutal butler of the Hellsing family. His technique of micro-thin fiber-steel wires can easily allow him to dismember and decapitate his opponents with a single whiff of his hand. In his younger days, he sported a more sadistic and violent appeal as he would gleefully slice up several Millenium soldiers. Now, as an old man and working under the Hellsing family. He is a prideful man who cares about Integra and Sera but holding a deep distaste for humans their weak mortality.
18. Führer King David Bradley – Fullmetal Alchemist
Führer King David Bradley, or commonly known as King Bradley, is a gritty, stoic, and ruthless man. He was trained as a spy and selected in a battle royale to participate in a genetic experiment to become a super-soldier. Bradley is a man of little empathy for humans, carrying out his agenda regardless of innocent lives and the opinions of others. He’s a perfectly-engineered war machine who has wiped out almost every single person he fought in the series with little to no effort. His exceptional German-style sword-fighting can pinpoint and gouge vital areas of the body. In addition to his exceptional talent, he is the most powerful man in the entire military that governs the country. He is truly one of the most powerful humans especially on the fact he can throw away all his emotions, going as far to kill his own son out of rage in the original FMA series (2003).
17. Watari – Death Note
Watari is a fan-favorite among Death Note and even anime fans. Watari is the butler and handler for L, the genius and enigmatic detective who is only known by the letter “L” written in Cloister calligraphy. Watari supplies logistics and L’s assistance to the Japanese Task Force dressed in a trenchcoat and mask, furthering our interest and love for such a cool-nerved enigmatic pair. Not only did Watari assist L, but he also raised him along with other “special” kids as the founder of Wammy’s House. His tutelage and guidance have produced some of the greatest detectives to ever live. Watari is a kind, diligent, and pragmatic man who shows deep care and concern for all his students at Wammy’s House even after they have left like L and Near. Don’t let that fool you though as Watari is highly-trained in combat, espionage, emergency medical care, and a variety of tasks.
16. Makarov Dreyar – Fairy Tail
Makarov Dreyar is the dwarf-sized, cute grandpa who heads the Fairy Tail guild in Fiore. He’s somewhat of a grumpy yet caring man who doesn’t hesitate to strictly scold his Guild members as he considers them his own children. However, Makarov’s size is no tantamount to his power being that he is one of the Ten Wizard Saints and possesses the ability to use powerful Light magic and transform into a titan. He’s wrestled dragons, wiped out armies, and has always been the support pillar for the Guild members, making sure that he will protect them with his life no matter the moment. Makarov’s enormous magic capacity, acrobatics, and durability make him more than just a formidable opponent. His mastery over three different magic elements and the ultimate “Fairy Law” – which makes everyone Makarov deems an enemy blasted with Light magic – give him the rightful place as the Guild Master.
15. Joseph Joestar – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures
Joseph Joestar is most likely the most popular JoJo in the series behind Jotaro Kujo. As a young man, Joseph embodied everything one would think of a delinquent: confrontational, hot-headed, brash, and arrogant. He got into fights easily over the slightest provocation and never wanted to take responsibility for anything, preferring to mess around with pranks, women, and more. His natural Ripple ability and later Stand abilities force him to train to master this power. As an older man, he is still playful, and a prankster but has mellowed out a lot more and shows more kindness towards people. His experience with different Stand and Ripple users along with the friends he’s made have given him plenty of experience to teach his grandson Jotaro Kujo about and help him.
14. Matal Mogamett – Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
Matal Mogamett didn’t have many feats in Magi to have a higher place on this list but his final suicidal act against the invading Kou Empire was one of the most powerful, darkest magics ever used that shows his true capability for magic. Originally a righteous and selfless man, he slowly started recessing into the deeper, darker depths of his psyche as he witnessed countless slaughter of mages used for empires’ wars. He began to greatly hate non-magic users as he compared them with the people who used mages as weapons while not knowing a single thing about magic themselves. He devises the plan to take the life energy from every non-magic user in Magnostadt and power the city. His greatest feat was when he used the cursed fates of thousands of citizens to create the greatest Dark Djinn ever which took the combined work of Alibaba, Aladdin, Sinbad, and Kouen Ren.
13. Kuzen Yoshimura – Tokyo Ghoul
The story of Kuzen Yoshimura is an extremely bittersweet one filled with regret and dying love. Yoshimura is an SSS-rated ghoul who was widely feared as he would eat humans and ghouls alike. However, he cursed his own existence and did it purely for survival. He mellowed out and found solace through the waitress at the cafe he frequented as they married and had a child. Tragically, the mother died and the daughter was taken. Ever since then, Yoshimura has adapted and overcome the emotional trauma of losing everything and deided to become a better man. Now, as the owner of Anteiku Coffee Shop, he is a kind and generous man who exuberates wisdom and reasonability which garnes adoration and respect from his employees. He shows compassion and sympathy for what Kaneki is going through despite never experiencing it and he offers to gently guide him. However, this demeanor doesn’t shy away from his unmatchable strength and speed as one of the strongest ghouls ever.
12. Hiruzen Sarutobi – Naruto
One of the OG’s of Naruto who was coincidentally one of the first major deaths that shook people. Hiruzen Sarutobi is the 3rd Hokage after Tobirama Senju. He passed the title to Minato Namikaze but reclaimed it after the latter’s death. He is widely known as “The Professor” or the “God of Shinobi.” He is able to master all elemental releases including Yin and Yang and possesses the rigid chakra structure of the Sarutobi clan. His summoning Jutsu is Monkey King Enma which comes in the shape of a bo staff that is similar to Sun Wukong’s Ruyi Jingu. Hiruzen is a strict yet soft-hearted man who will gladly sacrifice his life any day in order to preserve a future for Konoha. He was able to contest fairly against Edo-Tensei Hashirama and Tobirama Senju simultaneously and even fought Orochimaru on equal footing. He is not someone to reckon with.
11. Bang/Silver Fang – One Punch Man
Bang is a calm, cool man of steel nerves. He carries a serious demeanor and lives a life of strict diligence and drive. Underneath this stoic appearance, he is extremely righteous and criticizes his won S-ranked heroes for ignoring smaller issues. He is the head of the School of the Water Stream Rock Smashing Fist – a martial arts form utilizing the flow of water to land surprising critical hits. As the 3rd-ranked S-class hero, there are only two heroes stronger than him and that’s a demarcation of how strong this man truly is. He can crush boulders with a light slice of his hand and can easily defeat tens of Demon-level threats without too much strain.
10. Jiraiya – Naruto
The fact that brings tears to our eyes upon reminiscence. Jiraiya was like our cool uncle that always would play with you. Jiraiya was known to be a child at heart as well as an incorrigible pervert. He played pranks and messed around all day as a kid like Naruto but he still maintains a concentrated, tense pose when he’s in battle. Jiraiya has a mastery of various different techniques like using his hair as spines, Toad Summoning Jutsu, Rasengan, Mount Myoboku genjutsu, and Sage Mode. His Sage Mode puts him above Hiruzen in this list due to its versatility in not consuming lots of chakra reserves, allowing Jiraiya to throw out jutsu after jutsu. Being one of the most well-rounded fighters, Jiraiya’s character is a pseudo-nostalgic one who longs for a future that will ever come and shrugs it off by being mischievous.
9. Zeno Zoldyck – HunterxHunter
Another tough cookie in the HunterxHunter universe, Zeno Zoldyck is the former head of the Zoldyck family, a clan of extremely-powerful and deadly assassins. He is Silva Zoldyck’s father and Killua, Illumi, Kalluto, and Milluki’s grandfather. In his prime, he could take on the whole Phantom Troupe with equal footing and maintained an almost-perfect record for completed assassinations. He’s a witty, cunning, and rational man who only uses quick killing and ruthlessness to make the death for his targets as quick as possible, finding it displeasing to hurt people more than necessary. He forces Silva to see the rationale of his decisions regarding Killua and the family, acting as their pseudo-advisor. His Nen is a Transmutation type where he can shape his Nen into cosmic objects and dragons, showering devastating starts from the sky to almost level Meruem’s palace. He has been compared to Netero many times though the former quickly dismisses these comparisons as he has a great deal of respect for Netero. Zeno is still the strongest member of the family despite his old age based on his skill and technique as a Nen user.
8. All For One – My Hero Academia
All for One is the main antagonist of My Hero Academia. He’s been living for almost 200 years thanks to his devastatingly-powerful Quirk. He is the titular holder of his Quirk “All For One” which grants him the ability to steal other people’s Quirks for himself upon contact. Due to this power, 200 years ago, he subdued many violent Quirk users when those powers were still an anomaly to the world. However, he became power-hungry and wished to monopolize every Quirk on the planet by having his own super-powered Quirk army to dominate the world. He’s experimented with human bodies by injecting multiple Quirks into them and they dehumanize into killing monsters. He’s a truly ruthless and malicious individual who will not hesitate to use anything to forward his agenda. His younger brother saw the tyranny he imposed on humanity and wished to stop it. To curb his resistance, All for One gave his brother a Quirk to stockpile power, thinking he was Quirkless. However, the brother’s Quirk was a useless one to transfer Quirks. That Quirk was passed on for nine generations and is now known as “One for All.”
7. Edward Newgate/Whitebeard – One Piece
Edward NewGate was the strongest pirate in One Piece after Gol. D. Roger (The Pirate King) died. He was the man closes to the One Piece and was feared by all as Whitebeard and the “Strongest Man on Earth.” His Devil Fruit is the Paramecia-type and is called Gura Gura no Mi which causes catastrophic tremors and earthquakes that can transform into deadly tsunamis that rip apart ships and pressure that can crush cannons. Due to his abilities, Whitebeard was fearless and not much could alarm him due to his experience. Contrary to many pirates, he values family and the connections people make between each other. He valued his crewmates and adopted new members into his crew by judging their character and sometimes saves people from despair by giving them a place on his ship. When in battle, his versatile thinking lets him analyze situations much faster than other captains and has earned the trust and respect of his entire crew. On top of his honor and dignity as a man, he loves to drink and reminisce on the past like a cheery, old man. Whitebeard’s carefree attitude brought ease to his sailors’ minds and allowed him to control one of the greatest crews ever.
6. Isaac Netero – HunterxHunter
HunterxHunter has become one of the greatest anime to grace Earth with his dramatic story arcs, social commentary regarding class divisions and amazingly-animated action scenes that are only thanks to the ingenious Nen system that gives people powers in the series. In this series is one man who decided to center his Nen around the harmony of life in the universe and create a new technique. For decades, this man trained his body and Nen to resonate with the warmth of life around the Universe: Isaac Netero. Netero is a carefree, playful, and caring old man who is very confident in his ability to protect the Hunter Association as its Chairman. He is also the strongest Hunter to ever live. The reason he’s so confident is his godly Nen technique. His Nen ability is the 100-Type Boddhisatva. Through training, he can summon an extremely powerful 100-handed physical representation of the Buddha that control life energy throughout the Universe. This is the physical manifestation of the Universe’s life energy that resonates within everyone and is almost a representation of God’s essence in HunterxHunter.
5. Lord Genome – Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
One of the more genocidal characters of anime, Lordgenome is a military strategist who has the mind of a tyrant and the demeanor of a full-evolved man basking in Darwinism. Lordgenome believed the Spiral power to be greatest in the Universe and monopolized it on Earth by driving all humans underground. By removing humans, he could let the lands roam with his kind and dominant other planets. He has given birth to numerous daughters and treats them like dolls, shoving them in freezers and dumping them into garbage dumps when he’s bored. However, his complex character makes him change in different ways and even help the protagonists he fought later on. He truly is an interesting man.
That, however, is not the only reason he’s placed so high. During his rule as the Spiral King, he was immortal and controlled a sizable portion of the Spiral life energy that controlled the Universe from his kingdom in Teppelin. His power has constructed skyscrapers twice the size of Mount. Everest and commands thousands of powerful Beastmen that fear him greatly. Lordgenome was compared to an almost divine being from his power levels alone.
4. Genryuusai Shigekuni Yamamoto – Bleach
Captain of the 1st Division and Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13, Yamamoto is a fiery, old, monster who governs and protects the Soul Society. He’s lived for more than 2,000 years as a high-ranking executive under the Soul King, the god of the afterlife that controls the Soul Society. Yamamoto is a prideful, loyal, and steadfast person whose conviction and loyalty are second to none, earning him the immense respect of everyone in Soul Society. He cares deeply for all the Shinigami but won’t hesitate to put one down if they harm the Soul Society. A patron of the traditional Japanese arts, Yamamoto has seen many years of conflict and war that he has become a wise man experienced in many truths about the Universe and the Soul King himself. His experiences are the ones that drive the decisions he makes for the good of Soul Society.
He has a Fire-type Zanpakuto called Ryukin Jakka. When unsheathed, it burns off the wooden cane that envelops it and heats the air around him to the temperature of the Sun. Yamamoto can unlock his weapon even further to the Bankai stage which allows him to literally melt countries with the residual heat energy and cause near-solar flares. His connection to the Soul Society and the Spiritual Pressure connecting to the trans-dimensional plane where the Soul King resides gives him life and power as he trains everyday.
3. Master Roshi – Dragon Ball
Master Roshi is our favorite nice grandpa that we all grew up with but that doesn’t stray from the greatness this man possesses. Roshi is a carefree, joyful, and kind old man who taught almost every protagonist to fight and use their abilities correctly as well as showing them new techniques. Being over 300 years old at the start of the series, Roshi has reverted back to what he was as a child who loves living life as he’s lived long life and see so many things to not be tied down. He’s a hermit and a pervert but he is also the inventor of the Kamehameha. His influence and compassion has touched the heart of all his students as he cares deeply for every single one. Of course, Roshi is not just any good technique-user and teacher but he is insanely strong. Holding the title for the strongest human on Earth for the longest time, his physical strength, spped, and durability outmatched almost anyone and even could even topple non-human opponents greatly outmatching him in special abilities. He has a strong control over ki and can expel galactical levels of it. He is becoming slowly outclassed by the newer Saiyan fighters and gods but he deserves a No. 3 spot for how much he’s taught Goku and how strong he was.
2. Hagoromo Otsutsuki – Naruto
Born from the flesh of Kaguya Otsutsuki, Hagoromo Otsutsuki lived during the era Chakra was introduced to the world by his mother’s doing. Kaguya had eaten the Forbidden Chakra Fruit from the Ten Tails and became the progenitor of all Chakra in the Universe. She split her body into two sons Hagoromo and Hamura. Hamura’s descendants reside on the Moon but Hagoromo became the father of all shinobi as we know it today. He taught his sons Indra and Asura Chakra and they became very powerful shinobi. Hagoromo was almost a physical manifestation of half the Chakra that exists in the Naruto Universe since his mother is the progenitor. Known as the Sage of Six Paths due to his mastery over the Rinne-Sharingan and Rinnegan, Hagoromo was able to transcend space and time to give the power of Six-Paths to the reincarnations of his sons. He can be loosely compared to a God by his origin and his immense chakra reserves allow him to control titanic beasts like the Ten Tails.
1. Father/Van Hohenheim – Fullmetal Alchemist
Taking the big dog spot of this list is a relic of human history. An artifact of how humanity has perished, evolved, adapted, feared, loved, and grown that has lived for the sake of using mankind to reach Truth. This man – or thing – is Father. Father is the original Homunculus and the most powerful one, taking the shape of a jet-black sphere with a single eye and mouth fixated in a devious and sadistic grin. Confined within a flask his whole life, he tricked Van Hohenheim into releasing him and copied his body to live on forever. For the past centuries, he started planning to increase his control and power to achieve Truth and become all-powerful which, momentarily, did happen. Upon attaining the ultimate power of many Philosopher’s Stones, he gained unimaginable power that sent chills down Van Hohenheim himself, the only man who could take him on with a little equal footing. Father created multiple different Homunculus, calling them his children, but uses them like tools to further his agenda. His mischievous attitude is a facade for his inner disgust for humans and sadistic tyrranicl excitement to be God.
When Father gained the ultimate alchemist power, he was able to materialize elements and weapons out of thin air, ignoring any notion of equivalent exchange. He manifested different forms of energy and matter at will as he effortlessly pummeled the Eldric brothers. A power like that is one someone should never get and never use because it is easily comparable to a God’s power.