Anime has been mostly about superpowers and superheroes, one thing that has transformed it into something more interesting. It is the characters without powers which show immense powers. The main focus has been on characters who have powers out of this world. But we also have a few genres that do not revolve around superpowers. Nonetheless, this time we will be looking at anime characters without powers. Those are the guys that put all they can into their natural build and also compensate with their skill to make up for their lack of superpowers.
So we will have to look amongst the very same anime where we have super-powered characters. Because that is where most action occurs, and most characters train to become better. We will also get to see how these guys fare in strength compared to their super-powered counterparts.
It might be quite a controversial list to compile. But all in all, we will be looking at characters who are of pure strength and do not have to enhance their attacks with some sort of mysterious powers. When it comes to most anime that would be one of the most difficult things to find. This would explain why this would create a controversial list. Let’s look at what we have found below.
Johan Liebert: Monster
Johan Liebert is a naturally gifted individual who has operated under many aliases and has an extraordinary level of charisma and intelligence. Most times he would use his gifts in a cruel manner to manipulate and corrupt others with no other ends only for him to cause suffering and destruction for his personal entertainment.
He has a twisted goal in life where he only wants to be the last one standing at the end of the world. But later, he decided to shift his beliefs towards the peak of his pursuit to erase himself from the world in what he would identify as a perfect suicide. Apart from this, he is capable of memorizing anything perfectly and he has been remarked as an individual with perfect grades from his school days. Johan is also proficient in analysis and deduction especially when it comes to the human psyche.
Leorio Paradinight: Hunter X Hunter
Leorio’s strength is such that he was able to open the second door of the Testing Gate which is said to weigh 8 tons which Gon and Kurapika could not open. This made him the physically strongest member amongst the three of them when they went to Kukuroo Mountains. He also managed to break the arm of a massive man whom he arm-wrestled against along with their wrestling table in an instant without showing much effort. His strength was such that he can easily throw a knife with enough force to lodge it into a pillar.
If we are to look at characters without power-ups, Leorio would make a perfect fit even though he is a Nen user. Because he is an emitter type and hasn’t appeared using his Nen to give him an edge in battle. So all that he has is his physical strength and skills that he has developed through battling other hunters. Along with this, he has proven to possess advanced speed and reflexes and is an agile fighter.
Elizabeth Midford: Black Butler
Elizabeth was trained in swordsmanship and fencing since childhood and she has proven to be a prodigy at it. She was also betrothed to her cousin Ciel Phantomhimve into the family of knights. This means that her future role would be the watchdog’s wife and she would end up leading a dangerous life. For these reasons, she received proper training so that she will be able to defend herself when the time comes.
In one of her fencing matches, she managed to receive new shoes as a reward for her skills. When Paula noted that she has grown even taller. She was dismayed at the comments and requested low heels shoes instead. She did this so that she could smile and walk beside Ciel who has been trying so hard to appear like an adult. Her strengths also reassured her that she will be able to protect Ciel no matter what happens since he seemed to be lacking in that area.
Reigen: Mob Psycho 100
Reigen is one of the characters with a wide variety of skills and knowledge since he has worked a lot of jobs while avoiding becoming the masseur that his parents wanted him to become. He appears as one of the characters without power-ups and has applied these skills and knowledge whenever he would help his clients. He also has a green belt in Shaolin kung fu and has shown to be proficient enough in martial arts such that he can easily knock people out.
Reigen was also able to deal with most of the 7th division scars without much effort and took their most powerful attack with ease. His true strength is in his mental fortitude and charisma. His ability to focus on and execute solutions when faced with uncertainty and he has demonstrated that he can always keep his cool in eery situations where most people would usually lash out. He is a good negotiator and finds it easy to win arguments and is also a skilled manipulator of people.
In an anime where guns define almost anything, Vash appears as the character to beat as his skills have proved to be unrivaled. He has shown superhuman levels of strength, agility, and reflexes as his eyesight is exceptional together with his muscle control. In the anime, he would often boast his ability to dodge bullets even at close range and evade skilled melee attacks. At some point, he was able to do this while dancing with a woman so it has become a part of his natural reflexes.
When he is involved in gun duels competition, he was able to save many competitors by just intercepting bullets with rocks and he is also stronger than most people as he was able to use Wolfwood’s punisher despite commenting that it was quite heavy. His physical strength was seen when he carried Meryl and Milly after ruining a car ride and his intelligence has been stated to be way superior to almost all humans in the anime.
Kamina: Gurren Lagann
Kamina has been shown a number of times to have fighting skills that are well above those of normal humans. He managed to fight viral one on one using his Nodachi while injured and managed to land a blow. He was also shown to be a good fist fighter as his punches even caused Simon to almost flip over on his seat. His skill in a fight would usually rely on his stamina and he has been shown to take blows that would usually kin most people.
So among the anime characters without power-ups, Akamina has shown that when he was stabbed twice by Thymilph, he managed to recover for a while and killed him first. Even though his extreme endurance wasn’t enough to defy death, he succumbed to his wounds eventually leading to his death and he was also shown to have great reflexes managing to even dodge an arrow Viral that was shot at him.
When it comes to Berserk, there is now questioning whether Guts is a master swordsman or not. He started wielding huge swords when he was just six years and he has incredible strength despite his Herculean stature. He is also dexterous and agile while in a battle and is capable of dodging and also managed to counter even the fastest of strikes. As a combat pragmatist and a versatile improviser, he always capitalists on any opportunity available to surmount his opponents. Let’s look at more reasons why Guts is one of the anime Characters Without Power-ups below:
He has used several methods to bait and distracts enemies especially when he was overwhelmed and even combatants known for their intellect have fallen prey to his adaptive fighting styles. Guts also possess an indomitable will and it enables him to preserve when facing insurmountable obstacles. His will is so strong that he has unconcernedly mutilated his body into pursuing his own goals and would let himself get hurt just to create openings and swiftly execute counterattacks on his opponents.
Shanks: One Piece
Devil Fruits in One Piece is one power dynamic that would give individuals superhuman powers that allows them to do an extraordinary thing. So if one has no devil fruit powers then they will have to rely on Haki to defend against such power. Shanks has been one of the most powerful characters in One Piece despite not having any devil fruit powers. We managed to see this when he fought Kaidou who leads a devil fruit-only crew and managed to stop him from going to Marineford.
He is currently one of the Yonkou and his crew seems to specialize in Haki with no notable member who uses devil fruits amongst them. Shanks is on the same level as the likes of Kaidou and even White Beard, both of which have devil fruit powers that complement their strengths. He has been also acknowledged by Kaidou as one of the very powerful pirates and even the five elders also noted that he is currently one of the few people who would be able to stop Teech ever since he got the powers of two devil fruits.
Sakata Gintoki: Gintama
Gintoki is a veteran of the Joui War and his powerful swordplay and range of abilities earned him the nickname White Demon. He is able to turn the tide of any battle and is referred to as the ace by Katsura. He managed to defeat a stronger Amanto and killed a lot of high-ranking ones even those who are considered to be legendary in their respective class. On the battlefield, hir merciless abilities and Savage swordplay were notorious to a point that simply mentioning his name struck fear in the hearts of every Amanto.
Gintoki’s physical strength is not as high as Kagura’s since he is human while Kagura hails from the Yato Tribe. But his physical strength comes as nothing to scoff at as he is the strongest human known so far. He can easily destroy enormous pieces of machinery and derive his blunt Bokuto through a man’s skull with ease. He also broke Oboro’s sword by just biting on it with his teeth and when fighting Kawakami, he was able to break through his strings which are said to be as strong as steel. So when it comes to characters without power-ups, Gintoki also ranks well among them.
Olivier Armstrong: Full Metal Alchemist
As the general of Briggs, Olivier boasts full command of the fortress as she is very skilled with her family heirloom sword and she uses it without any hesitation. She can also see her sword in combination with firearms including pistol and rocket-propelled grenade launchers able to shoot with great accuracy. She is also proficient enough in swordsmanship to a point where she easily defeated her brother and also managed to hold her own against Sloth.
Olivier is brave and does not falter in the face of battle and would hardly flinch before tougher opponents. She is abnormally strong owing to her Armstrong family name despite her slender appearance and was able to easily throw Alex around. It was her inability to match Sloth’s strength while Alex did that sets her as the second after him. But in sheer combat, she relies more on her agility, speed, and skills as opposed to raw strength.
Arthur Pendragon: Seven Deadly Sins
Arthur used to carry a golden sword and he was also geared with metal armor. He seems to be very combatant as he managed to easily block Hendrickson’s surprise attack and simultaneously dealt a counter strike which dealt a blow on the Great Holy Knight. Arthur’s swordsmanship skill was far above that of an ordinary human and he was able to fight evenly with Hendrickson with great speed. Despite all this Hendrickson noted that Arthur seemed to be holding back for several reasons.
Arthur seems to be one of the characters without power-ups in anime as he purely relied on his sword skills and great physique. He has shown a high degree of strength from his yous as we saw when he was able to pull Excalibur from its stone with ease. Even though he doesn’t know the limits of his powers, it was said that holding and using Excalibur enabled him to unleash its full powers.
Thors Snorresson: Vinland Saga
Thors has mastered hand-to-hand combat and he was unparalleled by any other character as he was capable of fighting against multiple opponents in a melee. He also defeated Thorkell in combat and managed to knock him out despite mbeinunhafre even when Thorkell was armed with an ax. He settled down to the life of a farmer in Iceland but his combat skills still remained sharp, but how he managed to maintain that was still kept a secret.
Despite not having fought actively ever since he left the Jomsvikings years ago, he single-handedly defeated one of Askeladd’s crew by decapitating and disabling them including people as powerful as Bjorn. Despite all of this, he inflicted broken bones at the worst and did not cause any fatalities in their encounters.
Spike Spiegel: Cowboy Bebop
Spike has shown many abilities and talents including his very sharp eyesight with abnormally acute perception together with his extraordinary luck. He has shown very good endurance with no trouble recovering from any type of injury be it fatal or not and he also has a huge pain tolerance even in fights. He is well versed in weapons and the guns in the anime were chosen by the anime creators because they thought that common guns will not be able to show his skills.
He is also skilled in martial arts and hand-to-hand combat skills due to his past employment with the red dragon crime syndicate where he would occasionally receive training on the Bebop. Amongst other things, he is a pilot and has repeatedly demonstrated exceptionally sharp intellect and he has a habit of neglecting to plan ahead. He has managed to outwit the entire red dragon syndicate on multiple occasions. When it comes to characters without power-ups, spike fits very well as he relies on himself or his weapons.
Every Attack on Titan fan knows about Levi and his feats. The anime is also one of the few where characters don’t have to rely on some sort of superpowers in fights but will have to rely on their pure skills and strengths. That remains true as long as you are not a Titan of course but since there are only a few of those, most characters would rather not opt to become a Titan. Instead, they use different weapons to be able to keep up with Titans in fights.
Levi has shown formidable physical strengths and it has been evident in his mastery of the vertical maneuvering equipment. Even though he has a small stature, his body is well built with heavy muscles that make him very strong and could easily defeat his opponents with ease. He once used the female titan’s attacks to launch himself towards its mouth before she could hit Mikasa even though he ended up getting injured in the process.
Baki Hanma: Baki
Baki’s strength has been constantly growing throughout the series and he has been introduced as a 17-year-old champion of the Tokyo underground Dome. His pure physical strength was such that he could bench press over 320 pounds when training. He has been shown to be on the same level as Mount Toba who is a wrestler strong enough to defeat the likes of Junichi Handa and crush his bike in the process.
Towards the end of the third season of the anime, Baki managed to become so strong that he can completely vapourize a punching machine pad with just a simple punch. This has made him arguably the second strongest character of the series and is said to be on par or greater than Kaku Kaiou. Even though he has been shown to be inferior to his father, Yujiro. He managed to develop his demon back-shaped muscles showing that he still continues to get stronger and stronger. So we all know that Baki is centered around characters without power-ups who rely purely on their strength and training.
Mumen Rider: One Punch Man
Known by his true name as Satoru, Mumen Rider is a top C class hero and is eligible to be promoted to the B class but he has refused the promotion because he believes that he is not strong enough to be a B Class hero. Despite all this, Mumen Rider was able to hurt Angry Grandpa, a monster that is said to be so tough it is resistant to even gunfire. With his enhanced endurance, he still continued to fight the Deep Sea King and even battled the invading monsters at the hospital despite his injuries.
So when it comes to characters without power-ups, Mumen Rider has enhanced durability such that he withstood an attack from the Deep Seasaking even when he was heavily wounded. He also survived having his death smashed several times into the ground by Garou and also took a hit from one of Hammerhead’s crew which caused severe blood loss in his head but he still managed to survive despite all this.
Akame: Akame Ga Kill
Akame was raised and trained by Gozuki who is one of the Four Rakash Demons and the deadliest assassin for the majority of her childhood. She has displayed several superhuman-level physical attributes such as superhuman strengths, speed, and reflexes. She has stronger senses and durability due to the rigorous training that she went through which primarily involved raising her within the Danger Beast-infested wilderness mountains.
She is also considered to be one of the strongest members of the night raid and could slay even the strongest of enemies with minimal effort. His assassination training allowed her to have combat powers on par with a general rank within the military levels of the empire. Even Esdeath herself acknowledged her strength as Akame is extremely skilled in swordsmanship and can wield her Teigu Murasame with higher dexterity and precision to a point where she can slay numerous enemies with ease.
Akitaru Obi: Fire Force
Akitaru managed to get decorations twice as a recognized firefighter even though these actions were revoked due to his actions that prioritized saving citizens’ lives at the expense of defying orders. He ended up gaining experience that he would use to effectively assess situations and even calm his allies whether they are on a battlefield or not.
He is a normal person without any ignition abilities and he is compelled to train every chance he gets leading to his very fit physique which he can use to face infernals despite lacking abilities common amongst other captains. He always carries around 30kg of equipment every time he goes on missions to fight infernals. So when it comes to characters without power-ups, Akitaru fits every part of the definition.
Yujiro Hanma: Baki
Baki is all about pure physical strength so there are no mysterious powers that the characters have shown. It’s all about the genes and enhanced strength that they inherit from their parents. Even though we haven’t seen much of Yujiro’s past. He is the stronger character in the series and he is also recognized as the strongest creature on earth. His strength can be equated to be greater than an entire nation’s modern military.
He was able to defeat the American military forces by himself during the time of the Vietnam war when he was only 16 at the time. His greatest feats of strength included pushing back 100 riot police and completely stopping the tectonic activity of an earthquake by just punching the ground. He could even knock out giant elephants that not even military tanks could damage. He can also cut glass with his nails and crush a rock of coal to dust with ease.