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If Professor X can concoct the perfect shounen character based on the same formula in The Powerpuff Girls, he would likely add the following ingredients: physical prowess, determination, perseverance, resilience, and special abilities. A compelling Shounen protagonist has a steely will to succeed no matter how daunting the obstacles may seem. These guys are unyielding in pursuing the dream that sparked their whole adventure.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are personalities who may not have the highest moral standards but are so strong and hardy that they can overcome almost any opponent. Powerful Shounen protagonists often have the traits of being resilient and able to return from loss stronger than before. 

We’ve prepared the list of the top 10 strongest shounen characters of all time based on the criteria we have come up with above. It has been debated since the beginning of anime, but these guys could go toe-to-toe with Goku, just like all those YouTubers say.

1.) Luffy (One Piece)

For the show’s young viewers, Luffy is the epitome of a heroic Shounen hero. Never one to give up, Luffy has persevered through the series’ tens of arcs by will and a willingness to do what it takes to succeed. Since his whole body is composed of rubber, he has an extraordinary power that allows him to bend and stretch in almost any direction. Haki is an incredible talent possessed by only a few in the One Piece universe, enabling him to supercharge his physical skills and read his opponents’ minds.

Everyone knows that there is nothing more potent than the power of friendship in anime. Luffy’s crew comprises a wide variety of competent individuals who fight with him and provide him with morale boosts and encouragement. In addition to Luffy’s strengths, their unique skills make them an even more potent unit. It’s no big surprise that Luffy and his crew have made it thus far; therefore, it shouldn’t be a big surprise if he eventually becomes the pirate king. It’s only a matter of when.

2.) Guts (Berserk)

Let’s say you’re writing about a character as formidable in mind as he is in stature. In that case, Guts, the protagonist from Berserk, is your guy.  Due to his rigorous training and continual engagement in combat, Guts has had superhuman physical strength from a very early age. Looking at him, you can tell he is a solid, unmovable object. His terrifying mental strength is a product of his life experiences.

As a result of his unyielding will and perseverance, Guts can overcome any obstacle. He saw his family members killed, was subjected to brutal torture throughout his childhood, and was seemingly jaded by all the betrayal he had faced. Despite everything, not only has this made him stronger and shaped his person, but he is still determined to succeed. 

Ultimately, Guts is extremely formidable because of his incredible physical and mental fortitude. On top of his extensive life experiences, he even has a vast and terrifying arsenal of weapons (including the massive Dragonslayer blade, which we discussed here).

3.) Tetsuo Shima (Akira)

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Tetsuo Shima is endowed with unparalleled psychic abilities in this fictional universe and is a carbon copy of the real thing that is Neo-Tokyo. Matter and energy are at his command; his powers are so immense that he is worshipped as a deity. Tetsuo was taken up by the authorities after his encounter with Akira and was given experimental treatments to increase his abilities.

The government’s experiments have artificially accelerated the growth of his abilities. Due to the enhancement of his mental talents, his body also grew more powerful, giving him extraordinary healing powers, stamina, and temperature tolerance. Tetsuo’s grit and dedication contribute much to his physical prowess. Like the others on this list, Tetsuo is an unyielding hero who fights regardless of the obstacles stacked against him.

He has the physical might to dominate anybody, but his mental instability makes him a dangerous opponent. His instability and propensity for violent outbursts increased as his abilities did. He could not control his powers but thought of what the world might be like if a fully developed Tetsuo had mastered them. If he’s so intense without completely grasping it, what more if he could?

4.) Shigaraki Tomura (My Hero Academia)

Over eighty percent of people in the world of My Hero Academia have “quirks,” or unique skills. A wide variety of extraordinary abilities, from enhanced physical stamina and speed to more out-there capabilities like the generation of laser beams or the manipulation of gravity, fall into this category. Shigaraki’s Decay Quirk gives him the power to destroy everything with just the touch of his five fingers. A single touch from this ability is enough to destroy whole structures.

While he is a formidable opponent, he is also a cunning thinker and planner, as seen by his success at recruiting and manipulating followers. In addition to his superior fighting skills, his ability to think quickly on his feet and adapt to changing circumstances provides him with a distinct tactical edge.

For these reasons and more, he rose to the position of leader of the League of Villains, which means he has access to a formidable variety of assets, including influential friends and cutting-edge technology. Shigaraki is a fearsome foe in the world of My Hero Academia and Shounen heroes because of his lethal Quirk, impressive fighting prowess, sharp mind, and raw force.

5.) Ken Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul)

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Kaneki Ken, also known as the One-Eyed King, is a hybrid being with human intellect and the heightened strength, agility, and regeneration capacities characteristic of ghouls. His unique physiology makes him a dangerous foe in fights against other Tokyo Ghoul characters. The human half of him is responsible for his high IQ and keen analytical abilities, which help him plan ahead and outmanoeuvre his foes in combat.

Yet, during his incarceration, Kaneki grew into his character. Despite being fed, deprived of sleep, and exposed to horrific physical punishment, his fingers and toes were smashed, his nails taken out, and his body scorched with cigarettes. He was shaped and moulded into the powerful monster he is now. He was also made to watch his friends get tortured and murdered, and he was taught repeatedly that he was a monster and should despise himself. Because of what he went through, Kaneki was no longer restrained by his desire to be as pacifistic and human as possible. Instead, he is free to use all his might.

His varied nature and rough experiences made him one of the most resilient and naturally-powerful characters in Shounen anime.

6.) Hisoka Morow (Hunter X Hunter)

Hisoka is a proficient expert of Nen, a unique energy to the Hunter × Hunter series, to supercharge his powers and execute fantastical feats. While Hisoka’s Nen – bungee gum as he calls it – has the properties of both rubber and gum, his method renders him dangerous, despite its seeming unseriousness nature. But more than that, this ability’s simplicity and versatility do not require a complicated drawback like many other skills.

Hisoka is a shrewd and clever fighter, capable of outwitting and using his opponents’ vulnerabilities against them and surprising them with unexpected techniques and approaches. In addition, he is a master of several forms of attack, including hand-to-hand combat, knife fighting, and card tossing. You want to avoid facing him as an opponent since you never know what to anticipate from him to add to his formidable capabilities.

7.) Itachi Uchiha (Naruto)

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Regarding raw skill and physical prowess, Itachi is possibly the strongest character in the whole Naruto series, surpassing our favourite buffoon, Naruto. The Uchiha clan, of which Itachi is a member, is renowned for its members’ innate skill in the martial arts of ninjutsu and genjutsu. He was born with extraordinary talent and intellect, which he developed throughout his life.

In addition to his formidable genjutsu arsenal, his superior dojutsu enabled him to read and anticipate his opponent’s every move, imitate their techniques, and launch devastating counterattacks. Itachi was also a master of ninjutsu and genjutsu; he was well-versed in various techniques, such as the Susanoo, Amaterasu, and Tsukuyomi, that rendered his opponents helpless.

Let me summarise Itachi for you in a language you can comprehend if you are still familiar with it. He has the same level of intelligence as the other senior shinobi in the series, the ability to construct seals very rapidly to maximise the effectiveness of his talents, and a broad selection of techniques that can be used against a wide range of adversaries. He’s got a game in every area and can mix it up with the best of them.

8.) Uzumaki Naruto (Naruto)

Alright, Naruto fans, your request has been granted: our favourite goofy hero is one of the most influential anime characters ever created. Known as the “World’s Strongest Ninja,” his  Six Paths abilities at Naruto’s disposal offer him a decisive advantage over his rivals.

Naruto’s tremendous chakra reserves and the ability to channel the fox’s strength when called upon are benefits of being born with the Nine-Tailed Fox trapped inside him. Moreover, Naruto could enter his “Tailed Beast Mode,” which allowed him to access the full strength and speed of the Nine-Tailed Fox. Sage Mode, which he learned to activate by connecting with nature, endowed him with superhuman strength, speed, and senses. 

The cherry on top is that he has perfect mastery of his chakra abilities, enabling him to execute techniques with pinpoint accuracy. How time flies when you’re one of the most powerful creatures in anime history; it all started with our mad lad utilising his sexy jutsu and playing pranks on his buddies.

9.) Satoru Gojo (Jujutsu Kaisen)

Speaking of sexy, how about the blue-eyed centre of husbando attention mentor, Gojo?  The fact that he is not just a prodigy but also one of the most gorgeous and potent guys in anime history is horribly unfair. Even before he studied jujutsu, his tremendous innate power and intelligence had already made him one of the world’s most formidable sorcerers.

As the name implies, he has mastered an “Infinite Void” technique that enables him to control space and erect an unbreakable barrier. It is a cursed family tradition passed down through Gojo’s ancestry, much like the six eyes. The capacity to alter space at the subatomic level gives its practitioners near-absolute control over the physical world, opening up a wide range of possibilities for further application of the skill.

With the variety of possible uses, this talent is self-sustaining. Long story short, Gojo can nuke everything and anything he chooses. Imagine dealing with a man who could disintegrate a country if he was in the mood to? That’s stupid, sexy Gojo for you.

10.) Tanjiro Kamado (Demon Slayer)

If Demon Slayer was an ice cream flavour, it would be vanilla, as it does not shy away from Shounen anime tropes. The cherry on top of the sundae is its main protagonist, Tanjiro, who is not precisely a cherry but one of the most vanilla Shounen heroes in modern anime. That isn’t a bad, though, as he possesses all the qualities our fictional anime Professor X would give a stereotypical Shounen hero.

Tanjiro can pick up on the slightest shifts and motions because of his acutely developed sense of smell, sight, and hearing. As he can now foresee his opponent’s future actions, he has a tremendous edge in the fight. He has superhuman levels of strength, stamina, and pain tolerance, which enable him to keep fighting despite constant assault and several serious wounds. The Breath of Water swordsmanship style that Tanjiro has learned is among the most dangerous in the series. The technique emphasises dexterous, lightning-fast movements and pinpoint slashes that may expose an opponent’s vulnerabilities and ultimately bring them to their knees.

In addition, his strong will and drive have helped him triumph over formidable foes during the wildly successful run of Demon Slayer. He is shown time and time again that he will always be there for his little sister, Nezuko, and his friends, even when he is on the brink of death. Innate physical abilities and unique powers? Check. Mental willpower and determination? Yes, sir. Resilience? He just won’t stop. All these are why he rounds out our strongest shounen characters of all time list.

What do you think of our list? Did your favourite Shounen protagonist make it? The ability to move one’s body is merely one aspect of strength. The head and the heart are where the greatest strength may be found. These characters are who Nakama feels embody true might in Shounen anime.