Top 10 Times Anime Characters Stopped Holding Back
VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman
WRITTEN BY: Alex Crilly-Mckean
These guys went all out! Join Ashley as he counts down our picks for the moments where anime characters embraced their inner strength and let loose, as seen in series such as "My Hero Academia", "Naruto", "Dragon Ball Z", and more!
Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean
Top 10 Times Anime Characters Stopped Holding Back
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times Anime Characters Stopped Holding Back.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the moment where anime characters said “screw it”, and went all in with their true strength.
Make sure to flex those otaku guns and let us know in the comments the last time you went all in on an anime!
#10: Todoroki Embraces His Quirk
“My Hero Academia” (2016-)
Well, we can think of worse ways to get someone to come out of their shell. With Todoroki refusing to unleash both sides of his Quirk out of spite for his father, it falls to Deku to make him see the light and accept all aspects of himself…by beating the crap out of him. This eventually does the trick, with Todoroki being spurned on to unleash both elements at once while reaffirming his desire to be a hero! Good thing he did, otherwise we wouldn’t have been blessed with this spectacular fight scene!
#9: Kagura Awakens
As members of the Yato Tribe, both the sharp-tongued mascot of Odd Jobs Gin and Kamui’s subordinate were monsters when it came to their physical strength, able to dish out and withstand an incredible amount of punishment. Though, given his years of training, Abuto seemed to have the clear advantage over the younger, less disciplined Kagura. At least, until she snapped. After embracing her Yato instincts, the weight and force of Kagura’s blows escalates to the point where she’s able to cripple the veteran warrior easily. She just had to sidestep on the whole sanity thing to get there.
#8: Gojo Ditches the Blindfold
“Jujutsu Kaisen” (2020-21)
Forever cocky, Gojo had already talked the talk when it came to boasting about his own power, even stating he was strong enough to take down Sukuna. Turns out that all his bluster wasn’t unfounded, since during a battle with the elemental Curse Jogo, the Jujutsu Sorcerer decided to give everyone a taste of what he was packing. With his Domain Expansion and command over Infinity allowing him to one shot anything trapped in his view, casually ripping someone’s head off proved to be child’s play. Just imagine what he can do when pissed off.
#7: Escanor Becomes the One
“The Seven Deadly Sins” (2014-)
By himself, the Lion Sin of Pride is a truly terrifying force. Not only does he have a godly moustache, but his magic is so powerful that even soul-stealing demons can’t handle his heat. You’d think there would be nowhere else to go in terms of power progression for Escanor, at least until Meliodas lost control of his demon half, went to the dark side, and proved in dire need of put down. Considering his strength rises with the sun, it’s at noon where Escanor’s strength is at its greatest…it’s also when his body hulks out until he's a burning beast that can cut a demon king in half with a casual wave!
#6: Ikki Slices Kirihara
“Chivalry of a Failed Knight” (2015)
Push an underdog hard enough, and eventually he’s going to bite back. In spite of being regarded as the weakest Blazer of them all due to his lack of magical aptitude, Ikki’s skill with the blade proved to be all that was needed to take down a shit talker like Kirihara. Oh sure, the guy could turn invisible and unleash a flurry of projectiles in record time, but Ikki’s natural instinct proved to be a cut above the rest, resulting in one of anime’s greatest pseudo-castrations.
#5: Alucard Uses Level Zero
“Hellsing Ultimate” (2006-12)
For a monster like Alucard, it’s not a case of if he can kill someone, more like…how messy does he want it to be. The King of Vampire was already capable of slicing people apart with his bare hands, but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what he can do when fully let off the leash. With the forces of Iscariot and Millennium turning London into a hellscape, Alucard is given permission to go wild, which in his case involves unleashing all the souls he’s drained over the centuries in a tidal wave of blood and carnage.
#4: Luffy Decks Bellamy
“One Piece” (1999-)
The Straw Hat Captain has no shortage of incredible punches in his catalogue, but this remains a highlight just for the sheer satisfaction. Emulating Shanks, Luffy had previously allowed himself to be beaten by Bellamy and his cronies since he felt there was no need to fight. However, when the spring heeled pirate attacks his friends and declares that the era of dreams is over…Luffy doesn’t hold back. It’s such an intense blow that it not only leaves a fist imprint on Bellamy’s face but causes him to go through a whole alignment change!
#3: Kenpachi Loses His Eyepatch
It says a lot when a character is so much of a chad that they go out of their way to diminish their own power just in the hope of a bigger challenge. Always in search for a fresh opponent, the Captain of the 11th Division had a field day when he found himself locking blades with the 5th Espada, both eager to slice each other to pieces. It was a pretty even brawl…until Nnoitra made the mistake of tearing off Kenpachi’s eyepatch, aka the one thing keeping his immense spiritual energy in check. From there, it’s less of a fight and more a one-sided slash-fest.
#2: Gohan Goes Super Saiyan 2
“Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)
Arguably even more impactful than the time his father went gold, the moment Gohan snapped and allowed his rage to finally flow stands as one of the most defining moments in Dragon Ball’s canon. Following on from Android 16’s death, the pacifistic half-Saiyan was finally pushed over the edge. Not only did he abandon his no-kill policy, but ascended to a form of Super Saiyan never before seen. More spikes, more power, and zero shits to give, this was Gohan’s character arc at its apex.
#1: Rock Lee Removes His Weights
Without any flashy ninjutsu to back him up, Lee could only rely on his fists to see him through the Chunin Exams. Not ideal when your opponent is a sociopath who can manipulate sand. However, Lee was able to shut up all his detractors when he was given permission to undo his obscenely heavy restraints. This in turn jacked his speed to obscene degrees, to the point where he was even able to split past Gaara’s sand shield and let loose with a bowl-cut beatdown. Never underestimate a young man with bottomless determination.