Anime fans often make jokes about protagonists having using “plot armor” to defeat overwhelmingly powerful enemies. It’s something we’ve all seen and discussed about ad nauseum. However, today, let’s get into a discussion about actual armor. There are various forms that armor can take: suits of armor, cloth body suits, condensed energy, and so on.
With so many to choose from it was difficult to make a top 10 list. But, it’s also a list that you don’t see a lot of other people attempting to make, which is surprising. Let me preface by saying you won’t see multiple selections from the same anime (sorry Erza fanatics).
These selections should spur your interest in this category and hopefully get you to brainstorm about your own top ten armor. The selections were chosen with care to abilities, popularity, and appeal. Then, they were numbered in order of strength. Without further ado, here are the choices for Top 10 Anime Armor.
10. Gantz Suit
- Episodes : 26
- Airing Date : April 2004 - Nov 2004
- Producers : Alien-Hunters
Gantz is the name of a mysterious black orb in the middle of an apartment room in Tokyo. Inside is a wide arrange of handguns, suits, and other weapons. Without giving away too many spoilers, the black orb sends out various people on missions to kill off aliens who are attacking Tokyo. These people have been chosen by Gantz to complete its missions.
The bodysuits are particularly important because they provide their user with a variety of defensive and offensive capabilities. They are specifically tailored to their user’s body. The suit itself is skin-tight, black, covers the user from the neck down to the feet, and has many “caps” placed along the suit’s surface.
These caps are the source of the suit’s power. It allows provides the user with a huge boost in physical strength. In fact, they are capable of lifting over fifty times their body weight. Also, they gain increased speed, stamina, and the ability to leap extremely high and land without sustaining damage. It protects them from conventional attacks such as physical blows, sword stabs, or bullets. It does not however provide protection from weapons such as lasers or some acidic chemicals. However, if the suit takes on too much damage or the user undergoes heavy emotional strain, the caps on the suit burst open and release the black substance that powers it. At that point it becomes just as useful as normal clothing.
9. Al’s Armor (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
- Episodes : 64
- Aired Date : Apr 2009 - July 2010
- User : Alfonse Eric
Alfonse (“Al”) Elric is a 14 year old boy who has been trained from a young age in the ways of alchemy. He is highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, has genius level intellect, and can transmute matter without the use of a transmutation circle. However, his most shocking feature is that he no longer has a human body. Instead, his soul is bound to a gunmetal-colored steel armor body. He and his brother suffered immense physical losses after a failed Human Transmutation. His brother, Edward, lost an arm and leg while Al had his entire physical being taken from him. It was only through a desperate last minute measure that Edward was able to attach Al’s soul to the plate of armor.
Luckily, Al still has access to his alchemic abilities and is actually able to enhance his fighting capabilities with the suit of armor. Obviously, his strength and durability have increased to beyond human levels. But, he also never needs to eat, sleep, or even breathe. It might seem that he’s unstoppable. But, everything he can do is kept in check by one thing, the Blood Seal. This is a special symbol drawn on the inside of the armor with blood. If this seal is damaged or erased then the soul bound to the object is lost forever. It returns back to The Gate of Alchemy.
8. Gowther’s Armor (Nanatsu no Taizai)
- Episodes : 24
- Aired Date : Oct 2014 - March 2015
- User : Gowther
Gowther aka the Goat’s Sin of Lust is a powerful wizard and a member of the Nanatsu no Taizai (Seven Deadly Sins). Before the band of knights became fugitives, none of Gowther’s allies had ever seen his physical appearance. He always wore a large suit of armor. This actually leads to a bit of confusion when the knights reunite together ten years later.
The completely silver body armor has a horned helm with one of them broken off. It also has giant spiked shoulder plates. Although the suit is comparatively larger than other knights’ armor it is also special for other reasons.
For one, it was created by Merlin and given specifically to Gowther. Second, it has the ability to suppress the power of its wearer. So, though it makes the user stronger physically because of its size and weight, it also prevents their powers from getting out of control. This was most evident when Gowther placed the armor upon a Dale after he had been mutated into a hybrid demon. This reincarnation of Dale was so powerful that Gowther had no choice but to subdue its strength with the help of the magical armor. It wasn’t until ten years later that King, Gowther, Ban, and Meliodas managed to work together and defeat the demon abomination. It’s possible that the armor has other magical properties, but this is all that’s been shown so far in the anime.
7. Golden Armor (Fate/stay night)
- Episodes : 24
- Aired Date : Jan 7, 2006 to June 17, 2006
- User : Gilgamesh
The Golden Armor is worn by the greatest king in the world’s history. Gilgamesh is the half-god, half-human who ruled Sumeria, the capital city of Mesopotamia in B.C. times. He is the strongest human to ever walk the earth and he is the legend upon which all hero stories and myths are based upon. He actually holds the title of King of Heroes. Because he predates all other heroes, he possesses every Noble Phantasm in existence. If that isn’t broken, I don’t know what is!
Gilgamesh is usually seen wearing his trademark Golden Armor. Like everything about Gilgamesh, his armor is on a completely different level than any other. It has innate magical resistance properties, capable of withstanding A-rank spells from powerful mages. And its physical durability is strong enough to withstand the incredible Tsubame Gaeshi technique. This is a sword technique that breaks the laws of physics in order to create a slash that arrives three different directions instantaneously. The power and skill needed to use the Tsubame Gaeshi is said to be something that “surpasses even the Servants”. But, I guess Gilgamesh didn’t get that memo because he his armor blocks the slashes with ease. The Golden Armor is so impressive that Shirou Emiya originally thought it was Gilgamesh’s personal Noble Phantasm.
Of course, Gilgamesh doesn’t actually “need” the Golden Armor to face off against any of the other Servants. His physical strength is about on par with Berserker and he already possesses all of the Noble Phantasms. He has a title separate from “King of Heroes” and that is “Servant Killer”. He is able use all of the Servants weaknesses against them and even use the Noble Phantasm that killed a Servant in their original life. His Golden Armor is more like a taunt or slap in the face to anyone that would try to face off against him. It’s the icing on the cake to his already overpowered abilities and weaponry.
6. Nakagami Armor (Fairy Tail)
- Episodes : 256 (as of 10/24/2015)
- First Appearance : Episode 189
- Aired Date : Oct 12, 2009 - Ongoing
- User : Erza Scarlet
The Nakagami Armor is one of the most powerful defensive and offensive weapons seen in Fairy Tale. It’s so powerful that no one has been able to summon this suit of armor in over ten years. It comes coupled with a large halberd capable of immensely powerful physical and magical attacks.
Erza was able to “Second Origin release” and equip this armor during one of her fights against Minerva Orland. People were shocked, most of all Minerva, when they realized that the Nakagami puts tremendous strain and drains the Magical Power of anyone who uses it. The two ladies had been dueling for a while so it was astonishing that Erza was still capable of pulling out this trump card. She stated that she was would never stand down until she had revenge for her friends and guild. Using its ability to dispel any type magic, she sliced through Minerva’s spell and then struck her down with the Nakagami’s signature attack: Nakagami Starlight.
Some Fairy Tail fans would argue that Erza’s Armadura Armor is her strongest one. That is because her counterpart from Edolas, Erza Knightwalker, declared that the Armadura was the strongest. But, that statement could be based off of her own abilities and knowledge. So far, Erza Scarlet has defeated a stronger opponent using the Nakagami Armor and she did it in one blow. Most likely she’ll show off even stronger armor and abilities as the story progresses. But, this is the strongest one we’ve seen yet.
5. Incursio (Akame ga Kill)
- Episodes : 24
- Aired Date : July 17, 2014 to Dec 15, 2014
- User : Tatsumi
The Demon Armor: Incursio has its origins as the Danger Beast Tyrant. According to legend, Tyrant was a nomadic beast that devoured any foe that it came upon. It was widely feared for its ability to adapt its body to any environment. Because of this, as a Teigu, it is able to evolve throughout all of its battles. It even adapts to its user’s fighting style and abilities. In its dormant state, it takes on the farm of an elaborate short-sword with a chain link tassel attached. In its released form, this full body Armor-type Teigu boasts incredible defensive protection while providing the user, Tatsumi in this case, with enhanced agility, strength, and speed.
Tatsumi’s determination and training allow him to bond to Incursio at an astonishing rate. When he first puts on the armor it is slightly reminiscent of the form it had when it was worn by Bulat (its previous user). But as Tatsumi begins to master the armor it becomes more streamlined and aerodynamic to accommodate for Tatsumi’s agile fighting style.
Tatsumi has pushed Incursio to its limit and created a new form. In its evolved form, the armor gains a more reptilian appearance, grows claws on the hands and feet, increased the size of the Neuntote Spear, and gains more resistance properties to magical attacks.
4. White Armor of Inferno (Ronin Warriors)
- Episodes : 39
- First Appearance : Episode 20
- Aired Date : April 30, 1988 – March 4, 1989
- User : Ryo of the Wildfire
A thousand years ago, a lone warrior (The Ancient One) managed to defeat Talpa (Emperor of the Evil Dynasty) and seal away his evil spirit. But, in order to prevent his return, The Ancient One separated Talpa’s armor into nine separate suits of armor. Four of them were created to represent the four seasons. The other five covered the elements. The White Armor of Inferno is a special suit that draws its power from the five elemental armors worn by the Ronin Warriors.
The user of this legendary armor is none other than the leader of the Ronin Warriors, Ryo Sanada. He has an affinity for the Wildfire armor and he uses it with great skill to fight Talpa and his evil dynasty. His primary weapons are twin katanas named the Swords of Wildfire. However, when he combines the energy from his four comrades he is able to summon and don the White Armor of Inferno. At that point, his power is too much for the wildfire swords to handle. Eventually, he gains new weapons, The Swords of Fervor. He uses them to unleash his ultimate attack “Sen Ko Zan” or Rage of Inferno. The same signature attack of his Wildfire armor, but in this form it is much more powerful and unleashes a tangible stream of white hot fire.
According to legend, the White Armor of Inferno is capable of destroying the world. Ryo proves its strength by harnessing its energy to defeat the evil ruler. Talpa himself has acknowledged how powerful that one suit of armor is. He stopped all attempts of retrieving the other armors and focused his attention solely on the Inferno. With that much power you can see why it made this list.
[Picture of Armor of Inferno]
3. Proud Fist (S-CRY-ed)
- Episodes : 26
- Aired Date : July 4, 2001 to Dec 26, 2001
- User : Kazuma Torisuna
Kazuma Torisuna is an Alter user whose Shell Bullet takes on the shape of an armored gauntlet that covers his right arm in orange, red, and gray plating. It provides some protection but its main purpose is to generate “Alter” energy that it then releases to propel Kazuma forward at incredible speeds and increases the power of his strikes exponentially. This Shell Bullet takes on several forms as it increases in strength, but it eventually evolves into its final form: Proud Fist.
The Proud Fist is a full body-suit that covers his body in the same orange, red, and gray plating that had previously only enveloped his arm. It also creates a mask over his face for additional protection. He also gains additional parts to his armor such as a tail-like propeller that allows him to move with more speed, agility, and force during all of his attacks. In this form, his abilities are only matched by his arch-rival Ryuhou Ryu (who becomes an S-CRY-ed as well). Besides the enormous boost in strength and speed, he gains access to two abilities: The Dimensional BFR and the Giant Explosion Fist.
Dimensional BFR allows Kazuma to punch open a hole in the fabric of space and crate a rift that leads to the “Alter” dimension. He uses this to throw enemies inside and trap them there forever. Only other Alter users who have achieved the same level of strength as him are able to break out.
Giant Explosion Fist is just an upgrade in raw power to all of his punches. But, the boost is so great that he can actually harness their energy into a beam form. When he does this, the range of his strikes increases to almost unbelievable lengths. His punches are able to break past Earth’s orbit and they can cover large portions of the Earth’s surface. His attacks are viewable from outer space!
2. Susanoo (Naruto)
- Episodes : Currently Airing
- Aired Date : Currently Airing
- User : Uchiha Sasuke, Uchiha Itachi, Uchiha Madara, and Uchiha Indra
Only shinobi who have access to the Mangekyo Sharingan are able to activate this ability. Susanoo is a gigantic humanoid being made entirely of chakra. It forms around the user and is becomes an extension of them. It’s very unique in its defensive capabilities because it can selectively defend against various attacks. What that means is that Susanoo can deflect physical attacks, it can allow them to pass through without hindrance, or it can be brought within Susanoo itself. Not only that, the user can use Susanoo to attack opponents as well. His giant sword and shield are capable of incredible destruction.
Susanoo undergoes several versions as its user learns to fully control this ability. It can start off as a simple extension of the arm to increase striking capability. Or it can be a simple skeletal structure capable of protecting the shinobi. Once the user has mastered this technique they add on more layers to Suasanoo’s body and eventually reach the Complete Body Susanoo. This is when it takes on its colossal-like appearance and looks like an ancient Tengu figure.
Its most prominent usage was when Uchiha Sasuke used the Complete Susanoo to envelop Kurama (the Nine-Tailed Beast) and greatly enhance its defensive and offensive capabilities.
1. Athena Cloth (Saint Seiya)
- Episodes : 114
- Aired Date : Oct 11, 1986 to April 1, 1989; Hades Arc - Sanctuary (2002-2003); Hades Arc – Inferno (2006-2007); Hades Arc – Elysion (2008); Omega (2012-2014)
- User : Athena
The strongest armor on this list belongs to the pantheon God Athena. The Athena Cloth is just like what it sounds: cloth worn by Athena during her various battles with other Gods and during the Holy Wars. This particular cloth falls under the Kamui or God cloth category. Clothes are armor types worn by the Saints of Athena. The three main categories are Bronze, Silver, and Gold. There are several other clothes of unknown material that have not been shown and cannot be categorized. Then, there are the Kamui.
The only one shown so far has been Athena’s. It’s likely that each member of the Olympian Pantheon has their own Kamui, though it may not necessarily be called a “cloth”. For example, Hades has his personal “God Surplice” and Poseidon uses his “God Scales”. The comparison between these types of items is unclear. Though, it would make sense that whatever kind of Kamui Zeus possesses should be the most powerful.
Athena’s Cloth has been shown to sustain almost an endless amount of damage. The only time it was actually heavily damaged was from a full-attack from Abzu, the creator of the Universe. Even, Hades was not able to put a dent in her cloth and he actually fears it. He has made several attempts to render the cloth unusable in his battles against his niece, Athena.
While wearing the Cloth, Athena is able to use her Cosmo to its full potential. Though possibly not on par with the Big Will, or divine Cosmos, of a higher God, such as Hades or Poseidon, her abilities are still way above even that of a Saint with 8th Sense. Her Kamui provided her with enough defense to sustain attacks from Hades and ultimately turn the tide in her favor in her multiple wars against him.
Bikini Warriors EP1 Subtitle "It's Not a Bikini If It's Armor."
So, there you have our selections for the Top 10 Anime Armor. It’s so difficult to narrow the list to only ten. Every armor here is unique in its own way. Some of the armor here is purely defensive while others provide enormous boosts to offensive power that it’s ridiculous. Also, sorry to anyone expecting to find one of the scantily clad characters from Bikini Warriors… but at least Erza made the list!
So, what did you think? Are these close to your top ten picks? Sound off in the comments and let’s see the different types of armor you can come up with as well!