Magic. Not a word you hear too often in anime when you’re biggest examples tend to focus on fighting, robots, space, modern day Japan, etc. But not only does the magic genre exist, it can hold its own against these genres and then some. Anime revolving around magic allows for a lot of creativity to take place in terms of abilities, setting, and (of course) characters. Among these characters, mages would serve as the best characters to exemplify how magic works in an anime setting.
The two key things to keep in mind about anime mage characters are their appearance and their range. Many characters considered to be mages look very differently from one another; some of them look as if they could be witches, regular people, kids, etc. But appearances can be deceiving, and mages certainly help confirm that idea. In addition, the range of how strong to how weak a mage can be is very vast depending on their specific focus of magic as well as their natural talent. Keeping these ideas in mind, here are the top 10 anime mages.
10. Megumin, Konosuba
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: Jan 14, 2016 - Mar 17, 2016
An arch-wizard of the Crimson Demons and the first person to join Kazuma's party, Megumin is a perfect example of a mage who definitely defies appearance. At first glance, one might assume that she’s either an average girl or a witch of some sort. However, Megumin is actually an Explosive mage who has to create at least one explosion per day; otherwise, she’ll die. Even though her skills are limited to only creating explosions, Megumin’s explosions actually result in a higher burst damage output than most mages, and Megumin further develops her technique by building a higher speed incantation as well as passive enhancements to her explosions. Even though she refuses to learn other types of magic, Megumin is certainly a recent example of a powerful mage not to underestimate.
9. Louise de La Vallière, Familiar of Zero
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul 3, 2006 - Sep 25, 2006
Despite living up to her nickname as “Louise the Zero” at the beginning of the series by being unable to perform magic properly, Louise grows to be a mage not to underestimate. The main female protagonist and the 3rd daughter of the Vallière family, Louise soon learns that she is one of a select few whose specialty is Void Magic, explaining the difficulty in her use of other types of magic due to its destructive nature as well as the lack of anyone to properly teach her. Eventually Louise learns to utilize other techniques such as creating an illusion and teleporting as far as she can see. She’s even able to create a World Door near the end of the series. Louise’s progression from someone lacking any ability into a certified mage earns her a spot on this list.
8. Megumu Hanemura, Blast of Tempest: The Civilization Blaster
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 5, 2012 - Mar 29, 2013
The Magician of Zetsuen and a minor character in the series, Hanemura Megumu serves as someone who possesses a lot of power yet is unaware of how powerful they really are. Hanemura enters the series curious as to whether he may be the Magician of Zetsuen, and decides to journey to the tree of Beginnings. Not only does he effortlessly defeat Hakaze along the way, Hanemura ends up destroying part of the Tree of Beginnings itself, leading him to become part of the Kusaribe clan and engaging in their schemes. Drawing upon the Tree of Zetsuen as his source, Hanemura’s can manipulate the red electrical energy generated into various forms, usually into various types of weapons such as a sword. Even though the magic itself is very simple, Hanemura’s presence as someone far stronger than most of the character take him to be proves how assuming how powerful someone is because of their appearance can be costly.
7. Index Librorum Prohibitorum, A Certain Magical Index
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 5, 2008 - Mar 19, 2009
The main female protagonist, Index enters the series as someone on the run from multiple magicians threatening to harm her for the knowledge she possesses. Index is unusual for a mage in the sense that she herself cannot cast spells in the typical manner, but rather uses abilities costing no mana, such as intercepting her opponent’s spells as well as various defensive techniques that can result in powerful spells being casted despite her being almost lifeless. In addition, Index has an eidetic memory, allowing her to memorize the forbidden 103,000 magical texts known as grimoires, making her very dangerous as she consults this knowledge to aid her in combat by pinpointing weakness in her opponents spells. Index may not be a standard mage, but her vast knowledge of magic combined with the skills she does possess make her a legitimate threat.
6. Rin Tohsaka, Fate/stay night
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jan 7, 2006 - Jun 17, 2006
One of the 3 main heroines of the series and the successor to the Tohsaka family, Rin serves as a mage with an incredible amount of potential who actually brings it to fruition. Rin is one of the rare mages in the series born with the capability to manipulate all 5 of the Elements: Water, Earth, Fire, Wind, and Ether. In addition, Rin perfects the use of storing magical energy into objects such as jewels as well as her signature attack of concentrating energy into her forefinger and firing it at her opponent. Rin can also rely on reinforcement spells to allow herself to run faster than normal people can perceive. Combined with her items and an affinity for magic that far exceeds the typical magi in the series, Rin deserves a spot in this ranking.
5. Judar, Magi
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 7, 2012 to Mar 31, 2013
A magician who specialize in Ice Magic, Judar tends to revel in his mockery of others and tend to be both cruel and arrogant. However, Judar can back up his arrogance due to being trained since infancy by the members of Al-Thamen in magic, therefore having an almost limitless amount of Magoi, or energy. In addition, Jugar grows even more powerful when he obtains the memories of Matal Mogamett, adding more offensive spells to his arsenal of ice-related spells and defensive maneuvers. With an incredible fighting ability, multiple techniques to utilize, and a vats source of Magoi to draw from, Judar deserves to be among the most powerful mages.
4. Merlin, The Seven Deadly Sins
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 5, 2014 – Mar 29, 2015
Regarded as the greatest mage in Britannia, Merlin is one of the members of the 7 Deadly Sins and is known by the sin of Gluttony. Merlin is aided in her magical techniques by Morning Star Aldan, a special orb she can summon at will to aid her in techniques such as telekinesis or looking at various locations. Some of Merlin’s techniques include casting various types of illusions, levitation, and instantly teleporting herself, others, and items to distant places. Her strength is best demonstrated by defeating some of the greatest Holy Knights in Liones as well as Vivian, Liones’ most powerful mage. In addition, Merlin also possesses some powerful defensive spells such as canceling out her opponent’s magical attacks as well as reflecting her opponent’s attacks back at them. With a vast range of spells to choose from both offensive and defensive, Merlin certainly belongs on this list.
3. Natsu Dragneel, Fairy Tail
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: Oct 12, 2009 – Mar 30, 2013
Despite the number of powerful mages that exist in Fairy Tale, Natsu Dragneel can’t be overlooked. The main protagonist of the series and the younger brother of the main antagonist Zeref, Natsu is trained to be a Dragon Slayer, learning the only known magic able to kill dragons. As a result, Natsu not only has enhanced speed and strength, he is also immune to flame and can ignite any part of his body with fire in order to strike his opponents. Despite being extremely reckless, Natsu’s loyalty to the Fairy Tail guild is second to none, and as the series progresses, he only becomes stronger and stronger as he furthers his understanding of Dragon King Magic. Definitely a very powerful mage when it comes to offense.
2. Ryner Lute, The Legend of the Legendary Heroes
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jul 2, 2010 - Dec 17, 2010
A young boy who serves as the protagonist in this anime, Ryner was formerly a student of Roland Empire's Magician Academy, a school devoted to training magicians. However, after a war results in the loss of many of his friends, Ryner and his best friend Sion Astal swear an oath to bring peace to their nation. While Sion serves as king, Ryner journeys throughout the land searching for relics belonging to heroes of the past in order to help bring peace as well as uncover the secret behind why his eyes are Alpha Stigma, or eyes that can analyze all forms of magic. Ryner’s display of natural ability is absolutely amazing not only through his magic, but also through hand to hand combat, assassination, and understanding ancient lore. What sets Ryner apart from most mages is the fact that he was able to demonstrate such amazing gifts at an early age as well as be the only mage not to lose his sanity when losing control of his Alpha Stigma abilities. With such a deadly combination present in one mage with a knack for magic, Ryner easily ranks among the best magi in anime.
1. Sieghart, Rave Master
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: Oct 13, 2001 to Sep 28, 2002
An extremely talented yet mysterious character loosely associated with Demon Card, Sieghart feels that it is his purpose to protect the passage of time from the power of Etherion. Sieghart possesses an incredible affinity to create, control, and manipulate a vast amount of different elements: fire, water, earth, air, light, darkness, and even time and space itself just to name a few. As a result, it is almost impossible to defeat him in combat, and Haru finds out the hard way when Sieghart sets his sights on Elie. With a mastery of a massive list of different elements in addition to using the extent of his powers over time and space to help save the world at the end of the series, Sieghart is certainly the most powerful mage.
Here’s your ranking for the top 10 anime mages. What are your thoughts? Should there have been more Fairy Tail characters? Is there someone missing that you feel should have been on this list? Does someone else deserve to be number 1? Let us know in the comments!