Badass is not a word to be used lightly. Everything can be awesome, cool or plain awesome in its own way with each anime, but badass is a wholly different realm of its own. A moment is badass when the character just strolls through the street and his enemies die around him without the character doing anything. Badass is when your mind gets blown so hard by the scheme of someone that you re-watch the scene ten times in order to properly comprehend what just happened.
Everyone likes badass, whether it’s from the sheer adrenaline from a fight scene or feeling so blank out of incomprehension. If you like badass like we like badass, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the list of the Top 10 Badass Anime!
10. Hajime no Ippo (Fighting Spirit)
- Episodes: 75
- Aired: October 2000 – March 2002
Ippo is a seemingly scrawny guy who has been bullied by his classmates for most of his life. Through a twist of fate, he is saved by a boxer during one of his bully sessions. Despite that, he faints from the injuries that he received and awakens in the boxer’s gym. The boxer introduces himself as Takamura, one of the boxers at the gym. In order to encourage him, Takamura places a photo of his bullies on a punching bag. This inspires Ippo in a new way, and he starts down the path of a professional boxer. With grit and determination, Ippo will punch his way through the boxing world!
Hajime No Ippo is a boxing anime that doesn’t rely on special internal energies, special weapons from the past or inherited powers to make fight scenes cool. It’s merely the fighting essence of the boxing scene caught in anime form. Two men who have trained constantly for the purpose of defeating the other going head to head, trading blows in a battle of strength and attrition. The pure testosterone flowing through the fight scenes just oozes badass, and it’s even better because all of it could occur in real life!
9. Hellsing Ultimate
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: February 2006 – December 2012
Ever heard of Van Hellsing the vampire hunter? In this series, there is an organisation, in Britain of course, that hunts vampires. It’s aptly named Hellsing. The vampire hunters must face all sorts of foes from vampires, ghouls, humans and other secret organisations that date even further back down the annals of history. But they have their own secret weapon, an extremely powerful vampire named Alucard (That’s Dracula backwards). With all the powers of a vampire and more, Alucard must help the Hellsing organisation combat all their foes before it is too late.
Alucard is well known throughout the anime fandom for being a badass, and rightly so. Scenes of vampires running away from him, only to be ripped in shreds in a gory fashion or even when a group of SWAT soldiers armed with silver bullets can do nothing but be given the permission to die from one of the most powerful vampires ever. This ain’t no Twilight. Even the villains are badass in their own way. Really, what can anyone say against a thousand vampire Nazis?
8. Ghost in the Shell
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: November 1995
Set in the future, cybernetic implants have been created to allow the crippled and weak to become strong. Some have even opted to replace almost their full body with such augmentations in order to become the ultimate human. One such person is the main character, Motoko Kusanagi, though it is more due to an accident during her childhood than actual avarice. She heads a team of cyborgs, AIs and normal humans to track down the elusive hacker known as the “Puppet Master”.
Remember the awesome fight scenes that seemed to permeate through the Matrix trilogy? Ghost in the Shell is basically that times ten. Most of the show is concentrated on the main character Motoko Kusanagi, and that’s fine because of the direction her character takes. She exemplifies the golden rule of showing a badass female character; show don’t tell. And if the main character is badass, it stands to reason the rest of the show should follow suit.
7. Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (Assassination Classroom)
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: January 2015 – June 2015
There exists a creature that blew up the moon, and it’s threatening to do the same to Earth in one year. During that one year, it’s demands are simple. Let it teach Class E of Kunugigaoka Middle School while they try to assassinate him in the process, otherwise it will blow up the Earth as well. But it won’t be easy, for the creature can move at Mach speeds, along with a bunch of other crazy abilities.
The creature, Koro-sensei is certainly powerful, but not badass. The students receive daily training from assassins hired by the government in a desperate bid to save the world. At first, its taken with much reluctance. But as time goes on, each develops their own set of assassination skills to contribute to the cause and become badass in their own right. Unlike the above its not about one character being badass, it’s the sum of a whole that makes the series badass in total.
6. Kuro no Keiyakusha (Darker Than Black)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2007 – September 2007
After 10 years of the appearance of two gates of heaven and hell, Contractors emerge with supernatural abilities that seem to ignore the realities of physics. However, it comes at the cost of their humanity. The main character, Hei, is one such Contractor. He has developed the reputation of “Black Reaper” and takes missions like a mercenary. With each mission, he discovers more and more about the underlying plot against the Contractors.
Darker Than Black is about characters with very minor powers utilising them to a very great degree. Hei for example, has the ability to conduct electricity through objects or people. That’s not much compared to the likes of Enel from One Piece, but it’s the way they use their powers that screams badass. That moment when Hei attaches a metal wire from his wrist to his target and shocks them to death whilst simultaneously avoiding his pursuers? That just screams badass!
5. One Punch Man
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2015 – December 2015
Saitama is a hero that has become so strong that he can defeat anything in one punch. This should allow him to be the hero that everyone looks up to, but he isn’t. In fact, he’s bored with his life because nothing challenges him anymore. But everything changed when he meets a cyborg who gets the idea that they should join the Hero’s Association in pursuit of tougher enemies.
One Punch Man quickly pushes aside the pesky plot and jumps straight to the over the top fight scenes that move quickly and intensely yet slow enough for the viewer to follow. If a hero that can defeat everything in one punch isn’t badass enough, there are telepathic espers, muscle bound kung fu masters and alien overlords all fighting to be the number one badass!
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 2011 – December 2011
The prequel to the popular Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Zero follows the events of the Fourth Holy Grail War and concentrates on the much more gruesome events that perpetrated the start of Fate/Stay Night. The adopted father of Shirou Emiya, Kiritsugu Emiya is an assassin hired by one of the magus family to win the wars. Titled the “Magus Killer”, the magus of the Fourth Holy Grail War are in for a hell of a fight.
As fun as the main series was, the prequel feels much more badass in comparison due to the scale of the fights between the Heroic Spirits and the grittiness of Kiritsugu Emiya. Entire armies will be raised, kings will be cast down and assassins will be obliterated. The badassery of each character will clash with each other to make one of the most badass animes of all time!
3. JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2012 – April 2013
After George Joestar’s life is saved by another, he takes in his benefactor’s son, Dio when his benefactor loses his life. Dio is unhappy with his station in life and seeks to take over the Joestar fortune from George Joestar and his son, Jonathan Joestar. Through a strange chain of events, the grandson of Jonathan Joestar discovers a stone mask and a plot by evil vampires to take over the world!
It goes without saying that this is a very bizarre anime, hence the title. Regardless of the plot, Jojo is a return to form for anime in that it exemplifies the manly macho overtone that’s been missing from the anime scene for quite a while. With a continuous slew of epic fight scenes and new powers as the series goes on, it just gets more and more badass the longer you watch it.
2. Akame ga Kill!
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: July 2014 – December 2014
Prime Minister Honest seeks to take advantage of the naïve child emperor and exploit him for his own gain. The Revolutionary Army forms an assassination branch called the Night Raid to deal with the menace. Tatsumi aspires to their ideals and leaves his impoverished village in order to help better the conditions of everyone around him. The series closely follows Tatsumi and the Night Raid in their fight against the Empire for a better future.
Akame ga Kill! Is chock full of dark themes and gore. In their fights, each character is subjected to a heavy amount of traumatisation from the amount of violence they are put through as well as what they put others through. The main character powers through this and becomes more and more badass the longer he fights. Sometimes we start badass, in others, the circumstances make us so.
1. Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2006 – July 2007
The Holy Empire of Britannia has conquered Japan and many other countries with their revolutionary new machine, the Knightmare Frames; a mobile humanoid vehicle. Each country loses their identities, rights and privileges and essentially its citizens become indentured servants in the process. Japan, now renamed Area 11, is where Lelouch resides. He is an exiled prince posing as a student who has high ambitions of vengeance. Through a chance meeting with a mysterious green haired girl named C.C., he gains the power of the kings named Geass. With his newly earned power, Lelouch sets out to conquer the world!
Throughout this list, the anime you’ve seen are mainly about animes with characters who are badass in a mostly physical way, whether it be through strength, skill or determination. However, Lelouch plays a much different character archetype. He has no redeeming physical attributes and has lungs worse than a chain smoker.
But his mind is leagues above even the smartest of scientists, able to form tactics and strategies that befuddle his opponents and the viewers. Everything seems to click in place when the viewer finally pieces together the plan that he has been alluding to all the while, and his enemies can do nothing but watch and struggle as they face their doom. All at the hands of a teenager.
We hope that by the end of this list, you don’t get yourself arrested by attempting anything badass you see these characters doing. You are a very important member of our community and we would hate to lose you because you tried to be as badass as the anime on this list. Needless to say, it will be hard because of how badass all these anime are, but do try. If you haven’t been arrested for attempted badassery, do leave your comments below on any other badass anime you feel should be here!