One of the great things that we get to see in anime is the creativity used when it comes to giving both good and bad characters certain abilities. Being able to take something most people wouldn’t even consider able to fight with and incorporating it into a fighting style of some sort is really impressive. We’ve seen the classic elemental powers and tropes enough to where sometimes it’s almost expected that they’ll be present, such as fire and water. In response to that, however, some anime have been presenting more detailed aspects of those elements be the power instead. This has led to characters being granted with mastery and control over something unique, such as smoke.
Controlling something that is intangible makes any character that can control it pretty powerful. Not only does it make their attacks effective in the sense that they’re difficult to counter, but it usually allows the character to make themselves intangible to a certain degree. There aren’t that many anime characters yet that have this power, but there’s plenty of potential to be explored regarding this concept. Here are the top 10 characters that can wield the power of smoke.
10. Norito Goshi (Seraph of the End)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 4, 2015 – Jun 20, 2015
When a mysterious virus suddenly appears and kills everyone over the age of 13, vampires that had kept their existence hidden suddenly began to take over in order to rule over the survivors. A Colonel of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army tasked to defeat these vampires, Norito Goshi tends to be laid back and good natured and yet has a tendency to be rebellious. Goshi suffers from an inferior complex due to his younger brother being much more talented than him, resulting in him not being motivated to work very hard. However, he gets by with the help of his friends in the Moon Demon Company, especially Guren. Goshi’s fighting ability revolves around an illusory style as opposed to fighting directly, and this is aided by his demon weapon Kakuze, which takes the form of a smoking pipe. Goshi’s illusory techniques all begin with the smoke he blows out of the pipe, leading to a variety of powerful illusions such as a field of lava or numerous soldiers. Definitely a unique way of using smoke in combat.
9. Enya the Hag (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Apr 5, 2014 – Sep 13, 2014
Evil spirits are awakening all across the world, and many of them will stop at nothing to defeat JoJo and his friends as they journey to Cairo, Egypt in order to save Jotaro’s mother. Redefining the cray definition of “crazy Grandma”, Enya is one of these main villains Jotaro’s group goes up against in Stardust Crusaders. Despite her age, Enya seems to be able to do things no normal elderly woman should be able to do, such as run at the speed of a normal adult. She is also twisted and evil, delighting in murdering those that stand in her way. Speaking of, her Stand is Justice, a massive fog that takes on the form of a skeleton looking phantom. Enya’s main technique involves sending strings of Justice’s smoke form into her opponent’s wounds and controlling them like puppets to fight her other opponents. In addition, because of Justice’s smoke form, no other Stand can harm it; the only method of defeating it lies with the connection Justice has to Enya. It is because of Justice’s smoke like qualities that Enya is as powerful as she is.
8. Bakken (YuYu Hakusho)
- Episodes: 112
- Aired: Oct 10, 1992 – Jan 7, 1995
As a Spirit Detective, it is Yusuke’s Urameshi’s job to protect both the Spirit World as well as Earth from some of the most powerful demons, and one of his missions involves him and his friends competing in the Dark Tournament. One of the 5 shinobis that make up Team Masho during the Dark Tournament, Bakken is very much like Risho and Gama in the sense that he is very boastful about his strength and how his opponents have no chance of defeating him. Despite the numerous attempts at bravado, however, Bakken ends up being the weakest member of the group, easily getting pummeled by Yusuke. Bakken’s ultimate technique, however, is his White Mist. A popular smoke variation branching from general smoke, Bakken’s mist envelops the immediate area around him, allowing him to be a shinobi in the truest sense and attack his opponents from the shadows. If it weren’t for his cowardice as well as his lack of other techniques, Bakken could be a much more powerful fighter.
7. Kanna Bismarch (Shaman King)
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: Jul 4, 2001 – Sep 25, 2002
As hundreds of Shamans compete for the title of Shaman King, Yoh Asakura comes to learn that he and his friends will eventually have to defeat his ancestor Hao and his followers. As one of many of Hao’s followers, Kanna Bismarch is a no-nonsense fighter who hates humanity based on her troubled past with her family and how they took advantage of the deaths of her parents. Like many of the other followers of Hao, Hao himself came to her rescue and destroyed those that were bringing her harm, earning her trust and extreme loyalty. Although we see Kanna multiple times watching many of the other fights that take place, we only get to see her fighting style once, in her battle with Ren’s sister Jun. Even though the audience is led to believe that Kanna’s spirit medium is the armor which her spirit fights in, it is actually revealed that the true medium is Kanna’s cigarette smoke, and were it not for Yoh’s father intervening, Kanna would have won the fight. Yet another creative way of using smoke as an effective means of combat.
6. Hirudegarn (Dragonball Z: Wrath of the Dragon)
- Episodes: Movie
- Aired: Jul 15, 1995
With Planet Earth possessing the 7 Dragonballs needed to make anyone’s wish come true, a lot of villains turn up seeking this power. In this case, the Dragonballs helped unlock the main villain of the 13th Dragonball Z movie: Hirudegarn. Hirudegarn is simply a blind beast that attempts to destroy everyone and everything within its reach. Described as “a phantom of mist and shadow” by the legendary warrior Tapion, Hirudegarn lives up to the name, revealing the ability to briefly turn itself into smoke and teleporting incredibly quickly, resulting in much difficulty for the Z warriors as they try to destroy it. There’s not many villains that can say they’re powerful enough to force Goku to use Dragon Fist as a Super Sayian 3 in order to beat them. Were Hirudegarn to resemble Vegeta in his Oozaru form in terms of having intelligence and cunning, he could have been an even more deadly villain, as his power alone made truly made him a force to reckon with as well as almost impossible to hit.
5. Georco (Rave Master)
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: Oct 13, 2001 – Sep 28, 2002
With the world being rebuilt in a negative light after a cataclysmic event 50 years ago, it’s up to Haru Glory and his friends to find the Rave Stones before it’s too late. One of the first villains we see Haru, Elie, and Plue go up against, Georco is a Demon Card member that serves as the president of the dog racing track in Hip Hop Town. Georco is easily caught up in both money and accessories, placing a lot of value on these items. Despite having some good skills as a tactician, Georco’s weakness of underestimating his opponents when he has the upper hand proves to be his downfall in his fight against Haru. Georco’s Dark Bring is Smoke Bay, which allows Georco to turn any part of his body into smoke as well as release poisonous gasses. Georco’s abilities certainly make him formidable; if only he had a stronger tactical sense and a weaker ego to accompany it.
4. Wakaba Mine (Fairy Tail)
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: Oct 12, 2009 – Mar 30, 2013
There exists in Magnolia Town a powerful wizarding guild named Fairy Tail whose members use their incredible abilities to fulfill certain quests in exchange for certain rewards. A veteran member of this Fairy Tail Guild, Wakaba Mine is certainly quite the character. A perverse man that hates the idea of marriage (despite being married and having a daughter), Wakaba constantly harasses Laki Olietta and Kinana, and seems to be obsessed with Mirajane Strauss most of all. Despite this behavior, Wakaba is a caring man at heart, and is often seen getting into antics with Macao Conbolt, his long-time friend. Wakaba’s style of fighting revolves around Smoke Magic; he is able to manipulate the pink-colored smoke from his pipe in various ways, such as creating multiple copies of himself, forming fists to punch his opponents, and into the shape of a girl. Even though he has little control over transforming himself into smoke, Wakaba’s mastery of the techniques he does transform his smoke into are why he’s so high on this list.
3. Kigiri (Naruto)
- Episodes: 220
- Aired: Oct 3, 2002 – Feb 8, 2007
Naruto Uzumaki has one goal: to become the Hokage of his village so that everyone will finally respect him. In order for Naruto to achieve his dream, he will have to go through many trials and defeat some of the most powerful ninjas in order to make his dream come true. Such as Orochimaru. A prisoner of Orochimaru whose name literally means “devil fog”, Kigiri, like many of his fellow captives, wanted nothing to do with Orochimaru. The laid-back member of his group who never recklessly runs into a fight, Kigiri shows promise in his fights both with Rock Lee and Kakashi. Kigiri’s multiple smoke techniques were impressive; he showed the ability to create solid clones out of smoke to assist him, he could create a giant blinding smokescreen to disguise himself, and he could even manipulate his smoke to wrap itself around his opponent. Even though his appearance was brief, the number of effective techniques Kigiri possessed using smoke was impressive.
2. Morel Mackernasey (Hunter x Hunter)
- Episodes: 148
- Aired: Oct 2, 2011 – Sep 24, 2014
Twelve-year-old Gon Freecss will stop at nothing to achieve his dream of becoming a Hunter and finding his father. Along his incredible journey, Gon forms close friendships and encounters many powerful Hunters. One of these is Morel Mackernasey, a Single-Star Sea Hunter as well as a Manipulator. Morel Mackernasey has a vast amount of experience as a Hunter, possessing both a keen sense for strategy as well as the resourcefulness needed to survive. Morel is very perceptive, and uses his calm demeanor to his advantage against his opponents. Using a giant smoking pipe and smoke as his weapons of choice, Morel has 2 fighting styles. The first is with his giant pipe; because of its size, Morel’s strength, speed, and reflexes are enhanced, making his skills with the pipe in close combat quite impressive. In addition, Morel can also manipulate the smoke from the pipe into various animals or Smoke Troopers that follow his command. He can also create an impenetrable circle of smoke that prevents anyone from escaping or breaking into his barrier. Morel is truly a master when it comes to smoke-related abilities.
1. Smoker (One Piece)
- Episodes: 737 (as of now)
- Aired: Oct 20, 1999 - present
Monkey D. Luffy’s dream: to be the King of the Pirates. That isn’t going to come easy with the strongest pirates in the world seeking the same goal as well as the Marines seeking to stop them all. A strong white-haired Marine, Smoker is one of the most powerful members of the military with the attitude to match. Rarely seen without a cigar to smoke, Smoker is unlike most Marines in the sense that he not only understands how truly unique Luffy and his crew are early on in the series, but also doesn’t follow the Marines’ rule of Absolute Justice, instead following his own code. Like Luffy’s crew, Smoker grows in strength throughout the series as well as in rank, rising to Vice Admiral at the current point in the story. Smoker ate the Smoke-Smoke Fruit, allowing him to become, create, and control smoke as he sees fit and perform some impressive feats, such as making himself intangible as well as creating a unique form of flight. Combined with smoke’s unique properties and his immense physical strength, it appears the only way to damage Smoker is by using Haki, which is fortunate for Luffy, as his 1st battle would have ended in defeat had it not been for Dragon’s intervention. It’s pretty clear that out of all smoke users, Smoker is easily the most powerful.
The power to wield smoke isn’t that common now, but as these characters prove, controlling smoke can make you a legitimate threat. At the very least, it can definitely make the character controlling it someone not to underestimate, so as it stands, we might see more and more of this ability show up in the future. What do you guys think about this power, as well as this list? Let us know in the comments!