Ranking weapons in anime is a difficult task, but it's one we gladly decided to try. If you look across all of anime dating back to 1963's Astro Boy, which many consider to be the first popular anime, there are thousands of weapons to consider. We could easily have made a list of the most powerful robots in anime or the deadliest swords (we may get to those eventually), but wanted to instead focus on a wider range of weaponry, tactical gear and killer robots in a single list. We dug through some of our all-time favorite series and came up with the weapons we considered to be the deadliest, either by simply counting their body count or by comparing their stats and features to others in order to determine how dangerous they could be.
The nature of anime allows for a wide variety of items to be considered weapons. While some are obvious, others may seem like vehicles or standard tactical gear. What's important about anime is how an item is used and what its intended purpose is in determining its deadly nature. Undoubtedly, we missed one or two that you consider to be even deadlier than the ones we listed here. As we mentioned, anime has been around as a popular medium since the early '60s so we were bound to skip a sword here or a blaster there. Make sure to sound off in the comments and let us know which weapon you consider to be the deadliest and any you feel we forgot to include in our list of the 20 most powerful weapons in anime, ranked.
20 3D MANEUVER GEAR (ATTACK ON TITAN)
On the surface, Three Dimensional Maneuver Gear from Attack on Titan may look like more of a way to move than a deadly weapon. But when it's strapped to a skilled member of the elite Survey Corps, a skilled operator can use the equipment to quickly move up to and around a Titan, pierce their flesh with its powerful hooks and slash the back of its neck with one of its many strong blades.
Taking down a Titan is no easy task, but the 3D Maneuver Gear is pretty much to do it--unless you can transform yourself into a Titan and kill them in hand-to-hand combat like Eren Yeager. Throughout two seasons, members of the Survey Corps have killed dozens of Titans thanks to this equipment.
19 STRIKE FREEDOM GUNDAM (GUNDAM SEED DESTINY)
In the world of Gundam, there are more suits than we care to count. Digging through the dozens of anime series, films and OVA to find the very best of them all is no easy task, but the very best might be the ZGMF-x20A Strike Freedom Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Granted, there are those who would argue against its superiority, but we are sticking with this one.
The Strike Freedom Gundam really stands out because of its incredible arsenal and mobility,
That makes it difficult to target and hit. Its weaponry consists of a head-mounted CIWS, beam rifles, beam sabers, rail cannons and a multi-phase cannon in its abdomen. It isn't as heavily armored as others, but its speed and maneuverability make it the deadliest of them all.
18 VOLTRON (VOLTRON)
Voltron isn't called the Defender of the Universe because it's weak. When combined from its five lion ships into Voltron, it becomes one of anime's deadliest machines. Even when it isn't combined, the individual lion ships are incredibly powerful weapons in their own right, thanks to the skills of their pilots and the weaponry they have available to them.
The combined Voltron has some additional tricks up its sleeve in the form of Lion Torches, the Lion Head Attack, Sting Ray Missiles, Ion Darts and its deadliest weapon, which could have been included by itself on this list, the Blazing Sword. The sword is made of energy and is formed when Voltron slams its fists together before drawing it out. Voltron uses it to slay Robobeasts, often by slicing them in half.
17 SATELLITE ORBITAL LASER (AKIRA)
We considered using Tetsuo or even Akira as a weapon for this list but wanted to keep things slightly less organic. Still, we had to honor Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira so we decided to go with the Satellite Orbital Laser used against Tetsuo in the final act of the film.
Just as things are coming to a head between Kaneda and Tetsuo, the military blasts Tetsuo with the Satellite Orbital Laser.
The SOL is both deadly accurate and powerful, and it would have vaporized any normal person it was used against them. On Tetsuo, it destroyed his right arm but before it could finish the job, he flew into space and destroyed it. The SOL was built during WWIII and its use in warfare was clearly demonstrated.
16 CUTTER OF CREATION: EXTASE (AKAME GA KILL)
The Cutter of Creation: Extase is the weapon used by Sheere in Akame Ga Kill. Extase is horrifically sharp and is believed to be able to cut through any material. Thanks to its durability, Extase is capable of deflecting bullets and thanks to its size, works as both an effective offensive weapon and a shield. It has withstood the most powerful blows from Hekatonkheires.
The Extase isn't simply a giant scissor weapon, it has a special attack that emits a blinding flash of light for a brief period of time. It does this without harming the wielder's vision making it incredibly dangerous to go up against. Also, it has a panda bear sticker on one of the handles, so you know it's not something to take lightly.
15 FANG REGALIA (AIR GEAR)
Air Gear is certainly a unique anime featuring weapons you wouldn't normally qualify as powerful. Rollerblades are the weapon of choice in this series devoted to speed and rollerblading higher and faster than anyone else. Of course, it wouldn't be anime if there wasn't some sort of twist, which comes in the form of the Fang Regalia.
The power of these skates is clearly demonstrated whenever they are strapped on and used.
The weapon not only lets its wearer glide across the street and up and over buildings with ease, it also converts inertia energy into a tremendous shockwave. This does come at a cost, which keeps the wearer grounded--they cannot jump in any way whatsoever.
14 SAIGA'S CAMERA (SPEED GRAPHER)
You might not consider something as ubiquitous and mundane as a camera a weapon, but in the world of Speed Grapher, that's exactly what Saiga's camera is. The camera can make anything captured in its viewfinder explode thanks to the special abilities of Kagura. This requires the simple pressing of the button to take a picture and then, BOOM, whatever Saiga captures does not have a very good day.
The series expands on the functionality of the device by innovating its use via different lenses that allow for various types and styles of attack. Saiga uses the weapon/picture-taker to protect Kagura from anyone out to do her harm and some tremendous battles end up taking place when Saiga goes up against the Tennozu Group.
13 GRAVITATIONAL BEAM EMITTER (BLAME!)
Many devastating and powerful weapons come with a cost. In the world of Blame!, Killy's use of the Gravitational Beam Emitter sends him flying with a recoil that kind of makes sense when you see just how powerful this weapon is. The Gravitational Beam Emitter can blow holes miles long.
Depending on how much power he puts through the weapon, he can suffer some pretty bad damage.
While it may seem dangerous weapon to use, it's output is far deadlier on anything it targets. In one instance, Killy sets the gun's power to a high enough level to make him fly backwards with the recoil hard enough to crash through walls. The kickback from the weapon even broke his arm.
12 ZANPAKUTO (BLEACH)
In the world of Bleach, several characters wield a Zanpakutō, which is a fancy name for a Soul Cutter Sword. Among the many, Renji's stands out as a particularly unique blade that is both deadly and versatile. Alongside his unique abilities, he can transform it into the Shikai State. When in this form, the blade becomes segmented into six parts, each larger than the one before it.
Renji can also extend the blade out from the hilt in such a way that it becomes much like a whip. His ability to use the weapon in these various states make Renji's Zanpakutō far deadlier than pretty much any other seen in the series. In the hands of the right user, the weapon can become especially deadly.
11 X-GLOVES (KATEKYO HITMAN REBORN)
The X-Gloves from Katekyo Hitman Reborn are some of the most versatile weapons found on this list. When they were first given to Leon by Tsuna, the gloves were in a Wool mitten form emblazoned with the number 27 on the back. The gloves changed when he used the Dying Will Flame Attack.
In Katekyo Hitman Reborn, the X-Gloves have taken on three forms so far.
The X-Gloves changed into their second form, a black metal-glad pair of gloves capable of emitting flames. Their final form (pictured) have crests on the back resembling the Sky Vongola Ring. He can use the gloves to propel him through the air (fly) and emit two kinds of flames to augment his attacks.
10 TESSAIGA (INU YASHA)
The name Tessaiga means "Iron-Crushing Fang," which is appropriate for Inu Yasha's weapon. The blade came from his father and was made from his own fangs. Two blades were made, but Inu Yasha's was dubbed "the sword of life" capable of bringing 100 lives back to life with one strike. The blade is also sentient-ish and helped guide Inu Yasha on his quest.
Originally, the two blades were a single weapon, but they were divided into two blades; one for each son (the other going to Sesshōmaru). The blade can transform itself and absorb the powers and abilities of anything it comes in contact with. This essentially means, it becomes more powerful each time it is used in combat against an enemy.
9 THE DOMINATOR (PSYCHO-PASS)
The Dominator Portable Psychological Diagnosis and Suppression System is the standard-issue weapon carried by enlisted Inspection and Enforcement officers in Psycho-Pass.
The weapon is registered to a specific unique user and cannot be used by anyone else.
When it is aimed at a target, it reads and sends psychological data (called Psycho-Pass) to determine the target's Crime Coefficient. If the indicated value exceeds a predetermined level, the gun will be given the ability to fire. This happens only if the target's mental state suggests they are unstable or able to commit a violent crime. The gun is advanced and complex with four modes: Non-Lethal Paralyzer, Lethal Eliminator, Destroy Decomposer, and an explosive variant.
8 DRAGON SLAYER (BERSERK)
The Dragon Slayer is a gigantic sword wielded by Guts in the Berserk manga and anime. It is his primary weapon he uses to slay demons in his mantle as the Black Swordsman. The weapon is incredibly heavy and large, which makes it more of a bladed club than a traditional sword. This allows Guts to swing the blade and rip through anything in his path.
His skills with the Dragon Slayer and the sheer size and weight of it allows Guts to often cleave through several foes at once. Over time, the blade has become empowered through the blood of supernatural enemies that have soaked into it. Its strength has only increased its ability to slay deadlier foes including evil spirits, astral forms and monsters.
7 SWORD OF RUPTURE, EA (FATE STAY/NIGHT)
The Sword of Rupture, Ea is a unique weapon in Fate/Stay Night in that it can only be wielded by Gilgamesh as it is suited for only the ruler's use. The Ea was born before the world knew what a sword was so it doesn't conform to the standard shape. It is a capable weapon for close combat and while it is dull, it can slash through almost anything.
Gilgamesh prizes the Sword of Rupture, Ea above all his possessions.
He'll only wield it against a foe he deems worthy. The sword's powers are extensive and far greater than any other traditional blade. It has the power to bestow knowledge upon others, which is extensive since the weapon existed long before the world before "heaven and earth were split."
6 SCISSOR BLADES (KILL LA KILL)
The Scissor Blades are two separate weapons that can be combined into a single device known as the Rending Scissors. They are made of hardened Life Fibers, which allows them to cut through Goku Uniforms. The Red Scissor Blade can be wielded as a two-handed sword and can change its size and absorb life fibers. It's counterpart, the Purple Scissor Blade is slightly shorter, but can reconfigure itself into a stronger form with a curved blade.
When the two blades are combined into the Rending Scissors, they can sever Life Fibers and prevent their regeneration. They are still able to utilize their individual abilities in this form as well, which makes the combined blades of the Rending Scissors one of the deadliest weapons in Kill la Kill.
5 BUSTERMARM SWORD (FAIRY TAIL)
The Bustermarm Sword is a magical sword that is roughly four times the size of the person wielding it. The sword is comically gigantic, but that also makes it incredibly deadly due to its size and sharp double-edged blade. The Bustermarm is able to easily cut through the Earth with little to no effort put behind it and it also can easily cut through iron.
Seeing as that's what most swords are made of, that could be a problem for anyone facing the Bustersmarm.
The blade was wielded by Panther Lily in the anime, but it was ultimately destroyed when he went up against Gajeel Redfox. Before that happened, it remained a formidable weapon in Fairy Tail and is certainly an awesome sword to behold.
4 WOLFWOOD'S PUNISHER (TRIGUN)
In Trigun, the Punisher is a gun wielded by the most elite members of the Eye of Michael. Throughout the series, 10 guns were mentioned, but the one most commonly seen is wielded by Nicholas D. Wolfwood. The Punisher is a cross-shaped gun with two machine guns and a rocket launcher all packed into the weapon.
Thanks to the weapon's shape as a cross, the side arms act as a storage bin holding eight Grader 2043 pistols. That differs from the manga version, which houses the machine guns ammunition in the side arms, but either way, it's an impressive weapon with more firepower than most platoons would require when going into a fight.
3 GUYVER BIO-BOOSTER ARMOR (GUYVER)
In the world of Guyver: Bio-Booster Armor, a Guyver is a special unit of armor designed by aliens as an all-purpose environmental suit. When Shō Fukamachi bonds with "Unit I," he becomes an all-powerful armored superhero capable of blasting energy beams from his chest and all manner of incredible feats. The armor can be called to the host from anywhere at any time and is nearly indestructible.
The unit is semi-sentient and can act whenever its host is incapacitated.
Throughout the series, the Guyver is used mostly to combat the Zoanoids, empowered mutate humans with incredible powers. In the right hands, a Guyver unit is easily one of the deadliest weapons on the planet, but it all depends on the host and how it is used.
2 DEATH SYTHE (SOUL EATER)
In the Soul Eater manga and anime, a Death's Weapon is any weapon used to hunt and eat 99 Kishin Eggs (human souls in the manga) and one Witch soul. When that is completed, the weapon transforms into a Death's Weapon and becomes a powerful Demon Weapon. These weapons, like the Death Scythe, have abilities bestowed upon them.
The Death Scythe has been endowed with magical-like powers resulting from the consumption of a witch soul. Additionally, the weapons can alter their shape. This allows the wielder to alter the shape of their Death Scythe into other forms that enhance their techniques and abilities with the weapon. This has even enabled the manifestation of wings capable of flight.
1 DEATH NOTE (DEATH NOTE)
The Death Note is easily the most powerful and destructive weapon in all of anime. Whoever picks up a Death Note and uses it has the ability to kill anyone they desire anywhere in the world simply by writing their name in it while picturing them. The death can be determined by inscribing the time, place and other details of the death resulting in any manner of killing.
A disturbingly high number of people are killed by Light Yagami as he becomes Kira.
In the original series' alternate ending, Light says he has killed 124,925 people using the Death Note. If that number is accurate, the Death Note itself is easily the deadliest weapon in all of anime since it isn't indiscriminate and is always deadly.