Ever wanted to watch an anime that was the perfect blend of golden-age comics and Japanese Shonen influences? Look no further than Kohei Horikoshi's My Hero Academia. MHA is set in a fantastical world where 99% of the population have unique supernatural abilities.
These "Quirks," as they're called, can be powers such as super strength or something more unusual like turning people into meatballs. That's why it becomes a bit difficult to rank them, at least until they're grouped up into categories. Plus, doing so lets us gush about as many characters as possible, so let's get to it!
10 Strongest: Matter Creation-Based Quirks
When it comes to supernatural abilities in any form of media, those who can create objects/matter from nothing are truly powerful. MHA has some great Quirks that showcase the benefits of such an ability. Creati from class 1A is probably the prime example with her Creation Quirk because the smarter she gets, the more terrifying weapons she can create.
Thirteen is also a more unique example because of the innate scare factor associated with Black Holes. When it comes to pure strength with creation, no one is stronger than Endeavor and his son Todoroki. Looks like the boy lovingly dubbed "Icy-Hot" is popular for a reason.
9 Weakest: Extra Or Re-growable Limb Quirks
Once again, "weak" is subjective, some of the top heroes have awful Quirks. However, people who got drawn an extra awful hand are those whose Quirk is simply having an extra or sometimes re-growable body part. There are kids like Tailman who just have a big hulking tail. Sure, that tail is pure muscle and Tailman does his best with it, but it's still quite the disadvantage.
Tentacole is a bit better off by being able to duplicate any of his body parts anywhere on his body. Heck, I'd even count Mineta's as one considering he basically uses his own hair. All neat Quirks but none of them are shockingly strong.
8 Strongest: Physical Enhancement Quirks
Next, we've got the Physical Enhancement Quirks. These are things like super strength and mach speed. One for All would be the best example but that feels a bit like cheating, so let's talk about Muscular instead.
This Villian can stack muscle fibers on top of each other seemingly infinitely, making him the end all be all powerhouse. Of course, there are others like Sugar Rush from 1A, Rappa from the Overhaul Arc, or even the class rep Ingenium with his super speed. Heck, even a miniature ancient old man Gran Torino is terrifying because of his Jet propulsion abilities! Turns out speed and power truly do equal strength.
7 Weakest: Quirks With Extra Steps
This is up for debate; personally, ease-of-use and consistency seem to be a MUST when it comes to fighting/committing crime. The Quirk has to work as quickly and easily as possible. So when characters like Stain, Eraserhead, or Midnight show up and are talked about as strong Quirk holders, it seems a bit like an overstatement. Midnight's Quirk is immediately countered just by someone holding their breath or using a gas mask. And Aizawa can't deactivate more than one Quirk at a time, though that's still quite powerful.
However, Stain's Quirk frankly stinks. It's only viable in the hands of a sociopath with honed reflexes and a costume that looks like a scrapped TMNT character. Again, all these would be unstoppable quirks if they just didn't need an extra step or two.
6 Strongest: Changeable Body-State Quirks
Any quirk that can mess with either someone else's or their own body structure is scary strong. Lemillion can phase in-and-out of anything or anyone, Shigaraki can turn people to dust, but no one is more powerful than Overhaul.
The guy can explode people just by touching them with his pinky, then fuse their remains into a wall. Basically, it's like Horikoshi took the healing capabilities of Recovery Girl and combined them with the destructive power of Shigaraki's Decay. The only thing that's stronger than him in this category is maybe a spoiler character who can literally rewind a person's own individual time, but that doesn't seem fair.
5 Weakest: Quirks Dependent On Surrounding
Quirks that depend on certain environments are risky and undependable, which makes them inconsistent and kind of weak. Sure, Cementoss is one of the strongest Heroes around in a cityscape; however, in a forest, he's next to useless.
Take 1A student Koji Koda for example, his Quirk is "Anivoice", an ability which lets him command any animal/insect. This Quirk has been shown to be staggeringly powerful. But, what if he's in a closed office building? Maybe he can call for some pigeons or ants? Even the number #4 Hero Best Jeanist is only good against civilized humans wearing clothes! Basically, even strong quirks can be called weak if their hyper-dependent on the situation.
4 Strongest: Animal-Based Quirks
The more general a superpower, the better. If it's vague, then it's potential for strength is only tied to the creativity of the user. Animal-based quirks seem to be like this in MHA. Everyone's favorite girl Froppy has the "Frog" Quirk. This means anything a frog can do, she can too.
Which apparently, based on powers she shows later on in the anime and particularly the manga, means it applies to all species of frogs! There are also examples of the opposite like Gang Orca whose Quirk is tied specifically to the Orca variant of whales, but even then, he's still top-notch! Also, don't even get me started on heroes like Centipeder or Dragoon Hero, who we've seen absolutely destroy villains in the manga.
3 Weakest: Specific Limb/Trait Enhancement Quirks
We talked about how strong physical enhancement is, especially when it's tied to overall strength or speed. But when the quirk is more specific, it's not nearly as good. Quirks that buff a specific aspect/trait of the human body aren't quite powerhouses in the same way.
Present Mic and 1A's Jiro are the best examples. Sure, they can pump up the sound of their voice/heartbeat to eardrum popping levels, but otherwise, they're just normal humans. There are also people like Class B's Kendo who can only make her fists big. Is it useful? Sure! Is it super strong? Not really.
2 Strongest: Copy Quirks (Example - Double)
When you're in a world filled with destructive supernatural abilities, being able to copy or steal Quirks is overpowered. While All for One is the best example of this, let's talk about the others. People like Class B's Phantom Thief can copy any quirk and even stack multiple! Suneater can't copy Quirks but can take on attributes based on the ingredients in the food he eats.
Lastly, there's Double and Ectoplasm who can create clones of themselves, which on its own isn't scary. In the Manga, Double literally overtakes an entire city by flooding it with clones like a tsunami. So yeah, a bit scarier now.
1 Weakest: Minor Scientific Wonder Quirks (Example - The Crawler)
Lastly, I've decided on calling this category the "Minor Scientific Wonder" subclass of Quirks. These are nifty little quirks that can do something great that a machine or scientific tool could also do. Things like creating acid (Alien Queen), infinitely-spawning tape (Cellophane), growing Mushrooms (Class B's Shemage), or bubble-making (Bubble-Girl). My personal favorite is a character called The Crawler.
He's the protagonist of the spin-off series My Hero Academia: Vigilantes and his Quirk lets him glide across the ground as long as three of his limbs are touching the floor. Boy, what a dumb Quirk! However, that's why the MHA is so much fun! It's all to see people figure out how to make awful quirks useful.