4 anime transformations that anyone can recognize (& 4 more only anime fans will know)

Taking a look at some of the most popular anime transformations (Images via Toei Animation)
Taking a look at some of the most popular anime transformations (Images via Toei Animation)

Anime transformations are one of the most memorable aspects of shonen anime series. This is a phenomenon that usually takes place after a character goes through arduous training for a sustained period of time to gain a new set of powers. Another way a series would introduce a transformation was by having the character undergo a near-death experience.

Not all anime transformations are popular. Some have gone unnoticed, but on the other hand, some anime transformations were era-defining. In this article, we will explore anime transformations that even people who don’t consume this form of media will be able to identify. Furthermore, we will explore a few transformations that only hardcore anime fans know and love.


Super Saiyan and three other iconic anime transformations that anyone can recognize

1) Super Saiyan

Goku's first Super Saiyan anime transformation (Image via Toei Animation)
Goku's first Super Saiyan anime transformation (Image via Toei Animation)

When Goku first achieved this transformation in the Dragon Ball series, it changed the landscape of anime as a form of media. It was incredibly influential, and it’s safe to say that it inspired similar transformations in other anime series. Goku underwent a surge of extreme emotions, which triggered the transformation. As per the series, this form was the pinnacle of one’s strength and combat abilities among the Saiyan race. The iconic golden aura and blonde hair color are key visual features of this transformation. Undergoing this transformation gives a Saiyan enhanced physical and combat abilities.


2) Nine-Tails Chakra Mode

Naruto in the Nine-Tails Chakra mode as seen in the Shippuden series (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Naruto in the Nine-Tails Chakra mode as seen in the Shippuden series (Image via Studio Pierrot)

This anime transformation from the Naruto series is quite popular, given its incredible design. The Nine-Tailed Beast’s jinchuriki can undergo this transformation, and it grants them enhanced physical and ninjutsu abilities. Naruto was quick enough to dodge the Fourth Raikage and defeat members of the White Zetsu army in just one move. There are multiple forms within this transformation, but all the forms have one thing in common, and that’s the orange-colored chakra that cloaks their body. This is yet another transformation that almost anyone can recognize, owing to its popularity.


3) Eren Titan transformation

Eren in the Attack Titan form (Image via Wit Studio)
Eren in the Attack Titan form (Image via Wit Studio)

Attack on Titan has garnered an incredibly passionate fanbase ever since its release. The protagonist of the series, Eren Jaeger, has the ability to transform into a Titan at will. Eren’s transformation as the Attack Titan nearly broke the internet when the series animated the scene. It transforms him into a giant being and gives him incredible strength, way beyond that of the average human being. Since then, Eren has acquired a host of new abilities, which have been revealed in both the manga and the anime.


4) Denji’s Hybrid Transformation

Denji in the transformed state (Image via MAPPA)
Denji in the transformed state (Image via MAPPA)

Chainsaw Man is a relatively new anime and manga series. Its popularity skyrocketed when MAPPA adapted the manga. The protagonist, Denji, can transform into the Chainsaw Devil at will by pulling the cord that is attached to his chest. His face turns into a chainsaw, and these razor-sharp blades can be seen emerging from his limbs as well. This allows him to slice and decimate his opponents with ease. Denji’s transformation is rather peculiar and unique, which is why most people who don’t even watch anime can recognize this transformation.


Mob 100% and four other anime transformations that only anime fans can recognize

1) Mob 100%

Shigeo Mob when he reaches "100%" (Image via Studio Bones)
Shigeo Mob when he reaches "100%" (Image via Studio Bones)

Mob Psycho 100 isn’t particularly mainstream, and there are plenty of people within the anime community who haven’t watched this show. Shigeo Mob, the protagonist of the series, has psychic powers. He’s always calm and rarely shows emotion. He also realized that his psychic powers are linked to emotions. Therefore, anytime Shigeo suppresses negative emotions, he reaches closer to “100%”. When he reaches this stage, he undergoes a transformation, momentarily loses control, and becomes incredibly powerful.


2) Luffy Gear 5th

Luffy's Gear 5th transformation (Image via Toei Animation)
Luffy's Gear 5th transformation (Image via Toei Animation)

Luffy’s Gear 5th is arguably his most popular transformation in the One Piece series. This form gives Luffy an incredible set of powers that allows him to manipulate his surroundings and increases his physical abilities. According to a legend in One Piece, the user is known as the Warrior of Liberation. A lot of elements including Luffy’s Devil Fruit is shrouded in mystery, which is why fans are eager to see Luffy in this form and learn more about it. One Piece is extremely vast and the story has been progressing for decades. Therefore, this anime transformation is known mostly to those who watch and read this show.


3) Ichigo’s Vasto Lorde Transformation

Ichigo's Vasto Lorde form (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Ichigo's Vasto Lorde form (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Bleach is yet another popular anime and manga series that is currently airing its final story arc. The protagonist, Ichigo Kurosaki, underwent a transformation. In order to understand this transformation, one needs to understand the concept of Hollows. Hollows are spirits that have lingered in the Human World for too long and failed to reach the Soul Society. Vasto Lorde is considered to be the most evolved form of a Hollow. This anime transformation took place when Ichigo was mortally wounded.


4) Gon Freecss’ Adult Form

Gon after his transformation (Image via Madhouse)
Gon after his transformation (Image via Madhouse)

In the Hunter x Hunter series, Nen is the most fundamental aspect that allows characters to use and manipulate their life energy. Gon, one of the most popular characters in the series, happened to be a Nen user and fought against Neferpithou. In this fight, he made a Nen contract that allowed him to become strong enough to defeat Neferpithou. The trade-off for this contract was that he could not use his Nen ever again. During this event, Gon’s body matured by a few decades and, in that instant, appeared like an adult human being. This transformation marked an important plot point in the Hunter x Hunter series.


Stay tuned for more anime and manga news as 2023 progresses.

Quick Links

Edited by Somava
App download animated image Get the free App now