8 amazing anime swordsmen that ooze toughness

Zoro is a great example
Zoro is a great example (Image via Toei Animation)

Anime swordsmen are ubiquitous in this industry, which shouldn't be surprising due to how simple yet effective their fight scenes can be at times. Not to mention, swords have always had an aura of strength about them, meaning that it's common for bonafide tough guys to be seen using them.

This listicle won't be ranked in any particular order. Instead, what matters is that all the anime swordsmen listed here are powerful within their respective series. They're usually cool, tough, and involved in some of the show's best fight scenes.


Eight strong anime swordsmen

1) Roronoa Zoro (One Piece)

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One Piece has no shortage of awesome swordsmen:

  • Mihawk
  • Shanks
  • Rayleigh
  • Vista
  • Law
  • Oden

However, Zoro is unquestionably the most iconic character of the bunch. He's part of the Straw Hat Pirates and wields three swords as of the current manga chapter:

  1. Wado Ichimonji
  2. Sandai Kitetsu
  3. Enma

One Piece fans usually see him dominating his opponents with his Three Sword Style, and there's no question that he oozes coolness while doing so. He's arguably the second strongest member of the Straw Hats, meaning he fits the bill of being tough down to a tee.


2) Hiei (YuYu Hakusho)

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Not all anime swordsmen primarily rely on their blades to win fights. While Hiei can certainly cut apart weaker foes, his true strength lies in Dragon of the Darkness Flame. That technique practically obliterates most foes it comes into contact with, with only the strongest enemies like Shensui surviving its onslaught.

Still, he does count as an anime character who utilizes a sword for the sake of a listicle like this one. He's undeniably tough and is regularly depicted to be dominant in his fights in YuYu Hakusho.

It also helps that he's extremely popular within the YuYu Hakusho fandom, even ranking higher than the main protagonist in the popularity polls.


3) Akame (Akame ga Kill!)

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Akame is much less flashy compared to the previous two anime swordsmen, but one shouldn't underestimate how deadly she is as a fighter. She was trained as an assassin by Gozuki and is usually seen as the strongest fighter within the Night Raid group.

She's extremely fast relative to other people in her universe (apparently going up to Mach 1), giving her a noticeable edge in her battles. Unsurprisingly, the titular character also survives the events of the anime, whereas all of her close allies perish.

The events of the manga are different, but it doesn't change the fact that Akame can fight well with any of the blades she chooses to use.


4) Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach)

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Bleach is another series full of great anime swordsmen. The main protagonist, Ichigo Kurosaki, utilizes a Zanpakutō known as Zangetsu to great effect and is known to have a godly amount of spiritual energy within the series. The fact that he can fight against other high-leveled fights in the series (like Kenpachi) is a testament to Ichigo's prowess with a blade.

He also dealt the final blow to the absurdly powerful Yhwach, who was the type of opponent that most anime swordsmen could never dream of defeating. Even if one excludes such feats, the fact that Ichigo always gets back up after an insane amount of injuries certainly amounts to him being a tough character.


5) Mugen (Samurai Champloo)

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Samurai Champloo is a really cool show that juxtaposes the traditional Edo period with hip-hop music and style. It's a great show to watch, with Mugen being one of the main characters. Either he or Jin would have sufficed here, but the former is debatably the cooler one to discuss.

As far as anime swordsmen go, Mugen is unpredictable and quickly adaptable, making him an excellent fighter in Samurai Champloo. He predictably wins many fights as the series progresses and ends up drawing against Jin in the finale before the two decide to spare one another.


6) Future Trunks (Dragon Ball Z)

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The Dragon Ball series is primarily known for fist-to-fist and energy attacks, but there are a few weapons used in the series. There are a few anime swordsmen in it, most notably Future Trunks. He carries a few different swords throughout the series, hence there is no specific name to refer to when it comes to his weapon.

However, Future Trunks is still tough as nails and uses this weapon wonderfully. A good example would be his bout with Fused Zamasu, where Future Trunks cut the antagonist down in the end. His proficiency with a blade is also seen in Dragon Ball Heroes, so it's likely that he'll retain his skills in the future.


7) Himura Kenshin (Rurouni Kenshin)

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Most anime swordsmen tend to focus on killing their opponents, but Himura is unique in that he vowed never to kill again. He appreciates life for what it is. Despite that, he's seen as an excellent fighter and is more than deserving of being on a list like this one.

His anime is much older than the other series listed here, and Rurouni Kenshin hasn't gotten much other than some live-action films and OVAs in the past decade. Ergo, he can seem underrated compared to the other heavy hitters here.

If one wanted to see some less fantastical anime swordsmen, then Himura Kenshin is one of the better examples to see in action.


8) Artoria Pendragon (Fate)

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Out of every anime swordsman shown in the Fate franchise, Artoria Pendragon is the most iconic one. She's part of the Saber class, usually described as the best regular class in this series. Artoria's prowess is not to be underestimated, and she even defeats notoriously powerful servants like Gilgamesh (Archer).

Her sword is Excalibur, which is also capable of unleashing a devastatingly strong series of attacks that can completely melt something absurdly powerful like a Gigantic Horror. Artoria Pendragon is another great example of how not all powerful anime swordsmen have to be men, even if the original King Arthur was a guy.


Note: Some aspects of this article are subjective.

Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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