- Key takeaways:
- My Hero Academia’s most powerful characters leverage their quirks in clever ways, emphasizing tactics and strategy alongside raw power.
- Some characters, like Fumikage Tokoyami and Momo Yaoyorozu, possess remarkable quirks that have immense potential and can be incredibly useful in combat situations.
- The series showcases both heroes and villains who possess exceptional power, highlighting the different paths that power can lead to in the world of My Hero Academia.
My Hero Academia is one of modern shonen’s biggest hits, and that’s in large part due to its incredible array of powerful characters. With the series boasting an impressive cast, measuring the most powerful is no easy task. Quirks are wide and varied, with some having plenty of practical applications that aren’t exactly suited for combat. That being said though, My Hero Academia’s most powerful heroes and villains are so powerful they rank among the strongest in shonen history.
More so than just raw strength though, My Hero Academia’s most powerful heroes and villains find clever ways to leverage their Quirks. This puzzle aspect of shonen power systems has always been am iconic part of the genre and gives fights a more dynamic edge than just two characters trying to our muscle each other. My Hero Academia’s strongest characters are tactical threats in addition to their raw power, making for deadly villains and daring heroes.
18 Fumikage Tokoyami
Tokoyami’s quirk, Dark Shadow, is actually a spirit that inhabits his body, which he has some degree of control over. While Dark Shadow isn’t too impressive in broad daylight, it’s at night and in dark places where the quirk really shines, as it grows stronger in darker areas. Tokoyami has even lost control of Dark Shadow before in very dark places, such as the Forest Training Camp, and its true power is staggering. Since Tokoyami’s still young, it may take time before he can fully control it at such levels, but the raw power alone is enough to warrant a place on this list.
17 Momo Yaoyorozu
Momo is a brilliant girl with a tactical mind, along with one of the quirks with the greatest potential in the entire series. Her quirk, Creation, allows her to create anything she understands the molecular structure of, and for that reason Momo has spent a good deal of her life learning about how things are put together. Momo has been able to create everything from rubber blankets to sedatives to actual cannons, and the only limit is her own fat reserves. Momo works best as the leader of a group who can help distract from her while she’s actually creating things, which does leave her a bit vulnerable.
16 Eraser Head
While Eraser Head may be a powerful hero in his own right, it’s not necessarily his quirk that makes him so powerful. Having the ability to shut down the quirk of any opponent sounds helpful, but he can only keep that up for brief moments. Izuku is quick to point out that Eraser Head’s quirk is best suited to taking on villains one-on-one or while fighting from the shadows. It is Eraser Head’s commitment to training and becoming better than what his quirk can offer that makes him a truly fantastic hero. Perhaps his perseverance and intelligence are his most valuable assets instead of his useful but limited quirk.
A villain who enjoys killing heroes, Muscular is the definition of all brawn and no brains. His quirk coats his body with thick layers of muscle fiber that can regenerate rapidly, making it extremely difficult to actually deal damage to him. Deku nearly died trying to bring him down the first time, as he knows exactly how to handle physical fighters. In a match of raw power, there are very few heroes who could come out on top, with All Might likely the only character physically stronger. Muscular’s return in the Dark Hero arc showed, however, that he’s much more susceptible to unconventional attacks, and Deku was able to dispatch him quickly as a result.
Having the power to create a vortex that can absorb anything and turn it into dust may seem like a pretty amazing ability, and, while it certainly has its uses—like when it comes to saving the lives of people trapped in debris after some sort of natural disaster—there are definitely some drawbacks. It appears as though Thirteen needs a special suit to control and contain the power held within the suit. Plus, it seems like Thriteen’s vortex could turn into a serious hazard for her allies in some circumstances. Still, a valuable asset to do-gooders, Thirteen seems to have earned her place among Japan’s hero elite.
While Bakugo has always been one to boast about how powerful and naturally gifted he is, once he begins attending U.A., his world opens up quite a bit. His quirk allows him to secrete nitroglycerin from his hands and ignite it on command. Bakugo’s fiery temper betrays his incredible discipline and undeniable skill as an up-and-coming hero. Though hot-headed and jealous, he’s eager to keep up with his classmate and lifetime rival Izuku Midoriya. Part of Bakugo’s power comes from the confidence he has built up from childhood, and, while that may be enough to get him to U.A., he’ll have to learn to control his temper and further hone his skill to remain as one of My Hero Academia‘s most powerful characters.
12 Shoto Todoroki
Much like Bakugo, Todoroki has had a strange relationship with his power from a young age. While Bakugo began to view his power as a pedestal that would lift him to star status like his hero, All Might, Todoroki learned to view his powers as more of a burden that linked him to his estranged father. For most of his young life, Todoroki has struggled to unite with the part of his power that connects to Endeavor. However, in the second season, Izuku helped Todoroki begin to move past that inner conflict and understand that his powers are his own. While he remains a bit too pensive, he’s undeniably one of the strongest U.A. students.
11 Best Jeanist
Best Jeanist is the #3 pro hero, and it’s a title he truly deserves. His quirk allows him to manipulate fibers, but even things like braided steel ropes count as fibers, giving him a lot more power than one would expect. Best Jeanist’s ability is applicable in a number of ways, as he can control a villain’s clothing to impede their movement, or control ropes to help tie them up. In the Paranormal Liberation War arc, Best Jeanist’s presence almost singlehandedly saves the heroes from defeat, and he’s clever enough to come packing his own materials to use his quirk on. While his power may seem silly on the surface, it’s actually a real powerhouse.
While the My Hero Academia storyline abounds with tragic villains, few antagonists experienced as much agony as Kurogiri. First introduced as a close compatriot of All For One and Tomura Shigaraki, it’s later revealed that he was once a friend of Eraser Head who had been transformed into a Nomu-like beast. Though his backstory may be upsetting, he’s an invaluable asset to the League of Villains. Able to teleport his allies to and from their hideout and break them into otherwise secure areas, he helps to facilitate many of the group’s operations.
The primary antagonist of the first half of My Hero Academia‘s fourth season, Kai Chisaki, better known as Overhaul, becomes the leader of the Shie Hassaikai and plans to rid the world of quirks by manufacturing bullets imbued with Eri’s powers of reversal. Though he comes across as relatively unimposing, when angered or threatened, Overhaul is capable of going to extreme lengths to maintain and protect his operation. Welding a terrifying body-morphing ability and seemingly able to kill with the mere brush of a hand, Kai Chisaki is easily one of the most intimidating villains in the My Hero Academia anime.
The current number-two pro hero in the My Hero Academia anime, Hawks incredible skill and intelligence are at odds with his devil-may-care persona. His quirk, Fierce Wings, allows him to fly and launch razor-sharp feathers at his enemies, though it has its limits. Hawks’ place in the anime is a bit convoluted; at first thought to be a traitor, Hawks is eventually revealed to be a triple-agent of sorts, masquerading as a hero while serving as an informant for the bad guys… while actually serving as an informant for the heroes. His true allegiance is to the heroes, and he proved himself invaluable in the Paranormal Liberation War.
7 Tomura Shigaraki
While being able to turn anyone into dust with a simple touch of all five fingers may seem like a powerful quirk, it’s also quite flawed. This quirk can only be utilized in very close quarters, and it appears that Shigaraki doesn’t have much control over the quirk—at least initially—which would understandably make living a normal life difficult. Shigaraki’s character is fleshed out quite a bit during his battle against Re-Destro in Season 5, and his terrifying power makes his role as a villain feel as if it were inevitable. In season 6, Shigaraki receives the All for One quirk from his master, increasing the threat he poses hundreds of times.
When in the care of Kai Chisaki, Eri was put through countless abuses as the villain used her incredible powers to further his plot for domination. She was almost saved by Izuku Midoriya and Mirio Togata early on in Season 4, though her recapture only came after a hard-fought battle at the Shie Hassaikai hideout. Later brought to live with and rehabilitated by the students of U.A.’s Class 1-A, Eri possesses the power to return a person’s body to a previous state. With it, she was able to instantly heal Deku as he pushed One For All far beyond the normal limits, but it could also potentially be used to rewind a person out of existence.
Though eventually defeated and imprisoned, Gigantomachia was perhaps All For One’s strongest and most loyal acolyte. A gargantuan beast possessing multiple quirks, the villain’s incredible strength and remarkable endurance made him a terrifying force for the League of Villains. Able to defeat Tomura Shigaraki and the League of Villains in battle, few could stand in Gigantomachia’s path and live to tell the tale. In fact, he even managed to kill Pro Hero Majestic, and his only downfall stems from his simpleminded devotion to his master.
4 Star and Stripe
America’s #1 hero, Star and Stripe is a bold warrior who modeled herself after All Might. Her quirk, New Order, is exceedingly powerful, as it allows her to create rules which both her opponents and the world at large must follow. She could use this to grant herself extra abilities like super strength, create massive constructs that can fight on her behalf, and restrict her opponents at the same time. New Order did have some weaknesses, but exactly how the quirk worked was a closely guarded secret, to prevent villains from taking advantage of it. She proved herself worthy of the status as America’s #1 in her fight with “Shigaraki,” knowing exactly how best to use her quirk.
The de-facto number-one hero following All Might’s retirement, Endeavor wields Hellflame, a powerful quirk that allows him to launch large blasts of fire from his body. Endeavor spent years in All Might’s shadow, and his resentment was such that he selectively bred and raised his children so that they might one day overtake the Symbol of Peace. While Endeavor’s pride was his greatest weakness, he begins to make amends with his family in the series’ fifth season. Though he’s made plenty of mistakes in the past, Endeavor’s incredible power and potential as a hero is unmistakable.
2 All Might
All For One stood nearly unopposed when he first rose to power, but he engendered a fatal flaw when he chose to force upon his meek brother a quirk. His brother was then able to pass this ability on, beginning a lineage of One For All users who dutifully opposed All For One. Though Izuku Midoriya is the current holder of the power, he has yet to live up to the reputation of his mentor, All Might. The Symbol of Peace able to restore order in a world of chaos, All Might fought All For One to the near-death twice, something no other hero could manage.
1 All For One
Undoubtedly the most powerful antagonist in the series, and overall the strongest character in My Hero Academia, All For One has the ability to steal the quirks of others and transfer them to either himself or to other people. A walking stockpile of stolen power, All For One has lived for a millennium and still reigns as one of the most dangerous men on the planet. Though he operates from the shadows, he’s a major part of the League of Villains and the Paranormal Liberation Front, and he’s likely the only villain capable of taking All Might on in a one-on-one confrontation.
The nature of quirks in My Hero Academia means that anyone could find themselves wielding tremendous power, but what’s important is how they decide to use it. The most powerful characters in the series are split between heroes and villains, showing the two paths that power can lead to. But power isn’t everything, and a clever mind can turn even a seemingly weak quirk into a powerhouse under the right circumstances. By combining tactics and strategy with their raw power, these My Hero Academia characters have proven themselves the best of the best.