Look across the wide landscape of anime and you’ll run across many amazing weapons. Elegant katana able to cut enemies down with a single slash. Giant swords created to kill legendary monsters. Unique blades made of flexible steel that can cross long distances in a flash. If you can imagine a weapon, there’s a good chance it’s graced the pages of a manga volume or the frames of an anime opening.
From stubborn blades that test potential wielders’ mettle to cursed sabers that offer great power in exchange for life energy, here are eight of the coolest anime swords.
The Current Three (Pirate Hunter Zoro from One Piece)
The infamous green-haired swordsman of One Piece has gone through many swords in the long-running pirate series. He uses them roughly, to say the least, and his trademark style involves wielding three blades simultaneously. The three swords Zoro currently wields are: Wado Ichimonji, which belonged to his childhood friend, rival, and inspiration Kuina; Enma, a legendary sword considered uncontrollable by many people due to its ability to drain wielders of their spiritual energy; and Sandai Kitetsu, a cursed sword said to bring its owner nothing but misery.
Zoro’s swords each have their respective advantages and disadvantages, but Sandai Kitetsu’s curse would make even the most stalwart warrior take pause. Not Zoro, though. Upon hearing of the fate the sword brought its owners, he threw the sword up in the air to see if it would cut his arm on the way down. It didn’t, and the rest is history.
Dragon Slayer (Guts from Berserk)
Oversized swords can be found all over anime and manga, but perhaps none is more oversized than Dragon Slayer, the signature weapon of Berserk’s protagonist, Guts. Born out of a blacksmith’s frustration with snooty nobles and their impractical requests, Dragon Slayer was forged with one purpose in mind: slaying dragons. Hardly a surprise, considering the name.
Alas, due to its massive size, your average swordsman couldn’t pick up the weapon, let alone wield it with any skill or finesse. Dragon Slayer would go on to languish in storage for years until a certain traumatized (but extremely resilient) mercenary found it.
Scissor Blades (Ryuko Matoi and Nui Harime from Kill La Kill)
As the name suggests, the Scissor Blades consist of two swords that, when combined, form a giant pair of scissors. If you’re unfamiliar with Kill La Kill, there’s a reason for this conceit. Life Fibers are parasitic organisms that feed on humans, and the Scissor Blades were created to cut them, or rather, fight them.
Such a singular weapon attracts a lot of attention though, and it cost the Scissor Blades’ creator his life. After that, the weapon split into two separate blades: one going to the creator’s killer and the other to the creator’s daughter.
Senbonzakura (Byakuya Kuchiki from Bleach)
Bleach boasts a huge variety of swords to suit every anime fan’s taste and preference. Enormous swords, twin blades, non-traditional weapons—Bleach might have them all. As the captain of the Sixth Division of Soul Society’s Gotei 13, Byakuya Kuchiki wields one of the more impressive swords from the series.
At first glance, Senbonzakura looks like a simple katana, but this deceptive first impression hides a deadly truth. When released, the sword splits into a thousand smaller blades that resemble cherry blossoms. Enemies might think they’re being showered by flowers. In reality, they’re being cut a thousand times over.
Lostvayne (Meliodas from Seven Deadly Sins)
A shortsword with holes along its blade, Lostvayne might not inspire the same level of fear or awe as other weapons featured on this list. In terms of its innate destructive ability, that might be a fair assessment. Where Lostvayne shines, however, is in its special power: it can clone its wielder. In fact, Lostvayne can create up to six clones of its user.
Not only does this allow Meliodas to stay out of a fight by letting his clones deal attacks and take damage, Lostvayne also imbues each clone with a portion of his skills and special abilities.
Murasame (Akame from Akame Ga Kill)
Murasame means “cold autumn rain” in Japanese. The poetic name contradicts the cursed sword’s true nature. It deals instant death. A single cut from the blade can stop a person’s heart in a seconds. This ability means its current owner—the former imperial assassin Akame—must wear gloves while wielding it to avoid accidentally killing herself.
Despite the inconvenience, the sword has a clear advantage in a fight. Outside of a fight, however, it means taking extra care during routine maintenance. It doesn’t matter if you were cut by its blade in a fight or not, after all. You’ll still die.
Samehada (Kisame Hoshigaki from Naruto)
A ninja-themed series like Naruto features many warriors and through them, many interesting swords. Samehada, wielded by the elite swordsman Kisame, falls into this category. Samehada isn’t a classic Japanese sword like a katana. Instead, its blade consists of scales. This might not seem intimidating at first, but the name hints at the truth.
Samehada, which means sharkskin in Japanese, can shred its target. Even more terrifying, the sword loves to eat chakra. In a world where most ninja use chakra to power their techniques, Samehada enjoys an unlimited buffet. On top of that, the more chakra Samehada consumes, the bigger the sword gets.
And if that weren’t enough, the sentient sword chooses its owner. If Samehada deems someone unworthy, it will impale their hand by growing spikes from its hilt.
The Nichirin Sword (Kyojuro Rengoku from Demon Slayer)
The Nichirin Sword occupies a unique position. It isn’t one specific sword but rather a type of sword. Wielded by the titular demon hunters of Demon Slayer, these weapons are made from special ore exposed to sunlight all year-long. Since demons are vulnerable to sunlight, decapitating them with blades made from this sun-infused metal circumvents their regenerative abilities and kills them permanently. But their demon-killing power isn’t what make Nichirin Swords stand out. The swords change color when first drawn by their owner.
Kyojuro Rengoku, the beloved hashira from the Mugen Train arc, bore a Nichirin Sword with a distinct red flame along its blade’s edge and a matching flame-designed handguard.
Featured photo: Ufotable, Inc. / IMDb