I don’t mean this in a deep way. I’m not going to talk about characters that could destroy us all because of the interplay of their morality and intelligence or how layers of trauma and experience can come together to create figurative monsters. I’m not even talking about anime characters with superpowers that could g rogue like Mob.
Nope, today I’m taking the silly literal path and I’m going to talk about anime characters that literally can turn into weapons. Usually swords… Isn’t it great how anime can anthropomorphize everything!
5- Denji – Chainsaw Man
This might be contested since Denji doesn’t actually turn into a chainsaw, he turns into a chainsaw demon but his head and limbs become chainsaws and he fights with them so it counts. Also, this is my list and I like Denji.
Also, a show that can be described as a guy partially turns into a chainsaw, fights demons and wants to touch boos, is one of the more emotionally poignant and introspective anime I have seen in a while. Now that’s worth a mention no matter what!
4- Mirai – Beyond the Boundary
What’s the point of setting rules for a list if I’m just going to break them all? Once again Mirai doesn’t actually turn into a weapon, but her blood does. That’s pretty cool.
Full disclosure, I really like Beyond the Boundary and I don’t have that many chances to talk about it. This is not the first list I have created at least partially as a chance to mention the show again.
3- Yukine – Noragami
Now we’re getting into the real meat of it. Yukine is a young boy who had a very difficult life. He deserved better. Now he’s a really nice sword. A regalia of a weapon. What more can you want?
There’s something cruel about using the soul of a lost child to kill your enemies. There’s a lot of unpleasant things hiding beneath the surface of Noragami’s charm and lovely visuals. But it’s when the story becomes willing to face that unpleasantness that you end up with something really special.
Yukine was a victim of a cycle of violence and now he is literally a weapon. A tool for such cycles. But in the right hands, he could become an instrument of peace and healing. That’s a sword I can get behind. Because standing in front of swords is pretty dangerous.
2- Soul – Soul Eater
Soul Eater is a pretty odd story if you try to just sit down and explain I to someone. Somehow as you watch it, it just works but I really couldn’t tell you why. And one of the elements is that half the students at Death Weapon Meister Academy are Meisters who can wield soul weapons and the other half of those students ARE the weapons.
There’s a bit more to it than that but basically, the show really plays on the specific relationship between a weapon and its wielder and what that would look like if they were both people as well.
I chose Soul out of all the weapons because he’s the main one. Also, he’s a scythe which is pretty cool. Despite his looks, Soul is one of the calmest and most cool-headed characters in the show. He’s also one of the more pacifist ones. And this contrast between what you would expect out of a person who is also a scythe and what you actually get, brings a lot of charm to the character.
1- All of Touken Ranbu
There a few iterations of Touken Ranbu. As far as anime is concerned, there’s a serious historical drama that fictionalizes the real events of Japan’s martial history and what roles these weapons and their wielders played in it. Then there’s the silly of slice of life which I happen to love and no one else does.
In both cases, the premise is what if historical weapons, specifically swords, were also hot guys. Brilliant, right? Why are they also hot guys? I dunno. I think that question misses the point. They are hot guys and a lot of them have mullets. What more do you want? They’re also all swords. It’s the anime characters who are weapons shangri-la!