The fact of the matter is that anime has a special charm of its own that's quite hard to beat. From hilarious love stories to incredible action set-pieces, anime has all this and then some. No matter where your interests may lie, it's very much possible that your area will be covered with a slew of anime series that are all great in their own right.
One such vertical that anime has grabbed by the horns is action, developing its own genre in the process — shonen. There are simply way too many notable anime series in this regard that we can list out. Dragon Ball Z, Fullmetal Alchemist, My Hero Academia, Naruto, Bleach — the list can go on and on and on to the point of redundancy. Therefore, it's better that we talk about the main focus of this article (and the reason why you probably clicked on the title in the first place) — villain transformations.
Most shonen anime series feature a villain that will stop at nothing to tear down the heroes, to the point where they unlock their full potential and transform into some of the most daunting and powerful foes of all time. This list takes a look at 30 such transformations and ranks them in terms of sheer raw power and potency.
25 Anderson's Transformation (Hellsing: Ultimate)
Hellsing is one of the most engrossing anime of all time, and watching the ridiculously overpowered Alucard lay waste to his foes is a treat to watch in every sense of the word.
However, this doesn't mean that his foes are pushovers.
Just take the example of Anderson, who used Helena's Nail as a victory state to match Alucard's power, which is no small feat. Allowing him to become a monster in the vein of his enemy, the mere fact that Alucard considered this nemesis worthy enough to hand him a defeat speaks volumes when it came to Anderson's heightened power.
24 Female Titan (Attack On Titan)
Attack On Titan took over the world by storm with a premise unlike anything ever seen before. Featuring a number of titans who have serves as a thorn in humanity's side since time immemorial, it must be said that this series also featured its fair share of powerful titans.
This includes the Female Titan as well.
The reason why this transformation ranks so low as of right now is that this particular titan transformation was taken care of quite early on, which definitely implies that this transformation takes a pretty hard knock power-wise.
23 Armored Titan (Attack On Titan)
Speaking of hard knocks, how can we talk about titan transformations and not mention the enigma that is the Armored Titan? Reiner's transformation was a well-kept secret until the very end, allowing us to witness what is — admittedly enough — the Brock Lesnar of titan transformations.
This Titan gives Eren his fair share of troubles.
However, while the Titan's defensive ability might be quite fearsome, his offensive power is nothing really spectacular when compared to the other transformations on this list.
22 Hidan's Wacky Transformation (Naruto)
Hidan is one of the oddest Naruto characters around, and it's easy to see why this is the case. After all, the fact of the matter is that his power is so obtuse that one really can't gauge its overall strength.
Using a ritual he'd learned from his home village, Hidan had the ability to commandeer anyone's movements as long as they were ensnared in his trap. This, coupled with his immortality, meant that he was a powerful foe indeed who needed to be taken care of with brains, rather than brawn.
21 All For One (My Hero Academia)
The infamous All For One power from My Hero Academia was a scene that was a long time coming. With the ability to absorb powers from anyone and everyone, you knew for a fact that this character was a force to be reckoned from the very beginning.
His reveal in the anime is breathtaking and horrifying in equal measure, and it needs to be said that All For One would've become a major villain had it not been for the incredible hype punch that All Might threw with all his... might.
We'd like to say that this pun was unintentional... but was it really?
20 Aizen Sosuke's Shikai (Bleach)
Aizen is the best antagonist in Bleach, period. This can be seen in the fact that the entire series itself took a turn for the worst once his arc came to a close and a new antagonist came into the foray — although that's more to blame on the fact that Tite Kubo never really thought this series through in the first place.
However, Aizen's Shikai was still an incredible power nevertheless, allowing him to warp one's very perception of time and space itself. If only we could know what Aizen's Bankai was as well... but we guess that secret's going to Kubo's grave.
19 Boros (One-Punch Man)
At this point, you might understandably be laughing to witness a name like Boros on the list. After all, this was a villain who was taken care of with little to no efforts put in by Saitama, but the fact of the matter is that this villain is incredibly powerful in every sense of the word.
After all, he was able to withstand a punch from Saitama after transformation, meaning that his power was definitely nothing to scoff at. One might wonder what would've been the case if Saitama wasn't standing in his way, to begin with.
18 Colossal Titan (Attack On Titan)
The Colossal Titan happened to be the figurehead of the unknown Titan assaulters during the early going of the series before the truth finally came to light. However, the fact of the matter is that this Titan's power is nothing to scoff at, and one need only look at its humongous stature to understand why this is the case.
While the Colossal Titan might be ridiculously slow to the point of it being nothing more than a glorified siege machine, the sheer level of power that goes into each and every blow is beyond compare in the series, making it truly something to be feared.
17 Marshall D. Teach's Powers (One Piece)
The powers of the Devil Fruit in One Piece are truly something to fear. A person who has even one of these powers can lay waste to anything and everything in front of them without so much as a second thought.
But hey, you know what's even more powerful than the abilities of one Devil Fruit? Why, it's the abilities of two Devil Fruits! This is exactly why Marshall D. Teach is considered to be one of the fiercest pirates in One Piece — his powers are quite extensive and can lead to the demise of pretty much anyone who unfortunately crosses his path.
16 Beast Titan (Attack On Titan)
The Beast Titan might not break records in terms of sheer raw power in Attack On Titan. However, don't fool yourself into thinking that this Titan transformation isn't all that potent since that's far from the absolute truth.
His throwing ability as a Titan is second to none, creating visible sonic booms with each thrust. Along with this, there's also his unique ability to turn people into Titans, thereby giving him an almost limitless army that serves at his behest.
15 Perfect Cell (Dragon Ball Z)
Perfect Cell is an enigma in every sense of the word. The character was never really supposed to exist in the first place until Toriyama was told off by his editor and forced to create an antagonist that could replace the kiddish-looking Androids.
The end result was a creature that could transform by absorbing the Androids and become something truly imposing and powerful, with incredibly regenerative powers to boot. It was a threat that compelled Gohan to reach the next level of Super Saiyan and provided fans with one of the best Dragon Ball Z arcs.
14 Six Paths Obito (Naruto: Shippuden)
Obito's story is a tragic one indeed, full of loss, betrayal... and oodles upon oodles of misunderstandings. Fine, the character might not be all that enthralling at first glance, but the fact of the matter is that his transformation as the Ten-Tails Jinchuuriki is definitely something to be feared nevertheless.
Attaining the powers of the Six Paths Sage is no small thing to brag about, with a whole host of new powers that would lay waste to even the most powerful of ninja.
13 Meruem's Nen (Hunter X Hunter)
Hunter X Hunter is one of the most engrossing shonen anime series of all time, and it's a shame that this manga constantly goes on hiatus time and time again. However, that doesn't take away from the sheer quality of the series, which simply can't be dismissed.
Anyway, the one thing that needs to be discussed when it comes to the power displayed in the series comes in the form of Meruem's (the antagonist of the Chimera Ant arc) Nen — a power that can prove to be quite fearsome indeed.
12 Six Paths Madara (Naruto: Shippuden)
We've already talked about the Six Paths Mode that Obito reached, but one might argue that Madara's base power and potential means that he's more than qualified to take over this role himself. His mastery of Limbo and the Truth-Seeking Balls is something that needs to be seen to be believed.
One might argue that if Zetsu hadn't betrayed him, the Six Paths Madara would've completely destroyed anything and everything in his path without any problems whatsoever.
11 Majin Vegeta (Dragon Ball Z)
Vegeta is one of the most complex and misunderstood characters in Dragon Ball Z, and his motive to become Majin Vegeta is one such metric that people don't really tend to bring up at times. However, we're not here to talk emotions — we're here to talk about the level of power that Vegeta unlocked after selling his soul... figuratively speaking.
His fight against Goku after he reaches this stage is an absolute treat to watch in every sense of the word, giving Earth's Strongest Warrior a run for his money indeed.
10 The Transformation Into Kid Buu (Dragon Ball Z)
The Buu Saga might not sit well with the majority of fans who were expecting a higher standard of quality after the excellence of the Cell Saga, but the fact of the matter is that this arc still features incredible power-ups — the peak of which is reached with the transformation of Super Buu into Kid Buu.
With a one-dimensional goal in mind of needless destruction, the very fact that this creature was able to lay waste to the entire earth as we know it with a simple blast should be proof enough of just how powerful Kid Buu actually is.
9 Misogi Kumagawa's Powers (Medaka Box Abnormal)
Medaka Box Abnormal is a show that's vastly underrated. We strongly urge you to take a look at this show if you wish to satisfy your anime cravings... but we digress. Instead of spewing endless rhetoric about the series as a whole, let us talk about one of its antagonists whose powers are truly something to be feared.
For the most part, Misogi Kumagawa might seem like your run-of-the-mill antagonist. However, the fact of the matter is that one he receives power of All Fiction, his danger level peaks. The mere fact that he can will a person's existence itself to diminish is proof enough of just how potent his ability actually is.
8 From Syn Shenron To Omega Shenron (Dragon Ball GT)
Dragon Ball GT is a show that is understandably lambasted for taking a massive crap on the legacy set by Dragon Ball Z and shamelessly pandering to kids. However, this doesn't mean that the show doesn't feature its fair share of epic moments, such as when Syn Shenron transforms into the all-powerful Omega Shenron.
The fights that ensure are ridiculously one-sided with both Super Saiyan 4 Goku and Vegeta unable to lay waste to this imposing fiend. It's only after Goku launches a Universal Spirit Bomb that this threat is taken care of for good once and for all.
7 Golden Frieza (Dragon Ball Super)
Golden Frieza truly is one of the most interesting and striking transformations in the Dragon Ball series. We say this mainly because of the fact that this particular transformation was able to single-handedly bring a character up from a state of negligence into something truly fearsome.
The first time we saw this transformation was in the Resurrection Of F movie, and — while the powers of this transformation were cut short — it must be said that the power of this particular transformation is nothing to scoff at.
6 Dio Brando's Stand (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure)
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is one of the best shonen anime and manga series of all time, and no — we're not mincing any words when we say that. The sheer craziness of the fandom when it comes to this series should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this show absolutely needs to be followed if you truly wish to call yourself an anime fan.
Anyway, the major topic of discussion right now when it comes to this series is its most famous antagonist, Dio Brando. After making a comeback, this character unveils his Stand, aptly titled "The World." This power stops the flow of time itself, so we don't really need to elaborate further as to why this power is so impactful.
5 Father's Ascension To Godhood (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the best manga and anime(s) around, and it's easy to see why this is the case. An excellent cast of characters, coupled with a brilliant a setting and story, make for a highly engrossing viewing experience in every sense of the word.
One of the major antagonists of this game — the Homunculus known as Father — attains the Power Of God at one point in the series, meaning that the laws of alchemy didn't really apply to him anymore.
4 Griffith's Transformation Into Femto (Berserk)
Berserk is one of the most engrossing dark fantasy titles of all time, but we strongly advise you to think twice before watching it if both your stomach and heart are rather queasy. Otherwise, the manner in which Griffith transforms into Femto might not really sit well with you.
After the events of The Day Of The Black Sun, Griffith was not bound by the chains of the Physical World anymore. This allowed him to acquire a mire of telekinetic abilities that would completely destroy any unworthy adversary in his path.
3 Kars' Transformation Into The Ultimate Being (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure)
Becoming the Ultimate Being is no joke. The powers of a Vampire that come with none of the side effects, coupled with the added notion of immortality, turns an already formidable Kars into something truly scary.
As an Ultimate Being, almost nothing can stop his rampage.
If it wasn't for Joseph's quick thinking, then Kars could've destroyed the entire world without so much as blinking an eye. Thankfully, this fate was avoided by shooting an unsuspecting Kars into space and letting the natural elements wear his body down.
2 Tetsuo Shima Becoming The Ruler Of A Universe (Akira)
Akira is considered by many to be one of the most groundbreaking anime movies of all time, and one need only take a look at this classic to understand why this is the case.
The story of Tetsuo Shima is a tragic one indeed.
After unwittingly becoming a host to the Esper named Akira, Tetsuo keeps on evolving and reaching new heights of power until his entire existence needs to be contained in an entirely different universe.
Oh, and to top it all off, he also becomes the god of said universe.
1 Super Saiyan Broly (Dragon Ball Super)
With the recent release of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, you knew that this transformation would make the cut in some way or the other. After all, the fact that this normal Super Saiyan transformation could wipe the floor with both Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Vegeta proves just how powerful Broly actually is.
We admit that placing Broly as an antagonist might be too much of a stretch.
After all, the character was just misunderstood for the most part and was humanized to an extent where one might even consider him to be a future addition to the Z Warriors.
Only time will tell whether that is actually the case.