Best Anime & Manga Swordsmen of All Time

Is your favorite on the list?

by Franklin Bellone Borges

Through the years, many masters of the sword made their mark throughout a wide array of different mediums, which of course includes both anime and manga. But who are the best swordsmen to ever be featured on both mediums? Now, in order to answer that and more, here are the best anime & manga swordsmen of all time.

  • Be advised, this list will feature HEAVY Spoilers for both Claymore and Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.

Best Anime & Manga Swordsmen of All Time

Guts (Berserk)


To start our list we have Guts, the Black Swordsman, and the protagonist of Berserk. Guts is without a doubt one of the best swordsmen, if not the best, to be featured in either medium, thanks to his honed instincts, strength, and swordsmanship. The latter of which allows him to wield the Dragon Stalyer greatsword with unbelievable mastery and at massive speeds, a feat which becomes even more impressive when you realize that he’s doing it after losing his left arm and right eye.

But that’s not a surprise, right? After all, that is to be expected from someone capable of slaying 100 men by himself.

You can currently officially read Berserk by purchasing the series’ official volumes.

Related: The Best Anime From Every Decade on The Mary Sue 

Teresa (Claymore)


The former number 1 and the strongest warrior to ever take the blade in Claymore, Teresa, also known as ”Faint Smile” can also be easily considered both one of the best and one of the strongest sword users in all media. A feat she manages to achieve during the manga’s final battle when her presence took over and her strength grew thanks to both her own (and Claire’s) past experiences, prowess, as well as the strength of Claire’s feelings towards her and her companions.

You can currently read Claymore in its entirety by purchasing the series’ official volumes.

Yoriichi Tsugikuni (Kimetsu no Yaiba: Demon Slayer)


The strongest swordsman in Demon Slayer as well as the creator of the original Breathing Style. Yoriichi was not only a genius but also possessed superhuman senses and skills since his birth. He also honed his abilities to the point in which he was able to completely defeat Muzan and force the demon into hiding for almost a century with a single strike, all while inflicting wounds that would continue to affect the body of the demon even centuries after their encounter.

You can currently read all chapters of Demon Slayer on Viz Media, as well as both the first and last chapters of the series n MangaPlus, if available in your country. You can also check out the series’ acclaimed anime adaptation right now on Crunchyroll. If you are new to the series and want’s to quickly pick up, don’t froget to also check out the best Demon Slayer watch order.

Miyamoto Musashi (Vagabond)


It’s impossible to talk about swordsmen in both manga and anime without mentioning Miyamoto Musashi, the main character of Vagabond, the acclaimed manga adaptation of Eiji Yoshikawa’s Musashi, and a fictional version of the swordmaster of the same name. For those who know Musashi’s history, is a given that he would be featured here, as he is considered a Sword Saint, as well as maybe the most influential philosopher of the blade to ever live. A feat showcased in his many works, which include the worldly renowned The Book of Five Rings.

You can currently read all of Vagabond’s available chapters by purchasing the series’ official volumes.

Dracule Mihawk (One Piece)


The former member of the Seven Warlords of the Sea (Shichibukai) and the holder of the title of the Best Swordsman in the One Piece universe, Dracule Mihawk’s mastery of the sword is renowned all over the world. Although he has yet to reveal the full extent of his abilities in combat, Mihawk is capable of wielding his massive black sword ”Yoru” in a wide variety of ways, a feat he showcased during the series’s Marineford (Paramount War) arc.

You can currently read the latest chapters of One Piece on either VIZ Media’s official site or through MangaPlus.

Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach)


Maybe the most controversial name on our list, with many claiming that his massive spiritual power is the main reason for his wins. It is impossible to deny Ichigo‘s natural talent with the blade. With that said,  he earns his spot thanks to his great adaptability, insane growth rate, and overall battle instincts, which are often pointed out by some of the series’ best swordmasters during the run. Fans are also able to watch Ichigo’s growth throughout the series, as he honed his technique throughout all the major arcs.

You can currently read Bleach in its entirety by purchasing the series’s official Tankobon volumes. You can also watch the adaptation of the series’ final arc, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War right now, exclusively on Disney Plus.

- This article was updated on December 21st, 2022