In the world of anime, the true spirit of a character often shines brightest in the face of adversity. One common motif we see is characters overcoming physical limitations, proving that strength isn’t defined solely by the number of limbs one has.
One armed anime characters stand as a testament to this concept, embodying resilience and tenacity. These characters, each marked by their unique narratives and abilities, add a layer of depth and intrigue to their respective stories.
From gallant warriors to master strategists, this diverse roster makes one thing abundantly clear – you don’t need two arms to leave a lasting impact. Today, we embark on a journey to explore and rank the top 20 one armed anime characters.
So, prepare yourself for a gripping ride filled with sheer determination and inspiring heroism.
One Armed Anime Characters
In this section, we dive deeper into the compelling world of one armed anime characters. We’re about to embark on a fascinating exploration, showcasing the diverse range of these unique characters.
From epic battles to emotional narratives, each character has an inspiring story to tell, defying limitations to create unforgettable moments.
1. Edward Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist)
The story of Edward Elric, the protagonist of Fullmetal Alchemist, is one of the most compelling narratives in anime. Following a tragic alchemy experiment gone wrong, Edward loses his left leg, and his younger brother Alphonse loses his entire body. In a desperate bid to save Alphonse, Edward sacrifices his right arm to bind Alphonse’s soul to a suit of armor.
Edward’s prosthetic limbs, known as automail, become emblematic of his resilience and unyielding determination. This one-armed alchemist embodies the spirit of sacrifice and the pursuit of redemption, earning him a place in our hearts and on this list.
2. Shanks (One Piece)
Shanks, a yonko (one of the Four Emperors of the sea) in the expansive universe of One Piece, is renowned for his unmatched courage and strength. Despite losing his left arm while saving protagonist Luffy as a child, Shanks remains one of the most powerful characters in the series.
His one-armed status doesn’t hinder him; it reminds him of his selflessness and bravery. Shanks inspires with his charismatic leadership, friendly demeanor, and his ability to maintain peace among the tumultuous seas.
3. Megumi Tadokoro (Food Wars)
Though not physically one-armed, Megumi Tadokoro from Food Wars is considered “one-armed” due to her unique cooking style. Primarily using her right hand to perform complex culinary tasks, she showcases exceptional skill and creativity.
Her single-handed proficiency highlights her concentration, efficiency, and resourcefulness in the high-pressure world of gourmet cooking. Megumi’s journey showcases personal growth, overcoming her timid nature to become one of the most beloved characters in the series.
4. Guts (Berserk)
Guts, the protagonist of Berserk, carries a narrative of struggle and survival like few others. He loses his right arm in a life-altering event, marking a pivotal point in his story.
Instead of accepting defeat, Guts replaces his lost limb with a mechanical one equipped with a repeating crossbow and a cannon. His tenacity, raw physical strength, and relentless spirit make him a truly unique character in Berserk’s dark and gritty world.
5. Hyakkimaru (Dororo)
Born without limbs, sight, hearing, or even skin, Hyakkimaru from Dororo is an extraordinary example of a one-armed anime character. As a child, he is fitted with prosthetic limbs and embarks on a journey to recover his original body parts from demons.
Each regained piece adds to his character development and abilities. Hyakkimaru’s struggle is both literal and metaphorical as he grapples with his humanity while fighting monsters. His story stands as a testament to resilience, depicting the real monsters of the world: greed and betrayal.
6. Nagato (Naruto Shippuden)
Nagato, the acting leader of the Akatsuki in Naruto Shippuden, stands out for his complex character development and distinctive abilities. Though he technically possesses both arms, Nagato is frequently represented using a single arm due to his iconic usage of the Deva Path.
A victim of war and violence from a young age, Nagato’s journey is a testament to resilience and an exploration of the gray areas of morality. His iconic Shinra Tensei technique, used with one arm outstretched, exemplifies his one-armed prowess, adding to his distinct identity in the Naruto universe.
7. Violet Evergarden (Violet Evergarden)
In the eponymous anime, Violet Evergarden is a ‘Auto Memories Doll’ who loses both her arms during war. She is equipped with prosthetic arms and embarks on a poignant journey of understanding emotions and the human heart.
The way she types heartfelt letters single-handedly for her clients illustrates her determination and adaptability. Her journey from a child soldier to an empathetic individual while grappling with her prosthetics and the emotional scars of war is a beautifully crafted narrative of resilience.
8. Kaname Tōsen (Bleach)
In Bleach, Kaname Tōsen, the former captain of the 9th Division, loses his arm during a battle. Despite this, he remains a formidable opponent with his high spiritual Power and expert swordsmanship.
From being a justice-driven Shinigami to a rebel, his unique path outlines a complex character painted in shades of grey. The loss of his arm further deepens his character, serving as a testament to his dedication to his personal ideals.
9. Natsume (Deca-Dence)
Natsume, the spirited protagonist of Deca-Dence, is a Tanker girl with a prosthetic right arm. Despite her physical limitations and societal expectations, she dreams of joining the Power and fighting against the Gadoll.
Her prosthetic arm doesn’t hold her back but instead becomes an integral part of her combat style. Natsume’s journey of breaking barriers and chasing her dreams is a moving portrayal of determination and courage.
10. Deishuu Kaiki (Monogatari Series)
Deishuu Kaiki, a recurring character in the Monogatari Series, is an enigmatic con artist with an intriguing persona. Though not physically one-armed, he’s often seen keeping one arm inside his coat, giving him a distinctive one-armed appearance.
Kaiki’s deceptively simple exterior masks a complex character rich in depth. His ability to manipulate situations single-handedly reflects his cunning mind, adding a layer of charm and mystery to his character.
11. Himiko Toga (My Hero Academia)
Himiko Toga, from My Hero Academia, is a villain with a chilling smile and a dangerous obsession with blood. Toga’s Quirk, “Transform,” allows her to take on the appearance of another person by ingesting their blood.
Notably, she prefers to use one arm when attacking with her blood-draining machine, giving her the appearance of a one-armed fighter. Her unabashed embrace of chaos, combined with her single-handed combat approach, makes her one of the most unforgettable characters in the series.
12. Tatsumi (Akame ga Kill!)
Tatsumi, the central character in Akame ga Kill!, faces the world’s harsh realities when his quest for fortune leads him to the capital city. In a cruel twist of fate, he loses his arm in a gruesome battle, but this setback doesn’t dampen his spirit.
Instead, Tatsumi learns to adapt and fight with greater determination. Despite his loss, his relentless spirit amplifies his heroism and makes him a remarkable character in the series.
13. Shichika Yasuri (Katanagatari)
Shichika Yasuri, the protagonist of Katanagatari, isn’t traditionally one-armed, but his unique fighting style often gives this impression. As the seventh head of the Kyotouryuu school, a martial arts style that fights weapons with bare hands, Shichika frequently employs one arm for defense and the other for attack.
This strategy of fighting single-handedly emphasizes his strength and skill, marking him as a compelling character with an intriguing fighting approach.
14. Erwin Smith (Attack on Titan)
Erwin Smith, the 13th commander of the Scout Regiment in Attack on Titan, loses his arm during the operation to retake Wall Maria. Despite this devastating loss, his determination and leadership remain unscathed.
Erwin’s sacrifice serves as a testament to his unwavering dedication to humanity’s cause. His strategic brilliance and charismatic leadership, even with one arm, make him one of the series’s most respected and memorable characters.
15. Yato (Noragami)
Yato, the stray god in Noragami, often wields his divine weapon with one hand. Yato’s dexterity and speed with single-handed combat are impressive even in perilous situations. His one-handed fighting style, jovial personality and mysterious past makes him a captivating character.
Despite his comical exterior, Yato’s struggles with his dark past and desire for recognition add profound depth to his character, making him a compelling figure in the anime world.
16. Muzan Kibutsuji (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba)
As the primary antagonist in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Muzan Kibutsuji’s presence sends chills down your spine. The progenitor of all demons, he often uses one arm to brutally dispatch his enemies, showcasing his Power and menace.
This terrifying image of his one-armed might stands as a testament to his merciless nature. Despite his ruthlessness, Kibutsuji’s pursuit of mortality and fear of death add layers to his character, making him a complex villain.
17. Claire Stanfield (Baccano!)
Claire Stanfield from Baccano! is a compelling character who operates primarily as a one-armed fighter. He’s a renowned assassin known for his unusual agility and extraordinary combat skills.
Even while limiting himself to one arm, his strength and proficiency are undeniably superior, making him a fascinating character to watch. His nonchalant demeanor and deadly prowess establish Claire as a striking figure in the thrilling world of Baccano!
18. Kosaki Onodera (Nisekoi)
In Nisekoi, Kosaki Onodera is often seen using only one arm due to her shy and reserved nature. As a pastry chef, she displays deftness and precision when using her dominant hand to craft intricate delicacies.
This sweet and innocent character exhibits remarkable one-handed proficiency in her chosen art. Her talent, coupled with her endearing personality, makes Onodera a beloved figure in romantic comedy.
19. Reiner Braun (Attack on Titan)
Reiner Braun, the Armored Titan in Attack on Titan, provides an image of raw Power and resilience. Reiner loses an arm following a brutal battle, yet this doesn’t diminish his formidable presence.
As a Titan Shifter, he can regenerate his lost limb, which serves as a metaphor for his character – continuously battered yet relentlessly enduring. Reiner’s complex personality and his struggle with his dual identities add to his intrigue, making him a standout character.
20. Rintarou Okabe (Steins;Gate)
Rintarou Okabe, or “Hououin Kyouma,” the eccentric protagonist of Steins; Gate, often gesticulates with one arm, adding to his dramatic persona. While not physically one-armed, Okabe’s one-handed oratory brings a unique charm to his character.
His antics, combined with his genius intellect, make him an endearing character. Okabe’s one-handed theatrics may serve as comic relief, but they also underscore his passion and enthusiasm, making him a captivating figure in this science fiction thriller.
Anime’s portrayal of one-armed characters profoundly explores resilience, adaptability, and personal growth. These characters, each with their unique narratives and trials, highlight the true essence of strength and determination.
From Edward Elric’s relentless quest for redemption to Violet Evergarden’s emotional journey of understanding the human heart, each character leaves a lasting impact.
Their stories remind us that physical limitations can’t confine true spirit and that one can always rise above adversities. We hope this journey through the top 20 one-armed anime characters has inspired and moved you as much as it has us.