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15 Times Anime Characters Came Back Stronger Than Before

Updated December 9, 2019 15.3k votes 3.2k voters 104.1k views15 items

Anime characters who came back strong can be super satisfying to watch. While it's great to see a favorite character develop their fighting prowess over time, it's also a sweet surprise when they disappear for a while and then come back stronger than ever. Seriously, who didn't love it when Usopp from One Piece reappeared after the time skip totally ripped and ready to kick butt? 

Sometimes when an anime character reappears after some insane training, it's a good thing - Naruto coming back to fight Pain with Sage Mode in his back pocket is exactly what he needs to save Konoha. But when it's a villain who comes back way stronger, it might be fun for the audience, but the heroes definitely wish that the villain had stayed the way they were. Dio Brando was a lot easier to deal with before he became a Stand user!

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  • Like some of the other characters on this list, Natsu Dragneel was no slouch when it comes to battle. But after a year of training his dragon and fire based abilities, he came back better than ever - and with a cooler look, too. Natsu's powers have advanced to the point where he's able to take out multiple enemies with a single hit, and maintain a dragon form that enhances all of his abilities. 

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  • When Gohan first enteres the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, he's pretty strong for a little kid, but he's nowhere near as awesome as he becomes when he gets out of it. Time flows differently inside the chamber - one day is the equivelent of one year. What's more, there are gravity and temperature differences that can put strain on the body and increase training efficiency. That's how he was able to gain so much experience in such a short time.

    When he leaves the chamber with his father, he's managed to become a Super Saiyan. In fact, he's the youngest person in history to achieve this powerful form. 

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  • Yusuke Urameshi Keeps Getting Stronger In 'Yu Yu Hakusho'
    Photo: Sunrise

    This actually happens to Yusuke Urameshi multiple times throughout the series, as one of the main themes of Yu Yu Hakusho is his growth from a juvenile deliquent who is pretty good at punching people to a genuinely powerful warrior. In each case, he gets a power bump after training with a stronger, more experienced master - the most well-known of which is Genkai. 

    During one training session with Genkai, which takes place before the Dark Tournement and is largely off-screen, he's able to use his rei gun not once per day, but four times. While this is far from the only time Yusuke gets a power up, it's probably the best example of a time when he disappears and then reappears better than before. 

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  • After suffering some major losses, the Straw Hat crew decides to take a two-year training break. While everybody comes back stronger than before, nobody comes back more changed than Usopp. Once a hilarious but not particularly strong pirate, Usopp comes back totally jacked, and able to command a vast array of nature-based weapons. 

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