When you think of anime characters who fight with poison, you might be thinking of more villainous types. People likely to associate poison with someone who is sneaky, sadistic, or otherwise evil - and considering how much damage it can do, this is understandable.
While anime poison users do include villains like Bleach's mad scientist Mayuri Kurotsuchi and My Hero Academia's League of Villains member Mustard, the category also encompasses heroes, like Shizune from Naruto, who uses poison techniques to defend her village while also being fully capable of healing poison when necessary.
Poison use is an exciting and versatile battle technique - and it's used by some of anime's most fascinating characters. Who is your favorite?
Akame wields the Murasame, a katana that's covered in a powerful poison that has no antidote. Just handling the sword is incredibly dangerous, but wielding it in battle is even more so. When facing a particularly difficult opponent, Akame can use its trump card, which activates when the user cuts themselves with the sword and survives. This dramatically increases Akame's strength, but also causes crippling pain that will never fade, even after the sword itself has been destroyed.
Erik - Fairy Tail
Erik, also known as Cobra, was once a member of the now-defunct Oración Seis. He calls himself the Poison Dragon Slayer because he can secrete a powerful poison that often takes the visual form of a dragon. What's more, he hangs out with a snake named Cubellios who breathes poisonous fumes which he eats in order to restore his own energy and stamina. Erik's poison can immediately corrode human flesh, or it can work slowly, depending on his intent.
Sesshōmaru - Inuyasha
In addition to a truly unfathomable number of other powerful abilities, Sesshōmaru possesses poison-tipped claws that he can use to scratch opponents and unleash his toxins into their bloodstream. Due to these claws, he's also resistant to most forms of poison, an attribute that proves useful while facing off against other poison users like Mukotsu and the far more powerful Naraku
Manami Okuda - Assassination Classroom
Unlike many of the characters on this list, Manami Okuda doesn't have any magical poisonous abilities. What she does have are some seriously impressive chemistry skills that allow her to create her own poisons, which she mixes with the intention of destroying Koro-sensei, her many-tentacled homeroom teacher.
Because she chose to emphasize her scientific skills at the expense of her social skills, she's easily tricked into creating a "poison" that makes Koro-sensei more powerful. The ultimate lesson for Manami, which Koro-sensei makes sure she internalizes, is to pursue a more well-rounded path which includes communication skills.