Metamorphosis is a theme that permeates anime. The process excites viewers and sometimes leaves them in awe. It’s that amazing moment when the protagonist or antagonist of the story goes through a transformation so distinct it leaves you speechless. Over the years, there have been many extreme anime transformations which you can’t help but watch more than once.
Often when viewers think of a character transforming, the image of a magical girl transforming into a colorful warrior might pop to mind. While these enchanting sequences can be enjoyable, anime character transformations aren’t limited to the magical girl genre. In fact, there are many great titles that show anime characters who transform into something more sinister, unusual, or just plain ol' bonkerballs nuts. You're not going to find anything cutesy on this list, unless your perception of "cute" is way outside normal parameters. In which case, you know what, good for you! It takes all kinds of fruit to make a salad.
Ichigo Kurosaki possesses Shinigami (or Soul Reaper) powers that allow him to lay souls to rest and fight dangerous lost souls called Hollows. Ichigo, confusingly, also has Hollow blood running through his veins. When Ichigo is battling against Ulquiorra, he gets a massive hole blown in his chest. Instead of dying, Ichigo calls upon his Zanpakuto (his magic sword) to obtain more power.
However, he ends up calling his Hollow powers instead, allowing his inner demon to take over and transforming him into a Vasto Lorde (the strongest of the Hollow castes). Upon changing into this Hollow form, Ichigo’s appearance changes as well; he grows longer hair, gains insane muscular definition, and wears a menacing twisted horned mask.
Naruto Uzumaki is a skilled fighter and ninja. In this story, he's mastering the art of "jinchuriki," which gives him the ability to connect with his tailed beast’s chakra. Proficiency in this talent allows him to transform into a powerful vulpine creature, increasing his power, strength, and granting him various beast-like abilities.
When Naruto transforms, he’s able to take on the chakra form of a red, fox-like creature fortified with thick bone armor. Oh, and he's massive. Out of his many tailed beast’s transformations, the Nine-Tailed Fox is the most menacing and destructive.
During the Feudal Era, Sesshomaru was a powerful pureblood Inu Yōkai (or Dog Demon) like his father. Inu Yōkai can switch at will from a human-like form to their true form, a giant canine creature. When Sesshomaru transforms into his Yōkai form, he becomes stronger and can utilize powerful attacks.
Sesshomaru’s Yōkai’s form looks like a massive, white dog beast with large claws, red eyes, and a flowing fur coat. In addition, he also maintains the same marking he has on his face when he’s in human form. He often transforms into his Yōkai form while battling with his half-brother Inuyasha, who is half dog demon himself.
Alucard is a "true blooded" vampire that works with the Hellsing Organization, fighting against evil forces and other vampires. Able to summon fell powers, Alucard can achieve frighteningly hellish forms that help him do his bidding. One such fearsome transformation is a demonic beast known as a Hellhound.
In a battle against Luke Valentine, Alucard calls upon his dark powers to transform most of his body into a hellish storm of vicious fanged beasts, demonic eyes, and a brightly glowing fire. Mixed in the darkness and confusion of elements, he is almost unrecognizable as his body phases in and out of a recognizable, definitive form. This is especially apparent when Alucard is in a full rage. This gruesome transformation leaves nothing of an opponent but a pulp of flesh and blood.