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.6,5661,494Was this a crazy transformation?
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.4,9641,425Was this a crazy transformation?
Monkey D. Luffy is on a quest to find a legendary treasure and become the great Pirate King. Standard hero's journey stuff. Thanks to ingesting a special fruit, Luffy obtains rubber-like properties throughout his body, allowing him the ability to alter his entire form.
During a battle with Doflamingo (who's exactly as fabulous as he sounds), Luffy channels his abilities by biting his arm and blowing air into it, initiating a "gear technique" known as Gear Four. Upon doing this, his entire body inflates to a massive size due to the air circulating through him. Called Boundman in this form, he's also coated with Busoshoku Haki, an armor-like protective agent.2,239658Was this a crazy transformation?
Gon Freecss is an adventurous boy, following in his father’s footsteps to become a Hunter. When Gon discovers that an ally of his named Kite has been killed by Neferpitou, he becomes (understandably) super pissed off. To Neferpitou’s surprise, Gon starts to produce a dark aura of immense power. Surrounded by darkness, he transforms into a taller, more muscular adult version of himself.
It also leads to a super inappropriate wardrobe situation, but that's not the point. With his new form and elevated power, he takes his revenge out on Neferpitou in a bone-crushing battle.2,999911Was this a crazy transformation?