Swordplay can add some serious visual panache to any anime. Though the medium allows for a wide variety of mythical and imaginative weapons, swords seem to be the tried-and-true instruments of animated mayhem.
There are plenty of noteworthy swords in anime, but the greatest blades are obviously the ones with legendary backstories. While the Tessaiga can slay 100 demons at once, it's the myths surrounding the sword that distinguish it from the bargain-bin sabers.
A blade should be judged by its appearance, its destructive capabilities, and by the fortitude of its wielder - the very best swords will brandish all three.
Zangetsu is Ichigo's Zanpakuto, a device with powers that vary depending on the contents of the user's soul. Their primary function is to help Shinigami bring stray souls to the afterlife. Zangetsu is the first Zanpakuto in the Bleach universe to take on a human form.
Specifically, his form represents Ichigo's hidden, darker thoughts and emotions.
The tessaiga was originally created using one of Inuyasha's father's fangs alongside its sister sword, the tenseiga. Inuyasha inherited the sword from his father, while his brother Sesshomaru inherited the tensaiga. Inuyasha's grisly blade is capable of slaying 100 yokai (demons) at once. At its most powerful, it's able to send whatever it touches to Hell.
By contrast, the tenseiga can restore life, making it just as impressive if not more so - but because the tessaiga is considered more powerful, Sesshoumaru feels slighted by their father and deeply resents his brother Inuyasha.
Wadō Ichimonji is one of the 33 greatest swords in the world of One Piece. It's tough enough to withstand Dracule Mihawk's Yoru, which is capable of making mincemeat of ships and icebergs. Because it's so powerful, its owner, Roronoa Zoro, is constantly working to protect it from people who want to take it either for themselves or hate the idea of a pirate owning it.
To Zoro, the Wadō Ichimonji is important not just for its immense power, but because it belonged to his childhood friend, Kuina.
Unlike Himura Kenshin's previous swords, the Sakabato is designed to be nearly impossible to wipe out with due to its reversed blade. This blade is impressive not because of its power, but because it represents Kenshin's resolve.
He aims to put his violent past behind him and never slay again.