Every Major Shonen Protagonist's Special Attacks, Ranked

One of the coolest moments in any shonen anime is when the protagonist shows off their special attacks, but who has the coolest movesets when it comes to these supernatural abilities?

The best anime protagonist special attacks include moves that have stood the test of time like Goku's Kamehameha and Naruto Uzumaki's Rasengan, as well as newer attacks like Tanjiro Kamado's Hinokami Kagura and Izuku Midoriya's One For All: Full Cowl. These moves show the protagonists at their very strongest, and make viewers wonder how the hero is going to defy expectations next. 

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  • Examples of Special Attacks - Getsuga Tenshō, Blut, Tensa Zangetsu

    As a person with combined Quincy, Hollow, and Shinigami heritage, Ichigo's powers are off the chain. Like most characters, he fights with a Zanpakutō - although that's a bit complicated in his case. His signature move is Getsuga Tenshō or Moon Fang Heaven-Piercer, which lets him unleash condensed spiritual energy through his sword. His abilities amp up in his Hollow and Quincy forms - for example, in his Quincy form he gains access to Blut, a super-strong offensive and defensive move that once helped him block Yhwach's sword.

  • Examples of Special Attacks - Rasengan, Shadow Clone Jutsu, Wind Release: Rasenshuriken.

    All of Naruto's techniques use chakra - a source of energy that flows through every character's body. The Tailed Beast living inside of him dramatically boosts his chakra levels, allowing him to make hundreds of clones instead of just one or two using Shadow Clone Jutsu, or to create and control gigantic balls of energy using Rasengan. He can further increase the Rasengan's power by mixing elemental chakra into it and creating moves like Wind Release: Rasenshuriken which can tear targets apart at the cellular level. 

  • Tanjiro Kamado - Demon Slayer
    Photo: ufotable

    Examples of Special Attacks - Hinokami Kagura, Water Breathing

    In order to take down demons, Tanjiro learns to wield his sword using breathing techniques. That means controlling his breath with a precision that can be channelled into his body and the sword. These often end up mimicking an element - for example, when using Water Breathing, his movements flow like water. 

  • Examples of Special Attacks - Gear Second/Third/Fourth, Busoshoku Haki, Kenbunshoku Haki 

    After eating the Gum-Gum fruit, Luffy became a rubber human - that is, someone who could stretch his body as if it were rubber. At first, his attacks were variations on that theme - he could punch from long distances or use his own body as a slingshot. But as the series progressed, he learned to use multiple forms of haki, and also learned gears - techniques were he alters his body composition. For example, in Gear Second, he speeds up his bloodflow to improve his speed and strength. In Gear Third, he inflates individual parts of his body, while in Gear Fourth he does the same to his whole body and coats it in Haki.