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The 15 Strongest Master-Student Duos In Anime History, Ranked

April 21, 2020 5.6k votes 987 voters 18.9k views15 items

The relationship between masters and students are among the most complex and meaningful in the anime world. While there are masters of everything from martial arts to shogi, for this list we're going to focus on master-student duos who can kick butt - and often do so together. 

Among the strongest master-student anime duos are Saitama and Genos from One Punch Man - Saitama never planned to be a master of anything, but Genos admires his strength and wants to help him defeat his enemies. There's also Genkai and Yusuke from Yu Yu Hakusho - Genkai was one of the strongest people in the world, before giving most of her spirit energy to her young charge. Even after that, her years of experience allow her to fight alongside Yusuke. 

Which of these master-student warrior pairs are your favorites?

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  • 1

    Saitama & Genos - 'One Punch Man'

    Photo: Madhouse

    Genos is a super-powered cyborg who sought training from the reluctant Saitama - a man who became a superhero 'for fun' and doesn't exactly want to take on a student. But Genos presses on, because Saitama is the strongest person he's ever encountered - he can defeat anybody with a single punch. 

    Saitama can't really teach Genos much of anything fighting-related since his powers aren't exactly transferable, but because Genos is already super powerful in his own right, he's able to provide backup during most of their important fights.

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    A strong duo?
  • 2

    Jiraiya & Naruto - 'Naruto'

    Naruto has had a lot of mentors over the years, but one of the most prominent is Jiraiya, one of the legendary Sannin. Under Jiraiya, Naruto learns enhanced versions of the Rasengan and other techniques. Sadly, Jiraiya never got the chance to teach him everything he knows, because he lost his life before that could happen - Jiraiya knows a wide variety of techniques, including Sage Mode, that Naruto could have benefited from. He'd learn it later, from the Toad Sages. 

    The two get to fight together against Orochimaru, and both take on separate roles in the fight against Pain. 

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    A strong duo?
  • 3

    Might Guy & Rock Lee - 'Naruto'

    Best known for their bowl-cut hairdos and their green jumpsuits, Might Guy and Rock Lee seem more like father and son than mentor and student - but the two are apparently not related. Guy decided to focus on Lee both because of the latter's dedication to trying his best no matter how long the odds, and the fact that he could teach him taijutsu, the only ninja attack one could learn without using chakra. Guy teaches his student a wide range of taijutsu-based techniques, the strongest of which is the Eight Gates, a series of moves that slowly removes the body's inhibitions to unleash greater strength.

    The two have fought together on multiple occasions, the most noteworthy of which is when they fight the Four Tailed Beast.

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    A strong duo?
  • 4

    All Might & Deku - 'My Hero Academia'

    Izuku Midoriya, also known as Deku, was born without a quirk, or superpower. When All Might recognized his potential, he passed his own quirk, One For All, onto him. One For All is an incredible quirk that allows the user to stockpile immense amounts of power. It's tough to use at first, and requires a ton of training, but Deku eventually gets a handle on his new abilities.

    The two aren't often seen fighting together, since All Might is mostly retired by the time Deku starts training. One of the most memorable instances in which they do fight side by side is in the first movie, when they defeat Wolfram with a Double Detroit Smash.

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    A strong duo?