The Ten Best Anime and Manga Power Systems (Part 2)

Meliodas using his demon powers
Meliodas using his demon powers

5. The Seven Deadly Sins – Powers

In the Seven Deadly Sins series, is simply called “powers.” How these powers are invoked are unknown. The source of one’s powers are their “will, beliefs, and their experience.” Powers can be inherited and gained by research or experimentation.” These powers are altered by the emotions of the users. These magical abilities are measured by Balor’s Magical Eye. They measure magic, strength and spirit in terms of numbers. The numerical calculation results in a “Power Level.” Each power is has advantages and disadvantages. All abilities are categorized in terms of offense, defense and support.

The lists of powers are large, with individuals having unique abilities and race based ones. For example, Elizabeth has the ability “Ark” that is a form of light magic from the Goddess Clan. She also has an unnamed ability “that allows her to persuade others to retreat from battle by speaking into their hearts and souls.”

More on: Powers


4. My Hero Academia – Quirk

In My Hero Academia, Quirks are “special, superhuman ability an individual can possess. Quirks are generally unique to their user, and are classified in multiple categories. The user is also given one single ability of that said Quirk, rather than many abilities.” Quirks are genetically inherited through “Mendelian inheritance.” They will manifest in children around age 4. Each child will either manifest the same Quirk of their parent or a composite one if both parents have Quirks. It is possible, however, for some children to develop Quirks that aren’t related to their genetic line.

In very rare case animals can possess Quirks, like Nezu. It is also possible that a Quirk can “mutate and merge.” Sometimes people with Quirks that are too difficult for their bodies to handle, for example Yuga Aoyama. His Quirks not only requires that he have a special belt, if he uses it for to long he will get pain in his stomach. Quirks feature more complex aspects to there existence. The concept of the “Quirk Factor” is one of these more complex aspects. The “Quirk Factor” refers to “the collective traits that compose a Quirk. This includes the primary Quirk power as well as all the biological mechanisms that allow said primary power to function properly.”

Quirks can also under go what is called “Awakening.” When this occurs, a users Quirk goes through “evolution.” It’s not clear what exactly triggers this moment, but Himiko Toga’s Quirk transforms during a “life or death situation.” Quirks are categorized in several different “types.”

  • Emitter – Quirks have the ability to either release certain substances, or alter materials around them in certain ways. Emitter-type Quirks usually require a conscious effort to activate
  • Transformation – Quirks cause the user to take on a temporary alteration of some kind. Transformation-type Quirks allow the user to temporarily “transform” their body in a variety of manners, sometimes enhancing existing features or perhaps adding new features to the body altogether.
  • Mutant – Quirks can have a wide variety of features and abilities depending on the individual. Generally, Mutant-type Quirks are associated with the user’s physicality (mutations). As a result, Mutant Quirks are passively active and, at a glance, are the most identifiable.

More on: Quirks


Gon using his Nen
Gon using his Nen

3. Hunter X Hunter – Nen

Nen allows the user to manipulate their own life energy, called aura. These users are referred to as “Nen users.” Aura are produced by all living bodies. Aura flow’s throughout the bodies that escapes through the top of the head. The points in the bodies where aura flows are called “Aura Nodes.” In order to learn Nen, students have to master opening and closing their Aura nodes. There are two ways to learn how to do this, meditation or Initiation.

Nen of the Flame

A precursor to learning Nen, these are mental exercises that “strengthen one’s force of will. Regular practice can smooth the flow of one’s aura.” There are four exercises:

  • Ten (“Point”): Focus the mind, reflect upon the self and determine the goal.
  • Zetsu (“Tongue”): Put it into words.
  • Ren (“Temper”): Intensify your will.
  • Hatsu (“Release”): Put it to action.

These four principles must be mastered to fully understand Nen. Then one can learn the more advanced techniques. These techniques often combine with or derive from one of the four major principles. The advanced techniques are as follows:

  • Gyo (“Focus”) – is an advanced application of Ren by which a Nen user concentrates a larger than normal portion of their aura into one specific body part. It increases the strength of that one body part, but leaves the rest of the body more vulnerable. Gyo is most often used in the eyes, allowing a Nen user to see aura and Nen constructs concealed with In.
  • In (“Conceal”) – is an advanced form of Zetsu used to render one’s aura imperceptible, effectively concealing it. Unlike Zetsu, however, In does not stop the user’s aura flow; instead, it hides it, making it impossible to perceive with any of the five senses or extrasensory perception. Hence, this technique is perfect for launching sneak attacks or laying traps, as it can conceal not only the user’s presence, but also Nen constructs generated with Transmutation, or Conjuration.
  • En (“Circle”) – is an advanced application of Ten and Ren. In Ren, aura usually envelops only a small amount of space around the user’s body. En is when one extends their Ren so that their aura extends further than normal, then uses Ten at the same time to contain and give shape to that aura, normally a sphere.
  • Shu (“Enfold”) – is an advanced application of Ten. Shu allows a user of Nen to enshroud an object with their aura, allowing them to use that object as an extension of their own body.
  • Ko (“Temper”) – is a combination of Ten, Zetsu, Hatsu, Ren, and Gyo in which all of the user’s aura is concentrated into one particular body part. Gyo is utilized to focus aura on a part of the body, while Ten is used to prevent it from dispersing. Zetsu is used to completely stop the flow of Nen in all other parts of the body, increasing the output in the desired area. With Ren, the amount of aura is increased even further. This makes that one body part extremely powerful, but at the cost of leaving the rest of the user’s body completely unprotected. Due to the risk it carries, Ko is regarded as a purely offensive technique.
  • Ken (“Fortify”) – is the advanced version of the basic Ren and Ten techniques. It is a primarily defensive technique where a Nen user maintains a state of Ren for a prolonged amount of time. The amount of aura surrounding the user’s body during Ken is about 10 times higher than during Ten. Ken allows a Nen user to guard against attacks from any direction, but the large amount of aura produced makes it tiring to maintain. It is considered the best option to defend from Ko, despite not being as powerful as the latter on any given part of the body, as it protects all of it evenly.
  • Ryu (“Flow”) – is the term for use of Gyo from a state of Ken to perform real-time offensive and defensive value adjustments. If Ko devolves 100% of one’s aura to offense or, much more rarely, to defense, and Ken splits it evenly between the two, Ryu is redistributing one’s aura according to any other percentage, for example by focusing 70% of one’s aura in one fist as one is about to strike, or 80% in one’s leg to block an incoming kick. It is utilized to damage a Ken user without leaving oneself as unprotected as during Ko, although the power of the technique is lower. Ryu is difficult to master, as it requires not only to control one’s aura flow with great precision, but also to be able to estimate the amount of aura utilized by the opponent at a glance.

In the diagram below is the six different types of aura. Everyone is born with one of the six, they are tasked with learning a new unique technique. There are “numerical approximations” that determine how efficient one would be at using aura abilities. One has a chance to be 100% efficient in their own aura type. One can be 80 % efficient in the adjacent aura type, 40% efficient at the opposite or farthest category, and 60% efficient in the two remaining categories.

The chart of the six types of aura in Hunter X Hunter
The chart of the six types of aura

Nen gets even more complex, as there are several sub-nen types, limitations, conditions, activation requirements, and aura power levels.

More on: Nen


2. Naruto – Chakra

In the Naruto series, Chakra is the means to using any technique. Generally the use of hand seals are required to create jutsus. These techniques allow users to enact effects such as walking on water, breathing fire or creating illusions. Chakra is restricted by the Eight Gates, tenketsu that are located along the chakra pathway system. Chakra became a form of life energy that all people can produce. If a person runs out of chakra, they will die. Chakra is created when two forms of energy, physical and spiritual are mixed together. The amount of chakra an individual possess is generally determined by genes, however, they can train to increase their limits, some what.

Chakra Control

Mastering Chakra Control requires a great deal of training. It’s not important to have massive amounts of chakra, but to be able “control and conserve it.” In order to have good chakra control ” a ninja should only mold as much chakra as they need to perform a given ability. If they mold more chakra than is needed, the excess chakra is wasted and they will tire out faster from its loss. If they don’t mold enough chakra, a technique will not be performed effectively, if at all, likely creating problems in a combat situation.” When a ninja wants to create ninjutsu, they need to use one of two methods of manipulating chakra, shape transformation and nature transformation.

  • Shape transformation deals with controlling the form, movement, and potency of chakra.
  • Nature transformation deals with changing the physical properties of chakra into an element. There is also the nature transformation of Yin and Yang, which deals with changing the ratio of spiritual and physical energies within chakra.
Hand seals from Naruto
Hand seals from Naruto

Jutsu

Are the “mystical arts a ninja will utilize in battle.” Ninja’s need to form seals to manifest the technique. There are three different types of jutsu:

  • Ninjutsu – is the most nebulous of the three, and may most simply be described as anything that is not genjutsu or taijutsu. Most ninjutsu require chakra and hand seals, but this is not always the case since the mere usage of weaponry qualifies as ninjutsu.
  • Genjutsu – is one of the main jutsu categories which uses chakra. Unlike ninjutsu, the effects of genjutsu are not real, being only sensory illusions experienced by those who fall victim to it.
  • Taijutsu – is a basic form of techniques and refers to any techniques involving the martial arts or the optimization of natural human abilities. Taijutsu is executed by directly accessing the user’s physical and mental energies, relying on the stamina and strength gained through training. It typically does not require chakra, though chakra may be used to enhance its techniques. Taijutsu generally requires no hand seals to perform, occasionally making use of certain stances or poses, and are far quicker to use than ninjutsu or genjutsu. Taijutsu is hand-to-hand combat.

There are several sub-categories of as well. Medical Ninjutsu, Kinjutsu, Kenjutsu, Senjutsu and Space-time Ninjutsu. Naruto’s powers systems include summons, ninja tools like swords, puppets and ninja dogs.


Smoker using his Devil Fruit ability

1. One Piece – Devil Fruits

Devil Fruits are mysterious fruits that are found throughout the One Piece world. Once consumed the fruit provides the eater with an ability. With the exception of Black Beard, an individual can only have one devil fruit ability. Devil fruits are divide into three different categories:

  • Paramecia – These fruits give the users a power that can affect their body, manipulate the environment, and/or produce substances. This Devil Fruit type can be categorized into two basic groups: those which are based on a characteristic (such as elasticity or slowness) or an object (bombs, doors, etc.).
  • Logia – this type allows the user to completely alter their form into a natural element and manipulate it at will.
  • Zoan – This type of fruit allows the user to transform into another species and inter-species hybrid forms at will. Zoan types are especially effective in close combat.

Haki

Every living person in the world has a mysterious power called Haki. However, most people do realize they have it. There are three different types of Haki:

  • Kenbunshoku Haki – is a form of Haki that allows the user to sense the presence of others, even if they are concealed from view or too far to see normally.
  • Busoshoku Haki – is a form of Haki that allows the user to use their spirit to create, in essence, an invisible armor around themselves, providing potentially incredible offensive and defensive capabilities. Notably, this form of Haki can be used to injure Devil Fruit users that are otherwise immune to certain kinds of physical harm, mainly Logia users.
  • Haoshoku Haki – is a rare form of Haki that cannot be attained through training. Only one in several million people have this ability. This type of Haki allows the user to exert their willpower over others.

Martial Artists

In One Piece every crew has a combatant, martial arts are a very important part of the series. While not the main form of power, martial arts are used by many characters in the series. Characters like Sabo use martial arts style and stick-fighting. Jinbe uses Fish-Man Karate and Fish-Man Jujutsu. Throughout the series several different form of martial arts are presented. They are generally characterized by styles (Black Leg Style), species (Fish-Man Karate) and culture (Okama Kenpo).

Swordsmen

Nearly every crew has a swordsmen. They are considered to be important assets to the crew and are often highly ranked in their crew. There are two different kinds of swordsmen, the Strong Blade and the Gentle Blade. Strong Blade swordsmen focus on strength like Zoro, Ryuma and Kawamatsu. However, the Gentle Blade swordsmen like Tashigi, Kaku and Brook emphasize speed. The greatest swordsmen alive, Mihawk, uses swordsmanship that combines Strong and Gentle Blade styles. Swords are categorized in One Piece by “Grade.” There are 12 Supreme Grade Swords, 21 Great Grade Swords, 50 Skillful Grade Swords and a undetermined number of Grade Swords.

Three Great Powers

The military takes a very important role in the One Piece series. The Three Great Powers consists of the Marines, the Shichibukai (now disbanded) and the Yonko. The military hopes to replace the Shichibukai with the SSG. The three powers balance each other out, with SSG and the Military equaling Yonko.

Check Out Part 1.

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2 thoughts on “The Ten Best Anime and Manga Power Systems (Part 2)

  1. Definitely a lot of great power systems out there. I think my favorite in terms of balance is Nen. HXH really did a great job of making it so that just about any fighter can be a threat thanks to Nen being unpredictable. Even if fighter A isn’t a mega powerful guy his nen ability could be lethal if the conditions are set up right. A villain from arc 1 could srtill be rleevant against some of the chimeras.

    In terms of favorite overall I’d probably go with DBZ’s ki though. It’s ultra simple and boils down to whoever is strongest, but that’s just nostalgic for me.

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