Today we’re here to talk about some of the greatest men and women in anime history who took the time to mentor others.
Characters included in this list are the teachers and guiding lights of some of anime’s most iconic protagonists. They took the time to craft those under their guidance into the aspiring characters who we now love today. Without these men and women, our main characters would likely never have found their true potential.
Many characters in the series deserve recognition, but only 10 shall be chosen. However, I will be sure to throw in some runner-ups as well.
BUT, before I get into the greatness of these characters, I want to mention that the anime included in this list are a part of our ever growing Workout Database. Many also have their own database within our Anime Workout Database, as well as Workout Placement Quizzes to help you find the best character for your goals.
If you like listicles like this one, here are a few more I think you might like:
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For this one we scoured the internet for help and almost every single listicle has a different take on who the greatest Anime Mentors are. So what we decided to do was compile ALL of them together and then took the average of all the compiled ratings and placed them in their slot accordingly. Additional characters who did not make it in the top ten that I want to mention as well can be seen in the runner-up section.
As always, leave your comments below if you were expecting other characters!
GREATEST ANIME MENTORS OF ALL TIME
Number Ten: Master Roshi
Anime: Dragonball Z
“Yes. We’ll spend this hour on good old napping. Work hard, study well and eat and sleep plenty. That’s the turtle hermit way to learn!”
Starting off our list of the greatest mentors is one seriously jacked old man: Master Roshi!
This guy knows how to flex…
Master Roshi is a martial arts master that also possesses some serious firepower. At face value, he seems like he may be a lush hermit who sits back day to day in his cottage and simply enjoys himself. However, this is not entirely the case. In particular, Master Roshi is a proficient practitioner of the Drunken Fist fighting style. This makes sense as he’s usually got alcohol lying around somewhere nearby. He is also the original user of the famous Kamehameha, a powerful two handed Ki Blast that has most famously been used by his student Goku.
Master Roshi at SHJ:
Number Nine: Satoru Gojo
Anime: Jujutsu Kaisen
“I’ve always been a nice guy who cares for my students.”
Coming in at number nine of the greatest mentors is Special Grade Jujutsu Sorcerer Satoru Gojo!
Satoru is a teacher at the Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical College. With his students, Satoru is a relaxed and playful teacher who works with his students for their success. However, as someone on his bad side or in the unfortunate circumstance of being his enemy, he is brutally cruel and holds no sympathy. He is known as one of the greatest Sorcerers of all time, wielding Jujutsu that could decimate an army. One ability to note, though more of a defensive skill for Satoru, is Infinity. This ability allows him to create an infinite space which dispels attacks, but allows any ability which he wishes to hit him come through.
Satoru Gojo at SHJ:
Number Eight: Jiraiya
“Never go back on your word and never give up. That’s your ninja way, and as your mentor I have no business whining! Because the student’s ninja way should be the master’s too! Isn’t that so, Naruto?!”
At number eight among the greatest mentors of all time is the Toad Sage: Jiraiya!
Jiraiya is the light-hearted and perverted mentor of Naruto. He is constantly seen performing his “book research” at steam baths and walking into scandalous clubs to hang with the ladies. Do not let this affable and perverse nature fool you though. This man is one of the legendary Sannin, and holds immense power. He is one of the only wielders of the powerful Wind-Nature attack known as the Rasengan. This ability was ironically created by Naruto’s father, Minato, and was of course inherited by his son after training with Jiraiya. He is also capable of using Sage Mode, which provides him a large boost to his power and resilience in combat, though his mastery was not as great as that of his student.
Jiraiya at SHJ:
Number Seven: All Might
Anime: My Hero Academia
“Whether you win or lose, you can always come out ahead by learning from the experience.”
Coming in at number seven among our greatest mentors is truly a man of the Plus Ultra mentality: All Might!
All Might is quite literally the reason we have a main character in My Hero Academia. He is an absolute powerhouse, wielding what appears to be the final segment of One For All before Midoriya inherits the full strength of the ability. As is seen early on from Midoriya, One For All is mostly a short range melee ability, though the massive air pressure that is built from All Might’s attacks allow him some extended range. All Might’s particular ability was manifested from actually originally being quirkless, just as his student Izuku Midoriya was. All Might is, and was as a hero, an inspiration to the general public and to the students he teaches.
Always reach for PLUS ULTRA!!
All Might at SHJ:
Number Six: Biscuit Krueger
“There are liars who only lie when there’s a reason to, and there are liars who also lie without a reason.”
Number six of our greatest mentors is one buff chick: Biscuit Krueger!
In true form this woman is a monster…
Biscuit Krueger is an interesting character to say the least. She is typically seen in the form of a young girl, but is truly a 57 year old Nen master who can hit like a truck. She is the powerful teacher of Gon Freecss and Killua Zoldyck, though she appears to be not much older than they are. It is quite entertaining to watch enemies underestimate her because of her created appearance, though really she holds the appearance because she can’t stand her true looks. It is still unknown what her true power is, as her physical prowess and endurance has been enough thus far to dispatch her enemies.
Biscuit Krueger at SHJ:
Number Five: Izumi Curtis
Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist
“Believe in yourselves and choose life over death. Otherwise, you’ve led a shameful existence.”
Coming in at number five of our greatest mentors is the calm housewife Izumi Curtis!
Trust me the whole housewife thing is a grand disguise…
Izumi has made it onto several listicles here at SHJ!
She may often claim that she is just a simple housewife, but her hands are far more capable than just doing some house cleaning. She is a master martial artist and an absolute powerhouse of an alchemist. She is the teacher of the Elric brothers, which can be seen both in their resolve as well as their combat prowess. She is an adamant teacher of physical prowess and believes that physical strength is as important as developing one’s alchemical ability. She is more often seen using her sheer physical combat ability, only utilizing her alchemical skill to manipulate the environment around her and within her opponents in ways that she cannot perform through physical force alone.
Izumi Curtis at SHJ:
Number Four: Korosensei
Anime: Assassination Classroom
“The difference between the novice and the master is that the master has failed more times than the novice has tried.”
At number four among the greatest mentors is the Wal-Mart smile of anime: Korosensei!
Seriously his face is a spitting image of those strange stickers you’d get from Wal-Mart…
Korosensei is a very peculiar character with the apparent sole objective of having his students successfully take his life. He has a very bi-polar personality, where he can switch between the initially seen amicable and quirky personality to a serious and direct one seemingly at will. Though initially a harsh and cold assassin, Korosensei became an empathetic teacher over time who gained an understanding of, and compassion for, his students. He is always looking to make lessons of the situations his students are found in, as well as redeem himself from the failure of his harsh initial teaching style used with his first student, who had eventually betrayed him.
Korosensei at SHJ:
Number Three: Genkai
Anime: Yu Yu Hakusho
“This is the world you’ve stuck yourself into, if you aren’t strong enough to lead, then you lose the privilege of getting what you want.”
Coming into the top three of the greatest mentors of all time is a woman who fights hard to reach her goals: Genkai!
Genkai is a pragmatist who will do almost anything to push through the obstacles ahead of her and reach her goals. She is initially a very harsh teacher, putting her student Yusuke through grueling and arduous training as she believes he is a lazy slacker who needs discipline. Through time she gains a compassion for Yusuke and takes him on as the grandson she never had. This is when her more protective and empathetic nature is seen, where she will do anything to protect those she cares for and is intolerant of unnecessary actions committed by others, such as torture simply for the thrill of it.
Genkai at SHJ:
Number Two: Lisa Lisa
Anime: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
“Walking on water when you obviously lack proper training is quite an accomplishment. However, if you truly wish to master Hamon in a month, you must be prepared to die for it!”
Coming in at number two among the greatest mentors is the Ripple Master Lisa Lisa!
Lisa Lisa is the wife of George Joestar II and the mother of Joseph Joestar, which brings her directly into the lineage of the Joestar family. She employs harsh and dangerous training methods to shape her students into strong and resilient warriors. She is a no nonsense kind of trainer who does not put up with Joseph’s antics. She is a brave and courageous woman who never falters in the face of her enemies. Deep down she does have a deep compassion for her students, which appears to be one of the only things that can effect her usually stone solid composure.
Lisa Lisa at SHJ:
Number One: Silvers Rayleigh
Anime: One Piece
“Maybe nothing in this world happens by accident. As everything happens for a reason, our destiny slowly takes form.”
Coming in at number one among the greatest mentors of all time is a dangerous man of the sea: Silvers Rayleigh!
Silvers is a light-hearted and casual man who took to mentoring Luffy in the arts of Haki. Despite being in his late seventies when entering into One Piece, he is a large and well built man of immense strength. He is a considerate individual and rarely takes action without first considering his strategy. He holds his composure even in the face of danger and failure, simply reorganizing and moving forward as best he can. He is however a lover of women and alcohol, which seem to be one of his few weaknesses. Silvers truly deserves the top spot on this list as his strong resolve and compassion for those he cares for, and under his tutelage, makes him a highly respectable mentor.
Silvers Rayleigh at SHJ:
But I’d also love to hear who YOU think should be on this list!
The Greatest Anime Mentors Of All Time (Runner Ups):
- Might Guy
- Gran Torino
- Eraser Head
- Kakashi Hatake
- Uncle Iroh
- Sakonji Urokodaki
- Levi Ackerman
Don’t forget to comment your thoughts below.
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Until next time,
SHJ’s Green Arrow/Uncle Iroh
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