Time will always be an interesting concept for any anime to touch on.
Especially when the show features a character that has the power to control it.
And you have to admit, even though anime characters with time powers have been increasing throughout the years, they’re still pretty darn fun to watch.
Particularly if they’re more than just their overpowered abilities, and are actually well-written characters by themselves.
For this list I’ll be sharing some anime characters with the power to bend the workings of time to their will, and rank them all by how well they do it overall.
Well then, time to start listin’ stuff! (I can’t believe I just wrote that…)
15. Subaru Natsuki
Anime: Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
If you’re a gamer like me, you’ve probably thought of how awesome it would be to have the ability to “save” and “load” in real life.
Well, you should probably be careful what you wish for – as it might not be as fun as you’d think.
At least, it’s definitely not in Subaru’s case.
In this spot we have your typical NEET-who-got-Isekai’d, and someone who went through so much crap that his therapist would need another therapist.
Plain and simple, Subaru’s Return By Death takes him to an indeterminate “Save Point” whenever he dies, and die he did.
A whole frickin’ lot.
14. Takemichi Hanagaki
Anime: Tokyo Revengers
Although Takemichi’s ability can be considered similar to Subaru’s in some ways, he pretty much got the better end of the deal.
For one, he wasn’t transported to a foreign hostile world where he could die every damn episode.
And also, the stakes are much tamer in Tokyo Revengers compared to Re:Zero.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean Takemichi’s story is less interesting.
On the contrary, a simple “do-over” premise in a non-fantasy setting is compelling enough on its own, as is normal humans who can’t tear him limb from limb for side characters.
Except for Mikey though.
That guy is something else.
13. Rolo Lamperouge
Anime: Code Geass
Rolo is our first “competent” time manipulator I would say, as even though his Geass has some drawbacks, it isn’t to the extent that he has to literally drop dead just to use it.
He, like most of the characters on this list, can stop time — at the cost of not being able to do it against non-living things (and his heart refusing to work whenever he does it).
And while his power also has a limit on its range, it certainly didn’t stop him from utilizing it almost too well in the show.
After all, he has racked up quite a decent body count with his Geass.
And even without using it, he killed off a certain character that most fans surely (hah, get it?) didn’t appreciate him doing in.
Anime: Dragon Ball
Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?
Now don’t get me wrong. I know Whis and Hit fits this list as well…
But let’s be honest:
Both of them are more or less expected to have several overpowered abilities.
But this little guy who can stop time just by not breathing?
He’s basically the last member of the Ginyu Force I expected to have such a potentially broken ability when I first watched DBZ.
If only he did more cardio and paid more attention to his surroundings then maybe he would have developed as Universe 7’s very own Hit.
Who knows, right?
11. Dio Brando
Anime: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
You better be damn sure I’d slap this narcissistic Victorian vampire/meme machine into this list.
In addition to being one of the stronger time-stoppers in anime, Dio is arguably the most famous character to come out of that masterpiece of a show, and for good reason.
His popularity aside, his Stand Ability: “The World” (Za Warudo! sorry, I couldn’t resist) can stop time. And it allows him to do pretty much whatever he wants for 10 seconds.
But is it enough time to find and lift a road roller to crush your opponent with?
This is Dio we’re talking about.
Anime: Akame ga Kill!
General Esdeath isn’t just a deadly and sadistic ice-tsundere. She can also freeze time itself in the heat of battle.
As if she needed to be more overpowered, right?
Well, not really. After all, with how similarly overpowered her enemies are in the Akameverse, it can’t hurt to have a few broken abilities to use for herself.
Although she did end up biting the dust just like most of the characters we’ve tackled so far in this list, as not even her time stop ability saved her in the end. Bummer.
9. Jotaro Kujo
Anime: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
“You thought Dio was going to be the only JBA character on this list, but there’s also me, Jotaro!”
Yeah, as if he’d say that.
While Jotaro’s Star Platinum can only stop time for 5 seconds as opposed to Dio’s 10, I decided to put him above Dio because he used those 5 seconds much more efficiently.
And to be fair, Dio does tend to talk too much and be passive during his time stops – which may or may not have contributed to his downfall.
Not that we’re complaining though.
Even Dio’s voice is prime meme material at this point.
Anime: Boku no Hero Academia
This adorable little girl here is an outlier among the cheat-tier characters who actually look the part.
But you shouldn’t be fooled by her meek appearance.
After all, she actually has one of the strongest Quirks in terms of both utility and offense.
She might lack control over her powers, but she can turn back time for any organic being’s physical state.
This means she theoretically holds the power to heal anyone or grant them eternal youth. For hostiles, she can revert them so far back in time that they would practically cease to exist.
Like I said, this little one isn’t to be underestimated.
And this isn’t even her final form!
This skeleton dude is already OP as it is, even without his Time Stop.
But the fact that he does have it is a testament to his reputation as one of the strongest players in YGGDRASIL.
In addition to having so many high-tier equipments, items, and spells in the game, he’s also quite good at utilizing them to their fullest extent.
This is evident as he pairs up his Time Stop with yet another broken special of his — one that boosts all the ‘instant-death’ effects his spells have against his enemies.
Basically, he can stop time, then cast whatever instadeath spell he has in his arsenal – all with his opponents none the wiser.
The perfect combo, If I do say so myself.
Anime: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Makoto is just your ordinary tomboyish high school girl – until she stumbled upon the opportunity of a lifetime.
I’m talking about, of course, the ability to literally leap through time.
Hence the film’s name.
Sure she may not look like she belongs among the more standoffish characters on this list. But she actually has a better time-based ability compared to most of them.
After all, she can travel anywhere and whenever she wants through time, with only the minor caveat of having limited usage of her powers.
5. Julius Novachrono
Anime: Black Clover
This guy lives up to his prestigious title of the “Wizard King” very much, and none would dare say otherwise.
While it all comes down to how far he could exert himself, Julius’ control over Time Magic is nigh-perfect, and quite frankly broken.
He’s been shown to absolutely pwn several members of the Eye of the Midnight Sun without even breaking a sweat – and casting a massive time spell that encompasses his entire kingdom.
Heck, even death couldn’t keep this guy down after he made his ultimate sacrifice.
4. Saiki Kusuo
Anime: Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan
Would it surprise anyone that the most powerful esper in anime also has the ability to control time?
Probably not. Despite this series being more oriented towards comedy rather than action, Saiki still would probably beat 9 of the 10 anime characters you can put him up against.
Yep. He’s just that strong.
For example, he’s been shown to reset the entire world’s time back a full year, just to avoid a disaster that could potentially wipe Japan off the face of the Earth.
All before altering every single person’s memory of the past year to avoid complications.
What a guy.
3. Kurumi Tokisaki
Anime: Date A Live
For an anime that mostly focuses on the waifus, it still put quite a bit of thought into their abilities.
Heck, it even has a mobile gacha game (among a lot of console games) that lets you date ’em all!
Only if your wallet can handle it though…
My digression to subpar yet addictive games aside, Kurumi is considered to be one of the strongest waifus in the show, if not the strongest.
She has the ability not only to travel across time by herself, but also to take anyone along with her.
Kurumi does have a “weakness” in the sense that her life force decreases whenever she uses her powers.
Still, it’s an easily solvable caveat for her, since she can also absorb anybody’s time (life force) for herself.
2. Homura Akemi
Anime: Puella Magi Madoka Magica
If you could rewind time and live out different timelines only to suffer over and over again for the one you love, would you do it?
Well that’s basically what Homura did.
And her tale is about as tragic as they come.
Especially for a show that was supposed to be about cutesy magical girls.
And what can I say? It kinda was, but man did they get me in the first half.
With that said, Homura is so high up on this list because her power is all-encompassing, meaning that she has unlimited range and can affect even the strongest witches/magical girls like her.
Even Madoka, who is arguably (because Sailor Moon exists) the strongest magical girl in anime, fell victim to her time manipulation many times.
Every single one of the characters on this list fit in quite well.
But how could they ever compare to the literal embodiment of time?
Dialga, in its very essence, could be considered as time itself.
The concept of time didn’t even exist until Arceus created it, along with Palkia, which then represents space.
In the Pokémon universe, it’s been said that time didn’t “move” until Dialga was born – and Dialga is therefore capable of manipulating time however it wishes.
Though in the end, I still think it’s kind of hilarious that these beings can be caught and contained into a tiny ball that you can carry around in your back pocket.
Pokeball go brrr, indeed.