Being a huge, flying, and fire-breathing giant lizard has its advantages, and that’s why dragons have always been revered in many cultures – even if they’re entirely fictional. Whatever media they’re in, they’re bound to make waves and have a dominating presence. The same can be said for a lot of anime that feature dragons in their story.
In most anime, the best dragons are depicted as gods and omnipotent beings capable of the most powerful feats and miracles. Other times, they’re independent and headstrong creatures that bow to no one, and whoever earns their loyalty is bound to be someone special. That’s why these following dragons have withstood the test of time and are now icons in anime.
8/8 Kanna Kamui – Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Not all dragons have to be intimidating, godly beings capable of unprecedented destruction. Some are just mischievous pranksters who hide under the guise of quietness and childish cuteness. That would be Kanna Kamui from Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.
This fan-favorite dragon from the anime quickly earned her popularity due to her juvenile demeanor and pet-like behavior. Still, there’s no doubt that Kanna is a powerful creature when she desperately needs to be. She’s a lot older than all human beings, after all, though her appearance doesn’t reflect that, as is the case with a lot of old anime characters.
7/8 Igneel – Fairy Tail
As far as anime dragons go, Igneel is one of the most standard. In Fairy Tail, he’s known as the Fire Dragon and even The Fire Dragon King. With a moniker like that, it’s fair to expect him to be evil, but Igneel is a gentle giant and even took on the role of raising an orphan, Natsu Dragneel — one of the series’ main protagonists.
While he is extremely protective of his kind, Igneel does have a habit of attending to more elevated and significant dragon stuff. When not parenting, he can be angry and violent if needed, like fire. It’s also a good thing that Igneel adopted Natsu. Through the boy, he learned to appreciate lesser beings — humans included. In a world where there are more evil dragons than good ones, Igneel stands out like a bonfire in the dark.
6/8 Bahamut – Rage Of Bahamut: Genesis
Tired of heroic dragons? Well, then here’s a big bad evil dragon straight out of biblical scriptures. In the anime, Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis, Bahamut is rendered as a dragon whose reawakening will bring about the world’s destruction. Hence, a group of bounty hunters must now hunt down those who threaten to break Bahamut’s seal.
It’s easy to see why Bahamut needed to be imprisoned. He’s a walking cataclysm whose persona revolves around destroying everything on impulse. Whoever tries to control him will be punished. Back then, deities like Zeus and Satan had to sacrifice themselves in order to seal away this gargantuan threat.
5/8 Kaido – One Piece
There was bound to be a biggest and baddest threat in One Piece, and the role goes to Kaido of the Beasts. The world knows and regards him as the strongest creature in existence and he is the leader of the Beasts Pirates. Initially, Kaido was just a human soldier but he gained power after eating a mythical Devil Fruit.
This allowed him to transform into a powerful Azure Dragon at will, which is quite unfair as far as Devil Fruit powers go. Since then, Kaido snowballed into becoming a global power in One Piece‘s mythological world. Only the Straw Hat Pirates were able to scratch him and eventually defeat him after several rematches.
4/8 Haku – Spirited Away
To balance things up, here’s a water dragon since fire dragons are too vanilla. Haku from Spirited Away is a shape-shifting water god whose original form seems to be that of an oriental dragon. True enough to what he represents, Haku is also fluid and adjusts to his environment. Even his personality is muted and relaxed.
At the same time, Haku can also be cold and intense, like water making waves. But beyond that, what does make him iconic and memorable is the fact that he has always looked after Chihiro the moment he saw her trapped in the Spirit Realm. Turns out he’s also a river god whom anyone can trust, assuming their intentions are pure.
3/8 Blue Eyes White Dragon – Yu-Gi-Oh!
Speaking of dragons who prefer special ad trustworthy friends, the equally special Blue Eyes White Dragon from the old Yu-Gi-Oh! simply had to be here. Ever since its first appearance, it has always been one of the most intriguing and catchy dragons in pop culture. That ridiculous name paired with its rarity made it quite a hit.
In the collectible card game outside of the anime adaptation, Blue Eyes White Dragon is a force to be reckoned with and one of the monsters with the highest attack power. In the anime, only a few select duelists like Seto Kaiba have the edge and temperament to wield something like this dragon.
2/8 Shenron – Dragon Ball
The Dragon Ball franchise has featured many dragons, but none of them are as popular as the fan-favorite long-boi, Shenron. He’s one of the most notable dragons in the series, seeing as he keeps reappearing and has resurrected too many characters back from the dead at someone’s wish.
Shenron got his dues when he was finally upgraded to his most powerful version, Super Shenron. This golden version is as big as several universes. Sure enough, its power is nigh-limitless since it can also grant wishes on top of being capable of nearly everything.
1/8 Charizard – Pokemon
Charizard might pale in comparison to the other mighty dragons here, but he has won hearts many times, and that’s enough. This stubborn fire-breather is one of the original Ash’s most powerful Pokemon, though he does have trouble making Charizard heel or giving him commands due to its fiery nature (no pun intended).
The funny thing about Charizard is that his base version, Charmander, can give Pikachu a run for his money since he’s about as adorable as that lightning rodent. Of course, Charizard can fly in addition to being more imposing and powerful. But his personality alone makes him memorable enough. This picky lizard refuses to be handled by anyone whom he finds lacking (in badges, usually).
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