Though shonen powerhouses often get most of the attention, anime spellcasters are amazing in their own right. Capable of doing everything from manipulating time to transforming reality, spellcasters boast incredible powers that even the best fighters cannot imagine.
Over the decades, action anime series have introduced all kinds of impressive mages worthy of admiration. Most of the characters here are the strongest spellcasters from their universe, or with the most dangerous abilities. Still, others are so lovable that fans cannot get enough of them.
Updated by Alexandra Locke on August 28, 2022: Over the years, many amazing magical characters have graced screens with their presence. While many of them have incredible skill and lots of heart, there are a few who are worthy of being called the best spellcasters. This list has been updated to include some other anime mages fans think are great.
15 Atsuko Kagari Hopes To Be Like Her Idol (Little Witch Academia)
Atsuko "Akko" Kagari is a young witch in training at Luna Nova in Little Witch Academia. Akko's greatest dream is to inspire others with her magic, just like her idol, Shiny Chariot. Unfortunately, Akko has trouble performing even a single spell correctly. However, what she lacks in skill, she makes up for in drive as she strives to become a great witch.
Along the way, Akko is helped by her friends and teachers, including Shiny Chariot herself. Akko may have a long way to go, but with the support of friends, she is sure to realize her dreams one day.
14 Lina Inverse Is Destructively Powerful (Slayers)
Lina Inverse is the lead character of Slayers, a fifteen-year-old girl with absurd levels of power and no sense of what it means to restrict using it. She is so destructive that people believe her to be evil. However, Lina is not evil at all, she just does not care what she uses her magic on.
Lina boasts a handful of incredibly powerful black magic spells that she uses on nearly anything that gets in the way of making money. Her immense magical reserves mean that she can cast high-level spells without even thinking about it.
13 Nanoha Takamachi Excels At Everything (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha)
Nanoha Takamachi starts as an exceptionally talented mage when she is introduced in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Nanoha easily helps the experienced mage Yuuno Scrya with his mission dealing with the dark magical girl, Fate Testarossa.
Nanoha has incredible skills and seems to excel at everything she does. She even becomes an S+ ranked mage by the time she is in her early twenties. With that power, Nanoha beats everyone from mad scientists to eldritch ancient mage princesses - all with the help of Raising Heart, the magic staff she relies on.
12 Shirou Emiya Uses His Powers For Good (Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Bladeworks)
Shirou Emiya is one of the Mages in the Fifth Holy Grail War of Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Bladeworks. He is initially inexperienced as a mage, but with practice, Shirou eventually becomes one of the most powerful.
Unlike many mages, Shirou initially masters Reinforcement and Projection magecraft, and later, Tracing magecraft. The latter allows him to completely copy an object. Not only is this handy for creating weapons, but it also alludes to his future as a Heroic Spirit. Shirou would do anything for anyone in need, often putting aside his own desires. As such, Shirou is a selfless mage, and while he's not the most powerful initially, he is one of the kindest.
11 Lucy Heartfelia Uses Magic To Summon Celestial Spirits (Fairy Tail)
Lucy Heartfelia is one of the many members of the Fairy Tail Guild and a central character in Fairy Tail. Lucy's specialty as a celestial wizard is using magic based on astrological signs. She calls upon each sign in turn, as they grant her their abilities in battle.
Lucy's heart and over-the-top personality endear her to many fans. Although she may not be the greatest wizard in Fairy Tail, Lucy knows that dedication and hard work will get her to where she wants to go.
10 Megumin Loves Explosions (Konosuba)
Megumin is an Arch Wizard from Konosuba. She is one of the party members in protagonist Kazuma's group, as they strive to get as much money as possible. Despite being a magic user, Megumin prefers only to use one spell that causes an immense explosion. However, when she uses it, she is drained for quite a while afterward.
While this seems like an inefficient way to do magic, Megumin's belief in her power, and her unbridled love of explosions is too endearing for anyone to correct her. Megumin is not the most skilled mage, as her explosions usually backfire, but her complete dedication to her craft makes Megumin one of the most lovable anime spellcasters.
9 Irene Belserion Is One Of The Most Powerful Spellcasters (Fairy Tail)
Throughout the series, fans have seen several Fairy Tail mages, but Irene is the only one who feels like a proper mage. Everyone else wants to cast spells by punching things, but Irene is truly one of the most powerful spellcasters in Fairy Tail.
Irene can imbue magical items with enough power to turn them into actual humanoids who work as her assistants. Plus, her spell, Universe One, can alter an entire country and shape it to her whims. There is no upper limit to Irene's incredible powers.
8 Few Can Challenge Evangeline A.K. McDowell (Negima! Magister Negi Magi)
Evangeline A.K. McDowell is the woman who taught Negi Springfield almost everything he knows in Negima! Magister Negi Magi. Evangeline was turned into a vampire at an incredibly young age and spent decades training with a High Vampire that taught her upper-level magical spells.
Though Evangeline specializes in ice magic, her best technique is Dark Magic, which involves the user absorbing their own offensive magic to amplify their abilities. Evangeline spent decades hunting down Martians that were taking advantage of Earthlings, rarely ever being challenged because of her sheer might.
7 Julius Novachrono Overpowers Enemies (Black Clover)
The Wizard King of Black Clover appears to be the strongest mage in the series. Although he was defeated by Patolli, the other part of William Vangeance, it was only because he chose to protect his city rather than try to win the fight.
Possessing the ability to alter or stop time, Novachrono's power has allowed him to go into areas against multiple enemies all at once. Novachrono single-handedly defeats them by trapping them in time loops. Novachrono can even transform into other humans, showing there is more to his power than anyone is aware of.
6 Shin Wolford Improves His Skills Through Teaching (Wise Man's Grandson)
The main character of Wise Man's Grandson, Shin Wolford, was trained by two of the strongest mages that ever lived. His unique skill with magic means that he not only learns spells faster than anyone else in his world, but he can develop them more rapidly than anyone else, as well.
Shin is constantly coming up with new spells and improving on them by teaching them to his friends. In doing this, he learns better ways to do what he is already good at. Shin has mastered defensive and enhancement abilities, and he can even cast spells without chanting incantations first.
5 Ayaka Kagari Reverses The Roles (Witch Craft Works)
One of the most skilled witches in Witch Craft Works, Ayaka Kagari is seemingly good at every aspect of spellcraft. She specializes in using flame magic, but she can create it out of anything, and she can turn her own body into pure flame energy.
Ayaka also has another level of power known as Overdrive, which makes her hair turn white and allows her to do things like summon dragons. She has even shown off a level of super-strength by pulling trees out of the ground or bursting through walls.
4 Ernesti Echevalier Augments His Abilities (Knight's & Magic)
Ernesti Echevalier is the protagonist of Knight's & Magic. Because he can tie magic to his knowledge of computer programming, Ernesti learns powerful spells at a younger age than others.
Ernesti created many spells to augment his abilities and in general. In addition, he has a larger pool of mana to draw from than other mages, which allows him to cast bigger spells. Though Ernesti has a variety of spells to choose from, his best spell is undoubtedly Thundering Gale, which combines a Tornado with Lightning for a devastating attack.
3 Edward Elric Performs Powerful Alchemy (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Edward Elric practices a type of magic in the form of alchemy in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Unlike most of Amestris, Edward can transmute things without the need for a transmutation circle. While this power is derived because he performed one of the greatest taboos, his skill is nevertheless impressive.
Edward's abilities have earned him a position as a State Alchemist - the youngest person to do so. His alchemy skills are so incredible that almost everyone Edward meets across Amestris knows his codename as the "Fullmetal Alchemist." Edward's alchemical prowess and dedication to always learning more make him one of the best spellcasters.
2 Ryner Lute Keeps Getting Stronger (The Legend Of The Legendary Heroes)
Ryner Lute starts The Legend of the Legendary Heroes as an overpowered individual. His special ability allows him to analyze and copy any spell he sees, even if the spell is not complete. However, that is not the limit of his ability, as it usually leads to someone going berserk.
Ryner’s true power comes from having recovered from going berserk and harboring some leftover power. Because he managed to master his new abilities, Ryner is working on unlocking The Solver of All Equations, which lets him analyze anything in the world. It allows him to enter and leave the spiritual plane whenever he wants, making him even stronger than before.
1 Rimuru Tempest Absorbs Power (That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime)
Rimuru Tempest starts as a simple slime in That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime. Yet, after absorbing the magicules of a powerful dragon named Veldora, his magic level transformed into something strong enough to surpass humans and monsters.
What makes him an amazing mage is the Great Sage ability inside of him, which allows him to copy any ability from the beings he absorbs. Rimuru is shown the ability to use powerful summoning magic, as well as dozens of other powers from beings he has defeated over the years. This makes him one of the most powerful beings in his universe.
NEXT: 10 Strongest Magic Systems In Anime, Ranked