Without someone leading them, no learner can learn how to control their abilities. Most anime heroes learn their trade by having an experienced, mature sensei show their apprentices the ropes. All anime instructors develop special bonds with their pupils as they witness their development up close and personal, whether they are tough-skinned or caring, strict or supportive.
These anime mentors form close bonds with their students, helping them overcome limitations and transform both physically and mentally by passing on age-old knowledge and hard-earned wisdom. These anime sensei-student relationships are especially touching and meaningful, touching both generations of heroes deeply.
Updated on March 26, 2023, by Maria Remizova: For inexperienced anime heroes, the road to the top is never easy. The fortunate ones, on the other hand, have experienced mentors to support and guide them through the difficult journey of self-improvement. While these teachers cannot fight their apprentices' battles, they can pass on their knowledge to future generations. This list has been updated to include even more outstanding sensei-student relationships.
15 Kikuhiko & Yotaro (Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu)
Kikuhiko (Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu) is far from the ideal image of a caring mentor. He was hesitant to accept Yotaro's invitation to learn the art of rakugo, a traditional Japanese performative storytelling form. Even after agreeing, Kikuhiko remained bitter and passive in his coaching of the ex-convict.
Kikuhiko's unconventional approach to familiarizing Yotaro with the craft, on the other hand, aided the student far more than conventional methods could. Both men were united in their love for rakugo, despite the burdens of their past regrets.
14 Lisa Lisa and Caesar Zeppeli And Joseph Joestar (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure)
A skilled mentor may occasionally need to be tough to inspire their charges to develop into the best versions of themselves. With no regard for the fact that Joseph Joestar was her son, the methods used by Lisa Lisa from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency to teach Caesar Zeppeli and Joseph Joestar the secrets of Ripple pushed them to their limits.
No one can deny that the boys benefited greatly from Lisa Lisa's strictness. She improved their fighting abilities far more effectively than they could have under a more lenient master.
13 Kakashi and Team 7 (Naruto)
Despite his laid-back demeanor and disdain for responsibility, Naruto's Kakashi Hatake is widely regarded as one of anime's most iconic mentors. He is a figure of authority to whom every member of Team 7 owes their advancement and gradual transformation into powerful, competent adults.
Kakashi, one of the series' most talented ninjas, never became arrogant and always emphasized the importance of teamwork and collaboration. The values instilled in Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura by Kakashi during their formative years of training shaped them.
12 All Might and Midoriya (My Hero Academia)
In the world of My Hero Academia, Toshinori Yagi's hero alter-ego, All Might, inspired countless children and adults. No one, however, was as moved and encouraged by All Might as his student and successor, Midoriya Izuku.
All Might embodies the classic superhero ideals of overcoming adversity, always standing up for the weak, and never losing sight of one's values. While he may struggle to fulfill the duties of a traditional teacher, All Might excels at being a motivating symbol and pushing his students to do their best at all times.
11 Dazai and Atsushi (Bungou Stray Dogs)
When it comes to anime mentors, Osamu Dazai from Bungou Stray Dogs frequently falls through the cracks because he is an extremely unconventional role model for his apprentice, Atsushi. Careless, secretive, and manipulative, Dazai never intended to become a mentor for Atsushi.
Dazai had ulterior motives for involving Atsushi and his former student, Akutagawa, in schemes that went unnoticed by the boys. Dazai, on the other hand, grows to care deeply about Atsushi as he matures past his malicious mafia self and mentors him by providing opportunities for the boy to improve.
10 Gojo and Itadori (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Satoru Gojo is widely regarded as the most powerful character in the Jujutsu Kaisen universe. However, it is not his strength that makes him such an excellent mentor to the show's protagonist, Itadori Yuuji.
While Gojo teaches his students many useful Cursed Techniques tricks, Gojo's value as a teacher stems from his treatment of all of his students, including Itadori, as the cherished future of the Jujutsu world. He sees Itadori's limitless potential and uses his influence to help him become a better version of himself.
9 Shouyou-Sensei and Gintoki (Gintama)
Despite the fact that he died long before the events of the series, Yoshida Shouyou is one of Gintama's most thematically significant characters. Gintoki's Shoka Sonjuku private school provided him with a place to belong and meaningful connections with other students, including Takasugi and Katsura.
Shouyou-teachings sensei's had a huge impact on all of his apprentices, shaping their samurai ideals. His heartbreaking death at the hands of Gintoki had a profound effect on the trio, forcing them to part ways in search of a new purpose.
8 Rayleigh and Luffy (One Piece)
At some point in their lives, all of the Straw Hat Pirates in One Piece had valuable mentors. Silvers Rayleigh, former First Mate of Gol D. Roger, is the one sensei who has managed to change even the crew's headstrong captain Luffy for the better.
During the time jump, Rayleigh mentored Luffy and prepared him to follow in the footsteps of his captain. During their rigorous training, the two formed an unbreakable bond, and Rayleigh became one of the few people who earned Luffy's genuine respect and admiration.
7 Despa and Bojji (Ranking Of Kings)
A great teacher's goal is to uncover his students' hidden potential and figure out how to best use their unique skills. The Ranking of Kings Bojji lacked adequate guidance throughout his life because most adults ignored the prince due to his physical weakness and disability.
Unlike the skeptics from Bojji's homeland, Despa recognized how to exploit the boy's speed and agility in battle. His ability to see past Bojji's flaws and trust in the boy's conviction made Despa's student one of the best warriors.
6 Reigen and Mob (Mob Psycho 100)
The bond between Reigen and Mob began with the older man using his trusting apprentice's powers for personal gain, making it one of the most unusual mentor-student relationships in anime. Throughout the series, Reigen grows to genuinely care for Mob.
Their friendship meant everything to both Mob Psycho 100 heroes. While unable to teach the boy about his abilities, Reigen gave him much more important advice about maturing, dealing with differences, and accepting himself, inspiring the shy and awkward teen to forge his own path in life.
5 Izumi and The Elric Brothers (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Izumi Curtis from Fullmetal Alchemist may appear to be a typical housewife. She's a fearsome alchemist who shares sinister similarities with her students, Edward and Alphonse Elric, beneath her demeanor.
While Izumi was initially hesitant to agree to coach the Elric brothers, Izumi grew incredibly fond of them over the course of their training. Izumi, a strict but just sensei, imparted her wisdom and strength to the boys, eventually treating them as her own children, earning the brothers' gratitude and respect.
4 Might Guy and Rock Lee (Naruto)
Naruto has a plethora of wholesome and intriguing sensei-student relationships. However, Might Guy's relationship with his apprentice, Rock Lee, is one of the most genuine and unexpectedly heartwarming. Rock Lee, unlike most of his peers, is incapable of using ninjutsu or genjutsu.
Might Guy, as a master of taijutsu, decided to take the determined young boy as a student, assisting him in his fight for his dream. Most importantly, Might Guy inspired Rock Lee and managed to form a joyful bond with his apprentice.
3 Sai and Hikaru (Hikaru No Go)
Hikaru no Go's titular hero had no interest in learning the rules of one of Japan's oldest board games, Go. However, after merging with the spirit of an ancient Go master, Fujiwara no Sai, Hikaru reluctantly agrees to learn the basics of the game from the ghostly expert.
Sai's boundless enthusiasm and brilliant teaching abilities transformed the apathetic boy into a Go enthusiast. Their unbreakable bond becomes an exciting opportunity for both Sai and Hikaru to master previously unimaginable moves and techniques.
2 Saitama and Genos (One-Punch Man)
Unlike most anime sensei-student relationships, Saitama and his self-proclaimed disciple, Genos, do not share the typical power dynamic of a mentor and his student. Indeed, Saitama does not consider the overly serious cyborg to be his apprentice.
Nonetheless, Genos insists on learning from Saitama, whom he holds in high regard, and follows the apathetic hero on his adventures. Over time, the two become genuine friends, and while Saitama still doesn't take his sensei duties seriously, Genos learns a lot from his beloved master.
1 Korosensei and Class 3-E (Assassination Classroom)
The entire plot of Assassination Classroom revolves around students attempting to assassinate their alien teacher, Korosensei, by any means possible. However, the relationship between the aforementioned monster and the Class 3-E students becomes genuinely tender over time.
Unlike most adults, Korosensei did not allow any of his students to fall behind, forming a meaningful bond with each of them. Nagisa Shiota, the show's protagonist, was inspired by Korosensei's conviction and dedication to being the best mentor for his troubled students.