Since ancient times, swords have played an important role in Japanese culture, and anime is no exception.
Some anime series feature legendary, mythical, and/ or cursed blades. Some of these are based on real swords, such as the imperial treasure Kusanagi no Tsurugi, or the blades made by Masamune or Muramasa.
Other series invent their own powerful, but imaginary swords. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has a whole story arc featuring great, if extremely eccentric, swordsmiths.
Naturally, some of these anime swords are available in replica or toy forms. This article will list off some of the better anime swords. We’ll also show you where to find them.
List of the 9 Coolest Anime Swords
- Tanjiro’s black Nichirin blade
- Inuyasha’s Tessaiga
- Ryuko’s Scissor Blade
- Mitsuri’s ribbon blade
- Zoro’s swords
- Ichigo’s Zanpakuto (Zangetsu)
- Zabuza’s sword
- Stocking’s Stripes I and II
- Mihawk’s Yoru
Demon Slayer is a series about destroying demons, and the most effective way to kill them is by decapitation. Naturally, the series features a lot of sword-swinging action, and the main swords are known as Nichirin blades. These are typically specialized and personalized to match the wielder’s personality and technique.
After Tanjiro Kamado joins the Demon Slayer Corps, he receives a Nichirin katana which turns black — supposedly, a bad luck color. However, Tanjiro’s sword color actually comes from his Sun Breathing, an extremely powerful technique.
Amazon has a lot of replicas of Tanjiro’s swords, ranging from actual, sharp steel blades (like the one pictured), to dull props suitable for cosplay.
Note: Anime conventions tend to have strict weapons policies, so don’t bring a real blade to your next anime event.
In Inuyasha, the title character defeats demons, and defends Kagome with the giant, impressive, and distinctive Tessaiga. Just to add to its mythical, legendary status, the sword is made from one of Inuyasha’s father’s demon dog fangs.
But when Inuyasha first finds the sword, it doesn’t look like a powerful blade at all. It looks like a battered old katana. It only transforms into its more familiar shape when Kagome’s life is in danger. This is a great metaphor for Inuyasha himself, the grouchy half-demon who seems to become stronger when defending Kagome.
If you want to cosplay Inuyasha, it wouldn’t feel complete without a prop of the huge, curved blade.
At the beginning of Kill La Kill, Ryuko Matoi is searching for the person who killed her father. Her one major clue is her father’s Scissor Blade, a sword shaped like a pair of scissors. Ryuko has one half, and her father’s killer took the other half.
Ryuko’s quest sets into motion a complicated plot featuring powerful school clubs, school uniforms, duels and battles, the Honnoji Academy Student Council, a school trip/ invasion, and eventually an alien conspiracy to take over the world.
A steel version of Ryuko’s unique blade can be bought from Amazon. You can also buy a 3D printed, plastic replica, as well as Scissor Blade pendants.
This curvy, flexible, and pink blade belongs to the pink-haired demon slayer, Mitsuri Kanroji.
In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the Love Hashira first shows up when Tanjiro is put on trial by the Hashira. But she really shines in the Swordsmith Village Arc, where she shows off her skill with her whip-like Nichirin katana.
If you want to cosplay the bubbly and kind Mitsuri, a copy of her sword would make a good accessory.
Bandai makes a toy version of the sword, which you can buy at eBay. It is flexible, just like the real thing. The sword is also a talking sword — push a button on the heart-covered hilt, and it will play some of Mitsuri’s dialogue (or some sound effects). It also makes sound effects when you whip it around. The sword’s crossguard also lights up.
In One Piece, the former pirate hunter/ Straw Hat Pirate member Roronoa Zoro is a master of the three-sword style.
Zoro himself invented the style, which involves dual-wielding while also holding one of the swords in his mouth. It’s an appropriate style for the pirate who wants to become the world’s greatest swordsman.
You would think that three katana swords would be three times more expensive to buy. But Amazon does offer the swords together for less than some swords available online. Of course, the ones pictured above are cosplay-friendly versions.
In Bleach, the Zanpakuto of Soul Society shinigami are similar to the Nichirin swords of Demon Slayer. They are personalized weapons, which change to reflect the user. However, the Zanpakuto, or Soul-Cutter Swords, also have their own personalities.
When human Ichigo Kurosaki became a Soul Reaper, he got his own Zanpakuto. However, Ichigo’s blade resembles a meat cleaver more than a true sword, which seems to reflect Ichigo’s “rough-around-the-edges” nature. After undergoing shinigami training, he learns the name of his sword, Zangetsu.
You can get several different versions of Zangetsu at eBay.
The ninja assassin Momochi Zabuza was the first major villain that Naruto had to deal with.
When Kakashi and his young team (Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke) were assigned to protect a master bridge builder, they had to battle the rogue ninja. Zabuza gave Naruto his first taste of how dangerous the ninja world was.
Zabuza’s weapon is another example of the giant anime sword. And the sword also has that butcher’s knife/ cleaver look to it.
Amazon has a couple of versions of Zabuza’s sword.
When the angelic Anarchy sisters go into battle against monsters, Stocking’s weapons of choice are the blue and white katana swords Stripes I and Stripes II. Yes, the weapons are her stockings transformed into swords, and she can dual wield them.
In July 2023, animation studio Trigger announced the return of the raunchy comedy anime series Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt. The previous series infamously ended on an seemingly impossible-to-resolve cliffhanger, so it will be interesting to see what happens next.
If Zoro wants to be the world’s greatest swordsman, he’ll have to get past Dracule “Hawk Eyes” Mihawk first.
In the One Piece storyline, Mihawk was introduced as a rival to Zoro. He first appears during the Baratie Arc. During the fight, Mihawk easily outduels Zoro, but afterward challenges him to keep at it, and try again later. Mihawk was also one of the Seven Warlords.
Despite the rivalry, Mihawk seems to respect and admire Zoro. He even trains Zoro during the two-year timeskip.
Mihawk’s sword Yoru is an ornate weapon in the shape of a cross. It has a black blade.
Obviously, this is far from a complete list of all the anime swords out there. As you can see, Japanese pop culture likes to pay homage to the country’s long heritage of swords.
I tried to pick interesting, unique, and/ or iconic anime swords. But I also tried to avoid having too many swords from one series. I probably could have filled most of the list with just Demon Slayer swords. But that would have left out some great swords, and I wanted more diversity.
If I forgot your favorite sword, I apologize. I hope you enjoyed this list of great anime swords.