20 Most Iconic Anime Poses Ever, Ranked

Anime has a way of making the banal appear remarkable. These poses are as well-known as anime.

Many things are associated with manga and anime that almost everyone adores. One characteristic of anime that has stayed consistent since the beginning is the tendency for anime characters to strike a very outrageous position that appears utterly unrealistic yet immensely pleasant to watch.

These  poses have entered the public awareness; even individuals who have never seen anime may know them via memes and easter eggs hidden in other media.

Most anime scenes go above and above to be as flashy and exciting as possible. Even a single dialogue can develop its own lively personality, with characters emoting in ways that would be unimaginable in real life. The many poses that characters in anime pull off show just how iconic they are, with the greatest of the bunch being featured below. The bulk of the positions on this list are likely to be known to anyone who is even vaguely familiar with them.


The Ginyu Force (Dragon Ball)

Source: Roaring Liger

The Ginyu Force is a major gang of villains in the Namek Saga, emerging at the time Vegeta and the Z Warriors were attempting to obtain the Dragon Balls to resurrect their companions. Frieza determined to go all out after the deaths of Zarbon and Dodoria in order to secure his dream.

The Ginyu Force emerges and postures in a ludicrous fashion… but this betrays the full amount of their powers. They completely destroy the heroes, but Goku rushes in and rescues the day by demonstrating how strong he’s gotten after extensive training.

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Armstrong Flexing His Muscles (Fullmetal Alchemist)

It’s no secret that Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the best anime of all time, and its remarkable cast of characters is a big reason why. Major Armstrong is a great example of a character who adds a lot of humor to the show.

This bald monster is quite self-aware, and he knows that he has incredible sculpted muscles. His fan base grows even larger as he takes advantage of every opportunity to display his buff physique.


The Pillar Men Introduction (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure features outlandish and memorable stances. Araki relishes shattering all the bones in his heroes’ bodies with their stances, and the villains look to have received the same treatment.

This is visible with the appearance of the Pillar Men, who are definitely three of the series’ most powerful antagonists. The fact that the first thing they do after regaining control of their bodies is pose illustrates what JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is all about: style, substance, and a lot of fun all rolled into one.


Guts Crouched In Berserker Armor (Berserk)

The Berserker Armor is one of the most recognizable pieces of anime equipment. The way this armor pierces Guts’ flesh to make him more effective is truly horrific, demonstrating just how much of a monster Guts is by allowing him to slaughter almost everyone while wearing this armor.

One of the late great Miura’s Berserk covers depicts Guts crouched pensively in this armor. This scene is so memorable that Miyazaki used it for Artorias, one of the greatest video game bosses of all time.


Instant Transmission (Dragon Ball)

Instant Transmission is a technique that is employed extensively in Dragon Ball. Goku developed this technique when stuck on Yardrat, allowing him to move at the speed of light and practically transport himself whenever he wished.

The basic shot of Goku putting two fingers on his brow is indelible and has been imitated numerous times by fans. Since the Instant Transmission technique was employed multiple times throughout the series, this position has not died out in mainstream culture and is unlikely to do so anytime soon.


Shaft Head Tilt (Multiple Shaft Anime)

Only in the world of anime can a simple head tilt become the stuff of legends. The anime studio Shaft has created several series that feature this iconic Shaft head tilt.

Watching these anime characters break their neck just to look behind them with some swagger never fails to be entertaining. The frequency of the Shaft head tilt is one of the major reasons why it’s so iconic.


Drive Shot (Captain Tsubasa)

One of the most well-known figures in the world of anime soccer is none other than Captain Tsubasa. Thanks to his writing and pioneering work on numerous anime series, he is now recognized by almost everyone.

It’s impossible to look at Captain Tsubasa’s Drive Shot pose and not think of him, even if you know nothing else about him. This chant always heralds a hard shot that’s destined for the top corner.


Saitama’s Confounded Pose (One-Punch Man)

One must give credit where credit is due to ONE and Yusuke Murata for creating one of the most iconic manga panels in the history of the medium. The image of a bewildered and unimpressed Saitama responding “ok” in a nonchalant manner has developed into its own iconic pose throughout the years.

Because One-Punch Man is such a hilarious show, it was inevitable that one of its most memorable and hilarious moments would go down in pop culture annals as an all-time classic. It is entirely appropriate that this funny panel was able to succeed in obtaining this accolade.


Ken Kaneki Cracking His Knuckles (Tokyo Ghoul)

Even though it’s not technically a pose, Kaneki’s habit of cracking his knuckles on the spur of the moment has become a defining feature of his personality and the Tokyo Ghoul franchise as a whole. What he did to create this method is not funny in the least.

After ten days of Yamori’s mental and physical torture, Kaneki gave in and accepted his ghoul nature. As a result, he began modeling his personality after Yamori’s actions during torture.

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Alchemy Without Circles (Fullmetal Alchemist)

One of the highlights of Fullmetal Alchemist was seeing Edward connect his palms and perform alchemy without forming a circle. Edward’s unique alchemical technique became invaluable to him in battle after he uncovered it and began utilizing it regularly.

Fans of Fullmetal Alchemist will likely agree that the series’ fight scenes improved greatly as a result. It was a fantastic approach to establish the hero’s competence after he had failed to adequately demonstrate his abilities up until that moment.


Gendo Ikari’s Finger-Tenting (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

One of the most famous anime series of all time is Neon Genesis Evangelion. The series’ ‘antagonist’ has immortalized himself with a pose that will go down in anime history.

The trademark finger-tent of Gendo Ikari is arguably one of the most recognizable and adored poses in anime history. It’s a wonderful approach to convey that this character isn’t as great as one might think – he has a terrible side to him that only comes out when absolutely required. The fact that recent anime such as Attack on Titan pay homage to this position shows how prevalent this finger-tenting is.


Spirit Gun (Yu Yu Hakusho)

Yoshihiro Togashi worked on another iconic anime series before beginning production on Hunter x Hunter. Yu Yu Hakusho was an immediate hit, with the opening episode setting the tone for a fantastic journey through a demon-infested realm.

It’s never boring to see Yusuke point his finger and discharge a terrifyingly strong Spirit Gun. While the anime’s quality may have dwindled at the end, the iconic Spirit Gun pose will never be forgotten.


L’s Thinking Stance (Death Note)

Death Note is a legendary anime that should not be overlooked. The show’s most popular character has his own signature posture, which is pretty entertaining to see.

It’s strangely thrilling to see L squat in his seat and consider the show’s major puzzles and mysteries. It’s a credit to L’s genius as a character that such a simple posture can be so hilarious in and of itself.


Gainax Pose (Multiple Gainax Productions)

The infamous Gainax position is well-known among anime fans. It’s a stance that’s instantly recognizable from any Gainax movie.

The most well-known example of a show that takes this position is Gurren Lagann. No matter how implausible the means of cracking such a posture may be, it is always awesome to see a character or their mech standing with their arms crossed in such an unabashedly cool manner.


The Team Rocket Pose (Pokemon)

Since its introduction in 1996, Pokemon, one of the most popular intellectual creations of all time, has been a vital part of popular culture. Since then, a slew of games, anime, films, toys, and other similar things have been commercially successful. This show featured a well-known duet that has been a series fixture since its debut.

Throughout all Pokemon seasons, Jessie and James, the two key members of Team Rocket, have been a consistent source of hilarity. The pose they take when introducing themselves has become the stuff of legends due to its bizarre and funny nature. This is one of the most well-known anime poses.


The Spirit Bomb (Dragon Ball)

The Dragon Ball series has produced some of the best and most famous scenes that most people remember long after they’ve finished binge-watching this iconic shonen series. The patented Spirit Bomb is one such technique that most people remember fondly to this day.

Source: Xavere Ricketts

Goku learns this strong move while training with King Kai and never fails to use it at pivotal moments throughout the show. This strategy is almost always successful… and even when it isn’t, the fallout is stunning in its own right.

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Shadow Clone Jutsu (Naruto)

The Shadow Clone jutsu is one of the most often employed techniques in Naruto, with the Number One Knucklehead Ninja employing it to great effect. Observing Naruto transform from being excessively dependent on this jutsu to using it as a foundation to enhance his other techniques is nothing short of astounding.

It is impossible to discuss legendary poses and stances in anime without addressing the hand gestures required to perform the Shadow Clone jutsu. It is by a wide margin one of the most recognizable hand signals in Naruto.


Josuke’s Flamboyant Pose (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)

If entries on this list weren’t limited to one per series, one might argue that JoJo poses would span the entire list. Araki’s artwork is truly breathtaking, bringing each of the iconic poses in JoJo to life in the best way possible.

Josuke Higashikata’s allegedly backbreaking position in Diamond is Unbreakable deserves special note. It’s an incredible sight that adds to the iconic statue of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.


The Super Saiyan Power-up Pose (Dragon Ball)

Anyone who watched Dragon Ball Z as a kid would be lying if they said they didn’t try to become a Super Saiyan at least once. After all, screaming your lungs out to gain a massive store of power sounds like the most wonderful thing ever as a child!

This position has been consistent throughout the Dragon Ball series, and it’s clear to see why. It’s never boring to see your favorite Saiyans morph to get more power! This is one of the most iconic anime poses.


The Kamehameha Technique (Dragon Ball)

However, it would be hard to discuss legendary anime poses without including a pose that almost everyone tried out as a child. The Kamehameha is the most popular technique in Dragon Ball, with the cracked position upon releasing the beam becoming legendary.

Since its inception, the Dragon Ball series has developed and evolved significantly. However, the fact that the Kamehameha approach has stayed mostly intact to this day is evidence of its winning recipe.

Thank you for reading!

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