Sometimes you gotta get up close and personal during a fight, but sometimes you want to keep your distance. After all, if your enemy never gets a chance to get close, then you certainly have the advantage. Anime is filled with characters sporting superhuman skill with weapons ranging from guns to bows and arrows to the humble slingshot, but who are the best anime marksmen? Who are the best of the best? Who could put Robin Hood to shame?
Fortunately, we’ve got a list for everything, so lets find out!
Our Best Anime Marksmen
Riza Hawkeye – Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood
Riza lives in a world where a not insignificant portion of the population have pseudo-science-based magical powers and are capable of creating all manner of deadly constructs from the materials around them. Yet, in a world where she should be outclassed in every way, Hawkeye is one of the deadliest women in the world with a pistol in her hand. She proves capable of holding her own against all manner of alchemists and homunculi alike.
But what makes her one of the best anime marksmen is her speed, adaptability, and willingness to throw herself into the fray to help her fellow soldiers. With her in your corner, you don’t need any other backup.
Usopp – One Piece
This man is a crack shot with a slingshot and has used his exceptional aim and eyesight to get the Straw Hats out of one scrape after another. Like many characters in One Piece, Usopp starts off as a bit of a joke character, but he quickly becomes one of Luffy’s most stalwart companions. His shooting skill extends to the cannons, making him one of the most adaptable characters on this list.
Between this and his penchant for launching trick pellets from his trusty slingshot, Usopp eventually goes on to earn the title of Sniper King, making him a no-brainer to include in this list of best anime marksmen.
Vash the Stampede – Trigun
No gunslinger is more notorious than Vash the Stampede. The man with a $$60 billion bounty on his head might act like a goofball and pervert (because he is) but he is also the best shot on the planet Gunsmoke. By downplaying his skills, he tries to avoid suspicion from those seeking to collect his bounty, but when Vash is pushed into a corner, he is able to use his handgun to accomplish incredible feats.
Vash’s skills extend beyond his Angel Arm gun to apparently any thrown weapon. He is seen deflecting other bullets by throwing pebbles in the air or throwing a knife with enough precision to cut through two ropes while he is falling down a hill. The Humanoid Typhoon might hide his abilities as best he can, but he certainly possesses skills that are well beyond other humans. I’ve talked before about how great this makes him as a character, but it also helps him to catch his opponents off-guard, a vital skill in the Wild West world he lives in.
Spike Spiegel – Cowboy Bebop
Okay, this one is a bit of a personal love letter to a great character, but if you’re looking for a great gunslinger, Spike has to be one of your first choices. Unlike the other characters on this list, Spike is just as proficient when it comes to hand-to-hand combat as he is when fighting at range. His skills with Jeet Kune Do might even surpass those with his pistol, but that doesn’t mean he’s a slouch in a gunfight. It’s the pairing of these skills that make him such an effective bounty hunter.
Spike is more grounded in reality than most of the other entries in this list when it comes to his skills with a gun. He doesn’t generally perform superhuman acts of skill or aim, but he can still hold his own against just about anyone he comes against. From the start of the show to the final shot, Spike lives and (possibly) dies by the gun like any good space cowboy.
So that’s our four best anime marksmen. Who would you include in this list? What gunfighter would you not want to face at high noon? Let us know on the usual social media channels below!