20 Best Anime Senseis We’d Want to Train With

Everyone needs a good sensei, and these are the best anime senseis we'd want to train with.

Best Anime Senseis

Behind several anime protagonists are senseis who helped them reach greater heights. Either through detailed instruction or leading by example, these mentors acted as an exemplar their pupils could learn how to be the best from. Some of these overpowered instructors were undeniably better than others though, which is why they’ve made our list of the 20 best anime senseis that we’d want to train with.

All Might (My Hero Academia)

Best Anime Senseis

Best Anime Senseis
Image Source: Bones via Crunchyroll

Don’t let the sunken eyes and monstrous build fool you; All Might is easily one of the most caring anime senseis to ever grace the screen.

In the superhero-filled world of My Hero Academia, he is the closest approximation to Superman available. His very existence has ushered in an era of peace, and his overwhelming strength allows him to take down most any threat he comes across with ease.

He hasn’t let this power warp his ideals though. As an inheritor of the immensely powerful quirk One for All, he understands the importance of doing right by those who came before him and using one’s power to help as many people as possible. This is something he tries to instill in his students, whether that means giving them a rousing speech or fighting with them in bouts that’ll push their quirks and strategizing to new heights.

However, he also knows what it’s like to be powerless, having had no quirk before he inherited One for All. It’s this knowledge that allows him to better sympathize with people like Deku, or even Bakugo, when they’re feeling helpless and incapable of growing further.

Even after his powers fade, these elements of his character remain, helping to cement him as a mentor that Class-A and the world as a whole can look to for inspiration.

Master Roshi (Dragon Ball)

Best Anime Senseis

Best Anime Senseis
Image Source: Toei Animation via Crunchyroll

Goku may be one of the strongest there is in Dragon Ball Z, but a big reason he reached that point is thanks to Master Roshi.

A hermit who has dedicated his life to martial arts, Roshi understands close combat in a way few in his world could ever hope to. His strength and speed are still exceptional despite his age, and he’s even capable of attaining a semi-perfect form of Ultra Instinct – one of Goku’s strongest transformations.

However, he isn’t concerned with using this strength for himself. Instead, he seeks to pass it on to others, helping them to grow stronger and improve in the same way he has.

This is what led him to take on Goku, Krillin, and so many others as students when they were younger, and what motivated him to continue instructing them as they grew up. No matter how old they get, he makes sure they keep wanting to learn and improve too, either by showing them new heights they can reach or acting as proof that there’s still someone stronger out there.

To be sure, he isn’t perfect – his perverted nature continues to age like milk – but he’s still the best anime sensei the Z Fighters could have hoped for.

Hatake Kakashi (Naruto)

Best Anime Senseis

Best Anime Senseis
Image Source: Pierrot via Crunchyroll

It’s hard to understate how integral Kakashi is to Naruto‘s story, and why he is deservedly one of the best anime senseis of all time.

A wunderkind of the Hidden Leaf Village’s ninja forces, he proved from an early age that he could handle even the most dangerous missions. He could quickly strategize a plan to deal with any given scenario, and knew how to combine his natural jutsu with those afforded to him by his Sharingan.

However, he also gained an appreciation for prioritizing the safety and lives of allies over completing a mission, having lost his closest friends during different conflicts.

These elements remained with him even after he began instructing students, and in many ways bolstered his teaching goals. Instead of simply turning them into efficient soldiers, he helped teach them how to become strong enough to get through missions without losing those they cared about; all the while fighting alongside them to ensure they had a leg up in increasingly dangerous situations.

It’s safe to say that without him around, Naruto and his friends wouldn’t have had the same moral compass they boast by the series’ end, and they may have even met an untimely fate.

Biscuit Kreuger (Hunter X Hunter)

Best Anime Senseis

Best Anime Senseis
Image Source: Madhouse via Crunchyroll

Biscuit Kreuger may not have as much screen time as other anime senseis, but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s one of the best instructors around.

Boasting several decades of Nen use, she has mastered the basic principles of her world’s superpower system and knows how to strengthen these powers in an optimal fashion. She can tell from a glance what someone’s strengths and weaknesses are, and how to bring them out as efficiently as possible with a variety of training techniques.

This isn’t to say she hasn’t focused on strengthening herself though. When she or an ally are threatened, she isn’t afraid to decimate her enemy with overwhelming force, utilizing Nen with terrifying precision.

It’s for this reason that she has stuck with anime fans who witness her power, and why she remains one of the biggest drivers for Gon and Killua’s growth throughout the Hunter X Hunter anime.

Satoru Gojo (Jujutsu Kaisen)

Best Anime Senseis

Best Anime Senseis
Image Source: MAPPA via Crunchyroll

Jujutsu Kaisen’s Satoru Gojo is a strange fit for an anime sensei character, but one which makes more sense the longer he’s onscreen.

An embodiment of the Chaotic Good alignment, he revels in saving the world in the most destructive and devious ways possible. He uses unimaginable cursed powers to decimate foes both human and Curse-based, and loves to undermine the more rigid hierarchy of Jujutsu Sorcerer society.

This is a big reason why he found himself dropped into the role of instructor for up-and-coming Jujutsu Sorcerers. By instructing them directly, he can ensure the next generation doesn’t carry the stiff and uncaring view toward the world that his superiors hold. Likewise, he can protect those the older guard of Jujutsu Sorcerers deem undesirable, helping said undesirables to prove they can be beneficial to the world.

Not only that, but he’s helped them to get on the path to obtaining the level of powers that he has, ensuring the world won’t be left defenseless should anything happen to him.

He’s still a chaotic element in his students’ lives, but few could argue there’s anyone better to prepare them for the long road ahead.

Izumi Curtis (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)

Best Anime Senseis

Best Anime Senseis
Image Source: Bones via Crunchyroll

It’s safe to say that if Izumi Curtis hadn’t been Ed and Al’s mentor in Fullmetal Alchemist, the story likely would have gone in a much darker direction.

Granted, this might not be apparent right off the bat. On the surface, Izumi is a strict and violent teacher, just as likely to hurl a butcher’s knife at someone as she is to teach them the finer points of alchemy. She demands nothing less than total obedience from her apprentices, and deviating from that could see her students beaten within an inch of their lives.

Beneath this harshness, though, lies a genius who is eager to pass on her knowledge in the best way possible. She grasps alchemy in a way few others do, and knows exactly how to pass this knowledge on to others in a way that they’ll forever appreciate.

She also cares deeply for anyone she considers a student, current or former. If someone threatens them, she won’t think twice before unleash her considerable power in the name of rescuing them, all while stoically ignoring her own health issues as she does.

It’s for these reasons that Ed and Al took all of her lessons to heart, and knew they could count on her without question when they needed help. Without her around, they likely wouldn’t have been shaped into the heroes they became. They might even have been left defeated by the series’ end.

Eikichi Onizuka (GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka)

Best Anime Senseis

Image Source: Pierrot via Crunchyroll

Eikichi Onizuka is not a good person.

He’s loud, crude, and got into teaching for all the wrong reasons. He frequently destroys the lives of others in his attempts to help people, and if it weren’t for anime logic, he’d have been arrested 10 times over for all the chaos he has caused.

As a teacher though, there are few who could hope to measure up to him.

Where others would write off troublesome students as lost causes, he’s willing to give them all the patience and care they require. This is because he has been these students, and knows how frustrating it is to be abandoned by anyone that could help you.

He goes to extraordinary lengths to make sure said students know they won’t be abandoned in their times of need. This might mean causing the destruction mentioned above, or sticking with them well after they’ve tried to push everyone else away from them out of fear.

It’s inspiring to say the least, and makes it hard to look at Onizuka as anything less than an exemplary anime sensei.

Kamogawa Genji (Hajime No Ippo)

Best Anime Senseis

Best Anime Senseis
Image Source: Madhouse via Crunchyroll

Hajime no Ippo is an anime about pursuing one’s passions with dedication and perseverance. Few embody that drive like Coach Genji Kamogawa.

A lifelong lover of boxing, Kamogawa has dedicated decades to mastering the instruction of the sport. He knows how best to bring out a boxer’s strengths, and has meticulously designed different training regiments for them to follow while preparing for bouts.

It’s thanks to this that characters like Makunouchi Ippo and Takamura Mamoru have found the success they have, obtaining championships and accolades for years on end.

However, he’s also more caring than his gruff demeanor lets on. When any of his fighters are injured or struggling, he’s always the first one to look out for their health and wellbeing first and foremost. They’re like family to him, and he won’t let their dreams be dashed for momentary glory.

It’s this caring that helps him stand out among other anime senseis, and makes him so memorable to anyone who has seen him in action.

Genkai (Yu Yu Hakusho)

Best Anime Senseis

Best Anime Senseis
Image Source: Pierrot via Funimation

One of the most important lessons an anime sensei can impart is that no one can be the strongest forever, and none embody this sentiment like Yu Yu Hakusho’s Genkai.

Once an exceptionally powerful user of Spirit Powers, Genkai accepted her descent into old age long ago. With this acceptance, however, came another realization: She could use everything she learned to help the next generation achieve greater heights, which they could then do for others in turn.

This is how she came to be a mentor to those like Yusuke, Kuwabara, and so many others. Though harsh and demanding of them, she knows how to bring out their true strength and push them to the limits of what they can achieve.

Even if her own life is what stands in the way of them improving, then she won’t hesitate to give it up. She’ll happily face down dire threats to keep her students safe, and even if it means her death, she trusts them to carry on her will of doing what’s best for the next generation.

Korosensei (Assassination Classroom)

Best Anime Senseis

Best Anime Senseis
Image Source: Lerche via Funimation

It isn’t like we could omit Korosensei from a list of the best anime senseis; he has “sensei” in his name for god’s sake!

In all seriousness though, Korosensei is an exceptional instructor to his students. Patient and understanding even in the face of constant assassination attempts, he’s always there for his students and their problems. He cares about preparing them for the future, and longs to see them go off to live their lives with everything they’ll need.

This remains true even when they drag him into a number of hijinks, ranging from the mundane to potentially life-threatening. No matter the circumstances, he’s there to lend them a hand – or rather, a tentacle – and beat back anything that might threaten them.

His reasons for doing so are complex and motivated by the usual tragic anime backstory. However, it’s still genuine enough that it’s hard not to admire his dedication to making these students good people, and better than he was as a person at their age.

As the series neared its conclusion, this still remained true. By the show’s end, he proves to be one of the best influences his students – and really any anime character out there – could ask for.

Kisuke Urahara (Bleach)

Best Anime Senseis

20 Best Anime Senseis We Wish We Could Train With
Image Source: Pierrot via Crunchyroll

Bleach’s protagonist Ichigo runs the proverbial gauntlet of senseis over the course of the series, but Urahara Kisuke is arguably the best of the bunch.

Crafty, calculated, and always one step ahead of everyone, Urahara can spot a person’s potential from a mile away. It’s what made him an ideal captain of the Soul Society back in the day, and it’s how he was able to mark Ichigo as someone capable of taking on some of the biggest threats facing the worlds of the living and the dead.

On top of this, he’s also willing to go the distance with those he notes as talented. Through all manner of methods both conventional and experimental, he’s able to draw out their true power, elevating them from uncarved stone into brilliant monuments to their realized strength. He’ll then be there to support them whenever they need him, using his cunning to ensure the enemy can’t create an unfair fight with plots of their own.

About the only flaw he presents is that he’ll regularly keep his apprentices out of the loop. Usually it’s for the sake of carefully laid plans succeeding or keeping people safe, but other times it can come off as a little cruel regardless of the outcome.

All the same, there aren’t many who could be argued as better mentors, even among the best anime senseis out there.

Shinomiya Kojirō (Food Wars)

Best Anime Senseis

20 Best Anime Senseis We Wish We Could Train With
Image Source: J.C. Staff via Crunchyroll

While other anime senseis use crafty tricks or a gentle hand to guide their pupils, Shinomiya Kojirō takes a more blunt approach.

Not afraid to expose culinary students to the reality of their career path, he tosses them straight from the frying pan into the fire. He expects them to give 110 percent, maintaining the same work pace as a professional chef while also adapting to the flow of a slammed kitchen and the myriad of challenges that can arise during a typical day on the job. Failure is not an option, and he has no mercy for those who shy away from his methods.

For those willing to put up with this harsh approach though, there’s no one better to learn from. Having faced every one of these challenges himself, he knows how hard they can be and how vital it is to be properly prepared for them. To this end, he’ll work with most any student to polish them into even brighter versions of themselves, capable of thriving even while steeped in the worst adversity.

Plus, he’s more than willing to take said students’ input into account. If he begins to be too rigid in his teaching methods, those like Soma or Megumi can and will remind him why he does what he does, ensuring he also passes along the passion needed to keep one’s cooking from becoming soulless.

Roxy Migurdia (Mushoku Tensei)

Best Anime Senseis

20 Best Anime Senseis We Wish We Could Train With
Image Source: Studio Bind via Crunchyroll

Mushoku Tensei starts off with one of – if not the defacto – most reprehensible protagonists in anime in the form of Rudeus, a perverted and damaged otaku reincarnated into a fantasy world. Fortunately, Roxy Migurdia shows up to set him on the right path.

An outcast from her own tribe due to being born without telepathy, Roxy pours her heart and soul into learning and teaching magic. She sees it as a means of connecting with not only those around her, but the wider world at large, gaining a better understanding of the forces that guide everything and everyone in the process.

It’s this drive to learn and become a part of the world that she’s able to impart on Rudeus. Sensing his own fears and anxieties from his past life, she helps bring him out of his shell using magic and the thirst for knowledge.

Even after they initially part ways, she continues to foster these seeds she plants within him, helping him to continue his studies no matter where they take him. This could mean sending him carefully created manuals on foreign languages or looking on the bright side when he uses his magic to create impressively detailed statues of her.

Dr. Franken Stein (Soul Eater)

Best Anime Senseis

20 Best Anime Senseis We Wish We Could Train With
Image Source: Bones via Funimation

Don’t let his mildly sadistic nature fool you; Dr. Franken Stein is easily one of the best anime senseis around.

A natural genius in the fields of science and Soul Manipulation, Stein can prove deadly whether he’s in his lab or on the battlefield. He tackles every problem with a surgical precision, and won’t stop until he’s thoroughly satisfied that the best solution has been reached.

This approach extends to his teaching duties at Death Weapon Meister Academy. Whether it’s teaching Soul and Maka to get along or imparting humility on Black☆Star, he’ll try every method he can to help students reach the zenith of their power. He won’t let anyone harm them while they work toward this point either, braving the edge of madness and the strongest enemies alive to keep them safe.

In exchange, all he asks is that they put up with his shenanigans and weather his constant requests to dissect them.

Silvers Rayleigh (One Piece)

Best Anime Senseis

20 Best Anime Senseis We Wish We Could Train With
Image Source: Toei Animation via Crunchyroll

Within the world of One Piece and beyond, Silvers Rayleigh is one of the best anime senpais around.

One of the last surviving figures from before the Great Age of Pirates, he understands what it takes to battle, explore uncharted lands and otherwise stay alive within the New World. His Haki is on par with even the Marine Admirals, and he holds information about the seas that could make the difference between a crew thriving or perishing.

It’s through these traits that he’s able to protect Luffy from an untimely end at the hands of the Marines and the Seven Warlords. Not only that, but he passes along almost all of his knowledge to Luffy during the two year time skip, ensuring everything he gained from his years adventuring with Gol D. Roger doesn’t go to waste.

And why does he do this? Simple: Luffy reminds him of Roger, right down to his pure drive to see all that the world has to offer. In a world of people clinging to past glories, Rayleigh is happy to step aside, passing along what he can to help those who will shape the next era.

Ozen (Made in Abyss)

Best Anime Senseis

20 Best Anime Senseis We Wish We Could Train With
Image Source: Kinema Citrus

Ozen stands among the best anime senpais not only because of her strength, but also because of her dedication.

A monster even among the White Whistles, Ozen is host to unnatural strength and toughness. She can withstand the harsh environments of the different layers of the Abyss, and has returned from some of the deepest levels even when thousands of others perished. This has made her a legend among the world’s Delvers, and has allowed her to lead several expeditions over the past few decades.

It was these traits and her knowledge of surviving in the Abyss that brought protagonist Riko’s mother Lyza to her. Though Ozen initially tried to dissuade her, she eventually helped Lyza hone the skills she would later use to become a White Whistle herself. Unfortunately, this is also how Lyza gained the skills necessary to journey toward the bottom of the Abyss, from which she hasn’t returned.

In spite of this, Ozen still passes on the knowledge she can to Riko, Marulk and many other Delvers. She doesn’t let the loss of her favorite apprentice discourage her from helping others, and does all she can to try and help them come back from the Abyss alive.

It’s an honorable approach, and one that shows she is and always will be a caring sensei at heart.

Arataka Reigen (Mob Psycho 100)

Best Anime Senseis

20 Best Anime Senseis We Wish We Could Train With
Image Source: Bones via Crunchyroll

Let’s make one thing clear: Reigen is not the mentor Mob needs when it comes to psychic powers.

Host to exactly zero abilities that don’t involve lying, this human embodiment of “Fake it ’til you make it” is a con artist who is completely out of his element during supernatural conflicts. His success in the psychic community stems from manipulating those around him, and from the blind confidence he has in the notion that things will work out for him.

And yet, when it comes to being Mob’s beacon of normalcy, Reigen can’t be beat. While others struggle to see past Mob’s immense psychic powers, Reigen only sees them to the point that they can earn him and Mob money. He doesn’t obsess over them, and knows helping Mob gain confidence in the other aspects of his personality is what really matters. To this end, he’s always ready to lend an ear to Mob’s problems, give him heartfelt advice, and be the voice of reason when all hope seems lost.

This remains true even when him and Mob are dragged into Supernatural shenanigans. No matter how powerful the criminal or terrifying the spectre, he’ll come running to bring Mob home and face down whoever is trying to force him to be someone he’s not.

He’s the grifter with a heart of gold, and without him around, Mob would definitely not have made the emotional growth he’s fought so hard to for.

Gouhin (Beastars)

Best Anime Senseis

20 Best Anime Senseis We Wish We Could Train With
Image Source: Orange via Netflix

Even among the many strange characters found throughout Beastars, Gouhin is an eccentric oddball.

Belonging to neither the predators or the herbivores due to his omnivorous nature, he spends his days in the shadows of society. Because of this, he aims to maintain peace between the two groups as best as he can. This could mean capturing and rehabilitating meat-hungry carnivores from the Black Market or treating those who require discreet medical attention.

This is how he comes to meet Legoshi, and their dynamic is where his sensei tendencies shine through most. Where others might mock or discourage Legoshi from his pursuit of a relationship with the herbivore Haru, Gouhin offers him practical advice. He provides ways of tempering Legoshi’s predator instincts, and trains him to be able to defend himself and those he cares about. He doesn’t belittle his larger goals, and supports him 100 percent in his attempts to improve himself.

Though these actions might not seem like much, they go a long way in helping Legoshi become the better man – or rather, wolf – he is in later arcs. And really, that’s all one could hope for from the person guiding them through life.

Urokodaki Sakonji (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba)

Best Anime Senseis

20 Best Anime Senseis We Wish We Could Train With
Image Source: ufotable via Crunchyroll

Urokodaki Sakonji is a bit harder to read than others among the best anime senseis around, and that isn’t a bad thing.

One of a select few members of the Demon Slayer Corps. who lived to a ripe old age, this former Water Hashira has seen and done it all. He’s faced down some of the worst the Demons have to offer, mastered incredibly difficult sword techniques, and passed on his knowledge to several apprentices over the years. Even when a large number of said apprentices met a grisly end, he continued to train new recruits, always determined to try and save one more life from being snuffed out in battle.

Unlike other members of the Demon Slayer Corps. though, he’s also compassionate enough not to take a hardline stance toward his formerly human enemies. He’s able to see the humanity that still exists within Nezuko despite her partial demonic transformation, and aids Tanjiro knowing that he won’t see every demon as an enemy either.

Bringing it all to a head are some of the techniques he teaches Tanjiro for disposing of Demons. While some are undeniably bombastic and violent, others are calm and gentle, delivering Demons from their eternal life with a sense of caring they wouldn’t find elsewhere.

It all belies his true intentions as a master of the Water Breathing style. His true aim is and always has been to raise young people who can save humans, but also defeat the Demons without losing their humanity. It’s a difficult line to walk, but one he sticks to none the less no matter how hard it becomes.

Osamu Dazai (Bungo Stray Dogs)

Best Anime Senseis

20 Best Anime Senseis We Wish We Could Train With
Image Source: Bones via Crunchyroll

Osamu Dazai is both an amazing and terrible sensei, thanks almost entirely to his complicated personality.

Having become tired of living, Dazai is constantly trying to find a suitable way to die. He regularly puts himself in danger, and is the first person to dive into a fight despite not having a supernatural ability that lends itself well to combat. Though this proved invaluable during his time as a mafia member, it’s less than ideal in his current day to day duties as a detective, and causes headaches for everyone involved.

And yet, these traits are also what make him one of the best anime Senseis around. Because he has no attachment to seeing tomorrow, he puts all his energy into teaching and helping the next generation. Whether it’s Atsushi or Akutagawa, he’s happy to play a supporting role, nudging or forcing them toward the best solution as necessary and ensuring they find ways to enhance their abilities both individually and by working with others.

However, he doesn’t let them run wild with their newfound strength. He makes sure to impart on them the greatest lesson he ever learned: The ends don’t justify the means, and one should always live in a way that leaves them wanting to see out each and every day of their lives.

About the author

Keenan McCall

Keenan has been a nerd from an early age, watching anime and playing games for as long as I can remember. Since obtaining a bachelor's degree in journalism back in 2017, he has written thousands of articles covering gaming, animation, and entertainment topics galore.