Saiki from The Despicable Life of Saiki K and Shijo from Mob Psycho 100 are both psychic characters who, despite having amazing abilities, are troubled and want to live a quiet life. Other characters like Hanajima from Fruit Basket had to deal with bullying because of their powers and had to learn how to accept their abilities. As seen in AKIRA, psychic abilities always come at a cost and if left unchecked can destroy their users and the world around them.
The best psychics in anime bring something new and exciting to one of the most popular powerhouses in the medium. From telekinesis to mind control to self-command in nature, psychic powers can take on basically any form. So every anime that features them has a chance to create something with them.
Psychic characters are often young, with the challenge of mastering their powers becoming a heavy burden to growing up and figuring out who they are. Often, they also recognize their power from everyone around them. If you can use them, you will achieve their maximum potential; If not, they will cause untold damage.
10 Kusuo Saiki – The Despicable Life of Saiki K
2016-2018 – Available on Netflix, Tubi, Funimation
Many psychic characters take time to get used to powers. Psyche is actually used to his powers: he doesn’t like them. Despite how easily he can use them to get what he wants, he points out that they are more of a nuisance than a help to him, except for the one thing he really wants, a quiet and ordinary life.
The anime takes its absurd premise and runs with joy: Psyche’s perfect arsenal of psychic powers makes him an incredibly broken action character, but they’re also perfect for comedy. Saki’s cold and withdrawn demeanor unfortunately makes him a magnet for every character in the show, all of whom are determined to befriend him. Between dealing with others and his powers, Psyche constantly has his hands full.
9 Saki Hanajima – Fruit Basket
2019-2021 – Available on Funimation, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video.
The original Fruit Basket was released in 2001 and is streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation and Amazon Prime Video.
Even in the best fantasy shoujo anime centered around a family cursed to turn into animals when they hug, Hanajima stands out. Her powers are never explained, unlike Zodiac, who at least have a fairy tale, or her brother, who must go out of his way to study magic. She was just born with psychic powers and now she has to deal with them.
Hanajima is one of Tohru’s strongest defenders, scaring bullies away from her gentle friend. However, she would be bullied badly because of her power, and because she was so scared, she convinced herself after she had tired a bully by wishing him dead. It’s only after meeting Tohru and Arisa that she begins to accept that she doesn’t deserve punishment for having powers.
8 Yuu Otosaka – Charlotte
2015 – Available on Hulu and Crunchyroll.
In the beginning, Yuu uses his ability to possess another person’s body for five seconds for some very unpleasant behavior. But when he’s captured and forced to transfer to Hoshinomi Academy, he realizes that not only is he far from the only psychic teenager in the area, but that his talents come at a high price. If he wants to keep himself and his loved ones alive, he needs to be shaped quickly.
Every Hoshinomi student has a psychic ability that activates during puberty. Often, they come at a terrible cost, and the user must work to control them or stop using them altogether before it’s too late. To make matters worse, the children of Hoshnomi have no one else to seek out and protect them from those who can use them.
7 Sabrina – Pokemon
1997-Present – Available on Netflix, Hulu, Tubi and The Roku Channel
Many streaming services only have certain seasons of Pokemon available.
Over a hundred Psychic-type Pokemon that can do everything from levitation to hypnosis to seeing the future. However, only a few people share such abilities, and the most famous is Sabrina, the gym leader of Saffron Gym. Her powers make her as mysterious and terrifying as any powerful psychic.
Anime Sabrina is more cunning than her game counterpart, who doesn’t like to fight much, but embraces her vision of strong competitors in the future. Although her powers include the ability to communicate with Pokemon, they leave her alone and mentally broken. Her need for companionship combined with her apparent sadistic streak leads her to use her powers to trap and torture others.
6 Anya Forger – Spy X Family
2022-2023 – Available on Hulu and Crunchyroll.
With a spy father and an assassin mother, it’s only natural that the son of the Forger family is a mind reader. Four-year-old Anya desperately wants to stay in her new-found home, never leave, and let anyone know about her powers. She fears that if she does, she’ll end up back in an orphanage or worse, the lab that made her study her powers.
Anya may rely on her telepathic powers to get through the world, but they cause as many problems as they solve. She knows everyone’s thoughts, but she’s still a child with a child’s understanding of the complexities of adult problems. Adopting a dog that can predict the future helps her feel less alone in the “runaway lab experiment” room, but Bond’s problem-solving skills are about fifty-fifty, which makes for some hilarious shenanigans.
5 Akiza Izinski – Yu-Gi-Oh! 5d
2008-2011 – Available on Tubi, Pluto TV, Peacock, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, VIX
Most streaming services have a limited number of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5d.
Akiza’s psychic powers, which have isolated her from other people since childhood, accidentally arise during a fight and injure her father. This made her especially vulnerable to the ploys of the Psychic, recruiting other psychics to take over the world. After rejecting Sayre’s proposal and befriending Usain’s team, she gains control of her powers like never before.
Akiza can bring Duel monsters to life, often using them to attack when she’s nervous or scared. She is telekinetic and can see dueling monster spirits just like Luna. After receiving and connecting with her powers as a member of Team 5Ds, Akiza also unlocks the ability to heal injuries.
4 Tatsumaki – One-Punch Man
2015-2019 – Available on Netflix and Hulu.
Tatsumaki’s psychic powers make her one of the strongest heroes in One Punch Man. Next to explosive is an S-class hero, Tatsumaki can control anything and everything with just her mind. Unlike Saitama and other heroes who have trained and improved over time, Tatsumaki is incredibly powerful from birth, which unfortunately keeps her in a lab until an explosion sets her free.
The guild of heroes depends on her to save the Earth from trouble in dire straits. She never learned how to save in battle (or in her personal relationships, but that’s a different story), so she constantly gives 110%. She constantly uses her powers to float around, and is introduced by summoning a meteor from space to kill a Godzilla-esque monster.
3 Haruhi Suzumiya – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
2006-2009 – Available on Crunchyroll and Funimation.
It is very unusual for psychics who are powerful enough to end the world as we know it, to never know their power. As much as Haruhi Suzumiya is interested in the paranormal and people with special abilities, she has no idea that she is the scariest of them all. The SOS Brigade is tasked with keeping Haruhi’s powers under control without Haruhi herself knowing about them.
Haruhi unwittingly touches reality, making herself effortlessly good at everything. This gives her a special ability that allows her to enjoy various adventures by reaching out to other people she chooses as her friends. No one can really categorize her, on or off Earth, but just because she’s completely off the charts, and if she’s not chosen, she could end the world.
2 Akira – AKIRA
1988 – Available on Hulu, Crunchyroll and Funimation.
Akira is the movie (based on the manga of the same name) that changed the history of anime forever. It tells the story of Akira and his fellow Espaces, the result of a government experiment that kills many other subjects. The explosion that destroyed the first Tokyo was caused by the strongest of the group, Akira, whose psychic abilities were at their most powerful, rising to pure power. His remaining friends are forced into heavy drugs to keep their powers under control.
Tetsu Shima, upon learning of Akira’s existence, begins to infiltrate Neo-Tokyo, hoping to absorb his power. This leads Tetsuo to one of the most painful transformations in the anime, which shows just how dangerous unlimited psychic power can be, as he undergoes a tragic power trip and mutates into a giant physical monster that can’t be stopped by anyone. Not least of all Tetsuo himself. In the end, the only thing that can stop him is the effort of all the psychics to transport themselves and Tetsu to another dimension.
1 Shigeo Kageyama – Mob Psycho 100
2016-2022 – Available on Crunchyroll and Hulu.
The strongest psychic powers reside in the gentlest and most humble Esper. Mob has been in constant fear of his swirling powers since childhood, causing him to develop an inner self. Even though he is the most powerful psychic on earth, his only desire is to accept who he is without. His life changes after he meets Regen, but he can teach him the best lessons in life, the false esper. Throughout his struggle, Mob maintains the belief that powers never make anyone good or bad, which helps him develop a more sane mindset than most Espers.
As Mob faces more threats, he must unleash more power and deal with emotions that cause even more explosions. At its peak, his psychic abilities make him more or less a force of nature, but Mob’s true strengths are his kind and loyal nature and his determination to improve as a person.
Psychic powers are limitless, and opportunities to create psychic behavior are endless. They struggle with controlling their energy, balancing it with normal life, and overcoming the obstacles that confront them and their loved ones. Done right, characters with psychic powers can be the most interesting in anime.
The terrible life of Psyche K
Spy X family
Haruhi Suzumiya’s Melancholy
Mob Psycho 100