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The 15 Best Gunslingers In Anime, Ranked

CBR logo CBR 6/20/2022 Mark Sammut
© Provided by CBR

Even though the concept of gunslingers was popularized by the Western film industry, anime managed to outshine some of the classics and present the medium's most iconic gunmen. Whether they were armed with high-tech snipers or basic pistols, these gunslingers proved pretty deadly.

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Anime's best gunslingers aren't just proficient with guns. They wield them with a unique flair that makes them distinct from the rest. Their charisma, cultural impact, and the character's sheer entertainment value are important factors which quickly set them apart and count them among the best gunslingers in anime.

Updated on June 17th, 2022 by Sarah Martin: Since this list was published back in 2020, we've updated it with a few more of anime's best gunslingers. Whether they're master assassins lurking in the shadows or outlaw types who embody the classic Western stereotypes, these gunmen deserve all the praise they receive.

Hol Horse Is A Classic Western Gunslinger (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders)

Hol Horse may have been an antagonist in Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, but he's a fan-favorite side character who steals the spotlight several times thanks to his charisma and total embodiment of the beloved outlaw stereotype. Hol Horse wields the stand known as the Emperor. It comes in the form of a basic handgun which the user can summon, and he can control the trajectory of the bullets within a second's notice. Hol Horse recently came back to the Jojo's series in a spinoff with part 4 protagonist, Josuke, in Crazy Diamond's Demonic Heartbreak.

Mai Zenin Is A Gun-wielding Sorcerer (Jujutsu Kaisen)

While other sorcerers wield cursed tools like nunchucks, polearms, or hammers, Mai Zenin from Jujutsu Kaisen lurks in the shadows with her revolver-style handgun. It's not the most powerful cursed technique, but it definitely suits the rest of her aesthetic.

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Unfortunately for Mai, her ability with a gun is proven obsolete by Maki's sheer ability to use cursed weapons. While fans won't be seeing any more of Mai in the future, they can't help but wonder what could've happened if Mai truly honed her skills with her weapon of choice.

Guido Mista Wields The Sex Pistols (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind)

Guido Mista's stand is the exact type of absurdity fans expect from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. Sex Pistols is a handgun stand, just like Hol Horse's. However, this stand has a memorable personality and a few running gags fans love.

Even though there are six numbered bullets, there's no fourth bullet since Guido is deathly afraid of the number four. Additionally, one of the best running gags with this stand is that bullet Number 5 constantly bullies Number 3, who's a total crybaby.

Kenny The Ripper Wields Two Large Guns Along With The Rest Of His Equipment (Attack On Titan)

Kenny the Ripper, otherwise known as Kenny Ackerman, was a bizarre antagonist in Attack On Titan's third season. He led the anti-ODM squad which was specifically built to kill off the Survey Corps. Unlike the Scouts, Kenny wielded two large guns alongside the rest of his equipment.

These guns served no purpose in killing Titans and were solely meant to attack humans. Although Kenny's time in the series was short, he proved himself a skilled combatant and his duel against Levi in the bar was an entertaining fight.

Gene Starwind Is A Masterful Gunman (Outlaw Star)

Often compared to Cowboy Bebop's Spike Spiegel, Gene Starwind from Outlaw Star was a masterful gunman with a compelling backstory. Having lost his father as a teenage, Gene was left to fend for himself and was deeply traumatized by the tragic event.

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Gene keeps a wall between himself and everyone else as a way to protect himself. He puts on a stereotypical playboy attitude and gains a reputation for being a womanizer. Nevertheless, he's a masterful gunman and is quick-witted during battle.

Spike Spiegel's Perception Skills Make Him A Good Shot (Cowboy Bebop)

As the protagonist of Cowboy Bebop, Spike is an accomplished bounty hunter whose adventures have made his series a classic. Spike's skills with a gun are enhanced by his perfect eyesight and impressive perception skills. Of course, his uncanny good luck certainly helps.

Despite his combat abilities, Spike is notoriously lazy and enjoys lounging around watching TV. However, he also enjoys practicing a type of martial arts called Jeet Kune Do, at which he's very adept.

Golgo 13 Has James Bond's Cold Pose & John Wick's Mysticism (Golgo 13)

Combine the cold poise of classic James Bond with John Wick's mysticism and the end result won't be a match for Golgo 13. The titular marksman has been accepting and completing contracts since the manga's 1968 debut, and Golgo 13 never fails.

Golgo is an undeniably bland character, but he's untouchable with a sniper. Except for a handful of rules for his contracts, the assassin has no allegiance, morals, barely anything resembling a personality, and never changes despite the manga lasting forever. Golgo kills, therefore he is.

Ryo Saeba May Be Silly, But He's Unbeatable With A Gun In His Hands (City Hunter)

An often overlooked yet classic anime from the '80s, City Hunter follows a private detective called Ryo Saeba operating in Tokyo. After the murder of his partner, Ryo begrudgingly takes custody of his partner's sister Kaori who's not particularly fond of the protagonist's appreciation for the ladies.

Silly as he can sometimes be, Ryo is almost unbeatable with a gun. Known for making impossible shots from all sorts of angles, the private detective is an expert with a wide range of guns and always makes the most out of every bullet.

Train Heartnet Is A Bounty Hunter (Black Cat)

After amassing a massive body count as an assassin, Train Heartnet from Black Cat made the decision to leave that life behind and become a "Sweeper," aka a bounty hunter. Unsurprisingly, Heartnet's previous life wasn't ready to let him go.

As an assassin, Heartnet coldly and efficiently dispatched his targets without a moment's hesitation, a feat typically accomplished with his personal revolver. Although he grew somewhat looser after transiting into a Sweeper, Heartnet's proficiency with a gun never diminished.

Yoko Littner Is An Iconic Female Gunslinger (Gurren Lagann)

Perhaps the most famous female gunslinger in anime, Yoko Littner from Gurren Lagann is undoubtedly an icon. Be it her provocative sense of style or her surprisingly endearing personality, Yoko is the type of character who'll never be forgotten and continually wins the hearts of fans.

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Yoko was likable, brilliantly written, and excellent with a rifle. Despite appearing in an anime mainly revolved around mecha fights, Yoko more than held her own with just a rifle, and she arguably deserved to spend more time piloting a Gunmen.

Death The Kid Arms The Twin Demon Guns (Soul Eater)

As a Gun-Type Meister, Death the Kid from Soul Eater lives up to his name when armed with his demon twin guns. The son of Death truly cemented himself as the strongest student at the Death Weapon Meister Academy, which was a testament to his skills with these iconic guns.

Death The Kid is essentially unmatched in terms of sheer power. He combines his deadly knack for precision with overbearing martial arts abilities and explosive moves to routinely defeat all of his enemies like it's nothing.

Revy Is Simply On Another Level (Black Lagoon)

Black Lagoon is slightly more grounded compared to a few of its contemporaries since most of its characters are normal human beings. Revy, however, almost always seems like she's playing on a whole different level compared to the rest of the anime's colorful roster.

As Lagoon Company's resident powerhouse, Revy is so incredible with a gun she can take on dozens of experienced bounty hunters without breaking a sweat, something which literally happens during Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage. Except for being hot-headed and impulsive, Revy is nearly unbeatable.

Beyond The Grave Is Unrivaled (GunGrave)

While he was alive, Brandon Heat was an unrivaled gunslinger in GunGrave. He was revived as Beyond The Grave, a supernatural phenomenon and force of nature. He's strong enough on his own with his two main handguns, but he kept a few bigger backup guns on hand just in case he ran out of ammo.

Whether he's taking out the Orgmen or hunting down the syndicate members he worked alongside before his death, Beyond The Grave always upholds an eerily stoic attitude while executing his targets. It's enough to put even the best anime assassins to shame.

Alucard Is A Living Weapon (Hellsing Ultimate)

Gleefully sadistic but capable of fleeting human emotions, Alucard is essentially a living weapon and generally regarded to be the most powerful vampire in Hellsing Ultimate — a fairly competitive scene. Alucard's vast array of supernatural abilities almost renders the need for guns virtually obsolete.

Alucard might not need guns, but he sure loves to use them. Armed with two signature semi-automatic handguns, Alucard's vampiric abilities grant him the sensory precision to pinpoint the target. Impressively, he never misses a single shot.

Vash The Stampede Can Win Duels Without Killing His Opponents (Trigun)

A talented gunman never loses a duel; an extraordinary one does the same without killing his opponents. Earning a reputation as a walking disaster, Vash the Stampede has spent a significant part of his long life in isolation and running away from bounty hunters seeking to claim his head.

As his name is synonymous with catastrophe, Vash presents a goofy persona when around other people in an effort not to scare them off. Despite his many funny moments, Vash is a tragic character more than happy to never pick up his beloved revolver again.

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