As a cosplayer, it’s doing anime poses that help me really get into the feel of a specific character. they do. Like, it can feel so awkward when you’re not very comfortable with the character themselves or feel like you don’t have the same flexibility. But once you get the movement down, you feel sort of invincible. Anime poses are iconic for a reason. It’s the very signature of a character, how you can recognize them.
Anime poses are the quintessential trope of the medium. It doesn’t matter if they are cool or a little goofy. Different anime poses have existed throughout anime history, becoming as ingrained with anime culture as the show they are from. Even if you look back, you can see the influence. Take the Ninjutsu hand signs courtesy of Naruto Shippuden, or maybe the ‘In The Name Of The Moon!’ from Sailor Moon. If an anime gains enough traction, the pose will become cemented in its history, with homages being paid to it or parodied across different anime.
Perhaps the best example of an anime that uses exaggerated anime poses as its very DNA is JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. I mean, you can’t go one con without seeing the Dio Brando reverse bend, being emulated by not just Dio cosplayers, but random people just passing by. And like, that’s just one example. There are so many anime poses across anime that have become immortalized by fans.
There’s just something so fun about being to represent the love you have for an anime, even if it’s just by a pose. But that doesn’t mean the anime pose itself has to be dramatic or kitschy. Sometimes, it’s just the coolness that emanates from a single interlacing of fingers or an imposing attitude that becomes symbolic of a character. So today, let’s list some of the most historic anime poses in another segment of Get Ranked!
Table of contents
- Spirit Gun! – Yu Yu Hakusho
- The Ken Kaneki Knuckle Crack – Tokyo Ghoul
- The Armstrong Flex! – Full Metal Alchemist
- Zoe Hanje’s Finger Tent – Attack On Titan
- The Spine Breaking Head Tilt – Every Shaft Anime
- The Guts Armor Crouch – Berserk
- The Drive Shot – Captain Tsubasa
- Edward Elric’s Alchemist Pose – Full Metal Alchemist
- Saitama Is Confused – One Punch Man
- The Survey Corps Salute – Attack On Titan
- The Spike Spiegel Smoke – Cowboy Bebop
- Yuno Gasai’s Yandere Face – Mirai Nikki
- The Pillar Men Beat – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
- “Kon.” – Chainsaw Man
- Rintaro Okabe’s Mad Scientist – Steins;Gate
- Gainax Anime Poses – Every Gainax Anime
- Gojo’s Domain Expansion – Jujutsu Kaisen
- Sailor Senshi Anime Poses – Sailor Moon
- That JoJo Pose – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
- Chidori Or Rasengan, You Pick! – Naruto Shippuden
- Ginyu Force Anime Poses – Dragon Ball Z
- L’s Sitting Pose – Death Note
- The Team Rocket Finish – Pokémon
- The Fusion Dance – Dragon Ball Z
- The Back Breaking Dio Bend – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
- Ash’s Poké Ball Pose – Pokémon
- Kamehameha! – Dragon Ball Z
- Super Saiyan Power Up – Dragon Ball Z
- “In The Name Of The Moon!” – Sailor Moon
- Shadow Clone Jutsu – Naruto Shippuden
Spirit Gun! – Yu Yu Hakusho
It’s pretty convenient when your weapon just happens to be a part of your body. In Yu Yu Hakusho, Yusuke Urameshi does this finger gun pose to fire off a beam of energy that needs his other hand to stabilize. It also helps that there is no prop or trick to this one, making it one of the more popular anime poses to strike during a photoshoot!
The Ken Kaneki Knuckle Crack – Tokyo Ghoul
Not only does Ken Kaneki have one of the most iconic designs thanks to the mask, but also has a pretty memorable tick in the form of his famous knuckle crack. It’s mostly an impulse thing, born from a pretty traumatic experience. It’s indicative of the torture Kaneki went through at the hands of Ōmori Yakumo, making the anime pose symbolic of Tokyo Ghoul.
The Armstrong Flex! – Full Metal Alchemist
This one has got to be one of the easiest poses out there because all you have to do is flex! Even if you don’t quite have the same impressive musculature that Major Armstrong is known for. And hey, he never misses a chance to remind you of that, leading to one of the few light-hearted moments in an otherwise emotionally charged anime.
Zoe Hanje’s Finger Tent – Attack On Titan
Okay, maybe labeling this as a Zoe Hanje thing is a little misleading, because one of the earliest origins of this anime pose goes back to Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion. But also, I kind of hate worst dad Gendo and love best girl Zoe, so the credit will go to her. The fingers intertwined in front of Zoe’s face while she breaks down some of the most complicated issues is just such a hardcore moment in Attack On Titan!
The Spine Breaking Head Tilt – Every Shaft Anime
One of the most ubiquitous anime poses out there, Shaft anime, has this thing where their characters will genuinely just break their neck to deliver a perfectly scathing or intimidating line. Despite there being 0 reason to do so. And it’s not even limited to a specific show or anything; we’ve seen this happen across multiple works by Shaft. And, yeah, it’s pretty legendary each time.
The Guts Armor Crouch – Berserk
Makes sense to include one of the most iconic manga in a list of iconic anime poses! Berserk is known for its gorgeous art and haunting story, but a lot of non-fans might recognize it from this one scan where we see Guts in Berserk Armor, crouching down. It is such a pivotal moment in the story, and Guts look so cool during it.
The Drive Shot – Captain Tsubasa
This one inspired actual football G.O.A.Ts (Greatest Of All Time) like Andrés Iniesta, so you know its impact was immense. When Captain Tsubasa was airing, Tsubasa Ozora became super popular for his Drive Shot kick, a move that later became known for being his signature offense. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that a ton of kids in Japan got into soccer simply because of that alone.
Edward Elric’s Alchemist Pose – Full Metal Alchemist
Full Metal Alchemist isn’t a legend for no reason; its influence can still be felt by the many Edward Elric stans doing his hand clap alchemy pose across cons to this day. Edward’s rather unique Alchemy sign, which worked without having to draw the circles, was known for being an oddity but also convenient. After discovering this quirk, it led to the battles being much more hype in general!
Saitama Is Confused – One Punch Man
Could you even consider this as one of the anime poses, or is it more of a facial expression? But hey, either way, it’s pretty recognizable. One Punch Man is known for its (quite literal) flat humor and seeing Saitama, possibly the strongest person on Earth, look visibly lost when a situation happens, is hilarious every single time. And hey, this one is so easy to mimic because life is very confusing right now. You’re not even acting it out, at that point.
The Survey Corps Salute – Attack On Titan
Which one of us weebs wasn’t immediately getting into position to strike this pose back in 2014? Like, you’d hear the faintest little hint of Guren No Yamiya play in the background, and bam! Everyone had their fist to their hearts while cries of ‘Shinzou Wo Sasageyo!’ echoed around us. Attack On Titan’s chokehold on the anime community hasn’t dwindled since and this remains of the most memorable anime poses of all time.
The Spike Spiegel Smoke – Cowboy Bebop
Was there ever a more effortlessly cool character than Spike Spiegel? Like, Cowboy Bebop changed the game with a lot of things, but Spike’s laidback nature against a backdrop of Noir Mystery meets Sci-fi Western is what cemented it as a legend in the anime industry. And his anime poses might feel easy, like all you need is a cigarette and some smoke edits. But that swagger is what you’re trying to emulate.
Yuno Gasai’s Yandere Face – Mirai Nikki
Another one of those ‘is it a pose or a facial expression’ type of a deal but I can’t not include it. Yuno Gasai’s incredible portrayal of a Yandere in Mirai Nikki is what led to the popularization of the trope, and this face was instrumental in its takeover. She looks so bizarrely content but disturbing at the same time. One for the books.
The Pillar Men Beat – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
If there was ever a list that belonged to JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, it’s this one. Like, the sheer amount of downright over-the-top Stands this show has inspired are nearly countless. The Pillar Men look like they might be breaking their literal bones when striking a move during battle, but you bet it’s going to look stylish as all hell.
“Kon.” – Chainsaw Man
This is a fairly recent one, but I bet it’s already one of the most memorable anime poses out there. Aki Hayakawa is already Chainsaw Man’s best waifu, so his moment from the manga where he summons the Fox Devil was highly anticipated. And the anime did not disappoint. The little hand sign and almost gently uttered ‘Kon.’ have become synonymous with Aki’s brand and you can see it across merchandise and fan works.
Rintaro Okabe’s Mad Scientist – Steins;Gate
Rintaro Okabe might come off as a little cringe, but no one can deny how the Mad Scientist pose became his key thing during Steins;Gate. And like, I get it. It’s fun, overdramatic, and sells how Okabe was initially trying to be something he wasn’t. And with how serious Steins;Gate got, you needed something to cut the tension.
Gainax Anime Poses – Every Gainax Anime
This is so ubiquitous across both anime from Studio Gainax and beyond, that it’s become a symbol for them. The hands across your chest in a menacing pose sound so basic, until you realize just how many characters have emulated it. From Gurren Lagann to Neon Genesis Evangelion, you can spot a character or mech doing the pose without fail.
Gojo’s Domain Expansion – Jujutsu Kaisen
Another recent one but, let’s face it, anything Gojo Satoru does? It trends almost immediately. The man is just too cool for words, and it helps that he looks so good while doing anything. However, it is when we get to see him pull off the Infinite Void, that we get a taste of his influence. It’s characterized by two crossed fingers and a pulled-down collar, leading to one of the most casually powerful anime poses in Jujutsu Kaisen.
Sailor Senshi Anime Poses – Sailor Moon
I am a Sailor Moon stan, so how can I not put my favorites in here? It also helps that the Sailor Senshi poses were so stylish and unique for a time when detailed expressions weren’t as common as they are now. Each of the girls in Sailor Moon gets her special anime pose, complete with unique backdrops and catchphrases. It’s one of the many things that made the anime stand out amongst others, with how much personalization they put in every character.
That JoJo Pose – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
You know the one I’m talking about. The one that has been emulated to kingdom come because of how it’s the original JoJo PoseTM. Jonathan Joestar was the very first JoJo protagonist that fans met, so anything he did became an instant hit. You could even say the whole ‘iconic anime poses’ thing in the franchise was started by him fanning his open hand in front of his face, which was mysterious with just a hint of that JoJo flair.
Chidori Or Rasengan, You Pick! – Naruto Shippuden
Now, we’re getting into the heavy hitters. This is technically two anime poses, but both are just Jutsu variations, and it depends on the character you’re stanning. Some say Rasengan is more iconic, while others swear by how you only need one person to strike the Chidori pose. But both are equally impactful when it comes to the Naruto Shippuden fandom.
Ginyu Force Anime Poses – Dragon Ball Z
Who here hasn’t gathered their mates to strike the famous Ginyu Force pose? Dragon Ball Z was a treasure trove of amazing villains, and the Ginyu Force was equal parts absurd and easily emulated. But don’t let the ridiculous poses deceive you, because they were immensely powerful. 90s anime just hit different with the anime poses, huh?
L’s Sitting Pose – Death Note
Did you even grow up weeb if you hadn’t insisted on sitting like L Lawliet from Death Note for at least a week before you realized how hard it was to keep it up? L was a fan favorite across Death Note fans for his extreme deductive skills and sweet tooth while also being the poster boy for the ‘cute sloth’ look. So, his sitting pose was pretty popular.
The Team Rocket Finish – Pokémon
‘Team Rocket blast off at the speed of light!’ You know it, I know it, probably anyone who was even mildly interested in Pokémon knows this slogan by heart. Jesse and James might’ve been pretty lame to Ash Ketchum and the squad, but their extravagant poses have become immortalized in anime. Say what you will, but Team Rocket was stylish!
The Fusion Dance – Dragon Ball Z
If you had a brother, you did this pose nearly every day. Don’t even pretend. I wasn’t even that huge into Dragon Ball Z, but I remember having so much fun doing the Fusion Dance during cons, no matter what character I was cosplaying. And the little side bend with the pointed fingers deal? It’s as iconic as the anime itself now.
The Back Breaking Dio Bend – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
The fact this is now a TikTok challenge that has gone viral doesn’t surprise me in the least. Dio Brando was born to be a famous influencer and he proves that every time with his flamboyant style and dramatic posing. And every time I have attempted to the Dio Bend, I have almost crippled my spine.
Ash’s Poké Ball Pose – Pokémon
If you wanted to be the very best that no one ever was, you’ve picked up some form of a spherical object before and pretended to be the next Pokémon World Champion. That’s simply how influential Pokemon was, with almost everyone pretending they caught bloody Ho-Oh with how proud they looked while holding a fake Poké Ball.
Kamehameha! – Dragon Ball Z
Do you even need me to explain this? Almost every move in Son Goku’s arsenal required some form of posing, yet it is the Kamehameha attack that remains ingrained in most anime fans growing up. It was taught to Goku by Master Roshi and involved so much build-up that you couldn’t help but get hyped!
Super Saiyan Power Up – Dragon Ball Z
Another Dragon Ball Z entry, but there are very few anime poses other than there that are more iconic than the Super Saiyan mode. Like, you knew exactly what a fan was mimicking when you saw them bend at the knee, raising their fists like they were powering up to deliver a beat down. The blonde, spiky hair isn’t even necessary, because it’s that recognizable.
“In The Name Of The Moon!” – Sailor Moon
When Sailor Moon delivered her signature war cry, you knew the bad guy didn’t stand a chance. Like I’ve stated before, Sailor Moon just had so many amazing moments that showcased every character and their individuality perfectly. And the gorgeous modelesque pose, with the fingers pointing at the enemy, was both powerful and feminine at the same time.
Shadow Clone Jutsu – Naruto Shippuden
Am I, perhaps, just a little biased by naming a Naruto pose as the most iconic of all time? Maybe. But truly, ask yourself, has there been an anime that has had the same cultural impact when it comes to recreating poses that Naruto Shippuden has had? From the awkward as hell ‘Ninja Run’, to trying to Chakra Walk on trees, we’ve done it all. And the Shadow Clone Jutsu move is one of those anime poses that is practically universal in the anime community.