Tier List Tuesday #7

Every Tuesday, new characters are added to The Great Shonen Tier List. Want to help add new characters or debate placement of existing entrants? Join the discussion in the forums!


Gildarts Clive
Fairy Tail
ch. 278
Crash (powerful magic; smashes and deflects target, including tangible incoming energy attacks); Disassembly Magic (net-like magical pattern; separates target into multiple smaller versions of original); expert hand-to-hand combat ability; immense strength, durability, and reserves of magical power.


First up this week is Gildarts Clive, an S-Class Mage and one of the most powerful known characters in Fairy Tail. His trademark technique is Crash, a highly powerful magic that can smash both living or inanimate targets to pieces. Notably, this ability can also be used to destroy or deflect incoming attacks, even magical or energy-based projectiles. His Disassembly Magic casts a net-shaped pattern forward which splits its target into multiple miniature versions of the original target, at which point Gildarts could simply make use of his amazing strength and melee skill to defeat his weakened opponent.

The highest-ranked Fairy Tail character already in the tier list is Erza Scarlet, who sits near the bottom of High Tier. However, between Gildarts’ clear in-series superiority over her and his generally excellent destructive ability, he is certainly above this area of the list. His Crash magic would easily neutralize the indirect offense of characters like Kurama or Gaara, his quick reflexes in hand-to-hand combat are enough to give him an opening to attack even quick melee fighters like Luffy, and Gildarts has a decisive advantage over characters reliant on energy projectiles like Vash’s Angel Arm or Oonoki’s Dust Release.

Despite his incredible canonical power in Fairy Tail, no mention is made of Gildarts having exceptional speed, and the characters in the upper reaches of High Tier are all quick enough to get behind him and strike him down in a flash. It gets no easier for Gildarts slightly below the top of the tier, either, as Kakashi and Zebra both have sensory attacks with no tangible form, while Kuwabara’s could spawn his Dimension Sword inside his target’s body. Therefore, Gildarts Clive sets the new standard for Fairy Tail characters with a placement in High Tier, above Oonoki and below Zebra.

Thanks to forum user Blacklist for submitting this character to the list!


Akabane Kuroudou
GetBackers complete
Transcendental being that negates what he cannot perceive as reality.


Next up is the fearsome “Dr. Jackal,” Akabane Kuroudou, who introduces GetBackers to the Great Shonen Tier List. His addition to the list is unusual, wrought with spoilers for GetBackers, and possibly even contentious, because equally valid arguments can be made about how to evaluate him based on conflicting interpretations. If judged as an ordinary character, he has an impressive arsenal of techniques, natural skill, and weaponry. Akabane controls a huge number of razor-sharp scalpels which can be thrown with pinpoint precision or controlled as a supernatural floating shield, he wields a powerful sword made of his blood, he can create many equally strong clones of himself, he can attack using shadows, he can regenerate wounds quickly, and more. Obviously, then, he is a very powerful character when viewed as an ordinary being.

However (again, major series spoilers!), the Akabane Kuroudou in question is far from an ordinary being. Near the end of the series, it is revealed that he is a Transcendent Being that lives outside of the flow of time of the main world of the series. The term “main world” is particularly relevant because the world in which the majority of GetBackers takes place is revealed to be a fabricated world that exists parallel to the “real” one, although the fabricated world is no less legitimate than the original; it is not a virtual or fake world, but an entirely separate yet still authentic one. Familiar characters from the fabricated world have parallel equivalents in the original world, and Akabane is no exception, but the original version of him is an ordinary surgeon who displays no abilities like the ones listed above. Therefore, the only character that exists as “Dr. Jackal” is the godlike one within the fabricated world, who is at such a higher plane of power that he is able to negate that which he cannot imagine, including his own death.

No other character on the list has caused such difficulty in his or her placement, but ultimately, the fact that the world in which the series takes place is fabricated does not detract from its validity. Accordingly, Dr. Jackal cannot be discounted for transcending beyond only the GetBackers world any more than Gasai Yuno could be criticized for not having godlike status in a series other than Mirai Nikki. As such, the most confusing addition to the tier list yet results in Akabane Kuroudou joining the ranks of Broken Tier.

A timely reminder: To debate the placement of this character, or any other character in the tier list, please present your argument in the Discuss the Tier List section of the forums.

Thanks to forum user Bob_Squob for submitting this character to the list!


Sengoku Akira
Cage of Eden
ch. 150
Determined and durable young man with clever tactical insight and a simple axe.


The last newcomer this week is a refreshingly straightforward one. Sengoku Akira is the protagonist of Cage of Eden, an exciting series which takes place on a mysterious island with amazing secrets. (Also, the island has dinosaurs. Read the series!) Despite the stunning environment which surrounds Sengoku, he is little more than a completely ordinary 14-year-old. He does display impressive tenacity and reasonable strength for someone his age, but what sets him apart as a protagonist are his leadership and motivation skills, which do nothing for him in the context of the tier list.

It is completely reasonable to assume that Sengoku would enter battle with one of the makeshift axes his group uses to survive the perils of the island. The gap in strength between him and even the weakest characters of Weak Tier means that such a weapon does nothing to take him out of the lowest tier, but it is enough to make the difference against each of the characters at that level. With axe in hand, then, Sengoku Akira is the new top of Bottom Tier.


Finally, there’s one re-tier this week: Sawada Tsunayoshi of Katekyo Hitman Reborn! was originally tiered when his strongest in-series attack was the Zero Point Breakthrough, which is only effective against the series’ trademark Dying Will Flames. As such, Tsuna was tiered surprisingly lower than expected, on the basis that his rapid propulsion flight was held back by the lack of a viable attack other than a reinforced punch. Much has happened since he was originally tiered, though, and in the interim he has gained his X-Burner technique and has even upgraded that to the XX-Burner, both of which are huge jets of flame fired at opponents from a fair distance. Since he no longer has his close combat limitation, he is now limited only by the speed of his propulsion flight, which is fast but not as fast as the speed of Bleach characters. Still, the XX-Burner results a massive improvement for Tsuna, as he can finally rocket up the list to High Tier, above Yamamoto Takeshi and below Yasutora “Chad” Sado.

Thanks again to Blacklist for pointing out that Tsuna needed to be re-tiered!

The Great Shonen Tier List
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