11 Most Stunning Glow-Ups In Anime History

Glow-ups in anime are a staple of the genre, offering viewers the chance to witness not just physical transformations but also profound mental and emotional shifts.

Top 11 Best Glow-ups of Characters in Anime.

While many characters evolve over the course of a series, some undergo changes so remarkable that they leave an indelible impact on the audience.

In this article, we’re spotlighting eleven of the most unforgettable glow-ups in anime history. From characters who blossom into stunning beauties to those who rise from the depths of weakness to become unparalleled forces of strength

11. Alvida

Top 11 Best Glow-ups of Characters in Anime.
Anime TitleOne Piece

Alvida, initially introduced as a minor antagonist in the iconic anime series “One Piece,” undergoes one of the most dramatic transformations in anime history. When we first meet her, she’s the rotund and freckle-faced captain of a small crew.

Known for her abrasive personality, she’s far from a formidable foe. In fact, Luffy, the series’ protagonist, defeats her with ease.

Fast forward a few episodes and Alvida re-emerges, almost unrecognizable. Gone are the freckles and the extra pounds; in their place is a stunning and strong woman.

This incredible change is the result of consuming the Smooth-Smooth Devil Fruit. Not only does this magical fruit enhance her physical appearance, but it also grants her an extraordinary ability: she becomes untouchable, as all attacks simply slide off of her smooth skin.

10. Izumi Miyamura

Top 11 Best Glow-ups of Characters in Anime.
Anime TitleHorimiya

Izumi Miyamura, the main male protagonist of “Horimiya,” offers a unique twist on the typical anime glow-up. Unlike most characters who evolve over multiple episodes or seasons, Miyamura’s transformation is revealed in the very first episode, leaving fans both shocked and intrigued.

Initially, Miyamura comes across as a quiet, bespectacled introvert who barely interacts with his classmates. Despite his bookish appearance, he struggles academically and is largely overlooked by his peers. But as the school day ends, a different side of Miyamura comes to light.

Stepping out of the school gates, Miyamura sheds his glasses and lets down his hair, revealing a completely different persona. Adorned with piercings and tattoos, and sporting a half-sleeve shirt that showcases his arm tattoos, he looks more like a rock star than a high school student.

9. Yuuri Katsuki

Top 11 Best Glow-ups of Characters in Anime.
Anime TitleYuri!!! on Ice!

Yuuri Katsuki, the central character of the groundbreaking anime “Yuri on Ice,” undergoes a transformation that’s as much about internal growth as it is about physical change.

Initially, Yuuri is portrayed as a talented yet self-doubting figure skater. His weight and inability to handle pressure have kept him from realizing his full potential in the skating world.

However, everything shifts when he crosses paths with Viktor Nikiforov, a world-renowned figure skater. Inspired by Viktor, Yuuri begins to see failure not as a setback but as a stepping stone to success.

This newfound perspective fuels his self-confidence, and the change is palpable. Not only does he become more fit and poised, but he also rises through the ranks to become one of the world’s top figure skaters.

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8. Prompto Argentum

Top 11 Best Glow-ups of Characters in Anime.
Anime TitleFinal Fantasy XV

Prompto Argentum, a key character in the “Final Fantasy XV” universe, exemplifies the transformative power of self-improvement. When we first encounter him, he’s a somewhat insecure individual, particularly about his physical appearance.

He serves as a member of Noctis’s Royal Guard, an elite group tasked with protecting Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum, the main protagonist. This guard is not just a security detail; they are also close friends and confidants of the prince, making their role both personal and pivotal to the storyline.

Despite his prestigious position, Prompto feels inadequate compared to his more robust and confident friends in the guard. However, he doesn’t let his insecurities define him. Through dedication and hard work, he embarks on a journey of self-improvement that includes dieting and rigorous training.

The results are astonishing. Not only does he become more physically fit, but he also gains the self-confidence to face his fears head-on.

7. Kae Serinuma

Top 11 Best Glow-ups of Characters in Anime.
Anime TitleKiss Him, Not Me!

Kae Serinuma, the central figure in the anime series “Kiss Him, Not Me!”, offers a unique take on the anime glow-up trope. She is a fujoshi, a term in anime culture for a female fan of BL (Boys Love) stories.

Initially, Kae is portrayed as a chubby girl engrossed in her BL comics, even going so far as to fantasize about her male classmates in romantic scenarios.

However, a pivotal moment occurs when her favorite character in a BL series dies. Devastated, Kae retreats to her room and disconnects from the world. When she finally emerges a week later, she’s undergone a stunning transformation.

She’s now slim and conventionally attractive, but what makes her glow-up unique is that her core identity remains unchanged. She’s still the fujoshi who adores BL, proving that physical changes don’t necessarily alter who you are at heart.

6. Masamune Makabe

Top 11 Best Glow-ups of Characters in Anime.
Anime TitleMasamune’s Revenge

Masamune Makabe, the lead character in “Masamune-kun’s Revenge,” takes the concept of a glow-up to a whole new level. His transformation is fueled by a desire for revenge against his childhood crush, Aki, who not only rejected him but also cruelly nicknamed him “Piggy.”

Initially, we meet Masamune as a confident yet chubby young boy who isn’t afraid to express his feelings, despite his crippling fear of spiders.

However, the sting of rejection propels him into action. After years of dieting and physical training, Masamune reemerges as a strikingly handsome and athletic young man. His new appearance turns heads and wins him admiration, especially from the opposite gender.

Yet, interestingly, his fear of spiders remains the same, adding a layer of vulnerability to his otherwise polished persona.

5. Koby

Top 11 Best Glow-ups of Characters in Anime.
Anime TitleOne Piece

Koby, a major supporting character in the long-running anime series “One Piece,” exemplifies the epitome of a glow-up. When we first meet him, he’s a timid and submissive member of a pirate crew led by the ruthless Alvida (who, interestingly, also makes our list for her own glow-up).

Koby dreams of joining the Navy but keeps this aspiration hidden due to his circumstances. His life takes a turn when he crosses paths with Luffy, the series’ protagonist. With Luffy’s encouragement, Koby musters the courage to join the Marines.

Under the mentorship of a Marine captain and later, the Navy Hero Garp, Koby undergoes rigorous training. Over the years, he transforms into a strong, confident individual, eventually rising to the rank of Vice-Admiral in the Navy.

His journey from a meek pirate underling to a high-ranking Navy official is one of the most dramatic transformations in the series.

4. Eren Yeager

Top 11 Best Glow-ups of Characters in Anime.
Anime TitleAttack on Titan

Eren Yeager, the central character in the critically acclaimed anime series “Attack on Titan,” undergoes one of the most complex and dark transformations in anime history.

Initially, Eren is a hot-headed and emotional young man, driven by a thirst for revenge against the Titans—giant humanoid creatures that devoured his mother. Despite acquiring the power to transform into a Titan himself, Eren remains frustrated and often feels powerless.

However, as the series progresses, Eren’s perspective undergoes a radical shift. After going rogue and witnessing the harsh realities of the world beyond his country, he evolves into a cold, calculated individual.

His focus shifts from merely eradicating Titans to exacting revenge on the entire world for the suffering inflicted upon his people. This transformation is not just physical but deeply psychological, making Eren a multi-dimensional character whose glow-up is as unsettling as it is captivating.

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3. Izumi Shinichi

Top 11 Best Glow-ups of Characters in Anime.
Anime TitleParasyte- The Maxim

Izumi Shinichi, the protagonist of the anime series “Parasyte: The Maxim,” experiences a transformation that is both physical and psychological. Initially, Shinichi is portrayed as a timid and vulnerable young man, lacking the strength or courage to stand up for himself.

He’s an unlikely candidate for heroism, especially when Earth is invaded by mind-controlling parasites.

However, Shinichi’s life takes a dramatic turn when he becomes host to one of these parasites, named Migi. Unlike most hosts, Shinichi retains his consciousness and forms a symbiotic relationship with Migi.

As they coexist, Shinichi undergoes significant changes. His eyesight improves, eliminating the need for glasses, and his physique becomes more robust. But the transformation comes at a cost: influenced by Migi’s predatory nature, Shinichi develops a ruthless streak.

2. Ken Kaneki

Top 11 Best Glow-ups of Characters in Anime.
Anime TitleTokyo Ghoul

Ken Kaneki, the central figure in the dark fantasy anime “Tokyo Ghoul,” undergoes one of the most haunting transformations in anime. Initially, Kaneki is a gentle and bookish young man with little experience in relationships.

His naivety leads him into the clutches of Rize, a ghoul who preys on humans. Just as she’s about to devour him, a freak accident kills Rize, and her organs are transplanted into Kaneki, turning him into a half-ghoul.

As Kaneki grapples with his new identity, his personality undergoes a radical shift. The once-kind and caring individual becomes increasingly detached and emotionless, a change accelerated by the brutal world he now inhabits.

After a pivotal battle with another antagonist, Kaneki fully embraces his ghoul nature, marking the completion of his unsettling transformation.

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1. Levi Ackermann

Top 11 Best Glow-ups of Characters in Anime.
Anime TitleAttack on Titan

Levi, a supporting character in “Attack on Titan,” has achieved a level of popularity that rivals, and some would argue surpasses, that of the series’ main characters. As the captain of the Survey Corps—the military unit tasked with fighting the Titans—Levi is renowned as humanity’s strongest titan-slayer. But his journey to this esteemed position is fraught with hardship.

Levi’s backstory is as grim as they come. Found half-dead in a room with his deceased mother, he was taken in by his uncle Kenny, who did his best to raise him under challenging circumstances. Kenny imparted crucial survival skills to Levi, setting the stage for his future transformation.

It wasn’t until Levi met Erwin Smith and joined the Survey Corps that his true potential was unlocked. Undergoing rigorous training, he evolved from a scrappy survivor into a formidable soldier. His transformation is so profound that even the mightiest Titans come to fear him.

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And there you have it: The top 11 Strongest Glow-ups of Characters in Anime. These transformations not only captivated audiences but also added layers of complexity to each character, making them unforgettable icons in the anime world. Let us know in the comments what you think of this list.

If you enjoyed diving into these incredible glow-ups, you’d also love our article on the 20 Most Hated Anime Characters of All-Time, Ranked.

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