There is one thing that is expected of nearly every action shonen series aside from a tournament arc: transformations. From the very introduction of series in the genre, there have been characters undergoing incredible transformations to quickly overcome their latest opponent.

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Sometimes these transformations come near the end of the series. Usually, though, they’re just one of many transformations the main character achieves in order to defeat the villain of the week. The multiple transformations are meant to imply that the growth of the human spirit is completely limitless, and even if they reach a hurdle one way, they’ll find another way to surpass it.

10 Yusuke Urameshi (YuYu Hakusho) — 1 transformation

Yusuke Urameshi starts out as a talented spirit detective who trains under Genkai to learn some new techniques in addition to his well known Spirit Gun. He learns Shotgun and generally becomes a talented martial artist, and even eventually takes Genkai’s energy into himself to reach a new level of strength.

But his one transformation comes at the end of the series, with him accessing a Mazoku form to make him reach S-Class strength and compete with the monsters at the end of the series.

9 Kazuma Satou (KonoSuba) — 2 transformations

Kazuma begins with the power of the Shell Bullet, which quickly finds maximum strength in battle against some of the other powerful Alters. Later on, he gains access to Shell Bullet’s second form, allowing him to even destroy other Alter user’s powers briefly.

The last power up is his Proud Fist form, which covers his entire body and gives him the strength to warp space with the force of his punches.

8 Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece) — 3 transformations

Luffy Gear Fourth

Not treating his different Haki abilities like transformations, Luffy has access to three different “transformations.” It begins with Gear Second, where Luffy can increase his speed and strength by pumping extra energy throughout his body. Later, he gains Gear Third which allows him to inflate his body parts to gain additional strength.

But finally, he has Gear Fourth, which alters his entire body structure and covers himself with Busoshoku Haki. Arguably Gear Fourth has multiple forms itself: Boundman, Tankman, and Snakeman, each one with a different look and a different focus for Luffy.

7 Natsu Dragneel (Fairy Tail) — 3 transformations

Natsu Strikes Ajeel

While the other protagonists on this list can seemingly access their transformations at will, Natsu seems to largely go into his transformations only when the situation is dire enough to force him into it. Dragon Force, in particular, makes a Dragon Slayer most like a Dragon, but Natsu often goes into it thanks to the power of someone helping him.

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He’s also got his Lightning Fire Dragon mode, which came from eating Laxus’ lightning energy and granting him access to another element. He’s also got access to the Fire Dragon King mode, which is the power of Igneel’s flames, which he was largely only supposed to access once, but learns how to use for brief power-ups though it isn’t at the same level of strength.

6 Tsunayoshi Sawada (Reborn!) — 4 transformations

While Tsuna isn’t a great natural fighter, he figures out his own method to combat and excels anyway. He gains access to the Dying Will forms and has four different forms pop up because of it. The original Dying Will form removes the limiters placed on his body to increase his strength.

Hyper Dying Will takes away a second set of limiters to make him more conscious inside each battle. Minus State allows him to reset his powers from using Dying Will mode. Finally, he has Ultimate Dying Will mode, which allows him to use his powers without losing control of his thoughts, combining both of the original forms.

5 Pegasus Seiya (Saint Seiya) — 5 transformations

Pegasus Seiya posing in front of a pegasus

Pegasus Seiya starts out with the power of the Pegasus Cloth, but as he’s asked to fight stronger and stronger forms, that Cloth has to be upgraded. Each time the cloth is upgraded, it becomes more complex as a separate being while the armor becomes more complex.

By the time it reaches its fourth upgrade in the manga, it covers most of Seiya’s body. The last cloth is so complex it covers him from head to toe in thick, golden armor.

4 Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach) — 5 transformations

Ichigo Shikai

Ichigo’s full number of transformations is up for debate. His blade Zangetsu has two separate transformations for its Shikai and Bankai modes, the twin bladed form of Zangetsu and his Tensa Zangetsu. As for Ichigo himself, he has his Hollowfied form, then his Vasto Lorde form. Later on, he develops Full Getsuga Tensho form to merge with his Zanpakuto.

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He gains his Fullbring power to regain his powers but that doesn’t stick around for terribly long. Finally, he gains his merged Hollow form that brings out his full strength, combining his Hollow, Shinigami, and Quincy forms.

3 Negi Springfield (Negima!?) — 6 transformations

Negi Springfield is a genius student, but his special ability is Magia Erebia, where a mage absorbs offensive magic to fuse with their own soul. This power increases the user’s ability several times. He starts with Form of the Dark Knight, which is the base form. Later he gains Lightning Speed, a form that increases his speed at the cost of his defense.

His third form is Hell’s Refining Fire, which makes Negi much stronger and flame-resistant. He has two Thunder in Heaven forms which operate almost like Super Saiyan forms for him, and his final ability is a new Magia Erebia which helps him obliterate any barrier, though it only appears in the Negima Anime Final film.

2 Goku (Dragon Ball) — 7 transformations

Goku From Dragon Ball Using Kaio Ken

The person who started all of this, Goku, has no shortage of transformations. Aside from Kaioken, Goku has access to no less than eight different transformations across Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and Dragon Ball Super. He’s got four separate Super Saiyan forms, each of which alters his hairstyle and greatly increases his power level.

Then there are two different Super Saiyan God forms, and finally, Ultra Instinct which allows him to dodge and predict any incoming attack. There’s also Super Saiyan Kaioken, a separate form that boosts his power further but only exists in the anime.

1 Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto) — 9 transformations

Naruto’s transformations are plentiful. He starts out with his basic Jinchuriki form, granted by tapping into Kurama’s chakra. There are two additional versions that are added to this, but they become progressively more dangerous without control over a user’s chakra. There’s also Partial Transformation and Full Tailed Beast mode.

This is already four transformations, but he also has Nine-Tails Chakra Mode with him in full control. Then there’s also Sage Mode, and Six Paths Sage Mode, and the combination of Nine-Tails Chakra Mode and Six Paths Sage Mode. If that isn’t enough, the Boruto series recently added Baryon Mode, a dangerous fusion of Naruto and Kurama’s chakra that creates an entirely new form of energy.

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