Nighttime has often been imagined as a time when powerful beings come into their own, especially in the world of anime. Often it’s because they derive their powers from the full moon, while others become stronger at night simply because they are weakened by direct sunlight. And for some characters, it’s literally a matter of time, such as those who become stronger at the stroke of midnight.
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Of course, while night and darkness are usually associated with scary characters, nothing says that characters who get stronger at night have to be a bad guy. Even some superheroes can benefit from not having to deal with that pesky day star from time to time.
10 Sailor Moon: Sailor Moon Is Known For Fighting Evil By Moonlight, Winning Love By Daylight
Given that Sailor Moon derives her powers from moonlight, she sometimes gets a leg up when her namesake is out, like with her “Moon Twilight Flash” attack. In the ’90s anime, a full moon especially seems to work wonders for her. During the second series, when Usagi appears to lose her powers, a vision of her mother, Queen Serenity, complete with a new wand floating down from the full moon gives her the power she needs to save the day.
During the end of the fourth series, when Sailor Moon has to save a falling Chibiusa during an eclipse, a shining full moon once again magically appears to help, transforming her into Princess Serenity and once again giving her the needed strength to save her daughter.
9 Saint Tail: Meimi Haneoka Is A Magician Thief By Night
Meimi Haneoka is the alter ego of the Phantom Thief Saint Tail. At night, she transforms and takes back things that are stolen.
Although she has the trappings of a magical girl, Meimi doesn’t actually have any supernatural powers; she simply uses the cover of darkness for her missions and poses as a normal girl during the day to avoid suspicion. That said, her transformation sequence and seemingly impossible tricks do cause people to wonder if it all really is just stage magic, especially since she may or may not be on a mission from God.
8 Inuyasha: Gyu-Oh Is Practically A Were-Bull
Inuyasha himself bucks the trend of becoming more powerful under a new moon. He actually becomes a full human when that happens, but this isn’t universal with all yokai-human hybrids.
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Gyu-Oh, also known as Izumo, has the opposite situation: he is a normal human by day but transforms into a bull yokai at night. These nightly transformations drive him insane to the point where he has searched for a way to become a full human. That said, things didn’t work out for him, with him dying while stuck in between transformations, lamenting that he couldn’t even die as a man.
7 Dragon Ball: Saiyans Become Great Apes During The Full Moon
Goku and other Saiyans from Dragon Ball can transform into their Great Ape forms under the full moon, similar to a werewolf. According to the manga, the frequency of moonlight is partially behind the transformation.
That said, there are a few complications to the transformation: removing a Saiyan’s tail or even destroying the moon can reverse the transformation. Added to that, it’s been shown that even a mere projection of the moon is enough the trigger the transformation.
6 One Piece: The Mink Tribe Gains Power By Staring At A Full Moon
Members of the Mink Tribe in One Piece become more powerful when staring at a full moon, giving them their powerful Sulong form. It does come at a price: the transformation drains their stamina as it makes them stronger, which can risks killing them by exhaustion.
There are further catches: the transformation does not occur when the moon is covered by clouds and is reversed when they stop looking at the moon.
5 Black Clover: Nacht Is Even Named For The Night
In the world of Black Clover, where nearly everyone can control some form of magic, Nacht has the power of Shadow Magic – which allows him to manipulate shadows. While still capable during the day, this does seem to give Nacht an advantage when using his powers at night.
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This affinity is highlighted by the fact that his name is literally the German and Dutch word for “night.” One night in particular seems important to him: Walpurgis Night, the eve of Saint Walpurga’s feast day and his birthday. This day has often been associated with the supernatural as the saint was believed to ward off witchcraft. In reference to this, the first parts of the names of Nacht’s devils also spell out “Walpurgis.”
4 Cardcaptor Sakura: The Full Moon Gives Yue A Powerful Presence
Yue, a guardian of the Clow Cards, is the alter-ego of Yukito and derives power from the moon. Because of this, it is a full moon that starts to bring Yue out of Yukito. As the Final Judgement looms near, the full moon gives Yue a more powerful presence and has an effect on others nearby, even once causing Sakura to pass out.
Yue’s counterpart of sorts, Ruby Moon, also derives power from the moon and is believed to have some control over the night. Interestingly, this is because the Clow Cards are divided between the sun and the moon, with Kero, for example, having a connection to the latter.
3 Pokémon: Gastly Is Unbeatable Until The Sun Rises
In one episode of the Pokémon anime, the characters encounter a Gastly who seems practically unstoppable. He conjures a mouse trap to defeat Pikachu and a fire extinguisher to scare off Charmander. The Gastly manages to summon other Pokémon. He can even talk.
However, timing saves the day: Gastly hates sunlight and leaves with the rising sun.
2 Ghost Stories: Shirotabi Is The Corpse Who Wanders The Night
In an episode of Ghost Stories made famous by its gag dub, Shirotabi was a class rabbit who met an untimely death. Mio, a lonely girl who cared for the rabbits, attempted to bring the rabbit back to life with a dark spell.
It initially seemed to work, but came at a horrible price: at night, Shirotabi transformed into a killer beast. Eventually, Mio realized that Shirotabi no longer recognized her and she finally broke the spell.
1 Princess Mononoke: The Forest Spirit Transforms Into The Night Walker
The Forest Spirit, as it appears in Princess Mononoke, is effectively a god of life and death. During the day, the spirit resembles a deer, albeit with a face like a human. During the night, it becomes the gigantic Night Walker.
While in this form, everything it touches has its life force drained away, essentially spreading mass death and destruction. This transformation is also sparked by the Forest Spirit losing its head, an event that doesn’t kill the immortal being, and can be reversed if the head is returned.
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About The Author
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Hello, my name is John Witiw, and you may remember me as a writer for Viral Pirate, Frontrunner Magazine, or Co-Ed, but now I’m here for CBR!
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