We all know these characters. They are the wise, strong and badass that stand behind the main characters or in some way have a relationship to the main character. If we look at most popular and mainstream anime, we can see them being absolutely badass. There are spoilers in this articles, so if you haven’t watched or read most mainstream anime you might want to click away.
The badass old man in Naruto is most notably was Jiraiya, the perverted hermit sage. The mentor of Naruto, Minato and Pein, Jiraiya is indeed a badass, though his image is marred by his perverted nature. But, he is no doubt one of the most badass old men in the whole show. Jiraiya is the character who taught Naruto the Rasengan and introduced us to sage mode which opened up a new badass path for Naruto to beat the crap out of Pein. His death was sad indeed, but he went out as a badass old man, fighting to his last breath while at the end philosophical thinking about his life.
The badass old man in Bleach was obviously Commander Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto. The strong badass, 1st division Commander of the Gotei 13 who was considered to be the strongest Shinigami in the Soul Society. While initially not our side, we certainly came to like him more and more as he became more prevalent to the story. His Bankai is one of the strongest in the entire manga. And he is one of the few who could stand up to both Aizen and Yhwach. His death certainly had a huge impact on the plot of the manga, absolving the story of one of the strongest character. The death of old men, like Yamamoto, usually end with their deaths with a philosophical note. Their death usually have more of an overarching meaning to the plot. And in this case it had to do with if threats towards the Soul Society came to fruition, then he probably wouldn’t be around anymore. Yamamoto’s death was one of the few that were even more badass than the other old men, because he died while standing which takes a massive amount of badassery to do.
In Fairy Tail, the badass old man was discovered to be Makarov, and while he did not personify that throughout all of Fairy Tail, in the recent chapters he has certainly taken charge of that position. His unyielding will to protect his children, complied with his choice to use Fairy Law which ended his own life to freeze his body in an eternal state of badassery. While Makarov did die standing up, I don’t believe it really counts because his body was frozen to stand still. He wasn’t the strongest mage in Fairy Tail nor did he have a major part in the plot, though he was still a badass old man
Hunter X Hunter’s badass old man is obviously Issac Netero, the Chairman of the Hunter Associations. We were introduced to the chairman ever since the first arc of the plot and he was always the wiley, strong and mysterious old man we had seen through his actions such as playing games with our main characters. The next time we see Netero, we still have that assumption but it is belied by the seriousness of the plot. Netero was required to fight against Meruem, the King of Ants, and as such had a more serious tone. His background was also one badass look into his history. He was a man who had lived for 120 years and had fought Killua’s great great grandfather and was the only one to have lived to tell the tail. His training and strength were also described to a badass regiment of pure training. He threw punches of prayers for so longer his strength and speed accumulated to the point where he could throw these punches at the speed of sound. His Nen ability is reflective of the training he did, and might I add, it is also befitting and baddass. His death carries great respect because he died fighting to his last breath and ridding the world of a possible evil that could have wiped out all of humanity. He did not even give his opponent the right to end his life. Netero pierced his own heart while delivering a badass speech about the resilience of mankind. Truly a badass old man.
And finally the best and most badass old man in anime that I know of comes from One Piece. And who could it be besides, Whitebeard. With his huge influence on the plot during, before and after the Marineford Arc, he is seen as influential figure in the One Piece world. His strength and high respect were things that were at the pinnacle of achievement. He had the power to literally shake the earth itself. But if we consider nothing else, not his character, power or even his relevance to the plot, just his death, he is the most badass old man I have ever seen. A man who died standing up through sheer strength and willpower, with the amount of wounds he sustained from his life is just amazing. As recorded in the manga and mentioned in the anime, he sustained 267 sword wounds, 152 gunshots, 46 cannon shots, one Kizaru’s lasers, and two of Akainu’s magma punches which resulted in half of his head being melted away and yet still he stood in death. That is an impressive feat not seen by any other character. When coupled with the fact that, while he sustained all these injuries, he bore not a mark upon his back, truly embolized badassery at its finest. He always stood and never ran away even in death. That my friends, is a true badass