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30 Greatest Anime Characters of All Time

September 2, 2018
16 min read

Anime has been really popular and successful for some time now. Their unique way of telling the story and stunning visuals are two of the attributes which make them so loved. But anime has a much unique way of creating and displaying their characters. They are the factors which hold the entire plot and keep the viewers interested. If you are a regular anime consumer then it’s certain that you have felt that there were certain characters who were just the best. This list is all about that. After watching A LOT of anime (I need to get a life) I have come up with these characters who I think are the top anime characters (both female and make) ever. Which anime character are you?

30. Kei Shiroe, Log Horizon

Kei Shiroe is the main protagonist in Log Horizon. He is also called “Shiroe the Strategist” or the “Villian in the Glasses”. He is the guide master as well as the founder of Log Horizon. He is an engineering graduate student who is always socially awkward. His favorite game is Elder Tale which he has been playing for 8 years. He always casts support spells to heal his companions. Adorable and memorable.

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29. Lenka Utsugi, God Eater

Lenka Utsugi is the main protagonist of God Eater. He is a very kind person whose aim is to protect others and destroy the Aragami, even if he has to die in the process.  He is obsessed with the completion of the Aegis project, which he feels will save the ones on the outside wall. It is difficult to not fall in love with Lenka.

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28. Soma Yukihira, Shokugeki no Soma

Soma Yukhira is 15 years old and the lead protagonist of Shokugeki no Soma. He works with his father in the Yukihira Family restaurant. He aspires to become a full-time chef and wants to surpass his dad in cooking. He loves to experiment with things even if he ends up with horrible results. He is always ready for any cooking competition. He loves to create freestyle dishes. If you love Shokugeki no Soma, chances are you also love Soma Yukhira.

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27. Emi Yusa, The Devil is a Part Timer

Amelia Justina is the hero of the Ente Isla world. She has magenta hairs which reach till her thigh. Emilia follows Satan to the earth to confirm that he is dead. She also loses her powers and has to use a false name as Emi Yusa. She works as a call center agent in Tokyo, Japan. Her mother was an archangel and father was a human. Her father died when Lucifer, one of the Satan’s general had attacked their village when she was a kid. That is the reason why she wants to kill Maou. She later develops feelings for Maou and works with him in MgRonald. An amazing character to love and follow.

 

26. Yato, Noragami

Yato is a war-god who wants to build his own temple. He refers to himself as Yato god but his actual name is Yaboku. He wears a tracksuit and a scarf. He always writes his phone number in public places in case any person needs his help. He has a phobia which is called as athazagoraphobia (fear of being forgotten). He also has romantic feelings for Hiyori. Overall, a funny and memorable character.

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25. Niijima, Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple

This anime is really funny and one of the main reasons for that is Nijima. I mean, just look at him. He alien-like look is created only for the sole purpose of making the character much more comic. But what makes Nijima great is his characterization and the way he behaves in every situation. There were times when I laughed really hard because of his activities. Though for the entire series he is seen as a wicked guy who picks up on weak students, he actually is quite kind-hearted.

24. Mikasa Ackerman, Attack of Titan

‘Attack on Titan’ is a nice action anime. It keeps us on the edge and I have been waiting for some time now for the third season until last month when it finally released. One of my favorite characters in the series is that of Mikasa Ackerman. She is a badass woman when it comes to slaying the humongous titans but is a soft-hearted girl when she wants to be with Eren. She is a valuable member of the military and will go to any extent to save Eren.

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23. Byakuya Kuchiki, Bleach

I enjoyed ‘Bleach’ a lot. It had a nice plot which was accentuated by some great characters and electrifying action sequences. Byakuya Kuchiki was one of the staple characters in the franchise. He is the head of the Kuchiki clan and is shown to regard rules and social status at the highest level. He doesn’t even flinch when Rukiya is given the death sentence for staying on Earth for too long and giving her powers to a human. Instead he himself wants to conduct the execution. We do see a change in him over the series, especially after meeting Ichigo.

22. Black Jack, Astro Boy

Black Jack is one of the most interesting characters in the ‘Astro Boy’ franchise. He is a talented doctor and may even be one of the best in that regard. But he doesn’t own a medical license. Rather he works in an illegal fashion. But what gives his character some depth is his personality. At times he charges such huge fees for his services that even rich people go on their feet while other times he does everything for free. Though on the surface he appears to be filled with greed, he actually isn’t and provides most of what he earns for charitable purposes.

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21. Alucard, Hellsing

I have probably mentioned the ‘Hellsing’ series in many of my previous lists and most of it was because of Alucard. I just love his character. They way truly tends to destroy any threat to humanity is just so exciting and satisfying to watch. Though he is immortal, he lets his enemies damage him and taste victory. But that taste is short living as he comes back and shows them who they are actually dealing with. He is at times very soft-hearted, like for the instance when he decided to save the young cop Seras’s life.

20.  Jiraya, Naruto

The reason I love Jiraya and am including him on the list because of how he created a man out of Naruto. He is the most influential teacher in Naruto’s life. Though on the surface he might be seen as a carefree, perverted old freak he is quite caring when it comes to Naruto. He teaches him everything from combat to ninjitsu to what it means to be a good ninja. One can say he was a real father figure to Naruto.

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19. Hisoka, Hunter x Hunter

Hisoka is one of the main antagonists of ‘Hunter x Hunter’. He is a power-hungry person. He enjoys fighting powerful fighters to the extent that he actually gets really orgasmic just thinking about that. Sometimes his bloodlust gets so strong that he gets into a dazed state until he kills and satisfies himself. He appears throughout the series most of the times causing trouble to Gon and Killua but at times helping them too. He is one of the reasons why Gon wanted to become much stronger.

18. Death the Kid, Soul Eater

This anime is about Shinigami and their weapons. The weapons or rather death scythes are created by humans with special abilities to transform into weapons. Death the Kid is one of the main protagonists of the series. He is the ward of Death himself. He wields two powerful guns Liz Thompson and Patty Thompson. Kid is a great character and doesn’t believe in the one-sided version of being good. He thinks that there must be a balance between good and evil and he strives to maintain it.

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17. Sebastian Michaelis, Black Butler

Sebastian Michaelis is the demonic butler of Ceil Phantomhive. He is the reason why I watched this anime to the very end. He has entered a contract with Ceil to serve him until his goals are completed upon which he would take his soul. He is shown to be quite an expressive and charming human being but in actuality is a dark, sadistic demon who is vicious to the very end. Sometimes he delays helping Ceil just for his own amusement.

16. Kakashi Hatake, Naruto

Kakashi Hatake is one of the main characters in the Naruto franchise. He was one of the first teachers of Naruto. Not only that, he was the first teacher of the three main characters in the series viz. Sasuke, Naruto, and Sakura. Kakashi was instrumental in teaching Naruto the power of teamwork. He was also quite important in the life of Sasuke whom he taught the Chidori technique. Kakashi was the student of Minato, the Fourth Hokage. Kakashi stayed with his students until the very end helping them out.

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15. Izumi Shinichi, Parasyte

‘Parasyte’ is a great action anime. It is one of those anime after completing which you will be self-reflecting for some time. Izumi Shinichi is the main protagonist of the series. After a failed attempt to enter and take control of his brain, the parasite decides to lodge in his arm. The main thing that I love about Izumi’s character is the various changes he experiences throughout the series. Him being halfway between humans and parasites was instrumental in passing the message what it actually means to be a human.

14. Major Motoko Kusanagi, Ghost in the Shell

This is a freaking awesome anime with some of the best visuals. It is a shame though that the live action film starring Scarlet Johansson was poorly executed. Major Motoko Kusanagi has been in an artificial body since her childhood. She is a capable detective and used to be a great army, Major. In the first franchise, she investigates the hacker known as the ‘Puppetmaster’. Motoko is a badass when it comes to combat abilities as she kicks ass even when she is surrounded. She isn’t some another sexy anime chick who is there for eye pleasing.

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13. Hana, Wolf Children

‘Wolf Children’ is one of my favorite anime movies when it comes to non-action genre. I recommend every anime lover to give it a watch if they haven’t. Hana is one of the main characters of the movie. She falls in love with a guy who turns out to be a werewolf. She loves him despite who he is and after one fateful night of love, she becomes pregnant. Hana gives birth to Ame and Yuki. They both possess their father’s ability to turn into wolves. Her life takes a sad turn when her lover dies leaving her to fend for her unique children. The movie showcases her struggle and motherly love.

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12. Himura Kenshin, Rurouni Kenshin

‘Rurouni Kenshin’ is a nice action anime set in the late eighteen hundreds. Himura Kenshin is the main protagonist of the series. I developed a likeness for his character while the series because of his really humane characteristics and his love for every life. He has vowed never to kill and possesses a sword which has the sharp side on the opposite side making it quite difficult to land a killing blow. He is always very polite and soft-hearted and puts others interests before his.

11. Ken Kaneki, Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul

Ken Kaneki is the lead character of ‘Tokyo Ghoul’. He is one of those anime characters who is a hybrid of some kind forcing them to take arms against one of their kinds. In this anime, Ken becomes a Ghoul-Human hybrid and he decides to side with humans to protect them from ghouls. This also meant that he must kill his own kind i.e. Ghouls to achieve this. He goes through various changes throughout the series most of which were sad. I liked the way the anime version handled his character.

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10. Monkey D. Luffy, One Piece

Monkey D. Luffy is the main protagonist of the pirate-themed action anime ‘One piece’. He is one of the reasons I was able to watch this show despite the overwhelming amount of episodes. Monkey desperately wanted to be a pirate from his childhood and wanted to own his own crew. Having eaten a poisonous fruit in his childhood he gained the ability to have rubber-like arms. He honed his skills and now aspired to become the Pirate King by finding the treasure left by the late pirate king Gol D. Roger.

9. Might Guy, Naruto

Might Guy is a teacher in the ninja academy in the ‘Naruto’ series. Though at first he is shown to be some old freak, his character is slowly developed into something much more staple. Having no skill in ninjutsu Guy practiced Taijutsu every day without fail to compensate for his lack of talent. With hard work and training, he was able to become one of the most skilled and respected Ninjas in the Leaf Village. In the Great Ninja war, Kakashi acknowledges the fact that Guy has surpassed him. In my opinion, Guy-sensei vs Madara Uchiha was one of the best fight scenes ever (It was so exciting as well as sad to see him open the eighth gate of death).

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8. Portgas D. Ace, One Piece

Well, we are back to the ‘One Piece’ franchise. This time its Portgas D. Ace, the brother to the series’ main protagonist Monkey D. Luffy. He is much more polite and a more practical guy than his younger brother. I like his character because at times he is really cool, during combats, while at other times you can see his softer side when he is with his brother. He has fire abilities which help him during combat and he will not let anyone hurt Monkey.

7. Saitama, One Punch Man

Saitama is among one of the most popular anime characters of this generation. Though it has been only three years since the anime series ‘One Punch Man’ released, the character of Saitama has garnered a huge fan following. We are still waiting for the second season to arrive. Hopefully, we will be able to see it by next year. His character is a sarcasm to all superhero genre media which take themselves too seriously. He is just a superhero for fun and is so strong that it takes him only a single punch to defeat his enemies. He is a pretty average guy if you look past the overwhelming physical prowess making him kinda relatable..

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6. Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion

‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ is a sci-fi anime series which shows humanity on the brink of destruction by Angels. Their only hope is large Robotic armor known as Evangelion. Shinji Ikari is a great character. Though the series is from the sci-fi genre Shinji’s characterization is very down to Earth. We see his struggle to get acknowledged by his father. We see him grow from an ordinary boy to an actual hero who shoulders the weight of saving humanity. The various phases that he goes through are very interesting and relatable.

5. Naruto Uzumaki, Naruto

Naruto is the main protagonist and titular character in the ‘Naruto’ series. He wants to be the greatest ninja and become the best Hokage in his village. Even though people despised him for being the vessel for the Nine-Tailed Fox demon he did not take the darker path in life rather he chose to be good. It was this good nature of his and the will to protect everyone close to him that slowly changed the attitude of people towards him. In the latest series ‘Boruto: Naruto Next Generation’, he is married to Hinata and is the current Hokage.

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4. Ash Ketchum, Pokemon

Though I don’t watch Pokemon anymore I used to be a regular watcher a few years back. Ash Ketchum is one of the main protagonists of the series with his beloved Pokemon Pikachu. I thought of including Ash on this list because of the influence the character had on the kids. His character is inspirational as he works hard to overcome every challenge that he faces. Even after a loss he tries to derive a lesson and works hard to get better. That’s a really good way to motivate kids and young adults.

3. Astro Boy, Astro Boy

Alright, alright. I know what many of you are thinking, ‘Come on, Astro Boy is a kid anime’. Well, you are both right and wrong. You are right because yes it was directed towards kids but you are wrong to dismiss its potential for being on this list. I have put Astro Boy here because of its history, from being created by the ‘Father of Manga’, Osamu Tezuka, to becoming one of the most successful franchise. Astro boy is somewhat like Shinichi from ‘Parasyte’ in regards to their importance in portraying a message about humanity. Though he is a robot he gives hope to many children and people around him. At a time when Japan was still recovering giving kids a character like Astro Boy wasn’t a bad idea.

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2. L, Death Note

Up next comes one of the best detectives in anime, L. His character was the perfect match for Light Yagami who had slowly begun to use the Death Note to remove anyone from his path. We viewers instantly start liking the character of L as soon as we start understanding what a genius he is. He doesn’t take much time to figure out that Light could be a strong suspect in the Kira killings. Though near the end he loses his life, he gives a satisfying performance till the very end.

1. Spike Speigel, Cowboy Bebop

It’s been some time now since I watched this anime but it is still fresh in my memory. ‘Cowboy Bebop’ is a space adventure themed anime with bounty hunters in it. Spike Spiegel is one such bounty hunter. He along with his partner, Jet Black, go after bounties on their spaceship Bebop. Spike is one of the best characters in anime. He starts off as a cool-looking guy with good combat, detective skills and slowly, starts taking a much serious appearance. What’s interesting about him is his past and how he lost his love, Julia. As his past slowly starts to catch up with him his character gains more depth. His last fight with Vicious is my top ten best fight scenes ever (I still remember him uttering ‘Bang’).

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