Top 10 Best Anime Characters of All Time

Anime fans know that anime is full of amazing stories, stunning visuals, and memorable characters. From the courageous and noble to the sneaky and wicked, anime characters have a special bond with us, making us laugh and cry with their awesome adventures and touching moments. In this list, you'll be ranking the best anime characters ever, from the old-school legends to the new-school icons. These characters have changed the anime world, each one showing their unique flair and charisma.
The Top Ten
1 L - Death Note L Lawliet, exclusively known by the mononym L, is a fictional character in the manga series Death Note, created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

Although one may argue that L is just "another character" in the anime series Death Note, I believe that he is more than that. He is just like all of us, even though we may not realize it. L chooses to use a monotonous voice to hide any possible emotions. L has dealt with pain and suffering for a while, so he decided not to show himself until it was necessary: the Kira case. Light Yagami was truly the closest friend to L, but he knew that he was Kira. This must have hurt his soul to know that his friend was a killer. Throughout the anime, L expresses himself through solving cases, eating sweets, and conversing with various characters. These aspects show a lot of L's emotions, but if only one could see that. We learn that L is funny and pretty smart and, to some, quite attractive. These details lead me to believe that L is one of the greatest anime characters out there in the anime world.

2 Edward Elric - Fullmetal Alchemist Edward Elric, commonly nicknamed Ed, is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series and its adaptations created by Hiromu Arakawa.

Edward Elric is, without a doubt, one of my favorite fictional characters within the anime world. He's the epitome of inspiration and respect, in my opinion. Edward is a character with many flaws, but that's what makes him so much more phenomenal and relatable. He feels all the things humans are supposed to feel: love, pity, anger, guilt, sadness, etc. You just name it.

Even though on the surface Edward can seem like a hot-tempered young teenager, he has incredible depth to his character. He goes through so much and endures many perils, growing from them. The character development is immense with Ed. He has a dark, very tragic past, from which his insecurities and guilt originate. But from this, he also gains strength and the determination to take responsibility for his actions.

He makes mistakes, but he's not afraid to stand his ground and deal with the consequences. Ed is also one of the most compassionate characters I've seen, with one of the strongest brotherly bonds I've ever witnessed in anime history. His love for his brother Alphonse, and all of his friends and comrades, is heartfelt and emotional. His dedication and loyalty to those he cares about truly give me so many feels. His willingness to sacrifice so much for the safety and well-being of people is noble and so human of him.

Sometimes, Ed can be impulsive, easily irritated, and short-tempered, but I still love this character because when he has to be serious, he gets down to business. His intellect is beyond me, and he is actually pretty wise for his age and all that he's been through. He has a brave soul and a heart of gold, and it's because of all this that Edward wins my vote.

3 Vegeta - Dragon Ball Vegeta is an anime fictional character from the anime series, Dragon Ball Z, created by Akira Toriyama.

Vegeta, the prince of all Saiyans, is the best character of all time. He can push himself to the limit and further because he will not settle for second best. When Frieza took him as a child, his father and a whole army died trying to get him back because he is just that important.

He never gives up and is always ready for a new challenge. He holds onto his pride because he knows he is awesome and taunts his victims because he is not afraid to show it. He always has a witty comeback, like "I did lots of push-ups and sit-ups and drank plenty of juice." So, if you don't like Vegeta, tell me, has a hater like you ever experienced true fear?

4 Goku - Dragon Ball Son Goku (Kakarrot) is the main protagonist in Dragon Ball franchise created by Akira Toriyama in 1984. He has many abilities like, super strength, utilization of ki, flight, teleportation, super speed, enhanced reflexes, and Super Saiyan transformation that increase strength, speed, and durability... read more

Goku. He is the Jesus of Anime and the greatest anime legend of all time. Even now, in the Revival of F, he is above everyone in the entire universe. The only one below him is Vegeta.

I watched every episode in the ENTIRE Dragon Ball series since Dragon Ball Episode 1. I've tried searching for a character who obviously can't be as strong but is as good as he is and haven't found one beating him. I mean, he's a perfect hero: kind-hearted, humorous, never gives up - EVER, defeats guys 10x stronger than himself, saved Earth many times (except, of course, Majin Buu, and GT doesn't count), and always tests the waters of his enemy's transformations, which is bold, but hey, he's a confident dude.

You can see all these badass-looking heroes standing there in the wind, all dreamy and stuff, but Goku doesn't care to be a badass, which is why he is the best there ever was.

5 Naruto Uzumaki - Naruto Naruto Uzumaki is a fictional character in the anime and manga franchise Naruto, created by Masashi Kishimoto.

Though this might be because I grew up watching Naruto, I voted for him since he really did have a good plot and background information. For those who finished, he had a saddening childhood, yet never gave in to the hate. He always told everyone something similar to, "I'll become the Hokage. Just you wait and see. Believe it!" And as we know, he grows up to be a fine shinobi, conquering his enemies and even turning many into friends and comrades.

Once again, for those who watched from beginning to end, we got to witness as Naruto evolved from a kid into a teen, and then finally into an adult as he achieves his dream of becoming Hokage and even gets married and has kids.

6 Monkey D. Luffy - One Piece Monkey D. "Straw Hat" Luffy is a fictional character and the protagonist of the One Piece manga franchise created by Eiichiro Oda.

Luffy is one of the most savage characters in anime history. He defeated 50,000 of the fish-men with just his Haoshoku Haki. He never gives up on his friends, and he's also one of the funniest and simplest characters in anime. His silly and idiotic attitude is what anime fans look forward to in One Piece. He influences everyone around him and brings smiles to people's faces.

He even got the most beautiful character in One Piece, Boa Hancock, to love him, which is a win in itself. Plus, there are a ton of memes about him too. He also doesn't hide his feelings, which also makes him a stand-up character in One Piece. He doesn't expect much in return, unlike most characters in One Piece do. All the kid wants is meat for himself. Isn't that enough for the future Pirate King?

7 Levi Ackerman - Attack on Titan Levi Ackerman is a fictional character in the manga and anime series Attack on Titan, also known as Shingeki no Kyojin in Japanese, created by Hajime Isayama. He accompanies the main protagonists in the second half of season 1. His most notable feature is being "Humanity's strongest".

I couldn't decide between Levi Ackerman, Rin Okumura, Light Yagami, Kiritsugu Emiya, and Archer. There are things I like about all of them. Levi Ackerman's cold hostility and will to defeat Titans make him an excellent soldier and a good person. Rin Okumura's powers as a demon, his short temper, and his amusing and sweet personality, as well as his goal of defeating his father, Satan, are all things I like.

Light Yagami's noble goals and ideals, and the mixture of justice and evil in his personality, appeal to me. Kiritsugu Emiya's ideals of creating a world without tears and the fact that he's a total badass are compelling. Not to mention the losses he's had to experience for the sake of his beliefs and ideals are unreal. And Archer's childish, cynical, and cold personality, built on the fact that his life's work was just a waste knowing that humanity is hopeless and will never be saved, is also compelling. His fighting skills and his power are jaw-dropping as well.

So, I randomly decided on Levi since he was already high up on the list, even though he should be higher. But seriously, guys, L? I mean, L's cool and everything, but Light is so much better.

8 Spike Spiegel - Cowboy Bebop

It is absolutely pathetic that Spike sits this low. I like L and Ed, but Spike is a more complex character than either, and Goku and Vegeta are simply not well-written characters, especially not in Z and Super. They are iconic, sure, but simple, underdeveloped, and emotionally shallow. Luffy is actually a good character, but not better than Spike.

But there is nothing more insulting than Naruto Uzumaki sitting at five. What the hell is wrong with people? Naruto is one of the worst-written characters created by a poor character writer. Listen, you can like Naruto. That's totally fine. But what Kishimoto is good at is action and fight scenes, not, in any way, his character work or story. Good God, people.

9 Itachi Uchiha - Naruto Itachi Uchiha is a fictional character in the Naruto manga and anime series created by Masashi Kishimoto.

Before you read this, beware of spoilers. Now, let me start by saying Itachi is a hero hidden in the dark. He shows that no matter what, you need to move ahead and stop feeding on people's praise and what they think of you. I think he's a brilliant creation. I don't know about the majority out there, but he's certainly the best anime character ever crafted and a perfect role model for many.

He defended his village at the cost of his fame and pleasure. He knew he was going to have a tough time but went on with it anyway. He did everything for the greater good, and he loved his brother to the very end. Even after death, when being reanimated, he still wants to protect the village and everyone in it. He's the biggest reason why the war turned in favor of the Allied Shinobi. He's in a class of his own, although he has haters.

He's the most mature, most deserving of all Shinobi but still considers himself inferior to everyone. That's called humility, people. His love was true to the very end, and we see how strong his heart was, not to be shaken by the hatred of the entire village and his dearest brother, Sasuke. However hated he was, he wasn't provoked because he was satisfied deep within and focused on the only thing he had to do: protect his brother. Itachi Uchiha is undoubtedly the only character most near perfection.

10 Ichigo Kurosaki - Bleach Ichigo Kurosaki is a fictional character in the Bleach manga series and its adaptations created by Tite Kubo.

Ichigo belongs at least at number 2. He is the hero of Bleach, and the way he shows that is so badass! He will protect his friends at all costs and do whatever he can to stop anyone who threatens them! I believe his speed would be able to keep up with Goku at a very strong level because of just how fast he is. His strength isn't as strong as Goku's, but his powers help push that further.

Ichigo is also inspiring because he won't let anyone knock him down, and if they do, they will pay the price tenfold. He also never gives up and is always there for anyone! Ichigo is really number 1!

The Newcomers

? Sakaki - Azumanga Daioh
? Sawako Yamanaka - K-On!
The Contenders
11 Himura Kenshin - Rurouni Kenshin Himura Kenshin, known as Kenshin Himura in the English-language anime dubs, is a fictional character and protagonist of the Rurouni Kenshin manga created by Nobuhiro Watsuki.

He doesn't have superpowers, but he does have agility. His power doesn't come from his ability to kill. It comes from his will to protect everyone, even his enemies. His personality is the best I've ever seen. He is like a living description of the perfect man. And when you watch the last film of the series, you will have a hard time not crying.

He created a legend under the name of Hitokiri Battosai by slaying, then he promised not to kill anymore. Then he started a new life as Rurouni Kenshin Himura and created another legend with this name until he couldn't use a sword. When he gave up using a sword, he started as Shinta and created another legend too.

12 Kakashi Hatake - Naruto Kakashi Hatake is a fictional character in the Naruto manga and anime series created by Masashi Kishimoto. In the story, Kakashi is the teacher of Team 7, consisting of the series' primary characters, Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha, and Sakura Haruno.

Kakashi Hatake is definitely my favorite anime character. He certainly has an extremely sad childhood, which in itself is an excellent trait in any character, but it's the anticipation that makes it exciting. From about halfway through Naruto, his past has been questioned and hinted at, just enough to get fans excited about it, but not so much that they're tired of it. Pieces of it are shown in Naruto Shippuden episodes, but even after it's revealed, people from his past come back (in some of the biggest plot twists and potential spoilers of the series).

He has a fairly neutral personality, which makes the moments when he shows emotion that much more intense. Despite being a more serious main character than all but Sasuke, he has a lot of funny moments, and he's extremely loyal. He has many character flaws and highlights, but most of them aren't as obvious as with other characters. You need to dig to find them.

Also, he can summon a pug.

13 Light Yagami - Death Note Light Yagami is a fictional character and the protagonist of the manga series Death Note, created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

Light is simply one of the best characters ever written, and you can't really deny that (in my opinion). He's a normal genius in high school who just happens to be the one to find the "Death Note." It changes his life as he believes he can bring change to the world, making it crimeless. However, like most people in history, he becomes corrupt with power and begins to murder even those who are innocent. His clashes with "L," the greatest detective, were some of the moments that made Death Note intense and amazing overall.

Though some people probably don't enjoy psychological action and prefer just brute fighting scenes (sorry, DBZ, though I'm not saying I don't enjoy the series).

14 InuYasha - InuYasha

Man, I love this anime. And I adore this character. He's noble, adorable, and is a character with a lot of meaning. He's an amazing character.

Inuyasha is sometimes an idiot, especially when he leaves Kagome for Kikyo. But I really like this anime. I love it! The crazy, amazing, dumb, hilarious, tragic, and cute love triangle between Kikyo, Inuyasha, and Kagome - plus Koga! - makes Inuyasha deserving of a spot in the top 10.

Some say that the anime starts off good but becomes boring as it progresses. Well, I think none of the episodes were boring, and I don't regret watching it. Just watch it! All your doubts and questions will be resolved!

15 Lelouch Lamperouge - Code Geass Lelouch Lamperouge, whose real name is Lelouch vi Britannia, is the title character and protagonist of the Sunrise anime series Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.

Lelouch. Where to even begin? A brilliant strategist. An awe-inspiring leader. Incredibly determined and devoted to his cause, Lelouch is both an amazing friend and a master of deception and lies. He is melodramatic, charming, and charismatic. He's got the best evil grin and a wicked, psychotic laugh. He is the murderer of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, becoming the most despised tyrant on the planet, yet he is still the sweetest, most considerate, caring brother in the whole entire world.

Although he is far from perfect, he makes mistakes because he is still human. And he certainly has some screw-ups of massive proportions (Season 1, Episode 22, anyone?). However, these flaws only serve to strengthen his character as he becomes all the more relatable, dealing with unbelievable amounts of regret, pain, guilt, and responsibility.

And the ending of Code Geass? Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Exquisite. Indescribably, utterly, completely damn awesome.

ALL HAIL LELOUCH.

16 Eren Jaeger - Attack On Titan Eren Yeager, spelled Eren Jaeger in the Funimation dub, is a fictional character appearing as the protagonist from the manga series Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama.

I know a lot of people hate Eren, and so do I. But I voted for him because his personality is just like mine. I can relate so much to everything he says (and yes, I am a loud and noisy b). I get mad easily, I am very reckless, and I always take big risks. I don't like it when people save me or help me out (except my mom, because I need help with that math homework). I suck at teamwork.

These days, you rarely ever see anime characters that trust in themselves and know that they are strong and up to the challenge. Eren is strong, and he knows it.

17 Yugi / Yami - Yu-Gi-Oh!

He is super caring and would literally do anything to save... well, anyone! Right there with Naruto, Natsu, Eren, and so many other great characters!

One of the best of the best anime heroes. With Yami's bravery and Yugi's kind heart, they form the best anime hero ever!

I love Yugi. It annoys me when he is called Yu-Gi-Oh or a ten-year-old. He is a short tenth grader. He has the coolest hair ever to be drawn, no doubt. He is adorable and extremely likable. I like all the versions of Yugi. The other characters mean nothing to me.

The original, before they started the card spin-offs, was the best. It makes me want to cry that it cannot be recognized for the brilliance of Season Zero (Yu-Gi-Oh!) and that it was canceled.

18 Yusuke Urameshi - Yu Yu Hakusho

I love Dragon Ball Z, I love Naruto, and I've enjoyed countless others from SAO to Death Note to FMA. But Yu Yu Hakusho is a series I've watched since I was a kid and have re-watched many times because no matter how many times I watch it, it is amazing.

Yusuke, being the center of that show, makes my choice obvious. His love for Keiko and his faux apathetic attitude make him not the most complex but a very interesting character. His ability to continually improve despite the odds prevents me from saying anything negative about him. The show is amazing and this character is as well. I'm sad he's not in the top ten, but I'm glad he made the top 15.

19 Killua Zoldyck - Hunter x Hunter

Okay, so let's start by stating that I am beyond triggered by where Killua stands on this list. First of all, he is a great character who is extremely intelligent despite being so young. He is smart enough to quickly analyze any problem at hand and deal with it properly. Second, he has a quite tragic past but decides to put the assassination training he received to good use in helping Gon.

Also, he somehow overcame his dark past and turned into a character with a great and hilarious personality. In my opinion, Killua is the best character.

20 Roy Mustang - FullMetal Alchemist Roy Mustang is a fictional character from the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series and its adaptations created by Hiromu Arakawa.

He has a couple of flaws, but so does every good character. He shows bravery in the face of danger, and he is so badass that it hurts. He has some of the best qualities out of any character in the show. He has ambitions that you can't help but root for, and he's a lot more compassionate than he shows.

Have you seen this guy? The Flame Alchemist was amazing! Watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and witness the savagery that was his fight against Lust and later, Envy. A strong, but intelligent and sometimes funny character as well. Loved Mustang.

21 Yoko Kurama - YuYu Hakusho

One of the best characters I have ever seen. Intelligent, analytical, and good-looking. His love for his family and friends makes him one of the best characters ever!

Most intelligent character of all time. Inspiration for the nine-tails demon in the Naruto series and Kurapika of Hunter x Hunter. Amazing different personalities, from being rude to funny.

Yu Yu Hakusho is by far my all-time favorite anime, and a lot of that is thanks to Yoko Kurama. He was just such a good character. I couldn't stop watching the anime!

22 Kurapika - Hunter x Hunter

I like his intelligence and strategic skills mixed with sarcasm and an overall kind heart. Usually, the smart, badass characters aren't sweet and caring, so this was positively unique. I also love how he started off as just a weak, quick-witted teenager and became an incredibly strong force to reckon with, with great character development.

I love watching characters grow, and Kurapika is no exception. His backstory with Pairo and the Phantom Troupe was very well done and utterly heartbreaking. His voice actress in the 2011 remake is great with emotion, and she captures his character so well that I laugh and cry with him. He's absolutely my favorite character in anime.

23 Trunks - Dragon Ball Z/Gt Trunks is an anime fictional character from the anime series, Dragon Ball Z, created by Akira Toriyama.

He's really handsome, and in his kid form, he's very cute. I like the idea of his friendship with Goten, one of my all-time favorite characters! Also, his voice, both in his kid form and adult form, is really cool!

Why is my single crush so low on this list? He was the one who changed the future, killed the androids, and loved Goku and everyone else.

Trunks is awesome and destroyed Frieza and King Cold within two minutes.

24 Armin Arlert - Attack On Titan Armin Arlert is a fictional character in the manga and anime series Attack on Titan, also known as Shingeki no Kyojin in Japanese, created by Hajime Isayama. He accompanies the Protagonist Eren Jaeger. He is mostly known for his smart and quick witted mind. His notable feature is wanting to explore... read more

Armin Arlert may be seen as a weakling, but in fact, he is stronger than you might think. Have you ever heard the quotation, Sometimes, strength has to bow to wisdom? That's what it means.

It may not be immediately obvious, but Armin's strategies and plans have saved many lives. If not for his slight hesitation to pull the trigger, Jean would have died in the manga. If not for him alerting Hannes, Eren and Mikasa would have been eaten along with their mom. If not for his theory on Annie being the Titan, many lives would have been taken by the Female Titan. If not for his manipulation of Bertholdt, their mission would have failed and Eren would still be kidnapped. If not for his quick thinking and strategic mind, the squads wouldn't have been able to refill their gas and eliminate the remaining Titans.

Basically, he was always the boy behind the operation.

His personality is also highly relatable. He's nice, sweet, friendly, and caring, but there is something else beneath it all. Crying is not for weaklings, but for those who have been too strong for too long. All his life, Armin was bullied for his dream to venture into the real world. As a result, his inferiority complex was too high, to the point where he nearly lost his will to live. He almost lost Eren, his closest friend, and before that, he lost his parents and his remaining family, his grandfather.

Just like us, we have to be strong for our pains, but there will always be a time when we break down. We're always scared of something that we don't want to happen, and Armin can relate. That's why he's also one of the most realistic characters.

And he's the smartest. Try to give him the most complicated exam in this era. There's a 99.99% chance he'd get a perfect score. Or give him a riddle. He'll solve it. Or play chess with him. He already knows which corner you'll be in, lamenting your defeat.

That's it.

Oh, and before anything else, face it: Armin's not your... more

25 Izuku Midoriya - My Hero Academia Izuku "Deku" Midoriya is a fictional character and the protagonist of My Hero Academia, a manga series written by Kohei Horikoshi.

Midoriya is so kind and thoughtful. He never puts his needs before others. His passion for becoming a hero, even though he has no powers, is just so inspiring. He is powerful, humble, and just adorable. His character is deep when you consider the history of his rise to becoming an amazing hero. He deserves to be in the top 10, at least.

I don't understand why he's not in the top ten. He is literally the most devoted character in the world of anime. Not to mention his adorably dorky and pure heart that inspires us all to be our own heroes. Even though he isn't real, I look up to him in so many ways. My Hero Academia is the best anime, and that's just the truth.

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