Top 10 Best Anime Characters of All TimeAnime 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.
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.
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.
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." HA! So if you don't like Vegeta, tell me, has a hater like you ever experienced true fear?
This guy here is the inspiration of my life! He is better than Goku in many aspects. He is a far better tactician, and Goku is just a bonehead. His plans have ALWAYS succeeded. He pushes himself WAY HARDER than Goku. Proof: Goku becomes a Super Saiyan training at 100 times gravity. Vegeta trains at 450 times gravity... you heard me, 450 times, and he barely makes it. But every time he ascends, he is stronger than Goku because he trains much harder than Goku does. Besides, Goku is one lucky dog. He gets his training from great masters like Roshi, who teaches him his Kamehameha move. King Kai, who teaches him the Spirit Bomb. And he learns Instant Transmission from inhabitants of another planet. In short, all his so-called great moves are BORROWED. He does not have any move of his own. On the other hand, Vegeta does all the training by himself, develops HIS OWN moves, and surpasses Goku in power twice. If he were as lucky as Goku, he would be much stronger than Goku. And I'm just getting started... Still think Goku's the best warrior in DBZ?
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 ballsy, 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.
I don't understand why people like Mr. Creeper (L) so much. There's not much to him besides the fact that he was an orphan, he's weird, he likes sweets, and he's smart. Ok, cool. I guess L is a good character, but in the end, Death Note is a pretty boring show.
However, Goku is such a great character that popular anime afterward had their main character copy traits from him (eats a lot, childish, goofball, naive, oblivious to love, brave, heroic, kind, etc.). But it worked for Goku because he was raised by a nice old man, secluded far from civilization, so they didn't need to use the 'he's a child' excuse like they do for all other characters that copied him. Of course, I love other characters more than Goku, but I think this alone should place him above a guy who barely shows any emotion.
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.
I don't know why Naruto is not number 1. He never stopped chasing his dream and reached it in the end. He tackled the prejudice and racism-like treatment and eventually became someone who wasn't feared by everyone but loved and respected. Naruto is the most relatable person on this list. "Never give up, and you will reach your goals." I mean, why is Goku up there? He is basically like, "Oh damn, I'm losing this fight. Maybe I should change my hair color," or "Hey, Gohan, I want you to fight Cell. Let me power him up first." Literally, Naruto is relatable to those kids who get excluded, people who get bullied based on what they are, aspiring young fighters, dreamers - basically, everyone in the world.
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. Coughs*Bellamy*coughs. All the kid wants is meat for himself. Isn't that enough for the future Pirate King?
Luffy has been my favorite character since I started watching and reading One Piece over around ten years ago. People say he's a moron and shouldn't be the main character, but that's not entirely true. Yes, he is very child-like and doesn't listen to his friends or plan things out, but his flaws make him feel more realistic and easier to get attached to. He cares about his friends, almost getting himself killed by protecting them so many times. He went through so much at Marineford just to save Ace, only to have him die in his arms. He saves people he doesn't even know because he cares. People say he's selfish for putting his friends in danger, but he isn't. They agree to help him with the task at hand. If they didn't want to help, he wouldn't make them do it against their will. He's been through so much. It's a miracle that he can still smile.
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.
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.
Number 1 all the way. Spike is the epitome of cool, but not in a cliché way. A clever, laid-back badass with a human side and mysterious past. One would think that he's a cliché, but he's not. He's just awesome. Even though he's a smartass, he's a skilled fighter and a tragic hero too. His character isn't too perfect to the point that it's unrealistic because he has his share of flaws. Unlike so many cool, intelligent guys in anime, Spike is believable and has a unique personality. He's even a little philosophical.
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.
Ichigo belongs at least at #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 because (well, can't you tell the difference, laugh out loud), 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 #1!
He is one of the most sympathetic anime characters ever, even though he can be an ass. He fights to protect. It's just impossible not to root for him. He is incredibly strong and has a valid reason to be. He is human, Shinigami, and Hollow all at the same time and pretty much carries the fate of the world, but you'll never hear him complain. He is pretty funny too. His interactions with other characters like Rukia, Toshiro, Renji, and Byakuya never fail to amuse me. And next to all that, he's damn handsome. Ichigo for the win!
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.
Based on real-life events and characters, this story is one that I have cherished since my childhood. Every character is memorable, the world created is logical and complete, and the author/artist is a regular person (with amazing talent) to whom you can really warm up.
The drawings are consistent, rarely cheap or simple, and the balance between text and image makes for a very enjoyable read.
Definitely the best I have ever seen and read. And reread.
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.
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).
Look, you know a character is good if you can hate them but still love them. Light Yagami is an amazing character who is smart as heck, so I got really mad when he lost to a literal copy of L. That doesn't change the fact that I love his character, though!
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! :))
The name InuYasha is probably one of the most iconic figures in all of anime/manga. The Queen of Anime, Rumiko Takahashi, outdid herself once again in this tale filled with adventure, romance, and comedy. Let's put it this way: if you don't like InuYasha, you are clearly not a true fan of anime.
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.
I know a lot of people hate Eren. And so do I. But I voted for him because his personality is just like mine, and I can relate so much to everything he says (And yes, I am a loud and noisy b---h). I get mad easily, I am very reckless, and I always take big risks. I don't like when people save me or help me out (except my mom, because I need help with that math homework), and 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.
I love Eren! Unlike DBZ, Naruto, and other god-mode protagonists, Eren feels very real. In other words, he's human! He has his flaws, and he's not afraid to show it. He feels emotion, and whether it hurts him or makes him stronger, that's what makes him a better character than most of these contenders. Seriously, Kirito? Unrealistic, boring, god-mode Kirito is above him? Come on, everyone, let's make this list better!
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 Yugioh or a ten-year-old. He is a short 10th grader. He has the coolest hair ever to be drawn, no doubts. He is adorable and extremely likable. I like all the Yugios with Yugi in them. The other ones 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 (Yugioh) and that it was canceled.
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.
Yusuke is a great character and extremely well-made. Unlike most protagonists in an action anime, he has the ability to lose and stick with it, although he does have rematches at different times. As much as he can be short-tempered, he cares and shows other feelings as well.
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.
Hunter x Hunter is my first anime ever. I only started to watch anime because I read the HxH manga and, midway, fell in love with Killua, so I just had to watch the anime. And man, this is like the best thing that ever existed (I was born for this). After HxH, I found lots of good anime, but yeah, nothing could beat this. I jumped and drowned in anime, all thanks to and credits for Killua. If only I had never read HxH, if only I had never seen Killua, I probably would never have watched anime or would have watched, but years later. Killua will always be my favorite, and he always has this special place in my heart.
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 of the characters 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.
Flame Alchemist, Roy Mustang. He may not look like much, but he's just as badass as those at the top of the list. Without him, the Elric brothers would've failed to reach their goal. Not to mention, this guy totally kicks ass.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Kurapika is absolutely amazing. He's a total badass with his chains, and there's never a dull moment when he's on screen. But that's not the only reason I like him that much. He's an amazingly written character. His tragic past and revenge story are some of the best I've ever seen. For some reason, I always feel bad for him every time he's on the screen. He has had a great impact on me. He's much more complex than most of the anime characters. I love him so much. Togashi did such a great job!
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 cute 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 2 minutes.
Armin is strong in both mind and body. At first, he might not seem like the most durable person, but throughout the series, he displays great acts of courage and determination. He risks a lot for his friends, Mikasa and Eren, even putting his life on the line for Eren. Facing off against a group of government-trained 'assassins' only adds to his awesomeness. Like Eren and Mikasa, Armin is surely a character I'll never forget!
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, and 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.
Oh, and before anything else, face it: Armin's... more
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 tens. 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. BNHA is the best anime, and that's just the truth.
Izuku Midoriya is the spitting image of a true hero and an interesting protagonist. He feels inferior to those around him because he was part of a minority. He has overcome so many obstacles. I aspire to be like Midoriya.