Anime has a rich history of producing some of the most memorable and beloved characters in all of entertainment. From samurai warriors to cyborgs, from superheroes to space cowboys, anime has something for everyone. Here are 10 of the most iconic anime characters of all time.
Himura Kenshin – Rurouni Kenshin
Himura Kenshin is a unique character in the world of anime, as he was once a killer but vowed to never take a life again. He is often mistaken for a woman due to his feminine features and polite demeanor. Despite his peaceful exterior, Kenshin can become a ferocious warrior when the situation calls for it. Despite his moments of lapsing back into his old ways, he always returns to his sweet persona and is haunted by the fear of permanently reverting to his former self.
Shinji Ikari – Evangelion
Shinji Ikari is a character who provides an uncensored look at the human condition. He is hated for being a wimp but is relatable because of his struggles. The character of Shinji is a representation of the emotions and despair felt by the writer and director of the series, Hideaki Anno, during a bout of depression. Shinji’s legacy is that he is one of the most emotionally true-to-life characters in anime history.
Sailor Moon- Usagi
Sailor Moon, also known as Usagi, is one of the most beloved anime characters of all time. Her combination of power, humor, and relatability has made her a fan-favorite. Sailor Moon’s creator, Naoko Takeuchi, also designed some of the coolest and most dynamic characters in all of animation, making Sailor Moon a staple of the genre.
Vegeta – Dragon Ball Z
Vegeta is the Prince of the Saiyans and has been overshadowed by Goku throughout the series. Despite starting out as a villain, he has become a loving father and ally to Goku over the course of the series. Vegeta’s progress throughout the series is a testament to the creativity of creator Akira Toriyama and his struggle with his own inferiority complex.
Spike Spiegel – Cowboy Bebop
Spike Spiegel is a combination of Bruce Lee’s martial arts, a little bit of Lupin III, a heavy dose of film noir, and a dash of cool. He is a cool and collected space cowboy who is a fan-favorite for his unique combination of traits and his smooth demeanor. Spike is a character who has had a lasting impact on the world of anime.
Light Yagami – Death Note
Light Yagami is a character who starts out as an ambitious and intelligent high school student, but quickly becomes a ruthless vigilante after obtaining a death note. Both his intelligence and cunning, as well as his descent into darkness, make him a character who is both loved and hated. Light Yagami’s impact on the world of anime is undeniable, making him one of the most iconic characters of all time.
Monkey D. Luffy – One Piece
Monkey D. Luffy is the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates. He is one of the most recognizable characters in the world of anime. His never-say-die attitude, infectious personality, and boundless sense of adventure make him a character who is loved. Luffy’s journey to become the King of the Pirates has been a fan-favorite for years, making him one of the most iconic anime characters of all time.
Goku (Dragon Ball)
Goku, the iconic hero from Dragon Ball, is a true pioneer in the world of shonen anime. He broke the mold as a small but mighty hero. Also, challenging the typical portrayal of male lead characters as bulky muscle heads. Over the course of the series, he grew both physically and emotionally. Also, setting a new standard for character development in the genre.
Dragon Ball Z cemented Goku’s place in the pantheon of anime legends, with his incredible strength, unwavering courage, and selfless spirit making him the perfect embodiment of the show’s core themes. Despite facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Goku never gave up and always put the needs of others before his own. He may not be the most complex character in anime history, but his impact on the genre is undeniable.
Goku’s influence extends far beyond the world of Dragon Ball, with many of the genre’s biggest hits, including Naruto and One Piece, drawing inspiration from his character. His legacy lives on as a symbol of hope, strength, and perseverance. Also, inspiring countless generations of anime fans to strive for greatness in their own lives.
Suzaku Kururugi – Code Geass
Suzaku Kururugi is one of the main characters in “Code Geass”. He is the son of the former Prime Minister of Japan and a former soldier in the Britannian Army. Suzaku struggles with the conflict between his loyalty to his country and his friend Lelouch, making him a complex character. Despite his initial opposition to Lelouch’s plans, he eventually comes to understand and support his goals.
Kallen Stadtfeld – Code Geass
Kallen Stadtfeld, also known by her code name “Q1”, is a main character in “Code Geass”. She is a Japanese resistance fighter and a skilled pilot who fights against the Britannian Empire. Despite her initial distrust of Lelouch, she eventually comes to understand and support his goals. She becomes a key member of his team. A strong, determined, and courageous character, Kallen exudes power and confidence. She dedicates herself to freeing Japan from the Britannian Empire’s control.