Anime is an elaborate form of animation with its bright colors and vivid imagination. Combining the thematic elements of fiction and fantasy with science to give a distinctive feel. It is a modified version of animation as we know it in the West with a peculiar Japanese taste of art. Anime brings a wide variety of characters and personalities to life, from hardcore badass to shy girls, and everything in between, there is a unique character for everyone out there to relate to in this vast universe of Japanese anime series.
Now, who is the coolest anime character in the history of anime? It’s been debated on the internet forums for as long as the forums have been around. I thought I’d also give my perspective to the conversation, so I’ve compiled a list of the best anime characters in the anime world. The factors I considered were impact, legacy, recognition, but most importantly, the artistic greatness giving a unique power to the character.
Devilish, determined, and calculating to revamp the world in his own image, Light Yagami was the force behind the success of Death Note. The anime was exceedingly addictive, an absolute unputdownable material due to the author Tsugumi Ohba’s clever use of cliffhangers. The story much relied on Light’s cleverness and his layered plans. But once he gets possession of the death note, he commences an astonishing into a disturbing mastermind who becomes judge, jury, and the executioner for the whole world.
The misguided character of Light is an intricate mix of goals to make the world a happier, safer place but with a wrong mindset. His brilliance marks Light’s development throughout the series. His idealism and nobility shine when he relinquishes the hold of the Death Note, temporarily turning into a kindhearted and moral being. These intricate set qualities pool together to end up in creating a complicated character who ends up being a despicable villain; still, you root for him to come out of the story as a winner.
2. Itachi Uchiha (Naruto)
Itachi Uchiha has a vivid and unique backstory, known as the Batman of anime, sums up how cool he is. He is a martyr, a true hero who was wronged by those in power and, therefore, a pitiable character. The character starts its journey by witnessing a World War at the age of 4 years old, which turned him into a pacifist. Itachi has a strange sadness, willingness to do what’s right, and faithfulness to the leaf village. He is the anti-hero that fans couldn’t think as bad as they stared into his dreamy Sharingan filled eyes. The charisma is extraordinary with his iconic design, mysterious history, and cool moves.
3. Naruto Uzumaki(Naruto)
The loudmouth ninja in the leaf village is a brash and immature person from the start, and the most usual way of communication is screaming in your face. Naruto is a pure goofball, but when it comes to his capabilities, he’s the by far the most determined and fierce fighter I’ve ever seen in the anime world. He’s an idealistic fool, but it’s hard not to admire the code of honor that goes with it. Naruto’s only life goal is to become Hokage; however, passing ninja school proves to be a tough goal.
Naruto grew up feared and shunned by his fellow villagers because of the nine-tailed fox malevolent spirit sealed inside his body. Under the mentorship of Kakashi, he learns to overcome many obstacles for a carefree soul to handle. In his prankish and ramen loving character, an ambitious, loftier Naruto is hidden, trying to achieve his life goal and lead his village is no romantic fantasy. His determination is so strong that his character becomes the very epicenter of persistence in life, as he often announces, “I’m going to make everyone recognize my existence!”.
4. Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bebop)
Blend Bruce Lee’s martial art with an overdose of film noir, with a bit of a cool, and you get Spike Spiegel. Spike was an amalgamation of several influences resulting in a creation that was more than the sum of its parts. Cowboy Bebop 1998 was a mixture of cultures from around the world, and Spike was the essence of the story. Voice actor Steve Blum gave Spike a feel of smooth, effortless cool that arguably outshined the original Japanese version.
Spike presented a versatile character, a gearhead working on this own spaceship, an expert pickpocket, a smart detective, a hardcore fighter, while also a bit of a philosopher. However, the most attractive thing that made Spike was his past as a gangster, and a man hopelessly in love. Spike left in a blaze of glory that is unique in all of anime history.
5. Levi (Attack on Titan)
A personification of the phrase “big things come in small packages.” Levi has a complicated and fascinating history and humanity’s strongest yet very short. He never smiles and appears irritable, short-tempered, and challenging to approach. Notwithstanding his coarse behavior, fashions a trademark cravat around the neck. A steadfast, realistic, and empathetic character expresses no fear, anxiety, and no glaring weakness. He’s a veteran and knows his stuff is through everything. Levi is always focused on the task finding no time for humor or banter. With virtually no social skills and can be considered a sincere man.
His character challenges the notion of perfection and attains maximum potential when the main story even begins. He’s the embodiment of many positive traits such as passion and love for humanity, skills, and decisiveness, pragmatism, and wisdom. He’s the very best humanity has to offer but still flawed.
6. Saitama (One Punch Man)
Saitama, the One Punch Man, is formidably the strongest character in anime. The series is different from most other combat anime, as, in this series, the protagonist is already the most hardened person around. Saitama, after three years of rigorous training, was able to withstand any blow and defeat any enemy. Though his supreme power and strength leave him depressed, and the character explores the emptiness that follows after achieving a lifelong goal. The entire series surrounds the point that the pursuit of power or one’s lifelong goal is more fulfilling than actually holding such a position. He is not after popularity, reward, or not even survival; Saitama did everything for fun.
7. Portagas D Ace (One Piece)
Portagas is a two-faced one-piece character that manages to combine his goofy side with the loyal side, and everything sprinkled with a tinge of cool over. The character is never backing from a fight. His love for brother is so deep that he is willing to protect him even if it costs him his life. He is much polite and pragmatic than his younger brother. At times he is cool during combat, while at other times, his softer side shows when he is with his brother. His fire abilities help in the fight and will not let anyone hurt Monkey.
8. Meliodas(The Seven Deadly Sins)
Meliodas is the son of the Demon King and is sturdy and durable. Having monstrous strength, ability to reflect any magic, and command over the flames of hell, as well as cursed immortality. Meliodas is perhaps the most powerful and strongest character in The Seven Deadly Sins and any anime series for that matter. From his stature and cute appearance, he appears as a physically weak and less potent; however, he essentially holds an incredible demonic strength that is yet to appear in any other anime series.
The dominant traits of Meliodas are frankness and utter fearlessness. He’s also very vulgar and loves to tell jokes frequently, while his strong sense of justice and willingness to help people in distress stand out.
9. Shoto Todoroki(My Hero Academia)
Shoto Todoroki is a wealthy and serious but well-meaning young man. He is reasonably tall, quite muscular, with a well-built body for his age. He is the son of Endeavor (Enji Todoroki), the Flame Hero. However, Shoto grew up resenting his father as a result of the lifetime abuse he endured from his father, both physical and verbal. He is half cold and half hot, a combination of ice Quirk of his mother and fire Quirk of his father. He’s raised by Endeavor for the sole purpose of surpassing All Might and be a successor to him. He hates his father for only viewing him as a tool and as a rebellion, vows to become the number one her without ever using his fire abilities.
Shoto wears a hero costume while performing heroics and is packed with a list of features like resisting intense heat, body temperature sensor to either cool or heat it to keep it regulated. Despite his stoic exterior and proficient combating skills, he’s socially awkward and is quite compassionate. One of the most influential and intelligent people in his Class 1-A, he tends to get very intense with his emotions.
10. Killua Zaoldyeck(Hunter X Hunter)
Killua Zoldyck’s story is finding purpose and love in life without having to abandon your nature. He develops from a young assassin who lacked self-worth to a hunter that became the brother and best friend anyone could ever ask. Killua’s character is attractive because he tackles his inner struggles by learning from the relationships he makes in his life. He belongs to an infamous hunter family and has to bear many tortures at a young age and, as a result, becomes immune to poison, agile and strong, develops high tolerance to electricity, and his nails being able to turn into sharp claws.
Despite his training and years of torture, he doesn’t accept his fate and yearns for something more – being a normal childhood life for once. He wants to make friends, notwithstanding his brother saying he can’t have friends. He becomes best friends with Gon, a complete opposite of Killua, innocent, honest, and having an optimistic look on life. Gon became the Light for Killua’s inner darkness and proof of self-worth; he learns compassion and friendship from Gon. He feels indebted to Gon and struggles to protect his friend while simultaneously dealing with his fear of being unable to fight against a stronger opponent.
Every anime character brings its feel and looks to the fictional world. As the vivid and ornate form of art, anime presents a different view of the world and human mind capabilities in creating such an intense augmentation of unreal to animated life. I’ve introduced a list of top favorite anime characters I’ve ever come across in my exquisite pursuit of the anime world.
What do you think about my picks as the coolest anime characters? Who would you rank as number one? Comment below and let us know.
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.
Follow @Shanoon Cox
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