Famous Anime Characters



Modified: 14 Apr 2022

young man anime style

In the vast world of anime, it can certainly be hard to pick your favorite. It doesn’t help that there are so many new anime series to check out and so many old ones to catch up on, too. If you’re having a hard time choosing, then why not start by looking through this list of famous anime characters?

Famous anime characters can vary in looks, personality, and age. One thing they have in common, however, is they appeal to many people in their own unique ways. Fan-favorites like Naruto, Ash Ketchum, and Kurapika have all earned the hearts of people from all over the world. Keep on reading to learn more about these famous anime characters and why they are so well-loved!

What is anime?

Before anything else, it’s important to first define anime. The term, “anime”, comes from the word, “animation”. It refers to animated works from Japan. This includes traditional animations from hand-drawn images or computer animations from digital images.

Anime differs from other types of animation by showcasing Japanese characters and culture. Furthermore, most animes are adaptations of famous mangas, which refer to Japanese comic books.

You’ll notice that anime also has distinct characteristics that set them apart from the animation of other countries. For instance, anime characters often have exaggerated features and proportions, such as gigantic eyes and unique hairstyles.

Of course, anime shows still differ among themselves. This is because there are over 430 production companies in Japan, and many of them have their own style. One popular example is Studio Ghibli, which is also known internationally.

What is the history of anime?

The anime industry didn’t start off with big companies like Studio Ghibli. In fact, anime had a rough start. With how successful anime is today, it’s only natural to think that anime already has a long history. However, anime is a relatively new art form since the first Japanese animations can be traced back to 1917.

Animators Ōten Shimokawa, Seitarō Kitayama, and Jun’ichi Kōuchi are filmmakers known to be the “Fathers of Anime.” They paved the way for Japanese animation to develop in the 1930s.

At the time, Japan’s animation industry faced great competition, such as Disney. It wasn’t until the 1960s that anime finally had a breakthrough. Osamu Tezuka was a manga artist and animator who produced some of the first successful anime series. One example is Astro Boy, which premiered in 1963.

Later on, many of Tezuka’s animators established their own anime studios. This led to Japan’s animation industry flourishing. Japanese industries have continued to distribute anime through local and international television broadcasts. For international broadcasts, they added subtitles or used dubbing in the country’s language.

Today, anime takes up over 60% of the animated television series in the world.

Why is anime so popular?

For starters, anime has a lot of loyal fans. Many of those who watched anime during their childhood or teenage years are still tuned into the many anime offerings today. A lot of anime series from years ago is still ongoing and remain popular as ever.

While maintaining a loyal fanbase, many anime series also gather new fans. Netflix and other streaming sites have a wide selection of anime series, so new audiences can easily choose one and watch all the episodes.

Furthermore, anime series often appeal to multiple age groups, so their reach and market are much bigger than other shows. Anime also has plenty of genres. There are shows for sports fans like Haikyu!! and shows for mystery fans like Detective Conan.

Another reason ‌anime is so popular is that they feature relatable characters. Animes often have a clumsy yet likable protagonist, and this makes audiences root for them to succeed. If audiences do not relate to the protagonist, there are other characters in the show that will appeal to them.

Who are the most famous anime characters?

Ash Ketchum

First Appearance: 1997
Anime: Pokémon
Other appearances: Pokémon Puzzle League, Pokémon: Catch the Numbers!, and Pokémon Team Rocket Blast Off

Famous Anime Characters: Ash Ketchum
Image from Flickr

If you’re familiar with the Pokémon franchise, then you’ve probably heard of Ash Ketchum. Pokémon is one of the most successful franchises in the world, so it only makes sense that its protagonist is on this list.

Ash Ketchum is a 10-year-old boy who has Pikachu as his Pokémon companion. In the series, he catches and trains other Pokémon, with the dream to become the world’s greatest “Pokémon Master”. He tries to achieve this by competing in different leagues.

Like most famous male anime characters, Ash has a distinct look. He wears a red snapback with a unique logo. His cap that tucks his spiky black hair helps fans immediately identify him.

Astro Boy

First Appearance: 1952
Anime: Astro Boy
Other appearances: The Original Astro Boy

Astro Boy
Image from Character Profile Wikia Fandom

Aside from being one of the most famous anime characters ever, Astro Boy is also the oldest anime character. He first appeared in Osamu Tezuka’s 1952 manga Astro Boy. The manga’s original name in Japan is Mighty Atom, and the character is called Atom instead of Astro Boy.

In 1963, the Astro Boy TV series premiered and paved the way for what fans now know as the anime aesthetic. During its run, the show was incredibly successful, and around 40% of Japanese audiences watched the show.

As the show’s title suggests, Astro Boy is the main character of the Astro Boy franchise. He is an android who can feel human emotions. Before he could be sold to a robot circus, Professor Ochanomizu adopts him and treats him as his own son. Together, they try to live a normal life while going on adventures.

Edward Elric

First Appearance: 2001
Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Other appearances: Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa, Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel, Curse of the Crimson Elixir, and Kami o Tsugu Shojo

Edward Elric, Full Metal Alchemist
Image from Full Metal Alchemist Database Wiki Fandom

Aside from being one of the most famous anime characters ever, Edward Elric is also one of the most tragic. At a young age, Edward lost his mother. In a desperate attempt to bring back his mother, he tried to use alchemy. Unfortunately, he failed, and he ended up losing his right arm and left leg. which were both replaced with automail.

Edward Elric has long blonde hair, styled into a single braid. His most distinct features, however, are his prosthetic limbs. Advanced automail replaced his lost arm and leg, and this earned him the nickname “Fullmetal Alchemist.” As the titular character of the series, the story follows Edward and his brother, Alphonse, who also lost his whole body in the same ritual that took Edward’s limbs. Together, they venture through the fictional world in search of a way to restore their bodies.

Initially, Edward appears immature and stubborn. However, he shows great loyalty and compassion to his friends and family. He is also an impressive alchemist. These traits all appeal to many audiences, especially because they sympathize with his past.

Eren Yeager

First Appearance: 2009
Anime: Attack on Titan
Other appearances: Attack on Titan: Lost Girls, Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, Spoof on Titan, and Granblue Fantasy

Attack on Titan, Eren Yeager
Image from Screen Rant

Eren Yeager, or Eren Jaeger, is the protagonist of the top anime Attack on Titan. Despite many fans’ mixed feelings about him, Eren Yeager is still one of the most famous anime characters today. Eren Yeager is a teenage boy whose goal in life is to exact revenge on the Titans who killed his mother and hometown. To do so, he joins the military as one of the Survey Corps.

Many fans of the show criticized Eren’s character because they found him too antagonistic for his young age. However, many also praised his character arc as he showed positive changes during the latter parts of the show.

Eren appealed to many as a character who did not exactly fit into the selfless image of a hero. In fact, the 2022 Crunchyroll Anime Awards nominated Eren as “Best Protagonist” and “Best Antagonist,” though he only won the latter. His complexity truly won over the hearts of many fans.

Gojo Satoru

First Appearance: 2017
Anime: Jujutsu Kaisen
Other appearances: Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School

Gojo Satoru, Jujutsu Kaisen
Image from OtakuKart

Next on this famous anime characters list is Gojo Satoru. Gojo Satoru is one of the main characters in Gege Akutami’s Jujutsu Kaisen. He is the teacher of the show’s main protagonist, Yuta Okkotsu.

Fans from all over the world love Gojo’s character design and personality. He wears an all-black suit with his iconic pale white hair and black blindfold. Despite being one of the oldest and most powerful characters in the series, he is playful and flamboyant. He sometimes acts as the comic relief of the show.

As the fan-favorite, Gojo’s character often wins fan-voted polls. One example is in LINE Research’s 2021 poll, where Gojo won first place against the other Jujutsu Kaisen characters.


First Appearance: 1984
Anime: Dragon Ball
Other appearances: Dragon Ball Super, Dragon Ball GT, Dragonball Evolution, and Jump Super Stars

Goku, Dragon Ball
Image from Dragon Ball Guru

Among the many anime names, this next character has one of the easiest to remember. Goku, or Son Goku, is the protagonist of the Dragon Ball series by Akira Toriyama.

Goku is a Saiyan, which refers to citizens born on Planet Vegeta. After an accident that causes him to lose his memory, Goku forgets his home planet and aggressive nature. He grows up to become a cheerful boy on Earth, which he protects from various enemies.

Despite the hardships he faces, Goku remains kind and enthusiastic. His positive attitude makes the fans love him. That’s not all, however, as Goku is also a skilled martial artist. In fact, celebrity Jackie Chan once named Goku as his favorite character from the show.


First Appearance: 1997
Anime: Berserk
Other appearances: Sword of the Berserk: Guts’ Rage, Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Sho, and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk

Famous Anime Characters: Guts
Image from Berserk Wiki

Berserk’s main protagonist, Guts, looks different from other famous anime characters. Guts is a gruff, bulky male who works as a mercenary. He loses his right eye, and he has a prosthetic left forearm. Coupled with heavy metal armor and an enormous sword, Guts’ appearance is as intimidating as his personality.

At the start of the story, Guts meets Griffith, the leader of the Band of the Hawk, which is a mercenary group. The two engage in a battle, and Guts loses, which leads to Griffith proclaiming that he now has no other choice but to join his group.

Throughout the series, Guts struggles with a lot of internal conflicts. He used to be a cynical man who did not have a purpose in life. However, his journey with the Band of the Hawk changes his outlook on life. More than just a mercenary, he becomes an anti-hero that fans come to love.

Hisoka Morow

First Appearance: 1999
Anime: Hunter x Hunter
Other appearances: Hisoka’s Past

Hisoka Morow, Hunter x Hunter
Image from CBR

Famous anime characters aren’t always good people. In fact, some of them are the antagonists of the show. One example is Hisoka Morow. Hisoka Morow, sometimes spelled Hisoka Morou, is one of the primary antagonists of the Hunter x Hunter franchise.

Hisoka looks like a jester, evident by his bright red hair. Suit symbols such as spades, hearts, and diamonds often adorn his outfits. While his outfit might look funny to some, Hisoka is a skilled and powerful opponent.

From the beginning, Hisoka is described as an eccentric serial killer who uses magic tricks to exact violence on his opponents. For him, there is no greater pleasure than battling strong opponents, to the point that he often feels sexually aroused by them. At times, Hisoka also lends a helping hand to the protagonist, Gon. However, this is only when it suits his own interests.

Itachi Uchiha

First Appearance: 2003
Anime: Naruto
Other appearances: Naruto: Shippuden Road to Ninja, Clash of Ninja games, and Ultimate Ninja games

Itachi Uchiha
Image from Narutopedia Fandom

Yet another villain on this famous anime characters list is Itachi Uchiha. Itachi Uchiha is an antagonist from the popular anime Naruto. He is a terrorist from the organization Akatsuki, and he is known for killing his entire clan, except for his brother Sasuke.

However, there is more than meets the eye with this character. As the show reveals Itachi’s true motives behind his actions, many fans of the show begin to like his character. They empathize with him and admire his resolve.

With the fans’ positive reception, Itachi quickly became one of the show’s most popular characters. In fact, many fans buy his merchandise, such as Itachi costumes, dolls, and keychains.

Katsuki Bakugo

First Appearance: 2014
Anime: My Hero Academia
Other appearances: Jump Force

Katsuki Bakugo
Image from CBR

Characters don’t have to be the protagonist to land themselves on this list of famous anime characters. One example is Katsuki Bakugo. Katsuki Bakugo is one of the characters in the manga and TV show My Hero Academia. Despite being relatively new, the show gained a lot of fans right away.

Katsuki is a high school student at U.A. High School, where he is training to become a Pro Hero. He is often arrogant and condescending to others, including the protagonist Izuku, but he later learns to respect him and his peers.

His nickname among his friends is “Kacchan,” while his superhero name is “Great Explosion Murder God Dynamight.” As the fan-favorite, Katsuki often ranks as the most popular character in the show.

Ken Kaneki

First Appearance: 2011
Anime: Tokyo Ghoul
Other appearances: Live-action films Tokyo Ghoul and Tokyo Ghoul S

Ken Kaneki
Image from CBR

Despite coming from a younger show, Ken Kaneki is undeniably one of the most famous anime characters today. Ken Kaneki is the protagonist of Tokyo Ghoul, a dark fantasy series set in a world where ghouls exist.

After a series of unfortunate events, Ken becomes the first artificial half-ghoul. An implant from a ghoul named Rize grants him superpowers, such as regeneration. Unfortunately, it also prevents him from eating human food because he craves what ghouls eat: human flesh.

His ghoul nature conflicts with his morality, and he struggles to stay true to himself throughout the story. Aside from his interesting story, his appearance also appeals to fans. He has distinct white hair, and he often covers his eye and mouth.

Killua Zoldyck

First Appearance: 1998
Anime: Hunter x Hunter
Other appearances: Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge, Hunter x Hunter: The Last Mission, and Hunter x Hunter: Wonder Adventure

Killua Zoldyck, Hunter x Hunter

There is no shortage of cute anime boys on this list of famous anime characters. Killua Zoldyck is proof of that. In the anime Hunter x Hunter, Killua is Gon’s best friend and one of the series’ deadly characters.

Killua has spiky white hair and blue eyes. He wears a white shirt over a blue long-sleeved top and pairs it with violet-blue shorts and shoes. His cute appearance can be deceiving as he, later on, becomes a skilled hunter.

He is playful and cheeky like Gon but can be a bit brash. One trait fans love about Killua is his quick and clever thinking. When he and his friends find themselves in a sticky situation, Killua often thinks of a solution.


First Appearance: 1998
Anime: Hunter x Hunter
Other appearances: Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge, Hunter x Hunter: The Last Mission, and Hunter x Hunter: Wonder Adventure

Kurapika, Hunter x Hunter
Image from We Heart It

Another male character from Hunter x Hunter on this famous anime characters list is Kurapika. Kurapika is one of the central characters in the show with his own arc.

Kurapika is a young boy with long, blonde hair. In the 1999 anime adaptation, he has blue eyes, and they turn red when he feels intense emotions. Compared to the other characters, Kurapika is less open. While Killua is playful, Kurapika is calm and collected. He is incredibly intelligent and mature for his age. However, he can also be reckless.

His realistic characterization is one of the reasons why fans love him so much. Another reason is his unique weapon. Kurapika can conjure chains from his right hand, with each chain extending from one finger.

Ichigo Kurosaki

First Appearance: 2001
Other appearances: Memories of Nobody, The DiamondDust Rebellion, Fade to Black, and Hell Verse

Ichigo Kurosaki, Bleach anime
Image from MRandom News

Receiving superpowers is one common trope among famous anime characters. This also happens to Ichigo Kurosaki, the protagonist of BLEACH. He is a high school student who gains a Soul Reaper’s powers. This includes enhanced speed, strength, and spiritual power.

Even before becoming a Soul Reaper, however, Ichigo is already a trained martial artist. He is skilled in hand-to-hand combat, which comes in handy as he protects civilians from evil spirits and assists good spirits to the Soul Society.

Ichigo consistently ranks as the most popular character of the franchise. He ranked as one of the top 100 most-loved anime characters in the Japanese magazine Newtype’s 2007 poll.

L Lawliet

First Appearance: 2003
Anime: Death Note
Other appearances: Death Note: Relight – Visions of a God, Death Note: Relight 2 – L’s Successors, Death Note: Kira Game, Death Note: Successors to L, and L the Prologue to Death Note – Spiraling Trap

L Lawliet, Death Note
Image from Death Note Wiki Fandom

This next famous anime character is a mysterious one. L Lawliet, better known only as L, is one of the main characters of the popular anime Death Note. He is a famous consulting detective who keeps his true identity hidden. To communicate with the police, he sends his assistant Watari in his place.

Throughout the series, L’s primary goal is to capture Kira, an elusive serial killer who is actually Light Yagami, the protagonist of the show. They have a cat-and-mouse cerebral chase throughout the show, keeping viewers on their toes every episode.

At first glance, L won’t look like an esteemed detective. He wears a plain long-sleeved, white shirt and blue pants, and he often goes barefoot. However, L is highly intelligent and analytic and is also a skilled fighter.

Lelouch Lamperouge

First Appearance: 2006
Anime: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Other appearances: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection, Code Geass: Lost Colors, Another Century’s Episode: R, and Super Robot Wars

Famous Anime Characters: Lelouch Lamperouge
Image from Code Geass Wiki

Lelouch vi Britannia, better known as his alias Lelouch Lamperouge, is the protagonist of the Code Geass franchise. He is an exiled prince who gains the power of “Geass.” Aside from being handsome, Lelouch is intelligent and powerful. He also displays great leadership skills as the leader of The Black Knights, the resistance movement.

Every year, the Japanese magazine Animage holds the Anime Grand Prix, where fans vote for their favorites in different categories. Lelouch won the title of the most popular male character in the 2006, 2007, and 2008 editions of Anime Grand Prix.

Aside from that, Lelouch’s Japanese voice actor, Jun Fukuyama, won “Best Actor in a Leading Role” in the Seiyu Awards in 2007 for his portrayal of Lelouch. These awards are more than enough proof that Lelouch is truly one of the most famous anime characters ever.

Levi Ackerman

First Appearance: 2010
Anime: Attack on Titan
Other appearances: Attack on Titan: Lost Girls, Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, Spoof on Titan, and Granblue Fantasy

Levi Ackerman
Image from Shogi Pineapple

It is no surprise that several famous anime characters come from the popular anime Attack on Titan. Levi Ackerman is another male character from the series that captured the hearts of audiences from all over the world.

Levi Ackerman, or Captain Levi, is the squad captain of the Survey Corps’ Special Operations Squad. To many, he is “Humanity’s Strongest Soldier.” Despite his reputation and status in the military, he is unapproachable, especially because of his dull and expressionless eyes.

However, many fans are fond of Levi. He is a “clean freak” with a dark sense of humor, but he is empathetic. He abides by a moral compass, and he wants more than anything to protect humanity.

Light Yagami

First Appearance: 2003
Anime: Death Note
Other appearances: Death Note: Relight – Visions of a God, Death Note: Relight 2 – L’s Successors, Death Note: Kira Game, Death Note: Successors to L, and L the Prologue to Death Note – Spiraling Trap

Light Yagami, Death Note
Image from The Teal Mango

One of the most famous anime characters is Light Yagami, Death Note’s protagonist. At the start of the story, he finds the supernatural notebook the series is named after. The titular Death Note allows Light to kill anybody in the world simply by writing their name in the notebook.

Light adopts the alias Kira and becomes a vigilante who kills criminals and evil people. He becomes infamous, prompting a witch hunt for him, led by the relentless detective L.

Light’s complexity as a human who can suddenly make god-like choices appealed to many audiences. There are mixed critiques of him, for some find him to be too conceited and self-righteous. Either way, Light intrigued audiences worldwide with his characterization.

Mikasa Ackerman

First Appearance: 2009
Anime: Attack on Titan
Other appearances: Attack on Titan: Lost Girls, Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, Spoof on Titan, and Granblue Fantasy

Mikasa Ackerman
Image from Attack on Titan Wiki

When it comes to popularity, Attack on Titan’s Mikasa Ackerman doesn’t fall behind, not in the slightest. As one of the central characters in the show, Mikasa Ackerman is one of the most famous anime characters ever.

Mikasa is Eren Yeager’s childhood friend. Together with Armin Arlert, they join the Survey Corps. Even as a trainee, Mikasa stood out because of her wisdom and talents. She graduated from the Training Corps at the top of her class, and she was known to many as a prodigy.

Her loyalty and a strong sense of morality appealed to many audiences. To female fans, Mikasa is a role model and icon.

Monkey D. Luffy

First Appearance: 1997
Anime: One Piece
Other appearances: Jump Super Stars, Jump Ultimate Stars, Battle Stadium D.O.N, Second Life, and J-Stars Victory VS

Monkey D. Luffy, One Piece
Image from Indiegala Blog

If you’ve heard of the anime One Piece, then you’ve likely heard of Monkey D. Luffy. The cheeky but powerful main character of the show is the captain and founder of the group Straw Hat Pirates. The name can be deceiving, but the Straw Hat Pirates are incredibly capable, with Luffy as their top fighter.

Luffy always wears a yellow straw hat, an unbuttoned red shirt, and rolled-up jeans with a yellow fabric around his waist. His iconic straw hat earned him the nicknames “Straw Hat Luffy” and “Straw Hat.”

As a boy, he accidentally ate the Gum-Gum Fruit, which is one of the supernatural Devil Fruits. This fruit gave his body the properties of rubber, including elastic limbs. He uses these traits to fight off enemies. Because of his cheerful and earnest attitude, many audiences love him. He frequently cameos in other shows and films too.

Naruto Uzumaki

First Appearance: 1999
Anime: Naruto
Other appearances: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

Naruto Uzumaki, Naruto
Image from Medium

This famous anime characters list wouldn’t be complete without the titular character of the Naruto franchise. Naruto Uzumaki is a ninja whose body houses the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. While the villagers mock Naruto for this, it doesn’t deter his goal of becoming the Hokage, the village leader.

Naruto has one of the most iconic looks in all of anime. He has short, spiky blonde hair, and he has three whisker markings on each cheek. He wears an orange and blue tracksuit with a shuriken holster on his right knee. Even non-fans can recognize a Naruto costume from afar because of its unique design.

Fans also adore Naruto’s bright personality. Even after facing so many hardships, his sense of justice didn’t waver. He also grows up to be a powerful ninja.

Roronoa Zoro

First Appearance: 1997
Anime: One Piece
Other appearances: N/A

Famous Anime Characters: Roronoa Zoro
Image from Anime Corner

Roronoa Zoro is another member of the Straw Hat Pirates. In fact, he is Monkey D. Luffy’s first recruit. After Luffy saves him from execution, Roronoa Zoro becomes one of Luffy’s swordsmen.

He is skilled in Santoryu, which is a style of sword fighting that uses three swords. Zoro carries two swords in his hands while he holds the third sword with his mouth. He is also skilled in the one and two-sword styles. His excellent fighting skills earned him the nickname “Pirate Hunter” Zoro.

His other nickname is “Marimo,” which translates to “moss-ball” or “moss-head.” The nickname is a joke because of his cropped green hair. This, along with his many scars, makes Zoro easy to identify.

Roy Mustang

First Appearance: 2001
Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Other appearances: Fullmetal Alchemist Trading Card Game, Hagaren Song File – Roy Mustang

Roy Mustang, Fullmetal Alchemist
Image from Looper

Another Fullmetal Alchemist character on this list is Colonel Roy Mustang. Roy Mustang is a State Alchemist and the superior of the protagonist Edward Elric. He can make fire with alchemy, which earned him the title of “Flame Alchemist.”

Initially, his goal is to become the next leader of Amestris’ State Military. However, he becomes disillusioned after finding out the ugly truth behind the Military. Caught between choosing his dream and what is right, Roy chooses the latter. This is one reason why so many fans like him.

In several polls determining the show’s most popular characters, Roy often ranks high. Fans of the show admire his character development as the show progresses.


First Appearance: 2004
Anime: Fate/stay night
Other appearances: Fate/Grand Order, Unlimited Blade Works, Fate/unlimited Codes, and Carnival Phantasm

Saber, Fate Stay Night
Image from Fate Universe Wiki Fandom

From the anime series Fate/stay night, Saber is one of the most famous anime characters ever. Saber’s real name is actually Artoria Pendragon. Her moniker, “Saber,” comes from her class as she serves as a Saber-class Servant in the Holy Grail War.

Saber’s appearance can be deceiving. She looks gentle and naive, with a young face and golden hair. However, Saber is actually a very skilled warrior. She wears a unique blue dress with metal armor, and she carries around a sword named Caliburn.

Her beautiful appearance immediately drew fans to her. Aside from that, Saber displays unwavering loyalty to those around her. She is especially loyal to her summoner and the protagonist, Shirou Emiya.


First Appearance: 2009
Anime: One Punch Man
Other appearances: One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows and One Punch Man: Road to Hero

Saitama, One Punch Man
Image from CBR

There’s no shortage of superheroes on this famous anime characters list. Saitama from One Punch Man is yet another superhero. Compared to well-known superheroes from Marvel, however, Saitama might look ordinary.

Saitama is a bald man with a thin physique. He has simple facial features and often slouches. His superhero costume is also simple. He wears a plain yellow suit with a white cape and red gloves and boots.

However, when Saitama gets serious, his facial features sharpen and his posture straightens. Underneath his costume, he also has a lot of defined muscle. Fans love this duality about him. He is also very powerful, and most opponents do not stand a chance against him.

Sasuke Uchiha

First Appearance: 1999
Anime: Naruto
Other appearances: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Boruto: Naruto the Movie, Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow, Clash of Ninja, and Jump Super Stars

Sasuke Uchiha, Naruto
Image from CBR

Sasuke Uchiha is one of the main characters in the Naruto franchise. He is a member of the Uchiha clan, a powerful and notorious family of ninjas. Unfortunately, he is also one of the few living members. His older brother, Itachi Uchiha, killed his entire clan except for Sasuke.

His tragic childhood caused him to develop a cold personality. In the series, he is rivals with Naruto, and many praise their dynamic. In fact, aside from ranking as one of the most famous anime characters of all time, Sasuke and Naruto often rank as one of the best rivalries in anime too.

Some see Sasuke as a stereotypical villain. However, his character arc in the story resonated with a lot of fans. Sasuke is also quite popular with the ladies. He once ranked as the sixth character women would want to have a date with in a Tokyo Otaku Mode poll.

Shoto Todoroki

First Appearance: 2004
Anime: My Hero Academia
Other appearances: Jump Force 

Shoto Todoroki, My Hero Adademia
Image from Anime Internet

If you’ve ever wondered who the iconic anime boy with half-white and half-red hair is, then here’s the answer! This fan-favorite is Shoto Todoroki, who has white hair on his right side and red hair on his left. His iconic half-and-half style comes from his Half-Cold Half-Hot superpower. The left side of his body can produce fire, while the right side of his body can freeze objects.

Shoto is also a student at U.A. High School, and he is classmates with the show’s main character, Izuku Midoriya. Together, they train to become pro heroes.

Shoto has consistently ranked as one of the most famous anime characters in the series. In 2020, Tumblr held a ranking for top anime and manga characters, and Shoto won 7th place. Shoto also won the award for “Best Boy” in the 2nd Crunchyroll Anime Awards.

Spike Spiegel

First Appearance: 1998
Anime: Cowboy Bebop
Other appearances: Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Cowboy Bebop: Tsuioku no Serenade, and Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop

Spike Spiegel, Cowboy Bebop
Image from Distractify

Unlike most animes, Cowboy Bebop was an original anime and not a manga adaptation. This meant it had fewer opportunities to gather a fanbase before it premiered on TV. Despite this, Spike Spiegel is notably one of the most famous anime characters ever.

Spike Spiegel is the protagonist of the series, and he is a former member of a crime syndicate. At the beginning of the story, he is a bounty hunter alongside his partner, Jet Black. Together, they pursue criminals across the universe aboard the spaceship Bebop.

Spike has dark hair, brown eyes, and a tall frame. He wears a blue suit, and as a heavy smoker, he often carries around a cigarette. He is quite lazy and nonchalant, but he is very passionate about Bruce Lee. In fact, Spike is a skilled martial artist who follows Bruce Lee’s philosophies.

Taiga Aisaka

First Appearance: 2006
Anime: Toradora!
Other appearances: Dengeki Gakuen RPG: Cross of Venus, Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman, and Twinkle Crusaders Starlit Brave

Taiga Aisaka, Toradora
Image from Toradora Wiki Fandom

Taiga Aisaka is one of the most famous female anime characters ever. Many know her for her short stature, doll-like features, and long, orange hair.

Her looks are deceiving, though. She is actually quite brash and snappy with people. She always turns down boys who confess to her. Her looks, coupled with her feisty personality, earned her the nickname “Palmtop Tiger” from her peers.

Taiga is a “tsundere,” which is a popular trope in anime and manga. It refers to someone who is cold or harsh at first but later reveals a warm and friendly side.

Tobio Kageyema

First Appearance: 2012
Anime: Haikyu!!
Other appearances: Haikyu!! the Movie: Ending and Beginning, Haikyu!! the Movie: Winners and Losers, Haikyu!! Genius and Sense, Haikyu!! Battle of Concepts, Haikyu!! Tsunage! Itadaki no Keshiki, and Haikyu!! Cross Team Match

Tobio Kagayema, Haikyu!!
Image from Haikyu!! Wiki Fandom

Among the famous anime characters, Tobio Kageyama is one of the newest ones. The manga Haikyu!! was released in 2012, with the anime adaptation following in April 2014. Despite having less time to gather a fanbase, however, Tobio was quickly loved by fans.

Tobio is one of the main characters in the show. He plays the position of setter in their high school’s volleyball club, and many refer to him as a prodigy. His greatest weakness, however, is his strict and controlling attitude, which earned him the nickname “King of the Court.”

Throughout the series, he learns to be less brash, and he develops close ties with his teammates. His dynamic with the other main character, Hinata Shoyo, creates funny moments that appealed to many fans.