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17 Most Popular Anime Characters Of All Time

In anime, certain characters rise above the rest, captivating audiences with their depth, charisma, and unforgettable stories. In this article, we delve into the lives and impact of some of the most popular anime characters who have left an enduring legacy.

Cecilia Jones
Dec 12, 202321 Shares21210 Views
Inanime, certain characters rise above the rest, captivating audiences with their depth, charisma, and unforgettable stories. These characters become icons, leaving an indelible mark on the anime landscape. In this article, we delve into the lives and impact of some of the most popular anime characterswho have left an enduring legacy.

Roronoa Zoro (One Piece)

Roronoa Zoro laughing with a stick between his teeth
Roronoa Zoro laughing with a stick between his teeth
Zoro from One Piece holds a special place in the hearts of fans, earning his spot as one of the most adored anime characters ever. He's a prime example of how supporting characters and second-in-command can become fan favorites. Zoro was the first member to join the Straw Hat crew. At first, he seemed like a typical tough guy who believed that strength was everything, but he quickly realized that he needed more than just brute force to succeed.
Zoro's journey to becoming a master swordsman is truly inspirational. Along the way, he's taken down numerous enemies, wrecked structures, and even battled against robots. The hotheaded brute fans initially encountered has transformed into a calm and dependable comrade, proving his worth as an essential part of the crew.

Joseph Joestar (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure)

Joseph Joestar with a mean frown on his face
Joseph Joestar with a mean frown on his face
Joseph Joestar, the whimsical and carefree second protagonist in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, exudes a distinct personality compared to his grandparent, Jonathan, who drew inspiration from Kenshiro. His character truly shines in the Battle Tendency story arc, where he emerges as a standout anime character, thanks to his ingenious strategies, eccentric antics, and deep-seated desire to avenge Caesar Zeppeli.
In Stardust Crusaders, Joseph returns as an elderly man, and his wit and charm have only grown with age. Together with Jotaro, he embarks on a quest to hunt down the vampire Dio. While Jotaro Kujo may be the most iconic JoJo's hero, Joseph Joestar has earned his place as one of the most beloved and popular anime characters in the eyes of fans.

Mikasa Ackerman (Attack On Titan)

Mikasa Ackerman holding her neck scarf with one hand
Mikasa Ackerman holding her neck scarf with one hand
Mikasa Ackerman, a character from Attack on Titan, quickly became a fan-favorite because she's a total badass fighter. She's shown her incredible skills many times in the series. Fans love the way she, Eren Yeager (her foster brother), and their childhood friend Armin Arlert interact with each other.
By the end of the Attack on Titan manga, Mikasa was basically the best soldier in the Survey Corps, the elite group in the story. Her deep admiration for Eren felt real, and fans liked their relationship a lot. Mikasa's backstory is also one of the saddest and most heartbreaking parts of the series.

Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto)

Naruto Uzumaki laughing
Naruto Uzumaki laughing
Naruto Uzumaki is a super famous anime character, part of the original "Big Three" heroes in the world of anime. He didn't start out as anything special, actually, he was a bit of an outsider who didn't do well in school. But he worked incredibly hard and ended up becoming the leader of his village, known as the Hokage.
Naruto went through a ton of adventures, from training with a quirky guy named Jiraiya to battling his childhood rival, Sasuke. Fans absolutely love Naruto because he went from being the village goofball to a legendary hero. That's why he's considered one of the all-time favorite anime characters.

Light Yagami (Death Note)

Light Yagami
Light Yagami
Light Yagami is the main character in Death Note, and he's quite famous in the anime world. He calls himself the "God of the New World" and believes he can decide who should live or die using a special notebook. At first, he uses it to get rid of criminals, thinking he's making the world a better place. But later on, he goes off the deep end and starts killing anyone who gets in his way.
He takes on the name "Kira" and becomes a mass murderer, all because he wants to create a world that matches his own ideas perfectly. Light isn't someone you're supposed to like, but he's a really interesting character to think about. His complicated personality and his journey into darkness make Death Note a super gripping anime from start to finish.

Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece)

Monkey D. Luffy with a mean laugh on his face
Monkey D. Luffy with a mean laugh on his face
Luffy is the main guy in One Piece, a really popular anime. He's like the leader of a group of pirates called the Straw Hat Pirates. Luffy started out in a simple place but dreamed big - he wanted to become the Pirate King.
Luffy has a personality that sticks in your mind, and he's just super charming. He's done stuff that's made fans laugh, cry, and be in awe because he's done some really amazing things in the series. Basically, he's a character that's hard not to like, and it's even harder to forget all the cool stuff he's done.

Rintaro Okabe (Steins;Gate)

Rintaro Okabe with a straight face
Rintaro Okabe with a straight face
Rintaro Okabe, the quirky lead character in Steins;Gate, is an eccentric scientist who marches to the beat of his own drum. He heads the Future Gadget Research Establishment, and his behavior is a unique blend of oddity and extravagance. However, fans find these quirks to be an endearing part of his character's charm.
Okabe has a penchant for pretending to be a secret agent and often expresses paranoia about a mysterious "Organization" that he believes is after him. One of his most peculiar habits is engaging in one-sided conversations on the phone, sometimes bursting into fits of seemingly senseless laughter. While these idiosyncrasies may seem strange, they contribute to the fascinating complexity of Okabe's character, and fans appreciate his genuine and earnest nature.

Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass)

Lelouch Lamperouge laughing in a mean way
Lelouch Lamperouge laughing in a mean way
Lelouch Lamperouge is the main character in Code Geass, and he's one of the most complicated characters you'll find in anime. He used to be a prince but gave up his royal status because his mom got killed, and his sister got seriously hurt. After he got special powers called Geass from a girl named C.C., he decided to get revenge for his family.
Lelouch ended up leading a group called the Order of the Black Knights, but he got really hungry for power. He did some bad stuff like betraying his friends and causing the deaths of a lot of innocent people while chasing his revenge. He also took on the identity of "Zero" and became the kind of ruler he despised. Lelouch is really cunning and treats people's lives like they're pieces on a chessboard, but that's what makes him such a fascinating character.

Kurisu Makise (Steins;Gate)

Kurisu Makise sitting on a chair looking sad
Kurisu Makise sitting on a chair looking sad
Steins;Gate was a game-changing anime in its time, and one character stood out above the rest. Kurisu Makise, the quintessential "tsundere" character, captured the hearts of many fans. In the story, she's a researcher at Victor Qondria University's Brain Research Program.
Kurisu reluctantly joins forces with Rintaro and becomes his partner in various escapades, for better or worse. While she may initially appear distant and cold, Kurisu's sweet and endearing side sets her apart from the rest of the characters in the series.

Gintoki Sakata (Gintama)

Gintoki Sakata smiling while waving his hand
Gintoki Sakata smiling while waving his hand
Gintoki Sakata, the main character in Gintama, is undoubtedly one of the most endearing anime characters ever created. He's a beloved class clown and the undisputed master of anime comedy. Gintoki has earned this title with his unique sense of humor and an impressive dedication to laziness that's almost praiseworthy.
Although he's known as the "White Demon" from his revolutionary days in the Edo period, when we first meet him, Gintoki is just trying to make a living by taking on any odd job he can find. He's a delightful mix of humility, foolishness, and sheer badassery that makes him a truly unforgettable character.

Levi Ackerman (Attack On Titan)

Levi Ackerman with a mean face
Levi Ackerman with a mean face
Levi Ackerman from Attack on Titan is one of the coolest heroes in anime. He's not just a regular soldier; he's the best one humanity has, and he's in charge of a special team. Levi has this unique blend of dry humor, a strong desire for cleanliness, and a total badass that fans just love.
But what makes him even more awesome is that he's an incredible fighter. He grew up in a tough environment and has skills that make him almost unbeatable. Some of the most memorable moments in Attack on Titan are when Levi is taking on giant Titans and enemy soldiers.

L Lawliet (Death Note)

L Lawliet smiling
L Lawliet smiling
L Lawliet from Death Note is undeniably one of the most iconic anime characters ever. He's incredibly smart but also has some quirky habits like loving sweets and sitting in a really peculiar way. These oddities make him all the more intriguing, and that's a big part of why he's so beloved in the world of anime.
Death Note is already an amazing series, but L's presence in it takes it to a whole new level. He's a bit socially awkward and has this mysterious vibe about him that lets him see through the main character Light's deception. With his incredible deductive skills, L proves himself as an outstanding detective.

Killua Zoldyck (Hunter X Hunter)

Killua Zoldyck in battle with smoke rising around him
Killua Zoldyck in battle with smoke rising around him
In Hunter x Hunter, while Gon is the main character, Killua truly became the standout star due to his incredibly well-crafted character development. Despite being born into a family of assassins, Killua surprised everyone by showing remarkable emotional growth, which is quite unusual for both a young boy and a typical Shonen character. He had to go through a significant transformation to truly understand the value of human life.
During the Hunter Exam arc, Killua didn't hesitate to take lives if necessary. However, as the story progressed, he gradually grasped the gravity of ending someone else's life. Killua's endearing personality has won him a special place in the hearts of fans, making him a beloved character in the series.

Edward Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist)

Edward Elric with a mean frown
Edward Elric with a mean frown
Fullmetal Alchemist is often hailed as one of the greatest shonen series ever, and it's all thanks to its protagonist, Edward Elric. He's a spirited and passionate character who won the hearts of fans. Edward's the classic underdog who never backs down, regardless of the challenges life throws at him.
Things take a dark turn when an experiment goes awry, costing Edward an arm and trapping his brother Alphonse's soul in a suit of armor. From there, Edward leads viewers on a thrilling journey, delivering the kind of epic adventure that anime fans crave.

Guts (Berserk)

Guts holding his sword on his shoulder
Guts holding his sword on his shoulder
Guts, the central character in Berserk, embodies the archetype of the tragic hero and has become an iconic figure in the realm of dark fantasy anime. Guts stands out as one of the most exceptionally crafted protagonists in the history of anime, possessing a unique and compelling character.
His life has been marred by a series of deeply traumatic events, yet Guts undergoes remarkable personal growth throughout the course of Berserk. He manages to transcend the pain of betrayal and the scars of a difficult childhood to become a better person. What sets Guts apart is his ability to infuse depth and complexity into the typical character tropes associated with both shonen and seinen anime protagonists, making him a multifaceted and truly unforgettable character.

Eren Yeager (Attack On Titan)

Eren Yeager with blood dropping from his palm
Eren Yeager with blood dropping from his palm
Eren, the main character in Attack On Titan, began his journey as a typical Shonen protagonist: hot-headed, impulsive, and eager for battles. His initial goal was noble, driven by a desire to save humanity from the Titans and seek vengeance for those he'd lost.
However, as Eren delved deeper into the complexities of the world around him, he underwent a significant transformation, evolving into a much darker and morally ambiguous character. At this point, it's valid to question whether Eren can still be classified as a hero given his actions. Yet, it's precisely this departure from traditional hero tropes that makes Eren a brilliantly written and multifaceted protagonist who defies conventions.

Itachi Uchiha (Naruto)

Itachi Uchiha
Itachi Uchiha
Itachi stands out as one of the most powerful and intricately crafted characters in Naruto. The Uchiha Clan's story plays a crucial role in shaping the entire series, reshaping its narrative in significant ways. Itachi's sacrifice, where he posed as a villain to protect Sasuke, is at the core of this narrative transformation.
In many aspects, Itachi personified what it meant to be a true shinobi. Moreover, he embodies the essence of an anti-hero, a character who operates in morally gray areas. With his depth and complexity, Itachi ranks among Naruto's most exceptionally written characters, explaining why he enjoys immense popularity across the world of anime.

Conclusion

Several characters come to life in anime, leaving a lasting imprint on the hearts of fans. From the fierce determination of Naruto Uzumaki to the enigmatic genius of Lelouch Lamperouge, these beloved characters have transcended their animated origins to become cultural icons. They remind us that in the realm of storytelling, it's the characters who breathe life into the narratives and etch themselves into the history of anime as the most popular anime characters.
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