Most Popular Anime Characters in Anime History (The Top 10 According to MyAnimeList)


The popularity of an anime often depends on the quality of its characters. Having fan-favorite characters can make anime much more popular. For example, you enjoy the series a lot more when you watch your favorite anime character all the time right? These are 10 of the most popular anime characters in anime history

Anime and anime characters

When watching an anime, the most important thing for you shouldn’t be the quality of the animation or the writing of it. For instance, judging a show based on that wouldn’t be fair.

But anime fans know that this is not true. As an anime fan, what do you think makes a show great or enjoyable to watch?

It is very common for fans and viewers to debate about the best anime, popular anime characters, and so on. Weebs especially love to show what show they like the most. Their anime wallpaper on their phone, the anime merch they’re wearing, and who their favorite anime character is.

On the other hand, this isn’t always the case with every anime fan. For example, your favorite anime character could be Roronoa Zorro from One Piece. But on the other hand, your favorite anime show could be Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.

Anime popularity

The popularity of an anime can be determined by what they offer to the viewer. So having high-quality animation, loved anime characters, and a well-written story surely helps. Anime fans have their reasons for choosing their favorite anime characters. There is always a moment in an anime where a character makes you enjoy the show even more. For instance, your friends can experience the same anime you watch differently. This ranked list will tell you who the coolest, most badass, and most beloved anime characters in anime history are. Read further to see who is on the list of the Top 10 most popular anime characters in anime history. Disclaimer: ( this list is according to MyAnimeList).)

10. Naruto Uzumaki – Naruto [Shippuden] ( 68,799 votes)

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Naruto (Shippuden‘s) most popular anime character

The “Child of the Prophecy” starts this list at #10. The protagonist of Naruto (Shippuden), and is part of the anime ” Big Three”. One of the best anime protagonists in all of Shonen. Naruto’s road to becoming a ninja starts with him growing up without his parents. Naruto taught us a lot but the most important thing he taught us is to NEVER GIVE UP in life.

And in addition to that, whatever you want to achieve will not come to you, you have to work your way through it. It will be a very tough road ahead but make that road fun. Make a lot of friends and smile your way through it. Most importantly, all he wants is to achieve his dreams of becoming the Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village.

Naruto is one of the most loved anime characters in history for many reasons. For instance, the series presents a lot of popular anime characters like Naruto Uzumaki, Kakashi Hatake, Itachi Uchiha, and more. In addition to that, Naruto’s fights against Sasuke, Pain, and Madara are part of some of the best anime fights of all time.

To sum it up, Naruto wants to become Hokage because he wants to gain recognition, earn respect, and feel acknowledged by his village. His sad childhood and being the Jinchuriki of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox are part of that. We see Naruto reach his goals and evolve as a character. Certainly is this something to enjoy for all anime fans and manga readers.

9. Edward Elric – Fullmetal Alchemist [Brotherhood]

( 77,625 votes)

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Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood‘s protagonist

When anime fans talk about famous anime characters, Edward Elric surely joins this topic. To clarify, he is one of the most popular anime protagonists in all of Shounen’s anime. And Fullmetal Alchemist is what they call ” a sneaky Shonen“. However, a variety of popular anime characters come from Shonen Anime.

At the start of Ed’s continuity, his most important traits are his pride, anger, selfishness, and determination.

He surely gets angry quickly when you call him short. Edward claims the reason he is so short is that he refuses to drink milk.
You can’t gain anything without losing something first. Although if you can endure that pain and walk away from it, you’ll find that you now have a heart strong enough to overcome any obstacle.

That is Edward Elric’s ultimate goal, to have a Fullmetal heart. Certainly, this is the beauty of his journey in Fullmetal Alchemist. So, therefore, a great reason why he is so loved in the anime community.

8. Killua Zoldyck – HunterxHunter ( 78,707 votes)

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Hunterxhunter‘s famous anime character

The cute Killua Zoldyck is the attention-getter in Hunter x Hunter. Killua is the partner in crime of Gon Freecs, and also his best friend. Killua’s popularity is due to his mix of a cool demeanor, childish behavior, talents, and much more. Displaying his assassin skills in the Hunter Exam was the first moment that got the fans on the edge of their seats watching him.

His assassin skills come from being part of the mysterious Zoldyck family. To clarify, the Zoldyck Family is a famous family of assassins appearing in the Hunter x Hunter series. Above all, Killua is as cool and complex as an anime character could be. Killuas “Godspeed” is his strongest Nen ability in Hunter x Hunter. This technique consists of two different elements.

An ability called ” Whirlwind”, allows Killua to automate his movements. The power ” Speed of Lightning” provides control over his movement when in “Godspeed” form.

Killua Zoldyck uses his nen abilities as a “Transmuter” to the fullest. He uses special yo-yos, that weigh 50 kilograms. The yo-yos are an exceptional electrical conductor because it’s made of an unnamed particular metal alloy.  When “anime people” talk about popular anime characters, Killua Zoldyck must get mentioned.

7. Roronoa Zoro – One Piece ( 80,537 votes)

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One Piece‘s most popular Straw Hat member

Roronoa Zoro, also known as “Pirate Hunter Zoro”, is a pirate and a former bounty hunter. He was the first member to join the Straw Hat Pirates. In addition to that, Zoro is considered the greatest threat and most dangerous member of the Straw Hat crew after Luffy.

Although Zoro usually wields three swords as part of his style known as “Santoryu”, he has shown himself to be an exceptional duelist and combatant while wielding two swords or even just one.

He works hard toward his goal to become the world’s best swordsman. Roronoa Zoro‘s power is no joke. For example, Zoro proves this by defeating strong opponents like Ryuma, Pica, and Killer.

Zoro is a true friend and proved his loyalty to Luffy and his Nakama on numerous occasions. Above all, Zoro believes in Luffy, he believes that Luffy would do anything to keep his word. He sees this quality of Luffy the first time they ever met each other.

After Luffy saves Zoro from being killed, he tells him that he should become his comrade. They both share a big dream and are willing to die for one another in their journey of doing so.

6. Light Yagami – Death Note ( 80,572 votes)

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One of the smartest anime characters of all time

When mentioning the smartest anime characters ever, Light Yagami should be mentioned in the discussion. He is the anti-hero protagonist of the series Death Note. His source of power is the Death Note, a notebook from the Shinigami World that gives the user the power to kill.

After obtaining the Death Note, Shinigami Ryuk becomes his partner. The Death Note is a notebook held by a Shinigami (“death god”) which has the power to kill people simply by writing their names in it. By having the identity of “Kira”, Light uses this power to kill criminals and others.

The name Kira was created by the public in response to Light Yagami’s initial use of the Death Note, and various members of the public view Kira as a god.

Kira comes from the English word ‘killer’. On the other hand, ‘Kira in Japanese, means ‘killer’. The name is a play on the character Light Yagami’s role.

His given name, ‘Light,’ is a euphemism for the character he plays in the story. He kills the criminals with the Death Note and becomes famous all over the world for it. First perceived as a good person, then as an evil one.

5. Rintarou Okabe / Hououin Kyouma – Steins Gate ( 81,672 votes)

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Anime‘s favorite mad-scientist

Moving in a different direction of genres, Steins Gate is a psychological thriller/science fiction anime. This story is all about time travel and the consequences of doing so. Rintarou Okabe is a self-proclaimed “mad scientist” and the head of the Future Gadget Research Establishment.

Despite his older appearance, he is 18 years old and a first-year student at Tokyo Denki University. While studying, Rin opens his research lab in Akihabara for his time traveling. Furthermore, he leads a group of engineers while doing so. While they are all scientists, you could say that the group is full of otaku and weebs.

Due to his unpredictable and impulsive behavior, Okabe Rin becomes one of the most well-known anime characters in the world. For example, his sudden thoughts spoken out loud ( sometimes in English) and his nicknames for other people such as Christina for his friend Kurisu Makise.

Most importantly, Rin has to overcome these difficulties for the sake of others. In addition, having Rin experience these problematic situations and how he deals with them, is a reason why he is one of the most popular anime characters in the world.

4. Monkey D. Luffy – One Piece ( 99,400 votes )

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The future Pirate King

Monkey D. Luffy is the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates and dreams of becoming the Pirate King. One piece is also part of the animeBig Three”. Luffy is the son of the “World’s Worst Criminal” Monkey D. Dragon, his uncle is ” Dark King” Silvers Rayleigh, and he is the grandson of the “Marine Hero” Monkey D. Garp. By accidentally eating the Gum-Gum Fruit at age 7, Luffy‘s body turned into rubber.

Luffy was voted the 1# most popular anime character worldwide in One Piece.

The Straw Hat Pirates are so unique because they accomplish certain feats that other pirates and marines would claim to be ” impossible”. Luffy‘s crew consists of different anime characters that bring a lot of different things to experience.

For example, the show can make you cry or smile all in the same episode. Therefore, Luffy and the crew make the story so compelling and enjoyable to watch. One Piece has a lot of famous anime characters like Whitebeard, “Fire Fist” Ace, Roronoa Zoro, Boa Hancock, and Sabo.

Luffy‘s goal is to become the King of Pirates and is willing to do anything to achieve this goal. He is also one of the most popular protagonists in Shonen anime.

Due to his cheerful personality, Luffy is one of the funniest and most loving people to be around with. He is One piece‘s most popular character because of all his good traits and has every right to be so.

3. L Lawliet / Rue Ryuzaki – Death Note

( 110,398 votes)

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One of the most popular anime detectives

L is a famous detective in Death note who solved more than 3,500 cases in his career. Furthermore, he takes upon every challenge given to him. His goal is to catch the mysterious mass murderer known to the public as “Kira”. During his investigation, L suspects Light Yagami to be Kira, and L‘s goal is to prove that.

In addition, both characters consider themselves too intelligent for the normal human population.
L is a genius and so is Light
, they complement one another due to their intellect, but they’re each other’s rivals.

The popularity of L is also mainly because of his unusual personality traits and funny behavior. For instance, his unique way of sitting in a chair, sugar cravings, and picking up the phone makes him more likable. These character traits are something that separates him from the other popular anime characters on this list. L is truly a “unique” anime character, very normal but a the same time so rare.

 Who is smarter, L or Light? This is one of the. most common questions that Death Note fans think of. But L and Light are equal in terms of IQ and intelligence. There are certain skills and traits where L has the edge over Kira.

On the other hand, Kira surpasses L in certain skills and traits. The Kira case was appointed to L because he is an intellectual mastermind.

2. Levi Ackerman – Attack On Titan ( 120,044 votes)

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Humanity’s Strongest Soldier

Levi Ackerman is the squad captain of the Special Operations Squad within the Survey Corps and is said to be humanity’s strongest soldier. Ranking #2 on the list of most popular anime characters doesn’t happen without good reasons He is arguably the most popular anime character of the Attack on Titan series.

His incredible power comes from his exceptional skill with the ODM gear and his talent with the steel swords. Levi is part of the best Attack on Titan fights in the series. For example, his fight against the Female Titan and the Beast Titan is one of the most iconic moments in the Attack on Titan series.

Despite his calm and cold appearance, Levi truly cares for his friends and soldiers. He is also very popular amongst girls, a lot of female anime fans just watch Attack on Titan because of Levi. His facial expression, haircut, ominous eyes, and being incredibly strong are some of the reasons for it.

Some anime characters are popular for having an extremely cool power, being good-looking, or certain character traits. Anime fans love and respect Levi a lot because of his quality as a soldier and being a caring leader of the Survey Corps.

Levi gets mocked by his fellow soldiers because of his sort height, but this only happens to a certain extent. You don’t want to experience Levi’s anger, otherwise, you will end up in a battle with humanity’s strongest soldier.

1. Lelouch Lamperouge – Code Geass – ( 143,515 votes)

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Lelouch Lamperouge ( Lelouch vi Brittania) is the main protagonist and the anti-hero of the Code Geass series. This anime character ranks #1 on this list of the Most Popular Anime Characters in Anime History.

He is the leader of his Japanese resistance group ” The Black Knights”. The main objective of this group is to overcome Britannia and build a better world for his friends and loved ones. For example, his younger sister Nunnally Lamperouge.  

Lelouch is traumatized after seeing Britannia’s conquest of the country and swears to destroy them. After meeting a mysterious girl named C.C., Lelouch gets granted the power of the ” Geass”. This grants him the ability to give commands within a person’s mind once upon direct eye contact

Lelouch wants an opportunity for redemption and vengeance for all that’s happening in Japan.

His stoic character, high intelligence, and cold personality make him such a complex anime character to understand. Lelouch will take almost any means necessary to achieve his goals.

Despite this cold and merciless way of battle, Lelouch is a very different person from his dear friends and loved ones. He then acts as a very humane and sympathetic person, which is quite the opposite of when on the battlefield

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  1. Ronavhy

    Where is gon from hxhx?! He is my favourite

    • DLC Brothers

      Hello Ronavhy. Gon unfortunately didn’t receive enough votes to overtake Killua in his ranking on this list. HXH content is coming soon!


    Itís hard to come by well-informed people in this particular subject, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


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