With the rise in popularity of anime fuelled by thrilling storylines, stunning visuals, and inspiring characters, Anime has become one of the biggest media. With this surge in popularity itself, Anime characters have become household names in a sense never before witnessed.
But of the Hundreds and thousands of anime characters how to gauge who are the most popular anime characters? Well, don’t fret cause we at MyAnimeGuru have made a list of the Top 20 most popular anime characters in History (Ranked).
To make things easier we are gonna use the rankings based on the number of favorites from MyAnimeList.
Most Popular Anime Characters.
This list will be in ascending order from the bottom to Number One.
20. Saitama (One-Punch Man)
Favorites – 46,416
One of the most popular anime characters, Saitama is a hero for fun. In a world full of powerful heroes with bedazzling personalities who are fighting for some greater good, Saitama is simply doing it cause he can.
The strongest individual in his world, he can finish off enemies with simply one punch. That’s all it takes for the detached and simple-minded One Punch Man to be one of the best heroes out there. So strong were his morals that he inspired Genos to become his disciple.
Easily one of the most popular characters of all time.
19. Gojo Satoru (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Favorites – 48,473
A relatively new addition to the list, Gojo is simply flawless or so we want to believe. Easily the strongest character in his universe, he feels burdened with the responsibilities that come with being so strong.
Yet at the same time, his laid-back and fun nature makes his character much more humane. From being betrayed by his best friend to nurturing the next generation, Gojo is much more than what meets the eye.
The strongest according to himself, Gojo is easily one of the most popular anime characters.
18. Ken Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul)
Favorites – 49,492
Ken Kaneki burst into the scene as the unfortunate protagonist of the action-horror anime Tokyo Ghoul. Multi-layered and with his fair share of flaws, Kaneki went from being a shy kind-hearted boy to a human flesh-eating ghoul.
His constant inner struggle between who he is and who he wants to be and the tug-of-war between his light and dark sides are a sight to behold. The edgy narrative and Ken’s constant struggles with his dark urges make him a person one can relate to.
He is easily one of the most popular anime characters of all time.
17. Hikigaya Hachiman (Oregairu)
Favorites – 50,528
Aloof and without having anything to do with anyone, Hachiman is your typical loner. He finds friendships unwanted.
But his behavior isn’t by choice but is instead a result of his insecurities over the years, being full of self-loathing. But behind this hard exterior, he has a soft side too, which he doesn’t want anyone to see.
But as he experiences new things which make him question his past views, we come to understand his complexity. Because of this, he is one of the most popular anime characters of all time.
16. Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach)
Favorites – 53,211
The protagonist of one of the “Big 3”, Bleach, Ichigo is different from his compatriots. He has no flashy goal. He doesn’t fight to get stronger nor does he covet anything. Chill and confidence, he only fights for one thing.
He fights to protect those who are dear to him and will undergo any scenario just to protect them. For him friends and family are his only reason to fight and that makes him unique and appealing. He is one of the most popular anime characters and my fav.
15. Itachi Uchiha (Naruto)
Favorites – 62,940
One of the most captivating characters in the anime world, Itachi is the definition of self-sacrifice and doing things for the greater good. At first glance, he might appear an extremist but that extremism is deep-rooted in his love for peace and his brother.
Thoughtful behind his years, he chose to wear the mask of the villain so that he protect his village. A complex character who despite having love more than anything, chose to live his life hated. One of the best characters from Naruto and one of the most popular anime characters.
14. Makise Kurisu (Steins Gate)
Favorites – 63,399
One of the main protagonists of Steins Gate, Makise is a scientist. Generally logical and pragmatic, she also has her cute moments which make her endearing. Always a voice of reason to the eccentric Okabe, she is the reason why Okabe succeeds.
When Okabe was in the depths of despair, it was Makise who brought him back to his feet. Extremely loyal and a Tsundere to boot, she was easily the life of the show who kept things interesting.
Easily one of the most popular anime characters of all time.
13. Eren Yeager (Attack on Titan)
Favorites – 65,581
In recent years, he has become a pop culture sensation, Eren is one of the most polarising figures in anime right now. After seeing his mother get killed by the Titans, he swore to destroy all of them.
But gradually as he got exposed to the reality of his situation and the bleak future, he got increasingly darker until he essentially became more or less an anti-hero.
No longer caring for right or wrong his character development is one of the best in recent history which makes him one of the most popular anime characters.
12. Gintoki Sakata (Gintama)
Favorites – 71,447
A man who is equal parts badass and equal parts a clown, he is one of the most endearing parts of an anime that has redefined what it means to be a comedy.
Despite acting as a good-for-nothing most of the time, he is incredibly prideful and will not engage in unneeded bloodshed. He is also selfless and will put himself in trouble just to save others.
These qualities make him one of the best anime characters.
11. Guts (Berserk)
Favorites – 74,643
The black swordsman has lived a life much harder than others. From birth, he has lived his life on the battlefield and witnessed everyone close to him perish.
As a teenager, he finally got some resemblance of camaraderie in the Band Of the Hawk. But his normalcy didn’t last long as his ambition of Griffith laid waste to everything.
Initially alive just for the sake of revenge, we’ve seen Guts move on from his trauma and give up his bitterness to be a better man. This makes him undeniably one of the most popular anime characters.
10. Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto)
Favorites – 81,196
In the perfect rags to riches story, Naruto is an outcast and a weak person. Scorned by everyone in the village, however, doesn’t break his spirit.
He decides to become the Hokage, to prove himself and embarks on his journey to becoming the greatest ninja. His journey leads him on a path of many hardships but his indomitable can surpass all of them.
Full of loyalty, inspiration, and determination, Naruto is easily one of the most popular anime characters.
9. Edward Elric (FUllmetal Alchemist)
Favorites – 85,334
The best big brother in the world, Edward in his ignorance tried to resurrect his deceased mother but fails at that. As a result, he ends up losing his leg and his brother his entire body. But he doesn’t give up. He manages to save his brother’s soul.
Now on a quest to get their bodies back, Edward no matter how desperate, won’t let the results justify the means. He wants to get his goal in his way, without hurting anyone and wants to not lose his sight.
His strong morals along with his love for his brother, and his loyalty to his friends make him one of the most popular anime characters.
8. Rintarou Okabe (Steins Gate)
Favorites – 91,748
Okabe is the lead in Steins and the definitive Mad scientist of the anime world. Extremely smart, yet sometimes idiotic, he made the whole series full of both laughs as well as making it extremely fun to watch.
But the second half of the show sees, a unique transformation in him, which sees him become much more mature, thoughtful, and growing up of his immaturity.
The character is multilayered and full of intrigue. These qualities make him one of the most popular anime characters.
7. Killua Zoldyck (Hunter X Hunter)
Favorites – 92,522
One of the protags, Killua is the perfect antithesis of Gon. A born killer devoid of emotions, throughout his journey he overcomes his cold personality and eventually learns the value of human life.
As the heir to a family of assassins, he was raised in a cold manner where human lives were just targets which made him a cold-hearted person. However, he soon undergoes character development and is now someone who’ll fight anyone to save his friends.
These qualities have made him one of the most popular anime characters.
6. Light Yagami (Death Note)
Favorites – 93,138
A genius, Light is beyond bored in a life that is devoid of anything interesting for him. But after getting the death note, the idealist within him calls for him to eradicate evil from the world.
What started as a quest to become the savior of the world, quickly becomes a madman’s power trip as blinded by his ambition, he does anything and everything to achieve his goals.
Killing anyone for interfering, he is now simply a mass murderer. Despite his madness, however, he is still one of the most popular anime characters.
5. Roronoa Zoro (One Piece)
Favorites – 102,217
From his time as a simple-minded person who simply cared about getting stronger to today when he will do anything to protect his crew and captain, he is the one who keeps everyone in line.
Time and time again, it has been seen that while he may be brash, he values friendship over strength. for these reasons, he is one of the most popular anime characters.
4. L Lawliet (Death Note)
Favorites – 123,321
L is the kind of character who will challenge your perception of good and bad and who to support. While it’s clear as day that he is the antagonist of the series, it’s hard to not support him since he is fighting for good against Light’s tyrannical scheme.
Incredibly smart and full of mystery, he is the greatest detective, he sets himself on proving that Light is Kira and arresting him. One of the reasons behind Death Note’s popularity. Along with Light, he is one of the most popular anime characters.
3. Monkey D Luffy (One Piece)
Favorites – 128,408
The man with the dream to become the Pirate King, Luffy at first glance may appear simple and he might be but he is a man with ideals and dreams that he won’t sacrifice for anything. For him, freedom is the one thing that matters most.
Fun-loving and loyal and always there for his friends, Luffy symbolizes what each wants, to live life enjoying and free from any shackles. These qualities make him one of the most popular anime characters.
2. Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan)
Favorites – 135,845
Humanity’s strongest soldier and the vice-captain of the survey corps, Levi is one of the most crucial parts in mankind’s battle against the Titans but as the story progresses, we get to see behind his tough exterior, he is a very thoughtful man.
When Eren goes the wrong way, Levi makes sure that he is brought back on the right path and if peace talks fail, then he isn’t afraid of taking up arms.
His proactive nature and drive to do the right thing and protect his people make him one of the most popular anime characters.
1. Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass)
Favorites – 162,740
Lelouch is one of the most compelling and thought-provoking characters out there. As the exiled prince of the kingdom of Britannia, he has just one wish, to create a world of peace for his sister. But as he gets the power of the Geass, his morals get increasingly twisted.
Intelligent and Manipulative, he is hell-bent on getting his revenge but as he gets closer to his goals, his actions become eviler and the boy who once wanted to change the world gradually becomes a tyrant.
His rise to power and fall from grace make him one of the most popular anime characters out there.
And thus concludes our list of the Top 20 Most Popular Anime Characters of all Time. You may feel it’s lacking some characters that you love, and we get it. We all want our favs to be popular. That’s why if you agree or disagree with this list please connect with us.
If you liked this article then consider following us for more such cool content. In the meantime, happy Anime Time.
Source – MyAnimeList
Who is the #1 strongest anime character?
Due to the satirical nature of One Punch Man, it’s safe to assume that Saitama is intended to represent the strongest anime character of all time.
Who is the best anime duo?
Ash And Pikachu From Pokemon.
What is the No 1 anime in Japan?
According to the biggest ranking website in Japan Goo Ranking, the best anime series in Japan of all time is currently Attack on Titan.