Anime Underground The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories  

Ranker Anime
71.2k votes 6.7k voters 37.9k views 87 items

If you watch a lot of anime, you know almost every anime character has some kind of backstory. That being said, what are the best anime backstories of all time? We want to know which characters you think have the most interesting pasts, so vote up the anime characters with the best backstory on this list. In long form Shonen Jump anime like One Piece and Naruto, exploring the past of a character takes place in almost every story arc. We've included plenty of those types of characters here, but also characters like Spike Spiegel and Edward Elric who aren't featured in such long shows.

Which anime character has the most interesting past? Vote up your choices below, and add any characters to the list if you feel their backstory is compelling enough.
list ordered by

1
2,615 717
Itachi Uchiha is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
shaurya-kapoor added Itachi Uchiha Naruto Shippūden, Naruto, Ninja World

2
2,233 692
Edward Elric is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Edward Elric FullMetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist

3
2,007 654
Naruto Uzumaki is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Naruto Uzumaki Naruto, Naruto Shippūden, Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison

4
1,636 615
Sanji is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Sanji One Piece (JP), Dream Soccer King!, One Piece Movie: The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta

5
1,587 604
Gaara is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Gaara Naruto, Naruto Shippūden, Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel

6
1,598 628
Alphonse Elric is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
akraut added Alphonse Elric FullMetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist

7
1,588 631
Kakashi Hatake is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Kakashi Hatake Naruto, Naruto Shippūden, Naruto the Movie: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom

8
1,328 530
Lelouch Lamperouge is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
ShrishVashishth added Lelouch Lamperouge Code Geass

9
1,027 400
Ban is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
ShrishVashishth added Ban Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger

10
894 361
Obito Uchiha is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
shaurya-kapoor added Obito Uchiha Naruto Shippūden

11
874 359
Scar is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Scar Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist

12
1,511 711
Erza Scarlet is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories

All Members of House Arryn

13
1,319 632
Mikasa Ackerman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories

14
836 369
Levi Ackerman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
hotchocolate added Levi Ackerman

15
838 390
Rin Okumura is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Haha Hoho added Rin Okumura Blue Exorcist, Blue Exorcist

16
1,133 564
Sasuke Uchiha is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
shaurya-kapoor added Sasuke Uchiha Naruto, Naruto Shippūden, Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Will of Fire

17
522 212
Yato is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
ghostsickness added Yato Noragami

The Best Howard Stern News Pranks Performed by Captain Janks

18
816 382
Natsu Dragneel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
RandalScott added Natsu Dragneel Fairy Tail

19
409 147
Gray Fullbuster is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
ShrishVashishth added Gray Fullbuster Fairy Tail

20
792 371
Spike Spiegel is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Spike Spiegel Cowboy Bebop, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie

21
692 318
Killua Zaoldyeck is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Killua Zaoldyeck Hunter x Hunter

22
607 269
Zeref is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
ShrishVashishth added Zeref

These Disney Princess Were Absolutely Terrible Role Models

23
610 277
Meliodas is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Meliodas

24
593 267
Jellal Fernandes is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
ptnn added Jellal Fernandes

25
297 92
Ciel Phantomhive is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Corrina Johnson added Ciel Phantomhive Black Butler

26
513 222
Tony Tony Chopper is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Son Goku added Tony Tony Chopper One Piece (JP), Dream Soccer King!, One Piece Movie: The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta

27
762 381
Himura Kenshin is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Himura Kenshin Rurouni Kenshin

16 Movie "In Jokes" You Probably Didn't Notice

28
583 278
Lucy / Nyuu is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Landon Nunnery added Lucy / Nyuu

29
976 526
Vegeta is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Vegeta Dragon Ball Z Kai, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn

30
686 351
InuYasha is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
InuYasha Inu Yasha, InuYasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time

31
614 321
Vash the Stampede is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
April Culala added Vash the Stampede

32
560 301
Jiraiya is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
shaurya-kapoor added Jiraiya Naruto Shippūden, Naruto, Naruto Shippuden the Movie: Bonds

The Best Re-Casting of Famous TV Roles

33
692 393
Guts is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
RandalScott added Guts Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey, Berserk Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King

34
796 469
Trunks is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Trunks Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn, Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan

35
713 413
L is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
akraut added L Death Note, Death Note, Death Note: The Last Name

36
676 389
Monkey D. Luffy is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Monkey D. Luffy One Piece (JP), Dream Soccer King!, One Piece Movie: The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta

37
342 164
Van Hohenheim is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
ShrishVashishth added Van Hohenheim

Why Women Who Are Only Friends With Guys Are The Worst

38
217 79
Tsunade is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Chelsey May added Tsunade Naruto, Naruto Shippūden, Naruto Shippuden the Movie: Bonds

39
591 351
Gin Ichimaru is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories

40
414 228
C.C. is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
C.C. Code Geass

41
466 267
Madara Uchiha is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
shaurya-kapoor added Madara Uchiha Naruto Shippūden

42
169 62
Crona is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Star Shadoww added Crona Soul Eater

The Best Arrested Development Characters

43
479 312
Saber is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Saber Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, Fate/Zero

44
282 165
Alucard is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
ShrishVashishth added Alucard Hellsing Ultimate: Vol. 1, Hellsing

45
317 201
Hiei is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Hiei Yu Yu Hakusho

46
439 303
Lucy Heartfilia is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
ShrishVashishth added Lucy Heartfilia Fairy Tail

47
417 287
Gon Freecss is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
akraut added Gon Freecss Hunter x Hunter

48
291 184
Allen Walker is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories

49
354 278
Shikamaru Nara is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
akraut added Shikamaru Nara Naruto, Naruto Shippuden the Movie, Naruto Shippuden the Movie: Bonds

50
787 697
Nico Robin is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories