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The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories 

Ranker Anime
Updated October 13, 2019 185.9k votes 17.7k voters 75.3k views 119 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
Itachi Uchiha is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
shaurya-kapoor added Naruto Shippūden, Naruto, Ninja World

Powers & Abilities: Superhuman speed, Pyrokinesis, Illusion, Power Mimicry

More Itachi Uchiha 

#15 of 342 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #3 of 1,082 The Very Best Anime Characters

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

Powers & Abilities: Healing factor, Shadow clone, Rasengan

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#1 of 1,082 The Very Best Anime Characters #165 of 223 The Most Hated Anime Characters of All Time

3
Edward Elric is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
FullMetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist

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#40 of 342 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #33 of 342 The Most Powerful Anime Characters of All Timelisted on The Best Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Characters

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

Powers & Abilities: Agility, Superhuman strength

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#68 of 342 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #16 of 342 The Most Powerful Anime Characters of All Time #63 of 218 The Smartest Anime Characters of All Time

5
Alphonse Elric is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
akraut added FullMetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist
6
Ban is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
ShrishVashishth added Ban Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger

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#14 of 342 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #11 of 159 25+ Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed On

7
Gaara is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Naruto, Naruto Shippūden, Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel

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#41 of 342 The Most Powerful Anime Characters of All Time #18 of 1,082 The Very Best Anime Characters

8
Levi Ackerman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
9
Monkey D. Luffy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
One Piece (JP), Dream Soccer King!, One Piece Movie: The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta

Powers & Abilities: Superhuman speed, Elasticity

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#5 of 1,082 The Very Best Anime Characters #5 of 342 The Most Powerful Anime Characters of All Time

10
Killua Zaoldyeck is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
11
Kakashi Hatake is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Naruto, Naruto Shippūden, Naruto the Movie: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom

Powers & Abilities: Electrokinesis, Mind Control, Power Mimicry

More Kakashi Hatake 

#6 of 1,082 The Very Best Anime Characters #15 of 342 The Most Powerful Anime Characters of All Time

12
Erza Scarlet is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
13
Ichigo Kurosaki is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Isaac Hanan added Bleach, Bleach: Vol. 1: The Substitute, Bleach: Vol. 36

Powers & Abilities: Cero, Hohō

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#12 of 342 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #225 of 223 The Most Hated Anime Characters of All Time

14
Sasuke Uchiha is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
shaurya-kapoor added Naruto, Naruto Shippūden, Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Will of Fire

Powers & Abilities: Superhuman speed, Electrokinesis, Pyrokinesis, Power Mimicry

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#8 of 342 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #19 of 1,082 The Very Best Anime Characters

15
Scar is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist

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#57 of 117 50+ Anime Characters Who Deserve Their Own Showlisted on The Best Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Characters

16
Lelouch Lamperouge is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
ShrishVashishth added Code Geass

Powers & Abilities: Mind Control, Geass, Genius-level intellect

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#20 of 342 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #7 of 1,082 The Very Best Anime Characters

17
Natsu Dragneel is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
18
Obito Uchiha is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
19
Mikasa Ackerman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
20
Jellal Fernandes is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
21
Vegeta is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Dragon Ball Z Kai, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn

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#336 of 342 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #28 of 1,082 The Very Best Anime Characters #4 of 342 The Most Powerful Anime Characters of All Time

22
Tony Tony Chopper is listed (or ranked) 22 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

Powers & Abilities: Shapeshifting

23
Rin Okumura is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
Haha Hoho added Blue Exorcist, Blue Exorcist

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#598 of 1,158 The Best Female Anime Characters #13 of 159 25+ Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed On

24
Himura Kenshin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
25
Kurapika is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
waldenschmidt added Hunter x Hunter

i am just wondering how the fuck does Yugi,Juvia, lucy,nami Franky even Zoro is above Kurapika?

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#117 of 342 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #105 of 159 25+ Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed On