Anime Underground

The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories 

Ranker Anime
Updated July 13, 2020 189.6k votes 18.3k voters 78k views 120 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 

#16 of 383 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #8 of 149 25+ Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed On #1 of 1,100 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

More Naruto Uzumaki 

#91 of 383 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #62 of 149 25+ Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed On #5 of 1,100 The Very Best Anime Characters

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

More Edward Elric 

#61 of 383 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #40 of 149 25+ Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed Onlisted 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

More Sanji 

#76 of 383 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #55 of 149 25+ Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed On #19 of 1,100 The Very Best Anime Characters

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

More Ban 

#9 of 386 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #16 of 331 The Most Powerful Anime Characters of All Time #2 of 117 The Best Anime Characters With Blue Hair

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

More Gaara 

#83 of 383 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #77 of 149 25+ Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed On #11 of 1,100 The Very Best Anime Characters

8
Levi Ackerman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
9
Killua Zaoldyeck is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
10
Kakashi Hatake is listed (or ranked) 10 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 

#1 of 383 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #7 of 149 25+ Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed On #2 of 1,100 The Very Best Anime Characters

11
Monkey D. Luffy is listed (or ranked) 11 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

More Monkey D. Luffy 

#269 of 383 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #12 of 1,100 The Very Best Anime Characters #49 of 331 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
Sasuke Uchiha is listed (or ranked) 13 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

More Sasuke Uchiha 

#36 of 383 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #24 of 149 25+ Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed On #29 of 1,100 The Very Best Anime Characters

14
Ichigo Kurosaki is listed (or ranked) 14 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

More Ichigo Kurosaki 

#52 of 383 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #29 of 149 25+ Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed On #9 of 1,100 The Very Best Anime Characters

15
Scar is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
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

More Lelouch Lamperouge 

#80 of 383 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #46 of 149 25+ Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed On #60 of 1,100 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
Tony Tony Chopper is listed (or ranked) 21 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

More Tony Tony Chopper 

#117 of 1,100 The Very Best Anime Characters #233 of 331 The Most Powerful Anime Characters of All Time #11 of 97 The Funniest Anime Characters of All Time

22
Vegeta is listed (or ranked) 22 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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#372 of 383 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #114 of 149 25+ Anime Boys You Definitely Crushed On #28 of 1,100 The Very Best Anime Characters

23
Rin Okumura is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
24
Kurapika is listed (or ranked) 24 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?

More Kurapika 

#161 of 386 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #68 of 1,100 The Very Best Anime Characters #115 of 331 The Most Powerful Anime Characters of All Time

25
Koro-sensei is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories