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The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories

Updated July 13, 2020 210.1k votes 18.7k voters 80.1k views119 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.
  • Itachi Uchiha1
    8,951
    1,431

    Itachi Uchiha

    Naruto Shippūden, Naruto

    Powers & AbilitiesSuperhuman speed, Pyrokinesis, Illusion, Power Mimicry

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  • Naruto Uzumaki2
    7,781
    1,706

    Naruto Uzumaki

    Naruto, Naruto Shippūden

    Powers & AbilitiesHealing factor, Shadow clone, Rasengan

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    #90 of 253 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time#160 of 226 The Smartest Anime Characters of All Time

  • Sanji3
    5,472
    2,463

    Sanji

    One Piece (JP), Dream Soccer King!

    Powers & AbilitiesAgility, Superhuman strength

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    #12 of 133 The Best Anime Characters That Wear Glasses#1 of 54 The Greatest Anime Characters That Smoke

  • Killua Zaoldyeck4
    3,596
    1,649

    Killua Zaoldyeck

    Hunter x Hunter

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  • Ban5
    3,864
    1,793

    Ban

    Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger

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  • Edward Elric6
    6,718
    3,207

    Edward Elric

    FullMetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

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  • Levi Ackerman7
    4,213
    2,005

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  • Monkey D. Luffy8
    3,462
    1,647

    Monkey D. Luffy

    One Piece (JP), Dream Soccer King!

    Powers & AbilitiesSuperhuman speed, Elasticity

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    #1182 of 1,296 The Greatest TV Characters of All Time#305 of 321 The Greatest Cartoon Characters in TV History

  • Alphonse Elric9
    4,712
    2,281

    Alphonse Elric

    FullMetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • Kurapika10
    1,677
    778

    Kurapika

    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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    #15 of 35 Male Anime Characters You'd Want As Your Husband#7 of 235 The Best Anime Characters With Blond Hair

  • Gaara11
    5,006
    2,454

    Gaara

    Naruto, Naruto Shippūden

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  • Trafalgar Law12

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  • Kakashi Hatake13
    4,543
    2,239

    Kakashi Hatake

    Naruto, Naruto Shippūden

    Powers & AbilitiesElectrokinesis, Mind Control, Power Mimicry

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  • Madara Uchiha14
    1,219
    564

    Madara Uchiha

    Naruto Shippūden

    Powers & AbilitiesPhasing, Teleportation

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  • Koro-sensei15
    1,712
    835

    Koro-sensei

    Assassination Classroom

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  • Obito Uchiha16
    2,722
    1,369

    Obito Uchiha

    Naruto Shippūden

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  • Tony Tony Chopper17
    1,826
    902

    Tony Tony Chopper

    One Piece (JP), Dream Soccer King!

    Powers & AbilitiesShapeshifting

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    #23 of 25 The 25 Cutest Anime Characters Of All Time#9 of 16 16 Anime Characters With Uncontrollable Powers

  • Scar18
    3,007
    1,523

    Scar

    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist

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  • Jiraiya19
    1,543
    762

    Jiraiya

    Naruto Shippūden, Naruto

    Powers & AbilitiesPyrokinesis, Superhuman Breath, Rasengan

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  • Guts20
    1,286
    626

    Guts

    Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey, Berserk Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King

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    #154 of 261 The Most Hardcore Video Game Heroes of All Time#3 of 15 The 15 Most Painful Anime Lives, Ranked by How Much They Suffered

  • Erza Scarlet21
    4,236
    2,193

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    #1 of 259 The Best Female Anime Characters#185 of 200 The Most Annoying Anime Characters of All Time

  • Haku22
    485
    203

    Haku

    Naruto

    Powers & AbilitiesCryokinetic

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  • Van Hohenheim23
  • Mikasa Ackerman24
    2,374
    1,230

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  • Natsu Dragneel25
    3,279
    1,723

    Natsu Dragneel

    Fairy Tail

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