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The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories

Updated July 13, 2020 215.1k votes 18.5k voters 78.8k views120 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.
  • 1
    Itachi Uchiha is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    9,123
    1,460

    Itachi Uchiha

    Naruto Shippūden, Naruto

    Powers & AbilitiesSuperhuman speed, Pyrokinesis, Illusion, Power Mimicry

  • 2
    Naruto Uzumaki is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    7,967
    1,733

    Naruto Uzumaki

    Naruto, Naruto Shippūden

    Powers & AbilitiesHealing factor, Shadow clone, Rasengan

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  • 3
    Sanji is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    5,610
    2,593

    Sanji

    One Piece (JP), Dream Soccer King!

    Powers & AbilitiesAgility, Superhuman strength

  • 4
    Ban is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    3,917
    1,850

    Ban

    Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger
  • 5
    Killua Zaoldyeck is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    3,596
    1,697

    Killua Zaoldyeck

    Hunter x Hunter
  • 6
    Monkey D. Luffy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    3,510
    1,657

    Monkey D. Luffy

    One Piece (JP), Dream Soccer King!

    Powers & AbilitiesSuperhuman speed, Elasticity

  • 7
    Edward Elric is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    6,847
    3,342

    Edward Elric

    FullMetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

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  • 8
    Levi Ackerman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    4,257
    2,065
  • 9
    Alphonse Elric is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    4,794
    2,362

    Alphonse Elric

    FullMetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • 10
    Kurapika is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    1,664
    792

    Kurapika

    Hunter x Hunter

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

  • 11
    Madara Uchiha is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    1,217
    567

    Madara Uchiha

    Naruto Shippūden

    Powers & AbilitiesPhasing, Teleportation

  • 12
    Gaara is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    5,081
    2,559

    Gaara

    Naruto, Naruto Shippūden
  • 13
    Kakashi Hatake is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    4,582
    2,330

    Kakashi Hatake

    Naruto, Naruto Shippūden

    Powers & AbilitiesElectrokinesis, Mind Control, Power Mimicry

  • 14
    Trafalgar Law is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
  • 15
    Koro-sensei is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    1,723
    854

    Koro-sensei

    Assassination Classroom

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  • 16
    Jiraiya is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    1,558
    767

    Jiraiya

    Naruto Shippūden, Naruto

    Powers & AbilitiesPyrokinesis, Superhuman Breath, Rasengan

  • 17
    Obito Uchiha is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    2,754
    1,420

    Obito Uchiha

    Naruto Shippūden
  • 18
    Scar is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    3,062
    1,588

    Scar

    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist
  • 19
    Haku is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    480
    202

    Haku

    Naruto

    Powers & AbilitiesCryokinetic

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  • 20
    Tony Tony Chopper is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    1,844
    936

    Tony Tony Chopper

    One Piece (JP), Dream Soccer King!

    Powers & AbilitiesShapeshifting

  • 21
    Guts is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    1,300
    645

    Guts

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

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  • 22
    Van Hohenheim is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories

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  • 23
    Ken Kaneki is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
  • 24
    Erza Scarlet is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    4,310
    2,289

    More Erza Scarlet 

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  • 25
    L is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories
    1,545
    786

    L

    Death Note, Death Note

    Powers & AbilitiesNatural deduction

    More L 

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