Anime Underground

The 40+ Best Anime Character Backstories 

Ranker Anime
Updated July 8, 2020 188.8k votes 18.2k voters 77.5k views 122 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 

#1 of 1,104 The Very Best Anime Characters #2 of 128 The 25+ Saddest Anime Deaths of All Time #2 of 120 50+ Anime Characters Who Deserve Their Own Show

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 

#4 of 1,104 The Very Best Anime Characters #189 of 222 The Most Hated Anime Characters of All Time #89 of 375 The Hottest Anime Guys 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

More Edward Elric 

#12 of 1,104 The Very Best Anime Characters #614 of 787 The Most Annoying TV and Film Characters Everlisted 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 

#18 of 1,104 The Very Best Anime Characters #10 of 120 50+ Anime Characters Who Deserve Their Own Show #73 of 375 The Hottest Anime Guys 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

More Ban 

#12 of 375 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #2 of 131 The Best Anime Characters With Blue Hair #20 of 158 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

More Gaara 

#10 of 1,104 The Very Best Anime Characters #114 of 128 The 25+ Saddest Anime Deaths of All Time #18 of 120 50+ Anime Characters Who Deserve Their Own Show

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 

#2 of 1,104 The Very Best Anime Characters #3 of 120 50+ Anime Characters Who Deserve Their Own Show #1 of 375 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time

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 

#13 of 1,104 The Very Best Anime Characters #1,093 of 1,428 The Greatest TV Characters of All Time #261 of 375 The Hottest Anime Guys 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 

#27 of 1,104 The Very Best Anime Characters #110 of 222 The Most Hated Anime Characters of All Time #125 of 787 The Most Annoying TV and Film Characters Ever

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 

#9 of 1,104 The Very Best Anime Characters #213 of 222 The Most Hated Anime Characters of All Time #46 of 120 50+ Anime Characters Who Deserve Their Own Show

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 

#59 of 1,104 The Very Best Anime Characters #16 of 128 The 25+ Saddest Anime Deaths of All Time #221 of 222 The Most Hated Anime Characters of All Time

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 

#110 of 1,101 The Very Best Anime Characters #250 of 360 The Most Powerful Anime Characters of All Time #195 of 197 The Most Annoying 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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#29 of 1,104 The Very Best Anime Characters #39 of 128 The 25+ Saddest Anime Deaths of All Time #584 of 787 The Most Annoying TV and Film Characters Ever

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 

#189 of 375 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time #73 of 1,101 The Very Best Anime Characters #72 of 228 The Smartest Anime Characters of All Time

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