For all their reach and popularity, not all anime series follow lovable, or even likable, characters. Anime thrives by providing viewers with complex, difficult personalities, but even this jaded genre can't help but give the viewers beloved anime characters everyone loves. In a world of annoying kids and truly loathsome villains, the most universally liked anime characters bask in the love of legions of fans, who rarely if ever slander their beloved faves. Their attractive qualities make them excellent candidates for anime characters who deserve spinoff series.
Sometimes villains, sometimes the good guys, each of these well-liked anime characters are developed, nuanced personalities who can't be described with just one or two attributes. Even their flaws stand to make them all the more enjoyable. What truly makes a character great is when they feel like a real person – except, of course, when they're Pikachu. As always, be warned that this list contains SPOILERS.
Raphtalia - 'The Rising Of The Shield Hero'Photo: Kinema Citrus
The Rising Of The Shield Hero's best girl comes in the form of an adorable and wholesome half-raccoon demi-human. Raphtalia is a character that brings a smile to everyone's faces when she appears onscreen. Despite all the hardships she's endured in her life (being sold as a slave, her village being destroyed, witnessing her parents' deaths, etc.) she still manages to retain her kind heart. Even in her different stages of life, from a cute child to an independent woman, she proves to be an amazing character. We all wish we had a Raphtalia in our lives.4,237840Do you love this character?
- Photo: Madhouse
For anime fans who are sick of standard shonen heroes, Saitama arrives like a godsend. His extraordinary powers certainly entitle him to brag about his chances at winning, but Saitama never bothers. He simply lets his powers speak for themselves, preferring to focus on more important things in life, such as cheap prices on seafood at the grocery store. Yet for all his laidback demeanor, Saitama never strays from his workouts or his sense of duty, showing viewers that even gods must work for their glory. His refreshing attitude combined with his ability to kick butt makes him one of the best anime characters to appear in recent years.12,1732,614Do you love this character?
- Photo: Sunrise
Is it possible to watch Cowboy Bebop without thinking about how awesome Spike Spiegel is? Probably not. A spectacularly cool dude whose fighting style evokes that of Bruce Lee, Spiegel takes down his enemies with the same ease as when he exchanges witty banter with the rest of the Bebop crew.
Not only does he Spiegel himself appear cool, he's also extremely well-developed in terms of the plot. His past with the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate impacts his personality and behavior in ways that are sometimes subtle, and sometimes the focus of the episode. While Cowboy Bebop excels great for many reasons, it's Spike who happens to be many of said reasons.7,8381,677Do you love this character?
- Photo: Studio Pierrot
Portgas D. Ace emerged as one of the most universally loved characters in all of One Piece, and for good reason. Whereas Luffy's lovable demeanor is at times a little too light-hearted and silly, his adopted older brother Ace comes across as a little more serious, and a lot more badass. This guy could fight toe-to-toe with nearly any opponent, but he also has integrity – for example, he turns down an illustrious position as a shichibukai, despite the power and financial gain that such a position would bring. Like a true pirate, Ace refuses to work with disingenuous, government-aligned institutions.
Ace teaches Luffy how to fight, and in one of the most heroic sacrifices ever made by an anime character, sacrifices his life to save his brother. It's hard to get more impressive than that.7,4661,599Do you love this character?