Updated: Jun 10
Welcome back True Believers! (We miss you, Stan.) I realized after I published my last post, that I had not written a lead in post to explain what I was doing. Honestly, the last post was me procrastinating a bit on working on book 2 of the Justice Cycle series. I know, I know. I should be working diligently right now on it since there are so many people waiting to read it. But sometimes it is healthy for us writers to set aside our current WIP and just write something for fun. For me, this series on Anime characters is cathartic and just what the doctor ordered to get my creative juices flowing
That being said, I thought I would start out with a top ten list of my favorite characters from animation. Now, I tried to keep it to characters who originated or are primarily known from their appearance in animation. In particularly, those that come from a series. That is not to say, that some of these characters are not also represented in comics, manga, film, and video games. I am pretty sure a lot of them can be found in many different mediums, but I tried to pick characters that I felt were most recognizable from their appearance in animation.
Also, this is a list of MY favorite characters. It is not a top ten list of the best characters in animation. I know that a lot of people will disagree with my opinion, and that is okay. I will also admit that I have not watched every Anime or animation show out there. So, I am sure there are many characters in the wide world of animation that would be on this list if I had been exposed to them. I also left out mainstream characters from Marvel and DC. (Even Harley Quinn which I know was an animated character before she made it to the mainstream DC continuity.) Optimus Prime from Transformers, however, is on this list even though he is a Marvel character, because he is most noticeable from the many animated Transformer’s television shows and not the comics.
Moreover, I tend to like characters that move me, bring out strong emotions, or inspire me. This will most likely mean that the list will be very short on villains and anti-heroes. I know that grey characters are like catnip for a lot of people in the fandom world, but for me, that is not the case. For instance, I much prefer Superman to Batman because Superman is a true hero. This also goes for Captain America over Ironman. Also, I am a mentor type person, so mentors, fathers, and older brother type characters will most likely rule this list. I am also a huge fan of redemption arcs in stories, so villains that redeem themselves may find their way on to this list as well.
(Authors amendment: Naruto Uzamaki should have been added to this list, but was left off due to a brain fart.)
Now that I have laid out the ground rules, lets get to the list.
Uncle Iroh (Avatar the Last Airbender)
2. Jiraiya (Naruto and Naruto Shippuden)
3. Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars the Clone Wars and Rebels)
4. Optimus Prime (Transformers)
5. Itatchi Uchiha (Naruto and Naruto Shippuden)
6. Yami Sukehiro (Black Clover)
7. Kanan Jarrus, Caleb Dume (Star Wars Rebels)
8. Saitama (One Punch Man)
9. Iruka Umino (Naruto and Naruto Shippuden)
10. Izuku Midoriya, Deku (My hero Academia)
Here are some Honorable mentions. The characters that could have been on the list if it were longer.
Toph Beifong (Avatar the Last Airbender)
2. Sokka (Avatar the Last Airbender)
3. Captain Rex (Star Wars the Clone Wars and Rebels)
4. Asajj Ventress (Star Wars the Clone Wars)
5. Ban the Fox Sin of Greed (Seven Deadly Sins)
6. Prince Zuko (Avatar the Last Airbender)
I hope you enjoyed this list, and that it inspired you to go experience the worlds these characters inhabit. I know you won't regret it if you do.
Just in Case you are interested, here are the shows these characters and their stories appeared in. Some of them are also in comics, manga, print books, audio books and video games if you are interested in.
Avatar the last Airbender (2005-2008 Nickelodeon, currently on Netflix and Amazon Prime)
Star Wars the Clone Wars (2008-2020 Cartoon Network, Netflix, Disney +, Currently on Disney+)
Star Wars Rebels (2014-2018 Disney XD, currently on Disney +)
Naruto and Naruto Shippuden (2002-2017 VIZ Media Tokyo One, Currently on Crunchy Roll, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime)
One Punch Man (2015- Present VIZ Media Tokyo One, Currently on Crunchy Roll, Hulu, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim)
My Hero Academia (2016-Present VIZ, Currently on Crunchy Roll, Hulu, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim)
Black Clover (2017-2021 VIZ Media, Currently on Crunchy Roll, Hulu, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim)
Seven Deadly Sins (2014-2021 Netflix, Currently on Netflix)
Transformers (All Shows) (1984-Present Toei Animation, Akom Animation, Netflix, Various other Studios, Currently on Netflix, YouTube, Tubi)