35 Bad-To-The-Bone Anime Characters We Stan

By Jishnu B

Over the years, Japan has perfected its art style and storytelling to make the manga and anime we know and love today. Unlike Western animation, anime is fit for all audiences, from innocent children to mature adults. Just because it’s not live-action doesn’t mean that it can’t be intense and sophisticated

One aspect of anime that makes it so memorable is its iconic characters. From being superpowered to super adorable, these characters have effortlessly made a place in our hearts. From kick-butt sword-wielding characters to giant mecha pilots, otaku nerds, exquisite villains, magical girls, and cute and powerful Pocket Monsters, anime has no shortage of marvelous characters.

To celebrate them, we have compiled a list of some of the most popular bad-to-the-bone anime characters fans can’t get enough of. And to give the plethora of supporting casts a chance, we’ve mostly omitted the [often OP] main characters.

35. Yu Kanda

Quiet and introverted, Yu Kanda prefers to keep to himself. His comrades often tease him about his good looks, which isn’t necessarily a trait you’d expect in an exorcist. But he isn’t one you should mess with…something Allen took a while to learn.

Image source: Chieko-san/dgrayman.fandom.com

In fact, the patience with which he puts up with Allen and other irritants in his life is to be commended. When you’re a powerful fighter, it requires a separate skillset to put up with whiny comrades and troublesome foes.

34. Riza Hawkeye

In a world where alchemy works, it takes a lot to make it on top. Riza didn’t study alchemy like her father, and instead made a name for herself as one of the Amestrian military’s top combatants. No one would want to be caught within the Hawk’s eye.

Image source: Crunchyroll/Twitter

The skilled sniper knows that her place is as a supporting role, which is what earns her a place on our list. She doesn’t try to show off or stand out. She simply uses her abilities to protect those she loves and does her best to have a positive impact.

33. Sebastian Michaelis

Say what you will, but we don’t think it’s cheating to put a demon on this list. Cool, calm, and collected Sebastian Michaelis may take the form of a man, but he is no ordinary butler. In fact, that’s what makes him so dangerous.

Image source: TerraNight/kuroshitsuji.fandom.com

Whether it’s protecting his charge, Ciel Phantomhive, or the manor’s perfectly manicured lawn, Sebastian will whip out his skills and keep things in order. He may seem charming, but that’s only if you don’t cross him. We’ll stay out of Phantomhive business, thanks.

32. Baki Hanma

Baki Hanma is a character that shouldn’t be judged by his physical appearance at all. This is because underneath those years of rigorous training and toughening, there is a carefree, laid-back, and sometimes aggressive, teenage boy. This boy’s sole dream is to gain enough strength to defeat his father.

Image source: Ritaki/imgur

This goal stems from a natural instinct to avenge his mother. Throughout the series, Baki is seen as almost reluctant to address his father’s name, and rightfully so. Although this muscle machine is pretty much capable of doing anything strenuous, it’s his slightly stern look that radiates the intense aura.

31. Rokurouta Sakuragi

Rokurouta Sakuragi from Rainbow is not your typical bada**. In fact, his nice and kind demeanor mixed with his borderline angelic personality propelled his way into being a fan favorite. This strong and benevolent character is hailed by his friends as a role model. 

Image source: SomeonestupED/all-worlds-alliance.fandom.com

He never fails to constantly look out for his cellmates, and this also causes him to sacrifice a lot more and almost always become the target of Ishihara’s schemes. His cellmates might have been strangers, but he still had faith in them and sheltered them from the corruptive system of the prison.

30. Ken Kaneki

The main protagonist of Tokyo Ghoul, Ken Kaneki, is a must-have on this list. In fact, if it was a list exclusive to manga only, Kaneki would have made the top of the list. As Haise, Kaneki is portrayed as a good-natured, self-contained individual.

Image source: dreamlok123/DeviantArt

However, his shining moment was his hair color change. This signified that he wouldn’t take anything from anyone from that point on. Additionally, his memorable fight with Jason in the episode “High Spirits” certainly solidified his image as a robust character.

29. Yami Sukehiro

Also known as the destruction god, the uncouth, reckless, and slightly hypocritical Yami Sukehiro doesn’t miss a chance when it comes to delivering death threats at the slightest provocation. Sukehiro’s penchant for intimidation sometimes goes just beyond threatening words as it leads to physical altercations as well.

Image source: MarubMelancholy/imgur

Stoic yet hot-headed, he still knows how to spot worth. After all, it was him that knew to give Asta a chance when no other captains did. His carefree combat skills and shadow-based magic and a katana all combine to make him an epic character.

28. Integra Hellsing

Alucard might be the all-powerful vampire in Hellsing (and Hellsing Ultimate), but Integra is the real threat. She might be the last surviving member of her house, but she holds enough weight to carry the name by herself. And she knows how to use it.

Image source: Michaeldawonodaniel/hellsing-ultimate.fandom.com

Integra is an example of why you shouldn’t judge a woman by her age. She’s only 22 and already in charge of one of the greatest weapons in the land. Of course, her temper needs some work, but how else are you going to make it in a man’s world?

27. Ghislaine Dedoldia

Ghislaine Dedoldia from Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is certainly a strong-willed individual and perfectly gives the impression of a female amazon warrior from some fantasy story. She might have been introduced as a fan service character, but she quickly earned her place.

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Ghislaine is not just an incredible warrior, but everything she does has the perfect amount of sass. Her leather outfit combined with an eye patch on her sculpted like face gives off a delinquent boss vibe. In fact, she is so strong that she doesn’t usually require a backup during combat scenes.

26. Firo Prochainezo

If there’s a perfect combination of a gentleman and a true mafia member, Firo Prochainezo from Baccano! should be your first answer. Firo’s character is both brave and naive. And even though he fits in with being a Camorrista, he is also unsuited toward being a full-blown criminal.

Image source: Minnichi/baccano.fandom.com

Firo’s name is almost synonymous with fearless, and he is someone that isn’t afraid to confront people. He thinks of himself as neither a “do-gooder” nor a “fiend,” but falls somewhere in between. Although he is known to commit good deeds, he can be extremely ruthless and vengeful as well.

25. Hawks

Arguably one of the most popular manga/anime of the last decade, My Hero Academia has quite swiftly introduced us to a lot of kick-butt characters. While Dabi, Stain, and Overhaul are top-notch characters as well, the fifth season brought us one we can’t stop thinking about: Hawk.

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Hawk had an enticing introduction to the series, and his demeanor was quite different from the typical hero archetype. He is someone who prefers working from the shadows, and in addition to his mysterious and nonchalant attitude, we can’t help but be hooked.

24. Zoro Roronoa

Zoro Roronoa from One Piece is an easy pick for this list due to his innate experience in sword fighting for quite a while now. Rorona has more of a serious demeanor and when things go down, you can always count on him to save the day.

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It is no secret that any shounen enthusiast will be amazed by his razor-sharp skill when he handles the blade. Things get extra spicy when he wields the third sword during the fights, and we are all here for it.

23. Garou

The second season of One Punch Man introduced us to the perfect shounen protagonist, Garou. In our unpopular opinion, we think Garou even overdid Saitama’s skills. Every fight the character engages in propels his character development, and that is what keeps the audience invested.

Image source: Unknowni123/onepunchman.fandom.com

After every fight scene, Garou’s character comes out stronger than ever. He has quite a distinct appearance, and the all-black outfit looks intimidating. Furthermore, his martial arts skills are just chef’s kisses, and we think he deserves more recognition than he actually receives.

22. Ban

Ban from The Seven Deadly Sins has had one of the best introductions to the series — second to that of Full Pringle Escanor. Despite his selfish and greedy nature, he can also be quite caring, and we got a glimpse of it when he rushed to save Elaine.

Image source: looper.com

Ban’s charm is quite enrapturing, and he got his moment to shine when he was getting tortured ruthlessly and looking lifelessly afar. However, the moment he heard Melodias’ voice, he just burst out of the situation and even stole the moment to get a fresh shave before heading out on the big date. 

21. Sinbad

Sinbad from Magi: Adventure of Sinbad has the charm and the looks to draw in the people around him and make them want to follow him. His ability to wield words in a powerful and entrancing way certainly does the job as well.

Image source: Dancing fairy/magi.fandom.com

On a surface level, Sinbad is an extremely likable man, but as time goes on, it is revealed that he also has a calculating and manipulative side. The perfect example of this is when we learn his real motives for providing shelter for Aladdin and Alibaba.

20. General Armstrong

Known as the Northern Wall of Briggs, Olivier Armstrong is cold, calculating, and oftentimes cruel. Unlike most women in anime — or any media, really — Olivier is more vicious than the men she works with. Even with the likeness, it’s hard to believe that she and Alex are related.

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Although she’s not number one on our list, you can bet that if she read this article, she’d fight through the rest just to claim her spot on top. She may have been born to a wealthy family, but she fought for herself and earned her spot in society.

19. Shinya Kougami

Everybody loves a true crime/detective series, especially when it portrays the good cop/bad cop archetype. Shinya Kougami is the most suitable example for this trope. Kougami’s cool-headed and detached demeanor, paired with his sharp instincts and insight into the criminal mind is impeccable.

Image source: Funimation/Buzzfeed

Despite his mostly serious personality, there is also a side of him that has a good sense of humor. Kougami quite efficiently radiates the bad boy aura, which never fades as the series goes on. Nevertheless, his detective skills have made him a valuable asset to Division 01.

18. Thorfinn

A classic revenge plot, though a bit cliche, is always fun to watch. Thorfinn from Vinland Saga is shown to be innocent and friendly when the series started. He looked up to his father, with whom he had a good relationship.

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This very love for his father became the foundation of Thorfinn’s drive to avenge his father’s death. Even though the character is small in stature, he could easily take on a dozen guards single-handedly. And we saw plenty of amazing battles where he swept the floor with his enemies.

17. Hyakkimaru

The main protagonist of Dororo, Hyakkimaru, is a ronin cursed with not having body parts or limbs and even possesses demonic powers. That’s already enough to get him on this list. Raised and trained by Jukai, he set on a journey to kill the 48 demons to regain his body parts.

Image source: Dororo Anmie/YouTube

For a character who was essentially devoid of basic necessities like sight, pain, limbs, and even skin, Hyakkimaru still manages to become a complete bada**. Furthermore, his lack of hesitation towards landing the finishing blow is arguably the most “happening” thing about him.

16. Akabane Karma

The main character of the anime and manga series Assassination Classroom, Karma Akabane brought some edge to the mostly PG class. He had also been previously suspended from school as a result of his violent behavior. He’s the epitome of the stereotypical “bad boy.”

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Akabane isn’t afraid of anything and lets nothing stand between him and his goals. He is also a skillful fighter and always is a few steps ahead of his peers. The character is also known for his violent and unpredictable personality.

15. Roy Mustang

Known as the Flame Alchemist and the Hero of Ishval, Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist is a suave and playfully manipulative character. He might seem arrogant and self-serving, but Roy has a pure heart and will do anything for the people he cares about.

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The flirtatious, shallow officer persona he’s crafted for himself is just a façade. He created this persona to throw his enemies off-guard; people frequently underestimate his intelligence, cunning, and alchemic abilities. That’s what makes him so kick-butt and worthy of a spot on our list.

14. Angelo Lagusa

The main protagonist of 91 days, Angelo Lagusa, is an orphan who witnessed the massacre of his parents and brothers by the Vanetti family. This trauma has caused him to hold a grudge over the years, and it got awakened when he received a mysterious letter.

Image source: myanimelist.net

Angelo’s cool temperament and deductive reasoning are the perfect reason why he is a mobster. He always has a way to get out of uncomfortable situations, and his manipulative personality enables him to wait for the ideal opportunity to defeat his enemies.

13. Izaya Orihara

The main antagonist of Durarara!!, Izaya Orihara, is an infamous information broker who claims to love humanity. We say “claims” because he loves messing with peoples’ lives. This twisted man certainly has a penchant for messing up others for his own enjoyment.

Image source: charactour.com

Aside from being a tactful character, he is also great in combat. Although he lacks in certain powers, he makes up for them by predicting the actions others will make. He is one of those characters that unleashes all evil from the shadows.

12. Spike Spiegel

He is a bounty hunter on a spaceship called the Bebop, and he is none other than Spike Spiegel himself. Spiegel has quite an interesting life as he gets to travel through space with his crew. However, before becoming a bounty hunter, he was a member of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate.

Image source: Snhnry/cowboybebop.fandom.com

Spike has the most slothful and nonchalant personality. His perfect day consists of lounging on the ship, watching TV, or sleeping. However, when it comes to the job, he has a completely different persona from his off-the-job version of himself.

11. Chrollo

The antagonist of Hunter x Hunter, Chrollo, comes across as intelligent and charismatic. He has the ability to be a leader and was able to hold the Phantom Troupe together despite the members being drastically different and volatile in personality.

Image source: Darkchylde/hunterxhunter.fandom.com

His moment of shining was when he took on the Zoldyck duo all by himself. He was completely unscathed after the altercation as well. Furthermore, the scene of his gang causing chaos all while rocking out to Mozart is something we’ll never forget.

10. Giorno Giovanna

The main protagonist of the fifth part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Giorno Giovanna, is the illegitimate son of DIO. He was conceived with Jonathan Joestar’s stolen body. Giorno has the gold experience which enables him to create and manipulate life.

Image source: crunchyroll.com

Additionally, he uses this power in various ways, such as tracking origins or disguises. Giorno is extremely creative and tactical, and it was especially shown when it came down to getting the W for his gang. Is there any wonder why he made our list?

9. Mugen

One of the main male protagonists of Samurai Champloo, Mugen is quite temperamental and almost always unhinged. He can be considered an antihero who has this unreasonable urge of picking fights for petty reasons. He is also certainly a womanizer.

Image source: Crowchyld/DeviantArt

Mugen’s character is very similar to that of Spike’s as both men are lazy womanizers and sword-wielding prodigies. He also has a very raw and creative demeanor of fighting, and it is always a sight to see while he fights.

8. Sukuna Ryomen

With its bombastic action and fascinating cast of characters, Jujutsu Kaisen has etched a place in the hearts of many. However, one character that stands out from the whole crew is Sukuna Ryomen. Ryomen is a mighty cursed spirit known as the undisputed King of Curses. 

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The “demon inside of the protagonist” trope has frankly been overdone in animes, but Sukuna’s was actually terrifying. His character comes off as a selfish, cold-hearted, and exceptionally sadistic being as well. He is aware of his immense power and is quite arrogant about it.

7. Levi

Captain Levi from Attack on Titan is hailed to be the strongest soldier alive. Although he has a harsh and antisocial personality, he is very well respected among his subordinates. You don’t earn that without some skill and battle scars to back you up.

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Levi is a kind individual who will risk his life any day to save his peers. He is extremely admired and considered a hero by the people inside the walls. However, he can come across as someone who is often blunt and unapproachable. 

6. Alucard

Being regarded as the Hellsing Organization’s trump card, Alucard is the main character of Hellsing. He is known as Count Dracula and is one of the most powerful vampires in the entire series. In fact, he was Vlad “The Impaler” in his previous life.

Image source: ign.com

Additionally, if you are someone who enjoys watching dark and gritty plotlines, Hellsing Ultimate should be your go-to pick. Four words that perfectly describe this character are immortal, invincible, arrogant, and egotistical. Alucard also doesn’t shy away from taunting and belittling his opponents.

5. Hisoka Morow

Morally ambiguous characters have a really interesting arc as their storyline tends to keep us on our toes all the time. One example of such a character is Hisoka Morow. This insane blood lustful killer clown isn’t short of his kinks as well.

Image source: Darkchylde/hunterxhunter.fandom.com

His tenacious urge to commit murder in the most condescending way gives his character a certain flamboyant flair. It also provides the perfect plot twists that keep the audience invested. Needless to say, Hisoka is the most boastful, hedonistic, and self-serving man.

4. Guts

It’s quite immersive watching someone in constant conflict with their own inner darkness and trying their best to find a balance. For Guts, it manifests as the ever-tempting Beast of Darkness. Guts, aka the Black Swordsman, is a former mercenary and a wanderer.

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Guts has a constant inner conflict between trying to live a life free of attachments while also succumbing to those dear to him. However, the Band of the Falcon helps him find his life’s purpose. This cynical man certainly has an overall bleak outlook on life.

3. Joutarou Kuujou

Jotaro Kujo is one of the most recurring JoJo of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. On top of that, he is also the protagonist of part 3. Jotaro seemed to have quite the normal life until DIO, Joestar Family’s arch enemy returns.

Image source: Eckilsax/jojo.fandom.com

Jotaro is actually one of the first JoJo to be introduced with a Stand who wielded the powerful Star Platinum. His seemingly aloof nature paired with his quiet personality portrays him as a retrospective character. Furthermore, he is an extremely cool character who is able to keep his composure even in the direst times.

2. Satoru Gojo

One of the main protagonists of Jujutsu Kaisen, Satoru Gojo, is a special grade jujutsu sorcerer and is known as the strongest in the world. He is regarded as the pride of the Gojo family as he is one of the first people to achieve both the Limitless and the Six Eyes in four hundred years.

Image source: TheGEORGIO/jujutsu-kaisen.fandom.com

Gojo is a goofy character in general and is normally seen to be nonchalant and playful towards his peers. However, we get to see a very different sight towards sorcerer executives. He definitely uses his powers in the most entrancing way that keeps the viewers hooked. 

1. Itachi Uchiha

If there is a conversation about anime, it’s impossible for people to keep the name Naruto away. One of the captivating characters from the series is Itachi Uchiha. He was a shinobi of Konohagakure’s Uchiha clan who also served as an Anbu Captain.

Image source: Sarutobii2/naruto.fandom.com

Uchiha had quite the story arc from being the ultimate bad guy to having a three-sixty turn around to being an unsung hero, this character has certainly achieved a bar of excellency. Everything from his fighting technique, visual design, and tactful manner has given a certain exquisite flair to his storyline.