ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Japan - Top Ten Anime Characters

Updated on July 27, 2010

anime and manga



By now anime and manga have spread to almost every corner of the world. Instilled with Japanese whimsy and fundamentally different from Western cartoons, anime has established itself as a distinct--yet globally accepted--art form. Who are the giants of the anime world? See if you recognize these names.


1. Doraemon

Every kid would like a robotic cat that can pull all kinds of gadgets out of his front pocket. Want to use a magic door to go to Antarctica for the afternoon? Want to pass that history exam you haven’t studied for? Doraemon does all this and more for the slightly un-cool Nobita, who is actually the luckiest kid alive because he has Doraemon to help him.


Trivia: Did you know Doraemon had his ears chewed off by mice?


2. Sazae-san

Sazae-san has been running non-stop on Japanese TV since 1969. You could say the show and its characters are as Japanese as furikake. Sazae herself is a housewife who lives with a number of humorous family members that embroil themselves in any number of light-hearted situations.


Trivia: Did you know all of the characters on the show are named after seafood? (fish, seaweed, etc.)


3. Astro Boy

Originally created by the godfather of anime, Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy was an icon of postwar Japan. A robot that can fly and translate over 60 languages, Astro Boy’s endless mission is to maintain peace on earth. Many middle-aged foreigners know him because the English-language version ran on TV in the states in the 1960’s.


Trivia: Did you know Astro Boy is an official resident of Niiza City in Saitama?


4. Pikachu

We’ve all grown a tad sick of this omnipresent anime character, but the show Pokémon has maintained its strong popularity among school children. Ask a Japanese kid how many Pokémon characters he can draw from memory in one minute, and it is likely he will need more than one sheet of paper.


Trivia: Did you know Pikachu stores electricity in his cheeks?


5. Goku

Said to be of completely pure heart, this superhuman hero from the planet Vegeta uses his famous kamehameha energy blast to blow away enemies. He also gets around on a flying cloud (wouldn’t you?) and can balance himself on his tail. The character of Goku is actually based on the monkey warrior from the Chinese epic Journey to the West .


Trivia: Did you know that Goku’s “Achilles’ heel” is his tail?


6. Gundam

If you were lucky enough to be in Japan this past year, you may have had a chance to see the gigantic statue of Gundam in Odaiba. The number of tourists who came to see this icon of SF anime attests to the popularity of the character. Although, to be specific, Gundam is just a type of mobile suite that is controlled by a pilot, and so perhaps not a “character.” But let’s keep this on one the list.


Trivia: Did you know that the name “Gundam” is a combination of the words “gun” and “freedom?”


7. Arsène Lupin III

Lupin is a master thief that is supposed to be the grandson of the character created by the French writer Maurice Leblanc. Lupin and his gang are always working on a heist, while being chased by Inspector Zenigata of the ICPO, who actually has a soft spot for his supposed archenemy.

Trivia: Did you know that Lupin’s favorite cigarettes are Gitanes?


8. Kitaro

Kitaro is a yokai, or Japanese spirit-monster, who is actually on the side of the humans against evil yokai. Some of his special powers are shooting razor-sharp needles of hair, chucking his wooden geta sandals, and protecting himself from enemy attacks using his magic vest. Often accompanied by his eyeball-shaped father (who used to have a full body in his past life) Kitaro and his strange friends are always out to help those who are in trouble.


Trivia: Did you know that Kitaro is missing his left eye? (but it’s not his father)


9. Muscle Man (Kinnikuman)

You would not think a pro wrestler who uses his farts to fly through the air would be a likely candidate to be an anime hero, but Muscle Man is one of the most recognizable characters in Japan. What originally started out as a farcical character eventually became a hero that took on deadly opponents like Ramenman, Warsman, and Buffaloman. Many foreigners will know him from the plastic figurines that were sold in the 80’s.


Trivia: Did you know that Muscle Man originally used garlic to generate his fighting ability?


10. Naruto

Naruto has taken over the torch for the JUMP franchise and continues to rack up popularity in Japan as well as overseas. It follows the tale of young Naruto Uzumaki, who is a ninja that aspires to the strongest ninja in his village. Because he has a “Nine-tailed Demon Fox” sealed within him, Naruto has access to supernatural powers—but it is also the reason he is ostracized by his village.


Trivia: Did you know that Naruto’s favorite food is ramen?



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      16 months ago

      My names Jeff

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      what is up

    • profile image

      2 years ago

      omg i love this thing

    • profile image

      gaaras little sister 

      2 years ago

      I love Naruto

    • RachaelLefler profile image

      Rachael Lefler 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      My favorite is Ranma. Every bisexual's dream!

    • Maximum A profile image

      Jee Ann G 

      7 years ago

      nice hub! maybe u could make a hub listing more than 10 or maybe by category? idk, so many cool anime shows and characters nowadays: L from deathnote, the fullmetal alchemist, etc. but i really enjoyed reading your hub!

    • meow48 profile image


      7 years ago from usa

      enjoyed this hub, thankyou for sharing.

    • ocoonocoon profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      ACSutliff, thanks for coming over. I guess fantasy lovers are also anime lovers! Nice Japanese pun reference! That's a hard one!

    • ZarkoZivkovic profile image


      8 years ago from Serbia

      Well, this is very subjective, I am a great fan of manga and anime, been reading for over 10 years now although I'm from Europe. I guess one character that is really missing on this list is Gatsu from Berserk, I mean that manga has been going for more than 15 years, the guy is a genius. Everything else would be subjective, but when you added Naruto you might as well put in Ichigo from Bleach. Or even Full Metal Alchemist, and any other currently popular character, besides Doraemon and Sazae the rest are really low in the real manga and anime world and are watched and read only by kids. Anime has some really HC stuff!

    • ACSutliff profile image


      8 years ago

      Hello Ocoonocoon,

      I noticed that you started following me, so I popped over to visit. I love anime, and I recognize Pikachu, Astro Boy, Gundam, Naruto, and Lupin III. I did know that Naruto loves ramen. In one episode he apologizes for liking ramen so much by saying "Gomen" which is Japanese for "I'm sorry," but it also means "honorable ramen". How funny!

      If you come by to visit me again, please leave a comment, and I will come read more of your hubs too!


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      what about arucard/alucard from Hellsing?

      To me hes the coolest character possible :O


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)