My Top Six Male Characters in Anime

6.    Armin Arlert (Attack on Titan)f

Armin is not the typical courageous, charismatic protagonist of a series. In fact, Armin starts off as a nervous wreck, timid and full of self-doubt. As he progresses in his military training and field expeditions, he grows, learning that his strength lies, not in combat, but in strategy.

He has keen instincts and a desire to help his comrades defeat the Titans, so that they can create a better future for mankind. His concern for his friends, and his intelligence, makes him an invaluable asset.

Although some friends of mine dislike Armin for his early ‘cowardice,’ I am drawn to his non-archetypical persona. The fact that he is more brain over brawn comes as a welcome divergence, and makes Armin a favorite of mine.

Standout Moments:

Armin Eren Eaten
Eren is eaten during the Battle of Trost District. Armin devises a plan to use the ‘rogue’ Titan to kill the other ones – a plan that is initially met with ridicule, but works to great effect in the end
Armin Female Titan
The Female Titan spares Armin. This act leads to her own downfall

5.    Li Syaoran (Cardcaptor Sakura)Li Syaoran

Li Syaoran’s place in this list is partly due to nostalgia for a series I loved when I was younger. I always wanted to be as adept and aloof as him.

Initially appearing in Sakura’s class as a rude, abrupt, distant character, later Syaoran shows himself to be a caring and thoughtful protagonist. At first, he sees himself as being superior to Sakura, but later comes to accept her strengths, often aiding her in capturing the Clow Cards. He is a lone wolf type of character, and with his array of magical weapons, he is a formidable ally.

Aside from his magical and physical prowess, one of the most interesting aspects of Syaoran’s role in the series are his relationships with other characters. I was always fascinated with Syaoran’s relationship to Yukito Tsukishiro (Julian in the English adaption.) I liked the idea that Syaoran was magically attracted to him because he drew his power from the moon, a force that resided in Yukito in the form of the Moon Guardian Yue. This is a fact that is only revealed later in the series, showing the depth of the magic in the Cardcaptors universe.

His relationship with Sakura is one of the most enduring in anime history, with many sequels, cameos and pieces of fan fiction to continue their story.

Standout Moments:

Syaoran Lasin Board
In his first episode, Syaoran uses the Rashinban (Lasin Board) to confront Sakura about being a Card Captor
Syaoran Sakura Attack
One of the many times Syaoran protects Sakura
Syaoran Sakura
In one of the final scenes of the anime, Syaoran attempts to tell Sakura how he feels about her

4.    Goku (Dragon Ball, Dragonball Z, Dragonball GT)Goku

Goku has it all: he is one of the kindest beings in the universe, and one of the most ferocious fighters. He combines unparalleled combat knowledge, with the naivety of a little boy.

Throughout the series, Goku continually challenges himself against the strongest foes he comes across. His charming, pure-hearted nature allows him to make friends with most of the opponents he encounters, forming the core of the original Z Fighters, and building friendships throughout the universe.

He is the ultimate warrior, the ultimate defender of Earth, and having sacrificed his life on more than one occasion, Goku leaves his friends and family as a true hero.

Standout Moments:

Goku King Piccolo
King Piccolo was one of Goku’s earliest foes – Piccolo becomes one of Goku’s greatest friends
Goku Gohan Hyperbolic Time Chamber
Goku personally training Gohan in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber
Goku Meets Goten
The cute moment Goten meets his father for the first
Goku Spirit Bomb Majin Buu
Goku (Godlike) wishes that Majin Buu can be reborn so that they can fight again, before delivering the Spirit Bomb

3.    Vegeta (Dragonball Z, Dragonball GT)a

The proud Saiyan Prince ranks higher than Goku in my list of favorite male characters.

The main reason for this is that Vegeta is flawed, and he changes over time. You always know what you will get from Goku, he is pure of heart, and so you know he will always make the right decision and win the fight; but with Vegeta, every move is unexpected, and this gives his actions more significance.

When Vegeta appeared as an arrogant, alien villain, I did not think that he would go on to become one of Earth’s greatest protectors. Vegeta is changed by his rivalry with Goku, his love of Bulma and his children, and his new-found friends on Earth.

He is a great foil to Goku’s frivolous persona, and beats Goku in this list for ‘keeping it real,’ and being a cool character with a huge heart.

Standout Moments:

Vegeta Goodbye Trunks
Vegeta hugs Trunks (apparently for the first time) because he is about to commit the ultimate sacrifice in order to try to beat Majin Buu
Vegeta Krillin
Krillin blasts a hole through Vegeta (this, for some reason, has always been a vivid memory for me)
Vegeta Respect Goku
The life-changing moment when Vegeta acknowledges Goku’s strengths (and refers to him as Goku, which in itself is a life-changing moment)

2.    L (Death Note) Death Note L

Quirky, peculiar, weird, creepy: these are some words that could be used to describe this next person on the list.

L gives credence to the notion that intelligence can be cool. With his eccentric mannerisms, the way he sits, the way he dresses, he way he holds objects, his penchant for sweet foods, his straight-talking attitude, and the drastic measures he takes to solve crimes: he is a quintessential genius.

L is a top detective, often taking on the cases that nobody else can crack. Some say that he is even greater than Sherlock Holmes.

The series is dramatic and fast-paced, full of deception and deceit: L must discover the identity of Kira, and Light must discover L’s name so that he can kill him with the Death Note. The lengths L goes to in order to track down Kira, and his initial suspicions regarding the true identity of Light Yagami, make for a truly exciting showdown between the two characters, and his personality make him a memorable and rare character.

Standout Moments:

Death Note L Hold Phone
L immediately suspects Light Yagami and tries in many ways to outfox him – notice how L only holds items by its edge
Death Note L Investigate
L goes to drastic lengths to unveil the identity of Kira

1.    Kirito (Sword Art Online) e

Kirito is the standard lone wolf type who perhaps exemplifies a stereotype of the MMO player as quiet and withdrawn.

However, even from the beginning, Kirito displays his compassionate side, branding himself as a Beater to protect other Beta testers in the game, and joining the Moonlit Black Cats guild in the hope of helping them level up sufficiently so they will survive the game.

He is highly regarded, and often feared as a fighter, but is much-loved by the people who recognize his kind heart.

It is clear that the events of Aincrad have had a deep impact on his life. During the GGO arc, it is revealed that he is still haunted by the knowledge that when players died in Aincrad, they died in real life too. It is obvious that he has harboured those feelings for a long time.

He tops this list for being the strongest warrior, a computer geek, a harem-owner, and a considerate, tender-hearted guy all rolled up into one surprisingly believable character.

Standout Moments:

Kirito Beater
Kirito calls himself the Beater to protect other beta Testers
Kirito Asuna Forest
Kirito and Asuna
Kirito Dual Wielding
Kirito is forced to use his dual wielding skill to protect his friends
Kirito Defeats Heathcliff Game
Kirito defeats Heathcliff, and Aincrad itself, so that the players of the ‘Death Game’ can finally go home

Who are your favourite male characters from anime?

16 comments

  1. Depends on how I am rating the characters. If its characters who have good morals and are just plain cool or are characters I really enjoyed. Either way I quite like the latest portrayal of Kaito Kid in Magic Kaito 1412. Kuroba is a magician and has all the quality which go with it. He’s suave and charming when he wants to be and a prankster always at heart. But never malicious, preferring to help people with their problems than cause them. Even at the darkest part of the anime, Kuroba opts to respect the wishes of others. So what if he’s a thief? 90% of the time he returns what he has stolen anyway ^^ Also I agree with Li Syaoran. He is adorable if not bratty in Cardcaptors xD

    Like

    • The way I compiled my list was to look at the characters’ overall attributes. My list consists of the characters who I found the most memorable/impactful. By impactful, I mean the ones whose actions touched me the most, and the ones who influenced their world the most. Kaito Kuroba is indeed suave. He’d make it into my top 10 – I like how you say “90% of the time…” Although Syaoran is a little bratty, he always steps up when required. I think this makes up for the brattiness. Also, he was young ^^

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad you like Kaito 😀 Syaoran’s brilliant, and indeed Sakura, partly because the writers do a good job of keeping them in their ages. The ending is just brilliant as is the growth development of both characters ^^

        Liked by 1 person

  2. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS to Armin Arlert! He gets so much hate which isn’t fair. The dude is someone a lot of people can relate to. Not everyone will be some badass like Mikasa or Kirito. Armin is realistic and grows throughout the series into a very respectable person. I’m so glad someone else can see his worth! XD Syaoran is also a great choice!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cool list. I can’t agree with no. 1 because I haven’t seen SAO yet but vegeta is definitely in my top 5 before goku as well. He’s just so badass. L would probably be tied first with Gatts from berserk. Gatts is just fucking insane but so awesome at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am also a fan of L. He’s ballsy.

    I like Cross Marion from D Gray Man. He’s a jerk but he’s such a badass that I can’t help liking him. I’m getting into Bleach now too and Chad (Yasutora Sado) is my favourite. He’s fearless and loyal and solid. His voice is toneless which can be funny sometimes.

    Like

    • Cool topic. My favorite is obviously Uzumaki Naruto because of his never give up attitude that I always follow when it comes to my writing. And I like Kenshiro from the old school anime Hokuto no Ken; just liked his quiet and serious demeanor as well as his fighting skills. I’m glad you’re blog’s all about anime, I’ll be sure to check out your other posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think both Goku and L also have some form of autism, but they’re so different because their basic personality is different.
    Anyway my favourite character is Vegeta. He is flawed and unpredictable, as you said.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s