The 10 Most Popular Anime Characters Of All Time (In Japan) – CBR – Comic Book Resources

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Goo Rankings is Japan’s most popular ranking site, and these are the anime characters the medium’s domestic fans loved the most.
Anime fandoms are constantly abuzz about which characters are objectively the best. Whether it's power scaling shonen heroes and debating over who could defeat the other or discussing which characters are the best-written, anime fans love comparing their favorites.
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Gauging which characters are the most popular or well-received can prove challenging, but sites like MyAnimeList or AniList are great ways of judging since they attract millions of monthly users. Goo Rankings, however, is Japan's most popular ranking site. Since anime is made in Japan, international fans were interested to see which characters the medium's domestic fans loved the most.
Kaito Kuroba is the true identity of the mysterious magician, Kaito Kid, in Detective Conan. Kaito assumed his father's identity to get revenge on the people who killed him. He seems like the average high school kid and has a knack for charming everyone he meets. However, Kaito's personality does a one-hundred-eighty-degree turn after putting on his Phantom Thief garb.
Kaito became one of Detective Conan's most formidable recurring antagonists thanks to his constant antics. Still, it's understandable why he's so popular. After all, watching a trickster do what he does best is always fun.
Giyu Tomioka is the Water Hashira in Demon Slayer. He's a man of few words and always dons a deadpan facial expression. Giyu is hard to read, and other characters constantly try to crack his stoic facade, albeit to no avail. Still, there's more to this aloof slayer than meets the eye.
He may pretend he doesn't care what others think, but he wants people to like him and got concerned when Shinobu joked that everyone hates him. Giyu broke the Demon Slayer Corps' rules by letting Nezuko live after seeing how she protected Tanjiro. He even sent the duo to his master, Urokodaki, so Tanjiro could join the Corps and find a cure.
Muichiro Tokito is the Mist Hashira in Demon Slayer. The Hashira all have eccentric personalities, and Muichiro isn't an exception. Much like his Breathing style's free-flowing mist, Muichiro tends to space out and get lost in the moment. He's kind of an airhead, but he's one of the Demon Slayer Corps' strongest members.
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Though Muichiro seems like he's lost somewhere out in the ozone ninety percent of the time, he harbors more baggage than fans initially thought. He also had one of Demon Slayer's saddest deaths that left fans bawling their eyes out.
Toge Inumaki hasn't spoken much in Jujutsu Kaisen, and fans know next to nothing about his backstory. Still, he's one of the series' most popular characters. Though it may seem odd, fans genuinely love the bits and pieces they've seen of Inumaki thus far.
Inumaki limited his vocabulary to rice ball ingredients to avoid accidentally cursing his friends with his Cursed Speech. It's a technique that, when overused, seriously injures his throat. Still, Inumaki always steals the show by jumping in at the right time and saving the day.
Rimuru Tempest is one of isekai's most unique protagonists. As the star of That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime, he's repeatedly proven why fans should never judge a book by its over. He comes off as completely childlike and even naive sometimes, but Rimuru is a strategic genius whose skills shouldn't be underestimated.
He's wickedly overpowered and virtually impossible to nerf down to size despite his enemies' best efforts. Fans can't help but root for Rimuru as he navigates the strange new world he's found himself in.
Gintama's Gintoki Sakata is one of shonen's most lovable protagonists because he's such an oddball who defied the preset expectations for the genre. Other shonen leads are gung-ho teenagers who dream of becoming the best and saving the world, but Gintoki just wants to make ends meet. His goals are much more relatable and down-to-earth than his predecessors'.
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Gintoki became the blueprint for new generation fan favorites like Yuji Itadori or Chainsaw Man's Denji. Like them, Gintoki makes recognizable pop culture references and participated in things that the average viewer does, like lounging around reading Shonen Jump when he's not working.
Doraemon is a childhood fan-favorite series that many adult anime fans look back on with fondness and overwhelming nostalgia. The series' titular protagonist is a cute robot cat whose always willing to give a helping hand. Doraemon was once a yellow cat, but mice ate his ears, so now he's blue. The incident made him fear mice from then on.
Despite being robotic, Doraemon is boundlessly compassionate. He taught younger viewers the importance of kindness, loyalty, imagination, and always pursuing their dreams. Fans reminisce on watching Doraemon's adventures with Nobita fondly, and the series holds a special place in many hearts.
Serena from Pokémon has received lots of criticism over the years, primarily because of her crush on Ash. Some also disliked that she was a Pokémon Performer and compared her to other characters. However, Serena is undeserving of the hate.
She's one of the most popular characters on Goo Rankings' list because fans appreciate her patient personality and ambitious disposition. She's a solid role model for younger viewers, and fans appreciate her presence in the story, even if she didn't receive a proper story arc.
Satoru Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen broke the internet after the series' 2020 anime premiere. Fans were immediately intrigued by the sharp-witted sorcerer with icy-white hair, piercing blue eyes, and a one-liner for every situation. Satoru is the strongest sorcerer on the planet with a wide arsenal of flashy cursed techniques that led to some of the series' most memorable fight scenes.
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Though Satoru is the ultimate cool guy, fans also appreciate the depth and complexity of his character. It's not always easy standing at the top, and Satoru's definitely faced his share of adversity over the years. Whether it's from cursed spirits and users teaming up to get rid of him or dealing with sorcerer politics, Satoru always has a few tricks up his sleeves to come out the other side even stronger than before.
Levi Ackerman from Attack On Titan quickly stole the spotlight from the rest of the cast after his debut. He's the best fighter in the series, and none of the other characters could even stand on the same playing field as him. Levi may not be a Titan shifter, but his battle IQ surpasses most other characters. Calling him the greatest of all time is an understatement.
Though Levi's looks contribute to his overwhelming popularity, he's more than just an attractive husbando. Levi has a dry sense of humor and can come up with a crude one-liner for everything. Not many of Attack On Titan's other characters are interesting enough to warrant a spin-off series, and Levi's made fans fall even harder for him.
NEXT: The Top 10 Most Popular Anime Villains, According To MyAnimeList
Sarah is a senior writer for CBR based in Pennsylvania, US. She enjoys watching anime, reading manga, and discussing her favorite series in online fandom spaces. Sarah has been in all types, but had the most fun with other anime fans. When she's not working, Sarah is probably playing video games on her Nintendo Switch for hours, reading a book, catching up on the latest episodes of her favorite anime, or reading manga. Sarah often posts about her manga collection on Instagram, @cozylychee.
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