Sophie’s top ten men in Anime ~ Part 1

You may recall a few weeks back we let public that we had teamed up with Sophie from Sophie’s Japan Blog to work as a guest writer. Today comes the first post and it’s a little something special.

A few weeks ago I ran a poll asking readers which special feature they would next like to see and, with almost half the votes, the winner was ‘men in anime’. I’m guessing most of my readers are female.

This isn’t the standard blog formula, as I usually don’t fawn over fictional men but this is a ‘just for fun’ piece. In other words, these are my personal choices, so don’t flame me if I haven’t featured whatshisname and don’t abandon this blog forever if you’ve just discovered it and were looking for something more substantial. Also, this isn’t just an ‘oh my god, he’s so pretty so he’s on the list’ list – this is a list that covers every aspect of character from psychosis to arrogance to manliness. The third one is particularly important.

All characters names are written in their original Japanese versions (surname first, first name second), unless you see this star – * – next to their name.

SPOILER WARNING: If you plan to watch any of the series on this list, skip the relevant paragraph and go watch the show!

10) Okita Souji (Hakuouki)


If you read my ‘samurai of the week’ feature, you might recognise this name. You might also remember that I discussed Hakuouki a few weeks back and said it wasn’t a brilliant show in itself but the bountiful amount of bishounen made up for it. Therefore, I was obliged to include this guy in my top ten.

The Hakuouki series revolves around the Shinsengumi’s struggle against pro-western forces in Japan, with a (fictional) substory about the dangerous ‘ochimizu’ that is being taken by some of its members and turning them into demons. History tells us that they ultimately lost and that Souji died from tuberculosis. The anime largely sticks to this as the charming and witty Souji contracts the illness and is bedridden for much of the series. He is tricked by the enemy into taking ochimizu, believing that it will cure him but it instead turns him into a demon. In the second season, he succumbs to the effects of the tuberculosis and ochimizu and tragically dies.

Souji’s character is rather two dimensional and, whilst very pretty to look at, the tuberculosis and ochimizu substories don’t do much to add to it. To be fair, he does not feature that prominently in the series once he contracts tuberculosis and is unable to join the Shinsengumi’s campaign. He’s still on the list though because I love my samurai.

9) Ladd Russo (Bacanno!) *


I don’t think Ladd Russo has ever featured on any other ‘men in anime’ list for one very good reason. He’s an absolute psychopath. Without a doubt he’s the most dangerous character on this list. Part of the Russo family, he is a trained hitman and gets giddy over violence. He does not appear to care for anyone other than his lover Lua (who he swears to eventually murder himself), and even killed his own boss, so he is certainly not a man of loyalty.

The wonderful Bacanno! series is set in 1930s America, amid gang warfare, alchemy and murder. The story alternates between different events, one of which is the hijack of the Flying Pussyfoot train by the White Suits (led by Ladd) and Lemure gang simultaneously. The two gangs fight on the train, which leads to some rather amusing yet disturbing scenes of Ladd dancing in a puddle of blood of his fallen comrade.

Ladd Russo makes the list because he is a very memorable villain. I have a weakness for sadistic characters and, given how this guy wears white suits for the sole purpose of making the blood of his enemies stand out more, he wins that crown.

8) Gene Starwind * (Outlaw Star)


Alright, this was a really biased choice. Gene Starwind was my childhood hero. Outlaw Star was the first anime I watched that had a lot of swearing (10pm watershed hour, rebellious!) and I don’t remember much about this guy . . . other than the fact that he was an absolute BAD ASS!

Gene is a drinker, a womaniser, lazy and reckless. That said, he isn’t just boring and predictable as a character. We learn early on in the series that he has a fear of space flight, after pirates attacked his ship and killed his father. He eventually overcomes this fear when he forced to take command of the Outlaw Star spaceship in order to help the mysterious Melfina restore her memory. Although he appears reckless and cold, he does open up occasionally and develops feelings for Melfina.

Gene’s on the list because of his impressive weapons itinerary; guns, grenades, rocket launchers, you name it. He’s also pretty manly and he pilots a ship. What’s not to like?

7) Orihara Izaya (Durarara!!)

Source: oneirosia @ wordpress

This was a toss up between two Durarara!! characters – the other was Heiwajima Shizuo, Izaya’s rival. In the end Izaya won because he has the world’s greatest smirk.

Izaya is an underground informant who often manipulates and tricks people into unfortunate situations. Early on in the anime, he tricks a young girl into a suicide pact – texting her and pretending that he is also an emotionally depressed teenager. Once he reveals his true identity on the rooftop from which they were going to jump, he leaves her and says that he does not particularly care what she actually does because he only wanted to observe her reaction to their conversations. Yeah, he’s not a nice guy. Izaya claims that he loves humanity but he does not nor cannot ‘love’ humans. At best, he regards people as friends, calling them informally by prefixes such as ‘kun’ and ‘chan’.

In the series, Izaya manipulates the actions of those around him by leaking information, which he re-enacts on his unusual game board that comprises chess, go and shogi pieces. His goal is to obtain the inanimate head of the headless rider Celty Sturlson so that he can go to Valhalla and start a war in Ikebukuro. He plays by rules that are beyond the rest of humanity’s understanding, as the board shows. Although much of the gang violence unfolding in Ikebukuro intrigues him, he prefers to linger in the shadows and observe rather than actively partake in it. The only exception to this rule is his rival Shizuo, whom he views as the embodiment of violence and goes to great lengths to provoke.

Izaya is on the list because he’s a professional troll. He’s effectively the puppeteer of the series; so, if you like you dickish characters, you’ll probably like him.

6) Takizawa Akira (East of Eden)


Akira wins the prize for greatest entry in an anime – turning up naked in front of the White House. The strategically-placed squiggly white lines only add to the hilarity.

At the beginning of the series, he has lost his memory and only has a futuristic phone and gun. He is actually one of the Seleção, unwitting participants in a game created by the mysterious ‘Mr. Outside’. Each player has 10 billion yen on their phone, which they must use to save Japan (or die when the money on the phone runs out). As the series progresses and the other players are revealed, it becomes clear that Akira is the only one who believes he can really save the country and one of the few who is not playing for personal gain. He falls under suspicion at one point when his friends start to suspect that he was responsible for an attempted missile attack and disappearance of 20,000 NEETs but it is later revealed that he made himself a scapegoat in the event, which was why he erased his memory.

Akira is one of the few noble players in the Seleção game and has an awesome phone. Therefore, he’s on the list.

That’s it for part one of the list of ‘Top Men in Anime’. Part two will be up in the coming days so don’t forget to check back and keep your eyes open for that.

A big thank you to Sophie for writing this article and you should all check out her blog. Don’t forget as well to check out her art contest which finishes soon.

Words: Sophie’s Japan Blog
Images used within fair use rights.


One response to “Sophie’s top ten men in Anime ~ Part 1

  1. Pingback: Sophie’s top ten men in Anime ~ Part 2 «·

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