They say the clothes make the man, but I think it's the beard. How you keep your facial hair reveals a lot about a person, both in their general personality and their sense of style. It shows something about how you want to be looked at in the world and I think for the purposes of Anime, it shows something about how the creators wanted this character to be viewed. So without further ado, here are 10 of the best beards in anime.
10. Azumane Asahi, Haikyuu
Popular male characters in a fan base with a heavy fujoshi contingent with beards? There aren't that many in modern anime anymore but Azumane 'the based ace' Asahi fits the bill. He has just a few tufts of hair on the chin but this soul patch really goes length for his looks. Together with his luscious locks in a very well put together man bun it gives a great image of who Asahi is, slightly different and out there but not some delinquent, even though some might think otherwise.
9. Lordgenome from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Lordgenomes beard is as nefarious as he is. It's all about those long whiskers coming out to the sides, that can easily be played within a despicable fashion like the stereotypical black and white movie villain tying damsels to the train tracks. Lordgenome himself cuts a villainous figure with the beard playing a big part in his evil looking design. As the series go on, there are more shades of gray thrown his way but in the beginning, Lordgenome looks like pure villainy and his beard plays a big role in this.
8. Master Roshi from Dragon Ball Z
Master Roshi is an old, dignified warrior who is central to the development of the main characters of Dragonball and Dragonball Z. However, he's also kind of a perv and definitely serves a comic relief role. His huge mustache and long with beard give him a stately look which fit one major part of his personality, but his clothes and sunglasses add the goofy elements. It's an impressive set of facial hair for any guy, and once again it helps really show a lot about the character in his design.
7. Juzo Okita from Space Battleship Yamato
Juzo looks like he's been through some hell, let's put it at that. His beard is long, gangly and white, in a way that even if it weren't white, it still wouldn't fit on a younger character. Older men often look even more distinguished with longer facial hair as it is kind of symbolic of all the years of experience under their belts and it's sometimes assumed that Younger men should be more clean-shaven and fresh faced. Whether you agree with this or not, this beard definitely makes it look like Okita should be a commander, and he was based off the original creator of Space Battleships Yamato's father, who was a Major in the Imperial Japanese Navy.
6. Rider/Alexander from Fate/Zero
Rider's beard is beautiful, red and Jovial. It's everything the character is. Rider's beard definitely matches his burly physique and personality. It also forms so perfectly with his hair to form this auburn ring around his head, making him look manly and stately. Too booth, the fur mane on his coat forms sort of a secondary ring, so Rider is not just an excellent warrior, conqueror, and king, but an expert on facial hair geometry.
5. Kenshiro, Fist of the North Star
Ken didn't always have a beard, as he starts off in the legendary Fist of the North Star without one. But when he gets one, the dude looks even more legendary. Kenshiro was already enough to turn boys into men merely with a stern look but now he's positively elder god tier. I feel like Kenshiro can make Kratos from God of War pee his loincloth or something. Ken rocks this beautiful full beard that makes him even more of a man to admire and root for.
4. Joseph Joestar from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
I love Joseph Joestars old man beard, I really really do. It was fun seeing him starting out Bi-seinen cutie tear to having this wizened salt and pepper look. It looks part graceful but it also looks a little funny. Which, in the end, makes it perfect for the myriad 'OH MY GOD' shout's throughout the series. He just looks like a fun older guy with that but also someone who's definitely respectable at the same time.
3. Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop
Spike is always an interesting character, he's rough and gruff and you really don't want to mess with him but he has a gentle side to him. It's kind of natural that his pretty elaborate whiskers go into this image. It's so goofy that it's partially disarming but his beard also gives the presence that it's a cat with its hair raised ready to pounce... which is also so goofy that it's disarming. Still, though, Spike has whiskers to be admired. If anyone can actually get their sides to point out like that, please shoot me an e-mail and tell me how.
2. Meme Oshino from Bakemonogatari
A man literally named Meme with facial hair that feels like a meme in and of itself. There's something that's weirdly funny about Oshino's visage and that little tuft of blond hair that's too big to be a soul patch yet too small to be a goatee sort of ties the whole package together. It fits well for a series with sly humor like Monogatari and also works well for a character like Oshino who always seems like someone you can laugh with but also harbor a serious mistrust towards.
1. Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion
Gendo's beard is weird for me. It's all the rage now to shave pretty much all of the facial hair on the neck leaving hair only on the Jawline and above. In fact, to do the opposite would give you a neck beard which has serious negative connotations these days. But Gendo Ikari the absolute madman is just going to kick convention to the curve and look pretty great doing it. He looks nefarious as all hell and his beard, though not so out of this world, totally fits his character and works for his design. Someone check his facial hair to see if all the love he doesn't show his son is in there.
There's a lot of beards that got left out of this one that I'd love to have included. For starters, a certain Gundam model that, even if it didn't meet the criteria of 'character', deserves a mention. Alas , there are only 10 spots on the list. But you can fill in the gaps by letting us know your favorite beards and bearded characters below!