Other Reference: Takakura Shouma & Takakura Kanba (Mawaru Penguindrum)
Throughout our entire lives, we’re always trying to find and relate to people that are similar to us in some way. Whether it’s someone’s personality, their interest in the same passion as you, or having grown up in similar circumstances, we always want to establish a strong connection and develop a special friendship with others. People that have siblings are therefore very lucky if they have siblings that can satisfy these desires, especially during the difficult trials we experience growing up.
Having a sibling results in sharing certain experiences and memories regardless of whether that sibling is a brother or sister. The differences, however, lie more in the older sibling/younger sibling dynamics, and there are a variety of these dynamics that we see when it comes to having an inspiring brother. With a vast amount of old and new characters to choose from, here are the 10 anime brothers that were chosen to represent these different dynamics.
10. Yo Takami, Deadman Wonderland
Yo and Minatsuki share a bond that represents the extremes of the normal circumstances that we see occur in a typical sibling relationship. It’s commonly seen for the older brother to take upon his shoulders the responsibility of protecting their younger sister from danger, and in this regard Yo is no different. Whether it was before being imprisoned, with Yo attempting to protect Minatsuki from their father’s abuse, or during their imprisonment, where Yo rescues his sister from an earthquake, Yo demonstrates multiple times the length he’s willing to go in order to protect his sister, no matter what the consequences may be. Even when confronted with the reality of Minatsuki being the person responsible for the deaths of their parents, Yo chooses to still unconditionally love her, revealing the kind of person he really is and demonstrating a tolerance many brothers wish they could have.
9. Mutta Nanba, Space Brothers
A classic example of the competitive spirit that exists between a younger and older brother can be accurately summed up by the relationship Mutta has with his younger brother Hibito. Mutta is usually very tranquil and often stays collected in most situations, but over time we see just how competitive he really is. Often times Mutta will do whatever it takes to keep ahead of Hibito in anything, even coming up with unusual methods that sometimes fail in helping him overcome certain obstacles. It was because of this rivalry that Hibito was able to become an astronaut, and it’s because of this rivalry that makes Mutta decide to become an astronaut as well, showing how a little healthy competition can lead to bigger and bigger things.
8. Kamina, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
When there is no older sibling to learn from, a young boy will turn to and admire a young adult that appears to be confident and has an effortless attitude towards life. This is exactly what we see in Simon’s relationship with Kamina. Saying that Kamina is over the top would be an understatement, as Kamina’s arrogance, energy, and impulsiveness leave quite the first impression. That being said, Kamina’s insightfulness is second to none, as it is shown not only in the war against the Beastmen, but in Simon’s potential to be a true hero. Kamina’s famous quote to Simon finally allows Simon to reach a level he would have never achieved without Kamina’s help, and with Kamina believing that Simon is the source that he relies on to achieve his victories, it just goes to show how a bond can go both ways.
7. Lelouch Lamperouge, Code Geass
It can be argued that everything Lelouch did he did in his pursuit of making the world a better place for his sister, Nunnally. Most people watching their younger sibling become blind and crippled would certainly be motivated to do whatever it takes to purse that goal, and we certainly see Lelouch go to all kinds of lengths to do just that. Fortunately, Lelouch is able to keep his duties to the world separate from those as being a dutiful brother to Nunnally, showing us how he can generally be a good person despite the actions he takes. The fact that he was able to make the world a better place and leave it to Nunnally definitely serves as one of the best examples of an older brother’s actions.
6. Yukio Okumara, Blue Exorcist
Technically Yukio is actually the younger of the Okumara twins. This kind of it makes a little awkward for Rin since his younger brother also happens to be his Exorcism teacher, not to mention a genius. That being said, Yukio’s assistance in helping Rin with his powers is crucial in helping Rin learn how to fight against Demons. In addition, Yukio was able to achieve this goal as a way of not being weak anymore, as Rin was the one that protected Yukio from bullies when they were kids. Not often do we get to see the younger brother helping the older brother in this type of dynamic, so it’s a nice change of pace to see this type of behavior that we’ve come to associate with the older brother.
5. Killua Zoldyck, Hunter x Hunter
Whereas most of the siblings on this list only have each other, Killua is actually the middle child of the Zoldyck family, having both a younger brother, a younger sister, and two older brothers. However, he has almost a non-existent relationship with his younger brother Kalluto (despite the latter’s attempts to bring him home), and his older brother Milluki (being tortured by your own brother tends to complicate things). In addition, Illumi’s overbearing attempts of trying to manipulate and control Killua throughout the series only result in Killua trying to distance himself from him. However, Killua serves as an older brother to Alluka, who he ends up becoming the closest to out of all his siblings. As a result, we see Killua have younger brother characteristics around Illumi and older brother characteristics around Alluka, demonstrating why sometimes the middle brother has characteristics of both younger and older brother as they learn to establish themselves, something Killua achieves quite nicely.
4. Takumi Nishijo, Chaos;Head
Takumi Nishijo is not exactly introduced as the best kind of older brother; isolating yourself from society and being fully immersed in anime and MMORPGS usually tends to send the opposite message. Nevertheless, Takumi undergoes a vast amount of growth and development throughout this short series in terms of properly interacting with people again, one of those people being his sister Nanami. We actually get to see him make mistakes as an older brother in his few interactions with Nanami and learn from those mistakes, which finally relieves Nanami’s worries about him. Takumi also steps up in the final fight against Genichi in order to protect Nanami and his new friends and does something he never could have imagined at the beginning of the series, showing just how far an older sibling can come as well as how much a younger sibling can help.
3. Itachi Uchiha, Naruto
When we’re first introduced to Sasuke’s older brother, we’re purposely led to believe he’s the bad guy, and it’s not hard to think otherwise when you first learn of his almost full eradication of the Uchiha clan. However, the revelation of the reasoning behind Itachi’s choice to do this marks as one of the strongest bonds for an older brother to have for their younger brother, not to mention a fundamental change in the series itself. How many other characters can you think of that would be willing to kill their own parents and friends in order to save just one person? Not many. The courage that Itachi had to make this decision knowing full well that Sasuke would grow up hating him simply cannot be measured.
2. Portgas D. Ace, One Piece
One of the best things an older brother can do for a younger brother that admires them is to be an “icebreaker”, or pave the path in order for them to follow in your footsteps just a little bit easier. Ace perfectly fulfills that role for Luffy: constantly staying one step above him as they fought, traveling to the Grand Line before him, getting a powerful Devil Fruit, joining one of the strongest pirate crews…the list goes on and on.
When we’re first introduced to Ace, we see an attitude about Luffy that we haven’t seen since Shanks: reverence. The fact that Luffy, who his crew has never seen him give up, easily state to them how Ace is much stronger than him just goes to show how much Luffy admires him. Ace also does another of the best things an older brother can do for their younger brother: believe in their dreams. Ace making the ultimate sacrifice for Luffy just goes to show that despite Ace’s loyalty to Whitebeard, his belief in Luffy and his dream was never surpassed by anything. Doesn’t get much better than that.
1. Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist
Was there ever any doubt as to who #1 should be? You have the biggest mistake a brother can make in Ed being responsible for the loss of Alphonse’s body, success in Ed being able to save his soul and attach it to armor, and a series that begins and revolves around an older brother trying to make amends for that mistake by finding the item needed to return his brother (and himself) back to normal. Throughout the series we see flashbacks of how Ed and Al’s relationship was perfectly normal before their failed Human Transmutation attempt to bring back their mother, and how their relationship struggles to remain the same as they search for the Philosopher’s Stone. Many characters attempt to stand in the Elric brothers’ path, and some of them even try to mentally mess with their relationship. However, as we come to see, their bond is arguable the strongest brotherly bond in all of anime. With Ed refusing to let anyone prevent him from attempting to bring back Al’s body and Al’s absolute faith and trust in his older brother, we have ourselves a series that serves as the perfect example of what it means to be an excellent older brother.
Should someone have been ranked higher? Lower? Is there someone that shouldn’t even be on the list? Maybe there’s somebody you think is missing entirely and deserves a mention. Post your thoughts in the comments!