We’ve talked about uniforms, costumes, and great anime fashion, but there’s nothing that gives a greater impression than a mask. While your face is the epitome of your identity, bearing a mask can create a whole new identity that may have nothing to do with who you are. A good mask gives you a second face, so to speak.
So, we here at Honey’s Anime are going to be discussing some of the most iconic and important anime masks! Just which one of your favorite masked characters will show up on our list? Well, read on and find out!
Beware of any spoilers.
10. Tuxedo Mask’s Mask from Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal (Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: July 2014 - July 2015
Tsukino Usagi is just a teenage crybaby who doesn’t do well in school or have a care in the world. That is until one day when she comes across a talking cat named Luna who grants her the power to become Sailor Moon. Now, as the magical girl Sailor Moon, Usagi’s carefree life will come to an end as she must use her new powers to protect the world from Queen Beryl of the Dark Kingdom. However, Usagi has to find her other fellow Sailor Senshi and the Moon Princess from Luna’s home.
Perhaps one of the most iconic masks, Tuxedo Mask’s mask is a simple eye mask that hardly hides his face. However, when donning the mask, no one can tell that Tuxedo Mask is, in fact, Mamoru. Mamoru is able to conceal his civilian identity with ease. As simple as this white eye mask is, it is truly symbolic of masked bishounen, especially, Tuxedo Mask.
9. Kagetane Hiruko's Mask from Black Bullet
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2014 - July 2014
Gastrea have brought ruin to mankind, infecting humans with a virus and turning them into monsters. The only ones who can save mankind now are young girls who possess small amounts of the Gastrea virus, giving them the ability to fight off Gastrea. These girls are known as Cursed Children and must pair up with a Promoter to fight off the threat to mankind.
Kagetane’s mask is a bringer of doom white mask with an eerie thin smile that stretches across the mask in a large U with upturned slits for eyes. If the mask wasn’t eerie enough, it really reflects Kagetane’s twisted personality. Kagetane uses his Initiator ruthlessly, not caring for her as an actual human being or child. Let’s not forget that Kagetane does not hesitate to kill anyone off, even for mere sport. While you may not see the bloodthirsty past of Kagetane’s mask, the mask does a good job showing Kagetane’s wicked personality.
8. No Face’s Mask from Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: July 2001
Ogino Chihiro’s life has taken a turn when her family moved away. On the way to their new home, Chihiro’s parents take a detour and discover an abandoned amusement park, prolonging Chihiro’s already unwanted journey to her new hometown. It is here where her parents become trapped in the form of hogs after indulging on spiritual foods. Chihiro is now in the spirit world and must find a way to restore her parents to normal and escape.
No Face is a creature that is akin to a black blob or apparition with a white mask bearing red markings and a friendly smile in place of its face. This mask leads many to believe No Face comes to us as a friend to Chihiro; No Face’s mask deceives the audience. No Face quickly brings trouble to Chihiro and the rest of the bathhouse by becoming a gluttonous monster still bearing the friendly appearing white mask. How frightening!
7. Uchiha Obito’s Mask from Naruto: Shippuuden
- Episodes: Unknown
- Aired: February 2007 - ongoing
Uzumaki Naruto left Konohagakure two and a half years ago and is ready to come home as a stronger, more capable shinobi than before. Naruto still holds onto his promise to Haruno Sakura to bring Uchiha Sasuke back. The Akatsuki has been plotting something big in the meantime. However, there are other evils stewing in the background.
When he first emerged in Naruto, Obito had taken up the name Tobi, bearing an orange mask with a swirled design that centered in on a single opening large enough to reveal a Sharingan. This mask had many fans speculating for ages about Tobi’s identity. Many fans had concluded, due to his revealing only one eye, that Tobi had to be Obito, Hatake Kakashi’s old teammate whom we all presumed to be deceased. The reveal of Obito’s mask alone brought Naruto fans into an uproar. Do you even question why this mask belongs on our list?
6. Kurosaki Ichigo’s Hollow Mask from Bleach
- Episodes: 366
- Aired: October 2004 - March 2012
Kurosaki Ichigo’s family is attacked by a Hollow one day and saved by a Soul Reaper named Kuchiki Rukia. Injured, Rukia gives Ichigo her powers so that he can fight Hollows in her place. Thus begins Ichigo’s journey into the world of Soul Reapers.
Ichigo may have started off a human in Bleach, but at some point during his training, he was forcibly put through a trial that resulted in him becoming part Hollow. As a result, Ichigo is capable of tapping into his Hollow self for strength, giving him the half mask of a Hollow. It’s a half white mask with red streaks and long, gumless teeth that cover half of Ichigo’s face. Should Ichigo be unable to control himself, he could go full Hollow! This mask definitely has more to it than just covering Ichigo’s face.
5. Cubone’s Skull from Pokemon
- Episodes: 276
- Aired: April 1997 - November 2002
Ash Ketchum (Satoshi in Japan) has just turned 10 and is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. He’s going to journey away from home to train and become a Pokemon master! Professor Oak grants him an Electric Pokemon called Pikachu, but Pikachu is not ready to make Ash’s journey an easy one. Along the way, Ash will make new friends, enemies, and fight other trainers to become a Pokemon master.
One of the darkest Pokedex entries for generation 1 of Pokemon has to be for Cubone. Cubone is an adorable Pokemon wearing a real skull as a mask with a bone used for a boomerang. However, Cubone’s skull mask is, in fact, the skull of its deceased mother. And they say Pokemon is just for kids. Pfft. You never quite get to see the face under the mask, but we can’t help but love Cubone.
4. Hei’s Mask from Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha (Darker than Black)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2007 - September 2007
Heaven’s Gate opened in South America and Hell’s Gate in Japan about ten years ago, casting a false sky over the world. It was at this time that Contractors began to appear, people who had forsaken their humanity in exchange for great power. Some Contractors work for the Syndicate to do missions in the underground world, and one Contractor that stands out is the Black Reaper.
Hei’s mask may seem like a simple white pierrot-mask, but it is based on bringer of doom white masks that are so prevalent in anime. The mask completely covers Hei’s face and allows him to act as the Black Reaper while living a normal life as a human when not working. In fact, he even ends up working with the police at some point and they don’t figure out his identity. Who knew something so simple can do such a great job?
3. Ergo Proxy’s Mask from Ergo Proxy
- Episodes: 23
- Aired: February 2006 - August 2006
Life has become impossible to live outside of Romdo, a city protected by a dome. Mankind has dwindled to a small number after a catastrophe many millennia ago. AutoReivs were created to help mankind recover, but AutoReivs are contracting the Cogito Virus, bringing self-awareness to these robots.
Ergo Proxy, also known as Vincent Law, is the exact clone of Proxy One. Ergo Proxy’s mask was given to him to differentiate him from Proxy One. It is a white mask that casts sharp angles and a ghastly grin upon Vincent’s face. From one side of the mask, it has white ribbons that help to create an eerie, almost ghoulish, appearance that we know only be Ergo Proxy. This is the face of the Agent of Death.
2. Zero’s Mask from Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2006 - July 2007
Lelouch Lamperouge appears to be a simple Britannian student living in Area 11, but in fact, Lelouch is an exiled prince with a thirst for revenge. One day, Lelouch is granted a Geass called the “Power of Kings” by a strange girl named C.C. which has given him just the power he needs to extract the revenge he has dreamt of. Now, Lelouch will take up the Mantle of Zero and lead the rebel forces of Area 11 against the Holy Empire of Britannia!
Some may wonder how Zero’s mask (or helmet) is so great. While it resembles a motorcycle helmet with a rather sharp appearance at the top, the mask’s functions are what make it so grand. There is an automated opening allowing Lelouch to use his Geass as he pleases while only revealing one eye rather than any more facial features than necessary, keeping his identity a secret. Not only that, but it is can be altered allowing Lelouch to communicate with the other rebels as Zero wirelessly, giving directions as needed. Plus, it doesn’t hinder Zero in any way when speaking face to face with others.
1. Ken Kaneki’s Ghoul Mask from Tokyo Ghoul
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2014 - September 2014
Ghouls live in secret amongst humans in Tokyo, however, they fill the human population with fear as ghouls who feast upon the entrails of humans to survive. However, ghouls bear the same appearance of humans, making them difficult to detect. Kaneki Ken was an awkward college student with a crush on Kamishiro Rize. Little did he know that this crush was going to change his life forever as a freak accident meant to kill Rize leads to Kaneki becoming a half-ghoul.
In Tokyo Ghoul, ghouls wear masks to hide their human identities, but it is Kaneki’s mask that is the most distinctive. Since Kaneki is a half-ghoul notorious for being the one-eyed ghoul, his mask features a medical eyepatch that covers his right eye and it covers his mouth with a fake grin. The mouth portion can also unzip for easy consumption without revealing Kaneki’s identity. The mask was created by Uta with Kaneki’s identity as a hybrid ghoul in mind and it truly reflects that idea.
Now that’s our list of top 10 anime masks! Aren’t they devilish in their masks? Hope your favorite character was featured on our list. If not, let us know who your favorite masked anime characters are? What is your favorite anime mask? Let us know in the comments below!