Is there anything more kickass than a motorcycle? The correct and only real answer to this question is no. No, there is nothing more awesome than a motorcycle. Not swords, not guns, not cool clothing, not even fast cars. So when compiling a list of the coolest bikers, you are essentially making a list of the coolest people in existence. Enough said. Okay, well maybe not enough said, because there’s so much to say about these characters. They tend to be a bit more rowdy and intense than most characters, and they also tend to be the center of attention whenever on screen. With that said, let’s get on to the top 10 characters in anime, because bikers are the best.
10. Rin Suzunoki from Bakuon!!
Bakuon!! follows the lives and adventures of several girls who attend Okanoue Girls’ High School and have an avid love for motorcycles. It’s extremely lighthearted and fun as it delves into the passions and quirks of the members (and a certain unofficial member) of the motorcycle club.
Rin is the top rider of the group and has a particular love for Suzuki motorcycles. Her own bike happens to be a Suzuki GSX400S Katana, and if anyone disses any Suzuki model, she gets pissed off. It doesn’t even matter if the model is honestly an ugly one. She also tends to have a lot of difficulty controlling bikes from any other manufacture. Her love and personal obsession with the Suzuki comes from the fact that it was her father who introduced her to bikes and the Suzuki GSX400S Katana she has was previously his. Oh, and she happens to be the unofficial member of the group.
9. Mondo Oowada from Danganronpa
Danganronpa is a detective thriller filled with mystery and suspense. It follows the capture of 15 high school students within the confines of Hope Peak Academy. To escape from this everlasting school detention, a student must successfully kill another student without being caught. Everyone else dies, but that one student is set free. However, if the other students figure out who the killer was, then the murderer is executed and imprisonment continues.
Mondo Oowada’s appearance doesn’t give off the best first impression. He comes off as a delinquent and rightfully so as he happened to be the second leader of the largest bike gang in Japan. Despite his attitude being quite foul, he does have a big heart and is extremely protective of those close to him. He also has one of the largest inferiority complexes in the series. He hates to be seen as weak and consistently has to tell himself that he’s strong. A large part of this is due to the fact that he his gang never felt that he would be a good enough replacement for his older brother, which in turn led to him challenging his brother to a race and ultimately his brother’s death.
8. Kenji Harima from School Rumble
School Rumble primarily follows the love triangle between Kenji Harima, Tenma Tsukamoto, and Kurasama. You see, Harima likes Tenma and Tenma likes Kurasama and Kurasama likes food. Add to this triangle a bunch of crazy friends and side relationships, and you have the amazing comedy that is School Rumble.
Loud, stupid, aggressive, but with a heart of gold, Harima is a character who’s hard to hate. Despite being the school delinquent, he has one of the most innocent and caring personalities in the entirety of School Rumble, and there are a lot of characters in the show. He also goes through some of the most memorable and comedic phases. There’s his stint as a hermit/prophet with a herd of animals following him about. There’s his time working on a ship to find out his captain is a manga writer. Oh, and any scene where him and Eri are ribbing at each other will leave you in stitches.
7. Reiko from Golden Boy
Golden Boy is one of those anime, we’ve all seen and probably at an age when we shouldn’t have seen it. It follows the wacky adventures that one rather perverted college dropout, Kintarou Ooe, consistently finds himself in. It also probably caused quite a few people to join the rank of dropout in hopes of experiencing such encounters.
Reiko is the last love interest of the series and debatably the most sexually depicted female in the series. We are introduced to her while she’s using her bike to well pleasure herself. Once again, this anime is for those 18 and over. Not only do bikes give her an extra thrill, but she honest to god loves them. She loves how close they get her to the action, where she can feel every inch of the road and how close to danger she is. In her mind, her bike is the ultimate being and she consistently challenges herself while riding it.
6. Tsumugu Kinagase from Kill la kill
Kill la Kill follows Ryuuko Matoi as she challenges the hierarchy of Honnouji Academy in order to find out who killed her father. To properly take on the school’s student body though, Ryuuko most don the sentient powersuit, Senketsu.
Enter Tsumugu, who has an extreme personal hatred for life fiber uniformas, because he believes that they feed off and the wearer and will eventually kill the wearer. He also finds the people who have to rely on such suits to be inherently weak and does not respect them. In this society, that’s a bold perspective, but Tsumugu has the bite to back up his bark. He’s extremely strong as he can hold his own against club leaders donning Goku Uniforms and he’s extremely intelligent. In most cases, he has a very specific plan of attack and uses stealth and means of distraction to his advantage.
5. Onizuka from Great Teacher Onizuka
Great Teacher Onizuka follows the attempts of a 22-year-old delinquent to meet girls through becoming a teacher. Making this goal of his quite difficult, outside of clearly being a pervert, is Onizuka’s rather rambunctious and devious classroom. It’s full of students who seem determined to make him a bachelor for life, if not to send him straight to jail.
Though we don’t really get to see him ride often in the series, Eikichi Onizuka was part of a bike gang, which definitely defined a major portion of his character. It explains his nonchalance, his ability to handle pranks, and his careless attitude when things seem to take a dangerous turn. He’s a rebel just like so many of his students and it’s this part of his personality that allows him to get through to them.
4. Saber from Fate/Zero
Fate/Zero follows the participants in the Fourth Holy Grail War as they battle it out to have their wish granted. Referred to as one of the bloodiest wars ever, ufotable decided to didn’t turn away from the challenge and create one epic and brutal ride for viewers.
Saber is one of those characters you hope succeeds no matter what. From the get go she’s the type of character you’re impressed by. She’s extremely powerful, which is obviously denoted by her Saber class, and she generally goes into battle with a strategy beforehand. Even though she likes to prepare, she despises using underhanded tactics and would much rather win through honorable duels. These characteristics mixed with her concerns about being an absolute ruler create a dynamic character who you can put your faith into. Perhaps she was not as charismatic as the Rider in Fate/Zero, but compelling due to her uncertainty and drive for repentance. Oh and she happens to be a complete badass on a bike, outclassing even Rider in speed.
3. Kino from Kino’s Journey
Kino’s Journey is an exploration of self-identity through travel as it follows the trail of Kino and her bike, Hermes. Based off of Keiichi Sigsawa’s series of light novles, this anime depicts a lot of its themes through the ambivalence of the environment and requires a particular eye to pick apart the ever-changing influences that challenge Kino.
With such a particular anime, it’s difficult at times to see how much Kino develops. There was the obvious moment when she decided to leave the Land of Adults and became a traveler rather than settle with some predestined course. Outside of that, her character seems to have been settled into a specific frame of mind. There’s nothing truly wrong with that, as she is an impressive and independent protagonist. That is to say she never felt one-sided in the first place as she consistently deals with the fears tied to settling down and has to handle hostile people on a daily basis. However, there are moments and reflections of hers that show just how much her environment is changing her. This is particularly noticeable whenever she decides to help someone as that creates roots and ties.
2. Tetsuo Shima from Akira
How could you not expect a character from Akira to make the list? This movie did wonders for the vibe and imagery attached to bikers in the anime world. Bikers were rebels on the outskirts of society. They were fast, reckless, and characters to keep an eye on. Though Tetsuo wasn’t the most dangerous of the biker group, he was easily the most dynamic.
A good chunk of Akira’s story revolves around Tetsuo as he is the character who develops into the antagonist of the movie. We watch him go from being the runt of the group to a dangerous and powerful supernatural being. Now, some might argue that he simply developed a god complex at the onset of his powers, however, that’s a slight to the time developers put into his character. Yes, he does have a certain inferiority complex, but it is developed strategically from the beginning with his actions and views creating conflict between others. He never seems able to have enough influence or power to have anyone really listen to him. Once he does get his powers, he doesn’t just go on a rampage, but actually desires to get them under control. It’s not until he is injured, jailed, and abandoned that his desire for power finally takes control.
1. Celty from Durarara!!
Brain’s Base definitely went all out in the narrative department when it came to creating Durarara!! Few shows have the ability to interlink so many diverse characters. There’s gang leaders, a Dullahan, an information broker, a black market surgeon, and so many more who have their personal stories run directly alongside if not into one another.
Who doesn’t love the ethereal and haunting grim reaper of DRRR!!? Celty is one of those characters that allow the show to take on its supernatural pretense with ease. Her design as well as her backstory permits the show to reach into exciting levels of fiction. Let’s not forget how visually amazing the ways they she can manipulate her powers are. From careening down a massive skyscraper on her motorcycle to creating impenetrable gloves, she is a fierce character with a feisty and honorable personality. Unlike most other characters, you can generally trust her intentions as she tries to alleviate the conflicts between parties.
Bikers really are the best characters in the anime world. They are intense and require a certain extra depth than most characters. Part of that is because a motorcycle is an extremely unique item. Having a motorbike suggests a lot more about a character than a sword or gun could ever do. Now, were there any motorcycle riders that I might have missed in this list?