Most of us had at least one plush toy or stuffed animal growing up. And just like us, there are many anime characters out there who keep a fluffy partner by their side. Stuffed toys in anime can be used to denote innocence, immaturity, insecurity, and sometimes even insanity within the character who holds it dear, or within the plush character itself.
Other times, plush toys are simply a great way to add some cuteness and up the kawaii factor of any anime. No matter what the reason was for including these stuffed animals, they all have made a mark in viewers' minds, as much as they have in their holders' lives.
And now, from Honey's Anime, we bring you another list full of fluffy cuteness! Here are what we consider the 10 best plush toys and stuffed animals found in anime!
Hold on to your teddy!
10. Mr. Bunny from Saiyuki (Gensoumaden Saiyuuki)
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: Apr. 2000 – Mar 2001
Even though humans lived peacefully alongside demons, suddenly demons began to attack and decided to resurrect Gyumao, a powerful evil demon. The priest, Genjo Sanzo, and his three teammates set out to stop the awakening of Gyumao and return peace between humans and demons.
Of course, there are also humans who side with the demons. Dr. Ni a.k.a. Ukoku Sanzo, is one of these humans. He is one of those mad scientists that won't hesitate to use people as experimental subjects. He is cold, manipulative and generally creepy, which is only accentuated by the fact that he carries around a stuffed bunny all the time.
Mr. Bunny is a container for Ukoku's sutra, the Muten Sutra. Whit it, he calls forth the souls of the dead and he can also banish or free souls trapped on Earth. Mr. Bunny gets torn every time Ukoku uses his sutra, so he needs constant repair. It takes a special kind of plushie to stick with a crazy like this one, and this little white bunny's got all the right stuff(ing)! (I just had too ^^;).
9. Adélie's Penguin from Space Dandy
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan. 2014 – Mar. 2014
Space Dandy is an intergalactic adventurer/bounty hunter/ladies man who travels across the universe in search of rare aliens so they can be registered. Along with a robot and a cat-like alien called Meow, they get into trouble and adventures as they meet interesting and weird beings and try their best to earn rewards for delivering rare species.
One of the aliens in Space Dandy is Adélie, a Gentooan. Gentooans are humanoid but have the ability to transfer minds into dolls and control them like puppets. In order to take full advantage of her powers, Adélie carries around with her a colorful stuffed penguin which she can use as a puppet at any time she needs to.
Adélie's isn't your regular penguin plush. He's mostly orange and white, with green-tipped flippers, and blue and yellow accents. He also has floppy ear-looking things on his head and six eyes. Clearly an alien penguin, this unique little guy proves very useful to Adélie when she uses him as a puppet. We couldn't leave this hodgepodge of an alien plushie out!
8. Suzuki-san from Junjou Romantica
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2008 – Jun. 2008
Junjou Romantica shows us three love stories among men, and the ups and downs that come with them. One of the stories follows Misaki Takahashi, a student trying to pass his university entrance exams, and Akihiko Usami, who is Misaki's brother's friend, and also an author. Things get complicated and romantic when Misaki's instincts are awakened by the sexy Akihiko.
Even though Akihiko is a 28-year-old professional author, he loves stuffed bears and toys. He had kind of a terrible childhood, so having all these toys makes him feel like he is able to experience a “normal” childhood as an adult. He has a large collection of toys in his home, including many stuffed bears.
Akihiko's many teddies come in different shapes and sizes, but he named them all Suzuki because it is the most common name in Japan. The biggest and fluffiest of the bears is Suzuki-san, which Akihito is most attached to. He helps him write, he uses him as a thinking pillow and even a smoking buddy. When you know Akihito's backstory and see his attachment to the symbol of innocence that is a giant teddy bear, it breaks your heart and makes you feel warm inside at the same time.
7. “Chiyo's Dad” from Azumanga Daioh
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2002 – Oct. 2002
Azumanga Daioh is a Slice of Life anime that follows the lives of six girls as they make their way through high school. With everything from a jock-type and a brainy one, to an 11-year-old prodigy, Chiyo, who is much more sensible and responsible than even their teacher.
One of these girls is Sakaki, a tall, beautiful and stoic girl who loves cute things. She often dreams and daydreams about cute cats and cute little Chiyo. In one dream, she receives a big, floppy yellow cat that tells her he is Chiyo's father. When Chiyo is given a similar cat for her birthday, Sakaki tells Osaka about it and their obsession with Chiyo and her “dad” grow exponentially.
Some of the many great things about this one are, the hilarious, almost philosophical lines he gets to say in Sakaki's and Osaka's dreams, and that never-changing “Nya!” expression. Not to mention the way he speaks! (In the Japanese version at least). If you've never seen Azumanga Daioh, I bet you don't expect his voice to sound the way it does! Go ahead, look it up.
6. Kuma-chan from Ouran High School Host Club (Ouran Koukou Host Club)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2006 – Sep. 2006
When Haruhi enters the elite Ouran High School on a scholarship, she is out of her element and surrounded by rich kids. One day, she stumbles into the Host Club and breaks a priceless vase which she now needs to pay for. Circumstances lead Haruhi to be mistaken for a boy, so the logical thing to do is join the club and pay off her debt by working with them as a host herself.
The president of the Host Club is Tamaki Suou, who, like everybody else in this school, is a rich kid. He's the “prince-type” host in the club and truly cares about their guests' happiness, as he is gentle, caring and emotional. This shows in his undying love for the teddy bear he grew up with, Kuma-chan. He still keeps it around and even draws its face in his signature.
While Kuma-chan is a simple, brown stuffed bear, his dull, almost bored-looking expression, is priceless and endearing in itself. And the fact that he's still so attached to Kuma-chan makes Tamaki even more charming. Not to mention Kuma-chan survived Honey's rage when he was used to substitute his beloved bunny plush when it had tea spilled on it. The real-life versions of Kuma-chan are as adorable as the anime original!
5. Necolumbus from Himouto! Umaru-chan
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2015 – Sep. 2015
Umaru Doma is a perfect high school girl. She's gorgeous, has the best grades, she's athletic, kind and sweet. When she gets home, however, she turns into... one of us! She's a hardcore otaku and wants nothing more in life than to watch anime, read manga, play video games, eat junk and drink cola. And that's exactly what she does every day, much to her brother's dismay.
Among the many things that Umaru loves (secretly), are anime/manga related collectibles, like figures and stuffed toys, of course! Necolumbus is a long white and blue stuffed cat body pillow that Umaru wanted more than anything when she saw they were giving it away in a rock-paper-scissors contest.
This Necolumbus body pillow is such an awesome find, that Umaru makes her brother Taihei enter the contest in one store while she tries her luck in a different one. Necolumbus is a long, white cat-shaped body pillow with big blue spots and a sad-looking face that just begs to be hugged. And he's such a hit that, like a few of the other plushies on this list, they've even made real Necolumbuses you can buy!
4. Ioryogi from Kobato.
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct. 2009 – Mar. 2010
Kobato wishes to go to a certain place, and to do so, she came to Earth to collect little candies called konpeito, which appear when she heals a suffering person's heart. In this journey, she has a little companion named Ioryogi.
Ioryogi is a small, cute blue plush dog with tiny eyes, an angry face and a big, red spiked collar around his neck. Well, that's not his real form, but he is seen in it most of the time. He helps Kobato with her missions, though he's pretty tough on her when she messes up.
This being the same plush that CLAMP artist Nekoi Tsubaki drew in self-caricatures, it's no surprise that he has that cute and cuddly but yet dark vibe to him. This is another fluffy partner that turns out to be more than one would expect in the beginning!
3. Albrecht from Myriad Colors Phantom World (Musaigen no Phantom World)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan. 2016 – Mar. 2016
When a virus spreads which allows those infected to see the mythical creatures that had been considered superstitions, it becomes known that phantoms exist alongside humans. When the second generation develops special powers, they are able to fight and seal the troublemaking ones.
One of the kids with special powers is Kurumi Kumamakura. She's only a 4th grader and therefore much younger than Haruhiko and the rest of the team she usually fights phantoms with, but she's just as strong. Especially when she uses her powers to make her safety-blanket-like teddy bear, Albrecht into a giant, fluffy butt kicking machine!
Albrecht is a pink and black teddy bear, with an aqua-colored ear with white polka dots and a thin blue bow around his neck. As Kurumi is very shy and nervous, she finds comfort and strength in the stuffed teddy that's been with her all her life. When transported into her own mind, Albrecht tells Kurumi she will always protect her, no matter what. You can't deny, this cute, badass and sweet plush deserves his place on our list.
2. Maromi from Paranoia Agent (Mousou Dairinin)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Feb. 2003 – May 2004
Well-known designer, Tsukiko Sagi, is the first victim of Lil' Slugger, a boy on rollerblades swinging a golden bat. After this hit-and-run, Tsukiko is shaken but also suspected as the mind behind Lil' Slugger's attacks. All of this comes on top of the stress of trying to recreate the success of her previous character, Maromi, at the behest of her boss.
Tsukiko keeps a stuffed plush version of Maromi, who is a droopy pink dog with giant eyes and no visible mouth. Maromi is Tsukiko's pride and joy and was inspired by her dead dog. During times of stress, Maromi seems to come alive to Tsukiko, who has conversations with it as if it were alive. Really, having a conversation with herself. Or is she?
Maromi is cute in kind of a creepy way, combining Sanrio and San-X traits with the weirdness that Paranoia Agent is drenched in. And, without spoiling anything, she turns out to be oh-so-important for the storyline!
1. Kon from Bleach
- Episodes: 366
- Aired: Oct. 2004 – Mar. 2012
In Bleach, we follow the lives of Ichigo Kurosaki, who becomes a substitute death god one night, and his friends Inoue, Chad and Uryu. In the world of Bleach, there are different kinds of souls and creatures derived from lost souls. In Soul Society, where death gods and souls live, there have been many experiments to modify souls in order to defeat the creatures called Hollows.
One result of these experiments is a Mod-Soul that comes in a capsule! These are very strong souls used to occupy empty vessels and use their super strength to fight. One such Mod-Soul is Kon. At times he'll inhabit Ichigo's body, but most of the time, he calls a cute little stuffed lion his body.
Its beady little eyes and button for a... belly button make him look so cute that when he gets all pervy it feels kind of wrong. This, now iconic, little stuffed lion is one of the most recognized anime plushies out there, and that's why he made the top of our list!
Some of these plush toys are main characters since they are used as vessels for living beings; others are used as tools, and others simply give us a glimpse into the personality of the characters we love. It's hard to rank these stuffed animals since they are all cute, fluffy and have their own meaning in each of the anime they are a part of. That being said, some of these plushies are iconic, memorable or just so cute, that their popularity exploded. That's why they were ranked according to a combination of their online popularity as well as their presence in their respective anime.
What do you think of our picks? Are there any plush toys you'd like to add to the list? How would you have ranked them? Let us know how you feel in the comments section below!
Oh, and if you love plush toys in anime, you should check out our list of Top 10 Anime Plushies you can actually own!
Thanks for stopping by and see you next time!