In anime, brown-haired boys can almost be seen as too normal. Considering pink, blue, white, green, or even ultra-red hair seem to be protagonist oriented, it’s not too hard to wonder why you might gloss over someone with brown hair. It says, “Hey, I’m just your average guy,” which isn’t the goal for a lot of anime.
Nonetheless, when a guy does grab your attention and he has brown hair, then you know he must be an interesting character. He simply has to be as there is no other reason as to why you’ve suddenly gravitated towards him. Thus this list is a shout-out to all those brown-haired boys who own our attention.
10. Haruhiro from Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2016 – March 2016
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is burning up the anime scene and spearheading that charge is the leading thief Haruhiro. Not only does he deserve bonus points for being an acrobatic thief, but so far he’s showing off incredible leadership qualities and vast future potential for development.
From the beginning, he seemed like a nice enough guy and a trustworthy narrator. But as the story continues, he’s becoming even more likeable. With the new responsibility as leader, he consistently takes into consideration the feelings and actions of everyone within his party. He is forcing himself to be more considerate and open in order to ensure their safety and success, and he’s willing to open up to the group in order to let them feel like they are in a safe environment to share their own frustrations. Oh, and the scene with him letting go of Manato’s ashes has been one of the most impactful moments this anime season.
9. Kyon from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya)
- Episodes: 28
- Aired: Apr. 2006 – Sep. 2009
Never has being normal looked so cool, albeit, Kyon’s life is anything but normal. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya took the anime community by storm in 2006 with its eccentric characters, deceptive plot, and its addictive dance. However, what and who held the show together was the seemingly normal Kyon. His narrative throughout the series not only helped viewers keep a logical track of what was going on, but set a sense of nostalgia that contrasted well with the quirkiness of the show.
It’s his sense of normality that not only enhances the glorious unpredictability of the show, but make you consistently question what is the truth behind this world where aliens, time travelers, and espers exist. Also, his expressions are always on point whether they demonstrate his exhaustion or incredulous.
8. Naota from FLCL
- Episodes: 6
- Aired: Apr. 2000 – Mar. 2001
FLCL tells one of the most unique coming of age stories in any medium as it follows the growth of Naota. It’s ridiculous, zany, hectic, action-packed, depressing, and heartwarming within the span of six episodes. That is not an easy feat, and it’s not an easy feat to do all of that and receive universal recognition instead of receiving classification as a cult classic.
Naota is the focal point of the show, and the beautiful depiction of his struggles and maturity are what allow the show to go off on its eccentricities with such ease. It’s truly mesmerizing to watch him grow from a sniveling kid into a godly dual ‘axe’ wielding being of uncomparable strength, who is capable of deciding for himself what to fight for. By the end, this kid who was easily manipulated and dependent on others for defining himself takes his life in his own hands and puts everyone else into a tailspin.
7. Misaki Takahashi from Junjou Romantica
- Episodes: 36
- Aired: Apr. 2008 – Sep. 2015
When Junjo Romantica came out in 2008, it started popping up everywhere, and really reached into a much larger audience than any yaoi anime had before. This could partly be due to the fact that Hulu and a lot of other major hosting sites had it in their archives, but a lot of its appeal simply comes down to Misaki Takahashi.
This guy’s love for his brother, raw emotional innocence, and overall stubbornness won a lot of people over. It’s rare to be rooting and cheering for the guy you want to smack over the head, but Misaki definitely accomplishes this mix of emotions. It really is something special to watch him mature and achieve success even it 90% of his determination comes from wanting to prove others wrong.
6. Suzaku Kururugi from Code Geass
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: Oct. 2006 – Sep. 2008
This list wouldn’t be complete without the sword of Lelouch, the White Knight Suzaku Kururugi. When it comes down to being a man of action few can beat this Knightmare pilot. He constantly puts himself at the center of battle and faces impossible odds. However, he always comes out on top, like when he beat the Knight of One, Bismarck Waldstein.
On top of it all he is one of the most determined characters in anime when it comes to achieving his idealistic society. He will go so far as to let himself essentially be abandoned. In fact, he lets this happen twice, as he assassinates his father when he’s only a child and then again when he kills Lelouch and thus sacrifices “all of [his] own happiness for the world.”
5. Heath Hasekura from Prince of Stride!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Currently Airing
More so than either Riku or Takeru, Heath feels like the real face of Prince of Stride. He’s a true veteran of Stride and acts as the backbone for the Honan Academy Stride club. His decision to take on the role of captain and keep the club alive, despite not being able to compete, just shows how strong-willed he is.
On top of that, he has the most well-rounded personality as his mood and dialogue continuously switches depending on who he’s dealing with. For example, when dealing with Tasuku from Saisei he’s mainly annoyed and extremely competitive. However, when talking to Yu, the Relationer from Mihashi, he’s calm and supportive. His range of emotion simply outclasses that of most other characters as you can almost guess what everyone else is going to say. Plus, if you’re type is a guy with broad shoulders, then he is quite a nice piece of eye candy.
4. Eren Jeager from Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr. 2013 – Sep. 2013
4. Eren Jeager from Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
Few can really deny the impact and appeal of Attack on Titan. It brought about a unique feudal dystopia and did not waste any time destroying the innocence of its protagonist, Eren Jeager. However, part of the glory behind Eren is that he wasn’t all that innocent in the first place. It’s not that he was particularly evil, but he had taken someone’s life at a very young age. Admittedly, he was saving Mikasa and considering the situation, he didn’t have many options to depend upon.
Despite all those extra circumstances and his inherent self-sacrificing nature, the show does a good job classifying Eren as a force of chaotic good. They successfully portray this throughout the first season by consistently showing Eren’s complete hatred of Titans. This hate is clearly an obsession and one should always question the mental reasoning of becoming a monster to defeat one. Nonetheless, it’s because of these questionable traits that make Eren such a compelling protagonist. That, plus his insane Titan form fights.
3. Oikawa from Haikyu!!
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr. 2014 – Sep. 2014
3.Oikawa from Haikyu!!
When a character’s favorite saying is: “If you’re going to hit, hit it until it breaks,” then you know some girls and guys are going to get a nosebleed. If you haven’t given the volleyball sensation that is Haikyu!! a shot, then now’s the time to get acquainted with the show and its massive lineup of characters. Now, if you’re wondering where Oikawa fits on the list, he’s actually the captain of one of the primary rival schools for Karasuno, the team of our heroes.
Though we only get glimpses of him, in which he is generally accompanied by flocks of girls, we are given an in-depth portrait of the character in the final episodes. You might have found his looks and skill attractive as is, but upon seeing how his talent has come through endless studying and practice, it’s hard to look away. Not only is he simply hardworking but he’s analytical, careful, and dangerous in every sense of the word. He knows how to read people, and is capable of pushing them to greater heights or simply pushing their buttons.
2. Makoto Tachibana from Free!
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Jul. 2013 – Sep. 2014
2. Makoto from Free!
Well, all of the guys from Free! have bodies to die for, but Makoto isn’t just on this list, because he has brown hair on top of a fabulous body. Makoto is possibly one of the gentlest and most thoughtful characters in recent anime. He was elected president of the swimming club because more than anyone else he is extremely open-minded and can make friends with just about anyone.
Outside of being able to read Haru like a book, Mako-chan is the most self-sacrificing character in the group. He tackles his fear of swimming in the ocean to ensure his group can train as they desire to, as well as puts his life on the line to save Rei during a storm. That plan fails, but how quickly he jumped to action definitely deserves some applause and recognition. On top of it all, he’s great with kids. SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED THE SERIES: instead of pursuing a professional or even college swimming career, he decides to become a swim instructor in order to show kids the joys of swimming.
1. Light Yagami from Death Note
- Episodes: 37
- Aired: Oct. 2006 – Jun. 2007
Light is an impossibly smart student who decides to forego life after death by using the supernatural powers of the Death Note. Really, what more needs to be said? He is simply one of those characters that you cannot take your eyes away from, because he is so incredibly dynamic. His nature is that akin to Lucifer from Paradise Lost, as you see him set out to create something beautiful and almost want to cheer for him.
Heck, a lot of people were cheering for Light and would have preferred his absolute victory. However, you can’t deny that his methods are rather questionable as he makes himself out to be a literal god. Either way, he is fascinating to watch throughout the whole show, and when you can be fascinated watching a guy write names and eat chips, it says quite a lot.
Basically, brown hair might be normal, but it’s by no means indicative of a boring character. A lot of interesting characters don the hue of normalcy only to prove that they are the most awesome of all. So here’s to the continuation of brown-haired boys who make cosplay easier for those of us with brown hair. Please comment and let us know if you have a brown-haired boy that belongs on this list!