A cape is something people don't usually wear nowadays unless it's part of a costume. Capes used to be the latest fashion of the 19th century but today, they seem to represent something more than just fashion. When you think of capes… what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Perhaps a superhero, vampires or even someone from nobility?
Exactly, capes are now an essential item that makes part of a character trope and whether they’re heroes or villains, the world of anime is full of caped characters. Today, we’re bringing you a ranking of the best caped characters to ever appear on your screen!
10. Saitama from One Punch Man
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2015 - December 2015
An unbeatable, strong superhero with a long red cape… Superman? Ugh.. we better change the cape color I guess…
For all of you that noticed the strange mix and match between red, yellow and white of Saitama’s hero costume, the cape was supposed to be red, like his gloves and boots, but something happened along the way and they ended up changing it after the first arc of the manga. The “latest” version of his cape is the one we see in the anime, a plain white long cape attached to his yellow suit with big black round studs on each side of the chest, around his clavicle area.
This cape certainly doesn't help him look heroic but without it, he would just look like that yellow Power Ranger - weak and wacky- . Everyone following the manga knows what’s in store thanks to this caped jumpsuit, and for the fans that only see the anime, don’t spoil it! Stop Googling it and wait for it next season!
9. Shiroe from Log Horizon
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2013 - March 2014
We can all agree that Shiroe without a cape would look like a dull guy… what makes him look like, HIM, is his amazing cape. Of course, no mage or wizard would look magical without a cape! And the mages from Elder Tale are no exception. If we start from the bottom, the long white cape is not exciting at all besides the yellow stripes on the sides, but if we start the other way around we can see how flashy it becomes with that huge, almost cone-shaped neck area held together with a huge metallic brooch slightly to the left.
Another thing we can see is the strong resemblance with Syaoran Li’s cape from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle manga published around 2003… but hey, to be fair he didn't wear it as often as Shiroe does; let’s keep that our little secret.
8. Zen Wistalia from Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (Snow White with the Red Hair)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2015 - September 2015
Zen is the closest thing anime has to the western ‘prince charming’ and what’s a prince without a cape? Mostly, we see Zen without a cape but he actually owns several, most commonly wearing that plain white long cape with the two huge golden brooches on each side. In the manga we see him wearing variations of this long white cape among a few others, but the one that steals the spotlight is the one he wears in the anime first season finale, the part where he waves to the citizens of Clarines. Although also white, this cape is fit for a king and matched with that strange backward prince crown, he surely made most girls skip a beat.
This official prince cape is decorated with slightly frilled blue shoulder pads ending in a golden color, it’s tied in the center using an almond shaped brooch with a ruby in the center. Anyone that sees Zen wearing this cape, complete with that royal smile and wave, will wish they were born with red hair.
7. Apricot from Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? (And you thought there is never a girl online?)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2016 - June 2016
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First girl on the list with a cape and she took it too literally. At first, Kyou Goshouin’s online character, Apricot, appears as a male avatar. Soon after the first episode, we can’t ignore the unexplained sex change that Apricot went through (well, it's not that weird in online games) where now, her large and exposed chest is covered only by the straps of her green cape. Due to this little detail, Apricot’s cape is one of the things that we most remember from Netoge because it leaves so little to the imagination.
Her dark green cape is probably a gear set, matching perfectly with her green sleeves and belt… but uh oh, looks like someone didn’t farm enough for that green bottom piece treasure chest.Thanks to her unique way of showing how a cape could be used, Apricot deserves to have a spot on this list! Hopefully, someday we can see someone cosplaying this in public!
6. Biba Amatori from Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2016 - July 2016
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Of course, this list wouldn't be complete without a villain and Biba is the new black. This villain is from the anime Kabaneri, one of the newest anime in this list and one of the most popular series of 2016. One of the ingredients to Kabaneri’s success was Biba, this sexy antagonist not only has killer looks but he’s a total badass. He controls Kabanes at will, uses them for his own motives and stops at nothing; creating more chaos than there is, all for vengeance.
This bad boy dresses to slay others in both fashion and battle, matching his provocative looks with a dark-themed attire of which his dark red cape stands out the most. His cape is mid in length, decorated with golden stripes and gold wing brooches on each side. The cape is loosely tied together with a violet cloth that matches perfectly with his long pink hair, both balancing out a “not too manly/not too girly” style to create the perfect Bishounen.
5. Clare from Claymore
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2007 - September 2007
No other warrior girl looks better with a plate armor than Clare from Claymore. This broadsword wielder has no mercy against Yomas, she slays these monsters without hesitation no matter how tough they become. She has one goal in mind, and that is revenge against Priscilla, one of the strongest awakened beings and the murderer of Clare’s beloved Teresa. Whilst most claymores have the same type of armor, there’s something about Clare that makes her look more uncanny and cold.
The claymores wear a simple caped plate armor, mostly light gray color, and silver. They wear two sets of very large silver pauldrons with a gray cape emerging from underneath them. Clare’s half awakened form displays the same cape but ripped at the bottom, making her seem a little more creepy than she already looks. Clare also wears a long dark blue cape as part of her male disguise, this cape helps her hide her breast and skinny waist, therefore making the cape an essential piece of her male facade.
4. Momonga from Overlord
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 2015 - September 2015
The great ruler of Nazarick would look like nothing but bones if not for his majestic cape. His cape is enormous and covers most of his robe letting only the front part of his attire show. The cape is slightly darker than his dark purple robe and both cape and robe have golden hems, matching the color of his cudgel almost identically. His cape comes with a medieval-style cowl of the same color that also has golden hems, but in this case, it has a design in the frontal area that simulates a crown.
The biggest and flashiest part of the cape is the pauldron area, they are enormous and broad, they’re carrying a huge red gem with what looks like robust bones. For Momonga’s imposing cape appearance, he deserves to be among the best caped characters in anime.
3. Piccolo from Dragon Ball Z
- Episodes: 291
- Aired: April 1989 - January 1996
This wouldn't be a proper caped character list without Piccolo's iconic cape. This Namekian trained Gohan and many of the kids in DBZ, making him look less menacing that he would like. But that's ok, most of us are fond of him anyway; villain or not, because in all the DBZ universe, he was one of the most memorable characters. We literally meet Piccolo ever since he was born and strangely we only see him with two sets of clothing… (well it's only one) either the dark purple, sleeveless onesie with the blue obi or the same thing... with a cape.
His cape is white and long, just a few centimeters off the ground; it doesn't seem to have anything tying it together like most capes but instead has a bulky fabric around his neck that covers all the way down to his chest. His cape seems to be hiding what looks like pointy pauldrons but at some point, it is revealed those are actually weighted paddings used as part of his daily training - this solves the mystery of what was holding his cape in place!
2. Tuxedo Mask from Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon)
- Episodes: 46
- Aired: March 1992 - February 1993
A classic black cape with dark red on the inside… anyone would think Dracula but a true anime fan would always think of Tuxedo Mask first. This long black cape makes Darien’s tuxedo and bowtie go from elegant to sassy. Tuxedo Mask loves showing off his cape, always letting it flow wildly with the wind or using it to escape at the right moment. One would think Darien’s cape can be found in any local magician shop, but actually no, it’s the main focus of his fighter transformation - yes, transformation - much like sailor moon’s sailor suit.
When transforming, he holds up a red rose and then (sadly) his body is covered with this cape, ending the transformation with a top hat. In his other transformations, like “knight” or prince Endymion, he keeps his black and red cape, same design and all, but in his final form, or King Endymion, his cape’s color changes to dark blue on the outside and light blue on the inside; in newer versions of the anime, his cape just turns completely white.
1. Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2006 - July 2007
Code Geass has many caped characters but none other than the prince of Britannia to occupy the throne in our list. In more than one way Lelouch’s character design deserves to wear a magnificent cape, he is not only a ‘black prince’ with the power to make anyone obey him, but also a “villain” to the Empire and because of his androgynous looks, the cape makes him look like a sexy vampire (fan-fic fuel here!). He uses his cape only when personalizing his alter-ego, Zero, with which he mostly accompanies with a helmet. His cape is long, separating at the center into two longer ends in a V shape. The inner part of the cape is red whilst the outer part is midnight blue, almost black, decorated with a single gold-colored stripe covering all the edges of the cape.
The most appealing part of his cape is the popped collar, something that might be a personal taste of Lelouch, as in his childhood he is seen wearing a cape with a similar style collar and his regular white buttoned shirt also has the collar area slightly up. He also has an Emperor outfit with a long white cape but nothing beats how stunning he looks as Zero, the leader of The Order of the Black Knights. Because of his amazing looks, intelligence, story, fame and character development, this is without a doubt, the best caped character in anime.
The strength of a character isn't determined by how it looks, but as you just read, to see a character wearing a cape gives an extra boost of power; in appearance at least. This list was full of various princes, heroes, and icons of strength; many important and loved characters we would say… but clearly, 10 is not enough to name all the great caped warriors worthy of a spot in the top.
How many caped characters do you remember now? Do you think there’s someone we missed that could possibly be better than our number one? Or do you totally agree with our characters? In any case, let us know in the