A lot of people, before watching an anime, always ask the same question: “is there a white-haired character in it?”. Known notoriously for causing heartbreak amongst fans, white-haired characters are the bane of the existence of anime. What people don’t realized is that silver-haired anime characters are the same. However, writers seem to have more sympathy for their characters with silver hair.
Below is a top ten list of silver-haired anime characters that everyone loves, and would never be harmed in their respectful series!
10. Near from Death Note
- Episodes: 37
- Aired: October 2006 — June 2007
If you are into crime and psychological anime, it is very likely that you have seen Death Note. It’s an anime that can be considered to be fast-paced once everyone figures out who the antagonist is, and the world seems to “crash down” when everything is being solved. Death Note consists of geniuses essentially trying to outwit each other, which makes for an interesting show of sets of skills.
Light Yagami, the protagonist, is of course, one of these geniuses. He is opposed by L, and later Near, who are both prodigies who came from an orphanage. Each of these geniuses is tactful and ruthless towards the antagonistic aspects of their world, leaving an impression on you that is sure to last.
Most people who have seen the Death Note series are aware that Near is a very prodigious character that can be argued to be even more analytical than L was before he was killed by Kira. Being L’s successor also causes people to have an inclination to like him more, since he is so very obviously working for justice and fairness. When he is first introduced, he is opposed by Mello, a fellow “brother” who grew up in the orphanage with him.
Near is a smaller boy, which makes you want to protect him from harm, which is where people’s love for him stemmed from. Essentially, he is a child with fearful analytical skills as well as no need for assistance in solving crimes. He is independent and seemingly helpless, but when he turns around your expectations of him, he becomes one of the characters that you admire.
9. Soul Evans from Soul Eater
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: April 2008 — March 2009
Soul Eater is another interesting anime that should definitely be on your list of things to watch! It tells the story of a young Meister, Maka Albarn, who seeks to make her sword one of the most powerful in her school. What her sword represents is an interesting concept, because in her sword lives a soul, named Soul Evans. What they do together is slay and kill evil spirits in order to free the world of malice. After Maka slays these evil spirits with Soul, he consumes these souls in order to become stronger.
Once he has consumed ninety-nine misguided souls, he needs to find the soul of a “witch”, and thus, the consummation of a total of one hundred souls will cause him to transform into a Death Weapon. To Soul, this means that he will have eternal strength, as being a Death Weapon is rumoured to be powerful enough for God to use himself.
When you first watch Soul Eater, you don’t really take a liking to the male protagonist. You think he’s alright, but he’s not special enough for you to call him a favorite. As the series progresses through its fifty-one episodes, the more you witness the complexity of Soul’s characterization. When you learn of his dark past, you feel sympathy for him, and at this point in the anime, you pray and hope that he stays by Maka’s side. This sense of protection that most feel for Soul is what drives people to love him.
It’s not that he is a hopeless character, but rather, he is someone that has internal struggles, yet wants to be a good person.
8. Ki-Ja from Akatsuki no Yona
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2014 — March 2015
Once people start this anime, they have tied themselves to an anime that is classified as a shoujo. Akatsuki no Yona tells the story of Yona, a princess of the kingdom of Kouka, whose life is suddenly thrown into chaos with the death of her father, the king, and the betrayal of her own cousin, Su-won. Forced to follow Hak Son who serves as her bodyguard, this anime is a story of self-discovery for Yona.
The story is flipped on its head when Yona suddenly has to see the world she knew so well, the world that protected her, was now in ruins due to poverty and strife, and most of all, grief. Of course, her goal at this point, is to take back the throne that is rightfully hers and to benevolently fulfil the hopes and dreams of her people.
Ki-Ja is one of the four dragon warriors in the series, and he possesses the blood of what can be called the white dragon god. He possesses a sort of power in his right hand, as he is the Hakuryuu (white dragon) of the series, derived from the legend of a dragon that descended onto earth into a human. The power in his right hand is ten times stronger than that of a normal person, and he can destroy everything in his path.
He is also able to make that power bigger than its initial size, making him formidable. Despite being extremely powerful, Ki-Ja is straightforward person who has a heart of gold — when he protects something or someone, it’s because he believes it’s his duty to do so. A character like him is easily likeable due to their gentle nature!
7. Inuyasha from Inuyasha
- Episodes: 167
- Aired: October 2000 — September 2004
Surely enough, just about everyone who has been a fan of anime for a significant period of time knows of the anime Inuyasha. It tells the tale of a girl, Higurashi Kagome, who comes from a family that owns a shrine. Within this shrine is a well that secretly leads to another time — the Edo period, to be exact — in which Kagome will find herself spending a lot of her time in. When she’s there, she meets Inuyasha, who is a half demon half human. When Kagome first sees him, he is nailed to a tree by an arrow, and a spell had been casted on him that had bounded his consciousness for fifty years.
The reason why he is bound dates back to a priestess who was in possession of the Sacred Jewel, a jewel that is able to grant immense power to those who had it. As it turned out, Kagome was in possession of this jewel due to her being the reincarnation of this priest, but accidentally breaks it one day, causing her and Inuyasha, along with others they meet along the way, to stick together and piece back the jewel.
Being the male protagonist of a series titled after his own name, Inuyasha is a rambunctious character whose motives are insanely questionable at first. Since he is a half demon, he is often mocked by full demons who say that he will never be as great as his father was. Using their threats and insults as motivation to better himself, Inuyasha had originally wanted the Sacred Jewel for himself, in order to become a perfect demon with no flaws.
As the series goes on, we find that Inuyasha is actually compassionate and caring, and will do anything for those he loves and wants to protect. He is loud, stubborn, and some may say annoying, but ultimately, he is someone that most love because of his pure-hearted intentions in bettering himself as opposed to giving in to demonic urges.
6. Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: April 2009 — July 2010
Fullmetal Alchemist holds a special place in many people’s hearts. It takes the story of loss, suffering, and struggle, to a whole new level — to a level that is so unheard of, that no one can easily criticize the series without sounding as though they are unintelligent or unemotional. The fact that the plot centers around two brothers who are scrambling to find an answer for why they must repent for sins they committed while they were in agony and in pain over the loss of their mother.
It questions the idea of government, the concept of authority, as well as the human psyche. There are so many aspects that exist within the series that it’s hard to name just a few. Most importantly, while it seems to be filled with theoretical questions, but it does have its touching moments as well as instances in which your answers may just be answered.
Scar is introduced into the anime from the very beginning, but we don’t get to hear his story until much later on in the series. He was originally a priest who wanted to rid the world of ill emotions, but his outlook on life immediately changed when his brother, who was a scholar that studied alchemy, was killed in the Ishvalan war by the soldiers from Amestris.
Seeking revenge, he decides to abandon his morals on not hurting others, claiming to murder others in the name of God. At first, when he says that he is rightfully punishing criminals, it raises a bunch of alarming questions of which Ed and Al want to try and understand. When the events of the Ishvalan War were revealed towards the middle of the series, people began to feel sympathy for Scar, because he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone — he just wanted all the bad from the world to be purged.
A lot of the reason that people love Scar is because they feel sympathy for his loss, and yet, they understand completely why he did the things he did.
5. Ginko from Mushishi
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2005 — June 2006
Not a lot of people have seen Mushishi, but those who have say that it creates a whole new spectrum of emotions that make them want to come running back for more. It tells the story of a lone traveler who can also be thought of as a “witch doctor”, and this very character is Ginko. He travels from house to house, prefecture to prefecture, in the hopes to destroy or release spirits that have made a home inside other humans.
These “spirits” are referred to as “mushi” and range from being almost harmless to extremely detrimental, if left alone for too long. The premise of this anime allows the audience to see things from a third-person omniscient perspective. While that doesn’t allow for people to get as attached to the series as one would hope, it’s important to note that this journey follows Ginko. We see things through his eyes, which makes his trips all the more interesting.
Living as a “witch doctor” that disposes of such spirits, Ginko is bound to be someone is that patient and wise. From his various experiences as he travels, he learns new things that can help him when he’s “healing” someone or “healing” someone’s home. He reads up on mushi he’s not familiar with, and always tries to find a way to safely remove them and set them back into nature.
He is kind, he is knowledgeable, and most of all, he simply wants to help people become better, in terms of individual growth, physical health, as well as emotional health. It is difficult to dislike a character that wants nothing more than to make sure the people around him are safe and well.
4. Kaworu Nagisa from Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 1995 — March 1996
Kaworu Nagisa is known for being Shinji Ikari’s closest friend and the only few people who care about Shinji. He isn’t a human as he is created by SEELE to hold the soul for Adam: an angel. Kaworu has an interest in humans but more specifically human nature, as it seems odd and foreign to him because he is essentially an alien who doesn’t understand how they are. His role in the anime is to replace another pilot who is in a catatonic state and unable to synch with her evangelion and with that the audience is introduced to a kind yet mysterious figure.
People like Kaworu for his kindhearted personality and his friendship with Shinji. Kaworu is interested in humans’ especially human emotions such as pain and loneliness so in a way he says things that can resonate with people such as, “Man always feels pain in his heart”. People want to be understood and if someone wants to understand them or does understand them then the feeling of being alone doesn’t hurt as much because they have found solace in someone. If Kaworu was a real person he would want to understand your pain and feel for you, something every person wants.
3. Kaneki Ken from Tokyo Ghoul
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2014 — September 2014
When the popular series Tokyo Ghoul aired in summer of 2014, many anime fans decided to buck up and sit down to watch it. It explores the story of Kaneki Ken, a boy who was originally a human that frequented bookstores seeking literature to have in his possession. The plot of the story begins to move along when Kaneki meets a girl by the name of Rize, and decides to go on a date with her.
When he's walking her home, they walk through a secluded alleyway, which is the turning point of the plot. Rize actually turns out to be a ghoul, a creature that requires the flesh and blood of human beings in order to survive. Kaneki, despite being the protagonist, is the human that she feeds on, harming him in more ways than one.
There are a significant number of anime characters that are innocent in nature, and Kaneki is one of these characters. There is an even bigger sense of hopelessness when it comes to him, one that is pronounced even more when his life has to drastically change and he can no longer live as a normal person. He struggles with whether or not he's a person, this secret that he wants to keep from his best friend, and his strength to live on and become strong.
Kaneki is hardly like other protagonists, because he is forced into his new life -- he had no choice as to whether he wanted to be a ghoul or not. His situation isn't so much pitiful as it is horrifying, surely making him an enigma amongst anime protagonists.
2. Hatake Kakashi from Naruto
- Episodes: 425
- Aired: October 2002 — present
From the series of the well-known fifteen-year franchise Naruto, Kakashi is the teacher of the protagonists and trains them to help them heighten their ninja skills. He teaches them to be sly, to know how to focus their attention completely on their set of skills, and to always remember that ninjas will consistently endure. Out of all the teachers in the series, it's fair to say that Kakashi is the most loved -- and for various reasons, too! The Naruto series pertains Kakashi being supportive of his students no matter what they do, and it also contains
The fact that we are given abundant background information gives us more reason to be attached to Kakashi, since we see many different facets to his character as the series progresses. It even gets to a point that the events of his past become unraveled, tapping into new emotions and perceptions that would otherwise leave us only liking Kakashi a huge amount, as opposed to loving him wholeheartedly.
Kakashi has ties to the Fourth Hokage, but he also was the son of a man who was known amongst his enemies as the White Fang. Not only is Kakashi smooth and patient — but he is someone who wants others to treasure as a friend as well as a teacher.
1. Sakata Gintoki from Gintama
- Episodes: 285+
- Aired: April 2006 — ongoing
Gintama is known as the incredibly adult and hilarious anime that no one really knows how to describe, even after following the series for so long. It focuses on Gintoki’s life as a jack-of-all-trades and how he came about his partners in crime. The anime itself contains themes and concepts that may not be entirely safe for children’s viewing, which is probably why you haven’t heard of it when you were a little younger, and only heard of it when you were in your teenage years.
Although difficult to talk about in terms of plot, Gintama is a unique anime that explores various themes that may clash with each other, and yet, the writer seems to make it work out and have a resolution — and it always somehow works out in the good guys’ favor.
Known for being a samurai that is way too laid back for his own good, Gintoki is definitely loved by the community of those who watch Gintama! He’s goofy, lazy, and incompetent — but he also has his good points, which makes his negative traits seem almost nonexistent. His desire to protect those he loves definitely shines through in the most crucial of moments throughout the series, and even the people who criticise him the most cannot help but love him and want to protect him. Like Kakashi, he has many facets to his character, as well as a past that seems to be shrouded in mystery, but ultimately, he is someone that is impossible not to love.
A lot of the time, silver-haired anime characters and white-haired anime characters are classified under two categories: dead, or extremely loved. There is usually no in-between, but of course, all the characters above are those that are alive (don’t worry!) and have created a special place in the hearts of their fans.