Manga is an integral part of Japanese culture. They adore the Manga characters and their creators just as we respect poets and writers. Did I just say only ‘they’? My bad! Manga characters have become extremely popular outside Japan as well. For those who are yet to explore the vast world of Japanese Manga, it is basically comic books. If you translate that, the meaning will be ‘humorous pictures’.
So how do they typically look? Big eyes, smallmouth, weird hairstyle, colors, etc are their most recognized features. There are various kinds of Manga known by different names. For example boys’ Manga or Shônen, girls’ manga or Shôjo, men’s manga or seinen, women’s manga or Josei, and children’s manga or Kodomo. You can predict a little about the themes of the manga by looking at its category.
Here we have listed the 20 best Manga Characters & designs from the iconic manga series. Check it out at once.
Even if you are not familiar with Manga heroes, you probably know of the great Dragon Ball franchise. Akira Toriyama is the creator of the series and Son Goku is the protagonist of it. He appeared in the first Dragon Ball chapter with an eccentric nature and superhuman possession determined in mastering martial arts.
However, his character is based on Sun Wukong, the main character of the novel Journey to the west. But he has special and exclusive features such as the monkey tail and his superhuman ability to go to any planet within a second. character-wise, he is kind, selfless, and has a nice redemption arc. All of these features make him the best Manga character of all time.
Naruto is another popular manga series written and Illustrated by Japanese artist Masashi Kishimoto. It is filled it adventure, martial arts, and comedy. However, the protagonist of the series is Naruto Uzumaki, a simple-minded but strong-willed, cheerful ninja who dreams to become the leader of his village known as Hokage.
What makes Naruto so popular and fan-favorite? Naruto in his childhood was a simple guy who loved pranking other villagers. But as he grew up he became a wise, helpful and dedicated person to others. His story begins when his father sealed the demonic and powerful fox known as the Nine-Tails in his body just after his birth.
It makes him powerful but their mutual hatred stands between them to a great extent. In the end, it is his awesome character development and story arc that make him one of the best Manga characters.
Sailor Moon is a Shôjo manga which means its target readers are teenage girls. It is created and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi. It focuses on the high school girl Usagi Tsukino who later transforms into Sailor Moon and earns the title.
In the series, she is fated to fight the evil force to save the earth and find the silver crystal. She is careless, cheerful, and often gets worried and becomes a crybaby when things are not okay. Her encounter with the magical black cat, Luna starts her story where she is destined to do something great for her planet.
She later discovers her real name, Princess Serenity. However, it is her character arc that makes the series fascinating and engaging so we couldn’t help keeping her in number 3.
Tenchi Masaki is the main protagonist of the manga series Tenchi Muyo created by Masaki Kajishima. Why do we love Tenchi Masaki so much? Well, he is just your ‘next door neighbor’ guy who is only a high school student, humble, kind, compassionate, and determined.
His ordinary life changes when a band of alien girls comes and expresses their romantic interest in him. But our hero resists them all of his deep care for the family. He is strong and has a great deal of power but is too immature to use in the early period of his life.
Later he learns some hidden truths about himself including his role in the universe. He has the power to generate Light Hawk Wings, a magical weapon that acts as his power. His good nature and human-centric qualities are the reasons fans adore him so deeply.
Japanese artist Hazime Kanzaka created the Slayers, a comic fantasy series in 1989. All 90’s kids must recognize the protagonist of this iconic manga, Lina Inverse.
She is a young sorceress who seeks adventure and the treasures of the world. Her anime appearance is inspired by the iconic British actress Audrey Hepburn.
However, Lina in her early life suffered from an inferiority complex because of her talented elder sister. Her character is defined as powerful sorceresses with the power to spell black magic and shamanism, gluttony for more power and money, short-tempered, and mentally unstable.
So, she is super versatile and thus, conquered the hearts of billions of fans around the world since she appeared in the manga world.
Rias Gremory is the heroine or the female protagonist of the manga series High School DxD by Ichiei Ishubumi. The main protagonist of the series Issei Hyoudou has a love interest for her. Anyway, they both go to the Kuoh academy were angels, devils, and fallen angels gather to study.
She belongs to the pure-blooded devil and possesses the power of destruction. She has great physical beauty mostly because of her white skin, blue eyes, and long crimson hair. Along with her beauty and charm, she is a good-natured girl who has kindness and compassion for people around her.
She is known as the Crimson Hair Ruin Princess because o her hair color and great magical power. But she likes to be among humans as they treat her as a human being, not a monster or devil.
Belldandy is the title character of Kōsuke Fujishima’s manga series Oh My Goddess! This is a goddess who comes to the world accompanied by the other two goddesses to Keiichi Morisato another main character of the series. She has a goddess-like appearance with light brown hair and blue eyes.
Designers depicted her as a kind-hearted, compassionate, and empathetic character who does not hesitate to save anyone from any danger. Possessing the divine power she can control wind and transport anywhere through her magical mirror. She got summoned by Keiichi when he accidentally dialed “Goddess Relief Agency” while ordering food online.
However, Belldandy comes and Keiichi taking it to be a prank asks her to stay with him forever. Her kind nature and goodness of heart make her one of the most favorite manga characters ever.
Shinku is the main female protagonist of the famous manga series Rozen Maiden created and illustrated by Peach-pit. The story shows a high school student Jun Sakurada who gets bullied by his peers and becomes the master of seven dolls known as Rozen Maidens.
Shinku is the fifth as well as the main doll among the seven. She is so beautiful. Shinku has blonde hair that she ties in the back into two tails and blue eyes that gives her a stunning look. She is aristocratic in her behavior and loves to abuse her master Jun.
Shinku has human-like qualities such as cold, noble, childish, and unpleasant but hold deep care and responsibility for Jun. Her prime goal is to win the Alice game where she fights hard with all her strength and power. Her strong personality thus makes her a fan-favorite character.
Escanor is a character from the iconic manga series Seven Deadly Sins written and illustrated by Nakaba Suzuki. The figure is Lion’s Sin of Pride and the former prince of the Kingdom of Castellio. He possesses the Rhitta, a sacred and divine ax. He is a middle-aged man with ginger hair with blue eyes. His mustache makes him a bit whimsical.
Escanor’s power is sunshine which makes him extremely powerful during the day but weak and frail at night. Thus he is also known as the Master of the Sun. However, he is arrogant and dominating but he shows great determination and goodwill towards others.
Even if he doesn’t have power at night, he does not hide from his responsibilities and duties. The combination of strength and weakness makes him adorable and memorable to manga lovers.
Death note is one of the most popular manga series created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. Light Yagami is the protagonist of the series who finds a strange death note one day and learns that he can kill anyone with it just by their name and face.
He starts using it to kill criminals and bad persons to get rid of them and make the world a better place. His appearance is handsome and charming with his brown eyes and light brown hair. He was intelligent, hardworking, and brilliant therefore he is adored by his peers and family members.
But after knowing about the death note his strong sense of justice corrupts him and leads him to use it. He thinks of himself as a God as he starts killing bad people with that. The complexity of his story arc makes him a popular character among thousands of manga heroes.
Levi Ackerman is one of the most important characters in the manga series Attack on Titan written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. He is the squad captain of the Survey Corps and is known for his strength and responsibilities.
Levi grew up in the underworld but refused to follow the order of his master until he joined the Survey Corps. He became one of the most worthy soldiers and showed respect toward his peers. He is obsessed with cleanliness and thus got the name ‘Clean Freak’.
Levi Ackerman looks young and handsome with his straight black hair and gray eyes. His personality is strong and appreciative but he often insults people and shows cold behavior.
Above all, Levi deeply cares for humanity and puts them before anything else. He possesses a high moral and ethical code therefore fans cannot help loving him.
L Lawliet is the detective of Death Note who tries to catch the murderer known as ‘Kira’ spoiler alert! He had a difficult time proving Light Yagami as the Kira. He observes and spies on Light being suspicious of his actions.
Later the relationship between them becomes like a cat and mouse game full of psychological conflicts and tactics. No wonder why fans love the series so much!
However, as a detective L is quite skilled and observant. He keeps his identity secret being an international consulting detective. His ability to ‘second guess’ everything makes him charismatic and analytical.
He likes to eat sweets but convinces others that his brain is the one that consumes the calories. His slim body, messy hair, and black eyes make him look approachable and down to earth.
Muzan Kibutsuji is the major antagonistic character of the popular manga series Demon Slayer: Kimesu no Yaiba. However, he is the progenitor and the king of the demon race. He leads the Twelve Kizuki, the organization that is fully devoted to him.
Muzan was born almost a millennium ago and became a demon accidentally while treating his illness. His goal is to find the Blue Spider Lilly and make more demons aiming to live forever by defeating death. Therefore he is one of the evilest characters in the manga world.
Muzan is a tall, slim man with unnatural whitish skin that looks pale and sickly. His eyes are almond-shaped and his red pupils are like those of cats. His blue nails have made him look mysterious and frightful. No matter how evil he is, fans love him and love to hate him as well.
Ken Kaneki is the protagonist of the iconic manga series Tokyo Ghoul written and illustrated by Sui Ishida. He was previously living a normal life where he was a mere student at Kamii University. But after meeting with a female ghoul, Rize, he was tricked and turned into a one-eyed ghoul known as Eyepatch.
However, he is not a natural ghoul as he is artificially made under a secret experiment. He is a skilled swordsman and has a mastery of martial art.
Kaneki’s bodily appearance is not much attractive as he does not have an athletic body. But his ghoul look has a resemblance to Frankenstein’s face. Despite being a ghoul, he has a kind heart that does not want to harm others.
He is afraid of being alone and tries his best to protect the people around him. What’s more, is needed to love him?
King is one of the major supporting characters of the series One Punch Man written by ONE (pseudo name). He is an S-class superhero of the Hero Association. King gained appreciation as the strongest man in the world after defeating the demons valiantly.
Though he is in a high position among the heroes he has little strength in reality. He gets credit for things that he didn’t do. He knows about the Saitama and their true nature which is secret to everyone else.
In appearance, King is tall, bulky, and muscular. His blue eyes and blonde hair makes him look a bit relatable but the three vertical scars on his forehead make him a bit grotesque as well.
So why is a supporting character that famous? That’s because he is a bit different from typical heroes. He does not have any mighty power, yet he lies and pretends to be stronger than all. That makes him interesting.
Sinbad is the protagonist of the manga series Magi: Aventure of Sinbad written by Shinobu Ohtaka. He is the former king of the Sindria kingdom. He is also known as ‘Sinbad of the Seven seas’ and King Vessel. From his early childhood, he showed his leadership and strength.
At the age of 14, he conquered the dungeon which contains dragons. Though he was born in a Tison Village of Parthevia Empire, he later founded his own kingdom Sindria and became the king.
Sinbad possesses attractive physical features with a tall and slim body, golden eyes, and purple hair. He wears lots of metal jewelry that he collected from the dungeons.
He is series as well as light-hearted and fun-loving. As a king, he is loved and respected by all. So fans also love him like other famous characters in the manga.
Zora Ideale is a character of Black Clover written and illustrated by Yūki Tabata. The Clover kingdom has nine squads of magic knights and Zora belongs to the Black Bull royal knights. His father was Zara Ideale, a peasant and the first commoner to join the magic knights.
But he was killed by his fellow knights. Zora to get revenge joined the knights and was motivated to kill them. Meeting with Asta changed him and later he vowed to protect their kingdom from any harm.
His appearance is a bit whimsical as he wears a shoulder-length shirt leaving his body naked up to his waist. He also wears a ghastly mask that shows sharp teeth.
He has red hair and blue eyes resembling the doll he got from his father. Zora is violent, sharp tough, and disrespectful to other knights. The reason is convincing because they once killed his father.
Monkey D. Luffy
Monkey D.Luffy is the protagonist of the famous manga series One Piece created by Eiichiro Oda. Luffy is known as “Straw Hat Luffy” or “Straw Hat”. He has founded the Straw Hat Pirates and become the caption of the crew.
His main aim is to find the treasures of the Gol D. Roger. He also dreams of being free and that is why he loves to be a pirate. However, Luffy is not cruel and heartless so he never kills any enemies. Consequently, they search for him to get revenge.
Fuffy has black hair and round black eyes that make him look childish and charming. He always wears his straw hat and short blue trousers. At the age of 7, he accidentally swallowed Gomu Gomu no Mi and turned into a rubber-like body. His final mission is to find the one piece and become the pirate king.
Lelouch Lamperouge is the protagonist of the anime and the manga series Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. He appeared in Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 Code Geass: Lancelot and Guren as well. Being the son of the 98th Emperor of Britannia, he is the eleventh prince of the holy kingdom.
As a person, he is cold, often arrogant, sophisticated as well as friendly, and careless. He believes in justice and it makes him respectful and honorable to others. Despite being cold, he is extremely compassionate toward those who want it.
Lelouch looks handsome and likable for having jet-black hair and violet eyes though his physique is not that muscular. On the battlefield, he proves his worth many times with his tactics and sharp wisdom. Overall, his character deserves to be on the list of famous manga characters rightfully.
Edward Elric is the protagonist of the manga series Full metal Alchemist written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. The hero is the youngest alchemist in the state of Amestris. Here he lost his right arm and left leg in a human transmutation process and later became the alchemist prodigy.
Elric also lost his younger brother in the process but wanted to get him back through the Philosopher’s stone. He never wants to get his leg or hand lacked rather his sole motivation is centered on curing his brother.
Edward is not so tall compared to his age. Still, he looks likable with golden blond hair which is normally tied in a ponytail or a braid. He is a stubborn, immature, quick-tempered, and strong-willed character. He does not usually show his vulnerable and soft sides to people except for fewer people he loves and truly cares about.
So, which one of them is your favorite?