Getting into the Halloween spirit by taking a look at powerful vampires
As the time for Halloween approaches, it makes us nostalgic for all of our favorite monsters, goblins, ghouls, and ghosts that haunt our anime. But what about the regal, majestic vampire? While they seem to be popular, vampires are pretty rare in starring roles, and separating the wheat from the chaff is an even harder task. A lot of times, the poor vampire is relegated to cannon fodder for powerful main characters to dispatch, treated as nothing more than lowly monsters to be exterminated, meaning it can be easy to disregard them as something uninteresting or weak. But fear not; we’ve learned from the best Van Helsing School of Vampire Hunters to catalogue who we think are the 10 top vampires in all of anime! Think you can stomach the challenge of standing up to these terrible titans, keep scrolling… If you dare!
HONORABLE MENTION: Dracula Man (Dragon Ball)
Our list wouldn’t be complete without at least one honorable mention, and we felt it was hard to leave Dracula Man (AKA Fangs) here off the list. While not quite famous for being a vampire in the traditional sense, fans of Dragon Ball likely recognize this Thai Kickboxing Vampire! Dracula Man is far from the only vampire in Dragon Ball, with quite a few of the movies seemingly love the idea of pitting the Z Warriors against undead bloodsuckers, he’s the only one who appears in the canonical show itself. Of course, Dracula Man also has another dubious “honor”: being one of the only foes in the entire series defeated by Puar (with help from Upa, of course)! Dracula Man would go on to be something of a Dragon Ball in-joke, appearing in some of the games released well after his initial debut in the series, so we figured we’d say “fangs” for the memories, but not quite enough to make the top ten!
10) Staz Charlie Blood (Blood Lad)
Blood Lad was a quirky title that featured various supernatural types going at one another in a struggle to control the underworld. The protagonist, Staz, is a bit of an oddball compared to other vampires: he isn’t really affected by garlic, doesn’t mind crosses, can’t fly, and doesn’t even have wings. What he does have, however, is a huge obsession with Japanese anime and video games! Aside from that, Staz is the a territory leader in Demon World East, making him more of a delinquent than a refined aristocrat, but he is a descendant of Dracula himself (not an uncommon thing for most anime vampires, to be fair)! Staz is certainly a unique take on the modern vampire, and earns his spot at number ten for being a quirky, but likeable, modern rendition of the blood sucking creature of myth.
9) Sunako Kirishiki (Shiki)
Shiki was a pretty heavy and dark show, and we figured we’d get that warning out of the way first for anyone who might be curious to check it out after reading our list: things get dark, and we mean DARK. The vampires of Shiki tend towards the ghoulish side, with their dark eyes making them seem even more inhuman than usual. Perhaps most unusual is Sunako, a seemingly young girl that resembles a doll more than a dangerous monster. Sunako wants nothing more than to find some way for the Shiki and humans to live in some sort of harmony, but the cruel world she lives in, and the actions of both groups, makes her dream seemingly impossible. Like Staz and a few other good vampires, Sunako only feeds to survive, trying to limit her need to do so as much as possible and cause as little suffering as she can.
8) Saya Otonashi (Blood The Last Vampire / Blood +)
While technically the same character, the two versions of Saya are quite different, and equally memorable. Blood the Last Vampire’s version of Saya is that of a cold, seemingly aloof young woman who becomes a cold blooded killer, hunting down the monsterous Chiropterans. Fighting vampiric beasts with a katana is cool, but it’s even cooler when you’re also the last remaining “true” vampire that exists! In Blood+, this version of Saya similarly hunts Chiropterans, although her past is far more mysterious and her own existence as a vampire is clouded in mystery and intrigue. Either version of Saya is worthy of being on a list, but we wanted to highlight both, as the movie and TV show were amazing and worth the watch!
7) Mina Tepes (Dance in the Vampire Bund)
Mina Tepes' standing of the queen of all vampires sounds great, until you realize that everyone is seemingly out to kill you! After paying off all of Japan’s debts, Mina sets up a supposed vampire safe zone known as the “Bund”, but human aggressors and vampiric plots of usurping the throne threaten Mina’s life… Until she turns the tables on her would be attackers! Mina isn’t quite the little girl she appears to be, and while her bodyguards are quite capable, Mina is a full fledged vampire who has some serious skills and abilities. Mina certainly embodies that sense of aristocracy associated with vampires, what with paying off an entire country’s debts, but the way she carries herself and the vampire culture of the Bund cement the series as having one of the more interesting takes on vampires not as monsters, but as a unique culture separate from humanity. Just make sure you don’t call her a little girl, or you might not live long enough to even regret it!
6) Seras Victoria (Hellsing / Hellsing Ultimate)
Originally a rookie police officer, a fateful and fatal encounter leaves Seras Victoria at the mercy of a cruel choice: die, or become a vampire! Deciding to choose “life”, Seras becomes the ward of the most powerful vampire there is: Alucard! Trying her hardest to resist the temptation to feed and bumbling through her transition from human to vampire, Seras is equal parts adorable and terrifying, as many people who’ve seen her true powers manifest can attest to. If you’re not familiar with her, let’s just say that coming between her and what she wants most is a fine way to get ground to dust! Seras lends a much more “human” component to the vampires of Hellsing, and frankly seems even more rational than some of the humans at times, making her a memorable character for just trying to do her best in the crazy hellscape she lives in. Good luck, Seras!
5) Miyu (Vampire Princess Miyu)
The OG lady anime vampire princess, Miyu is an anime icon that fans of a certain age likely remember as one of their first anime titles ever! A classic horror series, Vampire Princess Miyu followed the titular main character as she hunted down Shinma, demons, that would wander into the human realm to do harm. Miyu is another compassionate vampire, generally selecting people to feed on that she can leave in an eternal state of “happiness” in exchange for the blood they give her. The Miyu series is an absolute classic, starting off as a manga in the 80's and still running today, with numerous anime spin offs in the forms of OVAs and TV shows. I remember first encountering Vampire Princess Miyu in a Blockbuster Video aisle (remember those stores?), and coupled with another high ranking vampire on this list, became one of many reasons why I ended up diving deeper into the wonderful world of anime.
4) Shinobu Oshino (Bakemonogatari)
We will try to avoid too many spoilers here, because one of the joys of the Bakemonogatari series is discovering the web of ways characters interconnect and the secrets that they hide. What we can say is that when the series first debuted, the donut munching young vampire known simply as Shinobu stood out from the rest of the eccentric cast, and seemed to catch the eye of many other fans. Shinobu is a relative mystery in the series, a skulking shadow that doesn’t seem to quite fit in with the things going on around the other characters, and diving further into the Bakemonogatari series reveals why this is. But we don’t want to say too much more about it; go check out the series for yourself and discover why Shinobu rates so highly as one of the most unique vampires we’ve seen in a long time.
3) Vampire Hunter D (Vampire Hunter D)
Along with Vampire Princess Miyu, Vampire Hunter D is an anime that some fans might remember as one of their first anime ever. The star of a long running series of novels illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano, Vampire Hunter D comes to the anime world rarely, and generally in the form of feature films: 1985’s Vampire Hunter D, and 2000’s Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. Both films are amazing and still hold up today, and D is one of the best semi-silent protagonists there is, hunting down vampires in the post-nuclear future world they inhabit. The mixture of post-apocalyptic sci-fi and medieval style horror make the series truly unique, and whether you’re an anime fan from 30 years ago, 20 years ago, you probably think of D and his fabulous hat when you think of anime vampires!
2) Dio Brando (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
While he’s certainly an odd style of vampire compared to some of the more traditional ones on the list, there are few that can hold a candle to the one, the only, Dio Brando. Originally a human boy who discovered the secret of the Stone Mask, Dio is a being of pure evil and selfish desires that fits perfectly with the image of vampire, and his original vampiric run through Phantom Blood truly feels like a classic movie monster villain. When he re-appears in Stardust Crusaders, Dio’s vampirism takes a bit of a backseat to his Stand abilities, but his classic vampiric cry, “WRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!”, still remains! Fans who had a chance to see the original JoJo OVA from the 90s might remember Dio’s fabulous vampire cape, but even without it, his fanged grin and inhuman stamina make Dio one of the top vampires in anime; after all, not many of the others can claim the ability to stop time and drop road rollers on people! Dio, we love you, even if you are a terrible monster.
1) Alucard (Hellsing / Hellsing Ultimate)
When you talk about anime vampires, though, it is really hard to ignore the lanky, leering, and imposing presence of Alucard from the Hellsing series. The huge red hat and coat, the glasses, the wide, inhuman toothy grin, and the huge guns give Alucard a timeless profile, and coupled with his absolutely bonkers assortment of abilities, makes him perhaps the most terrifying vampire on the list. Stopping time for a few seconds seems like child's play compared to some of the abilities that Alucard possesses, and the absolute terror his foes suffer when they realize just how outclassed they are by Alucard makes for some of the best moments in anime. Of all the vampires on the list, Alucard is also the most “authentic”, detesting sunlight, holy symbols and consecrated weapons, and even being unable to cross bodies of water without his coffin and soil. Whether it’s being the most accurate to vampire lore, striking a memorable profile, or just being ridiculously powerful and scary, Alucard really hits all the right buttons when it comes to the top anime vampire!
And with that, we put the last stake into our list! Vampires certainly seem far more popular than they are prevalent, but when a vampire is a good character, they really leave an everlasting impression. So as you get ready to enjoy your Halloween festivities, maybe take some time to revisit some of these amazing vampires, or check them out for the first time. Just beware… If they ask you for a drink, you better protect your neck!
What do you think of our list of vampires? Have any that we didn’t include here? Let us know what you think in the comments, and have a Happy Halloween!
Nicole is a features writer and editor for Crunchyroll. Known for punching dudes in Yakuza games on her Twitch channel while professing her love for Majima. She also has a blog, Figuratively Speaking. Follow her on Twitter: @ellyberries
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