See How Anime's Most Popular Male Characters Have Evolved Over the Last 40 Years

Not going to promise a lot of surprises from the last couple of decades

Recently, a Japanese post listing female fans' favorite male characters from the late 70s got almost nine thousand retweets. This prompted otaku data aggregator @kasumi1973 to go back to work. After their chart of the top anime female characters, compiled from the Annual Anime Grand Prix by Animage, the first non-industry magazine about anime and manga, this time, they sampled the list of top male characters through the decades. 

 

For the starting point, they're using June, a magazine founded in 1978 that specialized in homosexual male romance for a female audience and what would become known as boys love/BL, launched in the wake of Keiko Takemiya's Kaze to Ki no Uta (The Poem of the Wind and the Trees).


After that, they're using Animage's Grande Prix. That poll wasn't split into gender catagories until '83. Before that, top characters were Captain Harlock for '79, Char Aznable, then Cyborg 009's Joe Shimamura for 1980 (they did two that year) and Six God Combination Godmars' Takeru Myoujin for both 1981 and 1892.

 

 

 

1978

1. Kaze to Ki no Uta's Gilbert Cocteau

2. Triton of the Sea's Triton

3. Poe no Ichizoku's Edgar Portsnell

4. Captain Harlock

5. Chōdenji Machine Voltes V's Prince Heinell (Prince Zardoz)

6. Brave Raideen's Akira Hibiki

7. Lupin III

8. Kaze to Ki no Uta's Auguste Beau

9. Science Ninja Team Gatchaman's Joe, the Condor

10. Space Battleship Yamato's Susumu Kodai 

 

1985

1. Touch's Tatsuya Uesugi 

2. Zeta Gundam's Char Aznable

3. Dancouga – Super Beast Machine God's Shinobu Fujiwara 

4. Urusei Yatsura's Ataru Moroboshi

5. Blue Comet SPT Layzner's Eiji Asuka/Albatro Null 

6. Zeta Gunda's Kamille Bidan

8. Fist of the North Star's Kenshiro

9. Fist of the North Star's Rei

10. Vampire Hunter D

 

1995

1. Gundam Wing's Duo Maxwell

2. Evangelion's Shinji Ikari

3. Gundam Wing's Heero Yuy 

4. Macross 7's Basara Nekki

5. Yu Yu Hakusho's Kurama

6. Magic Knight Rayearth's Eagle Vision

7. Gundam Wing's Trowa Barton

8. Sorcerer Hunters' Carrot Glacé 

9. Romeo's Blue Skies Count Alfredo

10. Gundam Wing's Quatre Raberba Winner

 

2005

1. Gundam SEED Destiny's Kira Yamato

2. Gundam SEED Destiny's Athrun Zala

3. Kyo Kara Maoh!'s Yuuri Shibuya

4. Kyo Kara Maoh!'s Conrad

5. Full Metal Alchemist's Ed Elric

6. Kyo Kara Maoh!'s Wolfram

7. Gundam SEED Destiny's Shinn Asuka

8. Bleach's Tōshirō Hitsugaya

9. Black Cat's Train Heartnet

10. Fullmetal Alchemist's Roy Mustang

 

2015

1. Karamatsu

2. Ichimatsu

3. Gintama's Gintoki

4. Jyushimatsu 

5. Gintama's Sougo Okita

6. Osomatsu

7. Gintama's Toshiro Hijikata

8. Todomatsu

9. Choromatsu 

10. Gintama's Shinsuke Takasugi

 

 

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Scott Green is editor and reporter for anime and manga at geek entertainment site Ain't It Cool News. Follow him on Twitter at @aicnanime.

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