Tuesday’s Top 5: Male Anime Characters from 2018

Tuesday's Top 5

In 2016 the wonderful Allen Walker from D Gray Man Hallow topped my list – and yeah that was an incredibly biased decision because I just love Allen. 2017 saw Rei from March Comes in Like a Lion take the list (well deserved). 2018 had a plethora of fantastic male characters, though if you read my list of favourite female characters from the year you probably have a fairly good idea of who is going to end up on my list here. As always, I’d love to know who your choices are for best male anime characters from 2018.

Honourable Mentions:

It kind of hurts but Kirito from Sword Art Online Alicization has only gotten an honourable mention. While he still has plenty of episodes, his showing in 2018 was okay but not his best work (poor guy). The other character I want to give an honourable mention to is Lin from Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens. He was great fun but not quite memorable enough to land a spot on the top 5.

Number 5: Okabe Rintaro from Steins;Gate 0

As much as Steins;Gate 0 didn’t quite click for me in 2018 one thing I did appreciate was seeing Okabe’s character after he had hit rock bottom and tried to rebuild his life. The Okabe who gave up on saving everyone and just tried to make the best of things. Seeing that Okabe finally find the motivation needed to fight back again despite the hardship it was going to cost was perhaps one of the most rewarding character arcs for the year.

Number 4: Takato from Dakaichi

Alright, if you’ve been following my collaboration with Arthifis on Dakaichi you will know I’ve been seriously loving Takato’s character since the beginning. While there’s a lot in Dakaichi that is easy to dismiss or would make you raise an eyebrow, Takato has been a highly entertaining main character. I love watching him when he is working as an actor and seeing him slowly get in touch with his emotions in his real life. For everything that doesn’t work in Dakaichi, Takato has been a shining character for the Autumn season (or at least one that I’ve really enjoyed watching).

Number 3: Sakuta from Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Sakuta has been one of those characters who comes along who on the one hand I feel he’s pretty ordinary, on the other hand this is how you write an ordinary character and make him shine. Solid writing, great interactions with the support cast, and just enough personality and sass that he doesn’t just fit solidly into the nice guy forgettable role, and Sakuta is someone who has easily carried his show (admittedly with a bit of help from a fabulous supporting cast).

Number 2: Ash from Banana Fish

It was a hard toss up as to whether I was going to pick Ash or Eiji for the list, but Ash wins because I just love seeing him rise up time and time again. Ash may be incredibly overpowered given he’s ridiculously smart, strong, and shrugs off bullet wounds and being stabbed more or less instantly. He might be straight out of an 80’s power fantasy, but he is definitely fun to watch and when he’s with Eiji his soft and fluffy side comes out (as much as one exists). Really enjoyed spending time with Ash this year and while I might have wanted him to have more happy moments, I can’t deny that I was always entertained by his journey.

Number 1: Rei Kiriyama from March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2

It’s the second year in a row but Rei Kiriyama remains my very favourite male anime character in 2018. His interactions with Hina, his match against Souya, his support of Shimada, and just his own growth as a character, returning to his foster home to face some of the past, all of these moments have seen Rei moving from strength to strength. For a character who still has a long way to travel in regards to dealing with his own mental health, Rei continues to be inspirational and relatable and someone I just want to see more of.

That’s the list for 2018 but I’d love to know who you would have picked for your top 5 male anime characters.

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23 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Top 5: Male Anime Characters from 2018

  1. So can I talk about how much I love your list? I just started watching March Comes in Like a Lion and I love the depth Rei has a character. I completely admire Ash Lynx because there is so much dexterity to him especially with the concept of Fate and mental well being. It’s a subject close to my heart. I made a whole post on that. Sakuta is so dry humored and respectable and cute and awesome! I love this list!

    1. And I am almost finished with Dakaichi. Takato can get on my nerves especially with how stubborn he is but he has such a development you cannot help but love it

    2. Really glad you enjoyed the list. There were a lot of great characters last year and narrowing it down is hard, though I’m pretty sure I knew from the start of the year after the end of season 2 of March Comes in Like a Lion that nothing was going to top Rei.

      1. Oh yeah. Judging from the three episodes I’ve seen so far. He definitely has the set up for the most growth and there is just so much inside him. I really love Ash, too! I feel more sympathy and wished he would have loved himself more though. But Rei so far has power and hope

  2. Yesss, Sakata and Rei!

    I say Rei cheats a bit because he’s got another season of character development backing him up, but Okabe is also on the list so fair game.

    Sakata fits well into the Tomoya Okazaki from Clannad mold I love so much. Abrasive at first, but a really nice guy with a blunt personality.

    1. Yes, Rei did have the advantage of having a double cour season one worth of development and then getting a second double cour to consolidate it. Still, some characters get that many episodes and still don’t develop much of anything. Love Rei. Awesome character.

  3. Your number one doesn’t surprise me and he’d probably be in my top five (just from what I’ve seen and heard from fans; haven’t seen the series yet, which I hope to remedy this year). My fave from the list is Lin. The sass is so strong haha.

    1. Lin was awesome. He didn’t quite manage to sneak into the top 5 but he was definitely a character worth noting.
      I’d love to know your thoughts on March Comes in Like a Lion when you get to it.

      1. My plan is to watch it during Spring Break in April so that I can comfortably marathon it. It definitely looks and sounds like something I would fall totally in love with.

  4. Rei!! He was the absolute best last year, there’s no doubt on that one. He does get overshadowed by some of the other characters in this list but Rei has something warm and special that’s hard to find in a lot of character which is why I love him so much.
    Great list!

  5. Of the series I also watched, I can’t disagree. I might have included Nitta (Hinamatsuri) and given an honorable mention to Kyousui (Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori) though.

    1. Rokuhoudou almost makes me wish I did like a top 5 slice of life or drama anime list, but I don’t watch enough of them. I really enjoyed that and yet it isn’t going to top any of my lists. Still, it was great and a nice change of pace.

  6. Aside from Rei, as I’ve yet to see March Comes I’m like a Lion, I agree with your list 100%. Sakuta most certainly deserves a spot on everyone’s 2018 list, and for those who watched Dakaichi, Takato is another clear win. Both are so sassy and I love it. But it would be an absolute shame to disregard Okabe’s incredible character arc as we witness him fall from grace, only to climb out of the dark abyss to do it all over again.

    1. Yes, as much as I had issues with Steins;Gate 0, Okabe’s arc was unquestionably amazing to watch (drawn out over far too many episodes but still very rewarding when we finally got there).
      I think I’m going to have to do another post on March Comes in Like a Lion at some point. Like Yuri on Ice I’ve probably written too much about it but I can’t help it. It’s an anime I’m absolutely in love with.

  7. Since I don’t want to spoil my own post that will come out somewhere in February, I will just say that I really like the layout/format of that post!

    Did you did it in the new editor?

        1. Start a normal paragraph block, then use the more options at the top of the block to select edit as html. You can only edit in the one block at a time, but it works.

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