Can You Name These Anime Characters?


By: Gavin Thagard

7 Min Quiz

Image: Fuji TV

About This Quiz

Anime, defined as Japanese animation in English countries, dates back to the start of the 20th century when creators like Oten Shimokawa, Jun'ichi Kouchi and Seitaro Kitayama were producing animated works in Japan. Known as the fathers of anime, these early animators worked throughout the 1910s, laying the groundwork for future animators in the country. 

Early anime was not for entertainment, however, but instead served as propaganda for the Japanese government. It wouldn't move into the entertainment field until after WWII when companies like Toei Animation and Mushi Production were founded. Influenced by Disney films, these companies started creating feature-length animated films, but they wouldn't really hit their stride until they reached the television market in the '60s with shows like "Astro Boy" and "Speed Racer," both of which became some of the earliest anime viewed by English audiences.

Not long after the first shows reached Europe and the United States, anime began to diversify, expanding into genres like robotics and kung fu. These became staples of future Japanese anime, though neither the stories nor the characters would be limited to these genres. Having more clearly defined itself by the '80s, anime became a hit around the world in the decades that followed.

How well do you know the characters that have defined Japanese anime since it became a global phenomenon? From shows like "Dragon Ball Z" to movies like "Spirited Away," there are a slew of interesting anime characters to remember. 

When you're ready to reflect on some of these brilliant anime series, get started and see if you can recall the characters who defined them.

Who is this shinobi whose fighting abilities are enhanced by her powerful eyes?

Though weak at the beginning of the "Naruto" series, Hinata Hyuga eventually becomes one of the strongest members of her clan. She even invents her own move called Gentle Steps Twin Lion Fist, becoming one of the rare shinobi to create a jutsu of their own.


The leader of the Straw Hat Pirates, is this an anime character you're familiar with?

Monkey D. Luffy wears his signature straw hat as he travels the ocean in search of the legendary treasure. The hat was given to him by Shanks, a powerful pirate, but it actually belongs to Gol D. Roger, the former Pirate King.


Can you identify this anime character who becomes a Soul Reaper after gaining supernatural powers?

Ichigo Kurosaki grew up with the ability to see Pluses, or ghosts, his entire life. As a child, people thought he was looking off into nothingness and talking to himself, but in reality, he couldn't discern who was living and who was dead.


Pick out this anime character who serves as a Gym Leader in the "Pokemon" franchise.

A rock-type Pokemon user, Brock is the first Gym Leader Ash Ketchum encounters on his journey across the Kanto region. After he's defeated by Ash, Brock decides to abandon his gym and pursue a career as a Pokemon breeder.


Are you familiar with this swordsman who goes from pirate hunter to pirate in the quest for the legendary treasure known as One Piece?

Despite being a bounty hunter who chased pirates, Roronoa Zoro becomes the first member of the Straw Hat Pirates after Monkey D. Luffy saves him from an execution. Once a pirate, Zoro sets out to become the greatest swordsman in the world.


The past weighs heavy on which bounty hunter shown here?

Spike Spiegel's nonchalant, carefree attitude is based on the Japanese movie star Yusaku Matsuda. The character was particularly influenced by Matsuda's role in "Tantei Monogatari," where he plays a rebellious private detective in San Francisco.


Recognized as the Flame Alchemist, who is this officer in the Amestrian State Military?

A powerful State Alchemist, Roy Mustang has big ambitions as he hopes to become the next Fuhrer of Amestris, often coming off as an egomaniac because of his desire to move up the ranks. However, he's actually extremely dedicated to his position as a colonel and is always willing to help out his comrades.


What's the name of this soldier who is the strongest warrior in the 104th Training Corps, using her skills to protect the walls against the Titans?

After her parents are killed when she's young, Mikasa Ackerman is taken in by the family of Eren Yeager, becoming his adopted sister. When Eren joins the military, Mikasa reluctantly follows him because she's determined to protect him at all costs.


The war has ended, but the scars remain for which samurai depicted in this image?

Seeking retribution, Kenshin Himura becomes a wanderer who defends the innocent, though vowing never to kill again. He accomplishes this by using a reverse blade sword, but challenges arise that force Kenshin to question his vows as he overcomes ghosts from his past.


This anime character had a deep hatred for Titans before he realized he was one. Do you know him?

Eren Yeager had a tragic childhood that shaped his worldview after he watched his mother get eaten alive by a Titan. However, during this time, his father also injects him with a serum that's later revealed to be a chemical that allows Eren to transform into an intelligent Titan. This creates a conflict in Eren that he struggles to deal with.


The leader of the Cerulean City Gym, which anime character do you see here?

The first person to join Ash on his journey to be a Pokemon master, Misty is a gifted Pokemon trainer in her own right, preferring to use water-type Pokemon in battle. Two of her strongest Pokemon, which she uses in her gym battle with Ash Ketchum, are Staryu and Starmie.


Will you be able to identify this prideful warrior who calls himself the prince of all Saiyans?

For Vegeta, no warrior can stand against the legendary Super Saiyan, a transformation he desperately tries to obtain. However, after reaching the form, Vegeta comes to realize that his rival, Goku, will still always be stronger than him, dissolving his Saiyan pride.


Are you familiar with this anime character who will never abandon someone in need?

In "Sword Art Online," Yuuki Asuna gets trapped in the game after borrowing the game's gear from her brother. Realizing she's trapped, Asuna first locks herself away in a digital room before deciding she'd rather try her luck at the game than remain secluded from everyone else.


This wise hermit is recognized as one of the legendary Sannin. Who is he?

Jiraiya learns during his time with the Great Toad Sage on Mount Myoboku that he's destined to train the Child of Prophecy to either save or destroy the world. At first, Jiraiya thinks this child is Nagato, a shunned shinobi who ultimately kills Jiraiya, but as he's dying, Jiraiya determines that the prophecy is actually about Naruto.


Can you identify this character who is making the transition from childhood to adulthood?

Chihiro Ogino is caught up in the world of spirits when her parents get lost following a shortcut to their new home. After her parents are turned into pigs, Chihiro must find employment at a bathhouse, completing several tasks to gain her freedom and escape the spirits.


This complicated hero plays the role of a criminal to protect both his brother and the village he loves. Who is he?

Despite suffering from a terminal illness, Itachi Uchiha is one of the most powerful shinobi in "Naruto." The illness eventually takes his life, but only after the battle with his brother, Sasuke Uchiha, where he teaches Sasuke the power of the Mangekyo Sharingan.


Do you recognize this character who discovers a magical notebook that gives him the power of a god?

Holding sociopathic tendencies, Light Yagami comes to believe that he is the judge and jury for mankind after discovering a powerful notebook that kills anyone whose name is written in it. With this power, he sets out to create a utopia under the name Kira.


This anime character is always striving to be better than his former self. Who is he?

An alien sent to destroy earth, Goku bumps his head when he arrives and ends up becoming earth's greatest champion. Not only does he clash with members of his own race, the Saiyans, but Goku also travels across the universe where he comes across the villain who blew up his home planet.


Are you familiar with this detective who is as cunning as his adversary?

Throughout the "Death Note" series, L hides his name from everyone so that it can't be written in the notebook, which would result in his death. However, Rem, a Shinigami, uses her eyes to determine L's real name, sacrificing her own life to kill L.


Can you identify this protagonist who is the youngest State Alchemist in Amestris?

Throughout his travels, Edward Elric records notes about alchemy that he discovers along the way. However, these notes are heavily coded, so much so that not even his brother, Alphonse, can break the code.


A creature whose perfect form gives him immense power, which villain is depicted in this image?

In order to acquire his perfect form, Cell must first absorb both Android 17 and Android 18. Once this is accomplished, Cell is nearly unstoppable until Gohan levels up to Super Saiyan 2 and uses a Kamehameha to take him out.


Identify this prince who is gifted with the power of Geass in his struggle against the Holy Britannian Empire.

Born Lelouch vi Britannia, Lelouch was forced to change his last name to Lamperouge after his status as a political hostage was put in jeopardy. Realizing his vulnerability, Lelouch decided to go on the offensive, creating the masked identity Zero to fight against the oppressive forces around him.


Name this thief who becomes the navigator for the Straw Hat Pirates.

Prior to joining the Straw Hat Pirates, Nami was a thief who wanted to rob Monkey D. Luffy for another group of pirates called the Arlong Pirates. Her aim was to buy back her village from Arlong, who had taken it over and employed her as his navigator.


Select the name of this anime character who's always up for an adventure.

In the original "Dragon Ball" series, Bulma is the first character to encounter Goku after his grandpa passes away. At the time, she's looking for the dragon balls, and Goku is in possession of one. He agrees to give her his dragon ball if he can accompany her on the journey to find the other ones.


The reincarnation of a priestess, name this student who is transported through time after falling down a well.

After falling down a well, sending her back to feudal Japan, Kagome Higurashi learns that she must find the shards to the jewel that she carried before it was shattered. However, there's also an evil being, Naraku, after the jewel, and Kagome must keep the shards from him at all cost.


No criminal wants this cyborg on their tail. Who is she?

In a world where cyber brains can be hacked and controlled, Motoko Kusanagi is one of the main forces fighting against the cyber terrorists who do the hacking. The problem she faces is that she's also a cyborg, and how many of her own memories are actually real.


Is this crafty villain who invents Duel Monsters a character you recognize?

The "Yu-Gi-Oh!" manga is quite different from the anime in many ways including with how the story ends for Maximillion Pegasus. In the anime, Pegasus carries on to eventually flip sides and help Yugi and his friends, but in the manga, Pegasus is killed by Dark Bakura after Pegasus loses his duel with Yugi.


Characterized by his massive sword and missing eye, is this an anime protagonist you recognize?

After being found as a child near a field of dead bodies, it was clear that Guts' life would be one of difficulty. This proved true after he joined and, later, abandoned the Band of Falcons, which only led to more tragedy in his life.


Can you identify this character who was once a pop singer before turning to acting?

Mima Kirigoe's transition from pop idol to actress comes with some very severe growing pains. Not only does she struggle with making the transition, but she also must overcome a stalker who is not happy with Mima's career change.


How well do you know this villain who is the primary antagonist of the Chimera Ant arc in "Hunter x Hunter"?

Desiring a child who would be considered the perfect offspring, Chimera gave birth to Meruem, a humanoid ant with incredible power. Meruem embraces his superiority to other lifeforms and rules with an iron fist as the King of the Chimera Ants.


Are you familiar with this anime character who is the first to see the spirits that live in the nearby forest?

After finding several spirits in the forest, Mei Kusakabe is the one who names the largest spirit she finds "Totoro." This word is a mispronouncing of the Japanese word "Tororu," which means "troll."


Sporting a third eye that gives him incredible powers, what's the name of this demon?

Hiei might be the most confident member of Yusuke Urameshi's band of warriors, and that's saying a lot considering he has Yusuke and Kazuma Kuwabara to compete with. He does have good reason to be confident, though, because he's one of the most powerful demons in the show, eventually reaching the Upper S-Class, the highest ranking one can receive.


Do you know this anime character who gains magical powers that allow her to transform into Sailor Moon?

One of the most famous parts of "Sailor Moon" are the transformation sequences, where Usagi Tsukino goes from being a teenage girl to being the powerful warrior Sailor Moon. During this sequence, she states how she will punish evil, but she also holds up a hand sign that means "I love you" in sign language. It translates as a weird contradiction.


How well do you know this anime character who struggles with her hatred for humans because they are destroying the forest?

San gets her name from the Japanese word that means "three." She's given this name by the wolf spirit who raised her, Moro, because San became Moro's third cub when the wolf took her in.


Do you recognize this sensei who has mastered Spirit Energy, obtaining powers that she hopes to one day pass on to a worthy student?

Genkai first appears in "Yu Yu Hakusho" when she hosts a tournament where she offers up the secret to her powers to the winner. Yusuke, a young spirit detective, wins the tournament, and Genkai reluctantly takes the hotheaded warrior on as her pupil.


The XXXG-01W Wing Gundam is piloted by which character depicted in this image?

After having his genes manipulated by a doctor, Heero Yuy obtains abilities that make him almost superhuman. Aside from his combat skills and endurance, he's also incredibly durable, shown when he falls from a 50-story building and only breaks his leg after his parachute opens late.


Corruption leads to the downfall of which anime character shown here?

Tetsuo Shima gains mysterious powers after he's involved in a motorcycle accident while fighting a turf war with a rival gang. Having grown up a grunt in his gang, Tetsuo doesn't use these newfound powers responsibly, instead allowing the powers to corrupt him as he grows more and more unstable.


In "Ninja Scroll," the Dragon Stone ends up in the hands of which character shown here?

The writer and director of "Ninja Scroll," Yoshiaki Kawajiri, based the character of Jubei Kibagami on Yagyu Jubei, a famous samurai from the feudal era. Jubei was known for rising to the top of the imperial court only to abandon his position as he set out to wander Japan as a vagabond.


Have you seen enough anime to name this character who travels across Japan with her brother as WWII comes to an end?

Setsuko and her older brother, Seita, struggle to survive in a war-torn Japan as chaos reigns around them. Despite Seita's best efforts, Setsuko dies from starvation. Her brother cremates her body and carries it with him until he succumbs to a similar fate.


Do you recognize this anime character who becomes the love interest of the man who killed her husband?

After Kenshin Himura becomes one of the deadliest assassins during the Bakumatsu, a rival group of assassins employs the services of Tomoe Yukishiro, hoping she can get Kenshin to let his guard down. The ploy almost works until Tomoe actually falls in love with Kenshin, sacrificing her life to save his.


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