Red hair in anime is usually an indication that a character is incredibly passionate. While this doesn’t always hold true in real life, redheads are often thought to have a temperament that matches their unusual hair. Most redheaded anime characters are fighters, lovers, or both. Here are the ten best red hair anime characters of all time.
10. Karma Akbane (Assassination Classroom)
Karma Akbane is one of the main protagonists in the strange show Assassination Classroom. When an incredibly powerful, virtually indestructible, super speedy, alien squid-like lifeform destroys the moon, world governments are in an upheaval. Ultimately the alien, who later becomes known as Korosensei, demands the right to teach a class of slackers known as E3. In exchange, he will let them try to kill him. If they fail, he will destroy the world. Karma is often cruel and slacker-like but has a benevolent trickster side. He becomes the first student to harm Kurosensei but gets in trouble in the process.
9. Renji Abrai (Bleach)
The spiky, flame-haired Renji Abrai is initially dedicated to defeating Ichigo Kurosaki, the protagonist of Bleach. He is the lieutenant of the 6th Division and a serious warrior. Typically Renji is cocky and often rude, but when defeated, he tends toward depression. The rivalry between Renji and Ichigo doesn’t last as they end up joining forces to rescue Rukia Kuchiki halfway through the Soul Society arc. According to Bleach Fandom, he ultimately ends up married to Rukia Kuchiki, who he has known since they were young.
8. Edward Wong (Cowboy Bebop)
If any character on this list needs no introduction it’s Edward Wong. The incomparable, and brilliant Ed is a superb redheaded hacker genius. When they’re not snacking, sleeping, or getting into trouble, this nonbinary dynamo goes by Radical Edward and is well known for their ability to get into any computer system.
7. Gaara (Naruto)
According to the Narutopedia, the incredibly narcissistic and emotionally damaged villain Gaara eventually becomes Suna’s Fifth Kazekage. He is a vicious and dangerous foe. However, after suffering a significant defeat at the hands of the show’s protagonist Naruto, he learns to value friendships and becomes a better person.
6. Twins: Kaoru and Hikaru Hitachiin (Ouran High School Host Club)
Kaori and Hikaru are an odd pair of twins. As hosts in the uber-wealthy Ouran High Schoo Host Club, they spend their time entertaining wealthy young women with their near-incestuous relationship. The couple shares a sense that no one else understands them, and despite their uncouth relationship, they are very likable trickster-fool types.
5. Ayame (Inuyasha)
Ayame is mentioned but never shown in the Inuyasha Manga, yet she plays a significant role in the anime series. Her red hair definitely matches her lover-fighter dynamic. Ayame is a wolf demon, the granddaughter of the elder of the Northern Wolf Demon tribe. Naturally, her fighting skills are formidable. However, she is also Kōga’s fiancée and eventually becomes his wife. Ayame is known for her devotion and dedication to her training which she pursues rather single-mindedly.
4. AE3803 (Cells At Work)
If there were an award for working hard and also being the lead of the sneakiest and most entertaining edutainment anime ever, AE3803 would be number one. Known for her inability to read a map, somehow AE3803 always ends up where she’s needed most and manages to deliver her packages. This red-haired red blood cell spends her days running around her host body and frequently blunders into dangerous infections or other damage that would have possibly killed the whole body if not for her seeming incompetence. It’s hard not to root for her.
3. Tanjiro (Demon Slayer)
Tanjiro is the main character and protagonist in Demon Slayer with unusual powers. Sorrows beset his life from the outset as the kind and devoted young man goes to town to help his family and, upon his return, finds all but one slain. His favorite sister is alive but barely and is becoming a demon, cursed to slaughter others like their family. Tanjiro joins the Demon Hunting Corps to avenge them and saves his sister’s life, carrying her everywhere with him in a box on his back as he hunts for some way to save her.
2. Soma Yukihira (Food Wars)
The only thing Soma Yukihira likes more than winning food wars and cooking for his friends is making the most disgusting and disturbing food combinations ever. Soma’s lifelong rivalry with his famous chef father has led him to value his failures even more than his success, a skill that often saves him. While Food Wars, like Soma himself, is all about the fabulousness of gourmet food, there’s a sneaky undertone to the show. Soma is a great cook, but he’s a better person who somehow always manages to keep a positive attitude and trick his companions into discovering what they need most.
1. Jessie (Pokemon)
There are quite literally hundreds of competitors in the ‘best redheads in anime’ category, so we had to give the all-time title to one of the best-known women in the anime universe. Along with her companions Meowth and James, Jessie has been plaguing Ash and company for nearly a quarter of a century. She is a fabulous villain, though not a great Pokemon trainer or thief. The comic relief and creativity she shows in coming up with brilliant Wil-E-Coyote-esque plans to steal Pokemon are a delight. If she knew she’d won the title, she’d probably cry, and then go right back to yelling at James about their next great plan.
Red-haired people, in general, get a lot of guff. Unfortunate and baseless rumors from the past say that they lack ‘souls,’ and there are many other unkind things attributed to this rare hair color. However, the redheaded anime characters tend to be multifaceted, driven, and enthusiastic, with temperaments to match their fiery hair. Choosing just ten for this list was a challenging task, so there are plenty of other outstanding ‘ginger’ anime characters to enjoy when you’re done binging these ten series for their redheads.