10 coolest anime characters with red hair

Shanks, Gaara and Erza really do rock their red hair (Image via Sportskeeda, copyright belongs to Toei Animation/Studio Pierrot/A-1 Pictures/)
Shanks, Gaara and Erza really do rock their red hair (Image via Sportskeeda, copyright belongs to Toei Animation/Studio Pierrot/A-1 Pictures/)

Anime characters with red hair really do stand out in their own series.

Taste might be subjective, but most people consider red to be the most passionate color. Its powerful appearance catches people's attention right away.

Within anime, red hair is also a good way to highlight somebody important. This list provides the most notable examples. Remember, these anime characters are not ranked in any particular order.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.

Hisoka Morow, Gaara and 8 more anime characters who shine bright with their signature red hair

1) Karma Akabane (Assassination Classroom)


Karma Akabane is a Class 3-E student at Kunugigaoka Junior High School.

Karma and his classmates must take out their homeroom teacher within a year, or else he will destroy the entire world.

Like most anime characters with red hair, Karma has a very strong personality. He is a violent kid with a complete disregard for authority. Unsurprisingly, his antics once got him suspended from high school.

With that said, there is more to him than meets the eye. Karma does have decent ulterior motives. He will become feral and fight back against anyone that threatens his friends.

2) Yoko Littner (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)


Anime characters and firearms have always gone well together. Yoko Littner just so happens to be a master of skilled marksmanship. She can take out giant mecha robots with a single shot.

Yoko's red hair might as well be a warning sign for this anime character. She is a really strong girl who really knows how to use a gun.

At first glance, Yoko is the most basic definition of a pure fanservice character. However, she is also a very tough fighter. No matter what tragedies befall her, Yoko always picks herself up and walks it off.

3) Hisoka Morow (Hunter x Hunter)


Anime characters with red hair have never been more menacing. Despite having blue hair in the 1999 anime, Hisoka Morow's hair was later changed to red hair.

Hisoka switches between ally and antagonist very frequently in Hunter x Hunter. This murderous clown has the ability to use Nen, which allows him to manipulate spiritual energy for various means.

Hisoka can use Bungee Gum to make his aura elastic like rubber. He can also use Texture Surprise to change the look and feel of flat surfaces. His abilities might seem laughable, but he is a really dangerous fighter.

Hisoka is a former member of the deadly Phantom Troupe, but he only joined to fight the leader Chrollo Lucilfer. He is a complete wild card whose moves are always difficult to predict.

4) Asuka Langley Soryu (Neon Genesis Evangelion)


Asuka Langley Soryu is among the most significant anime characters of the '90s. This young mecha pilot flies the Evangelion Unit-02. She worked for the Nerv agency to fight back against the monstrous Angels.

Asuka's fiery personality is only matched by her hair color. This child prodigy is more German than she is Japanese, which means her cultural values often clash with other characters. Nonetheless, she does have a tragic past that explains why she is the way she is.

Asuka has auburn red hair, which is a natural color in the real world. Her appearance is a direct contrast to her foil Rei Ayanami, who is known for her light blue hair. This was clearly intended by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, the character designer for Neon Genesis Evangelion.

5) Kurama (YuYu Hakusho)


Anime characters with red hair are often wild beasts that are difficult to control. YuYu Hakusho's Kurama defies these conventional tropes with his calm demeanor. He was supposed to have black hair in the manga, but the anime changed it to red. On an unrelated note, Kurama from Naruto was named after him.

Kurama is a very calculating individual who always plans one step ahead. His signature rose whip and plant seeds make for a deadly combination of fighting tactics. He is not someone that should ever be underestimated.

Kurama was originally an underworld fox demon before he was reborn in the human world. By doing so, he learned the concept of empathy through his newfound family.

Kurama is someone who deeply cares for his friends and family.

6) Eijiro Kirishima (My Hero Academia)


Anime characters are often very expressive in how they feel. With his sharp teeth and spiky red hair, Eijiro Kirishima always lets people know what's on his mind. He is a fiery student from Class 1-A in My Hero Academia.

Kirishima is a very friendly guy who gets along with everybody. Despite his outgoing personality, he has dealt with confidence issues his entire life. Regardless, he wants to prove himself and become a great hero.

Kirishima has a special Quirk known as Hardening. As the name suggests, he can harden his entire body or just select parts. Even his red hair can become a sharp weapon. This power protects from most physical threats, allowing him to bring down villains in the process.

7) Renji Abarai (Bleach)


Renji is a powerful Shinigami with a strong desire to surpass Byakuya Kuchiki in Bleach. Fans admire his willingness to fight for whatever he believes in. He started the series as a supporting antagonist but eventually befriended Ichigo Kurosaki and became a major ally.

This red-haired anime character is very cocky at times, but whether or not he can back it up is a different story. He is known to suffer devastating losses that spiral him into depression, such as his disastrous battle with Byakuya.

Renji wields Zabimaru, a special weapon also known as the Zanpakuto. He can overpower his enemies through sheer force alone.

Renji uses his sword like a whip, although it requires a lot of training to master.

8) Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail)


Erza Scarlet is among the most popular female anime characters with red hair. Even people who don't like Fairy Tail are known to make fanart of her.

On the surface level, Erza is very strict about her duties. However, she is a caring person beneath her cold exterior. Her guild can always rely on her in the midst of battle.

Erza is a skilled wizard who can use a special ability called The Knight. She can store offensive weapons and defensive armor in her pocket dimensions. She even has the ability to combine different sets altogether.

9) Gaara (Naruto)


Gaara is a former antagonist-turned-ally in the Naruto series. He is best known for his sand manipulation techniques.

Gaara can instantly kill his enemies by trapping them in sand. He is a cold-blooded assassin with a very troubled childhood, which is why his fighting style is brutal.

This young ninja originally came from the Hidden Sand Village. He bore many similarities to Naruto since they both had sealed demons stuck inside them. He had the ability to control a Tailed Beast known as Shukaku.

Despite everything, Gaara would eventually learn the power of friendship. Naruto made him reconsider his belief in mindless killing after a long battle. He would later become an indispensable ally for Naruto.

10) Shanks (One Piece)


It's hard to discuss anime characters with red hair and not mention Shanks in any capacity. It's his signature trademark in the One Piece series. He even runs a crew named the Red Hair Pirates.

Shanks is among the most powerful pirates to ever sail the sea. He doesn't even use a Devil Fruit; he just relies on his pure Haki energy. While he isn't seen that often in his own series, he plays a major role in the story.

Shanks' carefree attitude and love for life inspired a very young Luffy. He is the main reason why the protagonist wanted to become the Pirate King. He even gave Luffy his trademark straw hat.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh