Most Popular anime characters

Anime has a long and rich history of great characters that got etched in the memory of viewers all around the globe. It is a fact that some anime characters got more popularity than big celebrities.

In this post, we have tried to statically present to you the list of 33 Most Popular Anime Characters of 2022. Our research is based on Google Searches, user inputs from Anime Database Sites, and Social Media engagement.
No two characters from the same anime are featured in this list, and please don’t come after us for not including your favorite anime character (just kidding).

It goes without saying that we’ll be updating the list on a quarterly basis to keep the content fresh and relevant.

RankNameInstagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)
1Levi Ackerman3M2.0M-2.2M126K31K
2Zoldyck Killua111K1.3-1.5M84K20k
3Uzumaki Naruto4M1.1M-1.2M74K30K
4Zero Two1M1.3M-2.2M33K6K
6Violet Evergarden420K1.5M29K4K
8Izuku Midoriya1.1M703k-790k24K15K
9Monkey D Luffy1.5M342-350k110K14K
10Edward Elric3.12M150K80K33K
11Lamperouge Lelouch1.20M130K-140K150K26K
13Satoru Gojo3M355K-365K40K3K
14Natsu Dragneel14M480K-500K21K26K
15Joseph Joestar4M360K-380K36K5K
16Kirigaya Kazuto3M400K-420K38K24K
17Mai Sakurajima1.6M260K34K4K
18Kaneki Ken10M200K-210K46K16K
20Spike Spiegel30K150K41K11K
21Aisaka Taiga70K110K31K16K
22Dazai Osamu6M140-150K24K7.6K
23Kurosaki Ichigo360K123K26K14K
26Tobio Kageyama2M55K-60K13K4K
27Kurisu Makise24K40K60K10K
28Sakata Gintoki105K28K66K8K
29Kaguya Shinomiya23K-25K50K19K4K
30Hikigaya Hachiman22K22K-25K49K5K
31Shigeo Kageyama77K-80K48K-50K19K4K
32Senjougahara Hitagi1M20K-25K38K8K
33Onizuka Eikichi3K-4K4.5K27K5K

1. Levi Ackerman

Anime: Attack on Titans

Levi Ackerman
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Levi Ackerman as the most decisive squad leader in Attack on Titans, garnered so much popularity because of his personality and the fact that he never actually turned into a titan. He was initially shown as a cold and rude character that could kill you with his words, but later you could see his empathy and an excellent moral compass.

If I talk about Levi’s popularity through likes, then #Levi has about 30M Instagram posts of Levi’s fan art. With nearly 2-2.2M Google searches, the character alone has 1.2M votes on My anime list and 31K votes on Anime-Planet. Even though he wasn’t the main character, he won people’s hearts, which is why we have ranked him no.1!

2. Zoldyck Killua

Anime: Hunter X Hunter

Zoldyck Killua
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Zoldyck Killua was by far the most optimistic character in Hunter X Hunter, even though he went through the most prolific and dangerous Zoldyck training to become an assassin with fantastic abs. He is loved for his noble yet unusually ruthless personality because he would do anything to protect himself and his friend Gon.

As far as his large fandom is concerned, there are about 11 16,553 posts on #KilluaZoldyck on Instagram, like fan arts, favorite scenes, etc. The character has been searched at least 1.3-1.5M times on Google, and the crazy fandom has rated Killua with 84,323 votes on My Anime list and 20,408 votes on Anime planet. We have given the second rank to Killua solely on the number of people invested in the character.

3. Uzumaki Naruto

Anime: Naruto

Uzumaki Naruto
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

One of the most badass anime characters, Naruto, has a different fan base and even those who do not watch the anime know who Naruto is. He is the most boisterous yet naïve character to ever exist in an anime. He may not grasp basic life principles quickly but is aware of his flaws and has built genuine relationships through the show even though he is an orphan. 

As far as fan following is concerned, he is popular through memes and funny posts on Instagram, with about 41 06,916 posts on his hashtag.

My anime list has upvotes of about 74,564 for Naruto Uzumaki, whereas 30,154 likes on Anime planet. Also, Google web search has about 1.1-1.2M searches on Naruto as a character.

4. Zero Two

Anime: Darling In The FranXX

Zero two
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

On the 4th rank, we have Zero Two, who was one character that stole the show’s popularity with her antics and iconic style. She is portrayed as an artificial Sapien who wishes to become a human with emotions. People went crazy for her, and she even won the award at the Newtype Anime Awards for the Best Female character. 

Zero two got adapted in about a million memes and 15 seconds videos on Social media apps like TikTok and Instagram, where she has about 1,134,176 posts dedicated to her. Her hairstyle and appearance were an inspiration for money during cosplays too. Her Google searches reach up to 1.3M to 2.2M per month, which is fantastic. 

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Zero two is the most potent female anime character with 33,380 votes on My Anime List and 6,015 likes on Anime-Planet

5. Saitama

Anime: One Punch Man

Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Saitama is the main character of One Punch Man, who can defeat his enemies with his powerful punch. Even though Saitama is bold, he is unbelievably strong with magnified speed and stamina. He is intelligent yet stuck in an existential crisis of his own as he does not want to become stronger than he already is. However, he still is very humble and genuinely aware of his surroundings.

Saitama is famous on Instagram with a total of 16,16,520 posts and 1.3-1.4M searches on Google. He has dedicated fan art of his action sequences on various social media. There are about 42,777 votes on My anime list and 14,363 on Anime-Planet. One punch man is a highly grossing anime, and we have placed it in the fifth position.

6. Violet Evergarden

Anime: Violet Evergarden

Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

In 6th position, we have Violet Ever garden from the anime of the same name. As the protagonist, she was a beautiful girl but showed no emotions whatsoever since she had been taught not to have any feelings and just kill. She didn’t know how to write, talk or express anything until she met Gilbert, who just turned her life for the better. She later grew to her real persistent and selfless persona.

She is pretty popular on Instagram with 420,157 posts with #Voiletevergarden, and her character is searched about 1.5M times per month. Violet has about 28,789 upvotes on My anime list and 4,344 likes on Anime-Planet.

We have ranked her in the 6th position based on the stats above.

7. L

Anime: Death Note

Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

You’ve probably heard of Death note and L as they are some of the most popular animes globally. People have known this show for quite a while, with several new adaptations. L is the most intelligent and meticulous man in this series even though he is anti-social and does not like to show his face anywhere. He lives off as a detective and catches Light Yagami almost every time in the show.

L hooked people because of his Sherlock Skills and witty speech. About 57,266 Instagram posts on him, with about 200k searches on Google. Anime Stan is also a significant voter on My anime list as there are 115,685 votes for just him.

However, on Anime planet, people have given 43,861 likes to this character.

8. Izuku Midoriya

Anime: My Hero Academia

Izuku Midoriya
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

At the 8th rank, we have Izuku, an anti-quirky, heroic protagonist who gains attention just by his INFJ personality. People loved him for his sense of Justice and the character arc he showed. 

Instagram carries about 1.18M posts about Izuku with about 703k-790k Google finds. People have also upvoted his character on My anime list with 24,500 votes and 15,138 votes on Anime-Planet.

9. Monkey D Luffy

Anime: One Piece

Monkey D Luffy
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Popularly known as a Straw hat, Monkey D. Luffy dreams of becoming a pirate king because he thinks he’ll have the most freedom in the world. He is pretty ambitious and happy-go-lucky in nature, and people love him for his quirky personality and comical timing.

Luffy is quite famous on Instagram with about 1,503,316 posts comprising memes and funny videos. Google has almost 342-350k searches made on him, and he is upvoted on My anime list with 110K upvotes.

He has 22,452 likes on anime-planet, which is why we put him on the ninth rank.

10. Edward Elric

Anime: Full Metal Alchemist

Edward Elric
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Edward is not your stereotypical hero; he’s immature and stubborn and often makes petty decisions. He gets angry quickly and has always used violence to solve his issues. However, people loved him because, underneath all his negative attributes, there is a sense of selflessness and loyalty. He may not always choose to show it, though.

#Edward has 3.12M posts and 150K monthly searches on Google. The rating on My Anime list is about 80K votes and 33,432 likes on Anime-Planet.

11. Lamperouge Lelouch

Anime: Code Geass

Lamperouge Lelouch
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

One of Japan’s most talked-about characters, Lelouch became the popular anti-hero in Code Geass. Lelouch was just an alias name, but he got famous through it. The character’s styling looks influenced many people to become Lelouch during cosplay events. He is one of those dangerous characters that can cause damage and still maintain sturdy relationships throughout the anime.

#LamperougeLelouch has about 1.20M Instagram posts with crazy fan arts and videos. 130k people search Lelouch on google per month.

He scores an astonishing 150K votes on MAL, ranking him as the most upvoted anime character on this anime database. Whereas Anime planet had just 26,105 likes.

12. Megumin

Anime: Konosuba

Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

As a powerful wizard, Megumin got attention from everybody as the most dramatic yet viciously challenging person. She was known for her popular spell that could kill almost any enemy with a single swish. However, beneath all the extravaganza, she is quite calm and happy and protective of her comrades.

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People took to Instagram to make fan arts on her and very visual videos with about 561,435 posts. Her monthly search on Google is about 365k.

However, on My anime list, she has only 37,689 votes and 5,363 likes on Anime-Planet.

13. Satoru Gojo

Anime: Jujutsu Kaisen

Satoru Gojo
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

famous male anime character, he became a prominent character because of his fighting style and frequent killing of people with curses. Even though he is shown as a quirky child-like boy, he can become quite tenacious when he is wronged or feels somebody has been wronged.

With about 2.8M-3M posts on Instagram, Satoru gained traction on google with about 355k monthly searches, which are still growing as he gains popularity. My anime list saw 40,035 votes on their site and 3,221 likes on Anime-Planet.

14. Natsu Dragneel

Anime: Fairy Tail

Natsu Dragneel
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Natsu was prominently known as one of the five dragon slayers in the anime, but his journey made people his fan. Earlier, he was shown as reckless and immature at times, but gradually he proves others with his strength and diligence. He is friendly and loyal to his peers; however, he always looks for a reason to fight. People relate to his character a lot.

Undoubtedly famous, #Natsu is used 14,25,093 times on Instagram, an unbelievable post count. He is quite popular on Google searches, too, as he has searched about 480k per month.

My anime lists have 21,803 votes for this character, whereas 25,948 likes on Anime planet. It is quite popular on Anime planet, more than any character we have seen so far.

15. Joseph Joestar

Anime: Jojo’s Bizzare Adventures

Joseph Joestar
Joseph Joestar
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Joseph Joestar, as the main character, has garnered more fame than the other JoJo in the anime. He is a short-tempered man who always turns to violence and enjoys challenging his enemies. Behind all that manhood is a carefree and goofy man. He is quite a likable character as he’s always looking for some plan to act on and people to fight.

4M posts on Instagram and 340K monthly searches on Google, JoJo is loved by many. On websites like My anime list and Anime-Planet, there are 35,897 votes and 5k likes, respectively. 

I know it’s repetitive but stats really help to understand how famous all these characters are.

16. Kirigaya Kazuto

Anime: Sword Art Online

Kirigaya Kazuto
Kirigaya Kazuto
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

One of the most impressive players of a Sword fighting game, Kirigaya is the main lead of the show and is chosen as the beta tester for a V.R. game. People loved him for his intelligence and wit and how he adapted to the adverse situations in the game. The character has a heroic charm about him that attracts people to him.

Instagram has approx. 3M posts on #kirigaya with 400k Google web searches. On the contrary, My anime list has only 38k votes and only 24k likes on Anime planet. This character has touched fame and garnered popularity for the anime as well.

17. Mai Sakurajima

Anime: Bunny Girl Senpai

Mai Sakurajima
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

As the anime’s heroine, Mai is portrayed as a cute anime character who is a model. Her character is soft yet serious and can be pretty short-tempered at times. She can somewhat come out as snarky and mean, but she is kind and polite underneath that. People love the character for her portrayal as beauty with brains and a sweet personality. She was known distinctively for her bunny costume look.

With 1.6M posts on Instagram, she has inspired the bunny cosplays. Google has about 260k searches per month. Anime-Planet has almost 4000 likes for the character, whereas My Anime List has 33,738 votes on her.

18. Kaneki Ken

Anime: Tokyo Ghoul

Kaneki Ken
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Kaneki ken meets a ghoul on a date and barely saves himself after she tries to eat him. After being taken to a hospital, he wakes up with amnesia. He has become a part of a secret society that uses ghoul powers to strengthen people to fight against the Ghouls. The anime got a lot of traction, and Kaneki became one of the most talked-about characters.

Instagram saw at least 10M posts comprising of beautiful arts and creative videos by fans. People have also gone through Google, and there are 200k users every month searching about the character.

My anime list saw 45,388 votes for Kaneki and 15,263 likes on Anime-Planet. Kaneki was an absolute crowd-favorite.

19. Rem

Anime: Re: Zero

Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Next on our ranking list is Rem, a serving maid supporting lead to the main character. She played a significant role in the main lead, Ram’s life. She even became the antagonist at one point in the anime. Her personality was phoney was very against her sister because of past experiences. People sympathized with her, especially when she went into a coma and woke up to zero memories of the past.

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With 1.04M Instagram posts, she gained fame as the cute maid, and several cosplayers have taken her appearance to their liking. She even gained traction on Google with 177k searches per month. Her votes on My anime list are 43,306, and she has been liked by 6,688 users on Anime-Planet.

20. Spike Spiegel

Anime: Cowboy Bebop

Spike Spiegel
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Spike is lazy and uninterested; he usually minds his own business and lounges all day long except when he’s practicing Jeet Kune Do. Fans were mesmerized by his skills in the red dragon crime syndicate and how he put all his teens behind and went with the flow of his life. He is truly a remarkable character, and you should watch out for him in Cowboy bebop.

It only has 30k Instagram posts which are relatively low than the anime characters we’ve discussed by now. But Google searches go as far as 150k per month only. The votes and likes on sites like My anime list and Anime planet are 41k and 11k, respectively.

21. Aisaka Taiga

Anime: Toradora

Aisaka Taiga
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Aisaka Taiga is a very well-known character of Toradora and has a nickname, “palmtop Tiger”. Her nickname was decided on her habit of constantly throwing a fit and getting offended by others with her little body. Watchers fall in love with her character as she shows a lot of tsundere and is a passionate girl.

#AisakaTaiga is trending with 68,750 posts on Instagram and about 110k searches on Google every month. Her character has 30,775 upvotes on My anime list and 16,040 likes on Anime-Planet.

22. Dazai Osamu

Anime: Bungou Stray Dogs

Dazai Osamu
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

With a mysterious atmosphere, Dazai is the mafia’s youngest employee who stays on the dark side, and only his friend has ever known his true side. However, beneath all this façade is the honest and confident personality of Dazai that sparked a charm in the people watching this anime. You get swept in his mystery, and before you know it, you’re halfway through the anime.

#Dazai has about 6M posts on Instagram, which is quite a lot, as seen in this ranking list. The name is searched 140k times on Google per month. On the other hand, My anime list has 23,101 votes for the character and 7541 likes on Animal Planet.

23. Kurosaki Ichigo

Anime: Bleach

Kurosaki Ichigo
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Your quintessential misunderstood character, Kurosaki Ichigo, is a student who is intelligent yet likes to have orange-colored hair and picks a fight with anybody who does him wrong. Fans are genuinely empathetic while watching him as he balances between right and wrong. 

Therefore, #kurosaki is trending on Instagram in 352,603 posts that include fan-made art, reels, dialogues, and quotes. In fact, Google searches go up to 123k per month. My anime list has also seen 26,099 upvotes for the character only, whereas anime-planet has 13,672 likes on Kurosaki.

24. Guts

Anime: Berserk

Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

As we go down the list, we see characters like Guts, who are truly relatable characters. He is a wanderer who wants to do what he loves and keep the people he loves close to him. However, he must choose between one of the two, which makes the anime interesting as hell.

With a whopping 7M posts on Instagram, people were impressed with Guts’ dialogue delivery in this anime. Google searches on him are about 95k every month. Websites lie. My anime list saw the most prominent upvoted character with Gut as he got 59k votes.

On the other hand, the anime-planet has only 5k likes for the character.

25. Yato

Anime: Noragami

Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

It was interesting to see Yato, a God, spend time with Yato was hilarious to watch, and the anime itself was thrilling and engaging, which gained a lot of audience for the anime.

With about 4M posts on Instagram and 70k monthly searches on Google web, Yato has garnered some traction.

My anime list’s upvote counts stand at 39,844. However, only 14k likes have been given on Anime planet.

26. Tobio Kageyama

Anime: Haikyū!!

Tobio Kageyama
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Known as the “king of the court”, Tobio is a self-centered and arrogant character who only wants to win at life and at his own behest. But as he joins a new volleyball school, he becomes more respectful and understanding of other people. Tobio made fans fall in love with him as he grew through the whole show.

Tobio has 2M trending posts on Instagram with 55K google web searches. There are about 13k votes on My anime list for Tobio, which is amazing considering My anime list is the O.G. anime review site.

On Anime-Planet, there are about 3934 likes for Tobio.

27. Kurisu Makise

Anime: Steins Gate

Kurisu Makise
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

AS one of the main leads of the show, Kurisu is a sensible woman even though she is just 18 years old. People enjoyed her character as it showed a lot of tsundere scenes which is again a crowd-pleaser.

It only has about 24k Instagram posts and decent Google searches of 40k. My anime list has 60k votes, which is highly unusual, but it shows how popular the character is, Whereas there are only 10k likes on anime-planet.

28. Sakata Gintoki

Anime: Gintama

Sakata Gintoki
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

The show’s main protagonist, Sakata Gintoki, is famous for his swordsmanship and white clothing with silver hair. His appearance got famous with fans, and several people still take it to cosplay sometimes.

It has about 100K+ fan arts on Instagram posts and about 28k google searches.

He is prevalent on My anime list because of the visuals and aesthetics of the character.

We ranked them lower because of such mixed-up stats and very few google searches.

29. Kaguya Shinomiya

Anime: Kaguya Sama Love is War

Kaguya Shinomiya
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Kaguya Shinomiya gained a lot of sympathies as people were involved deep in her story. She finds out that she is born out of an extramarital affair with her father from being rich and wealthy. This character had the infamous story arc of a rich person with a sad background.

Only 23k posts are posted on Instagram, with only 52k Google web searches. My anime list has 19k votes and 4k likes on Anime-Planet.

30. Hikigaya Hachiman

Anime: Oregairu

Hikigaya Hachiman
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

A loner and a cynical boy, Hikigaya relies on nobody and often comes out as cold and introverted. However, once you get into his story, he reveals to be a compassionate individual with sarcastic taunts as a defense mechanism. I am sure a lot of people have related to his character.

On Instagram, there are only 22k posts on the character; however, 25k searches are conducted on Google per month. My anime list considers Hikigaya as a favorite character as it has 48,752 upvotes, whereas, on Anime-Planet, there are only 5k likes.

31. Shigeo Kageyama

Anime: Mob Psycho 100

Shigeo Kageyama
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Shigeo is a telekinetic man who can use his abilities to manipulate people around him, and he has to control his negative emotions to keep his powers in check. The anime was a visual treat, and Shigeo had an exciting arc altogether.

It has seen a lot of popular posts full of fan arts and visual arts, i.e. about 77k posts on Instagram. Google web searches have been about 48k per month. 

However, the character has 19,170 votes and 4,124 likes on My anime list and Anime planet.

32. Senjougahara Hitagi

Anime: Bakemonogatari

Senjougahara Hitagi
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Hitagi is a cold and aloof character who falls victim to the misery caused by the weight crabs. However, she comes out of her shell because of Koyomi Araragi and falls in love. The character arc shown is very relatable for those who know how it feels to be stuck in a ditch. The character accurately represents Damsel in distress, and some people might relate to it.

There is about 1M posts on Instagram and about 20k Google searches which is relatively less and therefore low on our rank list too.

My anime list has about 38k votes, whereas 8305 likes are given to the character on Anime-Planet.

33. Onizuka Eikichi

Anime: Great Teacher Onizuka

Onizuka Eikichi
Instagram Post CountMonthly Google SearchesMAL VotesAnime-Planet (Likes)

Onizuka Eikichi is a pretty unusual character who doesn’t seem likable. He is seen as a pervert, but later, we find out that he wants to become a great teacher for his students. The anime takes his character through a series of funny adventures, but you learn along Onizuka and laugh with him.

With only 3927 posts on Instagram, this is the lowest-rated character in our ranking series of popular anime characters. The Google searches on this character are as low as 4.5k.

However, being a vintage anime character, he has about 27k votes and 4847 likes on MAL and Anime planet respectively.

Written by

Naveen Mehta

Naveen is a book enthusiast by day and an anime junkie by night. With a knack for getting lost in stories that rattle his brain, he's often found immersed in a plot twist or debating book vs. movie adaptations. Dive into his world, but be prepared for some spirited blogs! 📚🍜🌌