It is a very well known concept that ‘bad boys’ are very popular amongst the viewers of any show. But, really, what is it that makes a bad boy in the first place?
It refers to someone who doesn’t fit into society the way everyone would want them to. A bad boy is someone who defies societal norms and does whatever he wants to, and it is this kind of boy that many girls are always attracted to.
The thrill of getting to know someone who lives their life in the manner in which they want is something that most of us would like to get behind, but are most often scared to do so. Anime bad boys are just the same, with that same level of thrill and mystery attached to them.
Best Anime Bad Boy Characters 👌👌
We know that anime has a lot of bad boys, from a soft-spoken Haru Yoshida who knows how to fight, to a Kyo Sohma who acts very tough but really is quite sensitive. Let’s take a look at a list of some of the best bad boys that we can find in anime.
1. Haru Yoshida
Anime: Tonari no Kaibutsu-Kun
English name: My Little Monster
With his jet black hair and the trauma he experienced in the past, it seems almost inevitable that Haru would turn into an anime bad boy.
He is someone who is brutally honest and he does exactly as he pleases without thinking about what other people will say to him or how they’ll react.
The series starts when Haru returns to school after being suspended – what is more of a bad boy start to the story than this? To add to this, Haru seems very pessimistic, almost cut off from the world, except for his friend Shizuku, who he opens up to.
Because of Haru’s past, he is a bad boy on the outside who is possessive about the people he cares for, like Shizuku, and can even get violent for this reason sometimes.
What makes Haru a true bad boy is that he can get violent and aggressive very easily, which especially shows in scenes with his rivals in the show.
However, at his heart, he is a person with intense emotional baggage and it gives him that bad boy persona that all of us come to love so much.
2. Izaya Orihara
English name: no name, it is the sound of the revving of an engine
Izaya really loves to get into the minds of people by riling them up and seeing how they react, and by doing this enough times, he becomes like an expert at predicting human reactions. This is quite contrary to his belief that humans are unpredictable.
The character of Izaya is a true anime bad boy because he is manipulative and whatever he does on the show explains this quality of his. Izaya plays chess alone in his apartment as if to practice domination, and he also finds pleasure in conflict.
To add to this bad boy nature, Izaya started off things like gambling in his school itself, and later, when he had now a new group of followers around him, most of them were girls who had trauma from the past. Remember Mikage Sharaku, the girl who joined his fan following because of her crush on Izaya.
By taking joy in taunting and manipulating people and seeing how they respond when the pain of mental or physical kind is inflicted on them in a pleasurable manner is what makes Izaya Orihara one of the best bad boys in anime.
3. Ash Lynx
Anime: Banana Fish
Ash Lynx is a tall, young man of 5’11 feet with jade green eyes and smooth blonde hair. It is Ash’s traumatic past that gives him the image of a bad boy, from when he killed his sexual abuser by shooting him dead with a gun when he was only 8 years old.
Ash has a very traumatic life even as a mere teenager, and he has suffered incidents wherein he was taken as a pet by the leader of the mafia, the girl he was in love with was killed when he was fourteen, and he was put in a juvenile detention center for having killed three people at the age of fifteen.
It is in juvenile prison that he meets the person who helps him consolidate all the gangs in the area of Lower Manhattan. By the time Ash gets out of juvie and when he turns seventeen years old, he is already the leader of several gangs.
Being a gang leader, Ash is highly respected and he has made a good place for himself to be called one of the best anime bad boys in the industry.
4. Itachi Uchiha
Itachi Uchiha is a tall, young man with dark hair who looks like he would fit the anime bad boy description perfectly. Let’s see some more reasons why Itachi would make one of the bad boys in anime, even with his calm and pacifist nature.
From a young age, Itachi has been one of the victims of the trauma inflicted by the happenings of the Third Shinobi World War. The true essence of a bad boy is a troubling past that turns him mysterious and embittered, and Itachi fits right into the description.
Stemming from his trauma, the one thing which makes him a different kind of bad boy is Itachi’s academic achievements. He is not the aggressive bad boy we usually find, but the pacifist kind, who knows how to fight but chooses to stay away from things that are aggressive or violent.
However, this all changes until he sees that those who are dear to him are in some kind of danger, without thinking of anything else. He protected his clan by killing his own family without thinking twice, and this is the other side of his calmness as a bad boy character in anime.
5. Naofumi Iwatani
Anime: The Rising of the Shield Hero
With short black hair and emerald green eyes, Naofumi Iwatani is a sight for sore eyes in his Barbarian Armor, holding on to his legendary Shield, which was granted to him upon his summoning to a new world.
After being betrayed by someone as soon as he entered the new world, his optimistic outlook towards the world quickly turned into cynical and pessimistic.
It takes one person to break your trust so you never trust in anyone again, and this is what happened to Naofumi Iwatani in the Rising of the Shield Hero anime series.
Once again falling into the criteria of attractive and embittered by past experiences, Naofumi makes it onto the list of the 10 best anime bad boy characters. A character is broken by the world who is left angry and embittered by the betrayal of the Princess, Naofumi is always hostile and distrusting of everyone.
While there is major character development in Naofumi throughout the series, including how he gains his gentle nature back, there is still a hint of a sadistic and grim persona underneath all of that.
While being an evil mind in the sense of his personality, he is also rather heroic in the way he knows how to be and manages to always get things done.
While Naofumi has some rather deranged thoughts and behaves in a way that doesn’t much match his thoughts in their entirety, this is what makes him so appealing. It is perhaps this mix of his personality which makes him one of the best bad boys in anime.
Anime: My Hero Academia
Dabi is part of this list because he is the villain of the show My Hero Academia from the time it begins till when it ends, for the entire duration of the show.
It is the villains that somehow always manage to have it best, in terms of all the good things in life such as money and relationships. It’s either this way or the complete another way round.
Dabi is one such villain who has it the other way around, where he finds it hard to trust people because of his upbringing. He is such that he prefers to be in his own company, and even complete whatever he has to do by himself, with the help of no one but himself.
It is this mysterious side of his that further adds to the bad boy character that has been built for this villain. He is enigmatic and he assumes the role of the villain after the beliefs of Stain, who was of the idea that heroes are hypocritical and meant to be destroyed.
With a derisive personality, Dabi is unafraid to speak his mind, not bothering about who he hurts in the process. This is the kind of free-spirited, animal, and inconsiderate behavior that makes Dabi such a good villain, and such a great anime bad boy.
His unremorseful lifestyle of villainous behavior and acts is completely a part and parcel of his bad-boy act that draws people to him so very much.
7. Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Anime: Bungo Stray Dogs
With a slim build, pale skin, and dark hair, Ryunosuke Akutagawa even dresses like a bad boy, in his black coat, well-fitting trousers, and shining shoes. He dresses just as one would give off a classy demeanor while still maintaining their own mysterious aura.
As a social Darwinist, Ryunosuke believes in the survival of the fittest ideology, and he truly believes that those people who are weak deserve death while the stronger ones should be given away to make their own path and live their lives.
This belief of his is partly what makes him ruthless and vicious, ultimately some of the best bad boy qualities you can find in an anime.
Aside from his ideology, Ryunosuke was orphaned at a young age and his will to kill multiple people from quite a young age. Like most other bad boys, behind his mysterious outlook on life is a past history of traumatic experiences that make him who he is.
Ryunosuke has a short temper, can get as violent as one can be, over things that may not necessarily matter as they would to a regular person.
What draws a person to his bad-boy persona is that he can be soft as well, but only with cute baby animals. A bad boy who likes puppies and kittens? That is something we can all get behind.
Despite his love for animals, Ryunosuke is as ruthless as it gets, very unpredictable, and also erratic in his ways, he is one of the best bad boy anime characters in the industry.
8. Kyoya Hibari
Anime: Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
This anime bad boy Kyoya Hibari generally goes by only his last name, Hibari, and his story perfectly fits the definition of a bad boy that we like. As the leader of a Disciplinary Committee, it can be rather strange to think of him as a bad boy, it’s true.
What makes Hibari a bad boy is his nonchalance towards everything and everyone in life, with large pride held in being a lone wolf. His bad-boy character stems from one belief, like many other bad boys, that rules must be followed.
So, no, Hibari is not a rule-breaking bad boy, but a highly disciplined one who has the power to achieve a lot through his own strength. He truly believes in himself and absolutely despises the imposition of anyone or anything else in his life. He is strong as he is and needs no one to be there for him or take care of him.
With relatively short black hair, he has narrow grey eyes which consistently give off the idea that he is cooking something up in his head.
He has an intimidating look because of his eyes, and his outfits suit his personality well – a shirt, trousers and tie when he’s younger, and a suit and tie when he’s older, with shorter hair.
Hibari is a spectacular character with a great understanding of his own self, and this is where he gets his power, strength, and title of a great bad boy in anime.
9. Lelouch Lemparouge (Lelouch vi Britannia)
Anime: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, its sequel Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, and he also stars in sideline stories like Code Geass: Oz the Reflection and Code Geass: Lancelot & Guren.
As it may be known Lelouch Lamperouge is an important character in the anime series Code Geass and its various parts, because of his role as Lelouch vi Britannia, the prince of Britannia, nay, the exiled prince of Britannia.
An exiled prince of an empire, his background just screams ‘bad boy’ but his personality tells us something different. Having had a royal upbringing, Lelouch was sophisticated in his mannerisms and has a great amount of respect for justice and peace.
Lelouch wanted a world emptied of evil so his sister could live peacefully and without worry, but in the end, he himself became the evilest of all. This is the worst boy thing that could have happened to Lelouch and his character, making him a part of this list.
10. Shou Hayabusa
Anime: Sakamoto desu ga?
English name: Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto
The last on our list of anime bad boys in Shou Hayabusa, whose blond ponytail with bangs braided temples are, plainly put, irresistible.
He even has a scar on the bridge of his nose, indicating some kind of fight or trauma to those who do not know him. The name Hayabusa is a wordplay on the number 8823, which is significant.
Hayabusa fits into the bad boy list because of exactly who he is and what he does – he is the leader of a squad of delinquents who look up to him because of his demeanor and outlook towards things. Hayabusa breaks all the rules as he does not believe in their significance, and is a great leader of the delinquents.
Once again, he is one of the bad boy characters who has a soft spot for only a few people – his family, and even a handful of the delinquents under him who he cares for, and he loves eating sweets, like cotton candy.
Hayabusa is a bad boy but he knows what is important in life, which is what makes him one of the best. Although his making and eating cotton candy makes him seem less intimidating, it must be known to all that he is a fighter and he protects everything he loves.
Overall, in the world of anime, there are so many great bad boys that it can be difficult to just handpick a few of them, but we have tried our best to pick out the ones we thought to justify the term ‘bad boy’ to its fullest.
Haru Yoshida, Izaya Orihara, Ash Lynx, Itachi Uchiha, Naofumi Iwatani, Dabi, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Kyoya Hibari, Lelouch, and Hayabusa are the ten best anime bad boys that we could think of, and we hope you do, too.