This time, my list will be focusing on my five favorite red-haired anime characters. Like usual, instead of being a Top 5 list, I am sharing my choices in alphabetical order by first name.
Asuka Langley Soryu
She’s one of the leading ladies of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and she has a strong personality. When she’s first introduced, she’s a little annoying. But as she starts having to work with Shinji (especially the training for the two of them to be able to work together in sync), the audience starts seeing that there’s more to this character. When her backstory is revealed, it’s heartbreaking, and it makes the viewer more understanding of why Asuka acts the way she does.
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun boasts quite a cast of characters, and Mikoshiba stands out among the crowd. Not only does he have his bright red hair, but his personality is also over the top and hilarious. He acts like he’s so confident when it comes to girls, but when they pay attention to him, he’s completely shy. All the time he’s spent playing dating sims hasn’t helped him at all in the real world. But he’s helpful to Nozaki in the creation of his manga, especially since, unbeknownst to Mikoshiba, he is the inspiration for the heroine of Nozaki’s story.
Renji is one of the Soul Reapers from Soul Society, and he’s a loyal friend to Rukia. When we first meet him, he comes across as a tough guy who wouldn’t want to be regarded as an ally with Ichigo and his friends. But after Rukia is saved from Soul Society, the audience starts seeing that Renji has a softer side to him. Unfortunately, as the anime continued and became riddled with more and more “filler” stories and episodes, he started coming across as more of a comic relief character. But in the episodes that come from the original manga source material, the audience sees that Renji has an awesome Bankai and that he’s a respectable fighter in his own right.
Shirayuki is an herbalist in a small medieval village. In the world that this story is set in, having red hair is a very unusual thing. Prince Raj decides he wants her as his concubine because of her hair, but Shirayuki is rightfully offended by this. She runs away into a bordering kingdom, where she becomes friends with Zen, a prince in the kingdom. What I love about Shirayuki’s character is that she’s sweet, helpful, beautiful, and has agency. She isn’t going to be the damsel in distress who always needs to be saved. While she may not always be able to take care of herself, she’s not constantly relying on others to take care of her.
Naruko may be the loud-mouthed member of Sohoku High School’s bicycle racing club, but he’s a very funny and amusing character. The interactions between him and Imaizumi are always fun to watch because of how much they try to compete against each other. And the interactions between Naruko and Tadokoro are also enjoyable. But Naruko also has a serious side to him, which he’s most likely to show to Sakamichi. As Yowamushi Pedal has progressed, we start seeing some evolution of Naruko’s character, but he still retains the amusing charm that he was introduced with.