The sources from which we can gain fashion inspiration are increasing every day. From classic TV shows to nostalgic movies, entertainment is one of the main places we look for guidance in developing a personal sense of style. One of the most aesthetic-forward genres of all of popular culture is the eclectic world of anime; character design is a central tenet of so much Japanese animation. So today, we take a look at the most stylish anime characters of all time, from the trailblazers to some recent picks.
The 11 Most Stylish Anime Characters of All Time
11. Yor Forger
Anime: 'Spy X Family'
Yor’s style is emblematic of the double life she leads as a homemaker and assassin, and perfectly illustrates the polarity of these positions. Her attire is the embodiment of “find you one who can do both”: when she’s playing the role of a dutiful housewife, she wraps herself in cozy autumnal knits, colored tights, and pastel parkas that are the very essence of the modern-day approachable Japanese woman. On the other side, her assassin garb is a truly killer black dress, a sleek silhouette with Versace-inspired strapping at the neckline.
10. Nico Robin
Anime: 'One Piece'
Nico Robin’s style throughout One Piece has a way of conveying sophistication even when the pieces on their own could feel a bit zany. Her debut look as a villain, the purple cowboy set, holds an air of mysterious authority despite the fact that it would look like a Spirit Halloween purchase on anyone else. Even in her later iterations, she can pair a floral resort wear wrap-skirt with a biker jacket and still come off looking totally put together and chic. As Robin progresses through the story she picks up a more coquettish vibe at times, adopting simple Parisian minidresses in Punk Hazard and Dressrosa that also suit her soft-spoken and intelligent nature just as well.
Anime: 'One Piece'
Being the resident musician among the "Straw Hats," Brook of course has to represent the classic style of 80s rock. His design is pulled from Slash of Guns N’ Roses fame, and it's easy to see in his pre-time skip black tuxedo with color pops in the lapel and ascot. However, when the crew reunites after their two-year separation, his taste is only elevated that much more. Brook’s performance fits are pushed to a truly camp level: overcoats and trousers with expressively colored prints that would feel at home among Virgil Abloh’s work at Louis Vuitton, complete with a marabou boa that would put Harry Styles to shame.
Anime: 'Dragon Ball Z'
We’ll get Vegeta’s "BADMAN" shirt out of the way first: it’s one of the most legendary pieces in men’s animated fashion. This pink, Cuban-collar top is also surprising for such a self-serious guy, who seems more at home in sophisticated navy blue elevated basics. It’s not the only time he’s pulled off a flashier ensemble, however: the green, Y-3 adjacent track jacket from the Broly movie made immediate waves among the fanbase. However, none of this is as ubiquitous for Vegeta as his Saiyan armor, in its many iterations. At the time, these threads really did feel like they came from another planet, but the emergence of tactical fashion on the heels of Helmut Lang and Off-White put this outfit side by side with the military vests you can see striding through Soho on any given day.
7. Nana Osaki
Nana (as well as Paradise Kiss, next up on this list) is a manga-turned-anime series highly celebrated for its fashion depictions, penned by Ai Yazawa. The titular character is known for her embodiment of punk style, complete with thrashed band tees, leather jackets, and bondage accessories. The emulation of iconic British designer Vivienne Westwood is apparent throughout, and to this day Nana’s sense of self-assuredness and teenage rebellion continues to stand tall in the arena of animated fashion.
6. Yasutora Sado aka "Chad"
Chad is best known for his floral patterned Kariyushi shirts, which are a summer staple worldwide even today. While a good print is respected on any wearer, we especially appreciate the way he keeps it buttoned just enough for a tasteful glance at his bountiful man cleavage. Perhaps underrated, however, is his v-neck muscle tee from the Soul Society arc, which would look right at home on the cover of an *NSYNC album cover.
5. Joji "George" Koizumi
Anime: 'Paradise Kiss'
George fits high up on this list for good reason: he’s a fashion designer from a fashion-obsessed anime, so it only makes sense that he’d have an immaculate way of dressing. Paradise Kiss is all about the intersection of the punk, emo, and lolita scene of the early 2010s, with queer representation and gender-norm-defying style that feels progressive now more than a decade later. George is heavily inspired by the character Brian Slade from the 1998 film Velvet Goldmine, who himself is a facsimile of David Bowie and the 70’s glam rock scene. George takes this extravagant flair to a darker place, with Italian suiting and sleek headwear that makes us never want to leave the house in a tee shirt ever again.
4. Killua Zoldyck
Anime: 'Hunter x Hunter'
A list of the most stylish anime characters without Killua Zoldyck would be sacrilege. Despite the fact that every other character in Hunter x Hunter wears essentially one outfit for the entirety of the series, "Mr. Put It On" aka Killua is in a different fit almost every arc, incorporating insane backpacks, athleisure, and more into his signature sense of style.
3. Yusuke Urameshi
Anime: 'Yu Yu Hakusho'
Yusuke is the quintessential bad boy with a heart of gold, and the clothes he wears reflect that to a tee. There’s of course his school uniform, inexplicably spearmint green and better for it, with a slouchy, oversized fit that’s reminiscent of a young yakuza. Even outside of his most repeated fit, he’s decked in the items you always hope to find when you’re digging through the thrift store: the perfectly fitting 501s, pristine white Chuck Taylors, and a vintage trucker jacket cut right at the hip, this kid knows his way around 90s Americana.
2. Usagi Tsukino
Anime: 'Sailor Moon'
Sailor Moon has been solidified as one of the most iconic anime and manga of all time, with the main cast’s evil-stopping sailor uniform being one of the notorious symbols for the medium as a whole. However, series creator Naoko Takeuchi went far beyond this one look in her illustrations, sourcing inspiration from luxury designers like Thierry Mugler, Chanel, and Versace. Even when her characters lacked the occasion to don haute couture, they were always clad in street style emblematic of 90s trends that are still emulated for TikTok today. Takeuchi generously outfits every character she draws, but it's no surprise she’d reserve some extra love for Usagi, the titular Sailor Moon.
1. Jolyne Cujoh
Anime: 'Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean'
When we talk about the connection between the worlds of fashion and anime, it is impossible not to mention Hirohiko Araki’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. The series is famous for its use of outlandish looks and over-the-top character poses ripped straight from fashion magazines. With a cast full of chiseled supermodels, it's difficult to single out a single best-dressed.
Jolyne’s signature fit has parallels to many trends hot in fashion today. While her midriff-baring cutouts are no anomaly for a Jojo character, they’re certainly present across the Y2K nostalgic runways of the past few years. The outfit’s spider web print and butterfly motif are symbolic of her journey as a wrongfully imprisoned inmate, but they could also be slapped onto a Heaven by Marc Jacobs crop top without question. Lastly (and this may be a bit of a stretch), the exorbitant metal hardware running down her legs gives just a touch of Schiaparelli.
Also worth noting is that before Jolyne even got her own anime spot on Netflix, she already collabed with Gucci both in a one-shot manga in Spur magazine and in storefront displays worldwide.
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