In our world, we often associate white hair with aging or stress. Suffice to say, white hair bad.
But we ain’t talking about the real world today baby so white hair lit. Yes, I said lit; yes, I am ashamed. White-haired characters in the anime world tend to be incredible individuals with awesome abilities whether it be with fighting, intelligence, or deviousness. Even the elderly characters with grayed hair are often really wise and give the protagonists some life-changing advice (some of them can even throw down themselves).
Plus, they look good. What can I say?
So, here are 15 of the most iconic white-haired anime characters to ever save artists some ink.
15. Mao (Code Geass)
This sadistic mind-reader is one of the most dangerous people in early Code Geass. Driven insane by the power given to him, he lost control of it and would constantly hear the thoughts of people around him. Even when he didn’t want to.
He was one of the few people to ever get the upper hand over Lelouch, even if it was just for a little while. If you’re still not convinced about how frightening Mao’s power is: he beat Lelouch in chess with it.
And I rest my case.
14. Ryou/Yami Bakura (Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters)
Speaking of mind-games, here’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters’ main baddy. Or at least some of the time. Ryou Bakura, like Yugi, actually possessed the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian identity within him called Yami Bakura. Only, his counterpart is super evil.
Yami Bakura was a fantastic duelist with immense power, able to rival the Pharoah and the Egyptian gods themselves.
13. Whis (Dragon Ball Super)
Dragon Ball’s Universe 7 is home to beings who can shake the very cosmos themselves like Goku, Vegeta, and Beerus. But on the very top of the food chain, lies the oh-so-fabulous angel himself: Whis.
Whis didn’t look all that tough at first but when we saw him knock out Beerus with a single chop in the Battle of Gods, we knew immediately that this guy was not someone to be messed with.
And well, let’s just say that if this was a list of “strongest white-haired” characters, this list would basically turn into Whis’ family tree.
12. Juuzou Suzuya (Tokyo Ghoul)
One of the few reasons to keep watching Tokyo Ghoul after the end of the first season. And before you ask or start scrolling, no, I didn’t put Ken Kaneki on the list, he was iconic but… I just can’t. Objectivity be damned.
Suzuya on the other hand was such a fascinating character that I perked up every time he was on screen because I just knew some exciting stuff was going to happen. He might just seem like your typical unhinged, fighter at first but his character actually shows a ton of depth and growth in the show. And his character development actually made sense.
11. Eishi Tsukasa (Food Wars)
The former first seat of Totsuki’s Council of Ten, able to bring out the full potential of any ingredient he works with. Eishi Tsukasa is nicknamed “The White Knight of the Table”. He may have some social anxiety issues, trust issues, and self-love issues (comment below if I missed an issue or two), but when it comes to cooking, he’s one of the best.
It’s been implied that he was still a better chef than Soma even after losing his seat to him (though Soma surpasses him by the end of the last season).
10. Professor Samuel Oak (Pokémon)
How can you not love this guy? I mean, once you overlook the fact that he captures cute animals in small little balls and gives them away to kids to use as their own personal slave/gladiators, he’s just a real sweetheart.
Kidding aside, Professor Oak really is just a great and lovable character (I guess most of Pokémon’s main cast is), if not a little forgetful. He’s also one of the most memorable faces in all of anime and gaming.
I’ll admit I was a little hesitant to put him here because some variants of his design show him with more brown-ish hair, but I think I can give it a pass.
9. Alice Nakiri (Food Wars)
Another representative of the Food Wars and the current 6th seat of Totsuki’s Council of Ten. Alice also belongs to the food world’s beloved Nakiri family and is a master of molecular gastronomy.
You may be wondering why I put her higher than Tsukasa on the list despite being the weaker chef. I simply loved her character more and her dishes were also more appealing to me.
I have no idea what they could possibly taste like since I’ve never really had dishes that integrated that level of molecular gastronomy so my tastebuds are biased.
8. Emilia (Re:Zero)
Ah yes, the loved one (unpopular opinion: I prefer Ram). Emilia is a kind and caring half-elf whom Subaru, the main protagonist, fell for.
And he fell hard. Hard enough to turn down arguably the greatest confession of love in anime history.
Whether or not you agree with his decision, there’s no doubting that Emilia really is a good and pure person and a great character. She even has wicked magical powers and combat skills.
7. Scar (Fullmetal Alchemist)
The nameless Ishvalan only known as Scar is one of Fullmetal Alchemist’s most ruthless alchemists (though technically he only destroys and doesn’t reconstruct for most of the show). But pure awesomeness aside, Scar also has one of the best character developments in the show.
Going from a cold and merciless killer to an unsteady “good guy” who was constantly burdened by his past sins. It wasn’t a quick transition too; it was really well-paced. The anime made you understand what he was going through and why he was doing what he did.
6. Kanna Kamui (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid)
This adorable and colorful little dragon can start Armageddon whenever she wants. SOOO CUUUTEEE!!!
Kanna Kamui is the heart and soul of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, at least based on the fandom. I’m not arguing. She may be young but she’s a sly one. I’m pretty sure she knows people find her unbearably cute and uses it to get what she wants sometimes.
And like all dragons in the show, she has incredible powers and could probably easily wipe out the human race.
5. Bang/Silver Fang (One Punch Man)
We move on to the One Punch Man universe’s top martial artist turned hero: Bang. He is the creator of his own martial arts style: Water Stream Rock Smashing Fist and is the 3rd strongest hero in the world (4th if you’re counting Saitama).
This old-timer may be past his prime but he outclasses mostly everyone in their prime. He’s able to absolutely obliterate heavy-duty monsters and villains with relative ease and is considered to almost be a god in the world of martial arts.
4. Black Hanekawa (Nekomonogatari: Kuro)
Another character with a case of multiple personality disorder, Black Hanekawa is the alternate version of Tsubasa Hanekawa whenever a supernatural abnormality called the Sawarineko takes control of her. Ironically, Black Hanekawa has white hair while regular Hanekawa has black hair. Confused yet? Now you know what watching Monogatari feels like.
It’s an amazing show that (in my opinion) has the most in-depth and fleshed-out characters in all of anime and this white cat-girl is no excuse. A villain for the most part, this playful embodiment of fan service is an incredible addition to Monogatari’s weirdly-deep-and-philosophical-but-also-not-at-all cast.
3. Jiraiya (Naruto)
You knew he was going to be in this, Naruto’s version of Master Roshi: the Pervy Sage Jiraiya himself. (By the way, Roshi isn’t on the list since he only has facial hair which I didn’t think should count).
Don’t let his massive obsession for all things raunchy fool you, Jiraiya is one of The Leaf Village’s legendary Sannin and possessed Hokage-level abilities. He’s also the one to teach Naruto one of the most well-known moves in fiction: the Rasengan, so there’s no doubting his iconicity.
2. Kakashi Hatake (Naruto)
Speaking of Hokage-level abilities, here’s a former Hokage himself. Lord Sixth: Kakashi Hatake. Also a former member of the Sannin, you could tell Kakashi was a cool character right from the start when he outsmarted and outplayed Team 7 with the bell challenge.
As the anime progressed, we just kept learning more and more about him and every new piece of information just kept building up the hype for what he can do and he just never disappoints. It’s a shame that he lost his Sharingan, but honestly, he’s a top-tier ninja regardless.
1. Mastered Ultra-Instinct Goku (Dragon Ball Super)
Is this cheating? I mean, I already put in someone else who also only gains white hair upon transforming (Black Hanekawa), so this Goku shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. And I’m making the list so whatever.
He’s Earth’s main protector (sorry Dende) and mightiest Z fighter. Son Goku has gone through limit-breaking battle after limit-breaking battle, coming out stronger after each encounter and gaining multiple transformations and power-ups along the way. His latest transformation is the Mastered Ultra-Instinct. A form that even some of the gods struggle to master.
There is no doubting Goku’s power and fame. So much so that he’s often used as a measuring stick whenever a new powerful character from any medium of fiction pops out. That earns him this top spot on the white-haired characters list.
I mean, if you’ve never heard of Goku… Uhh, welcome to the world of anime, I hope you enjoy your stay.
Hungry for more anime character lists? Here’s the Top 10 Hottest Girls in Anime.