This anime season has blessed us with a cornucopia of fantastic male characters, ranging from good boys to bad boys to maybe even some boys' love. We’re highlighting five of our favorites today, so please come join us as we praise them to the high heavens!
5. Ukyo Saionji from Dr. Stone: Stone Wars
Ukyo is one of the top three members of Tsukasa’s Empire of Might, thanks in large part to his excellent hearing and top-notch archery skills. And due to his pre-petrification job as a sonar operator in the JSDF, he can easily track his enemies and stay calm in dangerous situations. Luckily, Ukyo joins the Kingdom of Science’s side once he sees how genuinely good-hearted and talented Chrome is—his only condition is that Senku’s team must complete the siege without killing anyone. We love his cool-as-a-cucumber attitude, stylish fashion sense, and the unique skillset that he brings to whichever team he’s on. We can’t wait to see more of what this badass archer can do.
4. Pina from BEASTARS Season 2
Pina is a pest, pure and simple. This pretty boy sheep juggles multiple girlfriends, confidently dominates any room he enters, and enjoys taunting carnivores with his “irresistible” body. Legosi is immediately annoyed by Pina’s presence as soon as he saunters into the drama club, but the sheep’s cavalier attitude actually comes in handy during a critical moment. When Legosi is trapped in an intimidating stare-down with the student he believes to be Tem’s killer, Pina strategically interrupts the tension by walking right between them and spares Legosi from a potentially lethal battle. Of course, he gets a scare of his own later that day when the other student threatens his life in the school bathroom, leaving Pina with an acute realization of how much danger herbivores are constantly steeped in every single day. For a supporting character, he’s surprisingly well fleshed out!
3. Reki and Langa from SK∞ (SK8 the Infinity)
He was a skater boy, and he was also a skater boy... can we make it any more obvious? When Canadian snowboarder Langa moves to sunny Okinawa, local skateboarding nut Reki quickly befriends him and introduces him to the underground skating competition “S”. Their friendship is probably the purest and most adorable thing the Winter 2021 anime season has given us (they even make pinkie promises to each other), which is why it hurts so much that they have a falling out when Langa starts to far surpass Reki in skateboarding skill. We just hope that they can make up in time for the finale... and maybe the anime will even have the guts to make them an official couple while they’re at it!
2. Izumi Miyamura from Horimiya
Continuing the trend of Very Good Boys, we have Izumi Miyamura from the romantic comedy Horimiya. Most of his classmates at school think that he’s the shy, nerdy type, but the truth is that his heavy clothes and messy hair hide the massive tattoos and piercings that reveal him as the punk/goth that he really is! He’s a sweet guy who’s great with kids, is much more perceptive than he seems, and would do anything for his girlfriend Hori (even things outside of his comfort zone, like pretending to be aggressive and domineering to satisfy Hori’s “bad boy” fantasy). We especially like his updated look once he cuts his hair and starts wearing a sweater instead of a stuffy jacket, but Hori makes sure that everyone knows he’s taken by indenting a bite mark into the back of his neck! Pray for Miyamura—he needs it.
1. Red Blood Cell AA2153 from Hataraku Saibou Black (Cells at Work: CODE BLACK)
The original Red Blood Cell from Cells at Work certainly has her work cut out for her, but it’s a walk in the park compared to the hellscape that this Red Blood Cell has to face day in and day out. He lives in a barely functioning body whose host takes horrible care of himself, which forces the cells to work in hazardous conditions and run themselves ragged just to keep the lights on. Still, Red Blood Cell maintains a chipper attitude throughout the whole ordeal, devoting himself to the cause and making beloved friends along the way. But we like that he has painfully relatable human moments as well, such as when he’s devastated by a great loss and completely shuts down for a while. This poor ball of stress just needs a break and a big hug, so we hope he can make it out of the season alive and get the happy ending he deserves!
We’d also like to give a shoutout to Falco Grice from Attack on Titan Final Season, Rudeus Greyrat from Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, and Shimoda from Heaven’s Design Team. But who are your best boys of Winter 2021? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!