This past year in anime had no shortage of handsome men, running the gamut from boy-next-door types to powerful kings and mages to downright bizarre choices like amputee samurai and BDSM razor blade clown men. But of all the sexy guys in 2019 anime, which stuck in our minds long after the year ended? Let’s take a look back at our favorites!
5. Hyakkimaru from Dororo
- Episodes: 24
- Air Date: January 2019 – June 2019
Who doesn’t love a man with swords for arms? Hyakkimaru is a wandering warrior who fights to take back his stolen body parts from demons scattered across feudal Japan, cutting them down with his finely-honed instincts and artificial limbs. Watching him regain his humanity piece by piece is fascinating, especially since it ties in with his emotional growth—by the end, he’s not just an attractive guy, but a much more well-rounded person as well. He’s our favorite socially awkward sexy swordsman!
4. Prince Canute from Vinland Saga
- Episodes: 24
- Air Date: July 2019 – December 2019
At first, Prince Canute seems like a shy, sheltered royal who could only be useful as a political pawn, but after witnessing the horrors of war and being forced to stand up for himself, Canute becomes one of the best characters in the entire anime. During his “Father in Heaven” speech from episode 18, he rejects the defeatist teachings he grew up with and decides to wield his power to create his own paradise on Earth—no matter what it takes. As Askeladd says, Canute is exactly the kind of man he wants to follow.
3. Kyo and Yuki Souma from Fruits Basket 1st Season
- Episodes: 25
- Air Date: April 2019 – September 2019
These vintage anime boys are back with a fresh coat of paint for 2019, and they haven’t aged a bit. Kyo and Yuki look fantastic with the updated art style, which shows off their emotions and body language much more clearly than the stiff ‘90s look from the first anime could manage. Coupled with their high-quality voice acting, these familiar characters feel brand new again and have captured our hearts once more. We can’t wait to see their story continue in season 2!
2. Risotto Nero from JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Ougon no Kaze (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 5: Golden Wind)
- Episodes: 39
- Air Date: October 2018 – July 2019
Although the statuesque leader of La Squadra Esecuzioni made a couple of cameo appearances near the end of 2018, his shining moment of glory firmly belonged to 2019. After two of his subordinates were cruelly murdered for trying to investigate the boss’ identity, Risotto Nero pursued revenge with ruthless efficiency—he very nearly killed Doppio with his iron-manipulating Stand Metallica by forcing the kid to vomit up scissors and razor blades. Lesson learned: don’t mess with La Squadra unless you want a black-eyed clown man to beat you within an inch of your life.
1. Waver Velvet/Lord El-Melloi II from Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note (Lord El-Melloi II Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note)
- Episodes: 13
- Air Date: July 2019 – September 2019
Waver Velvet was a bit of a cowardly brat during the Fourth Holy Grail War, leaning on his servant Rider and doubting himself at every turn. But as a wise meme once said... be careful who you make fun of in middle school. After a healthy dose of character development and puberty, Waver grows up to become a distinguished professor and mage named Lord El-Melloi II—an aloof, sharply-dressed man with long black hair and a penchant for solving mysteries. Waver is the last person we thought could transform into such a dashing gentleman, but it just goes to show that glow-ups can happen to anyone!
We also loved the morally complex Naofumi from Rising of the Shield Hero, as well as the blooming romance between musicians Mafuyu and Uenoyama from Given. But who were your favorites? Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!