In the world of anime, unusual hair colors are not an uncommon thing. They are used to distinguish characters and define their personality. But despite that, men in anime with purple hair are still a rarity. Throughout this list we can see that it is still common for only the side characters to have purple hair. They personify quirky, unusual, or silent types.
We hope in the future, purple haired characters can break through this boundary and jump into the main character role. We have found 10 examples of purple haired guys who are either the most well-known or best represent the best traits found within the purple hair stereotype.
10. Kojirou (James) from Pokémon
- Episodes: 276
- Aired: Apr 1, 1997 to Nov 14, 2002
In the world of Pokémon, animal-like creatures of all variations, called Pokémon, roam the earth. People grow up together with them, and when they turn 10 years old they can go off on a journey to catch Pokémon and raise their own. Pokémon can be used in battles to increase their strength, build bonds with their trainer, and to win badges to prove how strong your Pokémon team is. But not everything is ideal in this world. There exists Team Rocket, who is out to steal Pokémon and moves behind the scenes for a purpose we don’t yet know.
“Prepare for trouble, and make it double!” If you grew up during the late 90s you will instantly know where that comes from. Jessie and James of Team Rocket were a constant nuisance to Ash and his friends as they attempted to steal his Pikachu. James was the silly one in this relentless team. Always looking to have fun and take a break, James was definitely the least ambitious on the team, even behind their Pokémon partner, Meowth. His relationship with Jessie and his refusal to abide by gender roles is what fans really love about him.
James’s hair can change shades between purple and blue depending on where you are watching Pokémon and which episode you are on. That is why he is number 10 on this list and not number 1. James is probably the most recognizable character with purple shaded hair on this list.
9. Yuki Souma from Fruits Basket
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Jul 5, 2001 to Dec 27, 2001
Tooru Honda is a normal high school girl, who just happens to be homeless, when Yuki Souma stumbles upon her camp on his family’s land. After her mother’s death she had nowhere to turn so she decides to try to be independent. Yuki finds her situation unacceptable and takes her to his family. Once there, she trips onto Yuki’s cousin, and discovers that when embraced by the opposite sex, members of the Souma family transform into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. It is soon decided that she can stay with that family, on the condition that she can keep their secret regarding the Zodiac.
Yuki Souma is a gentle soul who is known as the “Prince” of the school. He is studious and kind and only lets his anger out on his cousin Kyou. Yuki represents the Rat of the Zodiac, and is a favorite to the head of their house. Despite his outward kindness, Yuki is in pain and feels constantly alone. This is where Tooru comes in to help ease his sadness. Yuki represents the calm side of purple haired anime boys. Having light purple hair in the anime gives his “regal” persona even more validity, even though we know he is just as troubled as the rest of us.
8. Kirimaru Settsuno from Nintama Rantarou
- Episodes: 1800+
- Aired: Apr 10, 1993 to Currently airing
This classic anime has been airing for over 20 years and is still going. It follows two ninjas in training. The nickname, Nintama, comes from the combination of the Japanese words for “ninja” and “egg”. So they are literally baby ninjas! This show is similar to Naruto as it follows the misadventures of these young ninjas, and how they learn lessons from them. Popular among children, this is a show to rival the ever popular Doraemon.
Now we couldn’t make this list without including a classic. Having been on the air for over 20 years, with several movies as well, it definitely reaches that status. While several of the characters in the show have purple hair, we decided to go with Kirimaru Settsuno. Obsessed with money and part time jobs, he has the nickname “Genius Part-timer”, based on his ability to be a ninja and have multiple part-time jobs at once. This is a silly, heartwarming character who will make you laugh out loud with his quirks. Kirimaru completely personifies the purple haired side character.
7. Mephisto Pheles from Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr 17, 2011 to Oct 2, 2011
In Blue Exorcist, we follow two exorcists as they learn more about the two sides of the world. Assiah and Gehenna represent earth as we know it, and the world of demons. Rin and Yukio Okumura are two brothers who enroll in a school for exorcists after learning about Rin’s real father. Rin is half demon, and the son of Satan. Satan wants to gain control of Assiah and rule the human world as well as the demon one. Rin vows to stop him and we follow his adventures in learning more about exorcism.
Mephisto Pheles is the epitome of an eccentric purple haired character. With his crazy wardrobe and habit of turning up unexpectedly, it’s hard to deny he is the perfect purple haired supporting character. Mephisto is the principal of the school the two brothers attend, and guides them in their studies. Despite being incredibly nerdy, Mesphisto’s power is below only Satan himself.
6. Tsubasa Amaha from Starry☆Sky
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Dec 23, 2010 to Jun 16, 2011
Starry Sky is a dreamy anime about a high school that used to be an all-boys school but recently started accepting girls. Currently, the heroine, Yahisa Tsukiko, is the only girl attending this school. We come into the series following Henri, otherwise known as Yoh, who is searching for his childhood love and is obsessed with the night sky. He has gone to this school in the hopes of finding her again. Throughout the show, we learn about the many boys of the show who represent the constellations in the sky.
Ever since he was a child Tsubasa has loved to invent things. In the show, we observe him attempting to accept his unique nature and individuality rather than caring about what others think. He towers above the other characters in this show, which is in direct contrast to his shy and unassuming nature. After being dragged, literally, into being a part of the student council, he becomes friends with the other members. Tsubasa definitely shows a neurotic side to the purple haired character.
5. Shuu Tsukiyama from Tokyo Ghoul
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 4, 2014 to Sep 19, 2014
Kaneki Ken is a normal boy living in a not so normal version of Tokyo. In this world, man-eating ghouls terrorize the city and normal humans attempt to carry on their lives despite the danger. When Kaneki is transformed into a new kind of half-ghoul his whole world changes. He must now fight his basic urges to kill and consume human flesh. Luckily he finds other ghouls to help him during his transformation; but his struggles are not over.
When Kaneki meets Shuu Tsukiyama, he introduces himself as a “gourmet” who only eats the best of the best human flesh. He is an eccentric man who immediately becomes obsessed with Kaneki, and in his obsession vows to protect Kaneki so only he can eat him. Shuu’s crazy colored purple hair represents his crazy personality. This contrasts with the aristocratic image he portrays of himself and other gourmets, who we learn are all off their rockers.
4. Hajime Saitou from Hakuouki (Hakuoki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 4, 2010 to Jun 20, 2010
When Chizuru Yukimura is rescued from a couple of rabid samurai, she is saved by the Shinsengumi. The Shinsengumi were a militia during the late 1800s in Japan that worked for the Shogunate. Their mission was to protect the people and keep the peace. Hakuouki follows Chizuru as she becomes a member of the Shinsengumi and continues to search for her father. But what secrets does she learn about this noble group?
With a reputation of having a cold and straight-to-the-point attitude, Hajime really shakes off the idea that purple hair can only represent a frivolous or lighthearted character. Unable to sugar-coat anything he says, you risk being stung by his straightforwardness. But his harshness comes from a place of concern and care for your well-being. If you can look past his cold demeanor and see his warm, true feelings, then you will fall in love with Hajime, like many girls already have.
3. Natsuno Yuuki from Shiki
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: Jul 9, 2010 to Dec 31, 2010
You come into this anime in the middle of a murder mystery. There are 3 dead bodies found in the outskirts of Sotoba village; a really remote town with a number of anomalies surrounding it. When a group of strangers move into the beautiful western style mansion on the hill, the mysteries of the town just increase. Soon afterwards, the town’s eccentric high school girl, Megumi, dies, and Natsuno Yuuki’s whole world begins to change. This is a murder mystery with a paranormal twist that you can’t miss out on!
Natsuno Yuuki is the main character is this anime. Finally, we see a main character with purple hair! The entire anime is full of characters with crazy hair, so Yuuki’s is actually quite tame in comparison. Yuuki is a newcomer to the town and finds himself in the middle of its mysteries and horror. He definitely has the classic cold personality of a purple haired character. Despite this, he is the focus of Megumi’s obsession because of his big city hometown. But as more people are found dead, he begins to look for answers.
2. Trunks from Dragon Ball Z
- Episodes: 291
- Aired: Apr 26, 1989 to Jan 31, 1996
Your childhood was not complete unless you experienced some of the awesomeness that is Dragon Ball Z. When the world is in danger, you can rely on Goku and his allies to save the day. The plot of Dragon Ball Z revolves around 7 magic dragon balls that are scattered all around the world. When they are all brought together, you can make an all-powerful wish, that can even bring back the dead.
There are many characters in Dragon Ball Z, but only one with purple hair. Trunks is a time-traveling badass who travels back in time to save the future from destruction. In his future, androids killed everyone on earth, leaving him alone. So Trunks travels back to save Goku and change the future.
In the show, we get to see two sides of Trunks. The kick-ass who came to save the world, and him as Vegeta and Bulma’s son. Adult Trunks is very serious and powerful because of his dark future, while kid Trunks is an obnoxious little brat. He loves to laugh and joke around with his best friend Goten. Trunks is a classic character who definitely cannot be left off the list of top purple haired anime boys.
1. Sinbad from Magi: Sinbad no Bouken
- Episodes: 5
- Aired: May 14, 2014 to Jul 15, 2015
Becoming the number one purple haired anime boy is not an easy feat. We have read about many other worthy characters. Sinbad definitely takes the spot though, because he is not only in one anime. After being a major supporting character in Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, he now has his own anime, The Adventures of Sinbad, which goes into his backstory. We get to learn about how he became the conqueror he is in The Adventure of Sinbad.
From being the ultimate ladies’ man, to the master of the magical “djinns” he has defeated, Sinbad is best at whatever he does. In the other cases we have seen, purple haired characters usually take a side role as the silent or quirky type. But not Sinbad. He is a character deserving of his own anime and that can lead future purple haired characters into the protagonist’s role.
So what do you think of our selections? Did we miss any of your favorite characters, or were we spot on? Let us know what you think. This list is the epitome of anime guys with purple hair, which is a type that deserves our love and recognition. In the future, do you think more protagonists will have purple hair, or will they continue to be only supporting characters?