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We’ve all had jobs we dreaded going to, whether because of the humdrum nature of the job, or because of unappreciative coworkers, but most specifically because of incompetent, schmoozy bosses. The next time your boss comes to you with an asinine complaint, instead of getting angry, take a moment to think about your favorite shows and characters, and what your life would be like if they were your bosses. I hope you brought your resume.
10. Koro-sensei – Assassination Classroom
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: January 2015 – June 2015
A good boss should inspire a little bit of fear along with respect, and no one does that better than Koro-sensei, the alien that is responsible for the destruction of the moon. Working under Koro-sensei isn’t only for your benefit, but for the benefit of all of mankind. Because unless someone does something to change his mind, he’s threatened to destroy the Earth within one year.
For a seemingly unkillable tentacled creature, Koro-sensei is surprisingly attuned to human nature, and has a lot to teach when it comes to becoming a better person. He also has an excellent disposition, which is a definite plus for anyone in a position of authority, as he shrugs off repeated assassination attempts while doling out life lessons left, right and center. Just make sure you keep your distance; while it’s admirable to develop a personal relationship with someone, taking a bullet for him is definitely not worth it.
9. Motoko Kusanagi – Ghost in the Shell
- Episodes: 52
- Aired: October 2002 – January 2005
The augmented cybernetic human squad leader of Japan’s Public Security Section 9, Motoko Kusanagi is a force to be reckoned with in and out of the line of duty. As physically capable as she is intelligent, her masterful hacking skills have helped her and her subordinates out of more than one sticky situation on the streets of Tokyo.
While much of Kusanagi’s time is spent meditating on what it means to be human, the care and compassion she shows for her squad mates easily identifies her as a superior officer deserving of respect and admiration. If a boss is someone who you should aspire toward, you needn’t look any further than Kusanagi. And let’s face it, with looks like hers, why would you want to?
8. Levi – Attack on Titan
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2013 – September 2013
In an alternate world where humanity is plagued by mindless, man-eating giants, there’s no one you’d rather have leading you in the fight for the future than Levi. The captain of an elite unit in the Survey Corps, he utilizes his gravity-defying Vertical Maneuvering Equipment in a way that makes it hard to believe that he spends any time on the ground.
He is a fearless, capable leader who inspires all those under him, even in the (literal) face of death. He has a strong sense of honor and respect for authority, which he subsequently demands those beneath him respect. Sure, he’s known as the lone survivor of a rather nasty recon mission, but if you ignore that, it’s easy to see why he would be a great boss.
7. Frieza – Dragon Ball Z
- Episodes: 291
- Aired: April 1989 – January 1996
Sometimes, in order to truly inspire, a boss has to terrify, and there’s no one that fits that bill better than the androgynous alien overlord, Frieza. Single-handedly responsible for the genocide of most of the Saiyan race (just think of it as a permanent hostile takeover), as well as the planet Namek, Frieza isn’t afraid to leave a trail of destruction in the pursuit of his career goals. While his intolerance for incompetence means that failure is never tolerated, it also means that there are plenty of openings for ambitious individuals.
Frieza’s ambition is so powerful that even death can’t seem to bind him. Blasts of Ki, exploding planets, and even being sliced in half can’t keep him down. His power inspired so much loyalty in his followers that even after his death, they were able to collect the Dragon Balls and bring him back to life. You’ve got to respect someone who keeps pushing forward, even if they are terrifying.
6. Char Aznable – Mobile Suit Gundam
- Episodes: 43
- Aired: April 1979 – January 1980
The Red Comet of the Principality of Zeon, Char, like any boss worthy of respect, is a man with many hats. The passion that drives him in his myriad causes, no matter what side he chooses, is infectious, and his skill as a military leader and a mobile suit pilot is unquestionable. Although seemingly ruthless, Char fights for his principles, and for the sake of humanity.
Part of what separates Char from other potential bosses is his willingness to constantly reevaluate the goals he pursues, even if it means swallowing his pride and working with his rivals towards a mutual goal. Once he has his eyes on a prize he pursues it relentlessly, sometimes at the expense of those around him. Sure, he’s a little moody, but with so much riding on his shoulders, who can blame him?
5. Akane Tsunemori – Psycho-Pass
- Episodes: 33
- Aired: October 2012 – March 2013
In a dystopian future where the likelihood of an individual to commit a crime is determined by the “psycho-pass,” a job with the Public Safety Bureau is a coveted position. To keep you in line and help you develop your abilities as an inspector in the police unit, you’ll need a commanding officer you can trust. You’ll need Akane Tsunemori.
One of the great things about Akane is that she’s been in your shoes before, rookie. As a 20-year-old recruit, she and her veteran partner tracked down an asymptomatic criminal mastermind capable of fooling the technology of the Sibyl System, and brought him to justice. Like the best officers, she is always asking tough questions, even when it would be easier to shoot first. She’s intelligent, and her time in the field has honed her instincts as a detective and a commander. Pay attention; there’s a lot to learn from her.
4. Roy Mustang – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: April 2009 – July 2010
A military leader whose burning ambition is only matched by his mastery of the burniest element out there, Roy Mustang is a boss with a lot to offer prospective employees. The toughest colonel in the State Military, as well as the direct superior of series protagonist Edward, he aspires to climb the ranks and become the next leader of Amestris.
Roy has a lot to teach fledgling alchemists and boots-and-brass soldiers alike. The great thing about Roy isn’t simply his unique ability to control fire, or his military credentials, but his loyalty. Once you’ve earned his respect and trust, he is someone who will go to bat for you, as he proved when investigating the murder of one of his closest friends.
Like other military personnel on the list, he isn’t a mindless drone who blindly follows the chain of command, but evaluates every situation to try to find the best solution. That isn’t to say that he isn’t capable of making tough decisions; if the difference between victory and defeat is bodies, he is more than willing to throw them at any obstacle in his way.
3. L Lawliet – Death Note
- Episodes: 37
- Aired: October 2006 – June 2007
Part Sherlock Holmes and part Hannibal Lecter, L Lawliet is a misunderstood, eccentric (to say the least) genius detective whose young age and idiosyncrasies bely his cleverness, and good intentions. While it might seem strange to work for a teenager contracted by Interpol to help solve the case of a supernatural serial killer, once you’ve seen him in action you’ll be forced to admit he has a lot to teach you.
Although privately investigating a serial killer might seem like dangerous work, most of L’s job isn’t done in the field, but in his mind – and the cat-and-mouse interactions he has with potential suspects. Of course, becoming so famous at such a young age has its occupational hazards, and so he has established several identities for himself (including those of the world’s second and third greatest detectives), much to the chagrin of his nemesis, Light. Unlike Light, L’s strength isn’t gifted to him from a literal Death God, but comes from within.
What L really needs in a potential employee is someone he can trust, an individual capable of helping him follow through with his high stakes investigations. Just make sure you sign up for a good dental plan, as most of your meals will be eaten on the job, and he tends to have a sweet tooth.
2. Jet Black – Cowboy Bebop
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 1998 – April 1999
In the year 2071, the quickest way for those with an itchy trigger finger to make a quick buck is to become a cowboy contracted under the Inter Solar System Police to hunt down the galaxy’s most wanted, and bring them in – dead or alive. But starting your own bounty hunting enterprise is expensive, and requires not only your own spaceship, but a crew you can trust. Instead, why not sign onto the crew of the good ship Bebop, and hunt down criminals with the finest cowboys under the sun.
Jet makes a great boss because he and his crew complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Whereas his partner, criminal-turned-bounty hunter Spike, is an agile, reckless, shoot-first-ask-questions-later type, Jet likes to look at the small details that make up the big picture, and act accordingly. Both of them are relentless in the pursuit of their bounties, but prioritize the safety of their ship and crew above everything else.
While on the subject of the crew, if you do join up, be sure to get to know your coworkers better, because it could save your life. It might seem weird to chum up with a kid and a dog who both scored higher than you on the SAT (and Faye can be a cranky flake), but once you get past their hang-ups, you’ll be glad you made the effort.
1. Giovanni – Pokémon
- Episodes: 800+
- Aired: April 1997 – Present
Let’s face it, in the cutthroat world of Pokémon training, not everyone has what it takes to become number one. You have to go through the trouble of catching and training every adorable critter you come across, making sure you raise them right so they can grow up big and strong, and that’s before you stop to consider the exorbitant costs of various Pokéballs. It’s a lot to handle.
Fortunately for you, Giovanni and Team Rocket are there to make your life easier. Why bother catching Pokémon when you can steal from others, and make a mint doing it? You get all the thrill of Poké-rearing without any of the headache! And the best part is that if the rest of the company is anything like its best known employees, Jessie and James (and their wisecracking cat, Meowth), then there is plenty of room for someone who is actually competent to step up and make a lasting impression on the boss man.
If you can get over the yucky feeling that comes with trying to take over the world, and stealing everyone’s pets in the process, then becoming a member of Team Rocket is the perfect career for you!
Well, there you have it, job-hunters. How do these characters stack up to your bosses in real life? Is there anyone you’d love (or love to hate) working for that wasn’t included in the list? Feel free to turn the comments section into a career fair, and let us know who you’d trust with your 401k.