Anime is amazing in how it makes use of archetypes and tropes to create vastly diverse stories within genres. Genres become inextricably linked to certain tropes and certain types of characters; however, the malleability of the medium allows for characters of various kinds to appear in all kinds of settings – much like the real world. Today, we’re looking at the prince-charming types – the Oujidere. These characters are males who act in a way that screams a kind of regalness – even if they have to be the ones proclaiming their own superiority. Other Oujideres are simply guys who fit the white knight mould incredibly well. Whatever the kind, we’re looking at our 10 favourite Oujidere characters who always manage to sweep us off our feet!
10. Echizen Ryouma – Tennis no Ouji-sama (Prince of Tennis)
- Episodes: 178
- Aired: October 2001 – March 2005
Seishin Gakuen Junior High School, also known as Seigaku, is one of the most prominent schools in Japan when the conversation is tennis. When Ryouma Echizen arrives from the West, determined to prove himself and escape the shadow of his father, he bolsters the already powerful line-up at Seigaku. Ryouma aims to be one of the best tennis players in the country and pushes hard to beat his father’s and his own expectations – alongside the rest of the talented Seigaku players, he’ll make his dreams come true!
Extremely talented when it comes to the game of tennis, Echizen exudes confidence in himself and his abilities. His prodigal nature has reached US shores and as a result, he’s earned himself the title of “Prince of Tennis” at a mere twelve years of age! The manner in which he carries himself screams “typical Oujidere” as you can sense the fact that he feels superior to his opponents because… he is. The Prince of Tennis acts royally on and off the court.
9. Tuxedo Mask – Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon)
- Episodes: 46
- Aired: March 1992 – February 1993
Tsukino Usagi is a 14-year-old crybaby who is an average student and a total klutz. She constantly gets low scores on her tests at school. One day on her way to school, she comes across a strange black cat with a crescent moon on its head and saves it from danger. The cat introduces itself as Luna, the cat who would change her life forever. Luna reveals that Usagi is destined to become the planetary guardian Sailor Moon, with the power to defend Earth from energy-stealing monsters sent from the Dark Kingdom. Usagi’s journey doesn’t simply end at stopping the Dark Kingdom, she must also find the lost princess of the Moon Kingdom as well as the other Sailor Guardians and the legendary Silver Crystal in order to save Earth from certain doom.
Tuxedo Mask’s bravado whenever he encounters Usagi in awkward moments with the denizens of the dark kingdom is what makes him a certain type of Oujidere character. He enjoys flashy displays of wit, charm, mystery and just that little bit of annoying arrogance that makes him princely. It also helps that he and Usagi eventually date, which literally makes him the “white knight” Usagi’s teenage self had been hoping for.
8. Tachibana Makoto – Free! Iwatobi Swim Club
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2013 – September 2013
Nanase Haruka has a passion for swimming. Back in elementary school, he competed in a relay race with his friends Matsuoka Rin, Hazuki Nagisa and Tachibana Makoto and won. After the win, the four went their separate ways. Reunited as high schoolers, Rin couldn’t care less about the way things were – the only thing that matters to him is proving that he’s better than Haruka. Haruka, Nagisa and Makoto decide to form the Iwatobi Swim Club and search for a fourth member. They finally recruit Ryuugazaki Rei, a former member of the track team. When the time to compete draws nearer, the four form a tight bond and intend to come out on top in order to finally settle the score against Rin once and for all.
Swimming team backbone and Captain, Tachibana Makoto. A gentle creature who can always be seen with a smile on his face and consideration in his heart. He fits the Oujidere description because of his compassionate nature, but also because of his level head in situations which require it. Makoto is a capable leader and his concern for other people shines through in everything he does. Perhaps the fact that he was voted Sexiest Anime Man for 2013 adds to his kind, white knight image. As far as Oujidere characters go, Makoto might just be the nicest one!
7. Usui Takumi – Kaichou wa Maid-Sama! (Maid-Sama!)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2010 – September 2010
Ayuzawa Misaki has the tough task of being the first female student council president of Seika High, a school that recently went from being an all-boys school to being inclusive of female students as well. Misaki is nicknamed “the Demon President” for her no-nonsense leadership style and the fact that she won’t hesitate to use her Aikido skills to discipline misbehaving boys and defend the sparse number of girls at the school. Despite her perfect appearance; however, Misaki is guarding an embarrassing secret – she works part-time at a maid café in order to help her struggling family pay the bills, and her school prohibits students working part-time jobs! Her secret is exposed when the school heartthrob, Usui Takumi, walks into the maid café! He could ruin her entire reputation with one word… or he could use this as an opportunity to get closer to her…
Popular with all the students at Seika High, Usui Takumi is definitely one of the cool kids. His good looks put him in good stead already; however, his calm, somewhat regal demeanour affords him a princely impression that lasts! This is of course augmented when he is with Misaki, the girl whose affections he craves. What adds to his princely vibe is the fact that he is extremely good at everything he does and perhaps the fact that Usui was voted the Sexiest Anime Man of 2010. The quintessential white knight is good-looking, after all.
6. Kashima Yuu – Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2014 – September 2014
Sakura Chiyo is a cheerful high school girl who has fallen in love with the oblivious Nozaki Umetarou. She confesses her love to him but he completely misunderstands the interaction and hands her his autograph. It turns out that he’s a successful shoujo mangaka known as Yumeno Sakiko! A series of unfortunate misunderstandings lead Chiyo to becoming one of Nozaki’s assistants. While she helps Nozaki with his manga she makes several friends at her school, the shameless Mikoshiba Mikoto who is a fellow assistant, and the school’s “prince”, Kashima Yuu. As hilarious events ensue, Chiyo strives towards making Nozaki finally notice her feelings.
Kashima is extremely charming, to the point of it being absolutely absurd. Every girl in their high school can say that she has found herself utterly swooning at the idea of interaction with Kashima. Her confidence, charm and genteel approach to “conquering” the hearts of the fair maidens at school carries with it a very royal air. Indeed, Kashima earned the title of the school “prince”, proving to be more of a gentleman than all the gentlemen there!
5. Vegeta – Dragon Ball Z
- Episodes: 291
- Aired: April 1989 – January 1996
Years after winning the World Martial Arts Tournament, Son Goku is living a peaceful life with his wife Chi Chi and son, Gohan. However, the peace is thwarted with the appearance of Raditz, an alien enemy who claims to be Goku’s brother. He reveals that Goku’s origins are elsewhere, the Planet Vegeta, the home of the virtually extinct Saiyan warrior race. Sent to Earth as a baby, Goku’s mission was to destroy all life on the planet in order to prepare it for sale; however, he hits his head as a baby, losing his violent Saiyan programming to become a kind boy willing to protect others. After failing to recruit his brother, Raditz warns Goku and his friends of a worse threat – two more Saiyans far stronger than Raditz who are en route. With danger on the horizon, will Goku and his friends be able to defend the Earth?
Arrogant and proud, Vegeta takes the desire to be treated like royalty to its logical extreme. But who could blame him? Vegeta is an actual prince and despite the complete obliteration of his entire race, he is very much still the royal heir to the Saiyan throne. We know this mostly because he never lets anyone leave his presence without announcing that he is “Vegeta, prince of all Saiyans”! In the latter stages of the series; however, Vegeta’s superiority complex calms down quite a lot after his consistent failure to best Goku, as well as influence from his new life as a family man.
4. Oikawa Tooru – Haikyuu!
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2014 – September 2014
Inspired after watching a volleyball ace nicknamed the “Little Giant”, the tiny Hinata Shoyo attempts to revive the volleyball club at his middle school and they even make their way to a tournament. However, they suffer a crushing defeat in their first and last match against a team led by the so-called “King of the Court”, Kageyama Tobio. Vowing to surpass Kageyama one day, Hinata graduates and joins Karasuno High, the school once attended by the Little Giant himself. However, to his shock, Hinata attends his first practice and finds the very same Kageyama who demolished his middle school team. Because of his tiny stature, Hinata struggles to find his place on the team; however, he is an athletic marvel and surprisingly, Kageyama turns out to be the key to solving his problems. Working together is the only way for them to bring Karasuno High to the heights of the game and make their team the best in Japan.
While Kageyama Tobio is known as the “King of the Court” due to his cold demeanour towards his teammates and his impeccable skill in the game, Oikawa Tooru’s nickname one-up’s Kageyama’s. Known as the “Grand-King of the Court”, Oikawa is Aoba Jousai’s ace Setter and an extremely talented individual. His talent and overall confidence on and off the court have earned him this nickname, but not only is he great at volleyball; his personality and popularity amongst the female students at his school are owed to his Oujidere-esque sense of confidence, wit and charm.
3. Lelouch Lamperouge – Code Geass
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2006 – July 2007
In 2010, the Holy Empire of Britannia begins to explore its military might, starting off with the conquest of Japan. Renaming the country “Area 11” after its defeat, Japanese citizens become rebels in an attempt to regain their independence. Exiled prince of Britannia, Lelouch Lamperouge, finds himself in the middle of a conflict between Japanese rebels and Britannia’s forces. He escapes only due to the appearance of C.C., a mysterious girl who gives Lelouch the “Geass”, an incredible power which manifests in him as the power of absolute obedience. He then dons a mask and becomes “Zero”, an enigmatic figure leading the Japanese rebels against Britannia, for whom Lelouch bears much resentment.
Lelouch Lamperouge, the exiled prince who renounced his homeland in order to protect his sister’s future. His power game got out of control several times throughout the series. For the most part, Lelouch did well at masking his true power-hungry nature. His Geass, the “Absolute Order” makes his Oujidere nature very prominent – like an active royal, he absolutely must get his way, and he most definitely will. When he is at school, Lelouch is slightly more reserved, polite and even charming like most idealisations of a prince – his more calculating side is more interesting though!
2. Kuchiki Byakuya – BLEACH
- Episodes: 366
- Aired: October 2004 – March 2012
15-year-old Kurosaki Ichigo is a high school student who has always had the uncanny ability to see and interact with ghosts. When a woman in a black kimono named Kuchiki Rukia suddenly appears in his room one night. She introduces herself as a Soul Reaper, an entity which exists to guide souls to the afterlife and purge evil spirits known as Hollows. Soon after Rukia’s arrival, a Hollow attacks Ichigo’s home and wounds Rukia, who offers Ichigo her powers so he can save his family. After the encounter, Ichigo is forced to take over Rukia’s job as a Soul Reaper and his life from then on is never the same again.
Cold and ordered, Kuchiki Byakuya is the current head of the Kuchiki Clan, a prominent noble family in Soul Society, in addition to being the Captain of the 6th Squad of the Gotei 13. He is very regal in the way that he carries himself and he is quite the stoic – meaning that he registers as a prominent example of a Kuudere too. He does things by the book but despite his coldness, he cares deeply for the people closest to him and tries hard to lead in a way which protects these people.
1. Ciel Phantomhive – Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2008 – March 2009
Ciel Phantomhive, known as “the Queen’s Guard Dog”, is a youngster responsible for taking care of the strange events happening in Victorian England on behalf of Her Majesty. He’s helped by Sebastian Michaelis, his loyal butler who has inhuman abilities. There is more to the both of them than meets the eye – Ciel, in his darkest moment, made a pact with the demon Sebastian, wagering his soul in exchange for revenge against those who wronged him. Today, Sebastian is Ciel’s most capable companion, carrying out all of Ciel’s orders with ease all while patiently anticipating the meal he will make of Ciel’s soul.
Ciel Phantomhive, the head of the Phantomhive household, is an arrogant and shrewd boy, who is proud and very used to living in extremely privileged environments. In this sense, Ciel is a good example of an Oujidere because he literally and acts like a spoiled prince – he can’t really do much on his own and relies on the fealty of his servants in order to get things done. Despite these seemingly unflattering traits, he is incredibly determined in his dealings and extremely driven towards his goal of one day getting his revenge.
With so many kinds of characters out, it’s amazing being able to identify an archetype that you enjoy seeing on-screen the most! Oujideres come with their own charm and flair that adds flavour to every show they’re in! Their obnoxiousness in certain settings and overall bravado, their confidence and tendency to superiority complexes makes everything interesting as you pendulum swing from hating them to loving them to hating them again! Are there other Oujidere characters you like that we haven’t mentioned? Drop a comment below and tell us all about them!