Man’s best friend is a phrase us pet owners know all too well. However, did you know that anime also takes that phrase quite literally? There are hundreds of anime with dog companions helping their owners in various ways and forms. To celebrate the furry friends in the anime world, we here at Honey’s Anime whittled down all the greatest dogs seen in different shows to a meager top ten list. Welcome to our Top 10 Anime with Dogs as Sidekicks list. Prepare yourselves folks, this list is going to be a cute and adorable one more often than not.
10. Potato from Air
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: January 2005- March 2005
On our list of the Top 10 Anime with Dogs as Sidekicks, you’re going to notice a slew of dogs with super powers or special abilities. Potato might not be able to win a fight or devour an alien race, but he embodies something that all dogs need to be true best friends, loyalty. Potato saves his semi-owner Kano when she loses her way at night and that right there makes for one heck of a dog. Also, if we’re giving out prizes, we’re going to give Potato the cutest anime dog ever award…seriously he’s so cute we want plushies of him now. POTATO PLUSHIES ARE NEEDED, KEY!
9. Zeke from HighSchool of the Dead
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: July 2010- September 2010
During a zombie apocalypse, you’re going to need teamwork to survive the hundreds of once-human monsters that roam the dilapidated lands. Other non-infected humans will keep you alive but you’re also going to need something that makes life seem a bit normal and that comes in the form of a good dog like Zeke. While Zeke isn’t very strong and seems quite weak, Zeke shows numerous times in HighSchool of the Dead anime and manga that he won’t let his new owner—Alice Maresato—die without protecting her first. Bravery is Zeke’s greatest tool against the zombie race that has risen in HighSchool of the dead, but it’s a skill that is needed to keep a pet alive and well in that type of dark world.
8. Guts from Kill la Kill
- Episodes: 24
- Air Date: October 2013- March 2014
Not all anime dogs need to be brave, strong and powerful to be cool. Just look at Guts from Kill la Kill. This hoodie-wearing pug is legit only good for devouring tons of food like he’s never eaten before, but that makes for some silly antics in a show that can be quite crazy at times. Guts also has the ability to stand on both his back legs as if he’s trying to mirror humans which impresses us something fierce. Guts might not have a giant weapon or do anything in Kill la Kill, but he still is an important character for those who love dogs.
7. Apo from Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers)
- Episodes: 99
- Air Date: Ap, 2012- March 2014
Working for JAXA—Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency—must be a tiring job that makes finding sleep hard to come by from time to time. Working men and women will tell you though that when you have such a tough job, sleeping can sometimes cause you to be late for work due to missing an alarm or not having a good internal clock. This is why you need the “greatest alarm clock ever” in the form of Apo from Uchuu Kyoudai. Not only does Apo make for a cute way to wake up—even when you don’t want to—he legit can work in space alongside you! How cool would it be to travel into the depths of space with a an adorable dog?!
6. Tetsuya II from Kuroko no Basket (Kuroko’s Basketball)
- Episodes: 25 (Season 1)
- Air Date: April 2012- September 2012
If you consider yourself a sports fan then you’ve most likely have seen mascots in some form or another. Regardless of the sport, these mascots are usually men or women dressed in ridiculous outfits that try to get the crowds riled up to root for their home teams during a game. Yet, haven’t you ever wondered why a mascot can’tbe a real animal instead of a fake costume wearing dude? Thankfully, that’s where Tetsuya II—sometimes known as Kuroko II—comes into play. This cute pet black and white puppy dog has somehow become a mascot for Kuroko’s team and takes his job quite seriously wearing the no 16. jersey. Now we just need to make mascots like Tetsuya II more common in the real world so we could all have something to go aww at when we’re at a football or basketball game.
5. Iggy from JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
- Episodes: 24
- Air Date: April 2014- September 2014
Iggy from JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusade wouldn’t be considered cute, kind or loyal by any stretch of the imagination. Iggy makes up for these shortcomings as a dog with the ability to use a Stand—which represents the fool arcana—Iggy fights alongside his “friends” with strength and veracity. While Iggy does occasionally run away from a fight he feels he will lose, the little mean dog has stood his ground more often than we can count which makes him a reliable teammate when the need arises. Though we could do without the farts he produces and the fact that he eats bubble gum. Boston Terriers should never eat bubble gum…seriously, don’t give them gum, readers.
4. Ruth from Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)
- Episodes: 24
- Air Date: October 2017- March 2018
Haven’t you ever wished you could log your pet dog in the eye and have a human conversation with him or her? We do quite often—as it would make raising dogs a bit easier at times—but with Ruth from Mahoutsukai no Yome, your wish would finally come true. We first meet Ruth as a grim black garbed young man who seems lost due to losing his sister. However, we learn that Ruth was originally a dog to his owner and the two were best friends till her unfortunate passing. Thus, Ruth took on a different form and became a human, but when he meets Chise he realizes his true form and begins to often stay in dog form as Chise’s familiar. Still, the fact that Ruth can become human and a powerful dog with magical attributes make for one heck of a comrade in a magical world.
3. Ein from Cowboy Bebop
- Episodes: 26
- Air Date: April 1998- April 1999
They say that many dogs can be sometimes as smart as humans if they are raised right. Being enhanced through experimentation though might also help a dog increase their IQ to super human level. That very theme is what makes Ein take our number three spot on our list of the Top 10 Anime with Dogs as sidekicks list. Ein doesn’t do a whole lot in the Cowboy Bebop story, but he does help the Bebop team solve some problems such as when they are almost annihilated by an alien fungus from the fridge. Ein’s smarts make for a dog that needs little watching and taking care of. God, we wish more dogs were as smart as Ein. We’d never have to worry about training them or our housings getting torn apart ever again…
2. Akamaru from Naruto
- Episodes: 220
- Air Date: October 2002- February 2007
Man’s best friend is a role Akamaru fills out in strides within the Naruto franchise. Originally a small dog with a strong sense of loyalty to Kiba—his owner—Akamaru is a serious beast as the Naruto series goes forward. During the Naruto Shippuden story, Akamaru has grown nearly 10x his original size and thus, becomes a dog that Kiba can ride and rely on heavily when the stakes are high. We would all love to own a dog that could legit be used for riding and butt-kicking purposes like Akamaru. Just...we also don’t want the mess we’d have to clean up if Akamaru were to do his business indoors…
1. Sadaharu from Gintama
- Episodes: 201 (Season 1)
- Air Date: April 2006- March 2010
Loyal, strong, powerful and obedient are things we all look for in a good anime dog. That’s why we knew that our number one spot had to go to Sadaharu from the famous Gintama series. Sadaharu might have a cute face that begs you to run and hug him, but seeing as how he’s a literal giant dog—the wikia has Sadaharu at 5 feet 7 inches seated—we’d be a bit afraid of getting literally crushed. Sadaharu has proven his worth saving the world and his partners numerous times in Gintama and equally has stolen our hearts here at Honey’s Anime. Besides, what other dog gains a special super form if he drinks strawberry milk?! How wicked is that, folks?
As wacky as anime can be dogs seem to act as a middle ground for the real-world and the animated one. Dogs can come in so many shapes, sizes and forms in anime that we barely scratched the surface talking about all the pet animal friends in the anime landscape. Have any other recommendations of awesome dogs in anime? Let us know in the comments below! For more articles just like this one, be sure to keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime! Now if you’ll excuse us…we need to go hug our dogs and spend some time with them.