As this is an updated article, please, don't forget to read the one down below as well!
The anime world is full of guys with the strangest hair colors. There are a lot of eye-catching characters with green, pink, white, or even blue hair, not to mention the purple-haired ones. Those are the characters with high visual impact, the ones the viewers are most attracted to. Therefore, probably, the less attractive guys are the brown-haired ones. Because, let's just be honest: brown hair usually screams “plain”, or “average”.
If that is true, it's also true – or maybe, that's exactly why – that the characters whose appearances are just too normal are those who can steal the viewer's hearts with good deeds or a unique personality. That's why, this is a ranking meant to list up ten brown-haired boys, who at a first glance may have looked just too plain or ordinary, but were able to show their true, more vivid, colors through their actions. Stick with us until the end, and enjoy!
10. Eiji Niizuma from Bakuman.
- Episodes: 75
- Air Date: October 2010 – March 2013
Let's start this ranking out with the aspiring manga artists, Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi! These two boys wanted to create a manga, and so they joined forces to pursue their dream; in fact, while Moritaka wants to follow his uncle's steps as an illustrator, Akito has to take care of the plot. Struggling in the world of the comics is no easy task, there are a lot of rivals and the competition is merciless. Guess who their number one rival is? Eiji Niizuma, the genius able to draw with the minimum effort, obtaining the greatest results!
This brown-haired boy called Eiji Niizuma is visually plain – he wears a brown tracksuit all the time – but his personality is volcanic! Sometimes he can seem a bit naive, but his way of acting is funny and even though he is the rival of the protagonist, he is actually lovable. A bit too conceited at times, turning abruptly serious when the situation requires, stating clever responses, or just speaking a strange language only he can understand, this brown-haired character is simply amazing.
9. Houtarou Oreki from Hyouka
- Episodes: 22
- Air Date: April 2012 – September 2012
What if you're bored with basically every thing, but suddenly you're forced to join the Classic Club of your high school? And what if this turns you into a little detective, even though you simply wanted to conserve your energy? That's what happens to Houtarou Oreki, who finds himself caught up into discovering the truth about works created by the club years prior. Together with Eru Chitanda and other two friends, he will say goodbye to boredom and welcome to fun, love, and friendship!
Houtarou Oreki is quiet and seems to be unaffected by things happening around him. Lazy, energy-conservative, bored: seemingly what you would expect from a brown-haired character? Not a chance! If on one side he wishes to save energy, on the other, he acts differently. He always does his homework, and in the end, he put his efforts into the club. What's more, Oreki is clever and smart: he demonstrates an ability at solving mysteries like a little detective and helped out Eru Chitanda when she was in a time of need. Not without complaints, but still, we recognize how lovely he is!
8. Nice from Hamatora The Animation
- Episodes: 24
- Air Date: January 2014 – September 2014
“Minimum Holder” is a person born with superpowers, giving them various abilities. Nice and Murasaki are a detective duo wielding those powers, working as “The Hamatora”. They try to solve those cases who no one else could solve: those involving the Minimum Holders. Their business seems on the verge of failing, though, because Nice is always ditching the money part and takes jobs that exceed the costs...
Nice is yet another brown-haired boy who clearly shows how having brown hair doesn't imply being ordinary. Firstly, he is a Minimum Holder, so he wields super-powers like “seeing” the sound, or manipulate it. If this wasn't enough, his personality is something else: seemingly absent-minded, actually a sharp thinker, he is able to solve basically every case, with little regard for the money part. Let's not forget another thing: he is a great friend, always prone to help. He needed to be in this ranking!
7. Kenji Gion from All Out!!
- Episodes: 25
- Air Date: October 2016 – March 2017
Let's go on with high school rugby players! It's the entrance ceremony at Kanagawa High School, and Kenji Gion falls in love with rugby. Together with his classmate – the whiny Iwashimizu – he joins the rugby club, without knowing any of the rules, and in spite him being very small and always teased because of it.
Can you imagine something even more ordinary than a small Japanese high school boy, with brown hair? They say that the best things come in small packages, and with Gion it's true. This little boy is actually the biggest. His determination works as the motivation, in a team who had lost hope, that comes across as a paradox, since Gion doesn't even know how to play rugby. His way of going berserk whenever he is called shrimp is funny. This noisy, little brown-haired boy is the most eye-catching among all those big, muscled boys in the team. Isn't it enough to put Gion in this ranking?
6. Kensuke Hanasaki from Trickster: Edogawa Ranpo “Shounen Tanteidan” Yori
- Episodes: 24
- Air Date: October 2016 – March 2017
The “Boys Detective Club” is an investigation firm founded by Akechi Kogorou. One of its members is Kensuke Hanasaki, a trouble-maker high school boy. The fated meeting with Kobayashi changes Hanasaki's life for good. Kobayashi is a boy without memories, who is unable to die. The two of them make a deal: Kobayashi has to help Hanasaki solve some case, while Hanasaki help Kobayashi find a way to die.
Hanasaki is always optimistic, smiling and seemingly carefree. That is just one side of a problem child with a difficult relationship with his father. In fact, Hanasaki feels lonely, abandoned, and like no one cares about him. He puts all his efforts in the Boys Detective Club, and his determination pops up especially when he keeps trying befriending Kobayashi, the other problem child with an abusive past. Hanasaki is like a little puppy to cuddle, and sometimes a little brother to punch in the face. He is definitely not an ordinary brown-haired boy!
5. Haruto Tokishima from Valvrave The Liberator (Kakumeiki Valvrave)
- Episodes: 24
- Air Date: April 2013 – December 2013
Haruto Tokishima is our brown-haired boy living a peaceful life in space, in a division called Module 77. One day, the Dorssian Military Pact Federation invades the Module, and Haruto is forced by some circumstances to become a Valvrave pilot. But little did he know that entering the Valvrave would mean giving up his humanity and becoming something similar to a vampire...
In the beginning of the show, not only Haruto looked plain ordinary with his brown hair, but he was totally uncool – too weak and accommodating. Episode by episode, though, this amazing boy showed his true self. He put himself on the front line against the Dorssian army, in order to save his friends and their families. He gave up his humanity, and yet he struggled not to throw his human part away. Haruto protected the girl he loved and didn't step back even when he understood what destiny awaited him at the end. We love a brown-haired boy like him.
4. Sentarou Kawabuchi from Kids on the Slope (Sakamichi no Apollon)
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: April 2012 – June 2012
Let's get to our 4th position with a jazz-lover boy, Sentarou Kawabuchi. Kaoru Nishimi is a top student and a boy who, due to some circumstances, moved from place to place since he was very little. When he arrives in Kyushu, he meets a delinquent high school boy – our Sentarou – who will inspire Kaoru, able to play the piano, to learn more about jazz.
The fact that Sentarou isn't average is noticeable from the beginning. He is a trouble maker, and he is feared by everyone, as he is scrappy. What's more, he is frequently seen with wounds or band-aids on. This scary brown-haired boy is the opposite of what he looks like. He is a drummer: he loves jazz more than anything else. He is not a thug; he is just a straightforward boy, with a big heart, and he likes helping others.
3. Keiichi Katakura from Rainbow Days (Nijiiro Days)
- Episodes: 24
- Air Date: January 2016 – June 2016
Nijiiro Days revolves around four male friends – Nacchan, Mattsun, Tsuyo-pon, and Kei-chan. These high school boys face their teenage years with ups and downs, struggling to confess to the girls they like, being dumped, suffering from delusional love, and so on. The constant in their lives is their relationship: a true friendship bond that can overcome any hardship.
Keiichi Katakura is the most plain-looking of the four friends. With Nacchan the blondie, Tsuyo-pon the black-haired nerd, and the Latin lover, pink-haired Mattsun, a brown-haired boy seems to be doomed. Not Kei-chan, though. In spite his looks being the most average, his personality is twisted; he is always smiling and kind, so he seems harmless. But what if he is an extreme sadist, who carries a whip with him?! Yes, a portable whip by which he can threaten his friends, above all Nacchan. Now you know how brown-haired doesn't mean innocuous.
2. Twelve “Touji Hisami, Sphinx #2” from Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror)
- Episodes: 11
- Air Date: July 2014 – September 2014
Six months after a terrorist attack on a nuclear facility in Japan, two teenage boys – calling themselves Sphinx – make and upload a video on the internet challenging the police. They promise to destroy Tokyo and sow chaos. While in the beginning, it all seems like some kind of sick joke, Sphinx aren't joking at all. The terror begins, and the epilogue will be devastating!
One of the two members of Sphinx is the brown-haired boy called Twelve. We're in front of another twisted boy. All of Twelve's contradictions are a result of a traumatic stay in a children's institution, but what a character he is. Twelve is a jokester, he looks easygoing and carefree, but he can easily turn into a ruthless and violent person, capable of horrible acts. Then again, he is a good friend, very loyal, and dependable, yet when it's time to choose between love and friendship... He chooses love. But it's with his brave deeds that this brown-haired boy can steal the viewers' hearts, though!
1. Shinichi Izumi from Parasyte -the maxim- (Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu)
- Episodes: 24
- Air Date: October 2014 – March 2015
Our first position simply had to be the ultimate plain brown-haired boy, with glasses! Shinichi Izumi is actually your average high school student, with a normal life and a beautiful family. His ordinary days end when a parasite enters his body and, failing to subjugate his brain, it takes the place of his right hand. A human teenage boy and a parasite start to coexist in the same body, and it's not always a peaceful coexistence, as Shinichi keeps being targeted by other parasites and either he has to fight, or run away!
Shinichi Izumi loses all of his brown-haired boy's plainness when he begins to stand up for himself. A tragic event turns him into a strong person, who keeps his human part alive in spite everything. We witness his evolution, episode by episode we see his growth; from a scared boy running away from danger, to full-fledged fighter able to face the parasites head on. Now tell us if he didn't deserve our first position!
See? We just gave you proof that when a brown-haired anime boy catches your eyes, it's because he is really worth it. Brown-haired boys aren't plain, boring or average. Instead, being normal-looking hides wonders! Whether it's for their sparkling personality, for their cute sides, or for their deeds, they can be exceptionally out of the common, as well, and probably the most beautiful and lovable ones. Let us know what you think in the comments below, and if you know other brown-haired boys that could have fit in this list!
In anime, brown-haired boys can almost be seen as too normal. Considering pink, blue, white, green, or even ultra-red hair seem to be protagonist oriented, it’s not too hard to wonder why you might gloss over someone with brown hair. It says, “Hey, I’m just your average guy,” which isn’t the goal for a lot of anime.
Nonetheless, when a guy does grab your attention and he has brown hair, then you know he must be an interesting character. He simply has to be as there is no other reason as to why you’ve suddenly gravitated towards him. Thus this list is a shout-out to all those brown-haired boys who own our attention.
10. Haruhiro from Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2016 – March 2016
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is burning up the anime scene and spearheading that charge is the leading thief Haruhiro. Not only does he deserve bonus points for being an acrobatic thief, but so far he’s showing off incredible leadership qualities and vast future potential for development.
From the beginning, he seemed like a nice enough guy and a trustworthy narrator. But as the story continues, he’s becoming even more likeable. With the new responsibility as leader, he consistently takes into consideration the feelings and actions of everyone within his party. He is forcing himself to be more considerate and open in order to ensure their safety and success, and he’s willing to open up to the group in order to let them feel like they are in a safe environment to share their own frustrations. Oh, and the scene with him letting go of Manato’s ashes has been one of the most impactful moments this anime season.
9. Kyon from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya)
- Episodes: 28
- Aired: Apr. 2006 – Sep. 2009
Never has being normal looked so cool, albeit, Kyon’s life is anything but normal. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya took the anime community by storm in 2006 with its eccentric characters, deceptive plot, and its addictive dance. However, what and who held the show together was the seemingly normal Kyon. His narrative throughout the series not only helped viewers keep a logical track of what was going on, but set a sense of nostalgia that contrasted well with the quirkiness of the show.
It’s his sense of normality that not only enhances the glorious unpredictability of the show, but make you consistently question what is the truth behind this world where aliens, time travelers, and espers exist. Also, his expressions are always on point whether they demonstrate his exhaustion or incredulous.
8. Naota from FLCL
- Episodes: 6
- Aired: Apr. 2000 – Mar. 2001
FLCL tells one of the most unique coming of age stories in any medium as it follows the growth of Naota. It’s ridiculous, zany, hectic, action-packed, depressing, and heartwarming within the span of six episodes. That is not an easy feat, and it’s not an easy feat to do all of that and receive universal recognition instead of receiving classification as a cult classic.
Naota is the focal point of the show, and the beautiful depiction of his struggles and maturity are what allow the show to go off on its eccentricities with such ease. It’s truly mesmerizing to watch him grow from a sniveling kid into a godly dual ‘axe’ wielding being of uncomparable strength, who is capable of deciding for himself what to fight for. By the end, this kid who was easily manipulated and dependent on others for defining himself takes his life in his own hands and puts everyone else into a tailspin.
7. Misaki Takahashi from Junjou Romantica
- Episodes: 36
- Aired: Apr. 2008 – Sep. 2015
When Junjo Romantica came out in 2008, it started popping up everywhere, and really reached into a much larger audience than any yaoi anime had before. This could partly be due to the fact that Hulu and a lot of other major hosting sites had it in their archives, but a lot of its appeal simply comes down to Misaki Takahashi.
This guy’s love for his brother, raw emotional innocence, and overall stubbornness won a lot of people over. It’s rare to be rooting and cheering for the guy you want to smack over the head, but Misaki definitely accomplishes this mix of emotions. It really is something special to watch him mature and achieve success even it 90% of his determination comes from wanting to prove others wrong.
6. Suzaku Kururugi from Code Geass
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: Oct. 2006 – Sep. 2008
This list wouldn’t be complete without the sword of Lelouch, the White Knight Suzaku Kururugi. When it comes down to being a man of action few can beat this Knightmare pilot. He constantly puts himself at the center of battle and faces impossible odds. However, he always comes out on top, like when he beat the Knight of One, Bismarck Waldstein.
On top of it all he is one of the most determined characters in anime when it comes to achieving his idealistic society. He will go so far as to let himself essentially be abandoned. In fact, he lets this happen twice, as he assassinates his father when he’s only a child and then again when he kills Lelouch and thus sacrifices “all of [his] own happiness for the world.”
5. Heath Hasekura from Prince of Stride!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Currently Airing
More so than either Riku or Takeru, Heath feels like the real face of Prince of Stride. He’s a true veteran of Stride and acts as the backbone for the Honan Academy Stride club. His decision to take on the role of captain and keep the club alive, despite not being able to compete, just shows how strong-willed he is.
On top of that, he has the most well-rounded personality as his mood and dialogue continuously switches depending on who he’s dealing with. For example, when dealing with Tasuku from Saisei he’s mainly annoyed and extremely competitive. However, when talking to Yu, the Relationer from Mihashi, he’s calm and supportive. His range of emotion simply outclasses that of most other characters as you can almost guess what everyone else is going to say. Plus, if you’re type is a guy with broad shoulders, then he is quite a nice piece of eye candy.
4. Eren Jeager from Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr. 2013 – Sep. 2013
4. Eren Jeager from Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
Few can really deny the impact and appeal of Attack on Titan. It brought about a unique feudal dystopia and did not waste any time destroying the innocence of its protagonist, Eren Jeager. However, part of the glory behind Eren is that he wasn’t all that innocent in the first place. It’s not that he was particularly evil, but he had taken someone’s life at a very young age. Admittedly, he was saving Mikasa and considering the situation, he didn’t have many options to depend upon.
Despite all those extra circumstances and his inherent self-sacrificing nature, the show does a good job classifying Eren as a force of chaotic good. They successfully portray this throughout the first season by consistently showing Eren’s complete hatred of Titans. This hate is clearly an obsession and one should always question the mental reasoning of becoming a monster to defeat one. Nonetheless, it’s because of these questionable traits that make Eren such a compelling protagonist. That, plus his insane Titan form fights.
3. Oikawa from Haikyu!!
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr. 2014 – Sep. 2014
3.Oikawa from Haikyu!!
When a character’s favorite saying is: “If you’re going to hit, hit it until it breaks,” then you know some girls and guys are going to get a nosebleed. If you haven’t given the volleyball sensation that is Haikyu!! a shot, then now’s the time to get acquainted with the show and its massive lineup of characters. Now, if you’re wondering where Oikawa fits on the list, he’s actually the captain of one of the primary rival schools for Karasuno, the team of our heroes.
Though we only get glimpses of him, in which he is generally accompanied by flocks of girls, we are given an in-depth portrait of the character in the final episodes. You might have found his looks and skill attractive as is, but upon seeing how his talent has come through endless studying and practice, it’s hard to look away. Not only is he simply hardworking but he’s analytical, careful, and dangerous in every sense of the word. He knows how to read people, and is capable of pushing them to greater heights or simply pushing their buttons.
2. Makoto Tachibana from Free!
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Jul. 2013 – Sep. 2014
2. Makoto from Free!
Well, all of the guys from Free! have bodies to die for, but Makoto isn’t just on this list, because he has brown hair on top of a fabulous body. Makoto is possibly one of the gentlest and most thoughtful characters in recent anime. He was elected president of the swimming club because more than anyone else he is extremely open-minded and can make friends with just about anyone.
Outside of being able to read Haru like a book, Mako-chan is the most self-sacrificing character in the group. He tackles his fear of swimming in the ocean to ensure his group can train as they desire to, as well as puts his life on the line to save Rei during a storm. That plan fails, but how quickly he jumped to action definitely deserves some applause and recognition. On top of it all, he’s great with kids. SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED THE SERIES: instead of pursuing a professional or even college swimming career, he decides to become a swim instructor in order to show kids the joys of swimming.
1. Light Yagami from Death Note
- Episodes: 37
- Aired: Oct. 2006 – Jun. 2007
Light is an impossibly smart student who decides to forego life after death by using the supernatural powers of the Death Note. Really, what more needs to be said? He is simply one of those characters that you cannot take your eyes away from, because he is so incredibly dynamic. His nature is that akin to Lucifer from Paradise Lost, as you see him set out to create something beautiful and almost want to cheer for him.
Heck, a lot of people were cheering for Light and would have preferred his absolute victory. However, you can’t deny that his methods are rather questionable as he makes himself out to be a literal god. Either way, he is fascinating to watch throughout the whole show, and when you can be fascinated watching a guy write names and eat chips, it says quite a lot.
Basically, brown hair might be normal, but it’s by no means indicative of a boring character. A lot of interesting characters don the hue of normalcy only to prove that they are the most awesome of all. So here’s to the continuation of brown-haired boys who make cosplay easier for those of us with brown hair. Please comment and let us know if you have a brown-haired boy that belongs on this list!