We all love characters who use guns. They ooze strength, confidence, danger, mystery, and violence all at once. Some of the most well-known gunslingers have similar personalities, but it doesn’t make them any less intriguing and entertaining. If you’re anything like me then you just can’t get enough of well-animated, fast-paced, bullet-time action from bad ass characters.
Here is a list of characters that will deliver on all those fronts. There are several anime that have multiple gunslingers, I decided to only pick one of them in those cases. I tended to choose the ones where a gun had a stronger impact on their character. For example, I didn’t choose Reborn (from Katekyo Hitman Reborn) just because he was a main character and fired a gun every now and then. But, I digress. Take a look at this list of Top 10 Gun Users in Anime!
10. Brandon Heat from Gungrave
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct 2003 - Mar 2004
Brandon Heat is the main protagonist from Gungrave. He was shot and killed by his former best friend, Harry McDowell, in a dramatic turn of events. Dr. Tokioka was able to “necro-rise” Brandon’s body and resurrect him as a deadman named Beyond the Grave. His sole mission is to enact revenge on Harry and the crime syndicate.
This reincarnation of Brandon still maintains most of his core values. Though, he is much quieter and prefers to allow his actions to speak. His signature weapons are a pair of large black magnums (with red and white crosses) known as Cerebus Left Head and Right Head. He doesn’t have any supernatural abilities at least when compared to other strong hitmen. However, he does appear to be able to sustain much more physical damage than he could as a regular man.
9. Revy from Black Lagoon
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 2006 - Jun 2006
The Lagoon Company is a mercenary group capable of locating and smuggling items. The group’s main gunslinger is Rebecca, usually referred to as Revy. Her ability to wield firearms is second to none in the Black Lagoon universe. At times, her ability to shoot and dodge bullets appears to be superhuman.
This dual-wielding, foul mouthed knockout loves slinging insults at the group’s newest member, Rock. Her rough personality and battle-hardened exterior is a defense she puts up to stop others from getting close. Her traumatic past has caused her to develop an attachment disorder that prevents her from ever sharing her true feelings, even with those she deeply cares about.
Her weapons of choice are a modified pair of Beretta 92FS’s. Though she has been shown to use a variety of firearms, she prefers to use these the majority of the time. Her ambidextrous capabilities have earned her the name “Two Hands” (very original…). Also, during fits of rage she succumbs to what is known as “Whitman Fever”. This is when she begins to indiscriminately shoot down anyone in her path, enemies and bystanders alike.
8. Colonnello from Katekyo Hitman Reborn
- Episodes: 203
- Aired: Oct 2006 - Sep 2010
As one of the “I Prescelti Sette” (Selective Seven) he was one of the strongest members of the mafia. However, the Arcabelono cursed was placed upon him leaving him in the form of a child. Even though he is the size of an infant, he retains his combat abilities and is able to emit the Dying Will Flame throughout his entire body.
Colonnello likes to dress in green army camouflage and carries several military weapons on him at all times. He is an expert in martial arts, firearms usage, and booby traps. His primary weapon is an anti-tank rifle. Often he charges up his Dying Will Flame and emits its energy through the rifle to create devastating attacks such as the Maximum Burst and Maximum Rifle.
Because of his expertise in traps and combat techniques he is often relied on to tutor the newer mafia members (namely the Vongola Decimo & Guardians). He shares several traits with his rival and friend, the most popular hitman of the series, Reborn. For example, they are both extremely strict tutors, they are world-renowned for their abilities, and they can takes naps with their eyes open.
7. Yoko Littner from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- Episodes: 27
- Aired: Apr 2007 - Sep 2007
After crash landing into Jeeha Village this curvy femme fatale became one of the original leaders of Team Gurren. From the beginning she was a formidable fighter who was capable of providing support through various firearms, most notably her long range sniper rifle. Her relationship with Simon and Kamina are core to the overall narrative of the series (especially Part 1).
Yoko went through many changes throughout the show, as did many of the characters, but through it all she maintained her core values and personality. Though she has an abrasive personality, underneath she is very caring, protective, and surprisingly knowledgeable for her age.
Her abilities are spotlighted early on in the series. She was shown capable of taking on multiple Gunmen without sustaining any injuries. Her skill in marksmanship allowed her to strike the Gunmen’s weak points from far distances. She is also a capable Gunmen pilot. On her own, she shot down several Anti-Spiral ships. She is also one of the few to have piloted Gurren Lagann with Simon.
6. Dante from Devil May Cry
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jun 2007 - Sep 2007
This Son of Sparda is one of the most stylish demon-hunters to walk the earth. Dante is a show-off at heart and never passes up the opportunity to talk smack to his opponents. Even though he has demon blood flowing through his veins he maintains a powerful hold on his responsibility to protect humanity and rid the world of evil.
Dante is usually seen sporting his Rebellion sword and his trade mark semi-automatic pistols, Ebony and Ivory. His custom M1911-style handguns have been modified with many upgrades but the most important thing is that they’re able to inflict heavy damage on various demon hordes. His seemingly limitless supply of ammo allows him to blast through weaker monsters and annoy/distract the stronger demons while he comes up with a proper method for destroying them.
His dual-wielding abilities, demonic abilities, and penchant for wearing red create similarities with another person further up on this list.
5. Marian Cross from D. Gray-man
- Episodes: 103
- Aired: Oct 2006 - Sep 2008
Marian is a very unique character. First off, his appearance is striking. He is a tall man with crimson colored hair. He wears a Phantom of the Opera-esque mask and sports a red goatee as well. Secondly, he seems to have a very inconsistent personality. At times he is very cold, unsympathetic, and harsh (especially to Allen).
Some would call it stoic behavior. But, he has another side which likes to make extravagant bets, gamble, drink expensive wine, and fraternize with beautiful women. He’s also famous for disappearing for years at a time and acting on his own. Several times throughout the series it’s very unclear whether he’s in hiding or whether he has been killed by one of the various demons and people out to kill him.
Marian’s impressive list of abilities include: marksmanship, sorcery, aptitude for science, and “akuma modification”. Marian’s Innocence (anti-demon weapon) takes on the form of a large caliber revolver known as “Judgement”. With it, he is capable of firing at such high speeds that even some of the most powerful demons cannot keep track of them. One of Judgement’s most fascinating abilities is called “Bullets of Condemnation”. These bullets, once fired, always find their mark. They don’t stop even if they have to tear throw creatures or structures along the way.
4. Vash from Trigun
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr 1998 - Sep 1998
Vash (full nickname: Vash the Stampede) is one of the most wanted criminals and has a bounty of $$60 billion (double dollars). He and his twin brother, Knives, are interdimensional beings that can generate large amounts of energy. Some common characteristics of these beings (Plants) are: extended lifespan, superhuman abilities, and weapon generation.
Vash is the compassionate of the two and he still has hope for humanity. He refuses to kill anybody who opposes him or tries to catch him for the bounty. Sometimes this backfires and he sustains damage due to his moral choices.
The Humanoid Typhoon’s (another nickname) weapon of choice is the Colt 45. Vash’s .45 caliber revolver was custom made by Knives. Vash was given the silver model while his brother kept the black. His superhuman agility, eyesight, and reflexes allow him to use the colt far better than any human being. Within this weapon is the trigger needed for Vash to unleash his ultimate ability: Angel Arm. His arm transforms into a powerful cannon capable of easily destroying cities in a single blast.
3. Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr 1998 - Apr 1999
Spike is a bounty hunter. Who travels through space on the spaceship Bebop, piloted by former ISSP member Jet Black. Together they search for fugitives to capture and turn in for reward money. Spike is a tall, thin man usually dressed in a blue leisure suit. Though he is highly skilled in hand to hand combat and has a troubled past as a member of a crime syndicate he maintains a very laidback attitude.
Spike is very philosophical in his approach to life. He believes that he may have actually died years ago in a gruesome shootout. So, he goes through life in a somewhat dream-like trance. He doesn’t feel anxiety or fear during fatal situations. He allows his carefree mentality and lady luck to guide him on his journey through space.
Complimenting his various martial arts techniques is his aptitude for weaponry. His gun of choice is the Jericho 941. He’s also shown using a Ruger P85 and several types of explosives. He also flies a modified asteroid racer called Swordfish II. This craft is armed with machine guns, a plasma cannon, and multiple missile launchers.
2. Death the Kid from Soul Eater
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: Apr 2008 - Mar 2009
Death the Kid, or just Kid, one of the top students of the Death Weapon Meister Academy and the son of Death himself. Kid is a young teenager who is filled with pride and looks forward to one day taking over the position of Shinigami. Appearance-wise he is short, has black hair with white stripes (Lines of Sanzu), wears a black suit with white rectangles, and his peculiar eyes. His eyes have yellow circles around the pupils.
Kid is filled with the traits of someone looking to take on a position of immense power, such as a prince. He has a strong sense of right and wrong. He holds that belief that the world must maintain a balance of “good” and “evil”. He desires to create a world where this equilibrium exists and where people do not kill one another. He does have a dark side that usually comes out when someone he cares about is insulted. But, usually he has a calm demeanor. He accepts authority, but is not afraid to question it. Overall, he exemplifies a true leader growing from a child to an adult.
Kid is one of the most powerful characters in the Soul Eater universe. Most of his innate potential and abilities come from the fact that he is a god. His enhanced physiology renders him immune to toxins and he can regenerate extremely fast. He also has enhanced strength, durability, and speed. He has a wide set of abilities available to him due to his Shinigami powers, a few of those include: Execution Mode, Madness of Order, Death God Taijutsu, and Gun-Type Meister.
His weapons of choice are the Demon Twin Guns. These silver and black M9’s take on various forms as Kid awakens more of his Lines of Sanzu. He is able to compress his soul wavelength and fire it through the guns towards his intended target. He holds his guns upside-down (firing with his pinkies), though no one would dare call him out on it since his gunslinging abilities are second to none.
1. Alucard (Hellsing Ultimate)
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: Feb 2006 - Dec 2012
Alucard is the infamous vampire-turned-soldier for the Hellsing Organization. He is their most powerful weapon and the protagonist of the Hellsing series. His physical appearance changes depending on the state of his abilities. Typically he wears a charcoal suit, leather riding boots, and a knotted red cravat, covered by a full-length red frock overcoat with a cape. He also sometimes sports a red fedora and a pair of wire-framed orange sunglasses.
Born in 1431, he was known as Vlad III Dracula. Later, through his exploits in battle, he earned the nickname “Vlad the Impaler”. During a bloody war he was captured by the Turks. Before he was executed he drank the blood from fallen soldiers on the battlefield. He accepted the power of darkness and became the first vampire. Centuries later, the events from Brahm Stoker’s Dracula would take place. That is where he was eventually defeated by Abraham Van Helsing and began his connection with the Hellsing family line.
Alucard is easily the most powerful vampire in existence. His powers are near infinite and as varied as they come. To name a few of his abilities: immortality, superhuman strength and speed, ultimate regeneration, shape-shifting, telekinesis, and telepathy.
His signature weapons are his over-sized handguns named Casull and Jackal. Casull is a semi-automatic handgun based on designs by Samuel Colt. Jackal is a massive, custom automatic handgun made specifically for Alucard. Both guns are extremely modified with unique specifications. However, both fire armor piercing 13mm rounds. These guns, coupled with Alucard’s incredible speed and accuracy, are usually enough to handle most supernatural threats. If these don’t cut it he has no problem breaking out any of one his demonic powers to take down his enemy in a vicious manner.
I think there’s a good variety in this list. We’ve got some kids, women, hitmen, a demon, a vampire, and even an alien. I truly feel that gun users really do add a layer of action and intensity to anime. Here’s a thought: is it a coincidence that some of the most popular anime ever created have a main character who is a gunslinger?
Most of these characters are widely known to the average anime viewer. But, I hope I was able to introduce one or two characters to you. Definitely check out these shows if you haven’t seen them yet… but don’t be in a rush to check out Devil May Cry. (Dante is amazing, but his show leaves much to be desired.) Anyway, that’s my list for you guys today. Hope you enjoyed it!