Teamwork and camaraderie is usually a big thing in most anime. Going alone into battle or facing a drama filled situation tends to be seen as a bad idea most of the time. However, that doesn’t stop some anime characters from dealing with the world and its various challenges alone, rarely ever relying on others for assistance. Here at Honey’s Anime, we have to commend these loners as they might be a bad example to follow in the real world but in the fictional anime world they are pretty darn cool. Join us as we talk about these brave—and sometimes quirky—people in our Top 10 Loners in Anime list.
10. Takumi Nishijou from Chaos; Head
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct, 2008- Dec, 2008
Takumi Nishijou isn’t a popular guy in the world of Chaos; Head. Instead, Takumi is what we call a NEET or basically a shut in. Besides being a NEET, Takumi also has problems with keeping reality from fantasy in check. Due to his obsession with anime and video games, our man Takumi literally sees his fictional love as being real and hanging around him while he games. Takumi might be considered by many to be far from what is cool, but we here at Honey’s Anime can defend Takumi a bit and show why there are some good elements to this loner.
Known as a gigalomaniac, Takumi’s weird delusions of his fictional girl can be explained. With the ability to make delusions appear real, Takumi can alter the world around him—to some degree—and that is a pretty interesting power to say the least. Takumi as well as several girls find themselves using these powers in Chaos; Head to stop an evil corporation who plans on using their skills for corrupt reasons. Thus, despite our hero being anything but a loner, Takumi rises up and helps rid the world of a potential danger. Goes to show you that despite being a NEET our Takumi does become a hero…which happens a lot in the anime world.
9. Naota Nandaba from FLCL (Fooly Cooly)
- Episodes: 6
- Aired: Apr, 2000- Mar, 2001
Growing up can be quite a battle. If you a loner, life can be even tougher as you deal with your own emotions and fight your own internal struggles. That’s the battle Naota Nandaba faces in FLCL. Loving a girl who loves his older brother, being a teenager in a boring place, and struggling to deal with social issues are just a few of the relatable issues Naota faces within the crazed FLCL series. Though why does Naota stand out from other anime loners? Simple, he has the help of a butt-kicking alien girl and a robot warrior summoned from his forehead to back him up.
All jokes aside, Naota is a pretty cool teenager in the anime world. Back when we were teens—long ago for some of us—Naota’s frustrations and attempts at being cool were ways we got by during our darker moments in life. Growing up was a constant war of attrition and Naota deals with it splendidly in FLCL. That’s why we have our eyes glued to FLCL Progressive, which is currently airing as of this article in the West. We can only hope the new cast in FLCL Progressive show themselves to be cool loners just like Naota did in the original FLCL series back in 2001.
8. Houtarou Oreki from Hyouka
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: Apr, 2012- Sept, 2012
We admire hard workers here at Honey’s Anime HQ. There’s something refreshing about someone doing what needs to be done even if the job can be a bit tough or tedious. Houtarou Oreki from Hyouka is someone we admire for that very reason. Pessimism is the best word to describe Houtarou, but equally, he is someone who despite his lack of energy, gets things done when they need to be. Let’s talk about Houtarou Oreki a bit more and show off some of his better traits despite being a loner.
Hyouka’s story begins with Houtarou being forced to join a dying club—in this case, the classic literature club—at the request of his sister. Even though Houtarou has no interest in club, he still joins which shows he’s a pretty caring brother. Houtarou gets more than he bargains for when he ends up meeting Eru Chitanda who unlike the listless Houtarou is constantly filled with energy and drive. Houtarou doesn’t bail from Eru though and the two end up becoming closer as Hyouka goes on. Houtarou still is a loner in our minds though and he does things because he wants to not because others tell him to, which is a good trait to sometimes embody.
7. Tatsuhiro Satou from NHK ni Youkoso! (Welcome to the N.H.K.)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jul, 2006- Dec, 2006
After our high school years and as we enter the workforce or college, life can become tougher in ways we sometimes aren’t prepared for. Many of us see this as a challenge though and face the world with a stiff upper lip and don’t back down from the curve balls thrown at us. Tatsuhiro Satou though isn’t one of those examples. Tatsuhiro instead decided that life was too cruel and that the government was creating a conspiracy against him to stop him from enjoying life. This ends up making Tatsuhiro flee from the world, become a NEET and thus in the process also becomes a loner.
Loners like Tatsuhiro are those who rather stay home, rely on their parents for income and avoid the dangers of the world outside each and every day. While we won’t say this is a bad way to live—nor will we say it’s a good one either—in Tatsuhiro’s case, the loner lifestyle he chose is kind of silly. Constantly believing the world is an enemy and that the NHK—which is a television group in Japan—is trying to stop him, Tatsuhiro would be considered crazy to most. Luckily, Tatsuhiro’s loner lifestyle changes when he meets Misaki who claims she can cure him of his NEET ways. The road for Tatsuhiro and recovery begins here but during that process our MC stays a loner for the most part and it’s why we love him so much here at Honey’s Anime.
6. Tomoko Kuroki from Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! (WataMote: No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Unpopular!)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul, 2013- Sept, 2013
Dating sims are games that allow men—or women—to date fictional characters and engage in virtual love. Unfortunately, many who play dating sims can sometimes become too obsessed by them, especially in the anime world. One such character that is a shining example of this is Tomoko Kuroki. Hailing from the comedy drama called Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!, Tomoko shows the world what happens when dating sims become an obsession that makes reality almost impossible to deal with. When this phenomenon occurs, people like Tomoko become loners and it makes their interactions in life sometimes hilarious.
In Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!, Tomoko often is seen avoiding people because she just doesn’t understand how to formulate words correctly and approach others in normal ways. Dating sims allow a player to pause the action and be given a set amount of choices to express to the other character and lead to results based on the choice inputted. As Tomoko from Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! gets older and tries to mingle with those of her age, she realizes that reality doesn’t offer that same set up and it makes for some rather hilarious comments from her as well as mannerisms at times. If you go onto Google right now and type in Tomoko Kuroki, we guarantee you’ll quickly find some of the most laugh out loud images of her trying to smile and or hang with others. Let Tomoko be an example to all of you readers out there that dating sims and real life are two different things entirely and rarely will a dating sim help you in the real world.
5. Hachiman Hikigaya from Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Apr, 2013- Jun, 2013
When you think of the word loner, you rarely think about the word romance. The two concepts go together in our minds like oil and water goes together. How can a loner fall in love and retain the definition of being a loner? It’s not possible, right? Enter Hachiman Hikigaya from Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru and you’ll realize maybe being a loner can get you a girl…sort of.
Hachiman is a pessimistic individual—seems common for a lot of loners—who sees the world’s ideals weak in comparison to his own. Aside from how narcissistic that sounds, Hachiman ends up becoming a loner quickly in school because of his attitude and aura that screams stay away from me. Hachiman doesn’t change much when he is forced to join a club that helps others but during the process he clearly starts to fall in love with Yukino Yukinoshita—who is similar to him in some ways—and the loner inside Hachiman begins to fade slightly. Hachiman’s loner ways though make this love story seem kind of impossible at the end of the day. Though we’ll always be rooting for Hachiman to win over Yukino as they just seem eerily perfect for one another, right?
4. Revy from Black Lagoon
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr, 2006- Jun, 2006
The city of Roannapur is filled with murder, drugs, gambling and crime. That’s why if one wishes to dwell in this sinful city and call it home, their persona must be tough and dark. Black Lagoon proves this by having a cast of women who are attractive but are far from those who need constant saving. Girls in Black Lagoon have strength and can be cruel to those they fell are weak or beneath them. These women don’t need men or need anyone in their lives and one of the best examples of a woman like this in Black Lagoon goes to Revy of the Lagoon Company.
Revy is hot, ill tempered, violent and rarely ever one to lend a helping hand to someone who needs help. Instead, Revy helps by usually causing damage with her twin cutlass pistols and smiles happily as her enemies fall victim to her attacks. While Revy might work with Rock, Bentley and Dutch—seeing as how they are a company together—that won’t stop her from doing whatever she thinks is right regardless of the consequences to follow. As far as tough loner girls go in the anime world, you can’t get any better than Revy from Black Lagoon. Revy is one of those waifu that you admire from a distance and pray you never meet a real life version like her…
3. Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto
- Episodes: 220
- Aired: Oct, 2002- Feb, 2007
In the Naruto series, our orange jumpsuit wearing ninja might be the main man but he isn’t seen by everyone as the best character despite the screen time he gets. Ironically, one of the better known—and liked—characters is the stoic and loner ninja, Sasuke Uchiha. From episode one to episode 220 and Naruto: Shippuden—which is the sequel to Naruto—Sasuke is a prideful ninja who cares less about comrades and more about becoming stronger. This character trait makes Sasuke come off as almost a villain at times but for those well versed in the Naruto lore they know better. As far as loners go, Sasuke is the best of the best and here’s why.
Born of the Uchiha clan, Sasuke was taught early on the meaning of being born with a lineage that demands a tough lifestyle that favors loners over those who rely on others. There are times where Sasuke relies on his team like Naruto and Sakura, but more often than not, Sasuke will go alone into the fray to test his own personal growth and to avoid being seen as reliant on assistance. Is this a good idea at times? No, there are numerous battles we wanted to yell at Sasuke through our monitors but those same battles were more exciting because he was going at it lone wolf style. Sasuke Uchiha will always be the best example of a loner warrior who might be easily agitated, stoic and to himself but is cooler because of it. Sasuke undergoes a lot of growth as the series progress which shows that you can be a loner as long as you’re learning how to be smarter about it.
2. Saitama from One Punch Man
- Episodes: 12
Saitama was once a normal businessman with no powers and no abilities. One day when he rescues a young boy from a dangerous evil doer, Saitama realizes he needs to change his life around. Undergoing intense training that causes him to become bold, Saitama becomes the living embodiment of strength. Able to defeat anyone with a single punch, Saitama becomes the strongest being alive. Unfortunately, that also means that Saitama begins to realize that with so much power, the hero life can become quite…boring.
Heroes in anime come in many shapes and sizes as we all know by now. Saitama is definitely one of the more peculiar heroes sporting a weird yellow suit and red glove uniform, but his actions make up for his lack of style. Though with being the strongest in the world, Saitama ends up being kind of a loner in the anime world because he has no competition and rarely does he want to associate with heroes under him. Saitama, we think, isn’t a loner by choice but more so a loner by raw skill. Or maybe Saitama is a loner because his outfit makes others want to not be around him…
1. Guts from Berserk
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct, 1997- Mar, 1998
Known as the Black Swordsman, our number one loner in anime goes to Guts from Berserk. The man who wields a massive sword in battle and has been given a ton of nicknames for his various feats in battle is easily the coolest loner in anime ever. Even when Guts joins the Band of the Hawk and when he gains his own team—though that’s later in the more recent series—Guts is still a man who does what he does and cares not about who questions him for it. Guts is a man who wishes to be alone often and it might come across a selfish at times but we know there’s more to his dark persona than meets the eye. We’ll wrap up our Top 10 Loners in Anime by giving our number one spot the praise he deserves.
Guts was born and bred on the battlefield. Forced to endure countless losses of friends and comrades, Guts has realized that being alone suits him because it gives him less of a headache and less chances to lose more people in his life. That’s why we sympathize with the brooding warrior clad in black. Being a loner in Guts’ case means he can just focus on killing evil beings and not losing more than he’s already lost. Guts is a strong loner and while he lives in a very fictitious world, we admire the strength to never go down without giving it your all in life.
In the real world, going at tough situations alone isn’t something many should do as asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness or should be seen as one. Though in the anime world, loners are usually just cool because they stand for accomplishing anything even if they must go about it without assistance or a team to help them out. Who are some of your favorite loners in anime? Did our list find the best of the best or did we forget to mention some? Tell us in the comments below and don’t stray to far from our hive for even more awesome articles curtsey of us here at Honey’s Anime.