We’ve all heard of the ojou-sama – an anime girl who acts like a princess and commands respect from everyone around her – but she actually has an equally pompous male counterpart called the ouji-sama. He’s powerful (or acts like he is), confident, respected, well-dressed, and might be conceited. He has a charming personality, usually has a fan club, and looks down on anyone who doesn’t work hard enough. So, won’t you join us as we peruse ten of the best ouji-sama characters in anime?
10. Louis from BEASTARS
This popular deer is president of the drama club and the school’s star actor, holding his head high and working diligently to become the next Sublime Beastar. His lead role in the school play is so important to him that he performs while injured and nearly causes permanent damage to himself, but it’s all worth it as long as he can hide how weak he feels on the inside. Louis knows that a carnivore could devour him at any moment, so he projects this carefully maintained image of confidence to ward off predators. Will he crack under all of this pressure...?
9. Ageuro Agnes Khun from Kami no Tou (Tower of God)
Khun is one of the first people Bam meets when he starts to climb the Tower of God and quickly becomes his faithful friend and teammate. With his strategic mind, unflappable demeanor, and briefcase that can hold/duplicate anything, Khun steamrolls over physically stronger opponents with ease and catches the attention of the Rankers who run the competition. They seem to recall rumors that he’s part of a noble family that fell into disgrace when Khun’s sister failed to become a Princess of Jahad, and that perhaps there might’ve been an incestuous relationship between the two, but Khun’s caginess about his past prevents them from digging any deeper. For now, anyway.
8. Shuu Tsukiyama from Tokyo Ghoul
Some princely characters don’t deserve respect, and Tsukiyama is a perfect example of one such person. Despite his elegant appearance and self-professed “gourmet” sensibilities, on the inside, he’s a serial killer and honest-to-god pedophile who obsesses over Kaneki to the point of sniffing the kid’s bloody handkerchief as if it were a pair of used underwear. He does improve himself slightly after working with Kaneki for a while, but we still think he should stay far away from minors for the foreseeable future.
7. Ayame Souma from Fruits Basket 1st Season
Yuki is regularly called the “prince of the school” and has his own (way too intense) fan club, but he’s so insecure deep down that the only princely things about him are his looks and polite demeanor. But if you’re looking for a real ouji-sama character in Fruits Basket, look no further than Yuki’s older brother Ayame. He’s a flamboyant bisexual roller coaster of a man who runs a cosplay/fetish clothing shop and constantly professes his love for his adorable younger brother. Some of this showboating is to make up for ignoring Yuki in his youth and allowing the Souma family’s suffering to continue without question for so long, but Ayame has grown to the point where he sincerely wants the best for everyone. Now if only he could communicate that without embroidering heartfelt messages of love on Yuki’s shirts...
6. Prince Gerald Stuart from Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta... (My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!)
Katarina’s royal fiancé is only one of several sophisticated suitors in her ever-growing harem, but we think he embodies the ouji-sama character type better than anyone else in the show. Gerald (or Geordo, depending on the translation) met Katarina as a child and grew to love her for her plucky personality and empathetic nature. This version of Gerald is still prim and proper, but instead of the “black-hearted prince” he was in Fortune Lover, he’s much more mellowed out and is willing to share the spotlight with the others as long as it makes Katarina happy. That’s what’s most important, after all!
5. Ciel Phantomhive from Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)
The earl of the Phantomhive house is a shrewd businessman, chess prodigy, expert marksman, and leader of a mafia-like organization called the “Aristocrats of Evil” – with such an impressive list of accomplishments, it’s hard to believe that he’s only 13! Although he can occasionally act like a spoiled rich kid, he knows exactly how to use his resources to accomplish his own morally dubious goals. Ciel has his sights set on revenge against the cult that tortured him and his family long ago, so much so that he’s even willing to sacrifice his soul to secure a contract with the powerful demon butler Sebastian. You could call Ciel many things, but “cowardly” is definitely not one of them.
4. Giorno Giovanna from JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 5: Ougon no Kaze (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind)
As the bastard son of Victorian gentleman Jonathan Joestar and his vampiric brother/body snatcher Dio Brando (it’s complicated), Giorno combines traits of both men to become one of the most blatantly anti-heroic JoJo protagonists to date. He’s kindhearted toward his friends and wants to make Italy a better place like Jonathan, but is cunning and downright ruthless to his enemies like Dio. Just because he has gorgeous curly blonde hair and wears a hot pink suit with a heart-shaped chest window doesn’t mean he can’t use his Stand to punch you within an inch of your life or subject you to a fate worse than death.
3. Howl from Howl no Ugoku Shiro (Howl’s Moving Castle)
Speaking of foppish blonde men who wear pink and can murder hordes of thugs with their eyes closed, the wizard Howl is next on our list! He starts out as a vain ladykiller who ineptly lashes out at his problems without really solving anything, but slowly matures into a better person with the help of a plain girl named Sophie who has been cursed to look like an old woman. Our favorite scene is when Sophie accidentally messes up Howl’s hair dyes and he throws a very dramatic tantrum (that includes summoning the spirits of darkness and nearly drowning in a pool of slime) because he can’t stand living if he can’t be beautiful.
2. Victor Nikiforov from Yuri!!! on Ice
Victor may not technically be royalty, but in the world of competitive figure skating, he’s treated like a god-emperor among men. He’s won five consecutive World Championships and Grand Prix Finals, as well as several other European championships by his late 20s. He’s well aware of his intimidating beauty and frequently turns on the charm to either inspire Yuuri or just embarrass him for his own amusement, but deep down, Victor is a kindhearted man who loves seeing passionate people reach their full potential. He and Yuuri make a perfect pair!
1. Tamaki Suoh from Ouran Koukou Host Club (Ouran High School Host Club)
We would be criminally remiss if we failed to give proper representation to the lord and savior of all ouji-samas past, present, and future – the illustrious Tamaki Suoh. He plays the perfect princely character during host club activities, wishing his customers luck in their romantic pursuits, but he’s actually pretty obtuse when it comes to his own love life. In the anime, he gets so caught up in his complicated family affairs that he almost leaves the school forever, but his true love saves him at the last moment. It’s difficult to achieve a satisfying balance between aristocratic and relatable in an ouji-sama character, but Tamaki is just right!
Other fantastic ouji-sama characters include Lelouch vi Britannia from Code Geass, Kaname Kuran from Vampire Knight, Prince Canute from Vinland Saga, and even Utena from Revolutionary Girl Utena (possibly the only female ouji-sama out there). But who are your favorite princely anime characters? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!