Top 10 Pirates in Anime

cobra the animation wallpaper

Everyone has had that dream of traveling the seven seas alongside their comrades on a long expedition around the world. Throughout that journey you dream to find a collection of valuable goods that you can treasure and celebrate after. It's those fantasies that paved the way for such popular films as Hook, and other great pirate films. So today we are going to take yet another journey across the ocean to find our top 10 pirates in anime.

Gather your equipment, prepare the sails, and let us embark on an adventure together to find the best pirate for our team.

10. Marika Katou from Bodacious Space Pirates (Mouretsu Pirates)

Marika Katou  Bodacious Space Pirates
dvd Bodacious Space Pirates
  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: January 8, 2012 – July 1, 2012

Cruising into the number ten spot on our top pirates in anime is Mouretsu Pirates own Marika. Mouretsu Pirates tells the story about Marika. She is a high school student and spends most of her time either working part time at a high class cafe, or lounging out in the space yacht club. However, all of this fun has a strange turn when Marika is approached by two unknown individuals claiming to know her deceased father. Suddenly they ask of her something no other high school student would ever expect, and that's to command their space pirate ship named Bentemaru.

Marika is such a colorful individual who really just wants to explore and live out her life. You can clearly see that in the activities she participates in, but also because she took the responsibility to command a ship her father once did. That not only takes some courage to even get up and leave your normal life behind, but also some skill to manage a full team of pirates. It's that confidence and drive that lands Marika on the list, because she shows us that no matter how the journey unfolds, just let go and run with it until it leads you somewhere.

wallpaper Bodacious Space Pirates

9. Mito Mitsukuni from Space Pirate Mito (Uchuu Kaizoku Mito no Daibouken)

Space Pirate Mito mito
Space Pirate Mito dvd
  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: January 5, 1999 – March 30, 1999

Landing in at number nine is Space Pirate Mito. Mito is not your ordinary pirate of the galaxy, as she seems to be a lot different than most. The story revolves her character, who is an alien who stands at a mere three feet but is the galaxy's most feared due to her extreme powers. This quirky space pirate anime focuses on her mission to be the number one space pirate, all the while focusing on just being an ordinary mom.

Mito makes her way onto the list of pirates because well, she is pretty cool for a character who only stands at three feet, and yet can destroy space cruisers in a matter of seconds. This proves that size means nothing and it is truly the size of ones heart and determination that count the most. Mito really isn't out to cause havoc however, as her main goal is really to be known to everyone she knows as mom. Her caring and outspoken persona make you laugh as well as respect the fact that she knows more than we can assume.

She commands her own fleet which shows an extreme amount of confidence but also leadership. Most people fear her despite her constrasting features. She is short yet her heart stands tall admist adversity, and that deserves a lot of respect.

Space Pirate Mito wallpaper

8. Warrius Zero from Cosmo Warrior Zero

Warrius Zero Cosmo Warrior Zero
dvd Cosmo Warrior Zero
  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 6, 2001 – September 28, 2001

Cosmo Warrior Zero begins by telling us a story about a long standing war between earth and machine men. After many battles, it has all come to an end. The machine men come out as the victors, but no one really wins in war as Zero lost his family in the battle. Despite this crippling loss however, Zero must now work together with the same machine men. Zero and his fleet have been given a task that no other fleet could handle, and that is to capture the space pirate harlock. This journey for Zero is just beginning as the search for captain harlock begins.

Zero was chosen on Honey's list because of his willingness to leave his past behind, and pursue what was important. Despite the circumstances he was put in, Zero showed acceptance which is very difficult for many people to do, especially after the enemy killed your family. It's this hardened heart of gold that demands respect, as Zero demonstrates to us that despite our past struggles, we must use the present moment to create a more profound future. Capturing Harlock isn't a walk in the park, so Zero's leadership abilities are shown all throughout the series. From making quick decisions, to calculating risks, these characteristics are why Zero is our number eight on the top ten pirates in anime.

wallpaper Cosmo Warrior Zero

7. Emeraldas from Queen Emeraldas

Emeraldas Queen Emeraldas
dvd Queen Emeraldas
  • Episodes: 4
  • Aired: June 5, 1998 – December 18, 1999

It's not that common to see a strong female heroine in anime these days, as most have a male character to fill a role that speaks of danger and mystery. However, Queen Emeraldas takes the seventh spot because we now get to see a woman take action in the most spectacular way: commanding a space fleet full of killers. Not too many know of her past, but many fear her name. She sails to the ends of the universe in her seas of star ship destroying the merciless race that is after her. We soon find out later of her deep torment and pain of her lost love.

It's always great to see female heroines take center stage because they display a lot of vibrancy and curiosity. We don't know much about Emeraldas which makes her back-story that much more enticing to follow. It's that mysterious aura that creates the fear in the eyes of her enemies, but also her strong demeanor that gets the attention of those around her. Her greatest strength lies in her silence, as her eyes tell you everything you need to know. She is a true commander, and takes charge of the battle when necessary.

Her tactical ways of thinking always shine throughout the series, as you can see her determination to seek out the truth. We do see the soft side of her also with regards to her feelings for her lost love. It's that subtle contrast in feelings that make you love her and know that she too is just human like the rest of us. Check her out when you have the time.

wallpaper Queen Emeraldas

6. April Bikirk from Sol Blanca: The legacy (Sol Bianca: Taiyou no Fune)

April Bikirk Sol Blanca The legacy
dvd Sol Blanca The legacy
  • Episodes: 6
  • Aired: September 24, 1999 – October 6, 2000

Sol Blanca makes its way to number six on our list of pirates, starring April. The story of Sol Blanca is about how mankind has evolved, colonizing other planets across the galaxy and completely leaving the Earth behind. A ship full of female pirates known as Sol Blanca, embark on their own journey in search for more colonies when they are confronted with a surprise on board. A small girl from Earth named Mayo appears on their ship mysteriously, and its now their new goal to bring this small girl back to Earth and to discover to truth behind the lost planet that everyone deserted.

April is one of the female stars of the cast, and we decided to choose her because of her delightful personality. As you watch Sol Blanca, you become accquainted with everyone on board right away, but the relationship between April and Mayo are that of sisters. April has a very caring and nuturing heart despite her hard exterior. She takes good care of Mayo and shows a deep understanding of her feelings. It's this type of relationship skill that gives her a spot on our list.

Building relationships with anyone who is new can be difficult, since those around you aren't too familiar with this new body. However, April shows us that we are all equal and we must learn to aceept and embrace those around us, if we too desire to be respected.

April Bikirk Sol Blanca The legacy wallpaper

5. Katana from Coyote Ragtime Show

Katana Coyote Ragtime Show
Coyote Ragtime Show dvd
  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 4, 2006- September 19, 2006

Coyote Ragtime Show was an anime that not too many people knew about back in 2006. Most of the more popular shows like Bleach had taken the world by storm, and so a lot of the lesser known shows were in a far away galaxy. Well, it's time we travel to that far away galaxy together in search for truth. Mister was a space outlaw who had been tried and jailed for a year due to a traffic offense. Being the outlaw that he is, friends Bishop and Katana help him to break out and all of them including fellow mate Franka are now on a journey to find Katana's dead fathers treasure. This won't come easy however as the feds are on their tail and are relentless in making sure they put them behind bars where they belong.

Katana was chosen for our top five because she paints this really cool picture of a young woman who aspires to live in her father's footsteps, or rather to collect his treasure. It shows us how first of all how much she loves the adventure and the risk taking that comes with it. But more so, it shows us how much she still loves her father and that she will do whatever it takes to make sure his legacy stays within her grasps.

It's this loving relatinship that she has not only with her subordinates but also her late father that make us love her also. While her activities may not be legal by any means, you can't help but side with her and wish you were part of her crew. They race through the galaxy helping each other which is always a great spectacle to watch. Teamwork at its best. Not only that but she is named after a sword which can slice through just about anything. It's a matching name as her character slices through all of her enemies on screen.

Coyote Ragtime Show wallpaper

4. Tenchi Masaki from Tenchi Muyou! GXP

tenchi muyou tenchi masaki
dvd Tenchi Muyou! GXP
  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: April 2, 1995 – September 24, 1995

And now we are getting closer to end of our journey throughout the galaxy, in search of that one pirate who really shines best. This brings us to our forth spot on the list which is Tenchi from Tenchi Muyou. This series has also seen quite a bit of success, as it has more than one series to its name. From it's original debut back in 1995 to its more recent story continuation, Tenchi has seen a lot in his space pirate career. Tenchi Masaki was just your ordinary quirky young boy who lived with his grandfather in the rural outskirts of Japan. Little did he know that his life would change, when suddenly a space pirate crash lands on his grandfather's temple. From this moment, Tenchi's life would change forever, as he now too has become a pirate and new adventures await him.

Tenchi from the beginning of the series was somewhat of a loner, but still remained very pure and positive at heart. He wasn't the type of child to commit to anything, and maintained a well manner. However the minute he became a space pirate, his outlook on life changed and it transformed him into a more outgoing, and jubilant person. The adventures he embark on throughout the series show his much he has grown since his early days, and how he has taken on various roles to help build his character.

The ability to adapt to unknown circumstances is always an incredible strength to have, since it demonstrates ones adept nature. His youth still shows of course, but his maturity has surely developed and it is surely a great thing to see while watching this anime. Give this one a try if you haven't already.

wallpaper Tenchi Muyou! GXP

3. Cobra from Space Adventure Cobra (Space Cobra)

Cobra Space Adventure Cobra
dvd Space Adventure Cobra
  • Episodes: 31
  • Aired: October 7, 1982 – May 19, 1983

Cobra is a name that you will most likely hear throughout the history of anime, because its definitely one of the anime that shaped the world that we live in today. Cobra debuted in the early 80's alongside other popular shows such as Gundam, and Astro Boy. Cobra stars Johnson, a salaryman who comes to his own discovery that he is the famous space pirate, but with a new altered look. His now famous psychogun is the weapon of choice when fighting against enemies, and you will see lots of it throughout the series. One could argue and say that Cobra is the reason for the birth of our favorite blue bomber Megaman, who also weilds a gun on his arm as well. We see Cobra on an epic adventure fighting a countless array of creatures and more, all throughout the diverse galactic world.

Cobra is just cool in every possible way. He started off as your ordinary businessman who suddenly becomes the hero of the galaxy. We all have that dream of living that double life, working in the day and destroying evil by night. His calm demeanor and charming good looks make him a great leading role, but we see a lot of different sides to Johnson which make him stand out even more. His new look gives him a new found confidence which he didn't have much of in his salary man days, and we can relate to that in every way. We highly recommend you check out one of Japan's all time classics, we guarantee you'll be more than entertained.

wallpaper Space Adventure Cobra

2. Phantom Harlock from Space Pirate Captain Harlock (Captain Harlock)

Phantom Harlock Space Pirate Captain Harlock
dvd Space Pirate Captain Harlock
  • Episodes: 1 (Movie)
  • Aired: September 7, 2013

If you noticed earlier in this top ten list, there was another anime that had somewhat of a storyline with relation to our next candidate on the chart. We would like to introduce captain Harlock to the top three of Honey's best anime pirates. Captain Harlock has been around since the late 1970's alongside popular franchises such as Gundam. However, due to the overwhelming popularity of the latter, we didn't hear much about Mr. Harlock until well into the 90's. However, this space pirate is no slouch as he is the fearsome leader of his colossal ship and was the one who rebelled against the allied forces for hundreds of years. This action packed classic is sure to bring you to the edge of your seat with throwback animations and great voice acting.

Harlock was chosen as our number two because Harlock is just a straight shooter. He doesn't back down from any fight, and he pretty much took down the allied forces on his own. Now they're so scared of him, that they must kill him before he runs rampant again. It's that type of power that makes a pirate truly a legend. When one can stand atop everyone else and stomp complete terror in your soul, you know you've done your job. His nickname is the phantom, and perhaps with his deadly gaze its clear why most people are both in complete awe and wetting themselves just a little when he shows up. The show itself has seen countless series spin offs, sequels and a movie which we highly recommend you watch. It's arguably the most expensive anime cgi ever created. Bow down to Harlock and check this one out.

wallpaper Space Pirate Phantom Harlock

1. Portgas D. Ace from One Piece

Ace one piece
one piece dvd 02
  • Episodes: Ongoing
  • Aired: October 20 1999- ongoing

We don't know how long exactly Luffy and his crew have been traveling the seven seas, but one thing is for sure that One Piece has had one of the longest runs in anime history, with the likes of Anpanman and Doraemon. This huge popularity comes simply from the cast members themselves, as we have a wide array of colorful characters that stand out in their own way. From Luffy's rubbery exterior, to the sword wielding mastery of Zorro, and the strikingly beautiful yet dangerous demeanor of Robin, this pirate ship is no short of action. However, only one pirate can be chosen as our leader and we bestowed the crown to Portgas D. Ace, otherwise known simply as Ace.

Ace was the foster brother of Luffy and to this day still respects and admires Luffy. The difference in characters are incredibly different as Luffy focuses more on defensive tactics, using his rubbery limbs to deflect attacks, while Ace is all about incinerating his enemies with his flame fists. Despite his strong and muscular exterior, Ace still maintains a kind and loving heart for Luffy and also other characters throughout the series. He shows innocence on one hand, and extreme violence on the other which help balance out his character.

What makes Ace cool is not so much his name, but rather the way he presents himself. A natural born leader, with hopes to becoming the best of whatever he desires, and lets no one get in his way. That is a wonderful persona to have, because it shows security. Ace is someone we can look up to, much like how Luffy looks up to him. It's that brotherly type of feeling that gave us the nod to place him on the number one spot. We had our own ace up our sleeve on this one.

wallpaper Portgas D. Ace One Piece

Portgas D. Ace fan art one piece

Our recruiting team has returned from their journey and so we have concluded our search on the most popular pirates in the anime universe. We do hope you enjoyed reading this article, and perhaps you can share some of your own pirate stories in the comments section down below. Be sure to follow us as well on twitter for updates, as well as new articles that are released!

As always, for your sweet anime fill, keep it locked here at Honey's Anime.



Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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