The world of anime is filled with so many different types of characters. While all of the different types of characters are interesting in their own way, one of the best types of characters are the skeleton characters. Skeleton characters come in a variety and range from spooky skeletons to cute little skeletons. There are just so many different ways that skeleton characters can be portrayed that it is always exciting to see how they are used.
We are going to take some time to appreciate the best skeleton characters around as we look at the top ten skeleton characters in anime. We are going to look at a wide variety of skeleton characters and talking about not only what makes them great skeleton characters, but great characters in general. Let us get started.
10. Gasha-Dokuro from GeGeGe no Kitarou
- Episodes: 73+
- Aired: April 2018 - Ongoing
Despite being forgotten by most people, youkai run rampant around the world. One day, a mysterious phenomenon causes a bunch of people to turn into trees in the middle of Shibuya. After hearing about the incident, Mana Inuyama and her friends decided to do something about it by sending a letter through the Youkai Post. Thanks to their letter, Kitaro appears and helps Mana take down the youkai in Shibuya. Seeing Kitaro in action inspires Mana and she decides to join Kitaro and his friends as they hunt down all of the youkai that appear across Japan.
Gasha-Dokuro appears in the sixth episode GeGeGe no Kitarou where he hunts down Mana and her classmates after they accidentally release him. The giant Gasha-Dokuro uses his powerful eye projectiles and his ability to manipulate his surroundings to hold his own by Neko-Musume and Kitaro, but he is ultimately defeated. Gasha-Dokuro shows off a spookier side to skeleton characters thanks to his only goal being to cause death and destruction. With his immense size and power, Gasha-Dokuro is definitely one of the scariest skeletons on the list.
9. Hades from High School DxD BorN
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2015 - June 2015
With summer arriving for the students of Kuoh Academy, the Occult Research Club prepares for a summer of fun. However, after struggling in their battle against Vali and the Chaos Brigade, Rias and Azazel set up some special training for the club. The club heads to the Underworld for the training as they prepare for the challenges to come. With the sudden appearance of the Evil God Loki and other powerful enemies, Issei and the Occult Research Club will have their hands full as they face come of their toughest opponents yet.
Hades is one of the most powerful skeleton characters around. While we don't really get to see him in action, Hades is very manipulative and causes more than a few problems for Issei and his friends. As the ruler of the Realm of the Dead, Hades has gained notoriety for his antics and is also considered one of the strongest beings in the world. While his strength is definitely one of the most interesting things about him, his design is also one of the best amongst skeleton characters. Some skeleton characters look cute or majestic, but Hades really looks the part with his creepy old bone body.
8. Grim Reaper from Nichijou (Nichijou - My Ordinary Life)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2011- September 2011
Nichijou follows the everyday lives of Yuko Aioi, Mio Naganohara, and Mai Minakami. While their lives may seem normal at first, but these girls live some crazy lives. Along with their classmates and the people around town, the girls get into all sorts of absurd situations. No matter what extraordinary things happen around them, the girls always know how to handle it in the most hilarious way possible.
One of Nichijou’s many side characters, the Grim Reaper shows up here and there and is always good for a few laughs. He is often seen interacting with older people, who think he is there to take them to the afterlife when in reality, he is just looking for some help. The whole idea of his character is subverting expectations of what you think you are going to get with a grim reaper and it is absolutely hilarious. Overall the Grim Reaper is just a really fun character and gives us a different take on skeleton character.
7. Bihaku from Majokko Shimai no Yoyo to Nene (Magical Sisters Yoyo & Nene)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: December 2013
Yoyo and Nene are a pair of magical sisters who use their magical powers to help people remove the curses that befall them. While investigating the disappearance of another witch, a big tree suddenly appears in front of the sister's home. Yoyo notices tall building entangled with the tree and decides to check them out and accidentally gets transported to modern-day Japan. There she encounters a pair of siblings whose parents have just been turned into monsters. Yoyo agrees to help the family and begins looking for a way to remove the curse from the parents.
Yoyo and Nene's cat Bihaku is unlike every other skeleton character on the list. Bihaku is a magical cat with a skeleton head, combining the best traits of an animal character with a unique design that makes him so much more interesting. While Bihaku may not have any of the cool powers or abilities that a lot of skeleton characters do, he more than makes up for with his cuteness. All of the best moments with Bihaku make use of his unique design and show off just how much of a variety you can have with skeleton characters.
6. Gashadokuro from Nurarihyon no Mago (Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: July 2010 - December 2010
All Rikuo Nura wants is to live a normal life, but his youkai heritage makes it difficult. Despite only being a quarter youkai, Rikuo's grandfather wants him to take over as head of the Nura Clan. Rikuo is only being able to transform at night and is also only able to maintain his youkai form for six hours, allowing him to keep his youkai heritage a secret from his classmates and allowing him to shrug off some of his duties as a member of the clan. With the many youkai factions preparing to attack his friends and family, Rikuo is forced to embrace his youkai side and fight back against all of the evil youkai.
The second Gashadokuro on this list has many of the qualities you expect from the skeletal youkai, with it being a massive skeleton that wanders around. However, this Gashadokuro is a lot more important to its story than the first one. Gashadokuro is a servant to Hagoromo Gitsune, and is one of her most loyal servants. With his large size, he serves as both her guardian and as a means of transportation. Gashadokuro isn't the smartest or strongest youkai around, but he is loyal to a fault and always puts Hagoromo's needs first, even if it means putting himself in danger.
5. Keele from Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 (KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! 2)
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: January 2017 - March 2017
Kazuma Satou is a NEET who just experienced an untimely and embarrassing death. After his death, Kazuma is given the option of passing on to heaven or being reincarnated in a fantasy world. Kazuma chooses the latter option and is immediately tasked with defeating the Demon King. Along with the useless goddess Aqua, and his other companions, Kazuma sets out on his journey into this new world.
Once an Arch Wizard, Keele sacrificed everything he had and became a Lich to protect the girl he loved. Keele managed to fight off an entire kingdom to protect the girl he loved, but in doing he ended up losing his life and becoming trapped in his dungeon with no way to move on to the afterlife. Despite only being around for a short time, there are so many things about Keele that make him such a fun character. There is great balance between the tragic story of how Keele came to lose a life and his hilarious upbeat personality. This combination along with his powers and design makes him one of the most unique skeleton characters on the list.
4. Zen from Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku (Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2018 - March 2018
Middle-aged programmer Ichirou Suzuki spends all of his time working on two popular MMORPG's. Exhausted from his work, Ichirou finally finds time to take a nap and recharge, but things take a strange turn for him when he wakes up in another world. The world resembles the worlds of the games he had been working on. In this world, Ichirou's name is changed to Satou Pendragon, the same name he used to beta test the games. On his first day in the new world, Satou is attacked by an army of lizardmen and after defeating them, Satou raises himself to the highest level possible. Now, with his new obtained power, Satou sets out to experience everything this magical world has to offer.
In his previous life, Zen was always miserable and wished for something more. After his death, Zen makes a wish that he could be reborn into a body that would never die. Zen is reborn into the world of Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyusoukyoku and lives a happy life until he is killed by a jealous man forcing him down a path of vengeance. With his reincarnated immortal body, Zen is able to easily get his revenge but now all he longs for is to die and be with his late wife. Zen is by far one of the most interesting skeleton characters around. Zen's got a great tragic backstory and he is just plain cool to look at.
3. Karuta Roromiya from Inu x Boku SS (Inu x Boku Secret Service)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2012 - March 2012
Ririchiyo Shirakiin is a sharp-tongued girl who never hesitates to say what is on her mind. Thanks to her wealth of her family, Ririchiyo has lived a privileged and sheltered life. In order to gain some independence, Ririchiyo moves into an apartment called the Maison de Ayakashi. The Maison de Ayakashi is a special apartment where all the tenants, including Ririchiyo, are half-human and half-youkai. Along with the other tenants and her new bodyguard Soushi Miketsukami, Ririchoyo begins her new life as a resident of Maison de Ayakashi.
Most of the time Karuta appears just like any other human, but just like the other residents of the Maison de Ayakashi, she has an alternate form. Her youkai heritage comes from the Gashadokuro and takes on the form of a giant skeleton clouded in a purple haze. Karuta is a quiet girl and is somewhat detached from all of the things going on around her. Even though she doesn't get to transform often, Karuta is always ready to do anything she can to protect her friends. When she isn't protecting someone, Karuta loves to eat and is rarely seen without any food in her hands.
2.Elias from Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus Bride)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2017 - March 2018
Ever since she was a child, Chitose Hatori has always been alone. Without any friends or family, Chitose struggles to find a place where she truly belongs. With nowhere to go, Chitose gets auctioned off and is purchased by a mysterious man named Elias Ainsworth. Elias reveals that he is a magus and uses his magic to teleport him and Chitose to his English cottage. At the cottage, Chitose encounters all sorts of magical creatures and begins her life as Elias' apprentice.
Elias is part human and part fae which gives him his unusual appearance and his magical powers. Despite his appearance, Elias is incredibly kind, but he also lacks the ability to relate to normal humans. What separates Elias from a lot of skeleton characters is his development and the journey he goes on throughout Mahoutsukai no Yome. We get to watch as he grows emotionally and gets to experience all sorts of things he had never dreamed of.
1. Honda from Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san (Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2018 - December 2018
Working at a bookstore is anything but easy. Honda the skeleton knows this better than anyone thanks to his job at the local bookstore. Every day brings a new set of challenges that Honda must deal with. With eccentric coworkers and even crazier customers, Honda does his best to give everyone high-quality service and the best experience possible.
Honda is the best skeleton character around. Everyday of Honda's life is filled with surprises, but no matter what he always tries his hardest. One of the best things about Honda, is that despite being a skull-faced man he is somehow the most normal and relatable character in Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san. While it is nice to see the spooky skeleton characters and the skeleton characters with magical powers, there is just something so enjoyable about a skeleton character that is just like a normal everyday person.
That is it for our list of the top ten skeleton characters in anime. There are so many fantastic skeleton characters and they are all so different, they truly are one of the most enjoyable types of character in anime. Are there any other skeleton characters that should be on the list? Who is your favorite skeleton character? Let us know by leaving us a comment.
One of the things many people have become accustomed to when watching anime is the idea that a human is going to be the species that’s mainly seen. Considering how many anime there are that’s based around life in school or a young adult with special abilities, it’s not that surprising. However, there are plenty of anime where animals, aliens, monsters, demons, and other beings that are not human are present. Yet some appear more frequently than others, and one of the types we don’t usually see in anime are skeletons.
To be fair, the skeleton is somewhat limited on how and where it can be used based on its ties to horror and death. But there are anime, some of which that are widely known, that have figured out creative ways to incorporate the use of a skeleton. Here are the Top 10 Skeleton Characters in anime.
10. Shiro, Shakugan no Shana (Burning-Eyed Shana)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 2005 - Mar 2006
Once known as Merihim, one of the nine Crimson Lords, Shiro’s main role in the series is to be a mentor for Shana, the heir to Mathilde’s title. Merihim fought alongside Illuyanka in the Great War, becoming known as the “Pair of Wings” as well as Asiz’s most powerful subordinates. However, the man known as the Rainbow Swordsman suffered a defeat as a result of a bet with his love, Mathilde Saint-Omer, on the outcome of Illuyanka’s match with Wilhelmina. As promised, Merihim hid the last of his powers away in order to test the heir to Mathilde’s title and took the form of a skeleton known as Shiro while he waited for the next heir to come.
While Shiro is a real skeleton wearing a purple cloak, his true character is seen mainly as when he was Merihim, especially when he resumes his normal self in the Mathilde’s Successor Arc. That being said, even though it may have been brief compared to other characters on this list, we do get to see Shiro the skeleton in action, thus qualifying him to make this list.
9. Over Justice, Space Patrol Luluco
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Apr 2016 - Jun 2016
The head of Ogikubo's Space Patrol department, Over Justice is the one responsible for Luluco joining the Space Patrol in order to obtain the money needed to unfreeze her father. Over Justice is basically a skeleton in a typical police uniform wearing Kamina Glasses, but this comical appearance pretty much makes sense in the context of the series. His name certainly explains who he is as a character right from the very 1st episode, where he is seen constantly trying to arrest Luluco and repeatedly shouting “You’re under arrest!” Definitely one of the funnier attempts in anime with using a skeleton character.
8. Dokuro Skull, Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai (The World God Only Knows)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct 2010 – Dec 2010
The Hell Counter Measures Branch Chief, Dokuro Skull starts out as only a minor character that pops up from time to time yet stands out in comparison to her compatriots. Dokuro can be usually seen working at her post and is one of the few devils that doesn’t harass Elsie due to her respectful attitude. In one of her few appearances, we learn from a flashback that Dokuro appeared to be a healthy looking skeleton as compared to her appearance in the present day, where she resembles a cute miniature Grim Reaper with huge eye sockets. Despite this unorthodox appearance, Dokuro certainly exemplifies the appearance of a skeleton, thus qualifying her for this lsit.
7. Admiral Perry, Space Dandy
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan 2014 to Mar 2014
The ruler of the Gogol Empire and one of the key villains in the series, Admiral Perry believes that Space Dandy is the key to the future of the universe and orders Dr. Gel to capture him. Admiral Perry is not only serious in all situations and has no sense of humor, but also has anger issues. Perry’s appearance is certainly unique as a skull surrounded in flames with miniature planets orbiting around it, but this turns out to be an illusion, as his real from turns out to be a middle aged man wearing a gray business suit. Nevertheless, Admiral Perry’s unique take on the skeleton appearance makes him stand out.
6. Inferno Cop, Inferno Cop
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Dec 2012 - Mar 2013
A reckless police officer with a flaming skull as a head and a revolver that blows up almost anything, Inferno Cop will stop at nothing to dispense justice. Losing his family to an organization known as Southern Cross (and possibly his own life as well), Inferno Cop seeks revenge. However, he ends up in one crazy encounter after another, such as fighting a zombie apocalypse or traveling through time. One thing’s for sure: regardless of the evidence, if Inferno Cop believes you to be a lawbreaker, you will face his wrath.
5. Skull Knight, Berserk
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 1997 - Apr 1998
One of the main protagonists, Skull Knight is not only 1000 years old, but also has a great understanding in terms of what is happening in the world and therefore what will happen next. Aloof, cold, and harboring a mysterious past, Skull Knight’s actions actually show him to be both heroic and merciful, saving Guts multiple times throughout the series. Skull Knight’s abilities with a sword are very impressive, going up against some of the most powerful characters in the series. Yet another example of defying the norm regarding a skeleton character by making him an unstoppable badass.
4. Baraggan Louisenbairn , Bleach
- Episodes: 366
- Aired: Oct 2004 - Mar 2012
An Arrancar in Sōsuke Aizen's army, Baraggan Louisenbairn appears as an elderly man at first with white hair, a white moustache, and scars all across his face. However, he soon takes on the form of a skeleton when using his Resurrección ability with a purple cloak around his body as well as black fur around his neck. With the addition of his crown, one might even mistake him for a lich. With his abilities regarding time, levitation, and his weapons, Baraggan Louisenbairn skeletal appearance only adds to how scary he really is, solidifying his spot on this list.
3. Eliza, Shaman King
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: Jul 2001 – Sep 2002
The wife and guardian ghost of Faust VIII, Eliza first appears in the series as a giant skeleton that fights Yoh early on in the series and hands him his 1st defeat. When she was alive, Eliza had a fatal disease that Faust was able to cure; however, later on in life a burglar broke into their home and shot Eliza in the head from point-blank range. As a result, Faust decided to join the Shaman fight and become the Shaman King so that he could bring her back to life. As the series progresses, Faust becomes strong enough to not only restore Eliza’s original form over the skeleton, but with the help of Anna is able to summon Eliza’s spirit as well as solely rely on her in combat. Relying on the scary appearance skeletons bring as well as amplifying that terror is what helped Eliza make this list.
2. Momonga, Overlord
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul 2015 - Sep 2015
The main protagonist of Overlord, Momonga was once one of many players that played YGGDRASIL, a popular online game. However, after deciding not to log out after it was shut down, Momonga is suddenly transformed into his avatar, a skeleton wearing a jet-black gown and a powerful magic caster. As the non-playable characters, or NPC’s, become more lifelike, Momonga makes the decision to give up on the real world and to conquer the new world he was now a part of. Momonga’s appearance as a skeleton factors very much in the series, as it helps with his goal of taking over the world in various ways, such as utilizing it for fear or helping to establish authority. While this is also another character that can possibly be confused with being a lich due to his magic, Momonga is certainly seen as a skeleton first, which is why he is on this list.
1. Brooke, One Piece
- Episodes: Ongoing
- Aired: Oct 1999 - present
If you’re a fan of anime, then this is most likely the first character you thought of when you read the title of this article. The 9th person to join Luffy’s Straw Hat Crew, “Soul King” Brooke is a musician that ate the Revive-Revive Fruit, meaning (among other things) that he could come back to life a second time after dying. Unfortunately, due to the location of where Brooke’s ship was, his body had become a skeleton by the time he found it. Luckily, with his new Devil Fruit powers, his skills as both a swordsman and a musician, and his comedic personality, Brooke was a natural fit for the Straw Hats. It is because of Brooke’s use of his skeletal body for comedic purposes as well as his Devil Fruit powers in combat for serious ones that we get to see a wide range of what being a skeleton is like, hence Brooke taking the #1 spot.
All of these anime in some form or another were able to assimilate a skeleton character into their larger narrative. Some of them stuck to the normal themes people associate with skeletons; others were able to be more creative with them. As a result, some of these characters seem to stand out more as skeletons more than others, especially in terms of appearance. Regardless, what matters the most is how the skeletons serve as characters, and each of the characters on this list was able to effectively contribute to their respective stories.
Here are the top 10 Skeleton characters in anime. What do you guys think? Should Death from Soul Eater count as a skeleton? Should certain characters on this list have been higher? Are there characters that shouldn’t even be on this list at all? Let us know in the comments!