Anime as an art can be beautiful, as evident in movies like Your Name or Weathering With You. Anime can also be intense, something visible in shows like Berserk, Vinland Saga, and Parasyte. Yet, anime can also be quite strange and when anime enters this realm, designs become something truly odd. That’s why today’s top ten list is looking not at anime series but characters that just are strange.
For our Top 10 Strangest Character Designs in Anime we scoured through hundreds of anime to find peculiar characters with an even more peculiar design. We aren’t saying these characters aren’t cool or super amazing but one cannot deny they are strange creations. Now, we know you’re curious to enter this madhouse of an article and we hope you enjoy some of the strangest characters to ever be created in the world of anime!
10. Teruki Hanazawa (Wig Mode) from Mob Psycho 100
Almost every character from Mob Psycho 100 could be a candidate for our first entry on our list of the Top 10 Strangest Character Designs in Anime, but let’s turn our attention to one of the main antagonists—turned ally—Teruki Hanazawa. Teruki comes across as an arrogant psychic—as he never knew anyone who could overpower him—but that all changes when he meets Shigeo Kageyama. Shigeo—better known as Mob—ends up dueling the arrogant psychic user and defeats him so badly, he loses all of his hair. This is where the odd design of Teruki comes into play; when he dons a wig bigger than his whole body! Teruki literally runs around with this wig for way too long making him look weirder than some of the spirits Mob fights and it’s why we place him at number 10 on the list. He does remove the wig eventually but its image is forever seen in our eyes.
9. Hisoka Morow from Hunter x Hunter
Clowns are downright scary, they have rainbow-colored hair, fake smiles and tend to just be downright unsettling. Hisoka Morow from Hunter x Hunter isn’t a real clown—he looks like one—but his special talents make him a truly nightmare-inducing villain! We see the fan art and the billions of fans of Hisoka—he can look quite stunning when not clown looking—but his design is just all over the place. Are we supposed to love Hisoka and make him husbando material or do we pray the kids from "It" can defeat him using their Shine!? Hisoka isn’t a bad character and is one of our favorite antagonists of Hunter x Hunter but please don’t tell us he’s not strangely designed.
8. Franky from One Piece
Franky is one of Luffy’s strongest allies in all of One Piece and scares us with his augmented body. However, Franky’s body is almost laughably weird. With arms the size of giant cannonballs and legs that are way smaller than his buff body—and make his speedos look super tight—Franky is just weird! If he augmented his body to be super buff, then why couldn’t make his legs match his arm size? WHY DOES FRANKY WEAR SPEEDOS!?!? These questions keep us up at night and we bet many of you One Piece fans will agree. No hating on Franky, he’s awesome, but his design is just weird.
7. Juuzou Suzuya from Tokyo Ghoul
Many of you readers out there know the story of Frankenstein—and the famous Monster—but did you know you could see some similarities with Mary Shelley’s famous character in a popular anime series? Tokyo Ghoul’s Juuzou Suzuya is a powered-up human who is part of the Super Class Ghoul Investigators and he also looks like an androgynous version of Frankenstein's Monster. Juuzou has weird stitches around his face/body, sunken eyes, and white hair. Juuzou can be confused for a corpse at first and most didn’t know his gender till way later in the series. Juuzuou is one of the weirder-designed Tokyo Ghoul characters and while he’s a formidable fighter, he just scares us more than anything else.
6. Shuuichi Kagaya (Mascot Mode) from Gleipnir
Gleipnir is a strange anime, the characters from Gleipnir are strange but we have to focus on one weird character for our list and that goes to the main man Shuuichi Kagaya…more so his transformed state. When Shuuichi activates his unusual power, his body is overtaken by a mascot-like rabbit—or dog/bear/wolf—and his powers increase 100x fold. Making Shuuichi even weirder, the zipper on his back can be opened allowing another person—usually reserved for knockout Clair Aoki—to enter and use his mascot form. Aside from all the wrong we just said—cause it sounds weird—Shuuichi’s mascot form is just an oddly designed creature that should be in a video game series like Five Nights at Freddy’s.
5. Jogo from Jujutsu Kaisen
Jujutsu Kaisen has been one of our more beloved shounen series as of late but one specific character—in this case, a cursed spirit—really looks kind of silly. Jogo is a one-eyed cursed spirit who also has a volcano on top of his head…why a volcano and why one eye? Who knows, but admittedly, this makes us kind of question his strength overall. Sure, Jogo has some powerful cursed energy—and his disaster flames can be truly freighting—but would a volcano-headed creature scare anyone? Jogo is just a weirdly designed monster and we really wish that volcano would have been something else entirely.
4. Howard Marks from Joker Game
When Joker Game released in 2016, it was a masterful spy thriller filled with wonderfully designed special agents and a truly great art style. We were blown away by how realistic Joker Game looked until we met British Intelligence Spy Master Howard Marks. This alien-like human almost seems mismatched with characters like Sakuma, Miyoshi and Kaminaga. Howard isn’t a central character in the world of Joker Game—as he only appears in several episodes for brief moments—but his appearance leaves such a lasting impression that even 5 years later we’re still wondering why the creator made Howard look like that!
3. Koro-sensei from Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (Assassination Classroom)
Yellow octopus teacher Koro-sensei enters our third spot on our list of the Top 10 Strangest Character Designs in Anime and we know most of you will agree with this choice. Beloved teacher Koro-sensei might wish to destroy the world utilizing his amazing special abilities but that isn’t the only thing kind of scary about this teacher. Koro-sensei is a yellow octopus! Folks, be honest for a moment, how many of you Assassination Classroom fans were utterly taken aback when you first saw Koro-sensei’s design? He changes smiles/colors when he’s angry and he has dozens of appendages like an octopus. Many fans of Assassination Classroom have fallen in love with Koro-sensei—he’s an awesome character—but his design is so outlandish and weird that he needed to be on our list without question.
2. Caiman from Dorohedoro
Fans of the Spider-Man comic books are probably used to weird animal/human hybrids like the famous Lizard—AKA Curtis Connors—but even he can’t hold a candle to Dorohedoro’s main man Caiman. The strange Caiman was cursed by some magical spell that transformed his head into a literal lizard, meaning it can be cut off and he’ll be perfectly dandy. Caiman is a truly sad character—we won’t enter spoilers here as you should definitely watch Dorohedoro—but we can’t deny how strange it is to see a human with a lizard head…
1. Juzo Inui from No Guns Life
His head…is a gun. If we’re being honest, that phrase alone should be enough to sell our choice for the strangest character design in anime. Juzo Inui from No Guns Life—a pretty wild series, by the way—is an augmented cyborg soldier—called an Over-Extended Gun Slave unit—unlike any other we’ve seen before. Juzo had his head removed and replaced with a literal revolver—which shoots with some help—and has numerous other modifications across his body that are gun-themed. As OP as Juzo is, we can’t deny his very creation is so strange it makes almost no sense. Still, we do love Juzo and love when he goes berserk in a fight.
Art has and always will be a very subjective topic. What is strange for one person, might just be perfectly normal for another. That being said, most otaku out there won’t deny that our list features the more universally agreed upon oddities seen in the anime landscape. We also know that we probably missed some strange character designs. Let us know in the comments below what characters you think could have made our list! For even more top 10 articles keep stuck to our sometimes strange hive here at Honey’s Anime!