You know what’s hot? Cyberpunk! This genre has become an increasingly favorite in the anime industry, given its excellent perspective on futuristic settings, usage of impressive technology, and really complex narratives.
We’d like to point out some of the best characters in cyberpunk anime below – if you don’t know anyone from this list, it’ll be a good chance for you to check out the show!
Motoko Kusanagi – Ghost in the Shell
The Major! The iconic protagonist from the legendary Ghost in the Shell franchise is a powerful cyborg operative who combines the best in military warfare cyber hacks. Major Motoko Kusanagi is also the leader of the elite counter-cyber terrorist organization Public Security Section 9, a group composed of some of the best individuals from different combat fields.
Combining a great mix of enhanced strength, agility, and intellect, the Major’s very presence exudes herself as a force to be reckoned with. Of course, her very design is an excellent choice as well, combining a mix of appeal and cyberpunk glam.
Spike Spiegel – Cowboy Bebop
The epitome of cool, Spike Spiegel is a laid-back but highly-skilled bounty hunter who knows how to shoot, fight like a legendary martial artist, and fly a fast jet like no one in this galaxy! Spike is also a former member of the Red Dragon Syndicate, infusing a hidden depth in this amazing show.
Spike’s cool image and presence presents a nice balance in the seedy underbelly that he and his buddies often find themselves in. His personality is also a nice and fresh point to consider, with the show offering some interesting themes of existentialism and loneliness.
Lain Iwakura – Serial Experiments Lain
It’s not all intense firefights or flashy robot battles when it comes to cyberpunk anime. In fact, some of the best ones dive deep into the subconscious, tackling existentialism and other mind-bending topics! And one such character who offers nice insights on life is Lain Iwakura. Lain, experiencing the hook of being online (The Wired, as the internet is called in this show), encounters different scenarios that blend online and reality.
Oftentimes, her obsession on online figures blurs the difference between what is real or not! Lain’s story can be a great reminder on what happens when technology merges seamlessly with humanity – isn’t that happening now as we speak?!?
Gally (Alita) – Battle Angel Alita
Expect the best in physical robot combat when you see Gally in action! Gally, who is popularly known as Alita, shows that there is more than meets the eye when it comes in battles. Having a small feminine built, Gally is updated in the series to be a Hunter-Warrior, who finds herself embroiled in the many issues happening in Scrap Iron City.
Aside from her fearsome battle prowess, what makes Gally an interesting character to follow is her journey – she does not know anything about her past, and would journey great distances just to find out more about her younger self.
A hardboiled detective in a dystopian world! That’s who Shinya Kogami is, an enforcer with a highly-skilled battle experience being a former mercenary taking in jobs all over Southeast Asia! What makes the show Kogami really interesting is that people in this show are judged by their mental state and potential for possible criminal activity.
Be gauging different mental state variables, enforcers can catch criminals, even before an actual crime happens! Knowing how flawed this justice system is, Kogami closely works with other Inspectors to find out the truth behind this way of thinking.
Also known as the Black Reaper, Hei combines his supernatural powers with a finely tuned physical body, all that works really well with his assassin and spy skills. As a Contractor, Hei seeks to find the truth behind the system’s exploitation of other people with special abilities.
Fast and strong, and at the same time sporting a dark but appealing design, Hei is someone you’d want to be with when the going gets tough!
Sporting a dark, moody, but still stylish design, this Romdeau inspector seeks out the truth behind enigmatic beings called Proxies. The domed city she lives in, called Romdeau, seems to be keeping secrets from other citizens on what truly is behind its walls.
A brief encounter with Ergo Proxy jumpstarts Re-l’s journey, in which she will not only uncover secrets that this post-apocalyptic world has to offer – she will also discover more about herself!
Proving that Ghost in the Shell is an iconic cyberpunk anime, Batou, the Major’s colleague in Section 9, doesn’t’ pull punches when it comes to beating down foes of all shapes and sizes! As the group’s second-in-command, Batou exudes an intimidating presence. His prosthetic eyes allow him to view important details in a snap, a great plus to have when having to deal with cybernetic enemies.
Additionally, Batou holds great affinity with Section 9 Tachikoma units – smart and mobile tanks that the team uses during their operations. Smart and tough, Batou is an unforgettable character in this series!
From probably the most memorable classic cyberpunk anime out there, Kaneda of the legendary Akira show blends futuristic design with some streetsmart wits when dealing with different sorts of situations. Kaneda’s courageous nature and curiosity let him get involved with a scary government conspiracy.
Even when going heads up against powerful psychic beings, Kaneda doesn’t shrivel up and run – he makes sure to make an impact with his actions! Aside from his cool and impactful presence, what makes Kaneda a memorable cyberpunk character is his bike! His red motorcycle, beaming with style and impressive technology, remains to be a landmark machine that still makes its presence known in contemporary media today.
These characters are some of the most iconic in the cyberpunk anime genre, each one having their own unique traits and abilities that make them stand out from the pack. Not only do these characters have excellent design – they have some interesting back stories that meshes really well in the worlds they are in. Do you know other cyberpunk anime characters? Let us know!