The Most Ambitious Anime Characters Of All Time

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Ambition is the mother of greatness.

This much is true both in fiction and real life. It’s also a fact that people who have an “ultimate goal” are often more driven than others.

And these anime characters are great examples of remarkably ambitious people. Each of them has grand goals and strong wills to achieve them!


10. Lelouch vi Britannia

Lelouch vi Britannia from Code Geass anime

Anime: Code Geass

Here we have Lelouch to start us off, who was a prince until he was cast out of his castle along with her sister — Nunnally.

It’s probably not that hard to figure out just why Lelouch became so ambitious…

The privileged and luxurious life he lived with his siblings was taken away very suddenly — all because of royal politics.

Surprisingly enough, Lelouch’s ambition isn’t actually reserved towards regaining his previous status, but rather towards building a better world for his sister.

The path he took to get there might not have been the cleanest or the easiest. But what’s important is that he made it in the end.


9. Frieza

Frieza Dragon Ball Z anime screenshot

Anime: Dragon Ball Z

Speaking of great characters with even greater ambitions, how can we ever leave out Lord Frieza — the conqueror of the universe?

Frieza is the embodiment of a sadistic tyrannical overlord. Even gods like King Kai didn’t want a piece of him.

Well, until Goku came around…

His empire must’ve crumbled since his death. But it’s plain to see that this evil tyrant isn’t quite done with his conquest yet.

This much is obvious after Frieza himself admitted to Goku that he won’t stop even after he’s resurrected.

Say what you will about this guy, but that’s dedication right there!


8. Izuku Midoriya

Izuku Midoriya in My Hero Academia

Anime: My Hero Academia

A lot of anime characters have big shoes to fill (especially the ones from Shounen series).

But very few shoes are about as big as Izuku’s.

After all, his dream is to be as great (if not greater) than All Might — his mentor/predecessor who also happens to be the greatest hero in history.

His teacher’s legacy is certainly a hard one to live up to. But Izuku knows the severity of the challenges he must face moving forward – and he’s ready.

Being more determined than anyone else in his position, Izuku works hard daily to become worthy of being called All Might’s successor.


7. Yagami Light

Yagami Light from Death Note anime

Anime: Death Note

It would be a severe understatement to say that Yagami Light is just an interesting character.

After all, you’d rarely see ambition itself personified.

In this case, it’s in the form of Kira — a vicious visionary who desires a “pure world” untainted by crime and violence.

Or at least, that’s what he tells himself and his followers.

Light’s ambition might be pretty common and straightforward. But what makes him special is how far he’s actually willing to go just to achieve what he set out to do.

To him, it doesn’t matter how many lives he destroys just to fulfill his ambition – which ultimately seemed to be absolute control and dominance over everyone.

A malignant narcissist, through and through.


6. Monkey D. Luffy

Monkey D. Luffy One Piece anime screenshot

Anime: One Piece

Next up, Luffy.

He desires very little other than to become the Pirate King of legend.

I mean, that’s kinda obvious right? It’s pretty much his catchphrase at this point!

He might’ve been laughed at a lot for saying it during early stages of his journey. But he has never stopped improving himself (and his crew) with the goal of being worthy of the title.

And nowadays, there are actually a ton of characters who acknowledge that Luffy might have a chance in achieving such a lofty goal.

Not bad for a former weakling and crybaby!


5. Hanamichi Sakuragi

Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk anime

Anime: Slam Dunk

Here we have the self-proclaimed “Rebound King” and the “Genius Basketball Player” himself — Hanamichi Sakuragi.

Sakuragi is, without a doubt, one of the most ambitious characters in sports anime ever.

What makes this situation even better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) is that Sakuragi didn’t exactly start out as a good basketball player.

He would often get fouled out, mess up plays, and even get in fights with other players — including his own teammates.

But these handicaps didn’t dissuade him from pursuing his dream to become the best high school student in Japan to ever lace up.

Instead of lazing around like he usually does, he actually trained as hard as he could to become a better player — an inspiringly stubborn and hotblooded one at that!


4. Naruto Uzumaki

Naruto Uzumaki in Naruto anime

Anime: Naruto

Speaking of stubborn and hotblooded characters who dream big…

How can we ever forget about Naruto?

He’s loud, cheeky, rambunctious, and just an overall straightforward character. He represents the archetypal Shounen MC pretty well.

In fact, he’s so straightforward that he almost always tells every single character he encounters his lifelong dream!

And I’m pretty sure most of you already know what “dream” I’m talking about. You know, since Naruto only says it about 100,000,000 times in the show…

Nevertheless, I (like most Naruto fans) find Naruto’s success story very satisfying.

Especially since I’ve been following his journey from the very start.


3. Asta

Asta from Black Clover anime

Anime: Black Clover

Thinking about Asta and his ambition to become the Wizard King will never cease to be amusing.

Well, at least to me.

After all, very few characters in anime yearn for something virtually impossible and work toward it with all their might.

Asta has zero mana, zero talent for magic, and not to mention zero romantic interest from Sister Lily.

Talk about overwhelming odds.

Through it all, though, Asta is not someone to be counted out. Even if no one believes in him, he perseveres in the face of adversity and finds a way to overcome his shortcomings.


2. Griffith

Griffith in Berserk anime

Anime: Berserk

Griffith’s tale is one full of pride, regret, and sadness.

Granted, there are a ton of anime villains who are ambitious just like him. But there are arguably none more tragic and well-written.

With friend Guts, Griffith has faced countless challenges and succeeded just as many times.

Together, they’re unstoppable.

Slowly he & his mercenary company climb up the social hierarchy with every successful mission.

But then, we all know what happened after Guts left. In hindsight, it can even be said that his ambition crumbled as soon as he was left alone by his closest friend.


1. Ash Ketchum

Ash Ketchum from Pokémon anime

Anime: Pokémon

For the number one spot, we have Ash Ketchum — the (immortal) boy from Pallet Town who once aspired to be a Pokémon Champion.

When it comes to the sheer amount of hard work he puts in towards achieving this goal, Ash is second to none.

After all, he’s been training and battling Pokémon for about 20 years now? And he’s still going strong!

What makes it all worthwhile is that his efforts were eventually rewarded with him winning the Alola League.

And it only took him like what, 24 years to get there?

I guess hard work and patience does pay off – especially if you never age like Ash!

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Red Fox

An average enjoyer of memes, movies, anime, manga, light novels, and video games. He also LOVES gambling — er, playing all sorts of gacha games mostly F2P in his free time.