Top 20 Best Anime Butler Characters We Know & Love

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Perfectly ironed shirt, waistcoat, moustache, and a perfectly pronounced British accent.

These are the traits of a great butler… except when they’re not British…or don’t have facial hair…or maybe don’t wear suits.

In anime fandom, we’re always fangirling over who the best maid is, but what about butlers? Can we give them some love?

Well, I’m giving them some love!

20. Alfred Pennyworth

Alfred Pennyworth in Batman Ninja anime

Anime: Batman Ninja

Alfred Pennyworth. The man who looks after Master Bruce, who makes his tea, his coffee and cleans the toilet of bat poop.

The Alfred Pennyworth. The Butler that everyone knows.

But why is he on this list? Is the writer of this list really a weeb?

Or does this guy somehow think cartoons are the same as anime?

No, I swear I’m a weeb. Alfred’s here on account of a weird 2018 oddity called Batman Ninja.

In Batman Ninja, the caped crusader gets caught in Gorilla Grodd’s Quake Engine and gets transported back in time to Feudal Japan.

He finds out from Catwoman that everyone else – both good and bad – have been in Japan for over two years. Gotham City’s top criminals are all Daimyos and Batman has to take them all down to restore peace and unify all of Japan.


19. Hopkins, Mr. Cheeves and Sebastian

Hopkins, Mr. Cheeves and Sebastian in Pokémon anime

Anime: Pokémon

Prepare for trouble and make it triple!

Hopkins, Mr. Cheeves and Sebastian are James’ butlers.

They looked after him as a young lad at his family’s massive estate until he ran away to become a Pokémon trainer and part of Team Rocket.

Appearing in three different episodes across multiple series, all three butlers are characters-of-the-day, meaning they only show up in one episode and are never seen of again.

In fact, in the Japanese versions, none of them even got names. How sad.

On all occasions, they appear in one of James’ family estates and try to force James to marry Jessebelle, a doppleganger of Jesse whom James hates with a passion.


18. Arakawa

Arakawa in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya anime

Anime: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Awakawa is the butler of Keiichu Tamaru, distant relative of esper Itsuki Koizumi.

He first appears as a taxi driver taking Itsuki and Kyon to a spot where Haruhi had just, unbeknownst as usual, created an alternate dimension – a closed space.

Much later in the series he saves time traveller Mikuru from rival travellers Fujiwara and Kyouko Tachibana.

He’s as an absurdly skilled driver and almost always appears in a car.


17. Hans

Hans in The Von Trapp Family Story anime

Anime: The Von Trapp Family Story

In the 70s, Nippon Animation’s predecessor Zuiyo Eizo created the World Masterpiece Theatre: a group of animation series using classic Western texts.

The most famous of these was undoubtedly Heidi, Girl of the Alps. However there was a lot more than just the swiss girl.

Another well received series was The Von Trapp Family Story. You’d likely know the story already from the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein Musical “The Sound of Music”.

In the show Hans is a minor character. The von Trapp family butler, he is revealed at the end of the series to have a supporter of Nazi Germany. Still memorable to this day though.


16. Nagase, Asano and Toyogawa

Nagase, Asano and Toyogawa in Daily Life of High School Boys anime

Anime: Daily Life of High School Boys

Another triple butler entry, Nagase, Asano and Toyogawa are the butlers of Yukana, a girl from the one-episode spin off ‘The Daily Life of a Lady’.

The three butlers are ordered by their spoilt mistress to think up of excuses for why she can’t go to school.

A humorous tag team, they start by taking turns making up the usual excuses – ‘my dog ate my homework’, ‘I’m sick and bedridden’.

But when Yukana tells them to get more creative, Toyogawa starts mentioning her false tooth – something which she definitely doesn’t have. Nagase and Asano make up increasingly more ridiculous excuses like ‘your school lunch is coated with cured fish entrails’ and that ‘her leg hair has become unmanageable’.

Then her false tooth falls out. Good times.


15. Mosquito

Mosquito in Soul Eater anime

Anime: Soul Eater

Mosquito is the butler of Arachne and a fierce believer in the twisted goals of her organization Arachnophobia.

Though he is short and sickly looking, don’t let appearances fool you.

Mosquito is a powerful bloodsucker with immense magical combat skills who holds a top position within Arachnophobia – and not just because he serves the master well.


14. Hino Akiharu

Hino Akiharu in Ladies Versus Butlers! anime

Anime: Ladies Versus Butlers!

Akiharu is the main character from Ladies Versus Butlers.

Having lost his parents at a young age, he was adopted by his uncle but felt like he was burdening his relatives.

So he enrolled into the Hakureiyo Academy, a school for upper-class ladies that also trains maids and butlers.

To his surprise he bumps into his childhood friend, the manipulative and cunning Tomomi Saikyo, who immediately starts putting Akiharu into awkward situations.

Though he looks like a gangster with his red eyes, stern appearance and scars, he’s actually a loving and caring person. Great character to dive into.


13. Mr. Tanaka

Mr. Tanaka in Sonic X anime

Anime: Sonic X

The butler and bodyguard of the Thorndykes, Tanaka serves Chris’ and his family with unwavering loyalty.

He has been seen trying to fight off human enemies, animal enemies and even Dr. Eggman’s robots – however very rarely does he win.

Sonic finds him a bit of a nuisance, but not enough to get rid of him.

Fun fact: in the English dub Mr. Tanaka speaks with a Japanese accent. In fact, he’s one of the few sonic characters canonically from Japan!


12. Canary

Canary in Hunter x Hunter anime

Anime: Hunter x Hunter

Canary is one of the Zoldyke family’s butlers.

A young teenage girl of African descent, she ticks all the boxes for what wouldn’t normally be traits for a butler.

But she can hold her ground better than any other.

At the age of 10, Canary took out an army of 100 and at the time of the series she was strong enough to hold back Gon without flinching. She finally let him through because she saw he really cared about her master Killua.


11. Wu

Wu in Bananafish anime

Anime: Bananafish

Wu is the butler of Yut-Lung, heir to one of the biggest crime families in China.

His master is a cruel and cunning man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of herbs and poisons, he killed his half-brothers for raping and murdering his concubine mother. This backstory gets dark fast.

Now as the sole heir to the Li family, Wu is one of the few people that Yut-Lung can trust with absolute loyalty.


10. Subaru Konoe

Subaru Konoe in Mayo Chiki anime

Anime: Mayo Chiki

Subaru is a butler and she isn’t a guy. But only Kinjiro Sakamachi knows that.

Due to a family tradition, all servants of the Suzutsuki family must be male. But the only descendant of their family of butlers was Subaru – not a male.

To get around this odd situation, the patriarch of the Suzutsuki family allowed her to be their butler only if she managed to get through three years of school without anyone realizing her secret. Easy peasy, right?

Kinjiro found out one day when he accidentally opened a stall in the boy’s toilet to Subaru with her pants off.

He won’t let anyone know, but will anyone else find out?


9. Hayate Ayasaki

Hayate Ayasaki in Hayate the Combat Butler! anime

Anime: Hayate the Combat Butler!

When life gives you lemons, become a combat butler.

Hayate Ayasaki is the son of a deadbeat father who refuses to get a job, and a gambling mother who never has any luck.

One fateful Christmas the two disappeared, leaving their son with a massive debt to the Yakuza.

Running away from the burly men who wanted to sell his organs, he tried to kidnap a young girl Nagi for ransom money.

In a strange turn of events, she mistakes his kidnap attempt as a confession of love and hires him as her personal butler and bodyguard. Hard to see this one coming!

Later in the series he manages to pay back the debt, but stays loyal to Nagi and her estate. The whole series is worth a watch if you’d get into this kind of plot.


8. Walter C. Dornez

Walter C. Dornez in Hellsing anime

Anime: Hellsing

Walter is the cunning, merciless, yet loyal butler of the Hellsing family.

Alongside the vampire Alucard, he is one of Integra’s most trusted servants.

Sometimes, despite being a human, he’s chosen to be her bodyguard over Alucard.

In his youth Walter was a crash and violent man, but that’s all mellowed out in his old age.

Now he kills you with thought out insults instead of swearing and all while wearing his Sunday best.


7. Hong Long

Hong Long in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 anime

Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam 00

Hong Long is the butler and older brother of Wang Liu Mei, the Celestial Being agent and matriarch of the aristocratic Wang family.

But wait, a younger sister becoming the head of a family? That’s unheard of!

Although it’s not fully explored in the series, their parents thought Hong Long didn’t have the skills to become head of the family and instead passed the position to Liu Mei.

However Liu Mei never wanted to be in charge.

She wanted to be free. Perhaps it’s for that reason that she fights for a better world as part of Celestial Being.

Regardless, Hong Long became her right hand man. He joined Celestial Being out of love and loyalty to his sister.

He is trained in Northern Chinese martial arts and is an apt pilot. Ironically he’s really bad with firearms, but who needs guns when you’ve got Kung Fu?


6. Watari

Watari in Death Note anime

Anime: Death Note

Watari, whose real name is a secret till quite late in the series, is the butler and father figure of genius detective L.

An inventor and philanthropist by trade, Watari established Wammy’s House an orphanage for especially gifted boys in Winchester, England, where L grew up.

When L became a sought-after detective, Watari changed focus of the house to train a newcomer.

In the meantime he became L’s retainer. For many years, no one could see L, who chooses instead to communicate through Watari alone. Very secretive!


5. Mitsuzo Soroi

Mitsuzo Soroi in Kill la Kill anime

Anime: Kill la Kill

Soroi is Kiryuuin Satsuki’s loyal butler.

An Alfred Pennyworth-like figure, his tall bony body raised Satsuki from a child and supporting her every step of the way.

He’s not the family butler. He’s her butler, and stays with her even through Satsuki’s betrayal of her mother Ragyou.

Unlike other members of the KLK cast, Soroi doesn’t have any fighting abilities.

Instead he has the ability to make tea. Bitter tea, as Satsuki would put it, but the best tea in the world regardless.


4. Merry

Merry in One Piece anime

Anime: One Piece

Merry is one of Kaya’s two butlers.

Merry, the one who looks like a lamb, is loyal and good.

The other, Kuro, whose name means black in Japanese, looks like a James Bond villain and is bad.

After Kuro failed to kill Merry, he tried to kill Kaya pirate friends.

He even said he would kill Kaya! However Luffy and the Straw Hat pirates managed to protect Kaya and subdue the evil butler.

As a thank you, Kaya tells Merry to design them a ship. And design he did.

The ‘Going Merry’ was the Straw Hat Pirates’ first ship.

With large sheep head at the front, the boat travelled across the East Blue all the way to Water 7. However the ship saw more damage than it could take and was given a touching Viking funeral before being replaced by the Thousand Sunny.


3. Norman Burg

Norman Burg in The Big O anime

Anime: The Big O

Norman Burg is one of the three protagonists of The Big O, a late 90s anime that imitates 60s and 70s Japanese and American animation styles with sprinklings of film noir and mecha.

If you’ve never seen it, it’s really cool.

Set in a dystopian future where everyone has lost their memories, Norman Burg serves Paradigm City’s top Negotiator, Norman Smith.

Burg is the mechanic of Smith’s Megadeus Mecha, The Big O.

Proficient in firearms, he’s also the first line of defence should someone ever attack the Smith mansion. However his most important job is to be a father figure to Roger and his robot assistant Dorothy.


2. Paul Moriyama

Paul Moriyama in Keroro Gunsou anime

Anime: Keroro Gunsou

The moustached Paul Moriyama is a memorable character from Keroro Gunsou – also known as Sgt. Frog in the West.

Memorable because I remember him from watching this show as an 8 year old.

Paul serves the Nishizawa family and in particular their heir apparent, the young Momoko, who takes in Private Tamama when the Kerorian aliens invade earth.

A fierce and loyal butler, he protects the young lady with his life.

It’s shown that he has comically supernatural fighting abilities for a mere butler and even enjoys sparring with violent Corporal Giroro.

In the Funimation English dub it’s implied he gets his powers from his moustache… why don’t I have superpowers yet?!


1. Sebastian Michaelis

Sebastian Michaelis in Black Butler anime

Anime: Black Butler

And in top place is the Black Butler, Sebastian Michaelis himself.

A Demon from another world, Sebastian’s real name and background are shrouded in mystery.

What we do know, is that human or not, Sebastian is a connoisseur.

He has starved himself for centuries because he does not want to eat low quality souls. What a champ.

In his human form, he is the butler of Ciel Phantomhive, later Earl Phantomhive.

He teaches Ciel how to be an aristocrat, protects him against human and supernatural fiends, and most importantly helps Ciel enact his revenge on the gang that abducted him and killed his brother.

However, none of this is for free.

Sebastian is a demon, after all. The idea is that upon fulfilling Ciel’s wish for revenge, he will slowly savour Ciel’s deliciously angry soul… but do things go down this road?

You’ll have to check out the series to find out.

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Cyril Ma

Cyril is a freelance writer, drama teacher and singer from Hong Kong. Growing up in East Asia, anime is literally everywhere. It’s on the streets, it’s in the malls, it’s always on TV. You’re sort of expected to know your anime stuff. Studying University in the UK, Cyril realized the rest of the world is not like that, so with his background in tow he volunteered with Animeleague’s Anime and Gaming conventions. Cyril wrote for the shortlived Shonen-World anime review site and also writes for Underground Hong Kong, a local music magazine. You can find him and the stuff he does at Come say Hi!