20 Iconic Anime Characters Who Love Singing (Male + Female)

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Music holds enormous power over people. It’s a cultural and creative force that can be (and has been) used for good, evil, and everything in between.

And sometimes, you just need a song to brighten your day or destress after work.

In the context of anime, there are OPs, EDs, and characters singing covers and original tracks.

But who among them left a lasting impression?

From an old rap-loving shinobi to a young and timid death metal vocalist, these are my favorite singers in anime.


20. Kahono

Kahono from Black Clover anime

Anime: Black Clover

With her amicable and enthusiastic demeanor, Kahono is the kind of priestess who will keep your (and her) hopes up no matter what.

They say that music can heal, right?

Thanks to her Song Magic, this 15-year-old can literally soothe other people’s pain with her charming voice. Asta can personally attest to the efficacy of Kahono’s recuperative magic — and both he and Noelle know that her music can easily attract a crowd.

Still, no one should dismiss this red-haired girl as a mere healer aspiring to be a successful idol someday.

Kahono is adept at defensive and offensive singing spells like Mother Lullaby and Destruction Beat. If her enemies aren’t left defenseless once forced into a deep slumber, they’ll be ravaged by her deadly sound waves.


19. Killer B

Killer B from Naruto Shippuden anime

Anime: Naruto Shippuden

The ever-expanding world of Naruto and Boruto has no scarcity of eccentric shinobi, one of whom is the equally powerful and hilarious Killer B.

His lifelong duty is to safeguard the Hidden Cloud Village from all forms of danger.

This sounds extremely stressful, but it’s only fitting for the jinchuriki of the Eight-Tailed Beast. As Gyuki’s first-ever human friend, Killer B can easily harness his colossal might for the benefit of Kumogakure.

On the other hand, he also dreams of becoming the best rapper in the world.

Killer B finds musical inspiration all the time whether he’s in a formal meeting or facing deadly enemies. No matter the occasion or risk, he’ll compose lyrics and disregard anyone who ridicules his rhymes and rap performances.

Then again, Killer B knows when to get serious.

He’s highly efficient at individually completing missions that would normally be assigned to entire groups of shinobi. Furthermore, he was essential to Naruto’s continued maturity — and he won’t think twice about sacrificing himself for others.


18. Kuku

Kuku from I've Been Killing Slimes For 300 Years And Maxed Out My Level anime

Anime: I’ve Been Killing Slimes For 300 Years And Maxed Out My Level

At first, Kuku embraced death metal and was known onstage as Schifanoia.

However, this style didn’t represent herself at all.

Thankfully her stay at Azusa’s Cottage in the Highlands gave her the time and encouragement she needed to find her voice.

Kuku’s live performance of “Thank You” is one of the highlights of the entire Slime 300 anime. She was in front of a massive crowd, but the bunny-eared minstrel wowed them all (and made her friends proud) as she played the guitar and sang her heart out.

Despite appearing in the final stretch of the 12-episode adaptation, Kuku left a big impression on viewers with her heartwarming and relatable story about identity and creative self-expression.

I’m confident that I’m not the only one who wants a second season and another emotional piece from Kuku.


17. Karina Lyle

Karina Lyle from Tiger & Bunny anime

Anime: Tiger & Bunny

Unlike typical shounen MCs, the beautiful and fashionable Karina Lyle wasn’t born with a fiery passion for serving people in need. Otherwise known as Blue Rose, she only accepted the superhero role after being told that it can fast-track her dream of being a singer.

Fortunately for her and the general public, Karina is in love with Kotetsu Kaburagi, the main protagonist who makes her reflect on her aspirations.

Eventually she becomes genuinely intent on becoming a hero, proving that underneath her ‘superficial’ fashion interests and icy cold powers lies a heart of gold.

It took 11 years before the second season of Tiger & Bunny premiered.

But the wait was worth it, as fans are blessed with even more of Karina.


16. Hanon Houshou

Hanon Houshou from Mermaid Melody: Pichi Pichi Pitch anime

Anime: Mermaid Melody: Pichi Pichi Pitch

Hanon Shoushou didn’t actually want to walk on land.

In truth, the blue-haired mermaid of the core trio only transformed into a human because there was nowhere else to go after her kingdom was decimated.

On the bright side, she, Lucia Nanami, and Rina Touin immediately hit it off at school. Since then, they’ve been the best of friends.

Throughout Mermaid Melody’s 91-episode run, Hanon was crucial to the colorful dynamics of the cast in friendship and romance. She often gives love advice to friends, so it’s funny to witness the sheer irony of her getting into trouble because of her strong feelings for their music teacher Taro Mitsuki.

Anyway, her debut image song “Ever Blue” captures the mystical sound of the ocean while adding a pop element. The next track “Mizuiro no Senritsu” holds a special place in Hanon’s heart because it reminds her of the power of (stubborn) love.


15. Inori Yuzuriha

Inori Yuzuriha from Guilty Crown anime

Anime: Guilty Crown

In 2011, Production IG and Tetsurou Araki unveiled their original TV project.

The narrative flaws became apparent later on, but Guilty Crown remained stellar in terms of audiovisual thrills, especially with Inori Yuzuriha as the MC.

Inori’s ordinary look was attractive without being loud. Her pink hair and pigtails were soothing to look at — and the same goes for her lean figure.

In contrast, her combat outfit was a fiery leotard that exposed her cleavage and midriff.

This character design hinted at Inori’s personality:

While generally soft-spoken and seemingly fragile, she was fiercely loyal and loved to unleash her thoughts and feelings through music. Whether alone or with the rest of Egoist (based on the real Japanese band of the same name), singing was her favorite activity.

It’s hard to make sense out of everything that Guilty Crown throws at its viewers. But you never regret watching it anyway, if only due to Inori’s palpable passion for music.


14. Sylvia Lyyneheym

Sylvia Lyyneheym from The Asterisk War anime

Anime: The Asterisk War

As an ecchi harem, Gakusen Toshi Asterisk is unsurprisingly brimming with attractive girls.

But there’s no one quite like Sylvia Lyyneheym, the student council head who’s captured the hearts of those beyond the academy as Earth’s most popular idol.

From her gorgeous long hair and purple eyes to her gentle smile and winks to die for, Sylvia doesn’t need to do much to be on everyone’s good side.

Yet what I admire most about her is her lack of complacency.

Rather than relying on her superior looks all the time, Sylvia hones her competitive skills as well. In fact, only Orphelia Landlufen could give her a difficult time at the grueling Lindwurm Fest.

Sylvia’s original songs grant her different abilities.

She can fly, use defensive wind barriers, quickly locate her target, summon an army of Valkyrie shadows, and become strong enough to take on her crush Ayato Amagari.

Not bad for an idol, don’t you think?


13. Michiru Hyodo

Michiru Hyodo from Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend anime

Anime: Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend

Moving from one ecchi harem series to another, Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata is home to some of the past decade’s top girls.

For one, there’s Eriri Spencer Sawamura who is Tomoya Aki’s childhood buddy (and my all-time best girl).

But apart from her, the bespectacled MC has another long-time female childhood friend: Michiru Hyodo.

Similar to Sylvia Lyyneheym, this 16-year-old is gifted with alluring purple hair and eyes — but she’s not an idol.

Michiru plays the guitar and belongs to an indie band, and those are probably the two things she cares most about.

Even if Michiru isn’t part of Tomoyo’s central harem trio, the adaptation showed that her gaze and ample curves (and the shortest of shorts) can compete against Utaha Kasumigaoka.

More importantly, the final episode of Season 1 wouldn’t be as climactic without her rendition of Shoko Nakagawa’s “Sorairo Days”.


12. Shou Fuwa

Shou Fuwa from Skip Beat anime

Anime: Skip Beat

In many parts of the entertainment industry, people often joke about how it’s primarily about good looks — that talent only comes in second.

Shoutarou Fuwa has the best of both worlds – which is why he’s built a massive fanbase.

Granted, Shou’s success in showbiz isn’t the result of only his own sweat and tears. Kyouko Mogami (his childhood friend and the main heroine) is rightfully furious over him for exploiting her romantic feelings, just so he could comfortably live on his way to stardom.

No worries. Shou Fuwa gets proper character development throughout Skip Beat.

He struggles against other musicians at some point, and it’s fantastic seeing his artistic side flourish right when his career is threatened.


11. Vivy

Vivy from Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song anime

Anime: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song

Considering that her reason for existing is to brighten everyone’s lives through her singing, Vivy was born (or programmed, to be exact) for this list.

She yearns to perform with all her heart.

Yet even as a pristine and humanoid AI with full independence, Vivy can’t comprehend the simplicity (and nuance) of the word “heart”, something that ordinary humans take for granted.

Even when the series gets pretty wild with its time travel shenanigans, it nevertheless goes back to Vivy’s lingering issues of identity and purpose.

I’m not the biggest fan of Studio Wit’s original sci-fi project back in Spring 2021. But I will not dismiss its musical prowess.

Kairi Yagi did an exceptional job as the singing voice of Vivy, catapulting tracks like “Sing My Pleasure” and “Fluorite Eye’s Song” to the top of anime playlists.


10. Tomoyo Daidouji

Tomoyo Daidouji from Cardcaptor Sakura anime

Anime: Cardcaptor Sakura

As Sakura Kinomoto’s best friend, Tomoyo Daidouji takes it upon herself to ensure her safety and overall happiness.

With her impeccable fashion taste and the fact that her mother is a rich businesswoman, she can prepare as many cute outfits and nifty gadgets as she wants for Sakura.

But more than her material possessions, it’s her refined and caring personality that makes her the ideal best friend.

Tomoyo had the money (and an army of bodyguards) to enjoy a carefree life. Instead, she chased thrills and shared unforgettable moments with her best friend, handling everything from wardrobe changes to risky film recordings.

Plus, Tomoyo’s formal demeanor adds a graceful aspect to her singing, which she often does at school for recitals and club activities. Her enchanting voice makes her a prime target for Clow Cards associated with music, but that’s why Sakura is ready to come to her rescue.


9. Carole Stanley

Carole Stanley from Carole & Tuesday anime

Anime: Carole & Tuesday

Carole Stanley and Tuesday Simmons are the two titular MCs dreaming of making it big in the music industry — but there’s a catch.

They and the rest of humanity live on a futuristic vision of Mars, which has a bustling entertainment scene ruled by AI.

Tuesday comes from an elite background.

On the other hand, Carole is an orphan struggling every day as she juggles her daytime job and nighttime music playing. Can their ‘merely human’ talents surpass top AI singers?

Similar to Vivy from Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song, Carole also has a regular voice (Miyuri Shimabukuro) and a singing voice (Nai BR.XX), both of which I genuinely adore.

But the best parts are the themes and messages behind the music. Carole isn’t trying to entertain with vapid pop music. In truth, her songs with Tuesday like “The Loneliest Girl”, “Lay It All On Me”, and “After the Fire” tell stories that are deeply personal and political.


8. Brook

Brook from One Piece anime

Anime: One Piece

Brook has one of the most unforgettable and bittersweet backstories in One Piece.

He loved spending his merry days in the sea playing music with the rest of the Rumbar Pirates. To add, he had a playful fashion sense reminiscent of rock legends like Jimi Hendrix.

Sadly, every member of the pirate crew but Brook died one after the other due to disease and poisonous attacks.

For half a century, Brook was left all by his lonesome in the vast and mysterious Florian Triangle.

Yet after his arduous isolation and eventual death, Brook didn’t harbor deep-seated anger. In contrast, he just wanted to uphold his promise to meet and sing to Laboon.

Furthermore, he belted out original tunes like “New World” and harnessed music-themed combat skills such as “Lullaby Parry” and “Party Music”.

He’s physically nothing but a bunch of bones and a big afro hair, but Brook is still a larger-than-life entity.


7. Mafuyu Satou

Mafuyu Satou from Given anime

Anime: Given

Compared to superstar idols and veteran artists on this list, Mafuyu Satou is but a mere novice.

In fact, his relationship with Ritsuka Uenoyama begins and grows because of his badly maintained guitar.

The more time spent alone together, the more he and Ritsuka understand each other as vulnerable and kind individuals.

From the series to the movie and the recent OVA, Given simultaneously exudes an air of familiarity and welcome change.

Sure, it’s not the only title about teens finding their voice and resolving lingering issues through music.

However, this is the rare BL adaptation that general anime fans can enjoy — and Given’s success is partly due to Mafuyu’s wholesomeness, naivety, and honest gaze.

Furthermore, Mafuyu is an inspiration to others who also have no professional music education but want to learn how to play the guitar, join a band, compose their songs, and perform in front of a crowd.


6. Mitsuki Koyama

Mitsuki Koyama from Searching for the Full Moon anime

Anime: Searching for the Full Moon

Childhood friends Mitsuki Koyama and Eichi Sakurai promised one another that they would achieve their goals of being a singer and an astronomer, respectively.

Eichi moved to the US, but they know that they’ll meet again one day.

Sadly, Mitsuki has a progressively worsening case of throat cancer. The 12-year-old’s grandma suggests surgery, but she’s terrified of forever being unable to sing.

If her ordeal wasn’t bad enough, two gods of death (shinigami) announced that she only has one year left to go. So what does she do? With the help of her supernatural visitors, Mitsuki magically transforms into a 16-year-old girl and sets out to realize her dreams.

To say that her story is emotional would be an understatement.

Mitsuki eventually signs a record deal, but her achievements are often accompanied by hardships. Perhaps this is why her songs (performed by Myco) such as “Myself”, “New Future”, and “Smile” are beautiful and romantic but tinged with grief and longing.


5. Masami Iwasawa

Masami Iwasawa from Angel Beats anime

Anime: Angel Beats

Voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro and Marina (for the singing parts), Masami Iwasawa is the lead guitarist and vocalist of Girls Dead Monster – the only band in the mysterious world of the Afterlife.

When she was still alive, Masami endured a painful childhood — until she couldn’t.

Her parents always fought violently against each other.

A beer bottle flew and slammed against her head, causing a fatal stroke.

It’s all thanks to music that she found solace and the inspiration to help others in a similar situation. Sad Machine’s songs were there for her when no one else was, so Masami wants her music to do the same.

Yes, Masami was only around for the first three episodes. But that just reinforces the iconic status of her performance of “My Song”. She sang the right song at the right time before disappearing.

That was more than enough for fans to cherish Masami forever.


4. Souichi Negishi

Souichi Negishi from Detroit Metal City anime

Anime: Detroit Metal City

In the ideal world, the otherwise timid Souichi Negishi is an up-and-coming indie artist.

He’ll be crafting cute and comfy theme songs for teen rom-com movies every summer.

Unfortunately, he found success in the music industry as the face of Death Metal City, the rising titular band that embraces morbid and dark themes. On the bright side, Souichi’s identity crisis never fails to cause outrageous situations and elicit hearty laughs.

He doesn’t want his friends, family, and his crush (Yuri Aikawa) to discover the truth – but he sometimes unknowingly transforms into the allegedly murderous death metal frontman at the worst possible moments.

Whether he’s spouting the most sinister lyrics and playing the guitar with his teeth or singing Swedish pop-leaning tunes to a tiny crowd in the streets, Souichi is an amazing MC.


3. Mio Akiyama

Mio Akiyama from K-On! anime

Anime: K-On!

In Spring 2009, the world witnessed the debut of K-On!

This becaome one of the all-time greats in CGDCT, music, and slice-of-life anime history.

All the main girls were charming in their own way, but Mio Akiyama had this undeniable air of coolness without actually trying.

Mio is quiet, scared of ghosts, and dislikes being the center of attention, which is why she chose the bass instead of the guitar. She loves chocolate cake and instruments for left-handed people.

Furthermore, she’s proficient in playing instruments and her lyrics for all of the band’s songs are fun and youthful.

This entry could’ve been Yui Hirasawa since she’s also one of the vocalists of Ho-kago Tea Time.

However, Mio is the first person who comes to mind when I think of the most iconic music parts in Naoko Yamada’s directorial debut.

“Don’t Say Lazy” wouldn’t be as catchy and well-loved to this day if it weren’t for Mio’s powerful soprano vocals (and Kyoto Animation’s top-notch character acting). Plus her soothing voice in “Fuwa Fuwa Time” highlights Yui’s more playful and ‘moe’ vocals.


2. Yukio Tanaka

Yukio Tanaka from Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad anime

Anime: Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad

In the beginning, Yukio Tanaka was disinterested in life.

Nothing made him excited enough to pursue a hobby.

But after he saves a small and funny-looking dog called Beck, he becomes engrossed in rock and roll.

Specifically, Yukio’s life takes a turn for the better when he meets the dog’s owner, Ryusuke Minami, who just arrived from the United States. Ryusuke is only two years older, yet his life experiences incomparable to the 14-year-old MC.

Yukio eventually learns about Ryusuke’s band and he becomes not only one of Beck’s guitarists but also its vocalist.

Throughout the run of this Madhouse classic, he learns the ups and downs of being in a band and being a teenager discovering new emotions and passions.

Seeing Yukio play the Fender Mustang and Telecaster is satisfying (thanks to solid art and animation), and the same goes for his unforgettable duets with Maho Minami on “Follow Me” and “Moon on the Water”.


1. Nana Osaki

Nana Osaki from Nana anime

Anime: Nana

With her red nails, black hair, skinny figure, and smoking habit, Nana Osaki exudes the aura of a punk rocker – which she actually is.

But it’s not all about appearances either.

The raw emotions in her performances and songs like “Lucky” and “Kuroi Namida” result from her varied life experiences.

Nana endured parental abandonment and harsh accusations at school in the past.

At present, her love life and financial stability aren’t exactly ideal. But despite these hardships and her edgy exterior, she’s a genuinely caring individual who won’t give up easily.

No one comes close to Nana in terms of character writing.

She’s a complex, flawed, and ultimately real individual.

Her problems and aspirations in love, work, and life overall are relatable. Especially if you were (or still) in your 20s and coming to terms with adulthood and the unending responsibilities that come with it.

More than 15 years after Nana’s premiere, there is still no singer as iconic as Nana Osaki in the entire medium. Her story hasn’t reached its conclusion due to the source material’s hiatus, but she’s already influenced shoujo and music-themed fiction for generations to come.

Browse: Anime

R. Romero

Millennial introvert on the lookout for slice-of-life anime, world cinema, and European music. Follow on Twitter @notspencer08