Best Anime Characters With Pompadours: The Ultimate List

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The pompadour is one of the most recognizable hairstyles in the world.

With its origins dating back 400 years ago and with associations to cultures and music genres of certain decades, it’s no wonder that it’s also established itself in anime.

But who are the iconic anime individuals that best represent this voluminous style?

From Japanese delinquents to a 90s shounen fighter and a peacemaker sci-fi racer, here are my favorite anime characters who confidently don a pompadour.


20. Tenga Onigawara

Tenga Onigawara in Mob Psycho 100 anime

Anime: Mob Psycho 100

Judging by the state of the bags under his eyes, Tenga probably doesn’t get enough sleep at all.

Officially debuting in EP 04 (while having a cameo two episodes earlier), this 14-year-old understands the power of violence.

Sure, you shouldn’t fight your way all the time. But Tenga has had much success using violence to resolve his troubles.

Yet Tenga doesn’t fully embrace the life of the average delinquent in Japan.

He’s not officially part of the Body Improvement Club, but the other members have welcomed him into their group.

Moreover, Tenga is reminiscent of teens who have a difficult time protecting or developing their identity, which is why he turns to his confrontational side.

In reality, Tenga is more than his appearance.

He was never absent in class for two years, he’s not lewd, and he wants to be a manga author.


19. Metal Bat

Metal Bat from One Punch Man anime

Anime: One Punch Man

Landing at No. 19 is the 17-year-old S-Class hero from one of the most explosive shounen comedies of the past decade.

Despite the big number of characters in the series, Metal Bat is easily recognizable not only because of his pompadour but also his black-and-red gangster outfit.

His eyes are incredibly striking as if he won’t back down even to Death itself.

In fact, Metal Bat has faced Demon-level and even Dragon-level adversaries.

This is partly because he’s just that confident — and also because his power allows him to become much stronger and tougher the longer the battle goes.

Still, Metal Bat is admittedly not one of the smartest heroes in the series.

You could say that he prefers brawn over brains.

Despite this, he’ll never forget his promise to his younger sister Zenko that he won’t resort to violence when she’s around.


18. Tatsuya Himekawa

Tatsuya Himekawa Beelzebub anime screenshot

Anime: Beelzebub

Have you wondered how anime characters with pompadours would look like if they changed to a less eccentric hairstyle?

Well, check out Tatsuya Himekawa in Beelzebub.

This guy has it all.

His father manages a business conglomerate, which is why he thinks everything can be resolved using money — and it’s proven effective for the most part.

Often Tatsuya simply bribes people working for his competitors, thereby destabilizing adversaries with ease.

Given his socioeconomic position, Tatsuya looks down at people. Thankfully his experience at eventual defeat molds him into a better person, slowly but surely — and he’s always less scummy in online games.

But going back to a change in appearance, you should see Tatsuya when he lets his hair down and takes off his glasses.

You probably wouldn’t even realize it’s him.


17. Marco Ikusaba

Marco Ikusaba in Future Diary anime

Anime: Future Diary

Marco is the brown-haired and confident young guy of Mirai Niki — and why wouldn’t he feel smug?

He honed his combat prowess in the streets, and he knows he’s much capable of protecting his loved ones.

Ai Mikami is his high school sweetheart who wants the same thing as Marco.

Using the Exchange Diary to keep an eye on each other, they hope to be the victors of the bloody game and become deities.

Thus, their dream is eternal love.

I appreciate Marco not only as a fighter but also as a lover.

In contrast to Yukiteru Amano, he’ll never think twice about putting his life on the line for Ai, and he wants Yukiteru to be more courageous for Yuno (although viewers know that she doesn’t need help defeating others).

Lastly, I love that Marco brought a comb with him whenever he could when he got older to maintain his pompadour.


16. Mondo Oowada

Mondo Oowada from Danganronpa: The Animation

Anime: Danganronpa: The Animation

Moving from one vicious survival anime to another, Danganronpa: The Animation (and Danganronpa 3) had its own pompadour-loving dude.

Does he remind you of stereotypical Japanese gang members?

Well, that’s because Mondo is not just one — he’s the leader of The Crazy Diamonds.

This was a biker gang first led by his onii-chan, Daiya.

It was his brother who made him fall in love with bikes, and biking was also (sadly) the last thing they shared after a tragic accident that Mondo still feels so guilty about.

Yet don’t let his 14-inch pompadour and general appearance make you think he’s all about brawling and cussing.

Mondo loves dogs a lot because he had one named Chuck when he was a kid.

He even gets sentimental just talking about him.


15. Rustyrose

Rustyrose from Fairy Tail anime

Anime: Fairy Tail

With his silver pompadour, white gloves, silver glasses, and overall fashionable attire, Rustyrose doesn’t need to utter any word to stand out from the crowd.

Still, it’s when he speaks that he truly outshines everyone else.

While Rustyrose also has that signature stoic look of other members of the powerful Grimoire Heart, he loves being flamboyant from his choice of words and manner of speaking to even his hand movements.

But this harmless look can’t hide his terrifying side:

Rustyrose thought of a dark future where Zeref Dragneel reigned and people who couldn’t use magic were killed — and he laughed hysterically. That’s not a good thing, especially when he has the Arc of Embodiment at his disposal.

Then again, he’s changed a lot after seven years (but not exactly for the better).


14. Tetsuya Kusakaba

Tetsuya Kusakaba in Katekyo Hitman Reborn!

Anime: Katekyo Hitman Reborn!

Tetsuya Kusakaba is part of Kyoya Hibari’s organization for delinquents. Known as the Namimori Middle Disciplinary Committee, it’s not as morally sound as it seems when you see Tetsuya abuse his position to ruin the days of other students.

He prefers solitude over company (unless it’s with Hibari), and he’ll showcase his violent personality if he ends up in a crowd.

Then again, Tetsuya isn’t irredeemable.

For one, children like Lambo love spending time with him.

And it’s hard to completely hate a delinquent who dedicates three hours to arrange his pompadour, a hairstyle he’s had since he was in kindergarten.

I don’t think that Hibari could’ve had someone more loyal to him than Tetsuya.

He always adhered to Hibari’s commands — and they were still together uncovering the mystery of Box Weapons and Rings.


13. Hoodlum

Hoodlum from Akudama Drive anime

Anime: Akudama Drive

Akudama Drive was one of the most unusual new shows of 2020 with an equally unusual set of MCs, one of whom was Hoodlum.

Is he just the anime version of The Joker?

Well, the only similarities are the purple suit and the fact that both are criminals.

In contrast to Batman’s archenemy, Hoodlum isn’t in the pursuit of chaos for the sake of chaos. Instead, this green-eyed fellow is motivated by money, unsurprisingly enough.

It was money that sent him to prison (theft) — and it’s also what motivated him to chase the Akudama.

Still, Hoodlum is neither a significant threat nor is he pure scum.

He’s hungry for money but he’s also a coward who’ll take your side if you defeat him.

And since he’s a fearful fellow, Hoodlum will put great trust in you and your abilities.

Lastly, even if he constantly lies, he’s expressed loyalty at some point, particularly toward Brawler.


12. Bulat

Bulat in Akame ga Kill anime

Anime: Akame ga Kill

Akame ga Kill didn’t age well in my book.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t recognize its positive aspects.

For one, you have the so-called 100 Man-Slayer Bulat, an assassin from the Revolutionary Army’s Night Raid Division.

Bulat has an impressive heart-shaped pompadour (that looks like a croissant from the side), and he’s far from a Japanese teen delinquent.

He’s already in his 20s and has a form-fitting outfit consisting of a black shirt, white pants, and a green guard for his chest and shoulders.

Also, he’s a formidable fighter — an exceptional wielder of swords and spears.

Furthermore, his amazing perception allows him to deal with multiple enemies at the same time.

More importantly, he was an important person to Tatsumi.

Bulat helped Tatsumi utilize his emotions without letting them take over.

He considered himself a fiery man, but he was always composed in fights. Sure, Bulat’s no longer around, but Tatsumi keeps his spirit alive by following his words of wisdom (and taking care of his Incursio).


11. Enji Koma

Enji Koma from Tokyo Ghoul anime

Anime: Tokyo Ghoul

This guy appeared early on in the series, but you never really got to know Enji Koma until much later on.

He’s initially presented as nothing more than your average waiter working at your likewise average local cafe.

Yet Anteiku (both the place and its people) was never as normal as it seemed.

In truth, Enji is one of the violent and fight-hungry ghouls who Yoshimura had to quell and educate about living in harmony with humans.

Enji was formerly known as the Devil Ape, leader of the notorious Apes, a gang that didn’t back away from the most formidable investigators.

Of course, Enji’s life as a peaceful cafe waiter took a halt when investigators stormed Anteiku, forcing him and the rest of his gang to once again fight together.

Regardless of his aggressive former self, Tokyo Ghoul fans will remember him for his affable demeanor — and for being a good supervisor to Kanneki.


10. Atsushi Sendo

Atsushi Sendo from Tokyo Revengers anime

Anime: Tokyo Revengers

Tokyo Revengers is one of the newest and hottest anime series of 2021, which makes Atsushi Sendo the freshest pompadour-loving character on this list.

Atsushi has purple hair and is part of the Tokyo Manji Gang, a group established by middle-grade boys studying in Tokyo.

The biker gang’s identity has long since been tarnished (in an alternate timeline) as leadership changed — and Atsushi loathed having Tetta Kisaki at the helm.

Unlike the deceitful and ruthless Tetta, Atsushi is a fairly good guy.

He was good toward the delinquents who looked up to him. Atsushi valued his friends and would always do what he could to keep them safe.

Yet he was unable to protect himself from Kisaki’s torment.

It was eating his spirit away, and it seemed there was nothing else he could do but suffer.

Needless to say, Atsushi had a rough life.

And you won’t easily forget him and how he tried to do better for himself and the people he loved.


9. Kazuma Kuwabara

Kazuma Kuwabara Yu Yu Hakusho anime screenshot

Anime: Yu Yu Hakusho

Otherwise known as Ghost Fighter, this classic shounen from the early 1990s had Kazuma Kuwabara as one of its four main characters.

If Hiei was short and Kurama had long red hair while Yusuke had a green uniform, Kazuma had a greasy orange pompadour, blue jumpsuit, and was the tallest among the four.

Sometimes he was like a bike gang member, and he even wears a hachimaki or Japanese headband.

But what was he like as a person?

Kazuma often appeared foolish, but he was arguably honorable and would do everything for his friends.

His love life isn’t likely going to go anywhere because he’s in love with a literal demon. But I don’t think Yukina’s race and her zero knowledge about love will stop him.


8. Kanichi Konishi

Kanichi Konishi in Food Wars anime

Anime: Food Wars

While he’s only a supporting character, Kanichi grabbed my attention because of his appearance and (more importantly) his love of donburi.

He graced viewers with not only a lush pompadour but also a sleek mustache.

I’m not even sure if he’s an excellent cook when it comes to donburi, but no one can deny that he knows a lot about it.

When he’s feeling down (and his pompadour slumps to reflect how he feels), you just need to ask about donburi to cheer him up.

He loves it so much that he’s the president of the school’s Donburi Research Society, and he was actually its only member at one point.

Thankfully, Ikumi Mito joined after her duel against Soma, and both Soma and Megumi became honorary members.

That’s a great development, especially since Ikumi cut a huge portion of Kanichi’s pompadour, which thankfully grew back.


7. Grevil de Blois

Grevil de Blois from Gosick anime

Anime: Gosick

Grevil sports one of the most ridiculous-looking pompadour hairstyles in anime.

It’s like a drill that was accidentally transferred from the mecha Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann to this historical mystery series.

But I really like his design.

Instead of a gangster look, Grevil has blonde hair, a white coat, and a muted pink necktie — and Cecile even says that his hair smells like flowers.

And here’s the best part about Grevil’s pompadour:

Previously, he just let his long hair fall down to his shoulders, and he had a gentle demeanor.

But then something happened, forcing him to change his hairstyle (and develop a more avant-garde personality).

Gosick gave a supporting character’s pompadour a backstory. You don’t see something like that often.


6. Knuckle Bine

Knuckle Bine in Hunter x Hunter (2011)

Anime: Hunter x Hunter (2011)

Knuckle Bine is the counter-evidence to anyone who believes that all anime characters with pompadours must be aggressive, loud, and impatient.

Despite his intimidating default facial expression, this Beast Hunter is an amazing and commendable guy.

Knuckle will offer assistance to anyone in need, so much so that he’ll prioritize helping others over his completing his missions.

Furthermore, he loves animals — and animals seem to love him too.

Homeless pets are in good hands with him around.

Like many others in the series, Knuckle underestimated Gon and Killua because they’re kids.

He realized his mistake soon enough, however, and decided to help the two hone their combat prowess by engaging with them in fights for 20 straight days.

Finally, Knuckle is a special pompadour-haired character because he doesn’t usually act without thinking and questioning:

He yearned to be a member of the Extermination Team, but he first wanted to know if the Chimera Ants were good or bad and needed to be annihilated.


5. Ryunosuke Umemiya

Ryunosuke Umemiya from Shaman King anime

Anime: Shaman King

Like Kanichi from Food Wars, Ryunosuke’s glorious pompadour will sometimes reflect his emotions — and it isn’t safe either.

Asakura Yoh is just one of many folks who’ve sliced his long pompadour.

But he loves his pompadour and will patiently wait for it to grow back.

Moreover, Ryunosuke has a vintage and fabulous look.

He usually wears a three-piece attire that’s way too big in the collar and cuff area, and he has prominent sideburns.

As expected, he was previously a gang leader with the demeanor of a stereotypical delinquent.

But as he spent more time with Asakura Yoh and continued his journey to find the “best place”, Ryunosuke learned to be more grateful, loyal, and caring.

I know he’d still do well in life if he became, for example, a kickboxer or professional boxer.

But it’s lovely to see him be the head chef of a hot spring inn and astound people with his culinary skills (especially in all things sushi).


4. JP

JP from Redline anime

Anime: Redline

Redline is an insanely animated and adrenaline-pumping film — and at the center of it all is JP, a highly charismatic guy with a shiny pompadour.

And this Elvis-like hair isn’t random either.

His character design is partly based on the greaser look of some Americans in the 1950s and 1960s.

JP’s race car, a modified Trans Am WR, also evokes memories of vintage muscle cars that were all the rage in the 1960s.

Going beyond his appearance, the popular 28-year-old pacifist doesn’t have a lot of friends.

In fact, he really only has Frisbee to call a true friend. But he’s a childhood buddy who will do everything to support JP’s dream of joining and winning the Redline race.

The film knows its purpose, and I love that JP’s childlike and confident (or childish and conceited) nature complements this. JP loves to be entertained and hyped — and Redline evoked these feelings to viewers.


3. Mamoru Takamura

Mamoru Takamura in Hajime no Ippo anime

Anime: Hajime no Ippo

The Hajime no Ippo franchise is a riveting journey that will captivate even folks who don’t like boxing.

As the second most crucial individual in the entire series, Mamoru Takamura had to be a well-written and fully-realized character — and he is.

Instead of being another typical delinquent, Mamoru is actually from a wealthy family.

The problem, however, is that only two of his siblings didn’t make him feel isolated and unwelcome.

And on a fateful night, his effortless and surprisingly skillful beating of multiple delinquents would urge Genji Kamogawa to ask Mamoru to be a boxer.

Eventually, Mamoru would earn well as a boxer to comfortably live on his own and never ask for money from his family.

He evolved from someone who only did boxing to spend his free time to a multi-weight boxing champion.

Yes, he’s arrogant.

But Mamoru is genuinely intelligent as a boxer.

He carefully studies the in-ring movements and general behavior of his opponents to gain an advantage.

And while he might not always show it, it’s clear that he deeply values Kamogawa’s advice and training.

You’ll find many occasions to love him, deplore him, and either laugh at or laugh with him.

He’s egotistic, highly-skilled, annoying, grateful, and clearly ambitious. Mamoru is a realistic character — and I love that.


2. Josuke Higashikata

Josuke Higashikata from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable

Anime: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable

Josuke Higashikata is one of the best characters in anime — and that’s saying something when the JoJo franchise is loaded with all-time favorites.

As the central figure of the acclaimed Diamond is Unbreakable portion of the series, Josuke holds it all together with a decent backstory, understandable and laudable personality, and a powerful Stand that reflects his deeply caring attitude.

When Josuke learned he was the bastard child of Joseph Joestar, he didn’t react with anger.

In contrast, he was concerned if his existence had caused strife in the family and hoped his father knew he was okay.

And Josuke doesn’t try to be a saint:

He becomes infuriated when the people he cares about suffer.

Plus, he considers less honorable ways of making money even if his late grandpa (a sensible police officer) wouldn’t like that.

Many other aspects elevate and give color to his character.

For one, he’s not ashamed to confess his inferiority in many things.

So even if Josuke aspires to be like Jotaro, he’s scared of failing to meet expectations.

Josuke is fashionable, terrified of turtles and ghosts, open with his emotions, and he gets mad quickly when someone ridicules his pompadour.

Most importantly, Josuke pays it forward.

A stranger once got out of their way to help him when he was a kid, and now he’s someone that anyone in need can depend on.


1. Dandy

Dandy from Space Dandy anime

Anime: Space Dandy

With his scruffy sideburns and solid-black pompadour, there was no doubt Dandy would take the crown on this list.

Often referred to as an idiot by both the English and Japanese narrators, the eponymous MC has one big goal:

Dandy wants to dine in all branches of the intergalactic restaurant BooBies (yes, it’s based on Hooters).

This alien hunter and spaceship pilot doesn’t want to obsess about the meaning of life or the humbling complexity and magnitude of the universe and alternate dimensions.

He just wants to admire women’s breasts while eating good food.

But there’s more to Dandy (and Space Dandy) than his earthly desire suggests.

This space-age lanky delinquent is unironically the perfect guy to guide viewers into this highly creative and comical sci-fi world.

Due to the episodic nature of the series and the distinct styles of the episode directors, Dandy is presented and characterized in all sorts of ways.

You can never fully expect what will happen in the next episode — and that’s great.

He’s a joy to watch, especially when he’s goofing around with new alien entities or with his outdated ship robot QT and feline-like alien friend Mymyamo.

Dandy outshines every other character in anime sharing his fabulous hairstyle, and you’ll be left grinning when the big secret (and Dandy’s response) unfolds.

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R. Romero

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