15 Best Kings & Emperors in Anime: Our Top Characters ListThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
The appearance of a king in any show always carries a lot of weight. Because you know they hold enormous power.
Sometimes they’re portrayed as the bad guy, and sometimes they’re just symbols of peak human performance. Either way, kingly characters are certainly easy to recognize.
For this list we’re going to look at anime and all of its men at the top of the royalty chart.
Let’s see how anime’s demon kings, human kings, and the rest of the highest royalty bunch fare in this massive character list.
15. Julius Novachrono
Anime: Black Clover
Since Asta has been spouting about his wish to become a Wizard King ever since he first appeared in episode 1, we were all kind of curious to see what the current king looks like.
And man, he did not disappoint.
It was to be expected that he has immense power. But his genuine charisma took me by surprise.
He was like the most humble and kind man in the entire series, constantly sneaking out of the castle and just helping his people under disguise because he didn’t want the attention.
Their feudal king, on the other hand, now that guy is a handful.
14. Lelouch Lamperouge
Anime: Code Geass
Spoiler warning here!
Although he did not hold the position of emperor for long, Lelouch did an amazing job.
Sure, he had to start an entire revolution in order to get to there. And thousands of people probably died in the wake.
But the man sought out peace, and he achieved it. And he put his money where his mouth is, because he too gave up his life willingly to secure peace for the future generations.
Mind you, the man is only in high school and he already has the commitment most world leaders can only dream of.
13. Sadao Maou
Anime: The Devil is a Part-Timer!
Although we get to see Sadao be everything but a demon king, that still is his title. In case you’re unfamiliar with the show, the demon king Sadao gets isekai’d into the human realm with little-to-no power left.
And now he has to work a dead-end job in order to survive.
It certainly took him a bit to readjust from being the man in the highest position of power, down to just an employee.
But we soon see a lot of his true character, the non-murdery bits anyways. And he is just a splendid guy.
I would vote for him.
Anime: Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Initially Meruem was just known as King, as his position at the very top of the food chain defined him as a character.
He loved to flex his power and saw no one as his equal.
He was extremely brutal and was on the path of world domination. But the transition from King to Meruem comes through the influence of this sweet little girl named Komugi.
Through her, Meruem is more fleshed out. And we see a dude who actually desired peace, and even tried to make a treaty with the humans. Unfortunately, being that powerful is terrifying.
11. Muzan Kibutsuji
Anime: Demon Slayer
Muzan is a tyrannical demon king to be sure, as he doesn’t give too much of a damn about his subjects and will kill them instantly if they don’t follow orders, or live up to his expectations.
But in a similar vein like Meruem, there’s something so hype about watching a person who’s the pinnacle of his entire race.
No scene can be as tense as those where he’s present.
And considering that he’s the one creating new demons as well, he is literally the most important demon in his entire universe.
Bonus points for dressing fresh as hell.
Anime: Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
When you have a title like “High king of the seven seas”, you know the character is no joke.
Low and behold, Sinbad is the most powerful character in his entire universe.
And I don’t mean that just because he has multiple Djinns. The man is an S-class diplomat and has political pull with almost all of the hotshots.
He single-handedly enforced a seven nation alliance and has the best trade route a man could want. He is just winning in life.
Anime: No Game, No Life
Having a teen smartass as your king really shouldn’t be a good idea.
And yet Sora managed to prove otherwise.
This is because he’s far beyond just a genius, he is a prodigy. And as such he has gained some significant wins for his people.
But what really sold me was his speech.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but after hearing Sora’s speech on how weakness can be your ultimate strength, I almost bought a gym membership. Almost.
8. Anos Voldigoad
Anime: The Misfit of Demon King Academy
Anos is a Demon Lord who reincarnates after being killed two thousand years prior, and just slips in into a high school.
At first we quickly see how he got such a high position, as the dude knocked people out just with the vibrations his heartbeat created.
But in the latter part of the story we see why he deserved that title.
The man just wanted peace; he even gave up his own life just so that the demons and the humans would stop killing each other.
An excellent leader indeed.
Anime: The Seven Deadly Sins
Okay, we have a second character whose name matches his title. King is, well, the king of fairies and one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
Unlike a few of the rulers on this list, King has made quite the few mistakes in his ruling time. But it was never out of malice or for a lack of trying.
He does get bent on revenge for a bit, but I believe that he has overcome that and will make for an excellent ruler.
His queen being a literal giant might cause some logistical issues, but that’s a problem for another time.
Anime: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
I was originally going to put Simon on here, but he’s technically just the Supreme Commander, so we’ll delve into the troublesome philosophy of the Spiral King instead.
Initially, Lordgenome seemed like the obvious bad guy; he forced humans to live underground, was a terrible father, and seemed like a tyrant.
However, the more we got to know the guy, the more we saw that it wasn’t that simple.
He knew that if people gained too much power and were too large in number, the Anti-Spirals would kill them all.
So he choose to be a tyrant. But not because he was evil, but rather because he wanted to stray humankind away from extinction.
Anime: Vinland Saga
Canute only achieved his crown at the very end of the series, but man was it satisfying.
Like most of the main cast, he has quite the character arc.
Going from a weak prince who could do nothing but pray, up to a man resolute to lead his people.
His previous softness was still there, as we see that he nearly faints after the old king is dead. But he has the spirit to keep going.
And he’s especially interesting if you ever read up on British history.
4. Gol D. Roger
Anime: One Piece
Gol D. Rogers was certainly no diplomat. In fact he just seemed like a warlord.
But through his own power and the power of his entire crew, he became recognized as the Pirate King.
He would never pass up a chance to throw down, and was prepared to wage war if you messed with one of his comrades.
He might have not been the best king in terms of fighting for peace or prosperity. But the dude was a legend and his presence can still be felt in the series, so I think he deserves a spot on this list.
Anime: Yona of the Dawn
Su-won might not be the best person ever, but he is an excellent king.
That sounds like an oxymoron. But he was simply aware of what being a king meant, and the weight that must be carried.
So he murders his own brother who didn’t have the balls to fight off invading forces and protect his people. Yeah.
He also actively tries to make his country prosper, and isn’t afraid of showing the neighboring nations defiance. Su-won is resolute not to be pushed around.
So he might not be winning any Nobel Peace prizes. But I’m sure his citizens appreciated his decision.
2. Ainz Ooal Gown
Ainz wants to take over the world. And he wants it for personal gain.
And yet he’s so nice about it…
Being that he was isekai’d into his video game, and the throne for that matter, he just wanted to spread his influence everywhere to find more deserted players like himself.
But even though he could have easily conquered the world through his overwhelming power, he chose the diplomatic approach.
One by one he gained new allies, and even created a fake persona who could be the champion of the people.
1. Rimuru Tempest
Anime: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
I put Rimuru at number one because I would honestly have him as a ruler any day of the week.
It’s because he just acts like everyone’s friend and never abuses his power to harm any citizens.
He’s constantly looking for ways to further improve the country, and actually listens to the demands of the people. Which is a fresh take for a ruler.
But unlike the peace-loving brother from the third entry, Rimuru is also not afraid to throw down if it means protecting his people. The ideal king, in my opinion.