'One Punch Man' And 'My Hero Academia' Dominate New Anime Hero Poll

A Japanese website ran a poll, asking anime and manga fans to rank their all-time favorite heroes in the genre, and the results are surprisingly diverse.

The poll comes from a site called Goo Ranking, though it was translated and published in English by Twitter user Ken Xyro. It features many of the most familiar faces in fiction, though the order they landed in left plenty of room for debate amongst fans.

The first place spot went to Saitama of One Punch Man. According to Goo Ranking, 1,982 votes put him there — over 150 more than the runner-up got. Next up was Ushio Aotsuki, the hero of Ushio and Tora. The long-running series never had quite the same traction in the west as many others, but it was still unsurprising to see on the list.

Next up was Gash Bell from Zatch Bell, followed by Maeda Keiji. Fifth place went to Masaru Saiga from Karakuri Circus, giving the top five spots a decidely 90s-dominant skew.

After that, the winners may look more familiar to audiences in the U.S. Number six was Edward Elric of Fullmetal Alchemist, and number 7 was Sakata Gintoki from Gintama.

Despite being a relatively new sensation in the manga and anime world, My Hero Academia's Izuku Midoriya landed in eighth place, even beating out Monkey D. Luffy of One Piece, who placed ninth in the poll. Himura Kenshin of Rurouni Kenshin rounded out the list at number ten.

The list may shock Americans who consider themselves anime enthusiasts, as it illustrates the vast cultural difference that still exists in the genre. Heroes that may seem like no-brainers are below in the honorable mentions, however, including Goku from Dragon Ball (number 11) and Naruto (18). As commenters began to speculate, they figured that the definition of a hero may have played into it as well.

"Honestly shocked that Luffy isn’t in the top 5, and that Naruto and Goku aren’t in the top 10," a Redditor wrote. "I guess if the criteria is strictly 'heroic characters' it makes sense for madman Midoriya to rank high."

"Luffy is also a pirate," added another. "pirate ≠ hero, pirate = freedom."


The poll inspired a fierce debate on social media, as groups on Twitter began to implement their own versions using Twitter's polling function. None reached the same definitive level of the Goo poll, however.

Do you have an idea of how these heroes should be ranked? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @comicbookanime!