If we think about the oldest existing anime characters, we find examples such as Najimi Ajimu from Medaka Box (2012), who is said to be 3,402,193,822,311 years old, or the demon Buu from the hit series Dragon Ball Z (1989 – 1996), who supposedly existed before the recorded time. But what about the protagonists in particular? While many anime series tend to focus on young protagonists, there is a fascinating subgroup that defies this trend by putting older characters at the center. These experienced protagonists with the weight of experience and wisdom give the anime landscape a distinctive flavor. This article is dedicated to them – the most persistent and mature main characters, protagonists who break out of the conventional form of youthful exuberance.
Ai Enma (Hell Girl)
Ai Enma From Hell Girl (2005-2006) is known for her role as a mediator of supernatural revenge. Ai Enma has long black hair, purple eyes and wears a traditional Japanese school uniform. Although she has the appearance of a young woman, she is said to be over 400 years old. She is often seen wearing a straw doll, a conduit for her supernatural powers. KI is stoic, calm and has a sense of detachment from the emotions and sufferings of others.
Ai’s role as a girl from hell is to offer a macabre choice to the revenge seekers. Anyone who wants retribution against his tormentors can access a mysterious website where he can enter the name of his target. In return, you will receive a doll with a red string tied around its neck. If you pull on the rope, the Ai will order revenge, but with this the person also seals his own fate, since he is destined to go to hell if he dies.
Inuyasha, the main character of the anime and manga series Inuyasha (2000 – 2004) by Rumiko Takahashi (also known for her work on superfluous ranma), is a half-demon with a rich backstory. He is distinguished by his silver-white hair, dog ears and a red kimono. He wields the Tessaiga, a powerful sword forged from the FANG of his demon father. The tessaiga gives him immense strength and various supernatural abilities, which continue to develop and gain strength as the series progresses. Initially, Inuyasha is shown as strong-willed, impulsive, and sometimes temperamental, which often leads to clashes with Kagome, another main character of the series.
At the beginning of the series, Inuyasha is about 200 years old, but his age is somewhat more complex due to his supernatural heritage. He spent a significant part of that time being sealed to a sacred tree by a powerful priestess named Kikyo.
C.C. (Code Geass)
CC, whose real name remains unknown for most of the Code Geass anime series (2006-2008), is a character of ethereal beauty. She often wears a tight-fitting suit, decorated with symbols related to her immortality. She is calm and somewhat aloof. CC serves as an important catalyst for Code Geass events. She possesses a Geass power, which gives her the ability to grant the Geass to others, a power from which she has been trying to free herself for centuries.
His exact age is not specifically disclosed, but it is revealed that he is centuries old and gained immortality in the distant past through a contract with a Geass user.
Alucard, a character of unprecedented power and complexity, is the protagonist of Hellsing (2001 – 2002), one of the most popular animated vampire series in history. Alucard has a charismatic charisma that radiates a lot of self-confidence and authority. His real figure is that of a tall, imposing figure with long hair and predatory eyes. His appearance resembles a nobleman of the Victorian era.
Alucard can regenerate from virtually any wound, control shadows, summon and manipulate familiars, and transform into a monstrous, bloodthirsty figure. However, despite all this, he is bound by a strict code of loyalty to the Hellsing organization and its leader, Sir Integra Hellsing. Alucard’s age is shrouded in centuries of darkness, as he is one of the oldest and most powerful vampires in the series. Although the exact age of Alucard is never explicitly mentioned, it has existed for over 500 years, which makes it a truly ancient creature.
Yato, the main character of the suspenseful anime and manga «Noragami» (2014–2015), — gods in the world of Shintoist gods. His true age is unknown, but Yato is depicted as several centuries old, if not longer, since gods have a long lifespan in this world.
Yato has striking blue eyes and wild hair and is wearing a dark tracksuit. He is the owner of a divine weapon, a katana called “Yukine”, which can transform into various forms of combat. Yato can alternate between moments of silliness and genuine kindness to bouts of ferocity and determination when it comes to protecting her loved ones. He longs for recognition and hopes to become a revered god, often taking odd jobs as a”delivery god” to gain followers.
Frieren (Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End)
Freezing is the main character in Freezing: Beyond the End of the Journey (2023). Physically, Frieren appears as a young woman with long flowing hair, dreamy eyes and an ethereal presence. Her costume is a mixture of magical and fantasy-inspired outfits. Freezing has a unique perspective on life and death. As an elf and powerful sorceress, she is immune to the ravages of time and has lived countless lives, witnessed the death of friends and loved ones.
Freezing is remarkably old, has lived more than one millennium, a fact that plays a central role in the story that follows her path to understand the meaning of life and mortality. It is your mission to unravel the secrets of existence. Through his interactions with mortals, Frieren gains insight into the preciousness of fleeting moments and the depth of human emotions.
Sebastian Michaelis (Black Butler)
Sebastian Michaelis from the anime series Black Butler (2008 – 2011) is a demon who is described as eternally young due to his supernatural nature. It is said that it is over 3000 years old. He is handsome and elegant and serves as a butler for Ciel Phantomhive, the young count of the Phantomhive family. Their loyalty and devotion to Ciel are unwavering, driven by a special contract that the two share.
Sebastian has superhuman strength, agility and regeneration abilities, which makes him a force to be reckoned with. He masters almost every task, from household chores to culinary art, which he performs with incomparable perfection.
Tsukasa Yuzaki (TONIKAWA: Over the Moon for You)
One of the main characters of the manga and anime series TONIKAWA: Over the Moon for You (2020 – 2023), Tsukasa Yuzaki, is a warm and charming girl who seems to be in her mid-teens. However, she is also immortal and is said to be over 1400 years old.
Tsukasa has long pink hair and red eyes and usually wears a white shirt, a black miniskirt and pink socks. His personality is distinguished by kindness, sincerity and a straightforward manner that stands out from the comedic elements of the series. She is a girl with a mysterious past, marked by an unforgettable encounter with the other protagonist of the series, Nasa Yuzaki. Their encounter leads to a stormy romance, which leads to a spontaneous marriage, which forms the central premise of the story.
Yami Yugi (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
Yami Yugi, also known as the Pharaoh, is one of the main characters in Yu-Gi-Oh! (2000-2006) and Yugi Muto’s dark and powerful alter ego. He lived as a pharaoh in ancient Egypt, but his soul was sealed in the Millennium puzzle, which put him in a state of rest for thousands of years. Consequently, his physical age seems to be that of a teenager, but he is actually over 3000 years old.
Yami Yugi’s appearance is distinguished by her tricolor hair with black, golden and crimson layers. He wears a special outfit with a turtleneck jacket, leather pants and the Millennium Puzzle hanging around his neck. He is a master of the card game”Duel Monsters”, in which he becomes a completely different person, known for his cunning and strategic genius. He possesses ancient Egyptian magic, which he sometimes uses to influence events outside the card game. Yami Yugi is considered one of the most popular characters of the series.
Meliodas (The Seven Deadly Sins)
The main protagonist of The Seven Deadly Sins (2014 – 2021), Meliodas, is a blond, short and extremely young-looking boy. He is also a mighty warrior and a timeless demon. As the leader of the Seven Deadly Sins, he wears a unique broken dragon symbol on his left shoulder. He is over 3,000 years old, which makes him one of the oldest and coolest characters in the series.
Meliodas is the eldest son of the demon king, from whom he inherited incredible strength and access to a huge number of demonic powers. Despite his fearsome potential, Meliodas is known for his kind and protective nature, especially towards his friends and companions.