What's in a name?
When authors create characters, that's a question they cannot ignore. In the struggle for originality and meaning, it's uncanny that many of them actually end up using the same names. So just how much do these namesakes differ, or could they have something in common? We'll check out five of the most popular names in anime, and let you decide!
Kazuma won't be the first anime name to pop into your head, but it seems to have taken root particularly in the shonen anime genre. And this is no surprise, as its associated kanji often means "true harmony" or "first horse", making this a name very worthy of righteous male heroes.
|Air Gear||Mikura Kazuma (美鞍 数馬)|
|Kaze no Stigma||Yagami Kazuma (八神 和麻)|
|Yakitate Japan!||Azuma Kazuma (東 和馬)|
It may sound generically Japanese, but Yuki remains a popular choice for both boys and girls in and outside the anime world. Depending on how the kanji is written, translations include "snow", "blessing", and "hope". Accordingly, characters with this name are likely to be gentle in nature, or cold and aloof. Yuki is also a cutesy short form for names like Yukito (Cardcaptor Sakura) and Yukiko (Persona 4).
|Fruits Basket||Sohma Yuki (草摩 由希)|
|Hikaru no Go||Mitani Yūki (三谷 祐輝)|
|Suzumiya Haruhi Series||Nagato Yuki (長門 有希)|
|Vampire Knight||YÅ«ki Cross (黒主 優姫)|
Kaoru, a variant of the more feminine Kaori, means fragrance and is a surprisingly popular name for both genders (yes, boys too). Kanji choices include è–«/éƒ/èŠ³ for males, and é¦¨/é¦™ for females. Kaoru is marked with a hint of androgyny, so perhaps that could be why characters with this name tend to be somewhat unusual and a little misunderstood.
|Ouran High School Host Club|
Hitachīn Kaoru (常陸院 馨)
|Rurouni Kenshin||Kamiya Kaoru (神谷 薫)|
|The Prince of Tennis||Kaidoh Kaoru (海堂 薫)|
|Welcome to the N.H.K.||Yamazaki Kaoru (山崎 薫)|
This name owes it all to versatility; almost every Rin has a different kanji for his/her name, and Japanese authors are still coming up with more. Meanings can range from dignified to jade and even... Phosphorus? Just like the meanings, characters with this name span the full spectrum, from boisterous kids to lonely ladies.
|Ao no Exorcist||Okumura Rin (奥村 燐)|
|Fate/stay night||TÅsaka Rin (遠坂 凛)|
|RideBack||Ogata Rin (尾形 琳)|
A household name even outside of Japan, Akira represents more than just TVs and DVD players. Commonly written as 明, Akira can be used for both genders, and carries meanings like "bright", "clear", and "intelligent". Outside of fiction, successful manga authors like Toriyama Akira, Amano Akira and ItÅ Akira share this name too, so perhaps names really do shape people!
|Air Gear||Udō Akira (宇童 アキラ)|
|Bakuman||Hattori Akira (服部 哲)|
|Higashi no Eden||Takizawa Akira (滝沢 朗)|
|Special A||Tōdō Akira (東堂 明)|