Those who love Japanese animation will assuredly be happy with these top 10 anime characters. Since their respective inceptions, anime characters have served in action, comedy, and drama roles in a variety of series. Anime characters have had a profound effect on Western culture, and still carry signficant influence to this day. Want to check out the 10 anime characters we picked for the best of all time? Read on, fellow anime fan boy!

  1. Goku. The popular television show "Dragon Ball" was made into what it is today by Son Goku (more commonly known as simply "Goku"). This loveable, monkey-tailed boy was odd in many ways, but super powerful. Perhaps his way of connecting with audiences throughout the world made him one of the greatest anime characters of all time.

  2. Pikachu. If anyone doesn't know what "Pokemon" is, ask them what rock they have been living under for the past 20 years. As the forefront image of one of the most popular movements of the 90's and 2000's, Pikachu has beome the most popular icon of of anime characters. I choose you Pikachu!

  3. Optimus Prime. The various "Transformers" anime series always have one thing in common: the totally cool Optimus. Prime was an Autobot in the numerous "Transformers" incarnations, to include the Unicron trilogy and Generation 1. As a legend among anime characters, he is well-known and well-respected.

  4. Naruto Uzumaki. Star of the popular "Naruto" anime series, Uzumaki is a young ninja who is bold and takes lots of risks. Also being a comedian, not unlike Goku at times, Naruto gives comedic relief to the cartoon quite often.

  5. Astro Boy. This beloved little anime robot has received numerous revivals throughout his career (most notably the 2009 3D film). His cute design and technological abilities make him a prime candidate for one of the most unique anime characters ever.

  6. L. Known simply by one letter, "L" is the world's greatest detective. Because we don't know much about him throughout the beginning of "Death Note." As time goes on, things become more clear, starting with the fact that he's just an interesting anime character.

  7. Sailor Moon. Well known for its bright colors, large world, and involving plot, "Sailor Moon" (the title character's series) was highly popular in the 1990's. Moon proved that anime shows can be targeted directly towards young girls as well as boys.

  8. Judau Ashta. In the early 1980's a new, mechanzed and highly punk franchise began to take hold: "Gundam". Originally entitled "Mobile Gundam," the lead character (14-year-old Judau Ashta) later would give rise to what would become anime characters in television.

  9. Doraemon. A robotic cat who doubles as a real-life Japanese ambassador? Nice. The "Doraemon" series deals with interstellar travel, integrity/morality, and deforestation. Educational, goofy, and diplomatic. Who could ask for more in anime characters?

  10. Yugi Mutou. The series "Yu-Gi-Oh!" joined in on the trading card game quite well along with its title character Yugi Mutou. Yugi was, like most anime characters, young and intelligent. Although lacking comedic relief he certainly is quite majestic and creative.

From "Transformers" to "Pokemon" there is so much variation among the top 10 anime characters. As Japanese animation grows and expands it will also diversify much more; luckily, we'll be there to document the new players who come in and give us a show (literally).