What's in a name? Though Shakespeare may argue differently, in anime, a name tends to be one of the most important elements in defining a character. Some characters have obvious connections between their names and appearances, like the "Generation of Miracles" members from Kuroko no Basket who each have their aura color in their surname. And then there are others that have a more subtle relation, like Naruto Uzumaki, who was named after a famous ramen topping, or Gohan Son, who eats a lot of rice.
However, as Koro-sensei from Ansatsu Kyoushitsu once said, "Names don't make a person. They're merely left behind in our footsteps as we walk through life." Let us now retrace those footsteps on the path to the 20 most common anime names in the MAL database!
Saki is indeed a beautiful Japanese name for our anime and young hopefuls! Why? It may sound like a very simple name, but it has a fancy meaning. It came from the Japanese words 咲 (sa) and 希 (ki) which mean "blossom" and "hope".
Yuri is one of the most common names for females which originated from Japan. In Japanese, Yuri means "lily" or "abundant ideals", while in Hebrew, it is defined as the "light of God".
- Yuri Nakamura: the brave leader of Shinda Sekai Sensen, from Angel Beats!, who will stop at nothing to defend her friends from the evil that awaits them in the afterlife
In the Christian world, Maria (also known as Mary) is a very popular name as it is the name of Jesus Christ's mother. It's a feminine name, but it's also occasionally used as a middle name for males in some European countries like Poland, Germany, and Italy.
Hiroshi (寛, 浩) is a Japanese name which means "tolerant, generous" or "prosperous". A perfect fit for a nobleman, don't you think?
- Hiroshi: an anatomical model from Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge♥ whom Sunako considers to be her best buddy in the shadows of darkness
Megumi is probably one of the cutest Japanese names for girls with a very beautiful meaning. It means (恵) "blessing", or (恵) "love" and "affection".
- Megumi Yamamoto: a unique character from Special A always seen communicating to people through her sketchpad
- Megumi Tadokoro: a timid yet skilled culinary student at Tootsuki Culinary Academy in the Shokugeki no Souma
Aya is a common name which is only used for females. It's a name with multiple meanings depending on which dialect it was derived from. In Japanese あや, アヤ (aya) means "beautiful", "colorful", or "design". However, in Arabic, آية (aya) can mean "algebra 1", "500", "verse", or "miracle".
- Aya Komichi: a hilariously timid young fellow from Kiniro Mosaic
- Aya Natsume: a sexy martial artist from Tenjou Tenge
Takashi is a common given name for Japanese males and is used mostly for nobles and royals for its majestic meanings such as (隆) "noble" or "prosperous" and (崇) "esteem" or "honour".
- Takashi Komuro: a poor student who loves skipping his classes from Highschool of the Dead, who later matures into a strong and reliable character
- Takashi Natsume: a cute character from Natsume Yuujinchou who has the ability to see spirits which he inherited from his grandmother
Kei is a Japanese name which is commonly used as a male's given name, although recently it is used as a female's nickname, taken from the first syllable of their name - Keiko, for example. When written in kanji Kei (圭, 恵) means "square jewel" or "blessing". In Hawaiian, it means "one's pride and joy", and in African, it means "sandy" or "white".
- Kei Takishima: the most intelligent and most charming student in the Special A class
- Kei Kurono: a reckless fighter from Gantz who loves to engage in battles
In the Japanese culture, 凛 (rin) is a unisex given name which means "severe", "cold", or "dignified". It is oftentimes written out as Lynn or Lin.
- Rin Okumura: Ao no Exorcist's spawn of Satan who also happens to be a fire wielder and the next in line to the throne in Hell
- Rin Hoshizora: a sweet school idol from Love Live! School Idol Project who has a boyish personality and a knack for sports
Akane (あかね, アカネ), normally written in hiragana or katakana, is a Japanese term meaning either "deep red" or "brilliant red". It is a common name used for females, but it can be used for males too!
- Akane Hino: one of the most awesome fire wielders in Smile Precure who has a warm and cheerful personality
- Akane Tendo: the cute yet ill-tempered fiancée of Ranma in Ranma ½ who happens to be one of the worst cooks in anime
Affection and love are the most popular meanings for the Japanese name Ai (愛), however 藍 (ai) could also mean "indigo" when written in a different kanji.
- Ai Nanasaki: a perfectly tone anime bikini babe from Amagami SS
- Ai Mikaze: one of the handsome "princes of music" from Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love 1000%
As famous as it is in the world of anime, Jun is also a popular and very common name for both Chinese and Korean males. In Chinese, Jun (君, 俊, 军) can mean "king" or "ruler", "talented" or "handsome", and "army" or "masculine", respectively. Apparently, it also means "talented" or "handsome" in Korean.
- Jun Tao: a Daoist priestess from Shaman King who has the ability to revive corpses
- Jun Satou: a cute but rather intimidating chef from Working!! who just can't seem to get the girl, no matter how hard he tries
Kaoru (薫) may be one of the common anime names bestowed for its literal meaning. Anyone who bears this name is apparently "fragrant".
- Kaoru Hitachiin: one of the devious handsome twins from Ouran Koukou Host Club
- Kaoru Yamazaki: your cute average eroge otaku from NHK ni Youkoso!
Yuu (優, 悠) is a Japanese name which means "gentleness, lithe, superior" or "distant, leisurely". It is also one of the most common Japanese nicknames for males. It can be combined with others to create a wonderful meaning, such as Yuuichirou which means "independent, brave, and wise".
- Yuuichiro Hyakuya: Yuu-kun in Owari no Seraph is one of the bravest young lads in the Japanese Imperial Demon Army
- Yuu Kanda: one of the cold-hearted yet gorgeous exorcists you'll fall in love with in D.Gray-man
As a noun, Aoi (葵) is a Japanese name which means "hollyhock", a Eurasian plant, or "althea" a Greek name which means "wholesome". However, when it's used as an adjective, 碧 (ao) means "blue".
- Aoi Sakurai: one of the greatest fighters in Rail Wars!... and a misandrist
- Aoi Yamada: a lovable Working!! with a mysterious background
Yuki is a Japanese name which is mostly bestowed upon girls. It has a lot of possible meanings depending on how it is written in Kanji, but the most popular meanings for yuki (幸, 雪) are "happiness" and "snow".
- Yuki Nagato: Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu's kuudere queen may seem cold, but she is actually a pretty sweet girl at heart
- Yuki Souma: also known as "Prince Yuki", he is one of the school heartthrobs from Fruits Basket
Sakura is a very popular Japanese name for girls, not only in Japan, but also in many other countries. It refers to Japan's famous "cherry blossom". However, fewer children are being named Sakura recently, as it is said that naming your child so would be a bad omen, implying an early death since cherry blossoms fall too soon from the tree.
- Sakura Kinomoto: the naive and clumsy protagonist of Cardcaptor Sakura is also an adorable magical anime girl
- Sakura Haruno: a sweet girl from Naruto who blossoms into one of the strongest kunoichi of all time
Although it's a more popular name for males, Makoto can also be used for females. It's a wonderful name for good people as it means "truth" (真) or "sincerity" (誠).
- Makoto Itou: ironic as it is, Makoto from School Days is quite the opposite of the meaning of his name
- Makoto Sunakawa: Ore Monogatari!!'s macho man of few words is the epitome of both truth and sincerity
Haruka (遥) is a Japanese name that means "distant" or "remote". However when written as 春, 晴 (haru) and 花, 香 (ka), it forms a different meaning which could be "spring" or "clear weather" and "flower" or "fragrance", respectively.
- Haruka Tenou a.k.a. Sailor Uranus: one of our all time favorite sailor characters from Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S
- Haruka Nanase: the hot and determined swimmer from Free!
One of the most popular kanji for Akira is 明 - meaning "clear", "bright", or "intelligent". A nice anime name with an even nicer meaning, it is no wonder Akira is the most common anime name on this list.