In anime, characters are generally designed with outlandishly colored hair. From blue to red to white, no color is off-limits—so it's no surprise to see so many anime characters with orange hair.
Orange is a color that's often used to highlight a character with a vibrant, headstrong personality. There are plenty of exceptions to that rule, of course, and sometimes orange is just used to make a character stand out from an otherwise massive cast.
From main characters to love interests to fun side characters, here are our picks for the best anime characters with orange hair and what makes each one so special.
15. Rangiku Matsumoto (Bleach)
Tite Kubo's Bleach anime has more than its fair share of characters on this list, with Rangiku Matsumoto squeaking in as well.
She's a member of Soul Society's 10th Division and is one of the more formidable fighters in the series.
Her laidback attitude toward the administrative side of her job might make her seem like a pushover, but whenever she's serious, she can pack an equally serious punch. Don't underestimate her.
14. Shoyo Hinata (Haikyu!!)
The protagonist of Haikyu!! has big dreams of being the best volleyball player in Japan, despite lacking the height that the sport requires.
Like many other orange-haired anime characters, Shoyo Hinata has the fire and drive to succeed despite his flaws. He's full of spirit and is almost immediately seen as one of the leaders of his team.
13. Emma (The Promised Neverland)
Despite its wholesome name and adorable protagonist, The Promised Neverland is one of the darkest anime series you'll find.
Emma is the oldest of a group of orphanage kids who find out that they're being raised by their orphanage as meat, to be eaten by outsider grownups who pay for the wicked privilege.
Determined to protect her friends no matter the cost, Emma leads them on a quest to the outside world to get them far away from the sheltered world they've known all their lives.
12. Pain (Naruto Shippuden)
The Hidden Leaf Village is home to some of the most powerful ninjas in the Naruto world, so the fact that Pain is nearly able to take them all down by himself is beyond impressive.
His ability to manipulate the dead through his powerful ocular jutsu allows him to not only hold the entire village hostage, but to also kill one of the most powerful warriors in the world: Jiraiya.
Pain's story is a complex one, making him one of the most interesting and memorable villains in the Naruto canon.
11. Yotsuba Nakano (The Quintessential Quintuplets)
While all of the Nakano sisters technically have the same hair color, only Yotsuba Nakano has the most distinctive and starkest orange tone that we're looking for.
She isn't the cleverest of her sisters, but she is the kindest and most determined, which makes her one worth rooting for. We love her heart and her spirit, even if she tends to be a bit dense at times.
10. Rin Hoshizora (Love Live! School Idol Project)
The Love Live! anime franchise occupies an important place in the "cute girls doing cute things" genre of anime, with Rin Hoshizora being one of the most memorable characters in the show.
She joins the musical group μ's (pronounced "muse") early on and proves to be both hardworking and affectionate towards her fellow idols-in-training.
Her short orange hair serves to highlight her athletic, tomboy nature, though she strives to embrace her feminine side as the series progresses, and we just love to watch it unfold.
9. Misty (Pokémon)
It would be impossible to leave Misty off this list. She's probably one of the first orange-haired anime characters that come to mind, largely thanks to Pokémon's important place in anime history.
Misty was with Ash Ketchum and Pikachu almost from the very beginning of their adventure, which is impressive considering just how long that eventful journey has been.
8. Sora Takenouchi (Digimon Adventure)
Another tomboyish anime character with orange hair, Sora Takenouchi from Digimon Adventure is one of the DigiDestined and the bearer of the Crest of Love.
What makes her special is her wonderful character development throughout the show, going from a kind but insecure young woman into a strong and independent character in her own right by the time her journey comes to an end.
7. Mito Freecss (Hunter X Hunter)
Being the adoptive mother of a shonen protagonist is tough work. Not only do you have to raise them in the absence of their birth parents, but you also have to worry about them as they rarely return to visit.
Mito Freecss does all of this and more for young Gon Freecss in Hunter X Hunter, giving him all the love and support he needs to leave home as a pre-teen on his epic quest to find his father.
6. Orihime Inoue (Bleach)
The second orange-haired Bleach character on this list is Orihime Inoue, who's one of Ichigo's best friends from school.
She's kind and affectionate, with a heart that's determined to protect her friends at all costs.
Despite being completely human, she plays a key role in helping Ichigo on his adventures, thanks to her magical, sentient hair clip.
5. Asuna (Sword Art Online)
Sword Art Online is one of those anime series that starts off with so much promise and potential, and in this case, a lot of that is rooted in how awesome the character of Asuna is.
She's easily one of the best fighters in the show and she's a driving force in the early parts of the story. Sword Art Online would be half the anime it is without her involvement.
One of the big problems with the anime is the way it turns her from a strong female character into a damsel-in-distress after the first 13 episodes, severely impacting our enjoyment of later episodes.
4. Junichiro Tanizaki (Bungo Stray Dogs)
Have you ever had a friend who always seems like they're just going with the flow? That's basically the summation of Junichiro Tanizaki from Bungo Stray Dogs.
Junichiro isn't as forceful or headstrong as some of his fellow agents, but his ability to adapt whenever things go wrong makes him vital to the success of their surveillance missions.
This orange-haired anime character is exactly the kind of supporting character the show needs to feel balanced and grounded.
3. Nobara Kugisaki (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Jujutsu Kaisen has no shortage of memorable characters, but there's no contest that one of the best is Nobara Kugisaki.
The shopping-obsessed, headstrong curse user has one of the most exciting attack styles in the show, driving nails full of cursed energy into monsters before making them explode.
Nobara is one of the most fun characters to watch, brightening up what might otherwise be a dry and predictable cast. Jujutsu Kaisen owes a lot of its success to the dynamism that she brings.
2. Nami (One Piece)
One of the most famous anime characters with orange hair, Nami is nearly as iconic as the leader of the Straw Hat Pirates himself.
Her introduction marks a turning point in One Piece: the moment when Luffy puts his hat on her head before setting off to fight Arlong is when we all knew this shonen anime could bring the emotional depth to match its wild fights and comedy.
1. Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach)
The greatest orange-haired anime character of all time, Ichigo Kurosaki is a fiercely powerful young man who wields a giant sword while possessing a big heart.
From the moment he steps in as a substitute Soul Reaper for Rukia Kuchiki, it's clear that there's something special about him—and when he embarks on his mission to rescue Rukia from an undeserved execution, that's when we witness just how special he really is.