Clowns can be anything when it comes to anime. From funny and humorous to crazy and scary, clowns can draw out belly laughs and instill primal fears. Either way, they can be very fun.
In anime, clowns are often played as villains, but they can also be anti-heroes. Design-wise, they may or may not look like stereotypical Western clowns, but they often have unique twists as well.
Here are our picks for the best anime clown characters, ranging from crazy clowns to evil clowns to even helpful clowns.
10. Suzuki (Yu Yu Hakusho)
Who doesn't remember Suzuki from Yu Yu Hakusho? He was introduced in the tournament as a frail old man, but after Master Genkai figured out his real identity, he returns to his true appearance.
As a clown.
Though he was defeated in no time by his opponent, he still played a big part in Kurama and Kuwabara's fights in the next round.
He gave them items that would boost their chances of winning: the Trial Sword for Kuwabara and the Fruit of Previous Life for Kurama, which helped him tap into his Fox Demon form.
He later appeared as part of Kurama's recruits during the Three Kings Saga, along with the other participants of the previous Dark Tournament.
9. Mad Pierrot (Cowboy Bebop)
In Cowboy Bebop, there's the Mad Pierrot wreaking havoc and committing murders down the street. And unfortunately for Spike Spiegel, he catches the clown's attention and becomes the next target.
The Mad Pierrot (or Tongpu) is a product of experiments meant to create super-soldiers. And they worked! He really is the perfect fighter, complete with several superhuman abilities, including flight and a repulsive force field that can deflect bullets.
The only thing that keeps this man from being perfectly perfect is that he lost his sanity due to the experiments done on him, making him little more than a killer with superhuman feats.
8. Queen Mama Chanter (One Piece)
In One Piece, pirate ships aren't just a mode of transportation for a pirate crew. The ship can be seen as one of their "nakama," just as Going Merry is nakama to the Straw Hat Pirates.
However, there's one ship that's actually a living vessel: the Queen Mama Chanter of the Big Mom Pirates.
With Big Mom's Devil Fruit ability, she gave life to her fleet's flagship and had it become one of the many homies of her crew. Its figurehead gives it a distinctly clownish feature.
And because it's sentient, it always sings. When you're in the middle of the sea and hear a ship singing, the Big Mom Pirates are coming!
7. Laplace (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime)
Laplace is a Deathman and a member of the Moderate Harlequin Alliance. He wears clown attire that's complete with a smiling mask, thus earning him the name Wonder Pierrot.
He's skilled at espionage and manipulating others behind the shadows, but he prefers to avoid commotions and direct battles.
Even so, he's a fiercely capable fighter (as shown when he ripped out a vampire's core in a split second, killing a Demon Lord's close attendant in the process).
Unlike most antagonistic anime characters, Laplace actually values friends and family, and he even cried over Clayman's death and got really angry when the latter was mocked.
6. Crazy Slots (Hunter X Hunter)
Kite is a pretty cool character in the Hunter X Hunter series, and some of that has to do with his cool yet peculiar Nen ability: Crazy Slots. When used, he summons a talking clown head.
After the clown head makes a few sarcastic comments about Kite and his current situation, Crazy Slots turns into a random weapon based on the slot machine result. A rifle? A death scythe? You never know!
The clown head of Crazy Slots also appears as part of the weapons, and the whole concept of this character makes him one of the most memorable clowns in anime.
5. Mana Walker (D.Gray-Man)
Mana Walker is an interesting and mysterious character in the series D.Gray-man. He was initially introduced as Allen Walker's adoptive father, who "became" the latter's cursed eye.
His real identity was fully explored in the sequel series D.Gray-man Hallow, where it's revealed that he has a deep connection with the Noah Family and the Fourteenth. We also learn of his true relationship with the protagonist, Allen Walker.
4. Earl of Millennium (D.Gray-Man)
Another clown-like character in the D.Gray-man series is the Earl of Millennium, who leads the Noah Family. He has the typical appearance of a clown, including a chubby belly and a big smile.
But unlike real clowns, this man doesn't bring fun and happiness to times of grief and sorrow. Rather, he offers a deceitful deal.
The Earl of Millennium can bring back the dead, but the souls become corrupted and turn into monsters called Akuma.
3. Clowns (Tokyo Ghoul)
The Clowns are a group of ghouls who wear clown-themed masks. Over the course of their story in Tokyo Ghoul, their main goal remains a big mystery, but its members are well-known ghouls.
The group includes Kichimura Washuu, the main antagonist who's been part of a few major organizations, including CCG and V.
Other known members are Priest Donato Porpora (the foster father of Kotaro Amon who feasts on the children of the orphanage under his care) and Uta (the tatted mask maker of the ghouls, who was also a friend to Anteiku's Renji Yomo).
2. Buggy (One Piece)
Buggy is one of the "great" side characters in One Piece. Not only did he manage to escape from the Impel Down, but he also survived and lived after the Marineford War (where he was caught up in a war between the two great forces of the sea).
As it turns out, Buggy is no ordinary pirate. He was once a member of the famed Roger Pirates, along with the now Emperor of the Sea, Red-Haired Shanks.
To match his clown-themed character, his main crew consists of circus performers, including Mohji (the lion tamer), Richie (his lion), and Cabaji (the unicyclist swordsman).
While he was once a great threat to the Straw Hat Pirates in the Orange Town Arc, he ended up becoming more of a comedic character in the latter parts of One Piece.
Even so, the Marines still believe he's a total threat and consider him on par with great forces like the Emperors of the Sea.
1. Hisoka Morow (Hunter X Hunter)
Hisoka Morow starts off as a badass figure in the early parts of Hunter X Hunter, and he only becomes even more badass over time.
His actions during the early parts of the Hunter Exam let us know that he's going to play a big role in the lives of the main characters.
This jester-type character loves to play with strong opponents, including Illumi Zoldyck, with whom he often works and teases.
Though he's villainous in nature, it's hard to hate Hisoka because he's been such a major part of the main characters' developments, from the moment he spared Gon during the Hunter Exam to when he played dodgeball with Gon and Killua against Razor on Greed Island.