The world of anime is known for its eccentric character designs by the authors. While some characters have really great weapons, others with incredibly cool eyes and hairstyles, there are a set of characters who catch our attention because they flamboyantly sport tattoos.
Tattoos are pretty dope. Being one of the oldest form of body art, it symbolizes something that is very personal to the individual.
The element of tattoo always brings out a certain sense of ‘bad-assery’ in the character making them more mysterious and they also make the characters very memorable.
While some tattoos are a part that connects the character to their childhood, the others are straight up restraints, seals and power ups that can be used when fighting a stronger foe. While some have been inspired by the myths, some of the designs have been directly inspired by the life of the character itself.
With anime being more accessible and impactful, the viewers are also being influenced to get their own version of the iconic tattoos as it is or in their own interpretation. With that being said, let us take a look at some of the best tattoos in Anime. Ikuzoo Minnaaa!!!!!!
Disclaimer: We are ignoring the tattoos of Jolly Rogers from One Piece because they are very common with every tom dick and harry of the crew and its affiliates possessing them. The same will be followed of guild tattoos of Fairy Tail as each member of any guild has a pre-requisite of having the crest of the guild tattooed on the body for being a part of the guild and also the sin tattoos from Seven Deadly Sins. However, the personal inks of characters will be taken into consideration.
Arguably one of the most popular tattoo from the world of anime is that of the Kazekage of the Village hidden in the sand. The tattoo was self-etched by Gaara onto the left side of his forehead after understanding his mother’s love for him.
The tattoo – red in colour meant ‘Ai’ or love is an interpretation of his mother’s hope for Gaara and her will – that was to truly live and fight for himself and to carry her will, the hatred for the village for subjecting her to the cruel experiment of birthing Gaara.
Gaara later on in his life finds friends & breaks his curse forcing him to live and fight just for himself after his bout with Naruto. He also goes on to become a warm and a kind hearted leader of the Sand village.
Anime: Hunter x Hunter
Former Number 4 of the Phantom Troupe, Hisoka Marrow, is a recurring antagonist and a sadistic character from Hunter x Hunter who like defeating stronger opponents on equal footing. His entire appearance resembles that of a jester with a very flamboyant crimson hair, white, almost pale skin and a jacket with designs of playing card in various places.
He has two tattoos on his face – on of a star below his right eyes and another of a tear drop on his left eye.
37. Killer Bee/B:
The Jinchuriki of the Eight tail, the younger brother of the Raikage of the village hidden in the clouds, is another anime character who has a tattoo. He sports a flak jacket with a tattoo on his right shoulder and a tattoo right below his left eyes.
The tattoo on his right shoulder spells the Kanji for “Iron” – it was the same seal that was used to seal the Gyuuki inside Killer B. The tattoo under his left eye are that of the horn of the tailed beast inside him, a minimalistic representation of the horns of Gyuuki showing the symbiotic relationship between the two. A minimal tattoo that is pretty popular among the Naruto fans.
36. Shuhei Hisagi:
The co-lieutenant of the 9th division Shuhei Hisagi has two pretty bold tattoos covering his face. On his left cheek he has the digits 69 tattooed and covering the entire left side of his face he has three vertical parallel lines. The tattoos also extend over his nose that seems like a bandage.
The numbered tattoo was inked as a mark of respect to the 9th division captain Kensei Muguruma aafter the captain had saved Hisagi when he was a child. Kensei also has a 6 and a 9 inked on his body. Shuhei also wears chokers on his neck and on his arms that also acts as weapons during fights.
Anime: Yu Yu Hakusho
Arguably the strongest of the 3 kings of Makai, Raizen is a very formidable character from Yu Yu Hakusho and the ancestral father of the protagonist of Yusuke Urameshi. He has a blue abstract tattoo under his left eye. The tattoo is made of 3 horizontal line encased in a box like tattoo running along the left eye.
When Raizen is nearing the end from starvation and goes into his Muzoku form, tattoos appear on both his pectoral regions. The tattoos that appear are similar lines with the left having 2 of them and the right side having five to six of which 2 move in the opposite direction to the other lines.
Half-brother of the titular character InuYasha, Sesshomaru is a pure blooded Great dog spirit and one of the strongest anime character in the series. He has a beautiful crescent shaped tattoo on his forehead and two magenta coloured stripes on each of his cheek.
When Sesshomaru activates his Dokkaso its seen that he gets three magenta stripes on his wrists too.
33. Kukaku Shiba:
The firearms expert and the aunt of Kurosaki Ichigo is a recurring character with a certain amount of fan following for her character design. Kukaku has only one arm and in the left arm that is functional she has a vertical tattoo that runs from her neck on to the shoulder blades and finally ending as a Japanese letter.
The letter ‘空’ is the Kanji for the word Sora which means ‘the sky’. The tattoo is a pretty cool one, with one of the only two kanji based tattoos with the other one being that of Gaara. Lovers of sky can get this as their first kanji tattoo.
The fifth Raikage has the kanji for his chakra affinities tattooed on his arms – the water release and lightning release natures. He also has a tattoo on his left shoulder denoting that he has inherited the black lightning from the Third Raikage.
The tattoo on his left arm falls more on the seal category which denotes that the individual is a user of the black lightning jutsu that was exclusive to the Third Raikage. Darui’s tattoo definitely falls on the cooler spectrum of the list as it is both an individual statement and a power up. He is one of the better known anime characters with a tattoo!
Anime: Princess Mononoke
The wolf princess from the Studio Ghibli’s iconic movie, Princess Mononoke, flaunts a huge red tattoo on her face. The tattoos which are dazzling red in color similar to the native amaranth war paints are drawn on both her cheeks and her forehead.
The tattoo and its colour symbolises war, blood, strength, energy and power. This would definitely not be an ideal choice for someone who is planning to get inked, but Princess Mononoke sure looks pretty badass in those tattoos.
This might have also inspired the tattoos of the ‘Kiba Clan’ in Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto – the wolf, dog similarities. Gettit?? Gettit??
30. Jolyne Cujoh:
Anime: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Jotaro Kujo’s daughter and the protagonist of the Stone Ocean sports one sing tattoo on her forearms. She has, what is arguably the most colourful tattoo on the list on her left hand.
The tattoo which is placed on her left forearm, close to her elbow is that of a blue butterfly with pink outer line with a knife passing through it. The tattoo is symbolic of her pat when she was affiliated with gangs. The butterfly maybe symbolic of her transformation into someone worthy of the Jostar lineage.
29. Chrollo Lucilfer:
Anime: Hunter x Hunter
The founder and the leader of Phantom Troupe, Chrollo Lucilfer, is an anime character who has a pretty distinctive tattoo on his forehead. Chrollo has a tattoo of cross with a spade like design at the end of the cross.
In the center of the cross there is a diamond like pattern connecting all the four lines of the cross, making the centre look almost like a target.
Being a member of the Phantom Troupe, Chrollo Lucilfer is also expected to have a tattoo of a spider with the digit of either #0.
28. Jellal Fernandes:
Anime: Fairy Tail
The dark mage and the romantic interest of Ezra, Jellal Fernandes sports a simple yet prominent tattoo over his right eye. The tattoo is a deep red vertical tattoo that has a tribal design which extends all the way from his forehead to covering half of his cheeks.
The tattoo has been on his face since he was a child meaning it must have been given to him from the village that he was born into. Anime fans wouldn’t want to get the tattoo on the same place as an homage, but it’s a fairly decent tattoo to have if you love Jellal.
27. Monkey D. Dragon:
Anime: One Piece
The most dangerous man on the world, the leader of the revolutionary army, father of Luffy and the son of Garp, Monkey D Dragon is a character that is shrouded in mystery. The leader of the revolutionary army sports a native American like tattoo on the left side of his face.
The tattoo, which is dark red in the anime and bright red in the manga, is made of criss-cross lines and diamond in them which are very similar to the tattoos of the Shandorans. Dragon’s tattoo is a fairly new one as it was not present 25 years ago during the time of Rogers execution.
26. Shura Kirigakure:
Anime: Blue Exorcist
The upper class exorcist Shura Kirigakure is the protagonist Rin Okamura’s teacher in the series Blue exorcist. The seal/tattoo starts above her chest and runs along her mid-riff area ending below the navel.
The tattoo which is also a seal looks like a double edged bident with an arrow head tattooed outside the main tattoo just below where the tattoo ends.
The wordings in the upper portion are middle portion of the name of Yamata no Orochi in Kanji – from which she derives her power. Shura uses the tattoo to seal and store objects.
25. Zero Kiryu:
Anime: Vampire Knight
Yuki’s closest friend and a former human, the vampire Zero Kiryu is a character of prominence belonging to a family of vampire hunters. Being a member of the Vampire hunter he has a pretty cool tattoo on his neck symbolising his lineage.
The tattoo of this anime character, which is placed on the left side of his neck is a cross with double lines passing through the cross from each side, forming a diamond in the middle. In between the cross lines there are melee knives on all four sides.
The tattoo, initially a symbol of his lineage, was also used to suppress his vampire side and later tame it too. This is a type of tattoo a group of friends can get inked showing allegiance to their brotherhood.
24. Portagas D Ace:
Anime: One Piece
Former 9th division commander of the Whitebeard pirate, sports 2 tattoos that are incredibly personal to him. On the back, Ace has inked the jolly roger of his father figure Whitebeard. Ace sports a purple skull of Whitebeard on purple bones with a white moustache similar to that of White Beard.
On his left arm he has a tattoo that spells ASCE – with ASC standing for his sworn brothers Luffy and Sabo with A being his own name. He has a strike over Sabo’s S as he believed Sabo died after being shot by the celestial dragon when he set sail. The E in the tattoo stands for White Beard’s true name Edward Newgate.
Some also consider the hole in his chest to be a donut tattoo given by Akainu. Incredibly personal.
23. Takao Kawafuji:
Takao Kawafuji is a recurring character in Barakamon, who comes to visit Sei Handa on the island he is banished to. His tattoos are hidden as he wears a full sleeved shirt almost all the time and are visible when he wears a tank top while coming down to visit Handa.
On his right hand he has a tattoo of a sun inked in a tribal design that is approximately same as the one sported by Kojiro Nanjo. On his left arm he has a tattoo of an eagle on the biceps and over his neck there is a dark tattoo that covers the nape and extends a bit to the front of the neck. Pretty basic tattoos that might have personal meaning to him, but eye-catchy nonetheless!
22. Kojiro Nanjo:
Anime: Sk8: Infinity
Sk8: Infinity is an anime that follows the story of Kyan Reki who is an illegal skateboard fan who loses his ability to skate board after being defeated in a match and his chance encounter with a transfer student Lang who is desperate for money.
The founding member and a skilled skater of the team ‘S’, Kojiro Nanjo is a prominent character in the anime series Sk8: Infinity. Underneath the chef outfit Nanjo wears as a virtue of being a chef he sports a sun like abstract tattoo on his left shoulder. The tattoo which is indigo in colour looks like a very simple abstract form of the sun.
Anime: Fate Grand Order: Babylonia
The caster version of the hero Gilgamesh is a character that is very unlike the previous archer version of himself. He is a calm composed individual compared to the previous tyrannical version of Gilgamesh.
He has 2 tattoos, both on each shoulders – both the tattoos are identical, resembling a cross that looks like a flower. His Archer version however had different tattoo that covered the entire body in a tribal designed lines which was an indication of him being able to use the Bab-ilu – the gate to access his treasury.
20. Tatsumi Oga:
Since we are in the top 20s in this list of anime characters with tattoos, you’ll be able to see some interesting inks which might inspire you to get your own!
Tatsumi Oga is the protagonist and the parent of the future demon emperor Beelzebub IV in the series Beelzebub. Tatsumi has a seal called the Beel-Emblem on his right hand as a part of his contract with little Beel. I know, more of a curse mark than a tattoo! For now, we can just assume Beel is the artist of this artwork!
The seal which is in the form tattoo is used to draw out power and the seal grows covering his whole body as he draws more power from it. The seal grows in the form of lines all converging at his face and covering the cheeks with lines like pattern and making a diamond like mark.
The tattoo goes so well with his personality and makes Tatsumi look incredibly menacing.
19. Medusa Gorgon:
Anime: Soul Eater
One of the three gorgon sisters, the antagonist Medusa Gorgon is a central character of the Soul Eater series. In accordance with the snake theme of her being a gorgon, she wears a hooded jacket that resembles a snake and also has snakes tattooed on her forearms.
On both the arms, from the forearm to the biceps, she has snakes tattooed – of which the body is made of dots leading up to its face which is drawn in full. The tattoo resembles a very minimalist version of the snake. Her tattoo is a very fierce one that aligns with her persona from the anime.
18. Allan Walker:
Anime: D-Gray Man
The protagonist of D-Gray Man, Allan walker sports a scar tattoo right above his left eyes which is in the form of a pentagram Two lines form from the pentagram that run down over his eyes and hooks to the left running down on his cheeks.
The exorcism weapon of Allan Walker forms a bond with his right hand as it is a parasite type innocence. The symbiosis blackens the forearms and on the shoulder blades an omega like pattern is formed. The most prominent feature is the appearance of the dagger tattoos on the left extreme pectoral regions that runs over the shoulder to the back of Walker.
A pretty minimal power related tattoo that can be inked by the fans as it is or make a version of their own parasitic innocence.
Anime: One Piece
Adoptive sister of the Cat-Burglar Nami, Nojiko sports a beautiful tattoo spreading across the upper part of her body. Nojiko’s tattoo starts from the right shoulder and stretches across her chest forming a fairly large tattoo is one which she got as an homage to the tattoo Nami got of Arlong’s Jolly Roger when she was forced to work on his crew.
The deep blue hue of the tattoo really pops out against the wheat-ish complexion of Nojiko. This anime character’s tattoo is definitely one of the more aesthetically pleasing tattoos on the list, and it’s no surprise that she made it to the top 20 in our list of best anime characters with tattoos.
16. Dino Cavallone:
The tenth generation head of the Cavallone Family of Italy and a box weapon user Dino Cavallone is a character that is very similar to the protagonist Tsuna. Dino has some of the coolest individual tattoos in the list that anime fans can get themselves inked with. His tattoos are primarily focused on the left side of his body.
He has a crest of the Cavallone family – a C inside a blazing sun on his biceps. On his forearms there is a prancing horse covered in blue flame similar to his box weapon and a barbed wire like design a bit below with the words BARACCA written. On the side of his torso he has inked a huge blue tattoo similar to the one on the back of his palm.
15. Nash Gold Jr:
Anime: Kuroko no Basket
One of the antagonist of Kuroko no Basket, Nash Gold Jr, sports a tribal looking tattoo that runs from his neck down to his biceps and ends just right below his elbow. The green coloured tattoo is a tribal design that goes well with the menacing personality of Nash Gold Jr.
The tattoo which is green in color goes with the jersey of his team and only adds to the overall antagonist vibes of Nash. It is a nice piece of tattoo for anime lovers who want a piece of tribal art on their body.
14. Draken/Ken Ryuuji:
Anime: Tokyo Revengers
Another popular anime character to sport a dragon tattoo that became an instant favorite among the fans was that of Draken (Ken Ryuguji) from Tokyo Revengers. The tattoo, a wavy dragon inked across the side of his temple, all the way back to the sides of the head looks pretty dope.
Given the fact that Draken is part of a gang, the tattoo clearly adds to the menacing bad ass persona of the character. This is a tattoo that can be inked by a fan as it can mean something of significance to the individual as well as show the world your love for the character and anime.
13. Sophia Velmer:
The Finnish ex-military personal and a member of the military velmar family Sophia Velmer aka Vamlet is the only female member of the Jormungand. Fierce combatant and battle hardened, Vamlet sports a tattoo on the shoulders of the left hand side. The tattoo is of a hand holding a knife and wings sprouting from those hands.
In the middle of the wings is a cross of Christianity and on the wrists of the hand is a Norse pattern. This tattoo seems like a very personal tattoo with elements of religion added into it, making it possibly a symbol of hope for Vamlet who is part of a mercenary group.
Anime: Gurren Lagann
The deuteragonist of Gurren Lagann and the former leader of Team Gurren sports a huge tribal tattoo across his upper body. The tattoo, blue in colour extends all across both his arms with portions spilling over to the chest. The tattoo also extends to the back, covering a significant portion of the back.
He is one of the lesser known anime character who sports a tattoo.
The tattoo is a mixture of both tribal and a symmetrical form of design with lines and spheres making a large part of the tattoo design. Kamina being an eccentric character who has inspired many anime fans across decades, this is already a very fairly popular tattoo according to reddit.
11. Trafalgar D Water Law:
Anime: One Piece
The captain of the Heart Pirates and the former Shichibukai of the Seas, Trafalgar Law owns a plethora of tattoos, other than his Jolly Roger, on him. Trafalgar’s tribal tattoos also cover his fingers. The word ‘DEATH’ is spelt of each of the fingers of both left and right hands.
On his chest he has his jolly roger tattooed inside a heart shaped design that mirrors his devil fruit. On his back he has inked his jolly roger in full scale covering his entire back and on both his shoulder there are more heart tattoos. Finally, the back of his hands are inked with a cross each.
Anime: Black lagoon
The female protagonist of Black lagoon and the military might of lagoon is an anime character who has an incredible tattoo spanning across her right shoulder. The tribal tattoo which begins at her biceps covers the top of her back and also extends to the left portions of her neck.
The tattoo which is inked in dark green looks black from afar. Revy’s tribal tattoo is definitely something anime fans can get as it is or make something inspired out of it. It’ll look cool either ways.
9. Izumi Miyamura:
The protagonist of Horimiya, Izumi Miyamura has a beautiful tattoo that is placed on the left side of the torso and extends down along the side. The tattoo diamond in patterns with dots around it, begins just short of his pits and according to Izumi it extends all the way down to his thigh.
He also has tattoos on the shoulders that is similar to the design pattern on his torso and he also has a choker like looking tattoo covering his biceps in a circle like formation. Izumi is one of the few anime character to sport a minimal and an aesthetic body tattoo.
8. Charlotte Katakuri:
Anime: One Piece
The second son and the third child of the Charlotte family is a formidable character and major antagonist of the Whole Cake Island arc. Along with his face, his tattoos also add to a sense of menacing aura that he exudes being the top tier of the family. However, he is often overlooked when people consider anime characters with tattoos.
He has vertical pink colored tattoos running through the left side of his body. The lines cover the left pectoral and the torso region and also on the lower torso region in the back.
In the upper portions of the back, the lines from the front spill over and form a wing like design. He also has a similarly pink coloured segmented circular tattoo running across the left bicep. Below it he has a minimalistic skull that stretches horizontally across the bicep which is similar to a the El Diablo character from the DC universe.
Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist
The Ishvalan serial killer and the lone vigilante Scar is an anime character who has tattooed both his right arm and left arm, covering them with a complex pattern of tattoos.
The tattoo on the right side is of darker shaded concentric circles that go up until his biceps with an intricate design at the elbow. The tattoo is also covered with a barbed wire like design with the words “Dop la Terra sic ca a Ndam, colia” engraved among the tattoo.
On the left hand we see a white coloured tattoo tribal art that covers his entire left hand with a thunder like pattern. The tattoo is a complex design with the words “Cah bue Aer huma v Snon, glus” inscribed among the tattoo. I’m guessing it’s an incredibly personal tattoo for Scar with its meaning known only to him. Scar’s tattoo is a very cool design in case a fan wants to get inked.
6. Ryomen Sukuna:
Anime: Jujutsu Kaisen
If menacing tattoos were a category, Sukuna would smoke the competition. The special grade curse has some insanely badass ink all over his body. From his face, torso shoulders all parts are covered with some really good tattoos.
The ancient tattoos that Sukuna has are geometric in shape with two lines on both his wrists, upper arms, circles on both his shoulders with a dot in each, two-segmented curve lines on his chest, and two lines on his stomach while possessing Yuji.
Some of the tattoos are considered to be brandings of a criminal as Sukuna was an evil sorcerer. The tattoos also appear on Yuji when Sukuna takes over his body.
5. Abarai Renji:
Tite Kubo’s Bleach is an anime that boasts an ensemble of brilliantly drawn characters. One among those is the 6th division’s Vice-Captain Abarai Renji. Renji has tribal tattoos covering his headlines of his flamboyant Crimson hair. The tattoos have only progressed throughout his life, also extend down onto is shoulder, torso all the way down to his legs.
Many people believe that the tattoos are a part of his symbolic connection to Zabimaru and as both grow in power so does his tattoos covering the body increase.
4. Riza Hawkeye:
Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist
Riza Hawkeye is the second anime character with a tattoo from Fullmetal Alchemist who makes it to our list!
Roy Mustang’s lieutenant, Riza Hawkeye’s tattoo has a dark past. It was etched on to her body by her paranoid father who thought that his fire alchemy would be stolen by enemies. Hawkeyes tattoo is one of the most ornate tattoo on the list made of symbols of alchemy like circles, triangles and lines.
The fire alchemy instructions that were inked onto her cover the entirety of her back with instructions on the alchemy in the form of an alchemy circle with what seems to be a tattoo of a salamander. Riza’s tattoo is one among the best in the list for it symmetry and its ornate design.
Anime: Tokyo Ghoul
The most stylish anime character who is known for his tattoos in this list without doubt has to be the owner of the HySy Art Mask studio shop – Uta.
Uta has a plethora of tattoos covering the upper part of his body – from his hands to his torso the portions are covered in tattoos.
On the left pectoral region of his body, we can see a tattoo of a sun covering the entire region and there are also tattoos covering the lower portions of the mid-riff area. Adjacent to it, he also has a circular tattoo made of ‘X’ shaped markings.
On both of his hand, he sports tattoos from the forearms all the way to his biceps. The tattoo is extremely intricate with patterns of tribal attributes and with patterns of vegvisir (Icelandic for ‘sign post, wayfinder’) on it. He has also inked his eyes to make it look like he has his kakugan activated, but those are scleral tattoos.
Uta has one of the best tattoos in anime that makes him so badass and adds a great sense mysterious aura around him. There is no doubt that he comes in at number three in our list of coolest anime characters with tattoos.
Anime: Way of the House Husband
The former yakuza legend infamously nicknamed the Immortal dragon, Tatsu is certainly a badass to be reckoned with. The anime character sports an intricately detailed tattoo from his days as a member of the gang.
The tattoo that covers up the entirety of his back is that of a huge white dragon mixed with other Japanese traditional elements. The coils of the dragon also extend out into his arms covering them too. He also has tattoos covering his shoulders spilling over and covering the whole pectoral region.
These kind of tattoos are scorned upon in certain countries in East Asia. So be careful before you get them (provided your mom lets you ink something like that to your body.)
1. Kaoru Hanayama:
Anime: Baki the Grappler
Kaoru Hanayama is the strongest Yakuza in Japan at the age of 19. Always seen in a white suit, he sports a huge tattoo covering his back under it. The tattoo in the traditional Japanese styled one of a sumo-like person carrying a huge spherical shaped object and in the background of the tattoo are dark arc and cloud shaped pattern.
The tattoo is something that everyone in the Hanayama family gets as an homage to the man who saved their great ancestor. The tattoo is very akin to the Greek depiction of Atlas holding up the earth.
Who do you think is the coolest anime character ever to sport a tattoo? Drop their names in the comments below!