20 Best Anime Characters in Their 30s

Anime Characters in their 30s
Credit: MAPPA

Anime Characters in their 30s
Credit: MAPPA

Many of the most popular anime and manga of all time are of the shounen variety and feature teenage protagonists. But fans are growing and many are keen to see more anime characters in their thirties.

While there are seinen and josei anime which cater to adult audiences, many still consider anime a teen and young adult hobby.

However, as geek culture becomes increasingly mainstream, fans are more open about liking anime well into adulthood, and of course, they'd like to see characters that represent them.

So, we've got just that right here!

  1. Levi Ackerman from Attack on Titan

    Attack on Titan's Captain Levi is one of the most popular anime characters, second only to Lelouch.

    While he comes off as unfriendly and unapproachable, he cares deeply for his team members and for human life in general.

    Fans like his bad-boy vibes, as well as his charismatic fighting style and love for cleanliness.

    In a show that is appealing to adults but still has very young main characters, Levi, who is in his early thirties, is a welcome addition.

    RELATED: Facts About Levi Ackerman You Should Know!

  2. Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist

    Roy Mustang, the Flame Alchemist, is one of the strongest characters in Fullmetal Alchemist.

    While Roy is deeply flawed and often comes off as quite arrogant or manipulative, his ambition and desire to do good makes him interesting to watch.

    Moreover, the ways in which he interacts with his close friends, such as Hughes, and with his subordinate -- and almost love interest -- Riza Hawkeye, adds interesting layers to Roy's character.

    In a shounen anime with two teenage protagonists, many viewers enjoy Roy and Riza's scenes and even look forward to them!

  3. Ritsuko Akagi from Neon Genesis Evangelion

    Ritsuko Akagi isn't the protagonist of Neon Genesis Evangelion and, frankly, it's quite hard to find anime protagonists in their thirties, but she's a well-developed character, all things considered.

    She's a smart and dedicated scientist and she's stoic without being overly cold.

    Her shared past with Misato Katsuragi and the way the two women are foils to each other adds an interesting dimension to an anime that otherwise focuses on teenagers.

    Ritsuko is a cat lover and her quirks -- such as the cigarettes with her lipstick stains -- make her character come alive.

    ALSO READ: Neon Genesis Evangelion's Timeline Explained

  4. Ryoji Kaji from Neon Genesis Evangelion

    Ryoji Kaji, like Ritsuko, is 30 years old, and might not be as developed as Misato, whom we see a lot more, but he adds interesting layers to Misato's characterization while being interesting in his own right.

    For an anime that focuses on teenagers, Neon Genesis Evangelion does an excellent job of depicting adults in their late 20s and 30s, who still have a lot to figure out.

    Kaji and Misato's shared past comes back to haunt them both, and out of it comes one of the anime's most interesting scenes.

    In it, the two discuss what went wrong with the relationship they formed as young adults.

    As an anime fan closer to Kaji's than to Shinji's age, I thought this was among the show's most relatable scenes.

    RELATED: Where to Watch and Stream Neon Genesis Evangelion

  5. Kazuma Sohma from Fruits Basket

    Kazuma from Fruits Basket is one of the few Sohmas not to be affected by the zodiac curse. However, he's intimately acquainted with the curse because his grandfather was the cat of the zodiac cycle before Kyo.

    In his late 30s, Kazuma has enough life experience and empathy to somewhat get through to Kyo, something no adult character has managed.

    Kazuma isn't just a martial arts teacher for Kyo. While the latter takes a while to fully acknowledge it, Kazuma takes the role of a surrogate father.

    Even if part of his original reason for taking Kyo in has to do with his guilt for what happened to his grandfather, Kazuma still comes to love Kyo as a parent, and their relationship is heartwarming.

  6. Nicolas Brown from Gangsta

    Lots of anime series feature characters as young as 16 or 17 years old who are impossibly skilled, often to survive a very cruel world.

    In a show about organized crime like Gangsta, it's nice to see an adult cast for a change.

    Nicholas Brown is a 34-year-old gangster for hire. He's an experienced swordsman, both feared and reviled because of his skills.

    Nick is deaf and mainly communicates using sign language, so if you're looking for an anime with a disabled protagonist, you might want to give Gangsta a try.

  7. Qrow Branwen from RWBY

    Qrow, Ruby and Yang's uncle in RWBY, is presumed to be in his late 30s, and he ticks a lot of cool uncle boxes.

    Despite his cynical demeanor, he's a fundamentally good person and often an incredible source of support for team RWBY.

    Even though Qrow is sometimes a bit immature and has a young-looking character design, his age is apparent in his life experience and many disappointments.

    Qrow was there as a caring uncle when his sister abandoned her own daughter.

    He experienced the loss of Summer Rose, one of his teammates, and, over the course of the series, he finds out that the person he'd dedicated half his life to had been lying to him.

    All these events have an effect on Qrow to the point that he often has a hard time functioning, but thankfully, he's still fighting.

    YOU MIGHT LIKE: Strongest Characters in RWBY

  8. Raven Branwen from RWBY

    Raven Branwen, who is also in her late thirties, is a ruthless antihero who still manages to be one of the most complicated and interesting characters in RWBY.

    She has made many bad choices, such as abandoning her baby daughter and her team, but she's also traumatized by the fight against Salem, so you can't quite blame her for having lost hope.

    Raven is full of surprises. Her disloyalty doesn't make her fun to be around, but from a writing perspective, she's an intriguing character.

  9. Kenzo Tenma from Monster

    Kenzo Tenma, the protagonist of Monster, is a 37-year-old genius neurosurgeon.

    From the crisis of conscience that kicks off his story to his relentless journey to undo his mistake, Tenma is a relatable protagonist whose ethical dilemmas will have you thinking.

    What is so interesting about Tenma is that he accidentally enabled a monstrous serial killer's plans simply by following his conscience.

    Following that, he dedicates his life to finding the monster he has created -- but this is an adult anime that doesn't offer easy answers.

    RELATED: Where to Read the Monster Manga Online

  10. Ginko from Mushishi

    Ginko, the titular Mushishi or Mushi Master, is confirmed to be in his mid-20s when the manga begins, so he can be assumed to be in his early 30s later on.

    Fans, especially those who feel a bit too old for fights among overpowered teenagers, are likely to enjoy Mushishi's mellow atmosphere and laid-back hero.

    And if like me, you've spent too much time sitting in your office lately, Ginko's wanderer lifestyle is bound to appeal!

  11. LLoyd Asplund from Code Geass (R2)

    Lloyd doesn't have too much screen time in Code Geass, but when he does appear, you can trust him to be a one-scene wonder.

    In a show where many main characters are students or immortal beings, Lloyd is 29 (30 by Season 2), and while he doesn't participate in battles, his love for his mecha creations makes him endearing.

    Despite claiming not to feel love for other humans but only for science, Lloyd is shown to care about others.

    He sometimes loses his cool demeanor, which makes him a bit more complex than initially suspected.

    YOU MIGHT LIKE: Code Geass Ending Explained

  12. Kraft Lawrence from Spice and Wolf (Season 2)

    Spice and Wolf is a unique supernatural adventure anime that has an adult cast.

    Kraft Lawrence, the main character, is a 25-year-old traveling merchant who dreams of opening a shop.

    His life changes when he meets Holo, a wolf harvest deity, and they start traveling together.

    By Season 2, Lawrence is in his 30s. His journey is quite interesting before it departs from a more typical hero's journey and his adventures aren't based on action alone.

  13. Balsa Yonsa from Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

    Balsa Yonsa is one of the main characters in Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit.

    She's a traveling mercenary tasked with protecting Chagum, a prince whose emperor father seeks to sacrifice him for the prosperity of the empire.

    Balsa is a smart and pragmatic warrior who doesn't easily reveal her motivations.

    In truth, part of her interest in saving lives is the fact that, years ago, someone saved her own.

  14. Shota Aizawa from My Hero Academia

    Unsurprisingly for a shounen anime, My Hero Academia focuses on a cast of young characters.

    If you're closer to your 30s than to your teens, you might vibe with the 1-A class teacher, Shota Aizawa.

    Aizawa is blunt, places emphasis on logic, and comes off as a bit cold and apathetic. In truth, he does believe in his students and won't hesitate to protect them.

    With his dark-circled, half-closed eyes, he looks tired, and honestly, same.

  15. Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop

    Jet Black, the tritagonist of Cowboy Bebop, is a former cop now working as a bounty hunter.

    He used to work with Fad before losing an arm. After, he became the Captain of the Bebob, leading a crew that also involves Spike, Faye, and Edwards.

    It's always good to see anime characters going on adventures past their third decade!

  16. Daikichi Kawachi from Usagi Drop

    Daikichi Kawachi is a bachelor in his early 30s. When his grandfather died, he was surprised to find out that the old man had a young illegitimate daughter named Rin.

    Seeing the rest of the family reject the little girl, Kawachi decides to bring her up himself.

    While he has no previous childcare experience, his attempts to be an affectionate father figure and meet Rin's needs are heartwarming and will resonate with single parents or those preparing to be parents.

    Just a warning: this is one of the rare cases where you probably don't want to read the manga, as it's ending is quite disturbing and ruins the father-daughter relationship. Thankfully, the anime ignores this.

    As more and more fans continue watching anime past their 20s, we hope to get more and more great characters in their 30s and beyond!

  17. Loid Forger from Spy X Family

    The exact age of Loid Forger is not known, but since he's newly fake-married and has adopted a daughter, many fans interpret him as being in his later 20s or early 30s.

    In modern society, many people transition into parenthood in their 30s or even later, so his relationship with Anya is relatable for many viewers who are at around that age.

  18. Yuji Itami from Gate

    Gate is a rare isekai anime in which the 30-something protagonist who gets transported into another world doesn't die and doesn't acquire a stronger and younger body.

    Instead, Yuji, who is a Japan Self-Defense Forces officer, gets isekai-ed just as he is.

    His lack of interest in his work, which he sees as just a paycheck, and his love for comics and online novels, will make him relatable to 30-something viewers who are still trying to find work they're passionate about.

  19. Moriko Morioka from Recovery of an MMO Junkie

    Recovery of an MMO Junkie, 30-year-old Moriko Morioka is unemployed for the first time since high school and she's excited about her newfound free time.

    Soon, she gets into online games where she invents an exciting new persona to play as.

    The anime demonstrates the issue of online addiction, which can be a real danger not only for teenagers but also for adults.

    Viewers with similar struggles might find Moriko's situation relatable.

  20. Kafka Hibino from Kaiju No 8

    Kafka Hibino is 32 and his story shows that it's never too late to pursue one's dreams.

    From a young age, Kafka had hoped to join the Defense Corps and defeat kaijuus, Godzilla-like monsters.

    By his early 30s, Kafka feels trapped in his job as a cleaner but cannot imagine a way out.

    When a parasitic kaijuu turns him into a humanoid monster, Kafka decides to give his dream one last shot.

As more and more fans continue to watch anime later in life without the fear of being made fun of, new shows will hopefully provide even more nuanced characters who are 30 or older.

Do you have any other favorite anime characters who are in their 30s? Let us know in the comments, on X @epicstreamanime, or on Facebook.

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