While on occasion the choice of hair color for a character is purely for aesthetic, often times it means something about a character themselves. Often you can tell what sort of character they will be just by looking at their hair color, and in no characters is that more true than the red heads.
Red is fire. It is raw, pure, and powerful energy that goes untamed. Once it gets started, it is difficult to contain and control. This is the way of the red head. While red hair can often be used to denote foreign characters as well, often it more speaks to their personality. Red headed characters are passionate and wild. They have a temper that pairs along with an outgoing personality. However, because of their fiery temperament, they are also resilient and driven to live at all costs. Of course, red is seen as a very sensual color, making red heads often some of the flirtiest and tempting characters of a series.
Shirayuki from Snow White with the Red Hair
In Snow White with the Red Hair, Shirayuki starts off rather muted as a red headed character. She is outgoing to be sure and compassionate to those that visit her herbalist shop. However, when her red hair becomes coveted, she cuts it off and flees to maintain her freedom. Of course, starting a new life with nothing is difficult, but she is nothing short of a driven character that can adapt to any new circumstance.
Karma from Assassination Classroom
Karma is as flippant and uncontrollable as fire itself, and there is something distinctly sensual about the devilish look in his eyes. Throughout the series, Karma is often shown doing as he pleases because there isn’t a person alive that can control his actions. However, when it all comes down to it, he can back up his talk with violence too. Of all of the many red-heads on this list, Karma might best personify the fiery nature that red hair signifies.
Yona from Yona of the Dawn
The story surrounding Yona in Yona of the Dawn is one of resilience. Everything she knows is betrayed and taken from her. She is left with nothing and, at times, with very little hope. However, she perseveres, though not without help of those around her. However, while she is resilient, as the story goes on, she grows and becomes stronger until she turns into a blaze that nothing can stop.
Grell from Black Butler
Grell’s gender may be difficult to pin down, but it fits perfectly with this red-head’s persona. They are a trickster that deceives others, yet inside they are wild, silly, and violent. With a great passion for violence and skill at it to boot, they make a very crafty opponent, but more importantly, they are damn fun to watch work.
Shana from Shakugan no Shana
Red hair and a tsundere personality are often paired together because of the very nature that red hair is meant to display. In Shana, her affections are difficult to get and her scorn can be downright painful, but those bits of sweetness are made all the better when you have to work for them. In battle, her true nature shines as she shows her raw power and depends on her raw will to survive.
Renji from Bleach
Renji is relatively carefree, but he is cocky for much of the series. Perhaps red hair was chosen more to compliment his eccentric aesthetic, but in battle he displays resilience and much of his fighting prowess relies on the use of pure force rather than anything else.
Yoko from Gurren Lagann
Yoko is wild and she does as she pleases. Her red hair compliments her trigger-happy nature and combine that hair color with her choice in outfit, it is clear that no one tells her what to do. However, under that fire, she does have to softer side, but even in the face of tragedy, she never lets it completely beat her down.
Gaara from Naruto
At a glance, Gaara displays little of the fiery personality that is supposed to pair with red hair. However, you will discover what he lacks for in personality, he makes up for with pure power. Once he goes through a rather cathartic experience, though, you begin see him grow into what red hair is supposed to represent through his resilience and passion for protecting what is important to him.
Ayano from Kaze no Stigma
Ayano is fire in everything she does, making her particularly flashy red hair very fitting. Not only are her powers in Kaze no Stigma fire-based, but she has the hot-headed tsundere personality to match. She is a stout defender of her family and their traditions, and even in love she displays swiftly unpredictable responses of violence and jealousy. She is what you might be able to classify as the true stereotype of what a red head is meant to be in anime.
Taiga from Kuroko’s Basketball
In Kuroko’s Basketball, Taiga’s red hair not only represents his attitude, but his foreign birth as an American as well. He has what you might call a tough guy attitude, but despite many failures and bruises to his ego throughout the series, he remains strong and ready to try again in order to achieve his goal.
Rias from High School DxD
While extremely passionate and affectionate as a person, like a true red head and a devil, Rias is also prone to moments of red-hot rage. Of course, she is also prone to moments of deviousness and seduction that are associated with red heads as well.
Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin
Kenshin is unique among red heads. In his past as the Battosai, his red hair was certainly fitting as one of the most feared manslayers in Japan. However, when he vows to never kill again, the hair just doesn’t seem as fitting. Yet, when he goes into battle, even though it remains non-lethal, you still see that same wild and passionate nature of the man he used to be. It is perhaps an interesting metaphor for how fire is difficult to control, but not impossible.
Kyoko from Madoka Magica
Ah, Kyoko is such a stereotype for a red-headed character. She is quite the violent tsundere with her feelings and seems to care only for battle. Of course, you get to see her display a softer side towards people she cares about while still maintaining a resolute and energetic nature in battle.
Hisoka from Hunter x Hunter
Hisoka is not only notorious as a red-headed antihero, but notorious as a villain as well. He is, in every form, as unpredictable as his red hair might suggest. He lusts after fighting powerful opponents, and as such, has rescued the heroes on occasion just so they could grow into their potential for him to kill later. Silly, crazy, and unpredictable, he is much like a flame himself.
Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion
Asuka is probably one of the most notable red-heads in anime. She spends much of her time being mean to those around her and is spurred on to become more powerful due to her competitive nature and a tiny mountain of insecurities. However, while Asuka is displayed to be very much the typical red-haired, hot-headed, tsundere character, Evangelion kind of turns the trope on its head near the end by utterly destroying the resilience that she had once displayed.
Yukihira from Food Wars!
If there is one word to describe Yukihira, that word would be cocky. He enters Japan’s best cooking school believing he knows it all, but soon realizes there is still some he can learn. Despite this, that cocky attitude doesn’t go away, and when he starts to learn his own style of cooking, he has the skills to back it up. Driven and never willing to back down from a challenge, his red hair is fitting.
Erza from Fairy Tail
Erza is a character that is in possession of a number of powerful weapons and armor. This means that, like her red hair suggests, she won’t go down without a fight. While her typical attitude is more muted compared to other wild red-heads, her real fire certainly shows in battle.
Rider from Fate/Zero
There really should be more fire-beard character in anime, but sadly Rider from Fate/Zero is one of the few notable examples. He is loud, cocky, and above all, very strong, as a red-headed man should be. In battle he is like an unmovable force, and one that should never be taken lightly. While less unpredictable than other red headed characters, his red hair should denote his strength of body and character.
Kurisu from Steins; Gate
There is debate on whether Kurisu is actually a red-head, but this confusion is actually quite fitting with her character. She displays a rather mature and sensible personality, but she is prone to bouts of sarcasm, irritation, and jealousy that are more fitting with her reddish hair. It is this mix of red and brown-haired characteristics that certainly make her such a unique character.
Kurama from Yu Yu Hakusho
Kurama is a man with two personalities, one intellectual and analytical in nature and the other merciless and cruel. While his hair color can change when he shifts between the two, his red-headed form makes sense with the shift. He is unpredictable in his nature at times, and undoubtedly very powerful as a fighter.
Do you have a favorite red-headed anime character that best personifies the fiery color of their hair? Then let us know in the comments section below.