Japanese anime characters have all kinds of colorful personalities, ranging from hotheaded tsundere types to goofy himbo and stone-cold, emotionless villains. Meanwhile, many wacky, lovable anime characters tend to make fools of themselves either on purpose as a class clown or by accident, but other characters never do that.
Plenty of serious, stern anime characters make sure they appear confident, mature, and competent. Some of them might even get angry or protest if someone else tries to make a joke of them, since they know they can’t afford to compromise their cool image with such wacky antics. Some of these serious characters are also leaders, so they need everyone to look up to them, which means no clowning around.
10/10 Itsuka Kendo Is Class 1-B’s Big Sister
My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia‘s Itsuka Kendo the Big Fist student hero acts like a big sister for everyone in class 1-B at U.A. She’s a responsible, strong-willed, and mature girl who won’t tolerate any misbehavior. That certainly includes foolish antics from Itsuka’s classmates, most of all Neito Monoma. Itsuka holds herself and her classmates to a high standard, so class clowns aren’t welcome.
Itsuka is tough but fair as the big sister type, and she’s comfortable with that role. This means Itsuka can’t afford to make any truly careless mistakes during training exercises or act childishly in class. She sets a good example for class 1-B every day, and everyone looks up to her as a result.
9/10 Laxus Dreyar Takes Himself Pretty Seriously
The lightning dragon slayer Laxus Dreyar made a mess of things in Fairy Tail when he launched a tournament-style civil war with his fellow Fairy Tail members. He lost that battle, but Laxus still didn’t really make a fool of himself – rather, he was horribly misguided. By now, his guildmates have forgiven him.
Laxus is back in the guild, and he is cooler, stronger, and more inspiring than ever. He takes himself rather seriously as an S-ranked Fairy Tail wizard, taking on the strongest foes and talking tough while projecting an air of strength and confidence. It’s no wonder he did so well in the Grand Magic Games tournament.
8/10 Minato Namikaze Was Always Cool And Inspiring
The awe-inspiring Fourth Hokage may be gone now, but his reputation lives on in the Naruto universe, and Naruto Uzumaki couldn’t be prouder to be his son. In his day, Minato was a likable and easygoing ninja, but he was also a bold and capable leader who knew better than to play games when things got serious.
Never once did Minato seriously sabotage his image as a worthy Hokage. He put his duty first as a shinobi but also looked out for his friends and his family. He even gave his life to stop Kurama and Obito’s rampage one tragic evening. He died a hero that night, and for that matter, so did his wife, Kushina.
7/10 Jotaro Kujo Kept A Straight Face When Fighting DIO
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
If anything, the tsundere protagonist Jotaro Kujo needs to lighten up a bit and endear himself to shonen fans with some solid humor or self-depreciating comments. But then again, other JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure fans like Jotaro for being a serious, stern hero who’s the perfect foil for his attention-grabbing grandfather, Joseph Joestar.
Jotaro never makes a fool of himself, either by accident or on purpose, and he doesn’t often crack jokes aside from a few, dry witty comments. Instead, he fought his way through Stardust Crusaders as a serious hero who had one goal in mind: crush DIO to save his mother’s life.
6/10 Levi Ackerman Is A Soldier’s Soldier
Attack On Titan
There are actually several characters in Attack on Titan‘s grim story who make sure to never make fools of themselves, from Theo Magath to the inspiring Commander Erwin Smith to the famous Levi Ackerman. Like Jotaro, Levi takes himself very seriously as a tsundere.
Levi knows that a lot of people rely on him for survival against the Titans and Marley Empire. He also knows that everyone in his squad looks up to him as a serious, competent commander and Titan slayer. For those reasons and others, Levi fought as a true soldier’s soldier when fighting the Titan Shifters, the Yeagerists, and other foes.
5/10 Kyojuro Rengoku Takes His Noble Duty Seriously
The famous flame Hashira, Demon Slayer ‘s Kyojuo Rengoku is cool, inspiring, and highly motivated when he fights powerful foes like Akaza or other demons. Kyojuro has strong charisma as the well-respected flame Hashira, and he always acts like a true professional while hunting demons every night.
Kyojuro was amusing when he cried “delicious!” with every bite of his lunch, but otherwise, he takes his demon-slaying duty very seriously. Even after Kyojuro died at Akaza’s hands, Tanjiro didn’t let anyone disgrace him, not even Kyojuro’s ex-Hashira father.
4/10 Nene Kinokuni Is Usually Pretty Tense
Some of the culinary students in Food Wars! like to play around in the kitchen and make embarrassing mistakes, such as when Alice Nakiri throws tantrums or when Soma Yukihira serves everyone peanut butter octopus tentacles as a joke. Nene Kinokuni of the Council of Ten, meanwhile, has no time for that.
Nene was raised in a strict household and was taught to embrace many classical Japanese arts, including cooking soba noodles of all types. Now, as a student, Nene keeps pressuring herself to cook the perfect soba, and she won’t treat it like a game. She did learn some humility after she lost to Soma in their cooking duel, though, and cheered up at last.
3/10 Nene Onemine Is A Lovable Big Sister
Komi Can’t Communicate
Unlike Nene Kinokuni, the high school student Nene Onemine is a cheerful, friendly girl who puts the needs of others first without trying to take herself too seriously in Komi Can’t Communicate. That said, Nene is emotionally mature for her age, and she won’t act childish like the rambunctious Najimi or the wacky Nakanaka Omoharu.
Nene is a friendly but responsible big sister who will gladly look after Shoko Komi as though Shoko were her own sister, something Shoko is grateful for. Nene might make self-depreciating comments or act selflessly, but she won’t make a fool of herself in the process.
2/10 Hirotaka Nifuji Likes To Look Cool
Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku
The chainsmoking office worker Hirotaka Nifuji is a cool kuudere character who knows what he likes. Hirotaka is good at his job, while he truly pours his passion into video games of all kinds, especially MMORPGs and Super Smash Bros. Hirotaka sees no need to hide this geeky hobby from his co-workers, either.
Hirotaka might send funny emoticons in text messages in the story of Wotakoi, but otherwise, this kuudere always presents himself as a calmly aloof, serious person. He won’t act like a clown to get attention or make his friends laugh. As for his job, Hirotaka is also competent enough to not make foolish mistakes at the office.
1/10 Ena Ibarada Oozes Confidence
Science Fell In Love, So I Tried To Prove It
Unlike the lovestruck but clueless Shinya and Ayame, who keep making fools of themselves with their clumsy attempts at romance, Ena Ibarada knows exactly what she’s doing. Ena is an ace student who is confident in her abilities and personal image, and she works hard to keep it that way.
Ena sometimes teases her old friend Kosuke and lazes around the lab at Saitama University, but she never truly acted like a class clown, nor did she look foolish. Instead, Ena might have a good chuckle when her friends clown around in the lab in Science Fell in Love‘s charming story.
NEXT: 10 Most Boastful Anime Characters, Ranked