Anime often enjoys romanticizing certain historical archetypes and tropes in order to make them more interesting. Ninja and pirates have been of particular interest, comprising two out of three of shonen’s most popular series, Naruto and One Piece respectively.
However, there have been many underrated knights who are worthy of recognition. Their chivalrous deeds make them incredibly cool, whether as outstanding role models or antagonists deserving of the heroes’ attention.
10/10 Gan Fall Was A Legendary Sky Knight
Gan Fall was the first knight introduced to One Piece. As a vigilante fighting to free his former subjects from a presumably godlike figure, his underdog status already makes him cool and likable. Throughout the Skypia arc, Gan Fall excelled in many awesome ways.
He defeated a high priest by himself, contextualized the entire story, and was even among the last four standing for the cinematic confrontation with Eneru. Gan Fall’s accomplishments are even more impressive considering he fought the battle in his sixties.
9/10 Gorl Was The Topaz’s Obsessive Guardian
When the Shadow Lord scattered the royal gems and launched Deltora Quest’s main plot, Gorl’s Topaz was Leaf’s first stop. An ancient knight of unfathomable power, his quest for eternal life made him more cool and sympathetic than most of the series’ other villains.
Gorl’s indestructibility proved equally awesome, shrugging off attacks from Lief and Barda alike. In the end, Jasmine only managed to defeat him by crushing his body with a log. When the dust settled, it was revealed that the suit of armor was empty. The knight inhabiting it was actually a ghost the entire time.
8/10 Kallen Was A Member Of The Black Knights
Although not a member of the Round or servant to Britannia, Kallen obeyed an entirely different and equally valid order of warriors in Code Geass. As the Black Knights’ strongest pilot, she could obliterate adversaries with a powerful clawed attack.
Kallen is undeniably one of the series’ coolest characters. She defeated Suzaku in battle, did not flinch in the face of death, and would not betray her principles for Lelouch’s sake. Her unshakable willpower makes her the anime’s most awesome female character.
7/10 Kirito Was An Unrivaled Swordsman
Sword Art Online
Kirito was the main protagonist of Sword Art Online and easily its coolest character. His feats of heroism ranged from defeating challenges designed to be impossible to conquering death itself against Heathcliff. In an alternate timeline, he was even powerful enough to become an Integrity Knight himself.
Unlike many other anime protagonists, he also did not need to rely on broodiness in order to be interesting. Kirito’s relationship with Asuna ranks among the best-written and most compelling of any anime, as they are loving and kind toward one another without needing contrived drama to make their relationship more interesting.
6/10 Arthur Placed Knighthood Above All Else
Although Fire Force takes place in the future, Arthur is so committed to his knighthood that he forces other people to acknowledge his charade. This is an extremely cool and interesting concept, especially since the power behind his Ignition Ability is directly proportionate to how immersed he becomes.
What makes Arthur exceptionally amazing is that he’s indispensable to the team. Without him, there would be no one available to counter Haumea’s mind-controlling electric manipulations. He was also one of the few characters capable of talking Shinra down from losing control.
5/10 Gilthunder Was A Champion Of Liones
Seven Deadly Sins
Gilthunder was virtually a perfect knight in Seven Deadly Sins. When manipulated into attacking Meliodas, he was one of the few characters able to actually challenge him. Similarly, Gilthunder was among the first to defect after Fraudrin’s treachery came to light.
Perhaps Gilthunder’s coolest quality is that he is level-headed and sacrificial. For example, he did not buy into Lucodiel’s help as quickly as Hendrickson and was willing to give himself to Vivian in order to save Margaret. Gilthunder proves that being a knight is about more than strength. Chivalry is equally vital.
4/10 Polnareff’s Stand Manifested As A Knight
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
In JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Stands are meant to be physical embodiments of their user’s souls. This inherently makes Polnareff a knight, given the armored appearance of Silver Chariot.
Between having more fights than any other JoBro, helping Giorno against Diavolo in Act 5, and successfully avenging his sister, Polnareff’s slew of victories attests to how cool he is. His Stand is also one of the best designed in the series based on the charming simplicity of its abilities and the way he uses them to win.
3/10 Integra Was A Member Of The Protestant Knights
Integra was a member of the Protestant Knights in the Hellsing universe. However, instead of relying on conventional soldiers or firearms, her house has a much cooler secret weapon – Alucard.
In addition to being the exclusive boss of a multi-millennium vampire, Integra has survived immense childhood trauma in order to get where she is. She was also personally responsible for defeating the Major, with her final duel against him proving the series’ most awesome highlight.
2/10 Ban Was The Sins’ Favorite Rogue
Seven Deadly Sins
Shortly after debuting, Ban immediately proved why he was the coolest of the Sins. Unlike Meliodas and Diane, his antihero sentiments helped to counterbalance the group dynamic and call into question if they should really be showing mercy to their enemies in Liones.
Ban has also had an incredible character arc. At the conclusion of the fight against Fraudrin, he chose his friendship with Meliodas over the potential to get Elaine back. This proved to be a wise decision, as Melascula resurrected Elaine later on. With the right magics, she was returned to Ban’s side, and the rogue finally had his happily ever after.
1/10 Guts Was A Man Who Suffered Immense Hardships
Guts was the main protagonist of Berserk and a young man who survived immense hardships. His indomitable spirit and willingness to persevere immediately made him a fan favorite and one of the coolest knight characters around. His huge weapon furthers this notion and insinuates the great strength at his disposal.
Like Ban, Guts also does not hesitate to get his hands dirty. For example, he initially used Farnese as a human shield so that the Holy Iron Chain Knights would not pursue him. This decision paid dividends and better illustrated Guts’ impressive will to survive.
NEXT: The 10 Most Well-Written Naruto Characters, Ranked