Anime characters with tattoos include Natsu Dragneel, Portgas D. Ace, Renji Abarai, Yakuza Members, Kariya Matou, and Gray Fullbuster. Anime boasts numerous iconic tattoos that enhance the power of their bearers and carry immense emotional significance.
Tattoos have been inking their way into mainstream culture, and nowadays, it’s almost as common to see a young adult rocking some body art as it is to find a Pikachu in a Pokémon game.
While Japan used to link tattoos with crime, they’ve now warmed up to them, much like a cat cozying up to a sunbeam.
From Symbols to Serpents: The Coolest Tattoos in Anime
From intricate designs to subtle markings, tattoos are used to amplify the narratives of our favorite shows.
This article will explore some of the most unforgettable tattooed anime characters, examining the stories behind their ink and how these body art pieces enrich their personas.
Natsu Dragneel – Fairy Tail
From the iconic Fairy Tail guild, Natsu Dragneel has a tattoo that’s as fiery as his personality. This pink-haired fire wizard proudly wears his guild’s emblem on his right shoulder, symbolizing his unwavering loyalty and commitment to his comrades. The emblem, a whimsical representation of a fairy’s tail, constantly reminds him of his mission to protect those he cares about.
Natsu’s tattoo, much like his powers, evolves with the character. As he develops stronger abilities, the tattoo’s color changes, representing his growing magical prowess. This dynamic piece of body art perfectly complements Natsu’s character, adding depth to his fiery passion for adventure and friendship.
Portgas D. Ace – One Piece
Portgas D. Ace, the beloved older brother of One Piece protagonist Monkey D. Luffy, has a tattoo that’s as enigmatic as the pirate himself. This tattoo hints at Ace’s mysterious past and connection to the powerful Pirate King, Gol D. Roger. Ace’s tattoo, located on his upper left bicep, consists of the letters “A S C E,” with the “S” crossed out, leaving “ACE” in its wake.
This unique tattoo is a testament to Ace’s journey in the One Piece world. It’s not just a decoration but a reminder of his life choices and the consequences that follow. Ace’s tattoo tells a story of love, loss, and redemption, making it an unforgettable part of the One Piece universe.
Zero Kiryu – Vampire Knight
In the series, Zero has a distinct tattoo on his neck, symbolizing his status as a vampire hunter. The tattoo is designed as a rose with thorny vines, a common motif in the series. As he transforms into a vampire, the tattoo reminds him of his past as a hunter and the bitter irony of his current situation.
The tattoo also serves as a visual representation of Zero’s inner turmoil, embodying the clash between his human and vampire identities. This conflict forms a central theme in Vampire Knight, exploring the gray area between good and evil and the idea that one’s identity is not solely defined by their nature or upbringing.
Renji Abarai – Bleach
Renji Abarai, the feisty Soul Reaper from the popular anime Bleach, sports tribal tattoos. These intricate black designs wrap around his arms, chest, and neck, reflecting Renji’s fierce warrior spirit. Each tattoo symbolizes his dedication to his craft and commitment to protecting the Soul Society.
Interestingly, Renji’s tattoos also serve a practical purpose. They are a manifestation of his Zanpakuto, a sword with spiritual powers. As Renji’s strength increases, so does the complexity of his tattoos. The ever-evolving ink adds a unique touch to Renji’s character, making him stand out as one of the most memorable tattooed anime characters.
Uta – Tokyo Ghoul
Uta, the enigmatic mask maker from Tokyo Ghoul, embodies the dark and mysterious world he inhabits. Covered head to toe in intricate tattoos, Uta’s inked appearance is an extension of his twisted personality. His tattoos, which include a dramatic neckpiece and a sprawling design covering his arms, enhance his sinister aura.
These tattoos are stunning and profoundly meaningful within the Tokyo Ghoul universe. Uta’s body art constantly reminds him of his past as a ruthless ghoul, symbolizing the harsh reality of his world. With each inked line, Uta’s character becomes more intriguing, captivating fans who can’t get enough of his enigmatic charm.
Noi – Dorohedoro
Noi, the formidable and devoted sorceress from Dorohedoro’s shadowy realm, sports tattoos as potent as her persona. Adorning her arms, these intricate markings stretch from her shoulders to wrists, capturing attention and channeling her magic.
A talented healer, Noi’s tattoos embody her capabilities, enabling her to harness her powers for mending injuries and preserving lives.
Ban – The Seven Deadly Sins
Ban, the charismatic and immortal member of The Seven Deadly Sins, is adorned with a tattoo that speaks to his unique abilities and past. Located on the left side of his neck, the tattoo symbolizes the Fox’s Sin of Greed, representing Ban’s sin as a group member.
This tattoo serves as a visual cue for Ban’s role within the Sins and highlights his unyielding quest for immortality and the power to bring back a loved one. His ink is a constant reminder of his path and the consequences that have followed. With his tattoo, Ban’s character becomes even more engaging, inviting fans to delve deeper into his story.
Kariya Matou – Fate/Zero
Kariya Matou, a tragic character from the Fate/Zero series, is marked by ominous and painful tattoos. These tattoos, known as Crest Worms, cover his entire body and consist of writhing, worm-like designs that reflect the torment Kariya endures.
Kariya’s tattoos are more than just a visual element; they represent his immense sacrifice to save someone dear to him. His body art carries the weight of his pain and constantly reminds him of his chosen dark path. Kariya’s tattoos elevate his character, creating an emotional connection with viewers who empathize with his suffering.
Revy – Anime Characters With Tattoos
Revy, the tough and skilled gunfighter from Black Lagoon, boasts a tribal-style tattoo on her right shoulder. This tattoo, which features a winged skull with a bullet hole in the forehead, encapsulates her fierce and relentless nature.
With her tattoo, Revy’s character is further fleshed out, inviting viewers to explore the depth and complexity of her story. The design is a nod to her profession and a symbol of her resilience in adversity. It is a constant reminder of her troubled past and determination to survive in a dangerous and unforgiving world.
Trafalgar D. Water Law – One Piece
Trafalgar Law, the enigmatic and cunning pirate from One Piece, is distinguished by an intricate tattoo that spans his forearms. The tattoo, which features the letters “DEATH” interspersed with various symbols, reflects his dark past and connection to the notorious Donquixote Family.
Law’s tattoo is a striking visual element and a symbol of his resolve and commitment to his goals. It represents his determination to avenge his fallen comrades and overthrow the tyrannical regime that has caused them pain.
Juuzou Suzuya – Tokyo Ghoul
Juuzou Suzuya, the eccentric and deadly special investigator from Tokyo Ghoul, is marked by a series of stitches tattooed across his body. These unsettling tattoos contribute to his unique appearance and signify the psychological trauma he has endured.
Each stitch represents a painful memory from Juuzou’s past, symbolizing his physical and emotional scars. His tattoos are a constant reminder of the challenges he has overcome and the resilience he has demonstrated in the face of adversity.
Shura Kirigakure – Blue Exorcist
Shura Kirigakure, the aggressive and skilled exorcist from Blue Exorcist, sports an array of vibrant tattoos that cover her body. These tattoos enhance her bold and energetic personality and play a crucial role in her ability to fight demons.
Each of Shura’s tattoos is imbued with magical properties, allowing her to channel her powers and summon her demon-slaying sword. They represent her unwavering dedication to her calling and commitment to protecting humanity from demonic forces. Through her tattoos, Shura’s character is enriched with a sense of purpose and determination that fans find inspiring and engaging.
Medusa – Soul Eater
In Soul Eater, Medusa, one of the most terrifying and despicable characters, proudly displays a fantastic and magical tattoo befitting her wicked nature. As Crona’s mother, this sinister witch doesn’t hesitate to use her powers and manipulation skills to conquer and eliminate her adversaries.
Soul Eater’s plot revolves around students training to hunt demons. Holding the title of the series’ most powerful witch, Medusa’s distinctive magic and tattoo grant her control over a thousand snakes within her body, allowing her to combat the strongest demon weapons in Soul Eater effortlessly.
The enormous snake tattoo, which spans her arms, springs to life as deadly arrows and blades.
Mugen – Samurai Champloo
Mugen, the wild and unpredictable swordsman from Samurai Champloo, boasts a unique tattoo that covers his left arm and hand. This tattoo, which features tribal patterns and abstract designs, is a nod to his unorthodox fighting style and free-spirited nature.
The tattoo complements Mugen’s unpredictable personality and highlights his connection to the eclectic world of Samurai Champloo, which fuses traditional samurai culture with modern hip-hop elements.
Scar – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Scar ranks among the most formidable alchemists. His tattoos stem from a bloody war when he was an Ishvalan warrior-monk, driven by hatred after the devastation of his homeland and the murder of most of his people, including his family.
When Scar suffered grave injuries and lost his arm, his gifted alchemist brother transferred his arm to him. Knowing his impending fate, Scar’s brother chose to save him from a similar end. Consequently, Scar’s tattoos are prominent as some of the most recognizable and powerful tattoos in the anime world.
Tatsumi Oga – Beelzebub
Despite being a high school student, Tatsumi Oga must learn to parent Beelzebub IV, a demon baby. Oga, known for his cruelty and sadistic nature, discovers that Beelzebub can aid him in defeating his foes.
Mysteriously, the potent Zebul Spell tattoo appears on Oga’s right hand one day. This seal signifies the contract between Oga and Beelzebub, enabling Oga to access increasing demonic powers with each battle. Although small, Oga’s tattoo has gained immense popularity among Beelzebub fans, who often choose to ink the design on themselves.
Gray Fullbuster – Anime Characters With Tattoos
Gray, known for his cool demeanor, is one of the most formidable characters in Fairy Tail. He’s also a highly recognizable anime character with ice powers. His magical ability, Ice-Make, enables him to craft and manipulate ice as he pleases.
Inheriting his potent ice maker magic from his father, Gray also acquired a tattoo on his right arm symbolizing the magic. Not only is this tattoo well-known, but it’s also a popular choice among Fairy Tail fans looking to get inked.
Hisoka – Hunter x Hunter
Hisoka, the enigmatic and dangerous antagonist from Hunter x Hunter, sports a distinctive tattoo that adorns his back. The tattoo, which depicts a teardrop and the number 4, indicates his rank within the Phantom Troupe, a group of ruthless thieves he infiltrates.
This simple yet powerful tattoo not only signifies Hisoka’s cunning nature but also represents his twisted sense of humor and unpredictable nature. It is a constant reminder of his mysterious motives and the lengths he is willing to go to achieve his goals.
Popular Anime Symbols People Get Tattooed
Anime fans often get tattoos of popular symbols to express their love for their favorite series. Some of the most popular anime symbols that people get tattooed include:
- Straw Hat Pirates’ Jolly Roger (One Piece) – The iconic symbol representing Luffy’s pirate crew.
- Fairy Tail Guild emblem (Fairy Tail) – The emblem symbolizes the camaraderie of the Fairy Tail guild members.
- Hidden Leaf Village symbol (Naruto) – The recognizable symbol of Konohagakure, where Naruto hails from.
- Alchemy symbols (Fullmetal Alchemist) – The various alchemy symbols from the series, including the Flamel symbol, transmutation circles, and the Ouroboros symbol.
- Survey Corps emblem (Attack on Titan) – The Wings of Freedom insignia, representing humanity’s hope against the Titans.
- Soul Eater sun and moon (Soul Eater) – The iconic sun and moon face from the series, often used as background elements or individually.
- Dragon Balls (Dragon Ball) – The seven Dragon Balls, each with a different number of stars, symbolize the summoning of the wish-granting dragon Shenron.
- Ghoul mask (Tokyo Ghoul) – Kaneki’s iconic mask represents the conflict between humans and ghouls.
- Sinbad’s Djinn (Magi) – The various Djinn symbols from the series represent the powerful entities that grant their users unique abilities.
- Ghibli characters (Studio Ghibli films) – Iconic characters or symbols from various Studio Ghibli films, such as Totoro, No-Face, or the soot sprites.
- Luffy’s Straw Hat (One Piece) – Luffy’s iconic straw hat symbolizes his dreams and the bond between him and his crew.
- Sharingan (Naruto) – The distinct red and black eye pattern represents the powerful dojutsu abilities of the Uchiha clan.
- Natsu’s Scarf (Fairy Tail) – Natsu Dragneel’s distinctive scarf symbolizes his connection to Igneel and the Fairy Tail guild.
- Lelouch’s Geass (Code Geass) – The red, bird-shaped symbol in Lelouch’s eye represents the power of Geass and his quest for rebellion.
- Sailor Moon’s Moon Tiara (Sailor Moon) – The crescent moon symbol embodies the magical girl transformation and the power of friendship in the Sailor Moon series.