You might not know this, but I watch a ridiculous amount of anime. Seriously! And in 2022, I got into a lot of new series like, Aoashi, The Witch From Mercury, Chainsaw Man, and Bleach*. Given my love for anime and the growing popularity of my baby name posts, I decided to compile a list of the best anime inspired baby names.
*Bleach is not new, but I got into it last fall and am absolutely hooked. Instead of asking people their zodiac sign, I’ll now be
judging them based on asking their favorite Gotei 13 captain(s)!
This list is purely for fun, based on my personal preferences, and will be expanded periodically. It’s also worth mentioning that I wrote this list from the viewpoint of a former kindergarten teacher turned parent raising a child in Japan. Therefore, most of my choices may be a bit “conservative!”
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the rights to any of the images in this post. No copyright infringement intended.
The Best Anime Inspired Baby Names — Boys
Kohaku (Inu Yasha, Spirited Away)
Okay, I’m totally outing my age here, but 20 years before the Demon Slaying brother-sister duo of Tanjiro and Netsuko, we had Sango and her brother, Kohaku (琥珀=“amber”), from Inu Yasha and the 2020 spin-off, Yashahime.
On the other hand, Ghibli fans might hear “Kohaku” and think of Haku, the Amber River Guardian Dragon from Spirited Away. Regardless, Kohaku is a name that may turn heads, but will certainly leave a lasting impression.
Megumi (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Megumi (恵, “gift” or “blessing”) is a rather unusual name for a boy as it’s frequently used as a girl’s name. Often, you’ll see Megumi written in hiragana (めぐみ), creating a air of femininity. When used as a boy’s name, however, Megumi has the same softness as the character 優 (Yuma, Yuu, Yuuki, Yuuta, Yuusuke, etc).
PS: Manga readers, don’t spoil the anime-onlys!
After sleeping on Bleach for years, it’s quickly made its way into my personal Top 10. Much of that has to do with the 12th Division Captain and the quirky staff of the Shinigami Research and Development Institute, like Rin (リン). What I adore about Rin is his cute hairstyle and his love of sweets. As an anime-inspired baby name, Rin slips right under the radar as it’s a gender-neutral name, too!
When thinking about candidates for the best anime inspired baby names, I purposely avoided kirakira (キラキラ) names AKA, names that were “too out there.” Which brings me to Renji (恋次), written with the characters for “love” and “next.” Personally, I love the kanji, though I know it borders on kirakira/weeb territory.
Still, you could switch 恋次 with the kanji 蓮司 if you wanted a “normal” name. Or, you can simply call your baby boy, “Ren,” (蓮) which was the most popular Japanese baby boy name of 2020.
Takemichi (Tokyo Revengers)
I have a soft spot for Takemichi (武道), the “crybaby hero” of Tokyo Revengers! And, when I was pregnant and looking for potential baby names, I had a hard time coming up with bilingual boys’ names that also used my husband’s kanji (which he shares with his father).
However, Takemichi, while not a “bilingual” name, would have been my top choice for a boy. Plus, it literally means, “way of the warrior,” just like the kanji for bushido (武士道)! How cool is that?
Yuta (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Anime characters are often known for their unusual names with hidden meanings lying in their kanji. Think Tsukino Usagi (月野うさぎ =“the rabbit from the moon”) from Sailor Moon, Ichigo (一護=“one protector” ) from Bleach, and Light (月=“moon”) from Death Note. However, Yuta (優太) is a refreshingly simple and practical boy’s name that any anime fan could use with plenty of plausible deniability!
The Best Anime Inspired Baby Names — Girls
Hinata (Tokyo Revengers)
Hinata is the love interest in Tokyo Revengers and Naruto. And, it’s also a very popular girl’s name in Japan. As a matter of fact, Hinata has consistently ranked in the top 10 Japanese baby girl names of 2020, 2021, and even took the number 1 spot in 2022!
Orihime (織姫) is a top tier “best girl” that basically has Time Stone level abilities — and an endless appetite for carbs. It’s also the name of the young girl in the Tanabata love story. As a girl’s name, Orihime is a unique choice that will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows in Japan. 小織 (Saori=“little Orihime”) would be a safe alternative. With that said, for a girl born in July on/around Tanabata, I think Orihime is pretty. And, if she lives abroad, she’d have a neat story to share as well!
Ran (Detective Conan)
Ran (蘭) stands out as one of the few anime characters on this list without any supernatural abilities! Her name means “Orchid,” and it’s not uncommon for girls’ names to have flower origins. Think Hana (literally “flower”), Sakura (cherry blossom), Sumire (violet), etc.
Rei (Sailor Moon)
Rei was always my favorite Senshi because she had the best fashion. Plus, she’s an Aries like me! What makes Rei (レイ) work as an anime inspired baby name is that it’s also a bilingual name that doubles as a nickname for Rachel, Reika, or Reina.
Rin (Inuyasha, Yashahime)
Rin (りん) is another anime inspired baby name that’s already a popular baby name in Japan. In 2022, it was the second most popular baby name for girls in Japan, up one spot from 2021. (Written in kanji as 凛.) Rin is also ~gender neutral~ which is why I’ve included in both the girls’ and boys’ list.
Sakura (Cardcaptor Sakura, Naruto)
Although Sakura (さくら) may seem a bit “old-fashioned,” it’s certainly a lovely name for a girl born during cherry blossom season. There’s a beautiful simplicity in the hiragana for sakura and its kanji (桜 or 櫻) are equally poetic.
Uta (One Piece)
Yet another anime inspired baby name that’s actually already popular name in Japan is Uta (ウタ)! I wonder if Uta’s sudden popularity as one of the best Japanese baby names of 2022 had anything to do with the One Piece movie, Red, and its diva, Uta. Her name is written in katakana, but the kanji for Uta is 詩, which means “poem” or “ballad”
The Best Anime Inspired Baby Names — Recap
As I stated at the beginning, this list of the best anime inspired baby names is based on my own preferences. I will be update this post periodically, so keep this in your bookmarks!