You know you’ve watched a sufficient but completely non-alarming amount of anime when you start to spot similarities between unrelated characters from completely different series. It’s happened to me a few times lately and for some reason it fills me with glee. What can I say, I lead a life of adventure and excitement!

What’s more, in some cases these characters aren’t merely similar looking but share enough personality traits to make you think they might be actually related in some way. It’s kinda cool when that happens, right? I’m not the only one that gets a kick out of it, am I? I’m not a huge dork!

5) Yuka Okitsu (Shirobako) and Shizuku Ashuu (Magical Girl Raising Project)

OK, I’ll have to admit this one may be mostly based on looks. Then again it may NOT! Fact is that Yuka is a fairly minor character is Shirobako and we don’t see her all that much. This said, some of you may remember that Shizu is one of my big-time anime crushes so anyone who looks anything like her is bound to make a big impression on me no matter how short their screen time is! And these two shares more than just a passing resemblance.

Besides the similar haircut and seemingly being entirely made of sex appeal, we do know that both are very calm and extremely capable women, skilled at methodically working out problems and maintaining peace around them.

Bottom line is, I would happily buy either of them dinner anytime. Or both! My brain exploded a little…

4) Helper T Cell (Cells at Work) and Kazuma (Noragami)

I actually mentioned this in my Cells at Work review. The character designs are very close in both features and costume but on a higher level, the two play essentially the same role. Both are high level operational coordinators that plan strategy and support the main characters. They also happen to be the perfect golden boy archetype. They are basically interchangeable.

Helper T Cell is a bit quicker to anger and more sarcastic but only in the proper company. I’m pretty sure if Kazuma wasn’t almost constantly in the presence of a god he worships and feels deeply responsible for (there’s that hole tragic past and guilt thing as well), he’s probably be much more of a smart ass too. You can just tell.

 3) Megumin (KonoSuba) and Rita Mordio (Tales of Vesperia)

 It’s actually a complete coincidence that I am currently replaying Tales of Vesperia. The similarities between these two hit me the instant I saw Megumi for the first time. I’m just going to throw this out there, I adore both characters. This one is a cross platform comparison and the character design is a little less *completely identical* than the previous entries but it’s still very noticeable. Pretty short brunettes with a similar color palette and the same fashion sense.

Of course, both also happen to be mages with a penchant for blowing up stuff whenever possible. I’m not sure how two characters so much alike happen to pop up in such disparate works but I like to think that Natsume Akatsuki just happens to be a big fan of Vesperia like me! That’s why I love KonoSuba so much, it was created by someone with the same tastes. I have decided this!

2) Karma Akabane (Assassination Classroom) and Tatsuya Ochiai (Shirobako)

What?? I’m not currently watching Shirobako… What would make you think such a thing? I particularly like this comparison because Assassination classroom has a very distinctive and rather unique art style, versus Shirobako’s very pretty but very classical designs. Despite this, you can clearly see just how alike the two characters look. It’s interesting how relatively minor tweaks in line angles and boldness, along with an oversaturated and highly contrasting color palette, can make such a difference in the visuals. It’s also particularly à propos when considering Shirobako’s storyline. I feel like this whole paragraph could have been part of the script.

As for the non-physical similarities. Both are cool and composed pretty boys with a slightly threatening edge and obvious ambition. They tend to be extremely capable but too detached to take on a pure leadership role unless the mood strikes them. And despite a slightly ominous aura, they’re also surprisingly helpful and friendly when you get past the first impression.

I can easily see Karma becoming exactly like Tatsuya right after graduation and slowly taking over the world! I mean we all know Karma is going to take over the world. That’s canon.

1)      Kamina (Gurren Lagann) and Kaito (Danganronpa 3)

I’ve made no secret that I’m a huge fan of both of these franchises. This is why both are featured in my blog header. (Random fact, my various blog headers were chosen from fanart of my favorite series or visual novels – I’m missing some but I plan to slowly add new ones whenever I find suitable images).

I got a touch sidetracked there. Look Kamina and Kaito do look alike. Tall lanky guys with impossibly spiky hair and a love for capes or at least wearing their jackets as capes. But this time, it’s really their personalities that brought them together in my mind.

I love Kaito. He was my best friend in Daganronpa and that means more to me than best girl/boy. And I love Kamina, a show I absolutely adore is held together entirely by his character. These guys are natural born leaders in the purest of sense. They have this ability to bring people together not through brute force, impressive intellect or even strength of character but through pure unabashed charisma. These are people that weaponize optimism, that hone hope into a fine-tuned weapon and that lead by letting others shine. They are almost aggressively supportive of their friends and their clear vision and steadfast focus on the future just naturally rallies everyone to their side and keeps them on the path.

This essence of almost natural leadership is not that common as a character type. Most stories feel the need to justify their heroes by giving them some tangible and classical traits to mark them as *special* or better. They have to be geniuses, or powerful or chosen. Kaito and Kamina chose themselves. They may have wavered in their conviction, but they didn’t let people know. They understood that a true leader is nothing but a servant incapable of anything without their followers and that their first duty was to the team. And of course, both are boundless pools of energy and bravado. That’s really part of the job.

SPOILERS – It comes as no surprise that these are exactly the sort of men who would sacrifice themselves with a smile for what they believe to be the greater good. I miss them both, I wish they would have met.

Now you tell me who your favorite anime doppelgangers are. Honestly, I eat this stuff up!


24 thoughts

  1. Reading other anime blogs makes me realize that I don’t watch as much anime as I thought I did lol. The only one I could recognize from this list is Kazuma and Helper T Cell, pretty spot on.

  2. GREAT POST, Irinia. I always notice stuff like this too!! I was wondering if you were going to use Kamina and Tenga from Kizaiver, because they look really similar as well, and they act really similar!

  3. Tanuma was the very first thing that came to mind when first seeing Helper T Cell. The fun thing is that this wouldn’t be a bad job for him, if a body were hiring.

    And I never made the connection, but Yuka and Shizuku really do look a lot alike.

    I see similarities between the others, but not the point of doppelgängerdom. However, I’ve played neither Vesperia nor any of the Danganronpa games, so it might be more obvious in action. (I’ve thought of buying a PS4, just to play Vesperia [and Disgaea 5, while I’m at it], but I’m still using my PS2 & 3, and I’m running out of space. Maybe a Switch; it’s smaller [but doesn’t have D5]).

      1. P5 is still on the PS3, so it’s not a system seller. The only system sellers I’m aware of for me are Vesperia and Disgaea 5. There’s plenty of other fun stuff, though: Tales of Berseria, Atelier Games, Streetfighter collection, Puyo Puyo + Tetris, the Utawarerumono games…

        It’s space that’s the problem. If the PS4 we backwards compatible, I’d already have one, but alas…

  4. Not my favourite but one that really stood out to me is Izumi in Ajin looks exactly like Ennis from Baccano. Like distractingly similar. And from a personality point of view, both characters are taking orders from men that they don’t necessarily agree with and struggle to connect with human emotions.

  5. Oh my gosh thank you for also thinking that Kazuma and the T cell look similar. I’m watching Cells at work with some friends and they watched Noragami just a few months ago but nobody’s mentioned it and it was freaking me out. Like when I saw him in the OP my brain just went to “Kazuma?? Is that you??”

  6. That was a fun list. I wanted to do something similar, but you beat me to it. Haha! Those characters do have a bunch of similarities with the physical and with personality traits. If I had a list involving anime characters having doppelgangers, they’d be in semi-particular order…

    Yusuke from Legend of the Last Labyrinth and Kazuki from Comic Party: Blue-haired everyman character who is in a not-harem with multiple women.

    Sakura from Sakura Wars and Kumiko from Debutante Detective Corps. Okay, they don’t have the same personalities, but they have similar hair styles though.

    Ritsuko from Evangelion and Jennifer from This Ugly Yet Beautiful World. Okay, Gainax made both, but they could pass as sisters who happen to be scientists.

    Ran from Green Legend Ran and Saburi from Patapata Hikousen no Bouken. Saburi looks like a younger version of Ran. Both are rambunctious, wear vests, get into trouble a lot, and have black hair in a ponytail.

    I hate to be that guy and you know I’m a fan of this old-school anime, but my pick for an anime character who has a very obvious doppelganger is Claw from Kimba the White Lion. Come on, do you REALLY think Disney came up with the idea of a black-maned, dark brown-furred villainous lion with a wounded left eye who takes over the main character’s kingdom and even has hyena henchmen by themselves? It’s shocking how many physical and other similarities Claw and Scar have.

      1. Watch as I get intense backlash from people reading this…You’re not missing much. It’s certainly one of the most overrated Disney movies out there. Sure, the animation is good and the songs are catchy, but the story is problematic with some of the plot holes (Nala incest theory, anyone?), protagonist centered morality, and the racist undertones of the hyenas (the elephant graveyard is very unnerving when you factor in the Namibian and Congolese genocides).

        It does tick me off how much they stole from Kimba and perverted the core messages of the original anime. Whew! [Semi-Rant over]

  7. First time I ever had this reaction was when Utao Hoshina was introduced in Shugo Chara, and I went, “Hey, that’s Fate Testarossa!” Both taller girls with long blonde twintails and black outfits, introduced as antagonists but obviously not bad people. Their personalities are a bit different – Utau is more tsundere-ish – but their motivations for initially helping the villains (love of a family member) are similar, and naturally both of them eventually become best friends with the hero. They also have the same VA in the anime versions, so I’m obviously not the only one who noticed.

  8. This looks fun. Kamina really makes me think of my uncle Nathan. He really enjoys being called Kaiser. He also LOVES the subject of Medieval times and mythology. I enjoy the mythology but I’m not a fan of how they treated peasants and women. I’d say that in Princess Tutu (It’s been forever since I’ve seen that show :, ( ) some of the dancers “married” to the cat ballet teacher look alike.

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