The 15 Best Shinigami in Anime, Ranked

There are many reasons to attract viewers to anime. The medium is capable of telling incredibly diverse stories and explores some unconventional themes as well. Often regular individuals in anime will be interspersed with supernatural entities or even variations on classical deities.

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There are lots of ways to locate such material, but the concept of shinigami is something that consumes many chains. The Shinigami are also known as the Death Bringers, and they appear in many different forms in the anime. These death spirits lead humans to death and the afterlife, either calmly or with force. Whether friend, foe, or something in between, Shinigami is more than a ton of different anime shows.

Updated by Daniel Kurland on September 22, 2022: With all the endless creativity on display in anime, it’s probably no surprise that a lot of the series sheds light on supernatural executioners who love to deal with death. Shinigami are fearsome individuals who often serve essential, respected purposes in their respective anime universes. Shinigami can appear as foreboding or masquerade as a playful presence. It’s never safe to make assumptions when it comes to Shinigami, but some of this select class are figuratively and literally above the rest.

15 Takuto is a shinigami who cares for catharsis

full moon or sagashite

full moon or sagashite Applies a nostalgic approach to Shinigami, resulting in a character study of life more than an action-driven journey to collect souls. The gloomy world of the anime presents the Shinigami as people who have taken their own lives and now must cut souls as punishment.

Takuto is a new Shinigami tasked with taking down the soul of Mitsuki, a budding singer who has been diagnosed with a tumor. This fate hits close to home for Takuto, who during his final year tries to help Mitsuki accomplish his goal. Accordingly, Takuto isn’t the most feared Shinigami, especially in his trademark cat ears.

14 Komachi Onozuka Is a Shinigami Slacker Story

phantom memories

While technically a fan-made OVA series, phantom memories Rich in shinigami of all shapes and sizes, pulls from a popular range of video games. Komachi Onozuka probably isn’t the first shinigami to be called upon to collect souls, but she has become one of the most famous characters in the series.

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Komachi is a perpetual slacker, and when she is surrounded by intense shinigami responsibilities, she is more than content to simply discuss death and hang out, rather than collecting souls for her boss, Seikiki. It’s hard to deny Komachi’s unmistakable attitude and a fun change of pace for the Shinigami.

13 Rinne Rokudo comes from a long line of shinigami

it’s rino

Rumiko Takahashi is arguably most popular for his early shnen series, Ranma And InuyashaBut he is also responsible for a short-lived Shinigami epic, it’s rino, In it’s rinoRinne Rokudo is burdened by shinigami duty due to his father’s misunderstanding, but he slowly builds up an affinity for exorcism and helps spirits find solace.

Rinne’s mission is made much easier with the help of Sakura Mamiya, who is gifted with the ability to see spirits. Rinne lacks the aggression of the other Shinigami in the anime, but still takes down the intimidating Death Gods.

12 Lisara Restall is a Tsundere Shinigami Temptation

So, I can’t play H!

Based on a light novel series of the same name, So, I can’t play H! is a 12-episode celebration of emotions and exorcism. The hormonal Ryosuke Kaga engages in a misguided contract with Lisara Restall, a cocky girl who also happens to be an iconic shinigami.

Lisara uses Ryosuke’s nerdy spirit to power her Grim Reaper duties and there is electro chemistry between the two, as much as she may not like to admit it. Lisara’s shinigami skills also often set her fearsome sickle on fire, which certainly makes an impression.

1 1 Zarame Is A Little Shinigami Sidekick With A Lot Of Style


zombie-debt Shinigami is an entertaining subversion of the staple that doesn’t get enough love. Most of the anime characters bring something new to the genre, and Zaramé is no exception. Zaramé can magically generate a scythe at will and has a disturbing design where his entire body – save his left eye – is covered in bandages.

This will instill fear in most enemies, except for the fact that Zarame is confined to a “super deformed chibi” state as a result of losing his core. This makes him a kind of Shinigami mascot, despite the power that he possesses.

10 Decim must determine eternity through a simple game

funeral procession

funeral procession There is an eloquent character study that operates largely like an anthology series. Each episode examines the lives of two newly lost souls who are forced into competition with each other, all overseen by mysterious and different Decims.

what makes funeral procession So unique that these individuals must engage in spontaneous recreational activities such as billiards or darts to determine the fate of their souls. Decim is a staunch bartender who oversees these contests, but he is disaffected and stunned by his role until recently he experiences a conjecture about their purpose.

9 Botan becomes the beating heart of shonen anime

Yu Yu Hakusho

Yu Yu Hakusho There is a basic shonen anime series from the 90s that makes good use of shinigami, but doesn’t make them the focal point of the series. Yusuke Uramashi is a juvenile delinquent with an unexpected ending. The anime’s resident Shinigami Botton intervenes to give him a new purpose.

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Botton is an example of a kind and sympathetic shinigami rather than one of the many aggressive reapers present in other anime. Botan remains largely on edge as Yusuke’s journey accelerates, but he remains an important part of the anime.

8 Shinigami Treats Soul Reaping Like a Boring Day Job

descendants of darkness

descendants of darkness is like if The Office were about the shinigami, or if dead Like Me Was turned into an anime series. descendants of darkness Full of shinigami, but it sees death and soul as a monotonous task rather than a terrifying experience or a thrilling battle.

Tsuzuki Asato is a highly skilled shinigami, but has lost her passion as her position fills up fast with paperwork. Asato finds a new partner and a new passion for his work and it’s a very unique angle on the world of the Shinigami.

7 Momo should avoid corruption

Momo, Girl God of Death

Momo, Girl God of Death provides an interesting look at Shinigami as it tells the same story that many of these other anime have, but momo Resonates because of the unique perspective that is fundamental to anime.

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Momo is new to the shinigami business and the anime looks to see if a path full of death and soul bites would take away Momo’s innocence and harden him into someone else. Momo, Girl God of Death A quick watch with only six episodes, but it says a lot in that time and digs into the softer side of the Shinigami.

6 Rory Mercury is a confusing combination of adorable and deadly


There are a lot of anime that play against expectations and show that it’s important not to judge a book by its cover. of gate The resident shinigami, Rory Mercury the Reaper, is a perfect example of how big trouble can come in a small package.

Rory looks like an innocent girl, but she is an immortal goddess with super strength. His mighty sword that makes swift work of those who come his way. Rory can regenerate any damage she takes and her high intelligence enables her to strategize brilliantly to get out of most situations.

5 Boogiepop has taken an entire city hostage for its own fear

boogiepop phantom

boogiepop The franchise has been around since the 90s. Although it lay dormant for years, it always returns for a new adaptation, much like the central character Boogiepop. boogiepop phantom One sees the Shinigami with a mythical condition that surrounds her sporadically resulting in chaos and fear.

Boogiepop terrorizes the high school’s most beautiful and privileged students and forces them to face their premature mortality. boogiepop phantom Works because its titanic shinigami acts more like a mysterious serial killer than a fair god.

4 Death strikes balance as Shinigami wage war against Kishin

soul Eater

Shinigami are central soul Eater’has a plot, and it extrapolates the idea to a shonen context. soul Eater Full of misters and living weapons that work as a pair to absorb souls into their death scythes before the evil Kishan forces unfairly claim them.

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Those who train at Death Weapon Mr Academy have extraordinary strength, but death is at its head, a Death God Shinigami. soul Eater Shinigami turns up the lore in some exciting ways and turns the concept into something bigger and more complex.

3 The Grail is a loose cannon that is beyond reason

black thief

black thief The Shinigami implements a curious twist in the conventions with the uncertain pact that Siel Phantomhive and Sebastian Michaelis enter together. Sebastian may be the most prominent shinigami, but Grail is black butler The most cunning death bringer.

Grell openly defies the rules of the Shinigami in favor of his violent compulsions. He has a hunger for death which is unmatched. The fact that he turns his death sword into a chainsaw to inflict a more visceral sentence should be sufficient evidence of the twisted nature of the Grail.

2 Soul Reapers must make Shinigami a constant part of their lives


bleach There are over 350 episodes of Ichigo Kurosaki’s mission to prove himself as a mighty Soul Reaper. bleach Changes the Shinigami to a more generic role and sets Ichigo on a dangerous adventure where he casts out evil hollow spirits that threaten the innocent.

Ichigo becomes a deadly shinigami, but Bleach sees how this responsibility can also be a burden and how it takes over his life. Like the founders of the Shinigami Academy, the series features strong Soul Reapers, but Ichigo makes the biggest impact.

1 Ryuk has become anime’s most iconic shinigami

death Note

death Note is an acclaimed anime series that grapples with complex ideas and disturbing visuals. death Note Premise revolves around a powerful notebook that gives its owner the power to kill himself by writing his name.

The book is tied to a shinigami, the ryuk in the case of Light Yagami’s Death Note. Ryuk pushes the entire Death Note scenario onto humanity because he is bored with his responsibilities as a Shinigami. He is a powerful character, but he eventually resigns himself to a supporting position.

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