A couple of weeks back, we did our recommendations for Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and it got us a-thinkin’ – Why aren’t there more dragon characters in anime? It is kind of an underrated mythical sect, but then we had a revelation…
No, it’s not!
There are plenty of awesome dragon characters in anime, you just need to know where to look and who to look for.
Shenron from Dragon Ball Z
Just wanted to get this one out of the way first. Shenron, the eternal dragon, is easily the most well-known dragon in anime. Despite only really showing up to grant some wishes, or perhaps because of it, he is a pretty integral part of DBZ.
Igneel from Fairy Tail
You know you are going to turn out pretty badass when your foster father is a dragon. That is the case with Natsu who was raised by the giant red fire dragon Igneel. While Acnologia is the stronger dragon, Igneel has his time to shine.
Sylphid from The Familiar of Zero
Sylphid is a Rhyme Dragon and familiar of Tabitha. Due to her size, she doesn’t live on campus like other familiars. However, because she can use nature magic she can actually shift into human form. In this form, she actually looks a lot like Tabitha, but older.
Bahamut from Rage of Bahamut: Genesis
For many, the mention of Bahamut gives them Final Fantasy flashbacks, but the mention of Bahumut in the Rage of Bahamut world? Well, it probably triggers PTSD. This dragon is so feared and powerful that humans, gods, and demons band together to quell it.
Ryuukotsusei from Inuyasha
While there are lots of demons in Inuyasha, Ryuukotsusei is the only dragon demon you really see. He once terrorized the Feudal Japan until he was defeated by Inuyasha’s father, Inu no Taisho. However, it was the wounds Ryuukotsusei inflicted before becoming dormant that led to the death of Inu No Taisho. Although reawakened later, he was basically a plot device to strengthen Inuyasha’s sword.
Peterhausen in Demon King Daimao
Anime dragons are often separated into good and bad, but Peterhausen is neither. He doesn’t do anything strictly good or bad, but rather has unwavering loyalty to his master, enough that he would even die so is master can become Demon King. He also has some classic dragon looks, so there’s that.
Red Dragon from Gate
The Red Dragon in Gate is probably one of the better representations of dragons in anime. It is neither one episode hero fodder nor is it easily defeated. In fact, it takes most of the first season to defeat this beast that is basically impervious to both the primitive weapons in the medieval world and many of the standard weaponry of the modern world.
Haku from Spirited Away
Throughout Spirited Away you think Haku is just a regular spirit, but later you find out he is the river spirit and water dragon. When he transforms, he maintains the classic Eastern Dragon style, something that is kind of rare in anime with many series choosing a more European appearance.
Shooting Star from Record of Lodoss War
Shooting Star is pretty much your classic dragon in anime form and performing a classic dragon task. In the anime, Shooting Star basically hangs around on-the-nose-named Flame Dragon Mountain guarding the Sceptre of Domination, one of the most treasured artifacts of the world. A dragon guarding a treasure, who would of thunk it?
The Dragon Warriors from Yona of the Dawn
The Dragon Warriors in Yona of the Dawn are a challenging case. Technically they are more reincarnated Gods than dragons, but they do have dragon features like scales, fang, and reptilian eyes. So perhaps more personifications of dragons, but they are still great warriors of some renown.
Hakuryuu from Saiyuki
Not to be confused with the not-so-dragony Hakuryuu from Magi, Hakuryuu in Saiyuki is Hakkai’s pet dragon, but what sets him apart from other dragons is that he is actually useful. Yes, that’s right, Hakuryuu turns into a Jeep that transports Sanzo’s party around – because why not?
Pina from Sword Art Online
Similar to aforementioned Hakuryuu, Pina is also a pet dragon, but sadly it doesn’t turn into a Jeep. It is known as one of the first monsters to be tamed in the world, though. Initially, Pina is Silica’s pet, but later in ALfheim, it presents as a Cait Sith familiar.
Quox from Tower of Druaga
Although you get more familiar with Quox in the game, in the Tower of Druaga anime, he does appear in the first episode and it is pretty much a party wipe.
Labyrinth Dragon from Little Witch Academia
The Dragon that appears at several points in Little Witch Academia is probably one of the most appealing dragons, visually at least. With its red and black color composition and fluid animation, it looks intimidating as well as pretty damn dapper.
Blue Dragon from Blue Dragon
Considering Blue Dragon is another Akira Toriyama affair, it shouldn’t be any surprise that the titular Blue Dragon is basically a re-skinned Porunga that plays just a slightly bigger part in the series.
Gio from Dragonaut – The Resonance
Dragonaut was essentially the first series to decide that all female dragons in human form need to have a stacked chest. However, Gio is not only a flat-chested man, but one of the most powerful dragons and villains in the series. Too bad the rest of the series wasn’t as good as Gio was a dragon.
Fredrika from Chaika – The Coffin Princess
Technically, Fredrika is a dragoon, a type of dragon that feature powers like shape-shifting. However, her dragon form is perhaps the best of the bunch. Essentially if you took fancy dragon armor and manifested it in full dragon form, then that would be Fredrika.
Charizard from Pokemon
Wherever there is a Pokemon red version, you will find Pokemon’s star dragon Charizard. As far as other anime dragon’s go, it is not the most stylish, but if you grew up with Pokemon, it will have a special place in your heart.
Blue-Eyes White Dragon from Yugioh!
Yugioh has a number of great dragons that are shown off throughout the series, but none more iconic than the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Despite there being better cards throughout the series, none cause more card game drama than ol’ blue eyes.
All the Dragons in Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – Especial Quetzalcoatl!
They’re all pretty great in their own ways, though the show could have showed off their dragon forms a bit more.
That ought to about cover it, but if we missed your favorite anime dragon characters, tell us about them in the comments section below.