Anime characters who are always smoking are nothing new; they’ve been an enduring fixture throughout the history of the medium. These smoking characters often leave a lasting impression, contributing to the series’ cultural impact. While real-world views on smoking continue to evolve, the portrayal of smoking in anime can be a narrative tool, employed to underscore a character’s temperament or circumstances.
Iconic Smokers in Anime
Anime features a diverse range of characters, many of whom are recognized by specific traits, including the habitual smoker. These characters often stand out for their cool demeanor or rugged charm.
- Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop epitomizes the carefree bounty hunter with a cigarette often in hand. He’s calm, collected, and his smoking habit accentuates his trademark nonchalance.
- One Piece‘s Sanji maintains a cigarette as part of his suave chef persona. His smoking is synonymous with his character, contributing to his cool and composed image despite the chaos ensuing around him.
In Naruto, Asuma Sarutobi often sports a cigarette. It’s a hallmark of his mature presence as he mentors his young ninja team.
- Shinya Kogami from Psycho-Pass exhibits a grim resolve, with his smoking habit heightening his detective’s air of mystery.
- Toshiro Hijikata from Gintama is another iconic smoker. He’s rarely seen without a smoke, which underscores his stern vice-leader facade.
1. Toshiro Hijikata
Toshiro Hijikata is a main character from the animated series Gintama who serves as the stalwart Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi.
His serious demeanor and the cigarette often seen in his mouth showcases him as a composed and seasoned warrior within the show.
He is one of the anime characters who are always smoking that arguably add depth to his character, reflecting his stressful role and moments of contemplation. Known as the fearsome “Demon Vice-Commander,” Hijikata’s reputation for strictness and a no-nonsense attitude in enforcing the law not only cements his rank but also garners respect from both allies and adversaries.
The animated series often plays on the irony between Hijikata’s strong leadership abilities and his lighter side, which includes an obsessive love for mayonnaise and a surprising vulnerability to superstition, rendering him relatable and human.
2. Jean Havoc
Jean Havoc is a familiar figure to the fans of the anime “Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.” Serving as a subordinate to Colonel Roy Mustang, his character is characterized by a laid-back attitude and a penchant for smoking.
Loyal and supportive, Havoc is depicted with blond hair, blue eyes, and a height that complements his soldierly posture.
He is one of the few who are privy to Mustang’s ambitious goal of becoming Führer. In the series, his casual demeanor often belies the depth of his dedication to his team and mission.
Known for having a cigarette often in hand, this habit has become synonymous with his cool persona.
3. Keishin Ukai
Keishin Ukai is a pivotal character in the popular volleyball anime, “Haikyuu!!.” As the coach of Karasuno High School’s volleyball team, he is instrumental in advancing the team’s skills and tactics.
He accepts the coaching role previously held by his grandfather so there is a legacy aspect to his involvement with the team.
Despite his commitment to coaching, Ukai is frequently seen with a cigarette in hand, which contributes to his rugged and careworn appearance. His chain-smoking is a trait that some fans might remember as an older, more common trope in anime to signify stress or a hardened exterior.
Ukai’s popularity can be attributed to his realistic portrayal as someone who is imperfect yet deeply passionate about volleyball and the success of his players.
4. Masaru Kondo
Masaru Kondo is the manager of Cafe Restaurant Garden, featured in the slice-of-life anime “After the Rain.”
At the age of 45, Kondo carries himself with a certain boyish charm that belies his years, often leaving a trail of minor blunders in his wake. Despite the occasional mishap, he is highly regarded by his employees for his kindness and his earnest efforts to maintain a positive work environment.
Kondo’s smoking habit is confined to the back of the restaurant, a factor that enhances his responsible image, as he considers the smoke-free comfort of his patrons and staff.
5. Asuma Sarutobi
Asuma Sarutobi was a well-respected jonin from the Hidden Leaf Village, Konoha. As the son of the Third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi, he was born into a life of ninja discipline and legacy.
In the series, Asuma is assigned as the leader of Team 10, consisting of Shikamaru Nara, Ino Yamanaka, and Choji Akimichi. His mastery of wind-style jutsu and proficiency with the unique chakra blades made him a formidable figure.
He is not only recognized for his combat skills but also for his characteristic habit of smoking. Asuma’s smoking adds a layer to his seasoned and rugged persona, resonating with his fatherly and wise nature.
His relationship with his students, particularly the bond he shares with Shikamaru, adds depth to his character, further establishing him as a fan favorite.
6. Eikichi Onizuka
Eikichi Onizuka, the protagonist of Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO), stands as an iconic figure in anime culture. Formerly a biker gang leader, Onizuka decides to change his ways and become the world’s greatest high school teacher. Onizuka, at 22 years old, brings an unorthodox approach to education.
Onizuka’s role in GTO is rooted in his unique teaching methods and the personal connections he forms with his students. He is not averse to using intimidation tactics from his biker days to protect his students and instill important life lessons.
Despite his rough exterior and penchant for smoking, Onizuka shows a deep care for his students’ well-being, often going to extreme lengths to help them with their personal problems.
He challenges the conventional image of a teacher, often seen with a cigarette in hand, which adds to his rebellious yet caring persona. This combination makes him a fan favorite, resonating with viewers who admire his commitment to his students and his uncompromising sense of justice.
7. Vinsmoke Sanji
Vinsmoke Sanji is a central character from the long-running anime “One Piece.” He is recognized for his blond hair, black eyes, and distinctive eyebrow style.
He’s famously known as “Black Leg Sanji,” a title earned from his preference to fight with his powerful legs, honoring his principles of never using his hands to harm others, reflecting his identity as a compassionate yet formidable cook of the Straw Hat Pirates.
Possessing the astrological sign of Pisces, Sanji is not just about his physical prowess; he’s also a masterful chef with a passion for the culinary arts.
Sanji’s cigarette is almost a permanent fixture, as much a part of his character as his suave and respectful demeanor towards others, especially women.
8. Spike Spiegel
Spike Spiegel emerges as a charismatic bounty hunter in the acclaimed anime, Cowboy Bebop. His past as a Red Dragon Crime Syndicate affiliate cloaks him in mystery, adding to his allure.
Responsible for numerous “sadboy profile pics,” his silhouette is synonymous with the series’ legacy. His smoking, punctuating moments of contemplation and stress, underlines the challenges he faces in his spacefaring adventures.
Cowboy Bebop’s lack of financial resources is at odds with the crew’s never-waning supply of cigarettes. This detail intensifies the gritty realism within the space western genre that the series so effortlessly embodies.
9. Yami Sukehiro
Yami Sukehiro stands out in the Black Clover universe as the formidable leader of the Black Bulls squad, known for his prowess in Dark Magic.
He possesses a three-leaf clover grimoire and often employs death threats humorously to motivate his subordinates.
Yami’s habitual smoking is a distinct character trait contributing to his tough and unrefined appearance. Despite this, he maintains a well-respected position and is considered a capable and reliable captain.
10. Shuichi Akai
Shuichi Akai’s reputation as an ever-smoking character is as solid as his background as a formidable FBI agent.
Despite the grave nature of his work in combatting the Black Organization, Akai’s smoking habit is portrayed as a trait that complements his cool and composed personality, rather than defining it.
In the anime, Shuichi Akai plays a major figure in the overarching plot against the nefarious Black Organization.
Akai’s tall stature and sharp eyes, often seen with a cigarette in hand, reinforce his aura of experience. This visual serves to enhance his image as a seasoned agent who has faced numerous trials with a calm and strategic approach.
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11. Shizuo Heiwajima
Shizuo Heiwajima is recognized as the strongest man in Ikebukuro, from the anime series “Durarara!!”
Originally with brown hair, Shizuo dyed it blond and complements his look with signature purple sunglasses. He is an Aquarius and often encountered in a classic bartender uniform.
Heiwajima has a notorious reputation due to his volatile temper which led to a series of job terminations. Eventually, he becomes a dedicated bodyguard for Tom Tanaka, which provides him with a stable position. Despite his aggressive tendencies, particularly towards his archenemy, Izaya Orihara, Shizuo isn’t inherently a bad person.
Cigarettes are a persistent presence with Shizuo, yet his smoking habit is just one slice of his complex character.
Revy is a prominent figure in the anime “Black Lagoon.” Often recognized for her skill with firearms and her codename “Two Hands,” Revy is a Chinese-American mercenary with a complex background.
Her birth name is Rebecca Lee, and she stands at 5’5″ with burgundy hair and amber brown eyes.
As a core member of the Lagoon Company, Revy is the epitome of a tough-as-nails character. Whether she’s engaged in frenetic gunfights or casual moments aboard the Black Lagoon, she’s usually seen with a cigarette in hand. This persistent habit makes her one of the anime’s ever-smoking characters.
Her reputation as an unrivaled marksman supports the team, which includes the likes of Rock, Dutch, and Benny. Together, they navigate the dangerous seas of Southeast Asia, taking on a variety of jobs that often lead to violent confrontations.
13. Daisuke Jigen
Daisuke Jigen serves as the sharpshooter of Lupin’s crew, characteristically known for his impeccable marksmanship and cool demeanor.
In the series, he’s instantly recognizable with his ever-present tilted fedora and cigarette dangling from his lips, projecting the image of a seasoned gunslinger.
His partnership with Lupin expands beyond mere camaraderie; together, they navigate treacherous heists and escapades making for a thrilling watch.
Jigen is depicted smoking Pall Mall Filter Longs and Marlboro Reds. The imagery of a beaten cigarette often seen in his mouth adds to the rough-and-ready aesthetic that defines his look.
14. Shinya Kougami
Shinya Kougami is a character from the anime PSYCHO PASS, set in a future where Japan is governed by the Sibyl System. This system assesses the threat level of citizens by examining their mental state for signs of criminal intent, known as Psycho-Pass.
As an enforcer in this dystopian society, Kougami operates alongside Inspectors to tackle crimes in a world where human emotions can determine one’s fate. His role in maintaining law and order, while grappling with his own moral compass, establishes him as a pivotal player in the series.
His smoking habit, often seen in moments of contemplation, subtly enhances his alluring aura, complimenting his seasoned detective profile.
His struggle with the concept of justice in a flawed world resonates strongly with viewers, further cementing his status as an iconic character.
15. Irina Jelavić
Irina Jelavić is a character renowned for her role in the anime “Assassination Classroom.” She is recognized not only for her professional expertise as a hitwoman but also for her consistent smoking habit.
Irina’s character brings a unique dynamic to Class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High as the English teacher with a covert mission to assassinate her target, Koro Sensei.
Her smoking is frequently portrayed in the series, marking her as one of the many anime characters where the act remains prevalent.
Fans are drawn to Irina for her multifaceted nature—she’s not just a government-hired assassin but also an educator with beauty and brains.
Her interactions with the students and the humorous nickname “Bitch Sensei,” given by her students, add to her popularity.
16. Nana Osaki
Nana Osaki stands out in the anime NANA for her punk rock persona and role as the lead vocalist in the band Black Stones, often abbreviated as Blast.
With her jet-black hair and piercing eyes, her look is as sharp as her voice is powerful. She starts her journey seeking success in Tokyo’s competitive music scene, embodying the struggles and dreams of young adulthood.
Osaki’s smoking habit is not just for show—her habit emphasizes her character’s stress and the weight of her ambitions. Despite the negative impact of smoking on health, Nana’s depiction with a cigarette has become a signature visual, contributing to her mature and independent image.
17. Aki Hayakawa
Aki Hayakawa is a compelling figure from the dark and gritty world of Chainsaw Man. Standing tall with striking black hair and blue eyes, Aki exudes a determined and responsible aura.
As a member of the Public Safety Devil Hunters, Aki is haunted by a past tragedy and seeks revenge against the Gun Devil. His stoic exterior often hides his deep concern for his teammates, Denji and Power.
His battle against fate and self-sacrificial nature draw viewers in, making him as one of the memorable anime characters who smoke.
18. Jotaro Kujo
Jotaro Kujo is a central character from the anime “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders.” His imposing height and distinctive attire, complete with a chain-adorned school uniform, make him instantly recognizable.
Jotaro embarks on a perilous journey to Egypt with a mission to save his mother from a curse inflicted by the series antagonist, Dio. His frequent smoking habit is depicted in the series, a trait that has become iconic among his fans despite the unhealthy implications of the act.
19. Hirotaka Nifuji
Hirotaka Nifuji is a character from the anime Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku, often recognized for his smoking habit.
Nifuji’s character is a quintessential office worker with a deep passion for video games. This interest often leads him to be seen with a game console in hand.
His status as an otaku doesn’t affect his professional life; however, it does impact his social interactions.
In the story, Nifuji reconnects with Narumi, a childhood friend and fellow anime enthusiast. This rekindling of an old friendship offers viewers a deeper look into the life of someone whose hobbies are often misunderstood by those around them.
As an anime character who smokes, Hirotaka doesn’t glamorize the habit but rather integrates it into his daily routine, contributing to a sense of authenticity around his character.
Smoking in anime can range from a character-defining trait to a simple background detail, but it invariably contributes to the ambiance and depth of the character. Whether they’re laid-back protagonists, stern authority figures, or carefree side characters, smokers in anime leave a lasting impression and contribute to the medium’s stylistic storytelling.