While we can agree smoking is horrible for one’s health, in the world of anime, there are characters who make smoking look great. From pirates, to assassins, to mercenaries, we have compiled a list of 15 characters who look so badass smoking cigarettes.
The appeal of a character smoking cigarettes in anime shows their mature, alluring, and somewhat veteran character. The characters we chose don’t make smoking their entire personality (that would be boring) but they use smoking as a “cherry on top” to their overall visual.
Our list includes both male and female smokers so there is a little something for everyone.
- 1. Sanji Vinsmoke/ONE PIECE
- 2. Spike Spigel/COWBOY BEBOP
- 3. Revy/BLACK LAGOON
- 4. Genjo Sanzo/Gensomaden Saiyuki
- 5. Daisuke Jigen/Lupin III
- 6. Ryoji Kaji/Neon Genesis Evangelion
- 7. Shinya Kougami/PSYCO-PASS
- 8. Asuma Sarutobi/NARUTO
- 9. Eikichi Onizuka/Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO)
- 10. Nana Osaki/NANA
- 11. Toshiro Hijikata/Gintama
- 12. Franken Stein/Soul Eater
- 13. Shizuo Heiwajima/Durarara!!
- 14. Hajime Saito/Rurouni Kenshin
- 15. Shuichi Akai/Case Closed
1. Sanji Vinsmoke/ONE PIECE
Sanji Vinsmoke takes the position as the straw hat chef. From his amazing kicks to his bearable simping for any fine woman within a 100m radius. Sanji is a character who you’ll fall in love with not only for his antics, but for his lovable character as well.
Join Monkey. D. Luffy and his crew on many adventures in the grand world of pirates. There are plenty of special skills and foes he encounters on his journey to find the coveted “One Piece” treasure.
First off, Oda is the G.O.A.T, never in my life would I sit down and watch a 1000+ anime series, but for One Piece I would. Every episode is a breath of fresh air, and for a long anime series, there’s barely any filler.
- Sanji smokes 2 different cigarette brands, King Ground and Death
- Sanji’s figurative father, Red Foot Zeff is one of the earliest recorded pirates to brave the Grand Line and tell the tale
- Sanji has battled the infamous Zoro and has equaled him many times
2. Spike Spigel/COWBOY BEBOP
Cowboy Bebop is one of those series that is just impossible to criticize. Not because it has no flaws, but because it has rabid fans who will defend it to the death. It has obtained the mythical “classic armor,” which is an abhorrent carte blanche, bestowed upon only the most overrated of anime, that is used to automatically defend against any sort of legitimate criticism.
Spike Spiegel is a bounty hunter on a spaceship called the Bebop and travels through space with his crew. Before becoming a bounty hunter, Spike was a member of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate.
A cool fact about the cast of Cowboy Bebop, they might not have money to eat but they’ll always have money to smoke. Spike Spigel smokes a lot, but looking deeper at his surroundings, it’s understandable why he does so.
- Spike’s smoking shots have become popular sadboy profile pics on many social media platforms
- This was due to anime censorship having increased following the big controversies over Evangelion, as a result, most of the series was pulled from the air due to violent content
- Spike really embodies the phrase “I need a smoke”
3. Revy/BLACK LAGOON
Every character in this anime embodies black air force energy. All types of combat are used in this anime while intertwining a fantastic storyline.
Revy is very competitive, easily bored, and extremely ill-tempered. Unlike Rock, she is undiplomatic, believing in the use of brute force and coercion to get her way. In contrast to this, she’s revealed to be highly ticklish.
Revy and Rokurou’s cigarette scene is a staple in the anime community for one of the deepest relationships that aren’t engulfed in cuteness, but rather stoicism.
- Revy smokes the Japanese cigarette brand Lucky Strike
- Some of the most creative assassination techniques are displayed
- This anime was censored to hell and back when it came to the west, but once people found ways around it, it became an icon in the fandom
4. Genjo Sanzo/Gensomaden Saiyuki
Gensomaden Saiyuki is one of those animes that just grabs you from the very first episode, and won’t let you go, even though, it is an episodic anime. Most of the storylines only take 1 to 2 episodes to tell, as you follow these 4 travellers, sent by the gods, to prevent the reawakening of an old, extremely dangerous demon.
Many years ago, humans and demons lived in harmony. But that unity ended when demons started attacking humans and plotted a mission to unleash Gyumao—an evil demon imprisoned for thousands of years. Now, Genjo Sanzo, a rogue priest, must team up with three demons—Sha Gojyo, Son Goku, and Cho Hakkai—and embark on a perilous journey to the west to stop these demons from resurrecting Gyumao and restore the balance between humans and demons on Earth.
One thing cool about Genjo’s smoking habits is that he smokes Marlboro reds, a brand of cigarettes that is popular out in the West.
- Genjo smokes Marlboro Reds
- All of the characters have a tragic past (with Hakkai’s probably being the worst), that is revisited from time to time to help you understand why they are the way they are
- The music in this anime is great, especially the OP songs
5. Daisuke Jigen/Lupin III
If loyalty was a person, it would be Daisuke Jigen. Although he is not fond of Lupin’s lust toward women, he looks past it for the best partner in crime a man could ask for.
Arsène Lupin III is the grandson of the world-famous thief Arsène Lupin, and he’s living up to his grandfather’s memory as a high-profile thief himself. The main woman in Lupin III’s world is femme fatale Fujiko Mine, who Lupin III can never tell is working with or against him. Follow Lupin and his gunman partner Daisuke Jigen on their quest to own the world－or at least the valuable bits!
Jigen’s cigarettes are always beaten up to the max, but he still makes good use of them.
- Daisuke smokes 2 brands, Pall Mall Filter Longs and Marlboro Red
- Despite Jigen’s gruff facade, he has an ironic sense of humor and genuinely enjoys participating in each caper with his partners
- He is, by far, the more pragmatic of the group, with a cynical streak founded in failed romances (his luck with women runs from bad to worse, with love interests often betraying him or dying)
6. Ryoji Kaji/Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion received critical acclaim but was also subject to controversy. Particularly controversial were the final two episodes of the series, as the ending was deemed confusing and abstract to many viewers and critics alike. In 1997, Hideaki Anno and Gainax released the feature film The End of Evangelion, which serves as an alternate ending replacing the final two episodes. This anime is a cultural icon in both the east and the west. It is popular with all types of folks, ranging from anime fans to West coast rappers.
Ryoji Kaji displays the trope of sexy smoking in Neon Genesis Evangelion. After a passionate night with Misato, he smokes a cigarette as if he had a long day and was trying to look cool.
The casts of Neon Genesis Evangelion all represent a plethora of character tropes. All characters are dynamic and their chemistry is well-animated.
- While there’s no info on what brand Kaji smokes, he looks like a Newports guy
- This man is a womanizer, A WOMANIZER
- His OG English dub voice is 10x funnier than his updated one, dubbing back in the day was off the rails
7. Shinya Kougami/PSYCO-PASS
We all love some cyberpunk themes as we zoom into the future, and this is what PSYCHO-PASS encompasses. Written by Gen Urobuchi and produced by Production I.G, we are set in a dystopia of Sibyl System’s governance of Japan. The series was inspired by several live-action films.
Shinya Kougami is an enforcement officer who is tasked with managing crime. Shinya has a high criminal mentality, but because of his skills as a detective, he was released under the condition that he becomes an Enforcer for the Public Safety Bureau, Unit 1. Despite his natural grudge toward Makishima, they are actually somewhat alike, as shown in Shinya’s ability to foresee Makishima’s actions.
Shinya’s workout scene is such an ironic masterpiece. he does boxing practice (cardio), and then proceeds to smoke a cigarette as if he just wasn’t trying to improve his cardiovascular health.
- Shinya smokes 30 cigarettes a day, his favourite brand is Spinel
- In the 2013 Newtype Anime Awards it was voted as the fourth-best title of the year. Its 11th episode was awarded “Best Episode” in the Noitamina 10th-anniversary fan vote
- It has spawned several video-game spin-offs, a novel series and a manga series as well
8. Asuma Sarutobi/NARUTO
Naruto is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who seeks recognition from his peers and dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. The story is told in two parts – the first set in Naruto’s pre-teen years, and the second in his teens. This anime is known for being part of the “Big 3” in the anime fandom and giving birth to a whole new era of storytelling.
A Jounin master, Asuma Sarutobi is the leader of Team 10 (Nara Shikamaru, Yamanaka Ino, Akimichi Chouji). Although normally seen smoking, Asuma can quickly dispatch his foes with his knives when the situation warrants.
Asuma Sarutobi’s death scene has him smoking his final cigarette, it was such a moving scene that his student, Shikamaru, picks up his smoking habit later on.
- No cigarette brands were listed in Naruto, but we can take him as a Lucky Strike Guy
- He is also the third Hokage’s son
- Asuma Sarutobi is loosely based on the real Japanese Sarutobi clan
9. Eikichi Onizuka/Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO)
What happens when you take a situation comedy, a schoolyard farce, and a stiff shot of hard-hitting commentary on modern youth and the issues facing the Japanese educational system, mix them together in one anime series and shake vigorously? You get something wonderful, and that something is called GTO.
Twenty-two-year-old Eikichi Onizuka—ex-biker gang leader, conqueror of Shonan, and virgin—has a dream: to become the greatest high school teacher in all of Japan. This isn’t because of a passion for teaching, but because he wants a loving teenage wife when he’s old and gray. Still, for a perverted, greedy, and lazy delinquent, there is more to Onizuka than meets the eye.
Literally bleeding out on the verge of dying, this man lights up a cigarette to show his true dominance as an ex-yakuza demon.
- Onizuka smokes Mild Sevens, a popular Japanese cigarette brand
- Received many live action adaptations that are really well done
- Teaches you about life, I learned soo many lessons from this anime alone that I still use today
10. Nana Osaki/NANA
Nana Osaki is one of the two main characters of the anime series NANA. She is a stunning bandwoman with eccentric fashion, and is the main vocalist of the band “BLACK STONES”.
One of the titular characters of the series, Nana Osaki may look like a tough punk rocker, but she has a kind heart and is a devoted friend. Abandoned by her parents and raised by her grandmother, Nana was expelled from high school after she was falsely accused of prostitution.
Nana and Shin’s Argument showcases the only time where Nana doesn’t finish a cigarette throughout the whole series.
- Nana smokes Seven Stars, a popular brand of Japanese cigarettes
- After the release of the first episode on April 5, 2006, NANA‘s highest TV rating was 6.3% in the Kanto region, making it the first late-night anime to reach the top 10 of the weekly audience ranking
- NANA inspired a couple of tribute albums, the most notable of them being “Love for Nana – Only 1 Tribute,” which was released by EMI Music Japan on March 16, 2005
11. Toshiro Hijikata/Gintama
Written and illustrated by Hideaki Sorachi, the adventures of Gintoki and his crew will have you rolling on the ground with laughter every episode. It was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2003 to September 2018.
Hijikata is the famed chain-smoking, vice commander of the Shinsengumi so named by his subordinates, because of his fearsome demeanour. Purportedly the brains behind the force, he takes his work seriously, and is fiercely loyal to his leader, Isao Kondo.
Any scene where Toshiro gets told he can’t smoke anywhere is a sight to behold for our chain-smoking enthusiast
- The cigarette brand he smokes is unknown, so we’ll label him as a black and milds smoker
- Hijikata is obsessed with mayonnaise and thus has the nickname “Mayora.” He has been known to smother anything he eats under a mountain of mayonnaise, and he carries a number of objects shaped like jars of mayonnaise, such as his cigarette lighter
- He is also hot-tempered and often speaks of seppuku. However, despite his cold exterior, he does have a more compassionate side. He also has a tendency to cry after watching movies that are not particularly emotional
12. Franken Stein/Soul Eater
A 51-episode anime adaptation was directed by Takuya Igarashi, and produced by Bones, Aniplex, Dentsu, Media Factory, and TV Tokyo; Bones and Aniplex were responsible for the animation and music production respectively. The anime and manga deviate from one another after Episode 35, so this makes it a great read as well if you care about the source material.
Dr. Franken Stein (Franken being his first name) is the man that changed Sid into a zombie. He was also Death Scythe’s first partner (Maka’s mother was the second). He was also the most powerful technician to ever graduate from the school, Shibusen. He has a bolt going through his head which turns so his thoughts would be on the matter at hand.
When Stein fought everyone, he managed to keep his cigarette in his mouth throughout the whole fight while it still had a light.
- Stein smokes an anime only brand called “NJ”
- Stein is such a strong fighter that he could take down Black Star while still seated in his chair
- Stein sees everything in the world, including himself, as an experiment or specimen, probably would be great friends with Senku
13. Shizuo Heiwajima/Durarara!!
Durarara!! is Japanese light novel series written by Ryohgo Narita, with illustrations by Suzuhito Yasuda. Durarara!! tells the story of a dullahan working as an underworld courier in Ikebukuro, an internet-based anonymous gang called the Dollars, and the chaos that unfolds around the most dangerous people in Ikebukuro. In a 2019 Forbes’ article about the best anime of the 2010s decade, Lauren Orsini considered it to be one of the five best anime of 2010; she wrote, “With one is the largest casts I’ve ever seen in a show, all introduced at once, it’s a wild ride with something for everyone”.
A man who is always seen to wear sunglasses and a bartender’s suit. Although quiet and nondescript while not angered, he has a very short fuse and fights with incredible strength.
Shizuo has iron lungs, this guy will finish a cigarette in one pull and then smoke 5 more because he was bored.
- Shizuo smokes Blue American Spirits
- Likes: running, books, relaxing, dairy products
- Dislikes: Izaya Orihara, violence (ironic because he fights alot), gambling
14. Hajime Saito/Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin tells the story of Kenshin as he strives to save those in need of saving. However, as enemies from both past and present begin to emerge, will the reformed killer be able to uphold his new ideals?
Hajime Saitou is loosely based on the real third-squad captain of the Shinsengumi. During the Meiji era, he lived as a police officer under the name of Gorou Fujita.
Hajime blows up a bridge and building, then lights a cigarette after the massive damages he made, a true chad.
- While there’s no info on what brand he smokes, we’ll take him as a Black and Milds smoker, just because he has black air force energy
- He has no compassion or mercy for his enemies and he lives by the Shinsengumi code “Aku Soku Zan (悪即斬),” literally “Slay Evil Immediately,” but more poetically rendered as “Swift Death To Evil.”
- His signature technique is the Gatotsu, a left-handed thrust and a variation of the Hirazuki technique developed by Toshizou Hijikata, the Vice Commander of the Shinsengumi
15. Shuichi Akai/Case Closed
Case Closed follows Shinichi who, as Conan, starts secretly solving the senior Mouri’s cases from behind the scenes with his still exceptional sleuthing skills, while covertly investigating the organization responsible for his current state, hoping to reverse the drug’s effects someday.
Akai Shuuichi is an American of Japanese descent and a member of the American Federal Bureau of Investigation, on special assignment in Japan to capture Vermouth. His superior is James Black and his partner is Jodie Starling. He had infiltrated the Black Organization under the name Moroboshi Dai—and the codename “Rye”—as a mole and dated Miyano Akemi, one of their low-ranking members, to feed information to the FBI.
Shuichi’s smoking scenes give a sense of relaxation after a hard day of putting your life on the line.
- Shuichi smokes Lucky Strike
- Akai is a very professional agent. Even in personal matters, he remains cool, even detached, from anyone, but his redeeming value is a great sense of loyalty to anyone he knows
- He is a skilled and relentless pursuer and detective, qualities which have labeled him the number one enemy of the Black Organization and earned him the nickname “Silver Bullet.”
Smokers can come from both genders and still be badass. From our mercenary queen Revy smoking everyone’s pack (quite literally) to our calmest smoker Sanji, we really can understand that smoking isn’t just a trope, but a tool to define a character’s personality more.
These 15 characters smoke a variety of cigarettes from Japanese brands to American ones, the research mangakas put into creating these character aspects is greatly portrayed. Be sure to keep checking back on our site for more great anime recommendations.