Many works of fiction have iconic items, personal accessories, or even vehicles or weapons to their name, and anime is no different. A successful anime series can be remembered for anything from a classic line of dialogue to a certain action scene or super powers or even flashy costumes. What about accessories and objects?
An accessory or object does not have to be a MacGuffin to be memorable and symbolic in the eyes of the viewer, and in fact, some iconic accessories from anime are nothing more than something to wear, even though they may have sentimental value. What are some of the most iconic and memorable accessories and objects in the world of anime?
10 Naruto Uzumaki’s headband is easy to recognize (Naruto)
At first, Naruto Uzumaki appeared with glasses on his forehead as a steampunk adventurer, but that did not last long. Author Masashi Kishimoto thought those glasses were a hassle to keep drawing, so he invented the concept of ninja headbands to replace them.
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In-universe, ninja headbands not only protect the forehead with a metal plate, but also carry a symbol that marks the wearer’s home village. The Naruto Leaf Village headband is a staple in the series, and it also makes for good cosplay.
9 Ichigo Kurosaki’s insignia as a reaper of souls has a lot of style (Bleach)
The protagonist ofBleach, Ichigo Kurosaki, is technically a Surrogate Soul Reaper, and after a point, the Gotei 13 formally recognized him as an ally, for which Captain Jushiro Ukitake awarded Ichigo a Surrogate Soul Reaper Badge. Very few people get one, although Ginjo once had one too.
This badge is mostly symbolic as it marks Ichigo’s friendship with the Gotei 13, but it’s a nice gesture, and the badge’s clean shape and cool skull design fit in perfectly with the themes of Bleach about the afterlife and spirits. Ichigo has carried it with him ever since, and it also helped him learn to use the Fullbring.
8 Monkey D. Luffy treasures his straw hat (One Piece)
There’s a good reason why Monkey D. Luffy’s pirate gang is known as the Straw Hat Pirates. As a child, Luffy received this hat from the pirate Shanks, who considered it his greatest treasure. He asked Luffy to keep him safe, and Luffy took that request seriously.
Luffy doesn’t let anyone tease or play with his hat, and he doesn’t usually take it off without good reason; in fact, this accessory inspired some characters to nickname him Straw Hat or Straw Boy. And although Luffy’s companions don’t have matching hats, they still proudly call themselves Straw Hat Pirates.
7 Edward Elric appreciates his silver pocket watch (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
All state alchemists wear a silver pocket watch as the insignia of office, and Edward Elric’s own watch has additional significance. He got his pocket watch and rank at age 12, just a year after he and Alphonse tried to bring their mother back to life. At that time, the memories of his alchemy crime were still fresh.
So Edward engraved “Don’t forget 3.Oct.11” on his watch, and then sealed it with alchemy. Losing this watch means that Ed cannot operate as easily as an Amestris officer, and he would also lose the sentimental significance of this item. He was absolutely distraught when Paninya stole it from him in Rush Valley.
6 Mikasa Ackerman loves that red scarf (Attack On Titan)
Mikasa Ackerman suffered horribly when her mother was killed by criminals, and was about to be dragged away when a young Eren Yeager arrived to save her in a bloody manner. This was the beginning of their friendship, and Eren decided to use his red scarf to mark the occasion.
Eren wrapped Mikasa’s neck and head with that red scarf, making a strong impression on her. She has worn it ever since, even in her scouting days. Even during the fierce battles against the Titans, he continues to wear that scarf, and it does not come off without good reason.
5 Megumin’s staff is taller than her (Konosuba)
Megumin is a member of the Crimson Demon Clan, and has great magical talent for her age. In particular, Megumin loves to cause explosions, and she needs her staff to wield this magic properly. She is almost never seen without him.
Megumin can use this staff as a melee weapon from time to time, but in most cases it is known to point down just before causing an explosion, and it is an impressive staff. It even comes with a floating red orb and a curved design on top.
4 Everyone loves Ken Kaneki’s mask (Tokyo Ghoul)
Ken Kaneki became the famous one-eyed ghoul, and he needed a mask from Uta, the mask maker, to hide his face during battle. He was awarded a black leather mask revealing only his ghoul eye, and he wore it for the first time during his initial battle with Kotaro Amon.
Ken’s mask even comes with a sample of bare teeth to be more scary, plus a zipper that can be opened if Ken wants to speak through this mask. Few ghoul masks are as iconic or stylish as this one, making it Uta’s greatest achievement.
3 Tanjiro has Hanafuda (Demon Slayer) earrings
Tanjiro Kamado, the demon hunter, has quite a unique taste in jewelry and accessories. During the first season of Demon Slyesterday, she has almost always worn a pair of hanafuda earrings, although it is not entirely clear why, or if those earrings have sentimental value or special abilities. However, it is known that their father, Tanjuro, also carried them on one occasion.
Tanjiro is even known to some other characters as the demon slayer with hanafuda earrings, proving that they are already his trademark. Hanafuda cards can have a variety of patterns; in Tanjiro’s case, they have a solid red circle near the top, radiating thin black lines on a white background.
2 Kyo Sohma’s bracelet marks his shame (Fruits Basket)
Kyo Sohma wears a bracelet of alternating white and red beads throughout Fruits Basket, but this was not done for personal taste. He carries the tragic spirit of the house cat, which means that he is terribly cursed even among the other Sohmas. You are required to wear that beaded bracelet at all times.
If Kyo ever takes off that beaded bracelet, his true monstrous form will manifest, and that is undesirable for anyone. The bracelet became a symbol of his tragic life and imprisonment, but was eventually broken along with the curse near the end of Fruits Basket.
1 Gaara’s pumpkin carries sand everywhere (Naruto)
Headbands are not the only classic accessories in the world of Naruto. There is also the matter of Gaara of the Arena and his iconic gourd, which allows him to transport sand even though he leaves the deserts of the Windy Land behind. It can also generate more sand in the middle of battle.
Gaara’s pumpkin was the subject of speculation early in the chunin exam arc, and then everyone learned, to their horror, that it contained sand used for murderous jutsu like Sand Burial. Gaara still had this pumpkin later in Shippuden, too.