Wolf boys, really? Look, you know there are certain aspects of the anime culture that you realize that they just don’t age well. Like you look back at some of the things that might’ve been hallmarks of this community, but now all they induce is cringe. It’s just how growing up works. However, cat girls? That’s not one of them. Sign me up for a Neko waifu anyway! And of course, where there is a cat girl, we must achieve the perfect balance with a wolf boy. No shaming furries in this household!
Anthropomorphized characters in anime are not a new addition. Again, one of the perks of growing up is realizing life is too short for cringe and you should be thick-faced about harmless things you enjoy. And boy, did younger me enjoy some werewolves. Like, I was Team Jacob as a tween. There is something so utterly attractive about a male character that has those ‘traits’, you know. Think loyal, maybe a little wild when it comes to protecting their pack, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a fang or two. Just look at how popular Legosi from Beastars is!
It’s just charming to see these characters embody tropes that are seen as cute or mischievous. Like, think back to why you like cat girls. I mean, the ears and tails are adorable, right? But so is the fact that they might ‘act’ like cats – think being grumpy and territorial, a little mischievous, and definitely too cute for words. Well, the same holds for a wolf boy. They tend to be rakish and overprotective, just like wolves in a pack. And who doesn’t love a boy that would treat you like you’re his only mate?
Am I aware that there is a lot to be said about our collective obsession with cute animals and embodying some of their traits in anime? Perhaps. But could I also just preface it as ‘wolf boy cute must pet and cuddle’ and offer no other explanation? Definitely. And so, here are some of the cutest boys in anime with that wolf-like flair!
Kiba – Wolf’s Rain
I’m starting with a character that is apparently polarising, but honestly? They are one of the best examples of the ‘wolfish’ trope. And I mean that outside of their ability to literally turn into a wolf.
Kiba is the courageous but quiet protagonist of Wolf’s Rain, an anime about these wolf-human hybrids that are hunting for the Lunar Flower, something that promises its owner Paradise. The wolves themselves are thought to be extinct in this dystopian world, but clearly not. When a group of them find each other, Kiba emerges as the leader of the pact. He has all the qualities of a compassionate leader, brave and unwavering in the face of danger. Especially when it involves his comrades.
Truly, a wolf boy that comes through!
Kouga – InuYasha
I can’t have a list of wolf boys without mentioning the one show that kind of made furries out of young anime fans! InuYasha is an institution for most weebs and its characters are as iconic as they come.
While Kouga was never the central character in the story between InuYasha and Kagome, he did serve an important purpose. As the leader of the Eastern Yokai Wolf Tribe or the Yoro Clan, he is hell-bent on taking revenge against the demons that nearly killed his entire family. And so, he’s more or less an opponent to InuYasha, even when it came to Kagome’s affections. But eventually, he becomes more of an ally, save for a few situations. Kouga is passionate, a leader, and maybe even a little territorial. And he commands an entire gaggle of actual wolves so, you don’t need the ears to see the potential here!
Shirou Ougami – Brand New Animals
I can’t believe I was almost forgetting this one. I mean, BNA: Brand New Animals, was all the rage when it came out on Netflix. We were still riding the high from Beastars, so another ‘furry-adjacent’ anime wasn’t sounding too out of the ordinary.
And a character like Shirou Ougami is definitely always welcome! As part of a marginalized race, the Beastmen, he’s rather proud of his race. And just like his form as a wolf, he comes off as extremely stoic but fiercely protective of those in his community. And he takes that duty very seriously, considering his kind is being persecuted by humans. However, his ideals do start to change when he comes to care about Michiru Kagemori, a human-turned-Beastman.
It helps that is a character that, quite literally, turns into a wolf. It really drives home the fact that Shirou is a lonely but fierce fighter for those being oppressed.
Sajin Konamura – Bleach
Bleach has a dearth of characters that are odder than the last one. But a literal wolf-man being one of the captains of the esteemed Gotei 13? That isn’t something even anyone anticipated, but here we are!
Sajin Konamura is the captain of the 7th Division, part of the 13 Court Guards that are set up to protect Soul Society from Invaders and Hollows. At first, he was ashamed of his appearance as a literal canine, hiding it behind a scarf. But slowly, he gained more confidence in himself and started going without it. Sajin is a huge stickler for duty and honor and upholds the Soul Reaper spirit with pride.
Hey, he’s more wolf man than wolf boy, but it works!
Kiba – Naruto Shippuden
What does it say that we have 2 Kibas on this list? But honestly, this one is the one I grew up with! And honestly, my man Kiba deserves more respect.
While some might dispute Kiba Inuzuka for being on this list, I think he fits perfectly into the wolf boy aspect. He’s got the personality down, playful but loyal. But when it came to defending Konohagakure, everything was on the line. He’s the leader between Hinata Hyuuga and Shino Aburame. And I always loved seeing him in the anime. He was just a really fun character that I wish got more time to shine. But alas!
Naruto Shippuden, take notes. We need a spinoff on Kiba!
Gabumon – Digimon Adventure
So, I’m not going to sit here and be bullied for having my first crush be Leomon. I simply will not stand for this slander, because some Digimon is just. Built. Different. And WereGarurumon was one of them.
Look, I was a huge Digimon Adventure fan back in the day, and Yamato Ishida was my favorite out of all the Digidestined. Why? Well, obviously I have SLS (Second Lead Syndrome) but also because his Digimon, WereGarurumon, was just so much cooler than Taichi Kamiya’s Agumon to me. Hell, in general, I enjoyed how WereGarurumon always had Yamato’s back, reflecting his lone-wolf personality. But every wolf needs a pack, and that’s what WereGarurumon helped him with. Their friendship and camaraderie with the rest of the gang soon became that of a wolf and his pack.
And, hey, it helps WereGarurumon just had the coolest werewolf design ever!
Sesshomaru – InuYasha
Do you know how I was talking about SLS literally one entry ago? Well, any girl who watched InuYasha definitely felt its presence in their pre-pubescent mind when Sesshomaru came on the screen.
Sesshomaru might not have been the protagonist of InuYasha, but he was the most popular character in the series regardless. And why wouldn’t he be? The dude had it all. He was good-looking, one of the strongest Youkai out there, and had that signature wolf-like attitude. He was cold, unfeeling, and very, very cool.
I know I could’ve mentioned InuYasha himself, considering both he and Sesshomaru are brothers. But, come on. You know Sesshomaru wins out.
Legosi – Beastars
This list wouldn’t be complete without me mentioning the one show that had every weeb confused over their feelings and attractions. I mean, Legosi is a straight-up wolf. There is no human-hybrid excuse to hide behind here. That’s the premise of Beastars, after all.
Animal instinct aside, Legosi is just one of the most interesting protagonists we have seen in anime so far. Beastars explore animal behavior in a very humane way and it’s why Legosi makes for such an intriguing study. Because he is a wolf, a sentient one perhaps. But a predator nonetheless. However, he is kind and gentle, he doesn’t enjoy reducing himself to his base instincts. So, when he falls for Haru, a white rabbit, and his prey in any other scenario, well. Safe to say, we get to learn a lot about what it means to be loyal and conscious while fighting what is your very nature.
Legosi is just a great role reversal on tropes we see as ‘wolfish’ or ‘cool and aloof’. And I loved seeing it!