18 Best Bartender Characters In Anime (Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Come in, have a seat and a drink, maybe two.
Tell me, what’s troublin’ ya?
I can listen to your wild tales, and who knows, maybe we can talk a little anime too.
While bartenders are quite the trope in TV, they’re a bit tougher to spot in anime. But I’ve dug through it all and found the absolute best bartenders in the anime world, always willing to lend an ear.
Anime: Sword Art Online
However much I may hate Sword Art Online (please hold your personal attacks!) I can’t just ignore the prominent impact this show has made on anime as mainstream media.
While the cast is cliché and has the same copy-paste face model for everyone, and it’ss as full of personality as a potato you couldn’t find for 20 years, Sword Art Online was a gateway for a whole genre.
Agil is perhaps the best character SAO has.
That isn’t a high standard of any kind, but he at least isn’t the same model as 90% of the other cast.
Agil has the bare skeleton of a character. And that’s more than I can say for most of the SAO cast. Truly, Agil is a merchant in the game world. But in reality, he’s a Cafe owner and bartender.
Sadly, he doesn’t have the feeling of one… and he doesn’t exude the feel of a quiet listener, ever.
17. Kenneth & Rita Krueger
Anime: If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord
Moving past my tirade about Sword Art Online that’s guaranteed to have already lost some readers(I’m really sorry) we can move onto a lively and lovely couple, not as mysterious as the others, yet with lots of moral support.
Kenneth is an ex-adventurer, rough around the edges but with a big heart.
He met Rita while out adventuring and fell in love at first sight.
He confessed regularly, and as time passed, they grew closer together. Ah, the romance!
Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam
I have nothing to say on Clamp.
He’s dead in action anyway, and we rarely saw him do his job as a bartender.
I don’t get the serenity I feel from the other nominees from Clamp. He does deserve a ranking here though.
Anime: Black Lagoon
War is a scary thing.
People die, civilians lose everything, and in the end it’s never beneficial for anyone.
Some of the first examples of war are the world wars and the Vietnamese war.
Both were horrible – but how is this relevant?
Well Bao is a war veteran. He served in the Vietnam war (on the Vietnamese side) and he still has a shotgun for self-defense.
He’s a bar owner and bartender who’s periodically plagued by the black lagoon, as they never pay attention to the things they destroy.
Sadly, a traumatized war veteran doesn’t make for the best therapist – but still a great bartender!
Anime: One Piece
Raoul is special. He’s not the bartender who’ll sullenly listen to all your troubles, as he’s more of the kind to warn travelers about dangers lurking in the deep.
Raoul had some personal connections to the last pirate king, and noted Luffy’s resemblance to Rogers.
When Luffy came to his bar, Raoul even warned him of the same thing he did Rogers: the dangers of the Grand Line.
This friendly barkeep lived and saw Gol D. Roger’s execution. Man, I think that was pretty traumatizing… as Raoul is a kind man, and he took quite a liking to Rogers.
Anime: Polar Bear Cafe
Aww come on, how could I not include this cute little guy?
Grizzly is the proud owner of a cafe called “Grizzly’s Café”. No surprise there.
He has a fierce personality, and that gave him some trouble making friends as a cub.
He was very lonely, so when Shirokuma wasn’t scared away from Grizzly, they quickly became the best of friends.
Soon after, many other animals followed (this is not a furry show, I swear!)
In his, bar Grizzly isn’t the most therapeutic barkeeper per se. But he’s welcoming and will gladly cooperate unbound by his short fuse.
And if sitting in a cafe with fluffy animals doesn’t soothe you, there’s something very wrong with you!
Anime: City Hunter
Strap in, as we’re traveling back in time!
While City Hunter is a dated show by today’s standards, we can still enjoy it and the quaint atmosphere of the Cat’s Eye Cafe.
Miki is an ex-mercenary about whom, to be honest, I’ve only heard about recently.
My friend forced me to watch City Hunter, and to be honest, I don’t think it’s the best show around.
That said, I did like Miki. So here she is in all of her mercenary glory.
11. Izumo Kusanagi
Anime: Project “K”
Project ” K ” is loved by many, yet hated by some. It has a vast array of colorful characters, so it’s quite hard to agree on one best personality here.
Yet it always seems that people rank Izumo 3rd – quite a high rank. Great position for such a large selection, and for a lovely bartender.
Izumo is both the information broker and the oblivious yet perceptive barkeep on the other side of the counter.
He keeps the bar as a namesake for his clan. But I’d avoid trashing the place – you don’t want to be on the other side of a gang war!
10. Jiro Tanaka
Anime: Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
Here we have Jiro Tanaka – a surprisingly feminine barkeep.
Tanaka may seem innocent and cute, but he’s gotten blood on his hands multiple times. Basically enacting revenge for people who couldn’t do it themselves.
He’s notably feminine and enjoys the simple things in life – shopping and fashion.
Jiro is kind and caring, showing his mercy to Misaki, who witnessed a murder by the hands of Jiro.
He wouldn’t even go down the hired assassin route if his lover was still alive. As a bartender, Hakata is helpful and talkative. And he certainly values Misaki as his daughter.
9. Toshiro Sakaki
Anime: Devil’s Line
Now how could a balding man be considered adorable in any way?
Well, for his personality!
Sakaki is an older man with a bald head and always a cheerful personality.
He’d probably even fit in with a moe anime.
He’s loyal to the F-squad and will gladly help with anything, emptying his bar to give them some privacy.
Sakaki is a great candidate for the feeling of homeliness that I was searching for here on this list. A bar you could call your 2nd home.
8. Hitomi Mishima
Hitomi is a young multi-talented girl bartender, her student council secretary, and even an office worker at a respected talent agency.
It’s seen clearly that a lot of these decisions weren’t intentional for her!
She was blackmailed into the bartending job by the manager Utako, yet she grew accustomed to her new workplace.
Really she’s incredible at moving people with words, and has perfect timing for serving drinks.
Despite not being central to the plot, Hitomi is one of the most beloved characters in Hinamatsuri. And I can see why!
7. Masaki Kobayashi
Anime: Domestic Girlfriend
Ooh, this one is fun! Masaki is a former Yakuza who quit because of forbidden love.
You see, Masaki is gay. And he fell in love with a lieutenant from a rival gang.
After failing to get together with the lieutenant, he decided to quit the Yakuza and start a cafe instead. Spicy!
Mari-san (that’s how Masaki wants to be called) is very bright and cheerful, often speaking in an effeminate way.
Mari-san also prefers flashy and revealing clothes instead of a business getup. Quite a character.
6. Shuichi Wagatsuma
Anime: Monochrome Factor
Shuichi is calm and friendly, rarely ever seen angry or distraught.
He’s incredibly tolerant, even if his bar is damaged. Or if Mayu flirts a bit too much.
Shuichi is blind but uses his powers as the king of light to sense others without any problems.
The part about his life that best suits the “bartender” role, is how he’s always listening and giving out advice to his clientele.
And while he might be quiet and kind, he still has his mysterious second persona as the king of light.
5. Ryuu Sasakura
Oh, come on! If I didn’t include a bartender from the show “Bartender” it’d basically be a crime!
Ryuu is always calm and collected, making the alcohol analogy of the food Souma makes in “Food Wars!”
Even a simple mix of whiskey and water and it’s still considered to be one of the best drinks around!
Just goes to show how great of a bartender we’ve got here.
Ryuu always wears the same outfit and expression all the time, and he exudes the same atmosphere you’d expect from a bartender. This is a guy I’d enjoy hanging out with.
Anime: Death Parade
Onto one of my favorite shows: Death Parade!
This show is perfectly fit for this list, as it explores the space between life and death, purgatory.
But in this purgatorial space, there are still bars where the bartender will talk to you and guide you to a game.
What are the stakes?
Your organs. Pain. Hatred.
And on those, we judge your worth and choose – death, or a new life.
Ginti is a fiery red-headed rough bartender who speaks in a manner that you’d expect from an ex-mercenary.
He’s rash and gives little to no information on his games.
This guy also seems to hate Decim (his face, primarily) even though they aren’t supposed to have emotions.
Anime: Boku no Hero Academia
In reality, I’d say “true evil” is something that doesn’t exist – we don’t have succubus girls or real-life demons.
We only have seemingly gray people.
Ambiguously “good” or “bad”.
But anime gives us the satisfaction of knowing the black and white picture, and Kurogiri here is obviously evil.
And even with that said, this gentlemanly amorphous black portal is one of the coolest bartenders ever.
Sadly, Kurogiri rarely got to act as a bartender in enough episodes. Ah, so much lost potential! So many wasted ideas!
2. Mirajane Strauss
Anime: Fairy Tail
Fairy tail is… a somewhat hated anime, yet still, it has a dedicated fanbase.
Yet in this series, there are so many characters that are still great with such interesting personalities.
Who is she?
Well, she’s a central character to Fairy Tail, and she’s also the guild bartender.
Mira has a great backstory and fun character development.
And while she may not be the № 1 Bartender, I did seriously consider her. She’s cheerful and will quite literally kill your problem if needed.
A great girl, really!
Anime: Death Parade
And topping up the list is Death Parade in yet another appearance.
Decim is one of two main characters in the show.
He’s a bartender and Arbiter at QuinDecim – a bar between life and death.
Decim seems to be emotionless, and he is. But by the end of the series he really cares for his partner – something that should be impossible for an Arbiter.
He’s calm and collected at all times. For him, judging people is just a job. And any gruesome deaths – well, not deaths but pain – it’s just a normal occurrence.
Part of the job of a… bartender, I guess?
Decim is the perfect image of a mysterious bartender. Quiet, listening.