I think most people can agree that eyepatch-wearing characters tend to catch your attention, one way or another. You’re curious. After all, most of the time an eye-patch has a story. Maybe uncovering it will tell you more about the character, or connect to the main plot. And then there are the times where it just… doesn’t. Sometimes it can be as simple as a fashion statement.
I personally have always had a thing for characters that wear an eyepatch. Maybe it’s because it naturally makes them interesting for me, since they have something that quickly sets them apart from others. If how they got it is important, the character may reveal the story willingly, or maybe through a flashback episode. Or sometimes the reason for the eyepatch is because of a special ability, or for psychological reasons. Sometimes the character may think it’s cool to wear an eyepatch. Whatever the reason, the character is given something that can easily become a talking point – a way into a conversation.
So without further ado, here are a few eyepatch wearing characters, and the reason behind them. Warning! Spoilers Ahead!
But there are a ton more really interesting ones, so look out for a Part 2!
Chrome Dokuro from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
Genre: Action, Comedy, Shounen, Super Power
Eyepatch: Right Eye
First up is Chrome Dokuro, Tsuna’s mysterious Mist Guardian. Her real name is Nagi, and she comes off as a sweet, cute girl. A bit shy and tends to be surprised when people are actually nice to her. She had a really rough past, being treated poorly, growing up and neglected by her mother and step-father. Which brings us to how she got her eyepatch. After trying to rescue a cat, which instantly makes me like her, she got injured in a car accident. This accident made her lose her right eye and some of her internal organs. I know. Ouch, right? The doctor brought this information to her parents and told them that the only way to save her was for someone of the same blood type to donate their organs.
Her mother being the #1 Parent of the Year said, “Nope! Not me.” Chrome heard this, and that her mother didn’t care if she lived or died, and she actually felt the same.
And that’s where Mukuro Rokudo comes in. He heard her from all the way in Vendicare Water Prison, a heavily guarded Mafia Prison, and decided to save her. With his illusions he created internal organs for her so she could live. Why didn’t he create her a right eye? I have no idea; but hey, she was alive thanks to him.
Now that Mukuro saved her, Chrome serves as a vessel for him, allowing him to switch places with her whenever he deems it necessary. He usually does this whenever she is in trouble and steps in to save her. When he takes over, her body is covered in mist, she loses her eyepatch and his body replaces hers. Then usually whoever was messing with her is in for a nasty ride. But as the story progresses she stops depending so much on him and starts to grow on her own.
Worrick Arcangelo from Gangsta.
Genre: Action, Drama, Seinen
Eyepatch: Left Eye
My second mafia-related character, Worrick Arcangelo, born as Wallace Arcangelo, is probably Chrome’s total opposite. He is a cheerful hired-gun who also works as a gigolo. Quick to smile, extremely flirty, and good-hearted, he also tends to keep people at arm’s length when it comes to personal issues and is able to get serious when the time comes. Worrick is very protective of those he cares about, but mainly his best friend Nicolas Brown, to the point that he will get violent to defend him.
Now to the good stuff – How he got his eyepatch. Long story short, Worrick was born into a prominent family, but as the second son and illegitimate child. He would have had a very comfortable life if it weren’t for the constant abuse his father put him through.
While Chrome was neglected by her family, Worrick was beaten on constantly. I guess people with happy childhoods aren’t cool enough to get eyepatches or something. Worrick met and befriended his Twilight bodyguard – and I don’t mean the vampire sparkly kind – Nicolas Brown. They bonded over the fact that their fathers abused them. At one point, Worrick paid off Nicolas’s father, the head mercenary, so Nicolas wouldn’t be abused anymore. Nicolas took the abandonment as a shock, proving he really just wanted to have that fatherly connection.
Things didn’t get better for either of them and at one point Nicolas offered to kill Worrick’s family and Worrick’s answer wasn’t clear. After one serious beating, Worrick’s father decided to put out a lit bud in Worrick’s left eye.
Nicolas saw all this with a calm expression until he snapped and killed everyone, starting with Worrick’s father. After doing this, Nicolas tried to kill himself, but Worrick stopped him, saying he wanted Nicolas to suffer and die with a lot of painful memories for killing his family. And Nicolas responded by saying Worrick no longer needed his left eye and took it out. Aww! Friendship is a beautiful thing.
Kaneki Ken from Tokyo Ghoul
Genre: Action, Mystery, Horror, Psychological, Supernatural, Drama, Seinen
Eyepatch: Different eyepatch for each eye depending on what he is doing
Probably one of, if not my favorite eyepatch wearing character. Okay, maybe the second one. Kaneki is a very tragic character that just wanted to have a nice date with a nice girl, who liked the same books as him. He is shy and reserved, only having one real friend, Nagachika Hideyoshi (or Hide), and enjoyed reading his books.
But after going on a date with the very beautiful and dangerous ghoul, Kamishiro Rize, he was almost eaten and killed by her. He was saved when an “accident” caused some beams to fall on Rize, killing her. Kaneki was rushed to the hospital where he received an emergency operation. The organs that were used for the operation were Rize’s, and Kaneki became a one-eyed ghoul, or a half-ghoul.
Because of this, he only has one kakugan – a ghoul’s red eye that shows up when the ghoul is excited, hungry or when using their kagune. But Kaneki isn’t able to control his kakugan, meaning that his eye can change when he least expects it, which can reveal the fact that he is now a ghoul, or half-ghoul.
This leads Kaneki to wear a medical eyepatch on his left eye when he is being a “normal” human at school or work. And he wears a leather mask with an eyepatch on his right eye when he is out fighting as a ghoul. This lets him show his kakugan when fighting.
He shares some traits with Chrome, in the fact that they are both shy and reserved characters. And all of them, meaning Chrome and Worrick too, are very protective of those they care about. So I guess getting an eyepatch makes gives you official guardian status or something. Kaneki is willing to risk his life to save and protect his friends, like Hide and Touka, a ghoul who he later meets and befriends.
Takanashi Rikka from Chuunibyou demo koi ga shitai!
Genre: Drama, Romantic Comedy, Slice of life, Romance, School
Eyepatch: Right Eye
A very fun character who will steal your heart, Rikka suffers from the “eight grader syndrome.” This means that she believes she has superpowers that normal humans don’t possess. No…
Rikka believes she is a sorceress possessed by the “Tyrant’s Eye” that can reveal destinies. She wears her medical eyepatch because people who see her “Tyrant’s Eye” will automatically make a contract with her. She wears colored contacts on her left eye to show that it is the “Tyrant’s Eye”.
Rikka also possesses her weapon, a spring-loaded umbrella which she calls the Schwarz Sechs Prototype MkII. Rikka constantly tries to convince Togashi Yuuta, the other protagonist, to revert back to his other persona, the Dark Flame Master, much to his chagrin.
While now in high school, she still suffers from the “eight grader syndrome”, which is revealed that she uses to hide behind the fact that she doesn’t want to accept a reality where her father is dead. She is also trying reach the “Eternal Horizon” where she believes she will see her father again and maybe bring him back to life. And if that doesn’t break your heart then you have none.
Now some fun facts about Rikka are that one, her concept seems to be based on Chrome Dokuro from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! since they both have indigo hair and wear an eyepatch, though it could be a coincidence. But her “Tyrant’s Eye” seem to be in reference to some known anime characters including but not limited to; Mukuro Rokudo’s Six Paths of Reincarnations from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! And both Neji Hyuga’s Byakugan and Sasuke Uchiha’s Sharingan from Naruto.
Kenpachi Zaraki from Bleach
Genre: Action, Adventure, Supernatural, Comedy Super Power, Shounen
Eyepatch: Right Eye
Kenpachi is the current captain of the 11th division in the 13 Court Guard Squads, also known as the primary military branch of the Soul Society. He used to have no name before he earned the title of Kenpachi. That name has to be earned by killing the current Kenpachi in battle. There can only be one Kenpachi per generation and, well, Kenpachi is the current one. He chose his surname, Zaraki, from the district he once resided in.
Kenpachi can be a brutal fighter, who enjoys a good battle, but he also won’t kill an opponent if it’s clear they can’t fight back, since he isn’t interested in weaklings who can’t fight anymore. Still, he doesn’t hesitate to kill his opponent if they aren’t willing to end their fight, meaning that if he gives you a chance to escape with your life, then you are pretty lucky. He respects people who can defeat him in a fight or push him to his limit. And one of those people being Ichigo Kurosaki.
Now since Kenpachi enjoys a good fight more than anything, he does what he can to hold back in order to make the fight last longer. He wears a special black eyepatch over his right eye, called the Eyepatch Power Seal. It reduces his depth perception and range of vision, which gives his opponent an advantage against him. But it also seals a great part of his Reiryoku, a power connected to the users willpower and spiritual sensitivity that Shinigami’s use for their abilities. He only removes his eyepatch when he finds a truly strong opponent who has evenly matched him so far, and can take him on at full power.
Unlike the previous characters on the list, Kenpachi’s eyepatch does have a special function, apart from hiding his eye. But like Rikka, he wears it because he wants to. Now while Worrick and Chrome don’t necessarily have to wear an eyepatch, they are missing an eye so it makes sense. And poor Kaneki wears one so he doesn’t get himself killed as a human, and as a ghoul.
Each character has their own unique reason for it. Some have tragic pasts… okay, a lot. A lot have tragic pasts. Like… 4 out of 5 have seriously dark backstories. But! Others gain something from it, like Kenpachi having his strength restricted and Rikka falling more into her delusions. Wearing an eyepatch doesn’t necessarily define or make a character, but it can help shape them and give them more depth if used correctly.
Whenever I see a character with an eyepatch my interest is instantly piqued and I will most likely want to check the anime out, just to learn the reason behind the eyepatch.
Now next time you watch an anime with a eyepatch-wearing character, I hope you pay special attention to them and learn why they wear it.
Remember to have fun and play with guinea pigs!