Family is a big deal in Japanese anime, with many of the best anime characters having a notable sibling, parent, or child who significantly impacts their character arc. Sometimes this is for the worse, such as a mean brother or a bratty little sister, but other anime brothers and sisters are model siblings who are a pillar of their families.
A mean anime brother might manipulate, mock, or even harm their sibling, while a great anime brother provides all the emotional support their brothers or sisters need, and they may even look after their parents if need be. These outstanding anime brothers may also extend their kindness and generosity to their friends and classmates.
10 Elfman Strauss Fights For His Sisters & Guild (Fairy Tail)
Elfman Strauss from Fairy Tail is the middle child between his powerful older sister, Mirajane, and his carefree younger sister, Lisanna. Like them, he can use Take Over magic to modify his body for combat. While Mirajane turns into a demon and Lisanna imitates animals, Elfman can Hulk out as a brawny beast.
Elfman is big and strong, but he's no brute. He has a gentle and kind heart as a model brother, and he is one of the emotional pillars of the Fairy Tail found family. He would gladly risk his very life to protect his real and guild family, and they would do the same for him.
9 Benimaru Will Fight For Rimuru's Kingdom (That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime)
Benimaru from That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime is one of only six ogres to survive the slaughter of his clan. As the tribe's surviving prince, he will fight to the bitter end to defend his people, most of all his pink-haired little sister, Shuna. He will also fight hard to protect the kingdom of his new boss, the slime Rimuru Tempest.
Benimaru can be brash and reckless at times, but he is also an excellent swordsman, a reliable friend, and a noble hero of the Jura Federation's capital city. During times of peace, this good-hearted ogre is easy to get along with and can brighten anyone's day — and that goes double for his lovable sister.
8 Sora Inoue Looked After His Baby Sister, Orihime (Bleach)
Fans don't see much of Sora Inoue in Bleach, but he made an appearance via flashbacks in the anime's first season and returned as a Hollow called Acidwire. He and his baby sister, Orihime, grew up with abusive and neglectful parents, so at age 18, Sora took his sister with him and fled the Inoue household for good.
Sora worked hard to be Orihime's big brother and foster father, and he worked tirelessly to support her until he died in an auto accident at age 27. Then, after facing defeat as a Hollow, Sora willingly purified himself and bade his little sister goodbye as a proud brother.
7 Isami Aldini Keeps The Peace (Food Wars!)
The easygoing Isami from Food Wars! gets along with everyone and does not worry much about his standing in Totsuki's hierarchy of student chefs — unlike his competitive tsundere big brother, Takumi. That doesn't mean Isami is a slacker; if there's work to be done, he'll chop those tomatoes with lightning speed.
Isami and his brother are an unstoppable duo with Italian cuisine in the kitchen, and they trust each other thoroughly to get the job done. Amusingly, Isami also tends to drag his brother away from arguments or unnecessary fights, determined to keep the peace however he can. He might even apologize for Takumi's behavior.
6 Tensei Iida Is Tenya's Role Model (My Hero Academia)
In My Hero Academia, only a few students in Class 1-A are confirmed to have siblings, such as Tsuyu Asui, the oldest of three and Tenya Iida, the younger of two brothers. The kindhearted Tensei is his brother's inspiration for becoming a Pro Hero, and Tenya even modeled his hero costume and nickname after Tensei's own.
Tensei is an outstanding brother and person, but that didn't save him from the wrath of Stain, the hero killer. Tensei only narrowly survived the attack, and Tenya was devastated to see his injured brother in the hospital. Tensei's spirits aren't dampened, though, and he's still smiling.
5 Bolin Is Everyone's Friend (The Legend Of Korra)
In The Legend of Korra, Bolin the Earthbender is Mako's carefree, compassionate younger brother, and even if he's gullible and a bit naive, people can't help but love him anyway. Unlike the tsundere Firebender Mako, Bolin wears his heart on his sleeve and is quick to share his infectious good mood with everyone around him.
Mako often views Bolin as a burden, but Mako is fortunate to have such a loyal, kind, and reliable brother like Bolin. At least Korra and Asami appreciated Bolin's good personality in the story. Later, the charming Opal also came to love Bolin as the more likable of the two brothers.
4 Naoya Nifuji Is A Charming Social Butterfly (Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku)
Most characters in Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku don't have any confirmed brothers or sisters, but the cool kuudere Hirotaka Nifuji certainly has one. His brother, Naoya, is the younger one by eight years, and Naoya is a classic cheerful little brother who goofs off and makes everyone laugh and smile.
Naoya is a total extrovert and a compassionate boy who always puts the needs of others first. He can make friends with just about anyone, even the dandere Ko Sakuragi, and he'll work hard to cheer up his friends if they ever feel down. He can't stand to see anyone cry.
3 Hitohito Tadano Has Super-Empathy (Komi Can't Communicate)
In Komi Can't Communicate, most of Hitohito Tadano's classmates see him as a dull, forgettable boy, but they underestimate him. Like his best friend Shoko Komi, Tadano is an outstanding older sibling who is widely misunderstood, but he doesn't mind. For him, making his friends happy is what's important.
Tadano has borderline telepathic empathy that allows him to understand anyone's emotional state, even that of his inscrutable classmate, Komi. Tadano puts that empathy to good use, working hard to cheer up Komi and support her however he can. He does the same for his other friends and classmates, such as Rumiko Manbagi.
2 Alphonse Elric Has A Heart Of Gold (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's Alphonse Elric and his tsundere big brother, Edward, have golden eyes and hair, but Alphonse also has a heart of gold to match. He is good-natured, compassionate, and selfless, even if he must hulk around in a strange body of empty armor in the main story. He won't let his frustration show and upset anyone else.
Alphonse is quick to trust, help, and appreciate most other people, including the wandering martial artist May Chang, though, like Ed, he was skeptical about the shady Yoki and prince Ling Yao. After he got his body back, Alphonse decided to visit Xing and learn the ways of alkehestry, a healing art.
1 Tanjiro Kamado Is His Family's Pillar (Demon Slayer)
In Demon Slayer, the nine mighty Hashira are the pillars of the Demon Slayer Corps, while protagonist Tanjiro Kamado was the pillar of his own family. He helped his widow mother look after his younger brothers and siblings, and they all deeply loved him. Every time Tanjiro went to town on errands, the rest of the family missed him.
That's the kind of outstanding brother Tanjiro was, and still is. Only Nezuko remains by his side after the slaughter, so Tanjiro will push himself to the absolute limit to defend his little sister and restore her humanity however he can. It's his life's mission as a responsible brother.
NEXT: 10 Anime Sisters More Powerful Than Their Brothers