The Most Iconic Deaf Anime Characters

While the world of anime is huge, there are hardly any characters who have disabilities. The industry is slowly making changes to include more characters with them, but it could take some time before they’re regularly seen. It’s even rarer to see characters who are deaf, but anime shows and movies like Ranking of Kings and A Silent Voice have proven it can be successful.


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There are very few deaf characters in the anime world and even fewer who have had a large impact. But these characters show that just because they can’t hear doesn’t mean they’re not strong. They don’t let their hard of hearing stop them from showing how strong they are or showing kindness to others who haven’t been kind to them.

Updated on January 29, 2024, by Sarah Prado: There aren’t many anime characters with disabilities and even fewer who have main roles. Slowly but surely, that is starting to change as more and more characters with disabilities appear. These characters might not be able to hear, but they have ways of understanding what others are saying to them. Whether it’s using sign language, writing on a notepad, text messages, or reading lips, these deaf anime characters don’t let it stop them from living everyday life. Their disability just makes them all the more unique and they help those around them learn a little more about those who are deaf.

7 Yuki Itose

A Sign Of Affection

Yuki Itose A Sign Of Affection anime manga

A Sign of Affection

Release Date
January 6, 2024


suu Morishita

Yuki is a shy 19-year-old girl with congenital hearing loss. Even though she wears hearing aids, she uses sign language to talk and lip-reads and text messages to understand what others are saying. Despite her timid nature and struggles, Yuki attends a public university at the request of her mother. She struggled to adjust at first, but she has made a few friends from it.

After meeting Itsuomi Nagi, Yuki finds herself wanting to explore the world more. She begins opening up a little more and helps Itsuomi learn Japanese Sign Language.

6 Bojji

Ranking Of Kings

Bojji (Ranking Of Kings)

Ranking of Kings

Release Date
October 15, 2021

Wit Studio

Number of Episodes

A tiny, but mighty hero that proves an anime can have a deaf protagonist and be successful. Because of his small size and being deaf, many people believe he isn’t fit to rule the kingdom and that his half-brother should take the throne. Bojji doesn’t let this affect him and still dreams of being a great king like his father. He is known to be kind and can read lips so he knows what people are saying. He’s hardworking, intelligent, and empathetic, and would’ve made a great king.

However, many in the kingdom believe he’s dumb and voted to have his brother be king because of his disability. Even though he was heartbroken, Bojji didn’t let this stop him from going on a journey to prove his worth. He proved that he is more than fit to be king and a lot stronger than he looks.

5 Shoko Nishimiya

A Silent Voice

Shoko Nishimiya (A Silent Voice)

A Silent Voice

Release Date
September 17, 2016

Kyoto Animation

When it comes to deaf characters in anime, Shoko is probably the first one to come to mind. She was often the victim of the other main character Shoya back when they were in elementary school. They meet each other again when they’re both in high school when Shoya wants to give back a notebook she’d left behind. Even though he bullied her to the point that she had to transfer, Shoko was more than happy to be his friend.

She does fall in love with him as they get to know one another and sees that he truly wants to repent for the bullying he put her through. Shoko shows that she forgives him and helps Shoya in his journey to forgive himself.

4 Nicolas Brown


Nicolas Brown (Gangsta)


Release Date
July 2, 2015


Number of Episodes

This is one man who definitely doesn’t let his hearing disability stop him from being a “handyman” for the mob. While most characters would see their disability as a nuisance and apologize to other people, Nicolas makes it clear that he finds the people he’s talking to a nuisance for not knowing sign language. He hates having to accommodate others who can’t sign to him even though he can read lips.

Having grown up in a rough environment, Nicholas usually keeps to himself and comes off as aloof even to those closest to him. He gets easily irritated, but Nicolas isn’t a terrible guy. He does small acts of kindness like playing Nina, and helping Alex, and will occasionally pick on others with a dark yet good sense of humor.

3 Princess Hinoto


Princess Hinoto (X)

  • Year Released: 2001
  • Number of Episodes: 24
  • Genre: Action, Drama, Dark Fantasy
  • Studio: Madhouse

Princess Hinoto is a dreamseer who is not only deaf, but also blind, mute, and crippled. The only way she can communicate with anyone is through her telepathic powers. With her seer powers, she sees the future in her dreams and the events have always come true. She does have a dark side that takes over for a good chunk of the series, but the dark side has a good reason for this possession.


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After seeing her own death at the hands of Kamui, the dark side wanted to destroy him and the Dragons of Heaven. However, Hinoto herself stopped her dark side in the dreamscape, but it meant killing herself. This was the only way to end the dark side’s possession of her, showing she was willing to sacrifice herself to save everyone around her.

2 Hyakkimaru


Hyakkimaru (Dororo)


Release Date
January 7, 2019

Tezuka Productions, MAPPA

Number of Episodes

Hyakkimaru had the misfortune of being born to a lord who made a deal with demons. In return for their land to be safe, Hyakkimaru’s body parts were given to them. As a result, he had no skin, eyes, nose, arms, legs, and ears. Luckily, he was saved by Jukai, who became his father figure and made new body parts for Hyakkimaru. Though he couldn’t hear, Hyakkimaru’s Soul Sight and Telepathy abilities were more than enough for him to be able to see and hear others.

He does get his ears and hearing back, but it is overwhelming for him at first. Having not heard anything all his life, the sounds can be a bit too much for him and cause him to lose control.

1 Nao Saito

Psychic Detective Yakumo

Nao Saito (Psychic Detective Yakumo)

  • Year Released: 2010
  • Number of Episodes: 13
  • Genre: Horror, Mystery, Supernatural
  • Studio: Bee Train

The young cousin of Yakumo. Nao has been deaf since birth and lives with her adoptive father Isshin at a Buddhist temple. Though unable to hear, Nao does have the special ability to sense the feelings of everyone around her. She’s also one of the very few people that Yakumo feels comfortable around since many have made fun of him because of his eye.

After Isshin passes away, Nao is taken in by Kazutoshi (one of the main characters) and his wife. Since he and his wife Atsuko couldn’t have kids, they drifted apart, but Nao helped mend their relationship and the three of them became a good family.


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