July 22 is “Umi no Hi” (Marine Day).

Marine Day is a national holiday set in 1996. When it was first established, it was July 20 but since 2003, it was moved to the third Monday in July. In 2021, due to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic, the holiday has been moved to July 22, the day before the opening ceremony.

Umi is a familiar character name in anime. There are many characters with “Umi/海” in their name, regardless of their gender. So, who’s the most popular among them?

We at Anime!Anime! conducted the annual survey asking, “Who’s the First Character that Comes to Mind with ‘Umi/海’ in Their Name?” There were 167 votes during the survey period from July 2 to July 9.
The gender ratio was 40% male to 60% female with a bit more female voters, and the age range was on the younger side with 45% under 20 and 30% in their 20s.

■”Love Live!” Sonoda Umi tops the list for the fourth year in a row!

1st Place
Sonoda Umi tops the list with roughly 22%, keeping her at the top for four consecutive years.

“Since she is responsible and trusted by everyone, her name is called a lot and left a strong impression on me. It’s a wonderful name that fits her perfectly, as pure and clear as the sea. I also love that her name is not just ‘海’ but ‘海未’,” and “The first character that comes to mind when I hear ‘Umi’ is Umi-chan. Her airheadedness that sometimes peaks through is so cute,” are comments that show how her diligence and the gap between her airheadedness fascinates her fans.

2nd Place
Coming in 2nd is Shinkai KanataSouta (深海奏汰) from “Ensemble Stars!” with roughly 7% of the votes, moving him up from last year’s 6th place.

Shinkai KanataSouta, the idol who loves the ocean and the head of the Marine Biology Club was popular for his slightly unusual personality and received votes such as “I love how he loves the water and tries to jump into the ocean whenever he sees it,” and “I have an impression that he’s always floating in the water and it’s so cute.”
He is deeply related to the ocean since his family business is an aquarium and his theme color is blue.

3rd Place
Umibouzu from “Gintama” takes 3rd place with roughly 6% of the votes, moving him up from last year’s 10th place.

Umiboouzu is the father of the heroine of the series, Kagura. He received votes such as “He forever cherishes his wife, Kouka, and takes care of his children, Kagura-chan and Kamui-kun. I’m fascinated by his fatherly figure.”
“Gintama: The Final” being released this year may have helped boost his ranking.

■Here are some comments for other characters!

For Kaidou Shun (海藤瞬) from “The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.”, “It’s funny that he has ‘海’ in his surname but can’t swim at all.”
For Ahagon Umiko from “NEW GAME!”, “How she hates being called ‘Ahagon’ and tries to force people to call her ‘Umiko’ left a strong impression on me.”

There were also votes for the latest anime from 2021.
For Misakino Kukuru (海咲野くくる) from “The Aquatope on White Sand”, “The director deputy of an aquarium in Okinawa. Her appearances like her blue hair remind me of the ocean.”
For Natsuumi Manatsu from “Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure”, “Manatsu-chan loves the ocean! I hope she continues to share her energy with us.”

While regular characters were popular in the 2021 survey, some characters from the latest titles like “Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure” and “Jujutsu Kaisen” also made the list.

■Top 20
“Who’s the First Character that Comes to Mind with ‘Umi/海’ in Their Name?”
1. Sonoda Umi “Love Live!”
2. Shinkai KanataFukami Souta (深海奏汰) “Ensemble Stars!”
3. Umibouzu “Gintama”
4. Kaidou Shun (海藤瞬) “The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.”
5. Shiodome Miuna (潮留美海) “Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea”
5. Natsuumi Manatsu / Cure Summer “Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure”
7. Umino Iruka “Naruto”
8. Hoshiumi Kourai “Haikyuu!!”
9. Nanami Kento (七海建人) “Jujutsu Kaisen”
10. Tsunami Jousuke (綱海条介) “Inazuma Eleven”
11. Kaiba Seto (海馬瀬人) “Yu-Gi-Oh!”
12. Fuzuki Kai (文月海) “Tsukiuta. The ANIMATION”
13. Ahagon Umiko “NEW GAME!”
13. Ichinose Kai (一ノ瀬海) “Forest of Piano”
13. Kaiou Michiru (海王みちる) / Sailor Neptune “Sailor Moon”
16. Ryuuzaki Umi “Magic Knight Rayearth”
17. Detective Dolphin (Umino Dozaemon) “KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops”
17. Nanami Haruka (七海春歌) “Uta no Prince-sama”
17. Hondou Hidemi (本堂瑛海) “Detective Conan”
17. Matsuzaki Umi “From Up on Poppy Hill”

(Survey Period: July 2 – July 9, 2021)

*This survey was held to investigate the readers’ “interests and attention towards current anime titles and characters”. The results should not be used to determine the supremacy of characters and titles. We hope this article will help you find new anime/characters and deepen your understanding of them.