Have you ever needed to look twice at an anime character and tell yourself, "I think I've seen that face before"?
With the mangaka circle being a rather close-knit community, it's not uncommon for manga artists to draw creative inspiration from colleagues, or copy a visual aesthetic to come up with characters that have nearly identical physical traits and personalities.
Just look at these anime pairs. You can swap them with each other and no one would even notice.
Shanks (One Piece) and Gildarts Clive (Fairy Tail)
Aside from the uncanny look of confidence, the Yonko and S-Class Mage share a couple of unique qualities. Both belong in the upper echelon of their respective affiliations (Red Hair Pirates, Fairy Tail Guild), and are missing their left arms—for Gildarts, also his left leg—because of tragic pasts.
Zenki (Zenki) and Yugi Muto (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
The characters' dark manes and red streaks are almost on-point, with the former's headpiece looking like the latter's golden bangs. But that's where their similarities end. The mystical duelist works his brain to win matches, whereas the powerful demon relies on brawn when overcoming evil forces.
Saitama (One Punch Man) and Ikkaku Madarame (Bleach)
It would be an insult to put the most powerful hero alive alongside a lowly Shinigami, but their baldness and piercing stares are hard to ignore. If you think about it, Ikkaku considers fighting fun, while One Punch Man introduces himself as "just a guy who's a hero for fun."
Heero Yuy (Mobile Suit Gundam Wing), Sousuke Sagara (Full Metal Panic!), and Takashi Komuro (Highschool of the Dead)
Gun-toting, sleek bangs, and a permanent scowl—this is how a protagonist should look like, at least according to these three specific titles. What sets the trio apart are the villains they face: Heero battles giant robots; Sousuke protects Kaname Chidori from her tormentors; and Takashi has the rabid undead to deal with.
Inuyasha (Inuyasha) and Yoko Kurama (YuYu Hakusho)
Only when the latter is in his demon-fox form, the likeness isn't too suprising, with both half-humans also depicted as half-canines. Those flowing white locks and sharp teeth can easily have fans mistaking Dennis for the human-yokai hybrid and vise-versa.
Gaara (Naruto) and Seijuro Akashi (Kuroko's Basketball)
The lone difference between the red-haired intimidators are their outfits of choice—the Generation of Miracles captain is usually seen in a basketball jersey, while Suna's Fifth Kazekage is fond of maroon clothing. Both are known, however, for being men of few words and striking fear into the hearts of their adversaries.
Kazuma Kuwabara (YuYu Hakusho) and Hanamichi Sakuragi (Slam Dunk)
Followers of the anime's Tagalized versions will recognize that Alfred and the Genius share the same Pinoy dubber, Neil Yu, who also voices their distant cousins, Leorio Paladiknight of HunterxHunter and Ryu of Shaman King. Aside from having funky 'dos and tall builds, the two also lead their respective gangs.