ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

We ranked classic hardmen as anime heartthrobs

Do not ask why

We ranked classic hardmen as anime heartthrobs
18 January 2017

It’s a classic: which movie hard-man is the hardest movie hard-man? We’ve all had the conversation. Over dinner, a pint, in the street, on the top deck of the 243 bus from Wood Green to Waterloo: we’ve had it. 

The answer is, of course, The Rock because he’s an actual fighting person (even if the fighting in question was mostly fake) and is the size of some kind of Franken-refrigerator, but now – thanks to the wonder of Chinese image manipulation app Meitu and a slow news day – we can settle another age old argument: which movie hard-man looks the best as as a crudely-rendered anime character?

Come with us now, intrepid reader. Let us delve...

Jason Statham

Jason Statham as a crudely-rendered anime character looks like someone tried to paint Richard Hammond’s Banter Face™ onto an egg. Which is not a great look. 

Steven Seagal

Ethereal fascist/martial-artist/sheriff Steven Seagal has the hand-speed and ponytail, but does he have what it takes to be a crudely-rendered anime icon? Turns out: no. He looks like someone who used to manage the Beach Boys and then retired to a mansion in Malibu and spent the next forty years under the knife and under the influence, from shiny faced surgeons and psychotropic tropic drugs, respectively.

Vin Diesel

Unfortunately, despite being a hard-man who loves cars with the voice of someone throwing gravel into a wood-chipper, the kind of voice that sounds summoned and not born, Vin Diesel as a crudely-rendered anime character just looks like crying Moby. 

Idris Elba

There’s something strangely Dominic Cooperian about my man Idris Elba’s crudely-rendered anime makeover and, unfortunately, Dominic Cooper – in anime form or out – does not qualify as an icon.

Jean-Claude Van Damme aka The Muscles From Brussels

JCVD gets points for beauty but loses marks for having no top lip. Bad, JCVD. Very bad, crudely-rendered anime Muscles From Brussels. Also, that little dog wishes it was dead.

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes has had some tough years but Blade’s crudely-rendered anime rebrand sees him in fine fettle: the satin cap, the turtleneck, the chubby little bears and rabbits and cats in the background – it all just works. 

Paul Levesque aka Triple H aka The Cerebral Assassin

Crudely-rendered anime Triple H looks like Conor McGregor if you pumped him full of steroids and sent him to Las Vegas showgirl boot-camp and told him he was gonna be a star. Very beautiful, but not a winner here.

Vincent Peter "Vinnie" Jones

Vinnie Jones’ crudely-rendered anime avatar is the lead singer of middling New Wave band The Loving Architects's Club who were curiously massive in the Philippines. It leads to an iconic look but one sadly doomed to fail at the final hurdle. Sorry, Vincent, you ball-grabbing babe.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The crudely-rendered anime remake of The Terminator sees T play a friendly underwater god who just wants to spread love and joy to everyone named John/Sarah Connor up there on dry land. It is released to middling-reviews but gains a cult following on Blu-Ray.

Roy Keane


Sylvester Stallone

FUCKING HELL. EVEN BETTER. Sly is our crudely-rendered anime protagonist who was banished to the woods for thirty years and has come out with pain in his heart and bubbles in his eyes. My heart, Sly – you own it. 

Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock aka The People's Champ

Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock aka The People's Champ, despite being the hardest movie hard-man, looks even better here, beautiful in his true form – that of the crudely-rendered anime icon: his lipstick a lurid hue bringing out the light in his eyes, the soft petals bringing out the light in his muscular hunch, the way the sweat dances off his dome like shooting stars… Man, is there anything Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock aka The People's Champ cannot do?

(All images: Rex Features)