Played By: Takeshi Kitano
The host and functional Big Bad of the show. He played the part of an egotistical feudal lord whose castle the contestants had to conquer.
- As Himself: His character was basically "what if Takeshi Kitano were an evil daimyo".
- Big Bad: Of the show, though most of his villainy is of the offscreen variety. This gets subverted in the Thai version of Takeshi's Castle, where Shogun Takeshi is much more obviously villainous.
- Blue Is Heroic: Inverted. He wears a blue robe yet is a villain.
- Dirty Old Man: Occasionally if there are attractive females on stage.
- Final Boss: Shooting down Takeshi's cart was the main goal of the Show Down.
- First-Name Basis: His nobiliary titles are rarely mentioned in dubs, being most of the time referred to as simply Takeshi. However, few dubs hid that he was the famous Takeshi Kitano, so his surname was also used occasionally.
- Villain Protagonist: During the Swapped Roles specials.
Played By: Saburo Ishikura
Takeshi's first advisor.
- As Himself: Like Takeshi, he went by his real full name.
- The Consigliere: Towards Takeshi.
- Dub Name Change: The Spanish dub called him "Cousin Mario", as he was supposed to be a cousin to Takeshi who happened to look just like Mario.
- Facial Markings: Wore red makeup in his nose.
- Porn Stache: Had a small moustache.
- Put on a Bus: Disappeared after the first seasons and was replaced by Higashi. The Bus Came Back when he acted as a guest officer in some challenges.
Played By: Hideo HigashikokubaruTakeshi's second advisor and second-in-command.
- Ambiguously Bi: The Spanish dub all but stated he was in love with Takeshi, although he was also occasionally implied to be attracted to women as well.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: He was much more energetic and emotional than Saburo, as well as goofier and more of a comic relief.
- The Dragon: He is Takeshi's most loyal henchman in all versions.
- Dub Name Change: Known as "Junior" in Spain.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Seasons before he was ascended to the count's advisor, he could be seen serving as a random crewman or a Emerald Guard captain.
- Sycophantic Servant: Was Takeshi's bootlicker both in the original and in most dubds.
Played By: UnknownAn actor wearing a Takeshi mask who replaced him while Kitano was out of the show.
- Cool Mask: As cool as a mask modelled after Takeshi Kitano can be.
- Stranger Behind Mask: The Spanish dub played his unmasking as a huge mystery, which got soundly subverted when it turned out that the guy under the mask was a random performer.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Invoked, exaggerated, parodied, played for laughs... All at once.
- The Voiceless: Unlike the real deal, Fake Takeshi didn't talk. Aside from some non verbal cues, he was there for visual purposes while Higashi and some other guests did his work.
Castle Guards and henchmen
Played By: Michiru JoTakeshi's captain, always clad in flamboyant pink.
- Agent Peacock: Pretty, bishie and girly.
- As Himself: He was Michiru Jo playing a parodic version of his Japanese Pop Music singer persona.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Sported a giant J in his chest.
- Butt-Monkey: The show often made humor at his expense.
- Camp Straight: He was supposed to be heterosexual, just as Jo is in real life, but you would never tell from his mannerisms and interactions with most male characters.
- Dub Name Change: In Spain, he was called "Pinky" or "Pinky-Winky" for a Teletubbies reference.
- Magnetic Hero: Villainous example; he tended to form music band-like units with other henchmen, like Shimada and the Pop-Corn duo.
- Real Men Wear Pink: He wore several guard costumes, but all of them were pink.
- Sissy Villain: Sometimes exaggeratedly.
- Took a Level in Badass: While he was originally included in the Sumo Rings game as something of a joke opponent meant to be an easy win for the contestant, in the later seasons it's clear that someone familiar with sumo had decided to teach him how to actually wrestle. He started winning a lot more, and was seen to execute some textbook-perfect sumo grips and throws.
Played By: Yousichi ShimadaA murderer manchild with a penchant for crossdressing.
- Creepy Crossdresser: Wore a Pocahontas-like American native costume for one of the challenges, and it was played extremely for creepiness.
- Dance Battler: When crossdressed, he performed bizarre dances to distract the contestants.
- Dub Name Change: Known as "Chucky" or "Chupy" (depending on the episode) in Spain, due to his resemblance to the character from Child's Play. When he impersonated Pocahontas, as mentioned above, he was called Muchahontas (a pun in Spanish language - poca is the female form of few/little, while mucha is for much/many).
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Sported glasses, giving him a villainous nerdy look.
- Nose Nuggets: His standard persona had a (fake) snot line down his nose.
- Psychopathic Manchild: What his standard persona was supposed to be.
- Overalls and Gingham: His default attire were Dennis the Menace-style overalls.
- Satellite Character: Whenever he was not doing his Pocahontas impersonation, most of his appearances were either teaming up with Jo or replacing him.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: When he subbed for Jo, at least in a thematic sense – it was a Creepy Crossdresser replacing an Agent Peacock.
Played By: Shoji Kinoshita and Shoichi KinoshitaA duo of weird twin mooks with rainbow ponchos.
- Agent Peacock: A parody, as they wore LGBTI flags and performed fruity dances and chants.
- Ambiguously Bi: In the Spanish dub, even if they were a gay-themed unit, they were even implied to be straight, or at least bisexual, and a bit of a pair of perverts towards women. When they were cued that a female contestant was wearing nothing under her skirt, they immediately tried their best to eliminate her so the thing would get... uncovered (although it turned out she was wearing pants after all).
- Creepy Twins: They were twins, villains and at least somewhat creepy (when not hilarious).
- Dub Name Change: Known as the "Dúo Pirata" ("Pirate Duo") in Spain, pirata being Spanish slang for flamboyant gay or effeminate.
- Friendly Enemy: Although still antagonists, they were usually kind towards the contestants, at least whenever their role didn't require explicitly otherwise. Most contestants even chanted with them before the challenges.
- Power Trio: Whenever they teamed up with Jo or Shimada. The four also formed a Power Quartet in special occasions.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: As mentioned, their ponchos were rainbow patterned, just like the traditional LGBTI flag.
Played By: Kibaji TankoboA mercenary working for Takeshi, just as fiery as his red Japanese stage wig.
- Blood Knight: His job was manhandling contestants, and he clearly loved it.
- Dub Name Change: "Paco Peluca" ("Frankie Wig") in Spain.
- Elite Mooks: In most versions, he and Kobayashi were among the most efficient mooks, although Tankobo tended to have his wig grabbed during brawls.
- This Means War Paint: His Japanese theatre makeup worked as such.
- Those Two Guys: Rarely seen without Kobayashi.
Strong Kanegou / Strong Kongo
Played By: Shozo Kobayashi
A bald mercenary working for Takeshi.
- As Himself: Shozo "Strong" Kobayashi was a real life pro wrestler. He played there a slightly freakier version of himself.
- Bald of Evil: Not a single hair in his head.
- Blood Knight: Same as Tankobo.
- Dub Name Change: "Juanito Calvicie" ("Johnny Baldness") in Spain.
- Elite Mooks: He and Kobayashi were some of the finest in Takeshi's army.
- This Means War Paint: Sported some face paint in order to look (even) more imposing.
- Those Two Guys: Rarely seen without Tankobo.
The Sea Goblin
Played By: Masanori OkadaAnother bald bruiser, this time an aquatic mook who would attack contestants from a pond.
- As Himself: Okada was a real life boxer with an infamously short temper, which he self-parodied there.
- Bald of Evil: Same as Kobayashi, although with extra monster.
- Dub Name Change: In Spain, to "The Monster of the Dirty Pond".
Played By: Brad LesleyPossibly the mightiest of all the bruisers, Animal was an evil foreigner with strange dressing tastes and a frightening strength.
- As Himself: Lesley, nicknamed "The Animal", was a famous baseball player turned comedian in Japan. To underline it, he sometimes appeared in baseball garbs.
- Beard of Barbarism: To show better his gaijin barbarism.
- The Brute: He qualified more than anyone due to his rank, as he was supposed to be a foreign samurai pledged to Takeshi.
- The Dreaded: Contestants were afraid of sumo-wrestling him in all versions due to his size, strength and meanness.
- Everything's Better with Samurai: Even if they are gaijin.
- McNinja: McSamurai in this case, as he was a foreigner who sometimes dressed up as a samurai.
Played By: Hiroshi UedaAnother pro wrestler working for Takeshi.
- As Himself: He played up his own pro wrestling persona.
- Delinquent Hair: He had his hair dyed blonde. In fact, he was the one who popularized this custom among villains in Japanese professional wrestling.
- Dub Name Change: In Spain, he was called the "Dyed Blond Guy".
Played By: Makoto DainenjiA Karate master.
- As Himself: He was a karate expert in real life.
- Dub Name Change: He went commonly unnamed in Spain, but at least once he was called Yochiro or Yoichiro.
- Those Two Guys: Rarely seen without Katsuo.
Played By: Katsuo TokashikiA boxer.
- As Himself: Like most fighters of the show, he was a popular boxer playing himself up.
- Boxing Battler: His specialty.
- Those Two Guys: Rarely seen without Makoto.
Played By: Koichi ShinozukaTakeshi's first Sumo Wrestling expert.
- As Himself: He was a famous sumo. Shinoburyu was his shikona or sumo ring name.
- Dub Name Change:
- Most official materials in the west refer to him as Shinoburyo, ending in an O.
- Possibly combined with She's a Man in Japan. In Spain, he was called "The Lady" due to his makeup.
- Facial Markings: Late in the series, he started wearing makeup.
- Put on a Bus: Was replaced by Daifujii.
Played By: Keiji ItoShinoburyu's replacement.
- As Himself: A sumo wrestler of some fame, performing under his shikona.
- Dub Name Change: In Spain, for unknown reasons, he was called "Shark".
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He replaced Shinoburyu when the latter left the show. However, they were so physically similar that viewers might not notice it.
Played By: Noboru SuganumaA skinny sumo wannabe.
- Boisterous Weakling: He always fired himself up before the sumo challenge, but his little weight and strength made him rather easy to defeat by any marginally athletic contestant.
- Butt-Monkey: As mentioned, he usually lost.
- Dub Name Change: Known as "Harry Potter's Cousin" in Spain due to his glasses and hair.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He wore glasses (yes, even while wrestling) and was quite aggressive, even if not nearly as skilled.
Played By: Kunihiko KatsuraAnother lightweight sumo.
- Dub Name Change: "The Drunk Monkey", in Spain, because his baldness and wiry movements made him look like a Drunken Boxing-using kung fu fighter.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Surprisingly, although he was barely heavier than Shin, he had a much better record.
Played By: UnknownA giant gorilla mascot who tried to keep players from reaching goals.
- Dub Name Change: In Spain, he was known rather creatively as "King Kong's Funny Cousin".
- Giant Mook: He was about 8 feet tall.
- Killer Gorilla: A huge white gorilla who served the evil count Takeshi.
- Put on a Bus: Was replaced by Yoroi after a short time. The Bus Came Back in the Monster Special.
Played By: UnknownAnother mascot guardian, this time a giant samurai.
- Dub Name Change: In Spain, he was called "The Little Samurai", for extra irony.
- Giant Mook: Just like his predecessor.
- Samurai: His gimmick.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Jumbo Max, even if Yoroi became much more known.
Contestants and allies
Played By: Hayato TaniThe leader of the resistance against the feudal lord, as well as the main ally of the contestants.
- Arch-Enemy: To Takeshi.
- Catchphrase: In Spain, "¡Al turrón!" (translatable as something like "let's go!")
- Dub Name Change: Known as General Lee in UK and India.
- Ice-Cream Koan: In the Spanish version, he loved to tell pieces of wisdom to the players in his opening speech, always quoting an old Shaolin monk he had supposedly learned under. In a sort of a subversion, some of his quotes were based on actual proverbs (though more often than not, tweaked for humorous effect), but the rest of the time they were just random nonsense.
- Large Ham: Every time he called the contestants to attack.
- Momma's Boy: The Spanish Tani was a bit of this, as his mother often came to the show to "motivate" him (usually by insulting or demeaning him).
- The Resistance: Led this symbolically.
- Verbal Tic: In the Spanish version, he always called his interlocutor "piltrafilla" (roughly "you little sleaze"), regardless of who was he talking to. The word has remained associated to the show since.
UltramanThe titular protagonist of the famed Toku series, who makes a few crossover appearances in Takeshi's Castle as an ally of General Tani and subbed for Tani once.
- Guest Fighter: Participated in the Monster Special's showdown alongside some of his counterparts, as well as being part of some of the games.
- Hero Antagonist: During the Monster Special, as it was a Swapped Roles scenario between Takeshi and Tani.
Played By: Many contestantsAn original yet incredibly iconic character from the Spanish Humor Amarillo versions (both the 1990-1995 and the 2006-2007). He was a sort of anonymous hero who led the resistance before dying tragically upon failing spectacularly a challenge, only to reappear the next show and repeating the moment. Sometimes the character's name featured modifications according to the appearance of the contestant that was "portraying" him.
- Ambiguous Situation: It was never explained how could this character have multiple lives and identities. Sometimes it was hinted there was an entire Japanese family of Cudeiros working for the resistance (helped by the fact that Cudeiro is a real Spanish surname), while other times it was implied that "Chino Cudeiro" was a Legacy Character that many players would adopt, and the odd moment had the commentators explaining he was a single individual with superpowers that enabled him to resurrect and shapeshift. Yeah, Humor Amarillo was really that freaky.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: There was no common way to identify visually a Cudeiro aside from the commentators' word, but the designated player often wore something yellow (in the 90-95 version) or red (in the 06-07).
- I Have Many Names: Depending on the version, although in the 90-95 versions he was also called sometimes "Yema de Huevo" ("Yolk").
- Interchangeable Asian Cultures: He was Japanese, but he was called a Chinese. Even the commentators often wondered why.
- Red Is Heroic: His most famous iterations wore something red, usually a T-shirt.
- Sacrificial Lion: His role and entire raison d'être.
- They Killed Kenny Again: The living embodiment of the trope, to the extent a Spaniard will probably understand it faster by saying the Chino Cudeiro rather than Kenny. The show itself lampshaded it with commentator Bravo wailing "Nooooo! Damn you! You killed the Chino Cudeiro!" everytime the character died.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: He actually managed to win once, after months of dying and coming back to life over and over again. He kept dying againa afterwards, though.
Played By: Unknown female contestantAnother original character from the Spanish version, she was a "contestant advocate" who acted as a consultant for the show, much to the contestants' disgrace.
- Activist-Fundamentalist Antics: Parodied. She was supposed to be some kind of activist for the players' rights, but most of her interventions had her precisely demanding even more punishment and humiliation for them.
- Camera Abuse: Her interviews ended always with her shouting to the camera.
- Catchphrase: "¡Dadles caña!" (translatable as something in the line of "beat them up!"). This quote only became her catchphrase later in the show's run, though; before that, she would shout random lines with a similar meaning.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: She had glasses, yet no compassion.
- Large Ham: From beginning to end.
- No Indoor Voice: Had no lines that weren't vociferous.
- Punny Name: Conichigua is a homophone for "konnichiwa", a Japanese greeting phrase.
- Soapbox Sadie: A parody of this kind of character.
The Battlefield Reporter
Played By: Shingo Yanagisawa, Junji Inagawa, Akira Sakamoto and others
The show's interviewer. Multiple people played this role, most notoriously three of them, although in most versions they were considered the same character.
- Dub Name Change: "Pepe Livingston" in Spain, for his attire's resemblance to that of the famous David Livingstone (actually Morton Stanley's, but pop culture often mistakes them).
- Explorer Outfit: Wore the classic beige shirt, shorts and safari hat.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: A borderline creepy example in the Spanish version, as he constantly invited female contestants into his rouloutte with thinly veiled (or not veiled at all) intentions to have sex with them. In an occasion, he even tried to invite a couple to shoot what was clearly meant to be homemade porn between Pepe and the woman.
- Porn Stache: Inagawa sported one, which might have been the reason why the Spanish commentators turned him into a sex maniac.