It’s remarkable to note how often a supporting antagonist may become the favorite in an anime despite the fact that a weak hero isn’t always fatal to the show.
When it comes to classic tales of heroes against bad villains, anime has the power to bring them to life in a more powerful way than other forms of entertainment. It’s not uncommon for some of the most popular anime heroes to be overpowered or to feel like they’ve been ripped off from other works.
This isn’t a problem that affects every anime series, and the finest ones understand how to establish a layered and distinct protagonist. Although a poor protagonist is not always a death sentence for an anime, it’s amazing to note how often a supporting antagonist becomes the unofficial fan.
1. My Hero Academia’s Izuku Midoriya Has Lots Of Heart But Feels Generic
My Hero Academia creates a rich world full of a diverse cast of potential heroes by fusing shonen conventions with superhero stereotypes. The story revolves around Izuku “Deku” Midoriya, a child with no quirks who grows up to become the Number One Pro Hero’s heir apparent.
Midoriya’s heroism journey and growth are admirable, however his path resembles that of the vast majority of shonen heroes. His character is weakened because he has to overcome the same obstacles that so many previous heroes have.
2. Katsuki Bakugo Conquers His Inner Demons To Show Growth In My Hero Academia
In My Hero Academia, the friendly rivalry between Izuku Midoriya and Katsuki Bakugo is established at an early stage. In the beginning, Bakugo flowers before Midoriya and he bullies Midoriya relentlessly over this.
In the beginning, Bakugo is impetuous and short-tempered, but these flaws fade as time passes. Because of his struggles with the Provisional License Exams, Bakugo grows as a character and improves as a result of his failures. In comparison to Midoriya, he’s exhibited more character development and even demonstrates his ability to carry One For All.
3. Saitama’s Super Strength Makes Him A One-Trick Pony In One-Punch Man
Characters like Saitama from One-Punch Man are troublesome because of their exaggerated strength, which can convert them into heroes who are tough to beat. All of One-Punch Man focuses around the idea of a mighty Saitama who can’t be stopped by any foes.
It’s a cute concept, but it quickly becomes tedious, and Saitama finds himself in a position where he can’t perceive any real progress in his strength. Because Saitama is so powerful, the anime has to constantly come up with new tactics to keep him distracted and out of harm’s way while the other characters go into battle.
4. One-Punch Man’s Genos’ Dedication & Vulnerability Give Him Greater Depth
In One-Punch Man, Genos frequently serves as a proxy for the audience, and thus lends itself to the idea that he’s the better main character. Genos is a super-strong cyborg, but he falls in love with Saitama and becomes his loyal sidekick.
Genos, on the other hand, is a hero whose abilities, intelligence, and zeal appear to be peaking much as Saitama’s do. During significant confrontations such as the Elder Centipede showdown, Genos proves why he is such a gratifying and resilient hero with his contributions to the Hero Association.
5. Naruto Uzumaki Blends In With Every Other Shonen Protagonist
No matter how many people love the popular shonen animes like Naruto and its sequel, Naruto Shippuden, they are not necessarily original works. In many ways, Naruto Uzumaki embodies some of the most glaring issues with anime heroes.
Obsessed with an unfulfilling mission, he’s always looking for a way out instead of dealing with the difficulties. Naruto has his moments and demonstrates maturity, but it’s not enough in a series with hundreds of episodes and so much rehashed content. Naruto’s status as a hero is now more crucial than ever.
6. Kakashi Hatake Suffers & Grows To Become A Vital Pillar In Naruto
However, while Naruto and Sasuke are the most popular characters in Naruto, they are both guilty of their own repeating behaviors and a certain amount of stamina, which impedes their storylines and weakens their development.
As a result, Kakashi assumes leadership of Team 7 and quickly establishes himself as an indispensable member. Because of his troubled past and relatable personality traits, Kakashi is more than just another anime character. Following his struggle with Pain, Kakashi’s absence is also felt, and it becomes apparent just how much he contributes to the story.
7. Sword Art Online’s Kirito Is The Anime’s Weakest Link
Sword Art Online is one of the most successful anime series in the isekai genre, where characters from the real world are transported to fanciful worlds based on MMORPG titles.
Sword Art Online has a rich setting and beautiful animation, but the series’ hero, Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya, is its major flaw. Sword Art Online II reveals that Kirito is far too powerful for his own benefit, yet his bland personality remained unchanged till then. He’s a one-note protagonist who detracts from the overall quality of the show.
8. Sinon Is A Better Partner & Better Protagonist In Sword Art Online
The premise of Sword Art Online is intriguing, but the protagonists, Kirito and Asuna, are blatant ripoffs of previous anime heroines. While Kirito and Asuna may have been the stars of the isekai series, Shino “Sinon” Asada is the real show stealer.
As she overcomes her prior trauma and develops into a very proficient sniper, unlike other characters, she actively displays growth throughout the story. When the time comes, Sinon will stand up for what she believes in, and unlike Kirito, her acts are exciting and unexpected.
9. Goku’s Heroic Routine Quickly Becomes Predictable In Dragon Ball Z
For all of Goku’s charm, he is also the most problematic character in the Dragon Ball series. It’s exciting to watch Goku’s natural progression through the Dragon Ball series, but in Dragon Ball Z he rises to a dangerously high level of power.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for even Goku’s allies to stand with him as his attitude and strategies become stale. Even while Goku has the best of intentions and a strong foundation upon which to rely, his carelessness often puts him and the planet in danger without his knowledge.
10. Gohan Grows Before The Audience’s Eyes To Surpass His Father
Dragon Ball Z is Goku’s saga, but there are numerous opportunities for Gohan to steal his father’s position as Earth’s most powerful warrior. After growing up with his own family and learning from mentors like Goku, Piccolo, and many more, Gohan becomes a grownup with his own family.
Gohan’s story arc is far more engaging than Goku’s, especially when Goku is away from Earth. While Gohan is frequently placed in a position of authority, it is never allowed for him to entirely supplant his father as the hero.