10 similarities the protagonists of the Big 3 Shonen anime share with each other

Protagonists of the Big 3 Shonen anime (Image via Sportskeeda)
Protagonists of the Big 3 Shonen anime (Image via Sportskeeda)

Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach are the most popular anime, titled the Big 3 due to their immense popularity as well as their long-running status. No other anime series has been capable enough to replace these 3 Shonen tycoons from their respective spots.

They indeed have a huge eternal fanbase who will remain loyal even after the shows end. These anime have introduced the most epic protagonists who have managed to inspire millions through their stories. Thriving through their setbacks and changing the hearts of even the most evil people has been a cakewalk for these protagonists.

Throughout the series, there have been countless similarities these protagonists have shared with each other. However, this article will list some of the most prominent attributes that Naruto, Luffy, and Ichigo have in common.

Similarities the protagonists of the Big 3 Shonen anime share with each other

10) Optimism

It is not a sin to expect the outcome of something to be good. Looking at the bright side is what keeps the person hopeful and jovial. That's what Naruto, Luffy, and Ichigo are all about. These Big 3 Shonen anime protagonists have endeavored through thick and thin and have been able to push forward in their goals by clinging on to hope with all their hearts.

Naruto never lost hope in his dream of becoming the Hokage no matter how many times he was mocked. Whilst going against a captain-level shinigami, without doubting his capabilities Ichigo charged ahead and didn't look back. Luffy tends to deal with whatever comes in his way with a big fat smile on his face.

9) They Are Underdogs


Most of the protagonists of Shonen anime have been the greatest late bloomers. They started out as ordinary individuals without any powerful feats or recognition. However, their glow-up has been a major turning point where they’ve not only proven their worth but also made a crystal clear depiction of their true potential.

Ichigo, who started as a Substitute Shinigami, is now the most powerful individual on the show with the combined powers of a Soul Reaper, Hollow, Quincy, and a Fullbringer. Naruto, apart from Kurama, has the power of all Tailed Beasts as well as the tremendous chakra of Hagoromo.

Luffy is one of the strongest characters in One Piece right now, who has attained mastery over his Gear and learned to use all three Haki with ease.

8) Had some of the greatest mentors

The Big 3 Shonen have also introduced some of the greatest mentors whose teachings have made these protagonists the greatest individuals in Shonen history. These mentors have never given up on their students and helped them overcome their difficulties.

Naruto was influenced by many of his mentors like Kakashi, Iruka, and Jiraiya. Each of them had a great influence on him and made him the strongest shinobi in the world.

Urahara taught Ichigo everything about his newfound shinigami powers and prepared him to the extent where he will be able to go against a captain-level shinigami. Silver Rayleigh taught Luffy how to use his Haki by training him for two years on Rusukaina Island.

7) Making their own choices

What makes a person different is when they set their own goals and walk on the path which seems suitable to them. Most of these characters end up being consumed by darkness due to their inability to understand the concept of righteousness.

However, the protagonists of the Big 3 anime were capable of understanding which path is morally correct at a relatively young age. By making their own respective choices, they have not only become powerful individuals but also saved many lives.

6) They never leave a person behind


Amidst gruesome battles, not everyone happens to make it out safe and sound. It is evident that on a battlefield each person is responsible for their own life, however the protagonist of the Big 3 anime wouldn't agree or comply with this statement. Not only on the battlefield but elsewhere, they will not leave a person behind at any given cost.

They consider their allies as their family and won’t let anyone put a finger on them. After Konoha declared Sasuke to be a rogue shinobi, Naruto never gave up on him. When Rukia was about to get executed, Ichigo went all the way to Soul Society to save her. Luffy was willing to sacrifice his dream of finding One Piece, just so Sanji could rejoin the Straw Hats.

5) Overcoming Obstacles

When a person makes clear-cut goals, there is nothing in the world that could stop them from reaching their objective. Similarly, the protagonists of the Big 3 anime are well known for their iron-clad determination, who will thrive through any given situation, even if they are on the verge of death.

No matter how many obstacles get in their way, all they know is that they have to push forward even if they have to crawl. For these protagonists, obstacles are just mere distractions that get in the way of their capabilities and strengths. Naruto, Luffy, and Ichigo have overcome many obstacles and proven that they are indeed unstoppable.

4) Have a great sense of justice


Not everyone knows how the world really works as it requires an excessive period of time to get used to what is fair and unfair. Even the oldest Shonen characters with immense experience in life had a hard time understanding the very concept of justice.

However, Naruto, Ichigo, and Luffy were naturally adept with aspects of righteousness somehow. Even in their childhood, the wisdom they possessed was enough to make the ground beneath tremble.

3) Fearlessness


In pursuit of their goals, the protagonists of the Big 3 Shonen anime have come across many terrifying villains more powerful than them. These villains were capable of overwhelming the protagonists with their powerful feats but were unable to inflict fear on them.

Luffy, Ichigo, and Naruto have proven that fear is a natural human instinct, but people shouldn’t get consumed by it. One must awaken the courage within them to fight back their fears in order to get back on track. Even when the situation doesn’t appear to be in their favor, these characters have not hesitated in facing the odds.

2) Leadership

The Big 3 Shonen protagonists are undoubtedly the strongest people in the anime universe, but they too had to rely on people on most occasions. Apart from their overwhelming strengths and despite their age, these protagonists have exhibited all the qualities that make them proficient leaders among their people.

No matter how dire the situation turned out to be, they have always found a way out by being great tacticians. Naruto, Ichigo, and Luffy have embodied all the major aspects like selflessness, intelligence, and confidence that make them better leaders.

1) Character Development

Over the course of time, the Big 3 Shonen anime protagonists have undergone some really big changes. Naruto initially started as a lackey, but in the new era, he’s the most powerful Shinobi who is highly respected for his position as a Kage as well as for saving the entire world.

Although Ichigo has always been a hot-headed individual who will fight anyone, despite his strength differences, he has become calmer and displays greater self-awareness. Luffy has made one of the greatest transitions from being a reckless kid to a responsible man. He understands that not everything is solved with violence in life.

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Edited by Somava