Shonen anime loves having mentors. While they might either die or lose relevance after a while, their their presence always inspires hope and confidence in the main character.
Some mentors have proved themselves to be better than the rest across the vast history of shonen anime. These include powerhouses like Roshi and oddballs like Kuro Sensei.
Note: This list will contain spoilers for popular anime. It is entirely based on the author's views.
10 mentors in shonen anime, ranked from worst to best
Here is the ranked list of ten mentors in shonen anime. Only one has been chosen per show, and the choice is based on the strength of their character.
10) ALI-AL SAACHEZ (Gundam 00)
Ali Al-Saachez is the worst kind of mentor in this list. He hails from Gundam 00, and his "mentorship" for Setsuna F. Seiei, the protagonist of the series, consisted of brainwashing her as a child to become a child soldier and terrorist in his gang/
As if brainwashing children wasn't enough, he convinced them to kill their own parents in the name of God and nearly killed a reporter when questioned on it. Saachez seems to believe in combat being the most effective form of communication, and causes havoc on the daily.
9) Dracule Mihawk (One Piece)
A world-famous pirate bearing the title "Strongest Swordsman in the World," Dracule "Hawk Eyes" Mihawk was a major antagonist during the Marineford Arc of One Piece and is considered one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea. He was able to stop Zoro's slashes with a single dagger in his hand.
Zoro's goal was to surpass Dracule, and to do so he asked Dracule to train him after defeating the formidable Humandrills. This was followed by an encounter at the Baratie, where Mihawk nearly killed Zoro. For two years, Zoro trained under Mihawk's tutelage and learned to use Busoshoku Haki with his sword strikes.
8) Koro-Sensei (Assassination Classroom)
Another mentor who fights their students, Koro-Sensei from the shonen anime Assassination Classroom, is a bit of an oddball. He claimed to be responsible for creating the permanent crescent moon, and added that he planned to destroy the earth after teaching Class 3-E for a year. That was a lie, he was going to blow up in a year.
In reality, Koro-Sensei is an effective and nice teacher. Unlike what his appearance conveys, he's genuinely encouraging and punishes failed assassination attempts with strange punishments. It is important to note that his empathy was largely due to his wish to atone for a dark past as the Reaper, the best and deadliest assassin.
7) Izumi Curtis (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood)
Izumi Curtis from the shonen anime Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is here for being the best surrogate mother Edward and Alphonse Elric ever had! She trained Ed and Al in martial arts and the basics of alchemy work. She only reserves violence for those who deserve it. She loves the two like they are her own sons.
The Elric brothers learned survival skills from her as well as philosophy. They were to survive for a month while deciphering the creed, "One is All, All is One". This proved useful on more than one occasion for the Elrics.
6) Satoru Gojo (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Satoru Gojo of the shonen anime Jujutsu Kaisen is the mentor who customizes his teaching based on the student. This charismatic mentor is considered the most powerful jujutsu sorcerer in the anime. He also lets Yuji train with a cursed object and watch movies with it to control his emotions and cursed power.
He does have his sore points. He doesn't particularly like the higher-ups like Yoshinobu Gakuganji, who ordered the main protagonist Yuji Itadori's execution and frequently argues with Gojo. The tradition versus progressive argument never ceases to be irrelevant.
5) Lisa Lisa (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency)
A master of Hamon (ripple), Lisa Lisa from the shonen anime JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency, was beautiful, elegant, and kind. Under her tutelege, Joseph Joestar and Caesar Zeppeli learned to master Hamon to an extent they didn't even realize was possible in just a few days. They had to rush it otherwise Joseph would have died from the seal in his throat.
She could be tough when needed and her methods were harsh, but she had faith in her students. Later, Lisa Lisa fearlessly joined JoJo and Caesar in squaring off against Pillar Man leader Kars.
4) Jiraiya (Naruto)
The Legendary Sannin ninja known as Jiraiya was a sight for sore eyes when the Third Hokage died after the Konoha attack in the shonen anime Naruto. Jiraiya trained Naruto to manage his chakra effectively and to use the Rasengan among other things kindly and patiently. The summoning jutsu helped stop Gaara when Shukaku was summoned. Rasengan effectively became Naruto's jutsu of choice, his signature and primary that helped in many battles.
3) Genkai (Yu Yu Hakusho)
Genkai from the shonen anime Yu Yu Hakusho is definitely more sour than Jiraiya. She was well into her 70s by the time Yusuke found her. Yusuke proved that she was wrong to consider him a slacker, so she started teaching him what she knew.
She frequently helped Yusuke out of love, like putting Yusuke through a test to give most of her spirit energy via the Spirit Wave Orb to defeat Toguro. She also spared him of having to make the choice to slay mind-controlled humans by releasing them from mind control.
2) Gran Torino (My Hero Academia)
The retired pro hero known as Gran Torino has quite the story in the shonen anime My Hero Academia. He was the one who trained the world's top hero, All Might. That's why All Might recommended him to Deku, despite the bad first impression.
Gran Torino proved to be a better instructor for Izuku than All Might did. Although at the top of the hero world, All Might couldn't draw out Izuku's potential like Gran Torino did. This little old man managed to not only teach Deku a thing or two about fighting, but also about control of One for All.
1) Master Roshi (Dragon Ball Z)
Master Roshi from the Dragon Ball franchise is an iconic martial arts master. Despite any evidence to the contrary, Roshi is over three hundred years old and packs one mean punch after lifetime of focus.
True to the shonen anime ways of training, Roshi's entire training regime is as odd as everyone else's on this list: carry milk from place to place while never dropping it and go on ludicrous scavenger hunts. Ultimately, however, it all pays off as Roshi is still able to fight in Dragon Ball Super.