8 anime deuteragonists fans love more than the main character of the series

Some popular anime deuteragonists (Image via Sportskeeda)
Some popular anime deuteragonists (Image via Sportskeeda)

Most shonen anime protagonists have major supporting characters who become a measure for the protagonist’s evolution and their source of motivation as well, someone they want to either surpass or be on equal footing with.

But deuteragonists are not just plot devices depicting the protagonist’s growth. They have their own character arcs, constantly improving while overcoming their own obstacles and often are just as important as the protagonists of the story. Needless to say, such characters are compelling and sometimes are even more popular among fans than the main character of the anime.

8 anime supporting characters like Bakugou Katsuki who are more beloved than the series protagonists

1) Bakugou Katsuki


Bakugou Katsuki is rude and arrogant, first appearing in the My Hero Academia series as a bully who tormented Deku for being Quirkless. But as the series progressed, Bakugou’s character evolved significantly, revealing his complicated relationship with Deku and his own inferiority complex.

His character has been developing further still in the manga, making him a character beloved by fans and regularly achieving the first position in My Hero Academia popularity polls in Japan.

2) Killua Zoldyck


Gon might be the protagonist of Hunter x Hunter, but it was Killua who stole people’s hearts. This might be because mangaka Togashi Yoshihiro subverted the stereotypical protagonist-deuteragonist relationship in anime, making Killua a foil to point out everything wrong with Gon.

Killua is also a character with incredible character development throughout the series, all the while dealing with a toxic family, and a manipulative and terrifying older brother.

3) Mikasa Ackerman


Anime deuteragonists are often protectors compared to the main character’s savior syndrome, and Mikasa Ackerman is no different. But compared to Attack on Titan’s protagonist Eren Yeager, she is far more competent and a complete goddess during battle. Her relationship with Eren as his canonical love interest also makes her extremely significant to the story.

While she came across as slightly annoying in the beginning due to her overprotectiveness towards Eren, it made her very human and she quickly became a fan favorite.

4) Roronoa Zoro


The One Piece fandom would unanimously agree that though Luffy is the protagonist of the series, Roronoa Zoro is definitely everyone’s favorite character. Zoro has consistently been occupying first or second positions in popularity polls in and outside Japan, both among anime and manga fans.

Being Luffy’s right hand man also makes him the deuteragonist, and his journey to become the greatest swordsman in the world to honor a childhood promise is appropriately grand. Besides Zoro’s personality, what makes him even more popular is that his skills are not dependent on the properties of a Devil fruit, but are simply the result of his grueling training.

5) Roy Mustang


Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood can be said to have two protagonists. While the primary focus is on Edward, he is inextricably bound to his brother Alphonse, making them both the main characters.

Roy Mustang functions as the foil to Edward’s growth, while himself spearheading a nuanced coup d’etat against the dictator and his cabinet, King Bradley. Mustang’s character arc, his vengeance and his atonement are beloved by fans, who are also very invested in his relationship with his lieutenant, Riza Hawkeye.

6) Fushiguro Megumi


Jujutsu Kaisen’s Fushiguro Megumi was destined to become the deuteragonist of the series from the fifth episode of the anime itself. Fushiguro is also a protector, hellbent on protecting people that he cares about, even at the cost of his own life. With Gojo Satoru as his mentor, Fushiguro develops dramatically over the course of the first season, and even more so in the manga.

He even surpassed the ever-popular Gojo, taking the first position in the most recent popularity poll of the manga, set right before the Culling Game. Fushiguro’s character is more complex than the protagonist, Itadori Yuji, who is basically living on borrowed time, something which appeals to a lot of Jujutsu Kaisen fans.

7) L Lawliet


L is possibly one of the best anime deuteragonists of all time, with the Death Note fandom also equally divided in their preference for Light or L.

Light Yagami, began as an anti-hero and slowly evolved into the true villain of the series, having a very skewed moral compass and lack of ethics. L matches Light’s intelligence while also remaining morally upright, making him the actual hero of the anime. His eccentric personality and odd habits also make him endearing to Death Note fans.

8) Kawaki


As the Boruto series progresses, Kawaki’s popularity among fans becomes more and more obvious. From having a tragic past, better character design and a more interesting and complicated character arc, many fans consider Kawaki to be more suited to be an anime protagonist than Boruto.

Especially in the recent chapters, fans were more impressed by Kawaki’s new power-up, and more so than the actual protagonist of the series being in grave danger.

Kawaki’s popularity stems from reasons similar to Fushiguro’s popularity in Jujutsu Kaisen. With Boruto also being possessed by a villain, who is unlikely to become an ally, it has thus led to the protagonist walking around as a ticking time-bomb.

While protagonists guide the story forward, deuteragonists are the characters who provide dimension to the story and make it more interesting. So deuteragonists are also the second-most important characters in anime and are often just as important as the lead characters themselves.

Kageyama from Haikyuu!!, and Yuno from Black Clover are instances of anime deuteragonists being as loved as the protagonists by the fandom.