Anime protagonists are always expected to be brave, determined, and competent, achieving great things despite facing several hardships along the way. Fans often like characters who are morally ambiguous but talented, exceptionally smart, sauve or charismatic. But it is less frequent for the defining characteristic of a protagonist to be kindness.
Perhaps it is due to the misconception that kindness is a sign of weakness, and main characters are often compassionate but not exactly kind. While stereotypical shonen anime protagonists like Naruto, Itadori, or Ichigo are kind, it is never the personality trait they’re known for. Among recent anime, characters like Tanjiro and Takemichi prove that kind people are not weak, and in fact it is their kindness that becomes their greatest weapon.
8 anime characters who are strong because they are kind
8) Azusagawa Sakuta
One would expect the protagonist of an anime named Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai to be kind. It is exactly because Azusagawa is kind that the show progresses. His kindness makes him help those suffering from Adolescence Syndrome, even when it is someone who he isn't obligated to help out.
7) Hanagaki Takemichi
The protagonist of Tokyo Revengers, Hanagaki Takemichi, is initially shunned for being weak by people both on and off screen. Takemichi has several issues, including low self-esteem, which makes him appear meek and apologetic. But as the series progresses, his character shines with an unflinching loyalty, determination, and kindness that echoes a maturity much beyond his years.
He never wins a fight, but never backs down from one either, and his resilience guides the gang 'Toman' through several dark times.
6) Nakajima Atsushi
In Bungou Stray Dogs, Nakajima Atsushi’s kindness becomes obvious from the very first episode of the anime. Be it saving dazai from drowning, using himself as a human shield against an explosive, or protecting Kyouka, the anime is full of such instances.
Atsushi's special brand of kindness is heavily intertwined with his self-sacrificing tendency, stemming from his constant need for reassurance that it was okay for him to live on in this world.
5) Kageyama Shigeo
Kageyama Shigeo, or Mob, as he is called by many in Mob Psycho 100, is the opposite of what you expect a shonen anime protagonist to be. He is meek, unobtrusive, and kind to a fault. Mob is emotional to the point where his psychic abilities increase in proportion to the intensity of his emotions.
From the beginning of the anime, Mob comes across as naive and susceptible to be taken advantage of. But contrary to this initial assumption, Mob is very perceptive and knows exactly when he’s being conned. But it is his subtle kindness that prompts him to say nothing and just go along with it.
4) Nishimiya Shoko
Among those who have watched the anime or read the manga for A Silent Voice, nobody would have faulted Nishimiya Shoko if she decided to never forgive Shoya or Ueno for the way they bullied her for her disability. But her kindness prompts her to accept Shoya’s apology and agree to be friends. This single act also saves Shoya’s life, who was planning to kill himself after apologizing to the person he had bullied relentlessly as a child to the point of injuring her.
3) Kamado Tanjiro
The Entertainment District arc of the Demon Slayer anime showed a whole new side to Tanjiro’s character, and the Upper Rank Demon’s casual destruction of human life which he finds unforgivable. But this anger is righteous, stemming from his inherently kind nature and his respect for life.
Tanjiro has proved throughout the series that his kindness is not something reserved for just humans, but extends to demons as well, something seen most prominently during his painless decapitation of the Mother Spider Demon.
2) Midoriya Izuku
My Hero Academia’s Midoriya Izuku, or Deku, isn’t the most beloved main character with many fans considering him to be too boring for an anime protagonist. Many of his personality traits are either too nerdy, such as his constant detailed note-taking and fanboying, and his meek and emotional nature comes across as "feminine" and "weak."
But Deku’s biggest strength is his emotional nature and his kindness. His reckless bid to save Bakugou from the slime monster despite being constantly bullied by the same is what made All Might choose him as his successor.
1) Honda Tohru
Honda Tohru is easily the kindest main character in anime. Every character in the Fruits Basket series is affected by her kindness, which Soma Yuki describes as being akin to that of a mother. Tohru is kind and good-natured to the extreme, and endlessly forgiving despite being hurt by it.
This naturally makes all the Soma zodiac cousins protective of her, and manages to even break down the walls around Akito’s heart. Tohru’s kindness moves the plot of the series forward, and makes it a heartwarming comfort series for many.