8 misunderstood Shonen anime protagonists

Noah
Itadori's secret execution (Image via MAPPA)
Itadori's secret execution (Image via MAPPA)

Shonen anime protagonists must have an interesting backstory to engage viewers. Some heroes are introduced in a way that makes them seem well put together and eager to take on the world. Other characters aren't as fortunate when it comes to their starting point. What matters most is not where you come from, but how you go about achieving your goals.

Most shonen anime protagonists have successful character arcs but they will face hardship along the way. This article will discuss eight Shonen anime protagonists who were misunderstood.


8 Shonen anime protagonists who were misunderstood

1) Naruto

Anime protagonist Naruto activating Kurama mode (Image via Pierrot)
Anime protagonist Naruto activating Kurama mode (Image via Pierrot)

The legendary seventh Hokage and hero of Konohagakure didn't have any fans growing up. The young shinobi, destined to be the savior of the world, was an outcast since birth. The fourth Hokage sealed the nine-tailed fox Jinchuriki inside of Naruto when he was just a newborn baby.

Although the fourth Hokage believed that Naruto would one day harness the powers of the Demon Fox and protect the village. However, being the host of a terrifying beast only brought Naruto negative attention. His fellow villagers feared and resented the young boy until he proved himself to be a quality ninja by using the tailed-beast's power to defeat Pain.


2) Yusuke

Yu Yu Hakusho anime protagonist Yusuke (Image via Pierrot)
Yu Yu Hakusho anime protagonist Yusuke (Image via Pierrot)

Yusuke Urameshi was a street punk despised by his teachers and classmates. The young man was notorious for stirring up trouble. This anime protagonist learned that even the underworld thought poorly of him. When he died, he learned that there was no space for him in the afterlife because they never predicted that he would try and save a child from an oncoming car.

Although Yusuke is rough around the edges, he has a decent moral compass. Most of his delinquent behavior was the result of poor parenting and being shunned for his shortcomings.


3) Itadori

The anime protagonist of the wildly popular Jujutsu Kaisen found himself in hot water right out of the gate. In a life-or-death situation, Itadori eats the finger of the legendary sorcerer Sukuna in order to gain cursed energy.

Once the danger subsided, Itadori was able to suppress the vengeful spirit possessing him, only to be whisked away to a sealed room in Jujutsu headquarters. The second episode of the anime opens with Itadori bound to a chair and sentenced to death. Not the best way to make an entrance.


4) Tanjiro

The protagonist of the Demon Slayer anime returns home to find his entire family slaughtered. His only surviving relative is his younger sister, Nezuko, who has been turned into a demon. Tanjiro embarks on a journey to become a demon slayer in hopes of finding a way to return Nezuko to her human form.

However, many of the slayers he meets along the way are intent on killing his demon relative. Tanjiro has a difficult time protecting his little sister from the demon slayers as well as earning respect from them.


5) Hinata

You don't have to be tall to play volleyball, but you will get some sneers and jeers if you're a shrimp who wants to play middle blocker. Hinata has always stood well below the top of the net, but that wasn't about to get in the way of his dreams.

This Haikyuu!! anime protagonist showed all the haters that when it comes to spiking the ball, it doesn't matter how tall you are. It's just about whether or not you can jump high enough.


6) Kuroko

Some people are more comfortable up on stage, and some are more comfortable in the crowd. Kuroko Tetsuya isn't afraid of attention, he's just naturally inconspicuous. Many people overlook the protagonist of the anime Kuroko's Basketball both on and off the court.

Furthermore, he's not even a great basketball player. However, Kuroko's nearly invisible presence and his incredibly refined passing abilities helped him prove that he is an asset to any team. Don't overlook him for too long, or he might just steal the spotlight.


7) Saiki K.

Kusou Saiki wants nothing more than to be an average, boring person. Yet he can't stop attracting unwanted attention. Saiki's friends brush off the anime protagonist's sarcastic and apathetic demeanor and smother him with their friendship. Not only do they fail to understand Saiki's wish to be left alone, but they also have no idea that he is a god-like being with incredible psychic powers.


8) Midoriya

Anime protagonist Midoriya (Image via BONES)
Anime protagonist Midoriya (Image via BONES)

Who doesn't want to grow up and be a hero? Young Midoriya wanted nothing more than to fight crime and save lives. The only problem was that in a world full of people with abilities called Quirks, the protagonist of My Hero Academia had never developed one of his own.

Despite his dream, Midoriya was mocked and counted out by his classmates. Only after he inherited a Quirk from the legendary hero, All Might, did Midoriya start to shine.

Note: The article reflects the writer's own views.