The world of shonen anime heroes is filled with characters destined to be brave and fearless. But this is not always how they start. As the shonen series continue to be published, the writers have had to find a way to make their characters unique, not only the protagonists, but also the cast of the anime.
Maybe the character needs to be introduced as a villain first, or maybe he’s just too confident in himself and needs to be humiliated. Good creators eventually find out what is keeping a character from reaching their maximum popularity, and they make the necessary changes to connect with audiences.
10 Senku Ishigami seems to care only about science, but ends up risking his life for his friends (Dr. Stone)
The Senku Ishigami was the only person who could remain trapped in the stone for 3,000 years and not only not lose consciousness, but stay focused long enough to understand what had happened to the world in that span of time. However, the fact that he only cared about science made it difficult to relate to him, and he could have easily been a villain rather than a hero if this had been a different manga. Senku’s willingness to do anything to protect his best friends Taiju and Yuzuriha, as well as to stop the War of the Stones without losing a single life, showed that he cared as much for the people as he did for the science he creates.
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9 Vegeta became the most developed character in the series (Dragon Ball)
When Vegeta makes his first appearance, he is an absolute monster. A filler episode shows him flying an entire planet after saving it, simply because he couldn’t bear to be seen as a nice guy. But after being humiliated by Goku, he heads to Namek with a purpose, eliminating most of Frieza’s army on his own. After starting to fight alongside Krillin and Gohan, Vegeta’s arrogant personality becomes more personable. He will never be able to reach the heights of Goku, but he adds personality to an otherwise simple collection of warriors.
8 Medaka’s arrogance is irritating, but her love for her peers shines through (Medaka Box)
The protagonist of Medaka Box, Medaka Kurokami, was considered an unfriendly character because she was a combination of many unfriendly aspects of the shonen protagonists at the same time. Everything seemed to go well for her, she did things constantly without taking into account how it affected the people around her, and she was oblivious to all of it. But as it became more apparent that the series was poking fun at tropes, Medaka became a more likeable protagonist, especially as the enemies around her became more difficult.
7 Asakura Yoh is lazy, but his laid-back attitude makes him a unique lead (Shaman King)
Yoh is a carefree protagonist who spends most of his time trying to be as silly as possible. He makes no effort to train and has no other goal than to take life in stride. But in the end, the story delves into what it means to become the Shaman King, and how someone who had too strong a desire to turn the world into whatever they wanted would be the one. worse possible winner. That, coupled with Yoh’s willingness to defend his friends in the most dangerous situations, made the character fun to watch.
6 Hiei goes from villain to sarcastic hero quickly (Yu Yu Hakusho)
In Hiei’s first appearance, he is nowhere near the character he later becomes. At first he was to be an isolated villain, someone who challenged Yusuke as he tried to gather the three stolen treasures from the Spirit World. It is not until his reintroduction at the end of the Spiritual Detective Saga that he becomes the character that everyone loves.
There, Hiei becomes the sharp-tongued swordsman that would make him one of the coolest heroes of the 90s. His banter with Kuwabara and respect for Kurama and Yusuke make his interactions with the group racy enough to keep team chemistry.
5 Asta is loud, but he is determined and helps his friends (Black Clover)
Asta takes a long time to like her. At first, he’s just another Naruto or Luffy, yelling that he’s going to achieve that impossible goal while everyone else laughs at him. But Asta’s determination grants him a special magic book and a sword that can nullify any magic spell cast on him. From there, Asta begins to use himself immediately: he is both muscle and determination, and with that determination he has defeated all the enemies of the Black Bulls. Currently, he is closer to becoming the next Wizard King than his more talented childhood friend Yuno.
4 Alibaba is a coward, but Aladdin helps him become a warrior (Magi: The Kingdom of Magic)
Before Aladdin shows up, it’s hard enough for Alibaba to like him as the lead. He’s selfish, but he’s also a coward. He works for a wealthy merchant and is afraid of doing anything other than his job, even though he has the goal of restoring his country. It is not until Aladdin leads him into a dungeon and manages to come out with a weapon that he begins to risk more and put his training as a swordsman into practice. At the end of the second season of Magi, he is a competent leader and someone worth his people to trust.
3 Laxus tries to kick everyone out of Fairy Tail before becoming their staunchest defender (Fairy Tail)
Laxus makes his first appearance as a guild villain from Fairy Tail, wanting to eliminate all guild members he considers “weak” to restore the guild’s status as the strongest in all of Magnolia. He’s totally unsympathetic, and it’s satisfying to see Natsu finally take him down with his Fire Dragon Hunter powers.
But when Laxus reappears much later, he has learned what Fairy Tail really must be like as a guild, and saves the team from defeat at the hands of Hades. Afterward, he becomes as devoted a member of the guild as anyone else, even fighting for his honor later on.
2 Todoroki Shoto is cold to his allies, but has a dark past (My Hero Academia)
Shoto Todoroki can seem … a little cold, when first introduced to him. He is distant and does not seem to want to make many friends. But as his character has developed, his backstory unfolds and fans know why he never learned to get close to anyone. As the son of Endeavor, he was raised to be nothing more than the perfect hero, someone who could surpass All Might.
But Shoto’s refusal to use everything his father gave him – including his fire powers – cost him during his fight in the arc of the United States Sports Festival tournament. Shoto has the most compelling story behind Deku, as someone who follows in his father’s footsteps but tries to find his own reason for doing so, rather than to please his old man.
1 Gaara is dangerous but in the end he gets closer and befriends his people (Naruto)
In his early appearances, Gaara could be likeable to people who liked total savages. The guy had no problem killing people during the Chunin Exams, and he was the final boss of the tournament with everyone wondering who could beat him. In the end, however, it was Naruto who was able to break through to Gaara’s humanity by showing that he understood the kind of trauma he had suffered as someone with a Tailed Beast inside of him. After that, Gaara began to get closer to the other members of the Hidden Arena, mastering their powers until he became the Kazekage of his village.