Best Shonen Protagonists: Here is the list to find out the best shonen protagonists of all time. The most popular genre in anime is the shounen genre. This genre has gained great popularity because it typically explores the worlds, the abilities, and forges friendships. The characters usually go through arcs set up like a tournament tier to fulfill their story. Hence, the protagonists tend to level up to get stronger and better. The genre has seen a lot of changes across the years.
We went from male protagonists like Naruto and Goku to Midoriya and Itadori. Keeping in mind a hero’s aim, powers, and abilities, here is the list with the best shonen protagonists of all time and why.
Eren Yeager (Attack On Titan)
While Eren Yeager’s hero status can be debated on the list for the best shonen protagonists, it is important to remember that Attack on Titan is about him. The story begins with Eren losing his mother. Then, he undergoes a journey to get revenge against the Titans. The power enhancement he goes through starts by joining the Corps and ends by using the Titan powers himself. As the series progresses, Eren collects more Titan powers to use.
His powers become a threat to both humanity and Titankind. Thereby he becomes the biggest antagonist of the series. It is genuinely a noteworthy arc for a shounen protagonist to become something he hates.
Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach)
Next on the list of the best shonen protagonists is Ichigo Kurosaki. Ichigo is the iconic hero of the series, Bleach. This kind and skilled Soul Reaper is one of the most progressive characters when it comes to his skill’s growth. Ichigo has a Quincy and a Soul Reaper Lineage. Moreover, he has a natural Hollow. This gives him the potential to have god-like abilities. Ichigo is also incredibly good at adapting to the disadvantages and using his Reiatsu with his beautiful swordsmanship.
Once he can reach his full powers, his abilities will be god-like. However, Ichigo has a very simple goal. He has always wanted to have a happy life with his loved ones. After the discovery of his powers, he aims to protect all his loved ones and defeat the villains.
Itadori Yuji (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Let’s now talk about Itadori Yuji on the list of the best shounen protagonists. Jujutsu Kaisen rose to popularity in recent years. The protagonist, Itadori, aims to ensure that everyone dies a good death. This unique principle makes him stand out among the other shonen heroes. Moreover, he is blessed with unnatural physical strength and stamina. These abilities get him caught up in the sorcerer business. And Itadori swallows a cursed object. This cursed object is Sukuna, who is extremely powerful.
Itadori never actively tries to use Sukuna inside of him. However, he has the power to control Sukuna’s attempts to overtake his body. So, if Sukuna and Itadori ever decide to work together in sync, their potential would be huge enough to overtake Gojo Satoru in the Jujutsu universe.
Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece)
On the next spot, we have Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece as one of the best shonen protagonists. Luffy has the most infamy among the Straw Hats Pirates. This is because of his wide range of abilities and his love for mischief. Luffy’s goal is to become the Pirate King. Since he ate the Devil fruit, he gained the ability to stretch his limbs super-elastically. This allows him to become almost invincible. Luffy also made use of training by expanding his usage of the Devil’s fruit.
He has also increased his battle abilities. This has given him supernatural sensing abilities. In addition to his abilities, Luffy has a great sense of humor. This adds in making Luffy a very formidable foe indeed.
Saitama (One Punch Man)
Readers of One Punch Man will know why Saitama deserves to be
By abilities alone, perhaps Saitama would be leading this list, but his attitude to his powers does raise some questions. He is very resigned from the beginning of the series. But as the story progresses, we get to see him grow as well.
Midoriya Izuku (My Hero Academia)
Having gained praise as this era’s Big Three, My Hero Academia has to be on the list for the best shonen protagonists. Midoriya Izuku’s natural heroism and tactical skills form the fundamentals of his heroism. He joins one of the top schools’ hero programs to train himself. He started off as someone without a Quirk and soon became one of the most anticipated Heroes of all time.
This is an actual shonen-underdog story arc that pulls a reader’s heartstrings. His Quirk also gives him the added advantage of unlocking other Quirks of the previous users. This, coupled with his insight and hard work, puts him among the top contenders on the list.
Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto)
What would be a ‘best shounen protagonists’ list without Naruto Uzumaki? Naruto’s goal was to become the Hokage. He started out at the bottom, as an orphan in the village. And steadily, he focused on his powers and abilities. His power stems from the shinobi training he has received. In addition to this, he is the vessel for the Nine-Tailed Fox. This is one of the most potent chakra beasts in existence. His signature moves involve the Shadow Clone Technique and the Rasengan.
Moreover, his underdog-to-hero story served as an inspiration for many series to come. As the story progresses, Naruto grows as a person in his personality and abilities. He learns what friendships are and what love is. Thus, he is one of the most powerful beings in his universe.
The final entry to the list of the best shonen protagonists is Edward Elric. Edward is the protagonist of the series Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Like all shonen heroes, he has a tragic past. Edward was a prodigy in alchemy. But he tried to bring his mother back to life at the cost of losing his limbs and brother in the process. However, he gains the ability to summon alchemy without using any equipment. He was also talented enough to be the youngest State Alchemist in history.
He earned the title, “The Fullmetal Alchemist”. As the story progresses, Edward becomes more mature, and his battle techniques get refined. Although his metallic arm and leg occasionally provide hindrances. But they’ve been a source of strength during his battles serving to surprise his enemies. Needless to say, Edward is one of the best shounen protagonists ever created.
We have now reached the end of our list. Shonen series tend to be inspiring and touching, with stories of how these heroes achieve their goals and forge bonds. Have we missed out on anyone? Do let us know in the comments. Keep an eye on this corner for more exciting lists like this one.