Ranking The Character Design For Every Major Shonen Protagonist

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Character design is one of the most important things about anime, and shonen is no exception. The protagonist's design is especially crucial because it can provide a ton of information about the character's personality, values, circumstances and more. 

So, which is the best shonen protagonist character design? That question depends largely on personal opinion. Do you vibe with Ichigo Kurosaki's on-trend early 2000s wardrobe? Does Naruto Uzumaki's bright orange aesthetic annoy you or bring you joy? Is Senku Ishigami's radish hair cute, or is it weird? Vote up the character designs you love, and vote down the ones you think need a makeover. 

  • Tite Kubo is known for creating characters with trendy fashion senses. So when Ichigo Kurosaki isn't dressed in his Shinigami clothes, his outfits are about as fashionable as it gets - at least as far as 90s/2000s fashion goes. But while his clothes might be trendy, his bright orange hair earns him some light-hearted ridiculue from his peers.

    1,841 votes
  • The thing that gets pointed out the most often about Edward Elric's appearance is that he's short - when the series begins he's only 4'11", though he does get taller as things progress. The other noteworthy thing is, of course, his prosthetic arm and leg, which he requires after losing his limbs in an alchemy accident. His friend and future wife Winry created and services the limbs. 

    1,708 votes
  • Tanjiro Kamado - Demon Slayer
    Photo: ufotable

    With his hanafuda earrings, his checkered haori, and his tabi socks and his zōri sandals, Tanjiro Kamado is one of the most traditionally dressed characters on this list. By watching Demon Slayer, viewers not only get a great story. they also get a glimpse into Japanese fashions of the past. 

    2,270 votes
  • Yuji Itadori - Jujutsu Kaisen
    Photo: MAPPA

    When Yuji Itadori looks like himself, he seems like a regular laid back teenager. But when his body is taken over by the Curse Sukuna, he looks a whole lot more intimidating. 

    1,661 votes
  • Until Naruto came along, most people didn't associate ninjas with bright, cheerful colors like orange and yellow. While Naruto's design has become a little bit less sunshiney and a little more adult as the series has progressed, he's still a fun twist on a traditional concept. 

    1,558 votes
  • Most of the time, Luffy is sporting an easy, sunshiney grin that reflects his laid back attitude. But when he's engaged in a particularly difficult battle or taking on a foe he can't respect, his expression turns a bit more serious. 

    1,167 votes