17 Anime Protagonists Who Just Aren't That Interesting

Voting Rules
Vote up the protagonists who are probably better off as side characters.

Many cartoon fans have experienced characters who are as dull as dirt. And, indeed, boring anime protagonists can make it hard to actually enjoy the series in question. These characters aren't necessarily bad. Some of them are beloved for good reason; they're occasionally charming. The majority of lackluster protagonists, though, don't deserve the spotlight. There are plenty of other secondary characters who grow and change in anime. They keep the show exciting; and sometimes they deserve their own spin-off series. Boring protagonists, however, can sink an otherwise promising series. 

  • Ash Ketchum - 'Pokémon'
    Photo: Pokémon / OLM

    The Pokémon world is expansive and magical, but all Ash Ketchum cares about is catching new fighters. The main character has a clear goal: he wants to become a Pokémon master and capture at least one of every Pokémon. There's not much to him besides his mission, however.

    He's just a loud, excitable kid who never changes or learns anything from his experiences. He doesn't even age. 

    2,894 votes
  • According to some Future Diary fans, Yukiteru Amano is the worst thing about the show. He spends the first part of the series unable to make even the most basic decisions. And he relies on Yuno - his stalker - to handle everything he faces during the Survival Game.

    Yuki does eventually begin to make some of his own decisions, but his development is too little, too late.

    1,574 votes
  • 3
    351 VOTES

    Tadayasu Souemon Sawaki - 'Moyashimon'

    Moyashimon's Tadayasu Souemon Sawaki has a long name, and he can see microbes. Other than that, he's pretty bland. His power has incredible potential, but the university student seems content to passively allow other people to control his life.

    Tadayasu doesn't get enthusiastic about anything, and he has few goals. Moreover, cool powers are no replacement for a personality.

    351 votes
  • 4
    315 VOTES

    Sora Hashiba - 'Sukisyo'

    Sora Hashiba - 'Sukisyo'
    Photo: Sukisyo / Zexcs

    Sukisyo character Sora Hashiba has an alternate personality named Yoru, who is marginally more interesting than he is. Sora uses this other persona as a way to endure mind control experiments. The main character is completely oblivious during most of the series, though; he can't remember what happens to him.

    Clueless protagonists are generally uninteresting, and Sora is no exception.

    315 votes
  • Kirito of Sword Art Online tries to be edgy with his black clothes and standoffish behavior, but he's almost aggressively underwhelming. He likes to defend other characters who are inexplicably weak, but it's hard to take his battles seriously. He has no real competition, so he always wins.

    Kirito even looks bland in comparison to all the other colorfully drawn and designed characters on the show.

    3,080 votes
  • 6
    329 VOTES

    Gion Kenji - 'All Out!!'

    All Out!! is an anime focused on rugby. The contact game isn't as widely recognized as soccer or basketball in Japan, so a series based on the sport really needs a compelling protagonist to get viewers invested. Main character Gion Kenji is anything but interesting, though. He's short and angry. That's about it.

    329 votes