20 Underrated Anime Protagonists Who Deserve More Recognition
Photo: Satelight

20 Underrated Anime Protagonists Who Deserve More Recognition

Over 500 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of 20 Underrated Anime Protagonists Who Deserve More Recognition

Popular anime MCs like Naruto Uzumaki, Monkey D. Luffy, Tanjiro Kamado and Izuku Midoriya are great protagonists who deserve the love they get. But there's a whole lot more to the world of anime than just the protagonists who get the most press. There's a whole world of underrated anime protagonists from lesser-known shows who are worth getting to know. This list has twenty of them. While that barely scrapes the surface, it's a start. 

 Like the characters mentioned above, some of these lesser-known characters also hail from shonen anime, like Allen Walker of D.Gray-man and Renton Thurston of Eureka Seven. But they also come from slice of life, romance, comedy seinen, shojo, and all kinds of other genres. There are adorable characters like Kobato, hilarious characters like Hozuki, badass characters like Michiko Malandro, and more.

See a character that you love - or think you might love - on the list? Go ahead and vote them up.

Most divisive: Watashi - The Tatami Galaxy

  • 1
    257 VOTES

    Staz Charlie Blood - Blood Lad

    Staz Charlie Blood is a hilarious combination of a dangerous vampire with multiple territories on lock and a dorky anime fan that viewers can easily relate to. It's fun watching him destroy his enemies, but it's equally fun watching him nerd out over video games. 

    257 votes
  • Vash The Stampede - Trigun
    Photo: Madhouse

    Trigun is one of those awesome older anime that a lot of people forget exists. One of the things that makes it so great is its protagonist, Vash The Stampede. He earned the nickname because disaster follows him wherever he goes, and he's always blamed for it. But the reality is that he's running from a very dark past, and doing everything he can to protect innocent people from the fallout. By turns hilarious and deep, Vash is a character you won't soon forget. 

    252 votes
  • After being abandoned by his parents due to his unusual arm, Allen Walker was raised in a circus. When his beloved guardian Mana passes away, Allen ends up being manipulated by the Millenium Earl into trying to bring him back. The end result isn't pretty - Mana is now an Akuma, and Allen has no choice but to destroy him. Thus begins his journey into the Black Order, a group dedicated to taking down Akuma. If you're a fan of FMA but are looking for something a little less well-known, Allen Walker's story might be right up your alley.

    187 votes
  • Ginko - Mushishi
    Photo: Artland

    Mushishi is an absolutely stunning anime about a world dominated by mushi - strange lifeforms that imbue psychic powers, create barriers, and cause other problems for humankind. Simultaneously dedicated to protecting humanity and to maintaining the natural balance of the world, Ginko travels anywhere a mushi-related problem occurs. Calm and level-headed despite being unable to settle down anywhere, Ginko adds a human touch to this gloriously fantastical anime. 

    141 votes
  • 5
    127 VOTES

    Subaru Mikazuki - My Roommate Is A Cat

    Subaru Mikazuki - My Roommate Is A Cat
    Photo: Zero-G

    If you watched My Roommate Is A Cat solely for the adorable kitty cats, you won't be leaving the series unsatisfied. But there's a lot more to the story than just Haru - there's also the main human character, Subaru Mikazuki. Mikazuki is a mystery writer who was always introverted, but who has become downright isolated since his parents' tragic demise. Through his bond with a traumatized stray cat, he slowly begins to open up his heart to other people. 

    127 votes
  • 6
    131 VOTES

    Golem - Somali & The Forest Spirit

    Golem - Somali & The Forest Spirit
    Photo: Satelight

    For centuries, Golem has been the guardian of the forest. He's content to continue fulfilling that role until the end of his life, but when he meets a young human girl, that changes. In this world, humans face discrimination so extreme that they can't safely reveal their identities. Despite claiming to feel no emotions, he devotes himself to helping this little girl, who he names Somali, find a group of humans. Along the way, he finds himself developing a parent-child relationship with her. It's a heart-clutchingly adorable story, and the Golem's development is top notch. 

    131 votes