There are some anime characters who are already at the top before the series even began. But how about those character who started real small and those who have a very unremarkable past? Those who experience to get bullied before learning how to fight back? Or those who are hopeless before becoming what they became today? For me, it takes talent, will and determination to change their lives to become a much better person than they were before and they deserve a lot of respect and real recognition.
I created a list of 10 anime protagonists who started a simple and not too pleasant life before becoming the person they are today.
10. Yusuke Urameshi
Yusuke is just a delinquent teenage street fighter with almost had no positive qualities to his character at the start of the series, Yu Yu Hakusho. Surprisingly, over the course of the series, he became a much better person, changing into selfless leader of his team and defender of the Human World.
9. Kurosaki Ichigo
Ichigo is a stubborn, short-tempered but strong-willed and impulsive teenager. He just wanted to protect his family and friends but as the series goes, he even saves people who are complete strangers to him. He loves to show people around him that he doesn’t care about them to maintain his “cool” image. He always getting involve in a fight because of his hot-headed behavior but in the end, he managed to change himself into a much better person and becoming one if not the best Shinigami in the series, Bleach.
8. Gon Freecss
Gon is just a simple, athletic and friendly boy who just wanted to have his own adventure and became a hunter to find out the reason why his Father chose his occupation over his own son. He spent a lot of his time as a kid in the woods that makes him good in nature and friendly with animals. Over the course of the series, Hunter X Hunter, Gon will learn how to use his incredible natural talent to help him on his adventure and became one of the best hunters in the series.
7. Monkey D. Luffy
Luffy as a child is a sloppy and a trouble maker. Though he’s in a crazy bloodline where his Father is the most wanted man in the series of One Piece, his Grandfather is a high ranking marine officer on the other hand, Luffy seem to not live up to the expectations of people around him because of his incompetency, until he met Sabo and Ace who became his very close friends and sworn brothers. Luffy trained with Ace and Sabo but wasn’t able to keep up with them and always brings trouble to the two. Not only with Ace and Sabo, but to Shanks as well, as he foolishly challenged Higuma to take back his words, nearly risking his life until Shanks saved him that cost the latter to lose his arm. This was the turn of events for Luffy, stating that he is tired of getting saved by people around him and wanted to become stronger so that next time, he will be the one who will protect the people who are precious to him. Carrying his strong will and dedication, he decided to live up his boyhood dream, to become the king of the pirates and gather his own crew that will surpass his childhood idol Shank’s crew and able to protect them at the same time.
6. Son Goku
Having a pure heart possessing no negative feelings or thoughts, Goku is one of the most cheerful innocent characters in the series, Dragon Ball Z, when he was still young. Growing up in a mountain with only his Grandpa Gohan at his side, who would have thought that eventually he will make so many friends and actually save the world countless times and even became one of the most popular characters ever in anime history.
5. Uzumaki Naruto
Even though he is the son of the late 4th Hokage of Konoha, he actually doesn’t live up to people’s expectations. At the start of the series, Naruto, almost all people seem to hate him because of his nasty attitude and sometimes bad manners as he always make fun of the Hokages Stone Statue. But as the series goes, Naruto’s good personality started to show, bringing people to him and make friends with them. His amazing kindness and loyalty inspires people and change their point of view to him and later in the series, he became the Hero of his village and actually, the entire ninja world.
4. Hanamichi Sakuragi
Hanamichi is a slacker, arrogant, good for nothing except for fighting, delinquent leader of the feared Hanamichi’s Army or Sakuragi Legion. He also has a very bad luck in terms of his love life as it can consider as very humiliating. When he tries to ask a girl to go out, he instantly gets rejected and even gets his fiftieth rejection early in the series of Slam Dunk. When he thought his humiliation reaches at its peak and all his will and determination to live his despicable life is finished, he then met Akagi Haruko, a lovely basketball fangirl whom he fell in love with. Haruko encouraged Sakuragi to play Basketball since he has a great height, athleticism, stamina, speed and leaping ability that fits in the game. Though he wasn’t able to keep up with the rest of his team mates in their basketball club because of being a complete beginner, his natural talent, hard work and good ethics saves him and with just 4 months, he became a much reliable player and even considered as Shohoku’s main piece of both offense and defense. A player that the team cannot afford to lose.
3. Makunouchi Ippo
Ippo is a very shy type, kind and obedient kid and has no social life, as he would spend his time working with his mother at their family business. Because of this, he often get tormented by a group of bullies until he met Takamura, whom Ippo will admire in the rest of the series, Hajime no Ippo. Takamura inspires Ippo to defend himself against the bullies and become a professional boxer. Because of his well-toned body and natural punching power, he became one of the fastest growing boxer in the series and eventually became a champion, also earning the moniker, “The Wind God”.
2. Sawada Tsunayoshi
Known as “No Good Tsuna” because of his poor grades, wimpy attitude, bad luck and lack of athleticism that makes him as the center of laughter within their school. But who would have thought that this kind of kid will someday become the biggest person in the underground society and also to the series, Katekyo Hitman Reborn! and will lead the Vongola Mafia Family as the 10th generation Boss.
Though little is known in Saitama’s past, people know that he was bullied before and beaten up pretty badly. He even fights back to the bullies, but because he lacks of strength at that time, he can’t retaliate. He wanted to become a real life super hero but because of his weakness, he often gets beaten until he decided to train himself so that he can fight back because according to him, superheroes fight back. Holding his resolve to live out his childhood dream of becoming a superhero, Saitama started his grueling training consisting of 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats along with 10km run every single day. Though this caused extreme pressure to his body, the main protagonist of the series, One Punch Man didn’t give up and continued his training until he became what we all knew as the great Saitama.
There they are. It’s really amazing isn’t it? To think that most of them started as a failure to their lives makes a very good moral lesson for those who are currently experiencing the same events today. All I can say is that never give up even though you’re currently experiencing a hard time. Who knows? Maybe sooner or later you’ll become king, or maybe a hero, or probably a mafia boss, or a champion athlete. Who knows right? Just believe in your talent and never let go of your will and determination. Just keep on going and never give up!