Top 12 Anime That Chose The Wrong Protagonist

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I’ve often pondered what an anime series could have been like had it focused on one of the more interesting secondary characters rather than the actual boring, milquetoast or irritating lead. There have been a few instances where I’ve watched a really good anime series but felt it could have been so much better had it given us one of the other characters as the main protagonist instead of the one we were actually given.

Let’s face it, there’s nothing more annoying than when the spotlight is on the sub-par character rather than the guy you’d much rather follow. Besides, in addition to the side character being the more interesting character, the main protagonist usually gets all the girls’ affection or praise while the cooler character gets none, which just bothers me since in real life it should totally work the other way around.

Watching Tokyo Ravens this season reminded me of this notion. Don’t get me wrong, main protagonist Harutora Tsuchimikado isn’t a terrible lead, but in my opinion his best friend Touji Ato is clearly the more interesting character. What would the show be like if he was the main character instead?

This got me thinking about what other shows picked the wrong lead character and who in my not-so-humble opinion should have been the main character instead.

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Top 10 Male Anime Characters

A.k.a., My Big Gay Animated Harem!

Update: I can’t believe I completely forgot Touma Kamijou from To aru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index), so I added him as a .5 entry so as not to force anyone else out.

When it comes to males in anime, more often than not the primary protagonists are very generic. The intent is to create a character that is relatively inoffensive and something of a loser so that the audience can identify more with the character in addition to being assured that they too could get a bevy of beautiful women flocking to them for being a nobody, which in itself is offensive in its own right. This generally means that we are stuck with main characters that are wimpy, perverted, cowardly, a laughingstock or perhaps even devoid of personality altogether.

There are often male characters that occupy the opposite end of the spectrum, but unfortunately, for male viewers especially, this group is no better, as these are the sexy and flawless bishounen (commonly referred to as pretty pretty bishies) that are clearly being marketed to women. It’s hard to take a man seriously when he 1) looks more like a girl than a guy and 2) literally sparkles.

Now I’m not saying there isn’t a place for these men. Everybody has their own tastes and preferred genre. I guess I’m just saying there’s not a place for them on my list.

Instead what I look for in a man (wow, that didn’t come out right at all) is a character full of personality, strength of one sort or another, intelligence, confidence and/or just a natural “cool” factor that can’t be cosmetically inserted. It is their actions and approach to the world that gives them their edge, not just their design.

So without further ado, here are my top 10 male anime characters:

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