Many anime characters have larger than life personalities that work perfectly for their purpose in the story, but they wouldn’t exactly be easy to talk to or understand in real life. That’s why some of our favorite characters are actually the down-to-earth types whose struggles we can relate to on a deep, emotional level. Here are the five most relatable anime characters we can think of!
5. Satoru Fujinuma from Boku dake ga Inai Machi (Erased)
Satoru starts off the series as a disaffected 29-year-old with few prospects in life after his career as a manga artist fizzled out, but when he’s magically sent back to his childhood to solve a serial killer case that affected people dear to him, he learns that he has to be persistent and determined if he wants to save his friends. If you’ve ever been stuck at a low point in your life and have had to whip yourself into shape to get out of it, you’ll identify with Satoru in a heartbeat.
4. Chiyo Sakura from Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun)
Have you ever had a crush on someone who’s so unfailingly dense that they never notice your feelings no matter how hard you try to express them? That’s the frustrating reality that Sakura lives every single day since she’s in love with a teenage shoujo manga artist who wouldn’t know real love if it came up and bit him in the face. Even when she takes him to watch the fireworks with her at the summer festival, the only thing that penetrates Nozaki’s brain is that Sakura... must really like fireworks. Argh!
3. Katarina Claes from Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shiteshimatta... (My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!)
Katarina, the genuinely kind but undoubtedly dim-witted protagonist of this otome game isekai, is so relatable because she acts just like many of us do with our real-life friends. She wants to protect her own happiness, but tends to get distracted by doing everything she can to make her pals happy. She even accidentally steals romantic lines from potential love interests, causing the person she’s chatting with to fall in love with her instead! Katarina represents that feeling of loving your friends so much that you’d do anything for them, even if you make some missteps along the way.
2. Bocchi Hitori from Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu
Poor little Bocchi (whose name literally means “all alone”) has such crippling social anxiety that she’s only made one friend in her whole life, who upon entering middle school forces Bocchi to make friends with her entire class or else they can’t hang out anymore! And so begins this shy girl’s hilarious attempt to interact with other humans, starting by vomiting during her self-introduction and constantly walking into things after she gets her first new friend’s phone number. Yeah, we’ve felt like that before...
1. The Soumas from Fruits Basket
On a more somber note, the various members of the Souma family from Fruits Basket have all had to deal with domestic and school struggles that some of us understand entirely too well. Kyo has trust issues because he’s been bullied and blamed his whole life for being the Zodiac cat, the gaslighting and isolation that Yuki was subjected to in his childhood has made him emotionally distant, Momiji hides the pain from being rejected by his family with a cheerful smile, and on and on. Luckily, Tooru swoops into their lives to help them learn to love themselves!
We also feel like we can relate to Shigeo’s emotional repression in Mob Psycho 100 and Edward Elric’s determination to save his brother from Fullmetal Alchemist. But who are your favorite relatable anime characters? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!