Sometimes an anime character doesn’t resonate with you right away – they seem weak, cowardly, unintelligent, or just not that interesting on the surface. But, if you stick around for more episodes and get to know them a little better, they might surprise you in a big way and turn out to be one of the best parts of the whole show. Here are our top 5 underestimated anime characters!
5. Maple from Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu. (BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense.)
This newbie gamer clearly doesn’t understand how MMORPGs work, since she puts all of her skill points into defense when she creates her character. She also runs up to random players and asks to be friends, spams health potions to defeat a powerful enemy instead of leveling up, and cheeses bosses to death with poison. But, because her strategy is so unorthodox, Maple is able to outwit the game’s creators and become one of the best players in the world! Don’t ask questions – sweet little Maple is an angel and everybody knows it.
4. Onna from Death Parade
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Decim’s black-haired female assistant isn’t all that exciting, especially since she doesn’t even get a name until the final episodes. But, as her backstory is slowly revealed, her relationship with Decim grows, and the show dedicates more time to her, she becomes an emotionally gripping character who fundamentally changes the way Decim views humans. Don’t forget about her!
3. Twenty-Fifth Bam from Kami no Tou (Tower of God)
Bam is a sheltered kid who spent most of his life underground, isolated from the rest of the world except for the companionship of his one and only friend, Rachel. When she disappears to climb the mysterious Tower of God, Bam enrolls in the test himself just to chase after her and demand answers. The other candidates don’t think much of him, but he quickly demonstrates an unnatural proficiency in the magic power known as Shinsu and proves himself as a valuable asset to his team. It’s still early days for Bam, but we’re sure he’s got even more tricks up his sleeve...
2. Tsunayoshi Sawada from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! (Reborn!)
Tsuna spends roughly the first 20 episodes of this anime as a cowering, useless kid who can only get things done if his hitman teacher shoots him with a bullet that essentially turns him into the Incredible Hulk. However, when a rival gang leader threatens him and injures his friends, Tsuna acquires a new powerup that allows him to fight with a clear head. He still tries to avoid conflict whenever possible, but his newfound emotional fortitude and determination to reverse the Vongola family’s history of violence makes him a much more interesting character from that point on.
1. Prince Canute from Vinland Saga
Unlike the warmongering Vikings who surround him, Prince Canute is a shy noble who avoids confrontation like the plague and believes that God and his caretaker Ragnar will save him when any kind of danger crops up. That all changes when he’s stuck in the middle of a battle and is forced to make decisions on his own for the first time – he rejects his old fatalistic attitude and decides to make paradise on Earth with his own two hands. Even the Vikings are surprised when he starts confidently ordering them around, but who are they to disobey him?
You’d also best not underestimate Simon from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, who grows from a lowly digger to a planet-smashing badass, or Koichi from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable, who starts the show as a cowardly sidekick and ends it as a key player in the arrest of a notorious serial killer.
What did you think of our list? Who are your favorite underestimated anime characters? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!