Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and don’t always live up to the standard framework we have of them. The one continuous trend they have among them all is that they are inspirational, and you can see that in the way the people around them react. Anime in 2018 had heroes in nearly every series in sight so believe us that figuring who were the best heroes was a hard task.
As we mentioned before, being inspirational was a trait we really wanted to keep in mind, we also took into consideration the impact they had on those around them, the odds they were facing, and their willpower in the face of villainy. Now, some of these heroes will have you raising an eyebrow, and sadly, not all of them were successful in their endeavors, but make no mistake, these are still Honey Anime’s Top 10 Best Anime Heroes of 2018.
10. Hakkekkyuu U-1146 (White Blood Cell) from Hataraku Saibou (Cells At Work!)
- Episodes: 13
- Air Date: July 2018 – September 2018
The human body is composed of over 37 trillion cells that work in an unbelievably intricate network. Two of the most important types of cells are the red blood cell that carries oxygen across the body and the white blood cell that fights off germs. Sekkekkyuu AE3803, a red blood cell, and Hakkekkyuu U-1146, a white blood cell, meet again and again as the human body they reside in encounters all sorts of diseases and they find themselves embroiled in the conflict to keep it healthy and safe.
Hakkekkyuu U-1146 is a white blood cell that takes his job extremely seriously. He’s dedicated, seemingly more so than most white blood cells, to the task of keeping the human body free of germs. Although white blood cells are typically steadfast in their task, U-1146 seems to show even more dedication to his task by finishing the job while other white cells would have taken their eyes off the prize. Furthermore, he’s quite willing to shove his pride down if he knows he’s in a mismatch against a germ and will always look for the right way to come out victorious. U-1146 may be the smallest hero on this list, but considering his episodic rescues, he certainly belongs here.
9. Sakuta Azusagawa from Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai (Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai)
- Episodes: 13
- Air Date: October 2018 – December 2018
Sakuta Azusagawa, a high-school loner with a total of two friends, sees the celebrity Mai Sakurajima wandering the library in a bunny girl outfit, the catch is that he’s the only one who can see her. Mai is going through the supernatural “adolescence syndrome”, an unexplainable experience that happens to adolescents and has occurred to Sakuta before. Sakuta proves to be one of the few people capable of and willing to help Mai overcome her struggles, and in those struggles, a romance seems to bloom.
He’s certainly the most subdued hero on this list but for the people Sakuta helps, he’s not any less of a hero than anyone else that will follow. Having experienced adolescence syndrome in the past and being ostracized as a result of it, Sakuta is quite willing to help the many people around him that are starting to experience their own adolescence syndrome. At an age where most people feel vulnerable and alone, Sakuta’s steady presence is a glimmering light that helps a lot of the people around him overcome the most troubling period in their lives. And he is certainly a hero in his sister’s eyes.
8. Akira Fudou from Devilman: Crybaby
- Episodes: 10
- Air Date: January 2018
You wouldn’t look twice at Akira Fudou, he’s got a fragile personality and doesn’t stand out much besides that. Nevertheless, his childhood friend Ryou Asuka enlists his help for the task of hunting down devils. Their hunt takes them to an underground club where sex and drugs are at every corner, and it turns out, devils too. When people start transforming into devils and chaos emerges as death fills the club, the only thing that stops Akira and Ryou from joining the victim list is Akira’s transformation into Devilman. Such a transformation leaves Akira far from the man he once was, but also the only weapon humanity has against the devils.
Although Akira is somewhat corrupted by the devil that has come to inhabit his body, he still proves to be pure-hearted in his convictions. There’s no question that Akira is a hero, he’s fighting for the very existence of humanity even if he finds that with every day that goes by, his own humanity becomes less visible. Furthermore, Akira’s pure heartedness allows him to see the humanity in the devils themselves, and he works towards co-existence as opposed to the outright extermination of one side or the other that Ryou and the devils seem to push.
7. Meliodas from Nanatsu no Taizai: Imashime no Fukkatsu (The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of the Commandments)
- Episodes: 24
- Air Date: January 2018 – June 2018
The Ten Commandments, the direct servants of the Demon King, have returned and are intent on wiping out all existence for the sake of the demon race. The only people who will be able to stand against them are the Seven Deadly Sins led by Meliodas, a man with a mysterious connection to the demon race. However, such vast differences in power between the Seven Deadly Sins and the Ten Commandments means that not only will they need all the help they can find, but they’ll also have to push themselves to their limits to save all other races from extinction.
Meliodas is a man you can’t help but rely on. Although his friends occasionally question the darkness that hides inside of him, all of them easily recollect the moment that Meliodas invited them to join the Seven Deadly Sins while they were at a dark point in their lives. Faced with the revival of the Commandments, Meliodas doesn’t allow the vast differences in power to push down his morale or stop him from fighting. In a way, Meliodas remains a beacon of hope because he never allows himself to show signs of weakness or despair, even when the odds of success are so small.
6. Erin Yeager from Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 (Attack on Titan Season 3)
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: July 2018 – October 2018
Eren Yeager is the key to sealing up the Wall Maria that was lost many years ago by the assault of the Colossal Titan, but he’s far from having the skills necessary to do it. Unfortunately for Eren and the rest of the Survey Corps, the government also isn’t keen on letting them have their ways. Utilizing the Military Police, the government appears intent on putting an end to the Survey Corps and capturing Eren and Historia, another Survey Corps member with a mysterious past. Although it may not seem apparent initially, the very future of humanity may rest in keeping Eren and Historia out of the hands of the Military Police.
In the past, Eren Yeager had easy motivations to be a hero: his mother was killed by titans and his entire town was destroyed. The latest season of Attack on Titan is the one where we can see how far Eren’s resolve can be pushed. He reaches his lowest point morally and sometimes it feels as if he might even abandon his crusade against titans, but thanks to those he’s inspired in the past, he’s able to pick himself back up and be the hero humanity needs as it faces extinction. Sometimes the most heroic deed one can do is to show the world how to pick yourself back up after you’ve fallen.
5. Son Goku from Dragon Ball Super Movie: Broly (Dragon Ball Super: Broly)
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: December 2018
When King Vegeta, ruler of the Saiyans, discovers that a boy called Broly has been born with a power that greatly surpasses that of his own son, he banishes him to an isolated planet. Many decades later, while the Saiyan race remains nearly extinct, Frieza’s army locates Broly and his father and recruits them for the purpose of recovering the remaining Dragon Balls in order to have any of Frieza’s wishes granted. The only people strong enough to stop both Frieza and Broly are two of the other surviving Saiyans, the son and namesake of King Vegeta as well as Earth’s hero Son Goku.
Goku is an iconic hero not just for the medium of anime but in any medium. He’s the perfect hero: inspirational, always fighting against the odds, never giving up, fighting for entire planets at times, and merciful to his enemies. All his finest characteristics come into play in Dragon Ball Super Movie: Broly as he fights against the galactic warlord that is Frieza and pushes both him and one of his closest friends in Vegeta to reach the brink of their powers for the sake of saving the world once again.
4. Natsu Dragneel from Fairy Tail: Final Series (Fairy Tail Final Series)
- Episodes: 17+
- Air Date: October 2018 - Ongoing
After Makarov disbanded the Fairy Tail guild, Natsu Dragneel made it his mission to train in order to become strong enough to finally defeat the evil mage Zeref. With some time passing and Natsu having sufficiently trained, he gathers all the people he once called nakama so he can reform the Fairy Tail guild.
Fairy Tail Final Series starts with a confident Natsu stating that the Fairy Tail guild will be rebuilt. Natsu’s suffered a great loss at the end of the previous season, but he doesn’t let that kill his spirit. He embodies a lot of the same qualities as the shounen characters that have preceded him. He’s confident and steadfast in his goals and is a stable base for a lot of his friends to stand on. It’s that stability that makes it so that you also feel confident he’ll be able to reform his guild and combat Zeref for the sake of the Earth Land.
3. Rimuru Tempest from Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime)
- Episodes: 18+
- Air Date: October 2018 - Ongoing
Satoru Mikami, an average salary worker in Japan, is randomly stabbed to the death while meeting up with one of his juniors. When Satoru wakes up again, he finds himself in the body of a slime in a fantasy world that operates somewhat like a video game. After meeting a legendary dragon that bestows upon him the name of Rimuru Tempest, he sets out to explore the world with the guiding goal of finding other people transported from Earth like him.
Rimuru Tempest has an innate need to help the people around him. His first encounter with weak goblins snowballs into him helping the goblins build a better life for themselves. His aiding of the goblins keeps snowballing into him helping more and more people because that’s simply the kind of person he is. Rimuru never sets out to be a hero, and while he never reneges on doing the right thing, he’s very much reluctant in the tall tasks that are ahead of him. Nevertheless, Rimuru still feels compelled to help people whenever a conflict arises and the thought of running away, even if he’s not sure he’s capable of helping, never crosses his mind.
2. Gintoki Sakata from Gintama.: Shirogane no Tamashii-hen (Gintama.: Silver Soul Arc)
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: January 2018 – March 2018
Utsuro, an immortal being, has plans to start a universal war that will result in both the destruction of Earth and himself. Fortunately for Earth, Gintoki Sakata, a student of one of Utsuro’s alternate personalities, remains a beacon of hope for the planet. Alongside the countless allies Gintoki has made over his life, he will take a stand against Utsuro and ensure the survival of the earth.
Gintama may often be a parody of the shounen genre, but Gintoki still retains plenty of the qualities of the heroes he’s meant to be contrasted with. Although he’s a man that never takes himself seriously and he’s not always pushing his values and optimism on others, when he knows its necessary to put those values to the fore, he does it. Gintama.: Silver Soul Arc best shows how much of an influence Gintoki has been on people as we get to see the friends and rivals he’s made over 300 episodes return to help him in his fight against one of the most powerful beings ever.
1. Izuku Midoriya from Boku no Hero Academia 3rd Season (My Hero Academia 3)
- Episodes: 25
- Air Date: April 2018 – September 2018
After several incidents with the League of Villains, U.A. High now must start contemplating that they need to train their students, future heroes, to be ready to fight villains sooner rather than later. Class 1-A and 1-B are sent on a camping trip where they are pushed to the brink of their powers in order to increase their ability to use them. Unfortunately, the League of Villains seems to always have a way of getting their hands on Japan’s future heroes, and not even this camping trip will prove a safe haven from the real dangers that await them once they’ve graduated.
Izuku Midoriya no longer has any room to wait around on becoming a hero because the world isn’t quite willing to give him the time to go at his own pace. He has had more than his fair share of dangerous encounters with the likes of the League of Villains and the hero killer Stain, but My Hero Academia 3 really forces Midoriya to prove to himself whether he has what it takes to be a hero. He embraces that challenge by living up to the example All Might has set before him; he becomes an inspiration to people who have lost hope, and to his friends and rivals. While he may still be a student, Midoriya is no longer just learning to become a hero, he has become a hero.
The Top 10 Best Anime Heroes of 2018 all have their own fights to handle, whether that’s keeping a human body alive, fighting for a city, or a whole planet, but no matter the scale of the battle, they all share an inspirational quality that brings others to fight at their side. We have heroes of all sort on this list: devils, slimes, and blood cells, but as we mentioned above, the hope they instill in others is what separates them from other heroes. They aren’t always perfect, many of them don’t aspire to be heroes, but they end up leading others in a fight for what’s right anyway.
Are there particular heroic moments from these heroes that you think stand out? Do you believe there’s another hero out there who deserves a spot on this list? Let us know in the comments down below.