When life throws you into extreme circumstances, it tests you and your abilities. Yet more often than not, it tests your use of logic and stoicism in the face of fear or incredible odds. Other times the incredible, if not unfortunate, circumstances are entirely of our own making and is our fault to bear. Within anime, we find plenty of the former and the latter in characters—Characters who push the boundaries of their situations to either their benefit or detriment. To put it simply, those who push their luck a bit too far.
For this article, we are going to be counting down a list of ten characters who have either seriously screwed up or somehow managed to get out of incredible dangers or circumstances through sheer gut and determination. Pushing one’s luck can only go in two directions and usually there is no middle ground in the severity of consequences.
10. Touya Fuji – White Album
- Episodes: 13
- Air Date: January 2009 – March 2009
It is the mid 1980’s in Japan, Touya Fuji is a 20-year-old, down on his luck and in-between jobs, university student whose girlfriend just so happens to be Yuki Morikawa, a rising pop idol in Japan. While glad to be in a relationship, Yuki’s increasingly demanding schedule means Touya is seeing Yuki less and less, all while struggling with his own sense of self. Can a relationship such as theirs truly be built to last, or will schedules and increasing fame drive an inseparable wedge between Touya and Yuki?
While seemingly disorganized about what steps he should take next in his life while balancing his relationship with Yuki, Touya is led into some pretty intimate situations with Yuki’s manager and other close friends while seemingly having a questionable friendship with a high schooler. He seemingly does this while still maintaining he has feelings for Yuki. In the end, Touya is an emotionally confused young man who appears to have lost his grip on what to hold precious and as a result causes situations which he must then hide from his girlfriend, in shame.
9. Chio Miyamo – Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro (Chio’s School Road)
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: July 2018 – September 2018
Follow Chio on her journey to not be late for class. Yet this tale goes much deeper than a fear of tardiness, sort of. . . not really. Witness as Chio overcomes increasingly bizarre obstacles as she dashes to class in pursuit of an education. Yet when the world appears to stand against her, will she ever be able to arrive in class on time?
Chio’s tendency towards running late to class has gotten her in some pretty zany situations on her road to school. Often times she finds herself in this situation from the number of hours she spends staying up late and playing video games. This leads her to scaling over rooftops in the morning when a road is closed to accidentally knocking out and intimidating a mobster to take her to school after narrowly avoiding a deadly confrontation, all the while trying her best to maintain a good reputation when she is accidentally spotted at love hotels and with other undesirable people. Chio is the epitome of what happens when you leave things to the last minute.
8. Yuu Otosaka - Charlotte
- Episodes: 13
- Air Date: July 2015 – September 2015
From the creators of Angel Beats and Clannad comes a tale about a self-centered young man imbued the with power to control another human being for 5 seconds at a time. While using this power for his own gain, he is soon discovered by others like him and joins other students on a quest to keep in check those who wish to cause ill will with their abilities.
Yuu is one of those guys that takes full advantage of his powers for his own benefit. In order for Yuu to make it into a super elite private academy for high achieving students, Yuu utilized his power to cheat off much more intelligent students during tests. However, to his detriment, Yuu is soon discovered and forced to transfer out of the school. Yet this is not the only time Yuu finds himself in terrible situations. He has also had to face down hails of bullets and a building crashing in on him. Luck pushes ever further near the end of the anime as the plot unfolds and Yuu becomes more unhinged.
7. Naruto Uzumaki – Naruto/Naruto Shippuden
- Episodes: 720
- Air Date: October 2002 – March 2017
Naruto Uzumaki is a trouble young orphan living in the Hidden Leaf Village, where he has spent his life as an outcast because within him is the spirit of a demon fox responsible for great destruction to the village many years ago. Teased by his classmates at the ninja academy, Naruto does his best to persevere as he aims to become the Hokage—the head of the village. While supported by his teachers, Iruka-sensei and Kakashi-sensei as well as his new teammates Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, can Naruto overcome his faults to achieve his dream?
Through the countless years that we have been able to follow the exploits of one spikey blond hair ninja, he has seemingly been able to fight through some incredible circumstances. He’s been seen holding off one of the seven swordsmen to defeating literal armies of his enemies through his increasing skill. Yet when it came to some of his biggest battles and conflicts, Naruto somehow resolves them by simply using his famous jutsu. . . talking. Perhaps one of the longest ongoing jokes in the community is how Naruto has miraculous solved challenging situations by just talking with his enemy. This requires a certain amount of guts and determination and while not entirely based in luck, you need to have some incredible confidence in your speaking ability to turn certain battles around knowing that if you say the wrong thing, many more could die.
6. Ichigo Kurosaki - Bleach
- Episodes: 366
- Air Date: October 2004 – March 2012
Between the human and spirit world, there exists an elite society of soul reapers who fight against hollows, corrupted souls of the dead, with the goal of maintain peace and balance between the two worlds. One night, a high school student by the name of Ichigo Kurosaki, who can see spirits, encounters Rukia Kuchiki, a soul reaper who ends up being hurt in battle and imbues Ichigo with some of her power so he can protect his family. From that moment, Ichigo becomes a substitute soul reaper; his fate in the world is forever changed.
Out of all the characters on this list, Ichigo Kurosaki is perhaps one of the most stubborn and hot headed, only beaten out by the next entry. When first becoming a soul reaper, Ichigo did back down from fighting hollows that seemed far too challenging. His reluctance to quit even when facing an opponent infinitely more skilled than he is evident in his first encounter with Byakuya Kuchiki where in but a moment he was on the ground and bleeding out. He refused to quit, even egging on his opponents despite the odds. While eventually reaching a place of power where he could overcome terrible odds, if it wasn’t for the support of his friends, mercy of his enemies, and other Deus Ex Machina moments, Ichigo would not have become the Soul Reaper he is today.
5. Monkey D. Luffy – One Piece
- Episodes: 855 - Ongoing
- Air Date: October 1999 – Ongoing
One Piece follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a young man made of rubber, and his Straw Hat Pirate crew. Together, they sail the grand line, battling ferocious beasts, evil pirates, marines and the world government in search of a great treasure known only as One Piece. It is a legendary treasure that belonged to Pirate King Gol D. Roger. Through this journey, Luffy aims to obtain this great treasure and becoming the new King of the Pirates.
Luffy and Han Solo share one thing in common: you don’t tell them the odds. Signs that Luffy is a luck pusher are evident from the very beginning of this long running anime when he is picked up in a barrel floating in the ocean. As an individual who cannot swim, being rescued from that situation is pretty incredible. Another key moment is when he is facing an insurmountable number of powerful foes and takes a serum that cuts his life by ten years and yet still when he is knocked down, he takes the serum again. Monkey D. Luffy is an individual who will keep on fighting for his friends and for a cause until he is physically unable to move or is dead.
4. Soma Yukihira– Shokugeki no Souma (Shokugeki no Souma: Food Wars!)
- Episodes: 61
- Air Date: April 2015 – June 2018
Souma Yukihira, raised by his father to work as a chef in the family diner, aspires to be an even better chef than his father and eventually run the family business. One fateful day, his father closes the diner and sets off on a journey to cook at some of the best restaurants around the world. Meanwhile, he sends his son, Souma, to learn at Tootsuki Culinary Academy, a superb and incredibly demanding school where only the strong willed and best in culinary talent have a hope of making a name for themselves. Souma soon finds himself competing in shokugeki (food wars) with the goal of snagging the top spot in the whole academy.
Soma Yukihira is a brash and boisterous chef who uses his innovative cooking style to adapt to his enemies’ strengths and come out on top, most of the time. While Soma has a good track record, there are times when he completely throws out the rule book and will improvise a dish on the spot against an incredibly strong and talented opponent. It takes both extreme confidence and quick thinking to be able to succeed in situations that Soma finds himself in.
3. Izuku Midoriya – Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
- Episodes: 63
- Air Date: April 2016 – September 2018
Izuku Midoriya is a kind boy who has grown powerless in a world where 80% of the population possesses superhuman abilities, otherwise known as “Quirks,”. His powerlessness leaves him with no real chance of making it into the prestigious UA High superhero training school to achieve his dream of becoming like his favorite hero: All-Might. One fateful day, All Might himself offers Izuku the support and a quirk to make his own. Facing some physically and mentally taxing training, Izuku will seek to beat the odds and become the greatest hero the world has ever seen.
Izuku is not someone who is driven by pride or arrogance. He is well aware when going to fight how out matched he can be. This is evident in his attempt to rescue his classmate Katsuki Bakugou despite having no quirk at the time. Yet his compassion and drive to save his friends and do the right thing are perhaps what gets him into the most trouble. When he first acquired his quirk, one which his body had still yet to fully adjusts to, Izuku would use 100% of its capability to compete in tournaments or be pushed to brink when facing strong enemies, he had little hope of defeating. His reckless abandonment of his own safety when using this power has resulted in nearly destroying his arms completely from overwork and damage. His heart is in the right place, but if he isn’t careful, his arms won’t be.
2.Yumeko Jabami– Kakegurui (Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler)
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: July 2017 – September 2017
In regular public school, students go to learn about math, science, languages, and the rest. However, in the world of the rich and powerful, the curriculum is somewhat different. This brings us to Hyakkaou Private Academy, an elite school for the children of Japan’s wealthy and affluent. While there are classes like regular school, here, the real lessons begin on the table. Power among students is controlled through various games of gambling handled by the student council. You could end up incredibly rich if you win or someone’s slave if you lose. Yet one new student named Yumeko Jabami seems unfazed by this cruel school. Can she play the game or will she find her future in the hands of others?
Yumeko Jabami is a girl you do not want to make an enemy of in a game. She is, as the title would suggest, addicted to gambling, so far as to say she is as far away from being risk averse as is possible. She lives for the risk associated with the game and the strategy that goes along with it and is a master at manipulating her opponents. Yet despite her seemingly prodigious skills, she has found herself nearly throwing away her entire future and becoming a slave because of her love for the game. When you are literally pushing your and dealing with chance, this character makes it to the second spot.
1. Makoto Itou – School Days
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: July 2007 – September 2007
School Days follows the Makoto Itou, a 14-year-old high school student who has a crush on his cute classmate Kotonoha Katsura, whom he first notices on the train they take to school. Though he is shy, Makoto wishes to do all he can to woo Kotonoha. He receives some unlikely help from his classmate Sekai Saionji, who claims to want to see them together while harboring a crush for Makoto. As this triangle becomes increasingly complicated and relationships start to grow, will everyone make it out with their hearts in tact?
Where do we begin with the top entry on this list? Makoto Itou is, what some may call, a complete sociopath. While he starts out as someone who seems to simply be shy when it comes to talking to the girl he has a crush on, once he is in that relationship, he shows little to no care or consideration for Kotonoha’s feelings when he chooses to cheat on her with another who he claims to care for. Yet this goes even further when he begins to randomly sleep with multiple classmates without any worry of being found out. His disregard for the emotional wellbeing of those he has harmed leads to his ultimate destruction.
Pushing one’s luck can involve several elements. Whether we do it purposefully, accidentally, with care, or with no emotional investment, when we push our luck we may often find ourselves burned or feeling fortunate to have survived. This was very much the spirit of this list and we hope you have enjoyed it. What characters do you think push their luck that weren’t mentioned? Do you agree with the list? Let us know in the comments.