For this list, we’ll be looking at anime characters who regardless of their influence on the show, manage to outshine the lead character in their respective series. We will be going into spoiler territory here, so a spoiler alert is now in effect.

  1. Everybody has a waifu when it comes to the Madoka series…But Homura is objectively the best girl. Ok, just kidding, but it’s the sacrifices of this fractured young lady that truly makes her the unsung hero of the show. After witnessing Kyubey’s villainous intentions, Homura traverses, fights against and even rewinds time itself in order to prevent Madoka’s death. Throw in her unwavering determination and the fact she’s nearly unsurpassed when it comes to taking out witches and you’re looking at the total package. Now if only Madoka would return those feelings.

  2. “The Seven Deadly Sins” (2014-) There’s no doubt that Meliodas is a worthy leader for the sins, both for his noble heart and his monstrous strength, but when it comes to charisma you just can’t beat the Fox’s Sin of Greed. Aside from pulling off a wardrobe that no sane creature should be able to pull off, Ban brings so much to the table simply by being a certified badass. He may get his body crushed on a regular basis, but due to his immortality he just keeps on coming back for more.

  3. Going from meek child all the way to saviour of the cosmos, Simon’s heroic journey was certainly worthy of praise. Alas, this transformation wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t have a role model to look up to, and you couldn’t get a better one than Kamina. His bravado borders on the insane, his stubbornness knows no bounds, he refuses to wear a shirt and he even made out with Yoko! Truly standing at the top as the pinnacle of anime manliness, no matter how hard the series tried, there’s no one who can replace Kamina.

  4. Whether you found Light’s actions to be villainous or necessary for the sake of true justice, it made his nemesis all the more intriguing. An unorthodox genius whose intellect and skill when it came to detective work was unsurpassed, L was truly Light’s equal in a deadly game of wits. So much so that with his untimely demise some would say that the series dipped in quality. Regardless, the cat and mouse feud these two opposites had was truly the highlight of the series, even if L was a weirdo.

  5. Don’t get us wrong, we love Ryuko. She’s spunky, fiery and makes for an excellent protagonist. It’s just that we found Satsuki’s redemption arc far more investing compared to Ryuko’s drive for vengeance. Originally the baddest broad on the block whose ruthlessness, sword skills and Kamui made her nearly undefeatable, her clashes with Ryuko, not to mention the unsettling relationship she had with her mother, made her character far more layered. Balancing a superiority complex with a very unhappy home-life, the wicked sister of our hero soon became the one to root for.

  6. From beginning to end this sometimes perverted, sometimes lazy, always awesome ninja has served as the guiding hand for Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura. With his mastery of the Sharingan and extensive knowledge of Jutsu he not only taught valuable lessons about being a Shinobi to his young charges but was always on the front lines when the Hidden Leaf Village was in danger. Throw in a tortured past with his old friend turned enemy Obito and you have a ninja who has managed to evolve throughout the series’ extensive runtime, at least a smidge more than Naruto.

  7. Nothing personal Eren, I mean the whole transforming into a Titan and smashing the faces of your foes to pieces is all well and good just aren’t Levi. One of the most highly skilled members of the Survey Corp, Levi may be short in stature but he makes up for it with his absolute authority and beastly skills with the three dimensional manoeuvre gear. Seriously this guy is so good with those blades that when he goes full on beast mode it means that some poor Titan is about to end up as a bloody stain!

  8. Not going to lie Kyousuke, you f*cked up bro. Going by the name of Kuroneko and donning an edgey-gothic-lolita attire, she’s a little hard to approach. Her social insecurities and hatred for the moe side of nerd culture made her a stark contrast to Kirino, though we would later learn that above all else she has a good heart. What we’re trying to say here is that instead of ending up in a relationship with your sister you may have wanted to try a little harder romantically with this far more delicate and lovable lady – you IDIOT.

  9. Supposedly the ‘Greatest Psychic of the 21st Century’, Reigen is for all intents and purposes a con-man without any spiritual connection at all. But by god is he charming. Excelling when it comes to persuasion, bribery and anything to do with manipulation, you would think that this would make for a rather detestable character. However, due to his hilariously eccentric personality and genuine care for Mob, he manages to steal the show. Which in itself is a pretty impressive feat given his protégé is the strongest Esper in existence and all Reigen has is a green belt in martial arts.

  10. There’s no denying that Setsuna is a gifted pilot, and his zero tolerance for those that prolong its conflicts make him something of a compelling protagonist. However, that introverted, brooding architype has been done to death, which was probably what made Lockon so appealing. A fellow Meister and ace pilot in his own right, he was certainly one of the few individuals that tried to see the best in people in such harsh times. That compassionate nature of his mixed together with a much more compelling tragic past and equally painful ending ensured that his star burned a lot brighter that Setsuna’s.

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