10 Most Unconventional Anime Mentors

10 Most Unconventional Anime Mentors

In anime, mentors train the protagonists to become stronger and defeat their foes. They’re not exclusive to battle-oriented series, either, since there are mentors in just about every genre and demographic of anime. Whether they’re teachers trying to make sure their delinquent students don’t get held back or sports team coaches, mentors are everywhere in the medium.

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However, that doesn’t always mean every single one of them is a carbon copy of the last. Many have unorthodox teaching methods, while others flip the entire trope on their head by not being the best role models in theory, but always being there when it really counts.

10 Onizuka Puts His Students In Dangerous Situations

Great Teacher Onizuka

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In Great Teacher Onizuka, the titular protagonist is a former gangster who wanted to turn his life around by teaching high school students. Onizuka doesn’t exactly exude the professionalism or authority usually expected of a high school teacher. Still, his students look up to him, and his street smarts give him an empathetic edge for meaningful advice that other teachers can’t give.

Onizuka’s teaching methods are pretty unorthodox and dangerous, however. For example, he once made a student bungee jump off a bridge as a test of courage. He made another student drive off an unfinished overpass to make her find a will to live again by having a brush with death.

9 Mephisto Loves Chaos

Blue Exorcist

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Mephisto Pheles from Blue Exorcist.

In Blue Exorcist, Mephisto wants to train Rin to the level where he’s strong enough to kill Satan. However, Mephisto admittedly loves chaos and often sits in a chair, narrating the situation from the skies while Rin is in life-threatening circumstances. Mephisto always has an ulterior motive, and nobody really knows what he’s thinking, making him unpredictable and wildly unreliable.

However, there’s a lot to like about Mephisto underneath his eccentricities. Mephisto’s a huge otaku and has quite the sweet tooth. He’s also extremely wealthy, but equally stingy about giving others gifts.

8 Reigen Isn’t Exactly A Good Role Model, But He Always Comes Through For Mob

Mob Psycho 100

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Shigeo and Reigen in Mob Psycho 100.

In Mob Psycho 100, Reigen Arataka is a con man who runs the Spirits and Such Consultations office. He pretends to have a roster of psychic powers at his disposal, but the reality is that he’s just a guy trying to make ends meet. He has no powers but is incredibly personable and a great snake oil salesman.

Reigen’s not a good role model for Mob most of the time. In fact, he’s used Mob on several occasions by taking advantage of his good-natured, gullible personality. However, Reigen also cares greatly for Mob and offers him insightful advice about whatever emotional issues he’s facing.

7 Joseph Was The Least Mature One In The Group Going To Egypt

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Joseph joestar with camera

In part two, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure fans recognized Joseph as a scheming hero who always had a few dozen tricks up his sleeve. Constantly pranking others and getting out of life-threatening situations with ridiculous contingency plans, Joseph was never quite meant to be seen as a mentor. When Stardust Crusaders began, this fact was on full display.

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Even though Joseph was the oldest of the group and gave Jotaro a run-down on what it means to be a Stand user, he was still the most immature. Often culture shocked in each country the gang visited, Joseph’s attempts to show off how much he knows fell flat. For example, he tried demonstrating how to ride a camel and ended up getting dragged all over the place by the animal instead.

6 Master Karin’s Bizarre Tower Climbing Test Takes The Scenic Route To A Meaningful Lesson

Dragon Ball

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Master Karin in Dragon Ball.

In Dragon Ball, Master Karin is an 800-year-old cat and martial arts master with a unique test of strength. Everyone who climbs his tower is promised that sacred water will provide immense strength if they drink it. However, Karin steals the water and keeps moving the goalpost, so the person climbing the tower has to work harder to obtain it.

However, this entire test just takes a scenic route to teach a meaningful lesson. There’s nothing special about the so-called sacred water. Karin explains that fighting so hard to get it makes everybody stronger in the end.

5 Ukai Didn’t Want To Coach Karasuno At First


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Coach Ukai from Haikyuu!.

In Haikyu!!, Ukai used to play for Karasuno during his time in high school. His grandfather was the former coach, but he initially wanted nothing to do with it. In fact, the only reason why he even signed on was so that he could help Karasuno defeat Nekoma for personal reasons. However, Nekoma’s coach convinced him to keep coaching the team.

Ukai became a pretty solid mentor for Karasuno. He often uses alcoholic analogies to describe volleyball to the team and openly smokes around the members. Even though he’s a little rough around the edges, Ukai just wants to see the team succeed.

4 Itoshiki Wants To Foster A New Generation Of Doom & Gloom

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Nozomu Itoshiki from Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei

In Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Itoshiki is defined by cynicism, despair, and all things melancholic. He doesn’t have a reason to live and can always find something to complain about. Even on a day when nothing goes wrong, Itoshiki will still take issue with something that happened.

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He’s not exactly the model teacher people would feel safe having their kids around. He’s not even remotely interested in teaching traditional academics. Instead, Itoshiki wants to foster a new generation of doom & gloom by preaching about why the world sucks to his class. None of his students take him seriously.

3 Gojo Sets A Unique Example For His Students

Jujutsu Kaisen

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Satoru Gojo makes a playful hand pose

In Jujutsu Kaisen, Satoru Gojo is the world’s strongest sorcerer. It’s not uncommon for a series’ strongest character to mentor the protagonist, but most of the time, they don’t make it their life’s mission to foster a new generation who can stand on their level. However, that’s exactly what Gojo does. Still, he’s not exactly the idea people have of a respectable mentor.

He’s arrogant, doesn’t take anything seriously, and encourages his students to disrespect authority. Gojo also has unorthodox teaching methods, as seen when he made Yuji watch movies to hone his cursed energy and then dragged him onto a battlefield to witness his Domain Expansion. However, his teaching methods are surprisingly perfect since his students have become strong.

2 Koro-Sensei Isn’t The Average Teacher

Assassination Classroom

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Koro-sensei is surrounded by greenery in Assassination Classroom.

In Assassination Classroom, Koro-sensei is the teacher of class 3-E until his students can successfully assassinate him. If they don’t kill him in time, he’ll go berserk and destroy the planet. Despite the obvious threat, Koro-sensei became a genuine role model for his students during his time as their teacher.

Koro-sensei had his work cut out for him since he had to make sure a class full of delinquents could pass. However, Koro-sensei was quick to drill academics into their head while reminding them that they’re valuable and have bright futures ahead.

1 Dazai Is A Surprisingly Good Mentor For Atsushi

Bungou Stray Dogs

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Dazai Osamu in an oil drum- Bungou Stray Dogs.

In Bungou Stray Dogs, Dazai basically became Atsushi’s mentor as soon as he recruited him for the Armed Detective Agency. Dazai’s not a good role model, as he constantly muses about ending his life in comedic ways and brags about how many women he’s made cry.

Still, Dazai became a legitimate role model and support system for Atsushi, who eventually replaced memories of the abusive orphanage with Dazai’s comradery. Despite all of Dazai’s macabre antics and ulterior motives, it’s obvious that he cares about Atsushi. However, he used their mentor-mentee relationship to make Akutagawa jealous and eventually force them to work together.

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