Shonen series have been home to some of the greatest heroes of all time. No matter what genre they come from, shonen heroes are universally adored by fans and admired for their bravery and strength. However, it’s no secret that some shonen heroes get more love than others.
As a result, a lot of amazing shonen heroes are severely underrated by fans. Many don’t get much attention, and some are even forgotten over time. But despite it all, these overlooked heroes are still worthy of love and praise from fans.
10 Morgiana (Magi: The Labyrinth Of Magic)
Among the three main protagonists of Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Morgiana is undoubtedly the most underrated. While it’s easy to write her off as just another typical female lead in shonen, she has so much more to offer than that.
Unlike most shonen damsels, Morgiana has an impressive array of abilities and is exceptionally strong. Though she comes from the humblest of beginnings, it doesn’t take her long to work her way up the ranks and really prove that she’s a force to be reckoned with, easily keeping up with Aladdin and Alibaba along the way.
9 Baki Hanma (Baki The Grappler)
While it’s certainly not for everyone, there’s no denying that Baki the Grappler is a criminally underrated shonen series that deserves far more attention. Likewise, its titular hero doesn’t get near enough praise from fans. Just like many other beloved shonen protagonists, Baki Hanma is a regular “zero to hero” type, with big dreams of surpassing his father as the strongest man alive.
Earning this title won’t be easy, so he begins his intense training at the young age of thirteen. In just a few short years, Baki makes a name for himself and becomes a champion in the Underground Arena, even earning himself the title of World’s Strongest Boy. However, Baki refuses to stop until he becomes the strongest of all time.
8 Haru Glory (Rave Master)
Hiro Mashima is the world-famous creator of the hit series Fairy Tail, but before this beloved shonen came out, there was Rave Master. Failing to achieve the same amount of popularity as its successor, this mostly forgotten shonen series came and went in almost an instant. As a result, the incredible cast of Rave Master has all but disappeared from memory, including the heroic protagonist, Haru Glory.
Bearing the five mystical Rave Stones, Haru sets out on a perilous journey to collect the four fragments of the Rave. Wielding its power, he must then destroy the Shadow Stones and bring peace to the land. While he’s a fairly typical shonen hero, Haru has many lovable qualities and his story helped shape much of what fans love about Mashima’s later works.
7 Miroku (Inuyasha)
Inuyasha is a beloved shonen classic filled with many amazing heroes, from the titular protagonist to the vast supporting cast. With so many characters deserving of attention and praise, it’s easy for some heroes to slip through the cracks over time, even when they’re one of the main characters. Miroku is one of Inuyasha’s main companions and joins the team very early on in the series.
However, there’s no denying that Miroku gets far less love than the rest of the group. Admittedly, it’s pretty easy to overlook his role in the story, especially when compared to his companions. Nevertheless, Miroku has much more to offer than simple comic relief, and without him, Inuyasha and friends would never have made it so far.
6 Yoh Asakura (Shaman King)
Yoh Asakura is the main protagonist of the 2000s classic Shaman King and while he’s one of the coolest shonen heroes of that era, he’s sadly forgotten by fans these days. Thanks to a lack of exposure, the series mostly flew under the radar. As a result, many modern fans are unfamiliar with Shaman Kin.
Although Yoh could easily become a modern anime icon, he’s instead become an obscure hero that only a few diehard fans recognize. Luckily, with the recent reboot series, this underrated classic got another chance at popularity. Sadly, even though the 2021 series is an overall success, it’s still not enough to give Yoh his deserved time in the spotlight.
5 Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach)
Considering that Bleach is one of shonen’s famed Big Three, it seems almost hard to believe that its protagonist could be underrated. But despite the series’ relevant mark on anime history, there’s no denying that it’s much less popular than its counterparts. As a result, Ichigo Kurosaki sees much less praise compared to protagonists like Naruto Uzumaki or Monkey D. Luffy.
Nevertheless, he’s still a great shonen hero in his own right, and he’s easily one of the best-written shonen protagonists of all time. From his complex personality to his relatability to his large arsenal of incredible abilities, Ichigo has what it takes to be one of shonen’s greatest heroes.
4 Krillin (Dragon Ball)
Krillin has been a part of the Dragon Ball franchise since practically the very beginning. But despite his veteran status, many fans still write him off as one of the lesser heroes of the series. However, this petite powerhouse deserves far more credit than he’s given.
As one of Goku’s closest and most trusted friends, there’s no denying that Krillin is a vital part of the team. He’s no Super Saiyan, but he’s still capable of holding his own in a fight and will do whatever it takes to protect his friends and loved ones. Sadly, Krillin often gets reduced to comic relief nowadays, but true fans know he’s a valiant warrior who deserves respect and recognition.
3 Maka Albarn (Soul Eater)
Anime fans know all too well that shonen is notorious for its lack of strong female leads. Luckily, Soul Eater is one series that breaks the mold, and it does so extremely well. Maka Albarn is the series’ brilliant young protagonist, and unlike most female leads in shonen, she’s got some impressive power.
Maka’s strong, smart, and fiercely independent, allowing her to easily match up to the male characters in the series. But despite her amazing character and Soul Eater‘s popularity, Maka tends to go widely unnoticed by most shonen fans. Nevertheless, she remains a breath of fresh air in a male-dominated demographic and her groundbreaking role deserves more recognition.
2 Lag Seeing (Tegami Bachi)
To this day, Tegami Bachi is one of shonen’s most imaginative titles. With its beautiful atmosphere, endearing characters, and one-of-a-kind plot, it’s easily one of the most underrated shonen series of all time. As a result, its hero, Lag Seeing, remains one of shonen’s most overlooked protagonists.
Like many shonen heroes out there, Lag is somewhat of an underdog hero at first. But even as he develops throughout the series, he never feels like a larger-than-life character and constantly stays grounded and relatable. In a way, Lag is a completely unique shonen hero, and his story subverts many of the usual tropes found in the demographic.
1 Allen Walker (D.Gray-Man)
Back in the 2000s, D.Gray-Man was one of the most popular shonen series around, and Allen Walker, the story’s protagonist, was one of the coolest new heroes. The series is one of the earlier examples of dark shonen, and its unique concept and protagonist really made it stand out.
But as the years passed, D.Gray-Man slowly began to fade from the limelight, until suddenly, it seemed to disappear altogether. These days, most modern fans haven’t even heard of it. As a result, Allen also faded from memory, becoming a forgotten piece of 2000s anime history.
NEXT: 30 Best Shonen Anime Ever
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