View Full Version : Who are your favorite underdogs from the manga/anime universe?
March 28, 2011, 11:53 PM
Who are those manga/anime characters for whom you can’t help but root for even when all odds are against them?
One of my favorite underdogs is Tsubaki (http://giantkilling.wikia.com/wiki/Daisuke_Tsubaki) from Giant Killing. While watching GK, I became a huge fan of his and I rooted for him during every single episode of GK. http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Manga/japanese-062.gif Before Tatsumi joined ETU, nobody expected much from Baki; but Tatsumi recognized the great potential that was hidden inside of Tsubaki and helped him bring it to the surface. I still vividly remember the scenes where Tsubaki showed just how awesome of a soccer player he really was. :cool:
And well, I can’t mention Tsubaki and just ignore ETU. East Tokyo United is my favorite underdog team. Watching this underdog soccer team coming out victoriously from the hardest of matches and winning against all odds was absolutely great and incredible emotional and enjoyable. http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Manga/cheerleaders-008.gif ETU ftw!!
Here’s an AMV (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMZLj1CrjAI
) showing why Tsubaki and ETU are two of my favorite underdogs. :)
March 29, 2011, 01:44 AM
Naruto used to be my favorite underdog because he was inspiring. He never gave up no matter how hard it was and kept fighting even when he couldn't. He proved that hard work can lead to victory. I loved how he fought for others no matter how strong the opposition, like Neji and Gaara. Naruto was truly a great underdog.
March 29, 2011, 02:07 AM
Most protagonists are underdog but not always inspiring. As M3J said Naruto used to be my favorite with his never backing down attitude. So is Ichigo from Bleach. Really hard to pick a favorite, Elric brothers from FMA are also there. I also like Shioon from The Breaker, Gangryong from Veritas. General Mansu from Shin Angyo Onshi should be in my top 3.
March 29, 2011, 02:07 AM
Maya Kitajima from Garasu no Kamen.
Compared to her rival Ayumi Himekawa, all odds are just stacked against her. But she keeps standing up even thought the world loves to make her miserable. So inspiring.
March 29, 2011, 03:45 PM
Sawako from KimiTodo is my favorite. Going from the derided wall flower to acceptance, it's impossible not to root for her!
May 21, 2011, 05:02 PM
Tiger (Kotetsu) from Tiger and Bunny. He is not as young as the other nexts and he is now a sidekick instead of the main hero, so I think I can safely say he is an underdog. But I sure love to root for him. He is an awesome character. :cool:
Ohana from Hanasaku Iroha. She was sent by her own mother (who ran away with her boyfriend) to her grandmother’s inn. She is starting a new chapter in her life in an unfamiliar environment with people she doesn’t know, in fact, as soon as she arrived to her grandma’s someone told her to “die”, she is doing a job she has never done before, but instead of getting depressed she preserves and never gives up. I can’t help but root for her and I admit I love seeing her influence (in a positive way) the lives of the people around her. That is why she is my favorite girl in that anime. :)
May 22, 2011, 10:18 AM
My favorite underdog would definitely be Sawako from Kimi ni Todoke like Kaiten mentioned! How she developed over the series is heartening, and indeed, you can't help but cheer her on in her journey of self-discovery and self-improvement :cheerbunny
Another favorite underdog would be the titular Shirahama Kenichi from History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi. What I really like about Kenichi is that unlike most other shounen protagonists, he is NOT a genius, and despite his hard work, it's not like he gets strong unrealistically fast or obtains super powers or is actually the son of someone awesome or anything of that sort. He's ordinary. As ordinary as you can get. In fact, he's weak. He runs away when the going gets tough. He's a coward.
Of course, like most other shounen protagonist he discovered something he truly wants to protect (a girl named Miu... but hey! She's WAY stronger than him. Who said anything about a damsel in distress!), and he worked his ass off (whether he wanted to or not... He had some really devilish masters) at a dojo learning a whole bunch of martial arts. The amount of hard work he put in, and his realistic growth as a result, plus the extent that he never gave up even when he was on the verge of death and stood firm for everything he believed in when he used to run away, makes him one of my favorite underdogs.
May 22, 2011, 02:01 PM
Rock lee was great. Started watching naruto after i saw him fight gaara. But the best one for me so far is kenichi from 20th century boys(i still haven't completed it though). He is the definition of ordinary, and yet is extraordinary.
May 22, 2011, 03:04 PM
I think Gats can be included here...the best thing about him is that he had a moment where he shined and relinquished underdog status, but then he fell back...he is THE underdog
May 24, 2011, 12:15 AM
Armin from Shingeki no Kyojin (http://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=47446). He's considered an underdog compared to the two central characters. Hopefully he'll take a level in badass and find self-confidence.
May 24, 2011, 02:50 AM
I really concur with many of the choices:
Naruto, Rock Lee, Gats, Kenichi,
my own extra ones are:
Clare, Motoko Kusanagi (she truly has one of the most amazing triumphs and distance overcome!), Hinata, Gaara, Sasuke, etc (actually a lot of naruto characters are underdogs, lol), Ed (in terms of Al being better than him in combat, and in terms of him being so short, really touched me as I'm short like Ed, I so undertood him getting peeved about his height all the time, lol), Inoune, Reije, that panther Espada, (my memory of Bleach names is unexistant at the moment, lol), Revy, Saya, Vegeta, Greed, Darcia, Toboe, etc..
June 01, 2011, 09:50 AM
Kanzaki Nao [Liar Game]: Honest/gullible to a foolish extent, often used and tricked by other people. Thanks to Akiyama she was finally able to shine and to get some self-confidence :)
Igarashi Ganta [Deadman Wonderland]: Wrongly convicted for murdering his whole class, trapped between crazy murderers and a wicked/insane prison staff.
Dr.Tenma [Monster]: Hunted by the police, an completely obsessed officer, a vengeful ex-wife and by the "Monster". Always trying to shoulder the burden alone, yet he always helps people who are in need. You just have to root for him.
June 02, 2011, 09:59 AM
What about Guts [Berserk]?
His best friend turns into a demon, massacres his friends, rapes his girlfriend, places a curse of doom on them, forcing him to live in eternal darkness and fear, constantly pursued by evil.
February 18, 2012, 05:12 PM
FC from Area no Kishi. All the players from the FC. They play against players twice their height and strength (the SC) in order to win the right to represent their school in a real match against other schools.
November 19, 2012, 10:21 PM
Takumi from Initial D.
He is an incredibly amazing driver but because of his age and because of the car he drives people usually underestimate him. I love how he proves people wrong with his awesome skills and I love to root for him every time he races. :)
November 27, 2012, 10:08 PM
Touma and Hamazura from the Index series. Accelerator is very cool to me but I love these two (no homo):
One of the reasons I like Touma is that he's pretty much just the "loser guy" trying to get through life dealing with his overabundance of misfortune (yes I know he has a harem but besides me not taking that seriously, I also think in a way thats a slowly building source of misfortune in of itself). He's pretty much one of the 3 biggest bakas in class, he gets constantly chased around by mikoto in the begining and occasionally having to deal with her annoying psycho lesbian aqaintence and back at home he's gotta hope he can fix up something for index and be lucky if he has something for himself. Not to mention how later in the series the trouble begins to find him and not the otherway around (Just read the begining of vol. 17, I lost my shit)
So when we see him go up against these david v goliath type battles all the time, with the stone being his imagine breaker, I can't help but feel thats awesome, and even though I myslef am not the biggest fan of his speeches (hell I hate just about any monoluge these characters give that slows down the fight) I still find his actions admirable in of themself and they really played this trait of his well in the begining and later parts of the novel series. Its really making me look forward to reading NT.
Now Hamazura is an even BIGGER underdog than Touma is. The guy has no powers and he's pretty much a dumb mook, hell the novels even describe him as just that. Despite that though when he realized that he loved the very same girl who was putting her life on the line for him, he did everything in his very limited power to protect and save her, even going up against one of the level fives. and again, HE HAS NO POWERS WHATSOEVER. That not enough for you? read volume 19, and I PROMISE you the stuff he did before is hardly ANYTHING in comparison to this volume and beyond.
Gash from, well Gash Bell:
Gash is pretty much this mamodo(demon) kid who lost his memories and as thanks for having his life be saved, he promised Kiyo's father that he'd go to Japan to reform him (which he does) Now that part isn't whats important its when he acctually finds out he's a mamodo that gash becomes the underdog. He can't rember jack squat about his past but from what he's heard he was a weakling crybaby who couldn't even stay consious to use his spells, and when shit hit the fan and mamodo began comming up to Kiyo's dorstep (Brago and that one dog mamodo) Gash was just about at the bottom of his depression over the situation, and it took a motivational speech out of Kiyo to get him out of it and save their asses. From then on Gash moved on from being that crybaby to becoming one of the most previlant competitors in the mamodo tournament to a point where stories were being told about how no mamodo who's ever fought him has survived to tell the tale (just see the look on Bari's face when he acctually found Gash.) Looking back at it, that was probably my favorite aspect of the show when I first watched it and was an anime/manga virgin, I hadn't seen anything so inspiring in my life before that and it even comes from the satisfaction that after all that bloodsheld, after all the overpowering trials, he mangaged to pull through in the end and become the king he's fought his life for to be.
Luffy to me is a different sort of underdog, where as Touma, Hamazura and even Gash knew the odds were against them but went up to them anyway, Luffy was so sure of himself and his ablities, to the point of unrealism, that there was never a single doubt in his mind that he will become the pirate king (a recent chapter shows that he was somewhat aware however) If a large problem occured before him, he just took it as "Oh this thing's blocking me huh? Well no other choice but to jump over it or smash through!" Arlong park? Screw them, I'm getting my navigator back! Baroqe qorks? I wanna beat up crocodile and I don't want Vivi dying over this country! CP9? F**K THE WORLD! WE ARE GETTING YOU BACK ROBIN!! and no, it dosn't even stop there. Among other reasons Luffy is my favorite dumbass character for a reason.
Gon Freeces from Hunter x Hunter:
Gon is a pretty upbeat curious little boy who grew up playing in the forest. What does he set out to accomplish? Oh just passing the hunters exam, the ultimate abandon all hope test that people have died taking in order to become a hunter and recieve priviliges beyond any regular person. Does he pass? Sure he does, He's the main characeter after all, of course he wins....technically...
Yes Gon Freeces is not a born winner ladies and Gentlemen, he was fine the first three trials but even halfway through the first one he was powerless against Hisoka, and during the 4th exam? all that hard work just to be taken out by a guy who's been stalking you the whole time, only to THEN have the person who you stole the tag from, who also happens to be the one who over powered you previously, kill your stalker and give you your passing ticket back. wouldn't want to win like that right? well Gon sure dosn't and what does this person basically tell Gon? DEAL WITH IT BITCH! I'M BETTER THAN YOU! 5th exam? Tournament round? There was no fight, it was just the tourture session of a 12 year old boy. Since its against the rules to kill him and Gon won't back down no matter how many times you injure or threaten him, you just knock him out and quit. It only gets worse from here on out, Leaving Gon with multiple trails to prove what he's utilized to test, and believe me, they are hardly easily solved. Even still Gon still move on knowing he has to find his father and to do that he can't be some weakling.
December 15, 2012, 04:19 PM
Sorata from Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo.
He is surrounded by people who are way more talented than he is; geniuses who can do amazing things with such ease, but rather than being discouraged by his friends’ talent he is encouraged and inspired by it. I like how Sorata works so hard and always tries his best in order to achieve his dream.
December 17, 2012, 01:04 AM
Lately I'm rooting for Johnny Gill (D.Gray-man). It makes me sad to see so many people bash him when he's getting pretty good development in the recent arc. Sure, he's pretty wimpy and naïve, but that's why he balances out Kanda and Allen so well.
January 05, 2013, 11:32 AM
For me its Gutts from Berserk because he does not have a prestigous background like Luffy, Ichigo, or Naruto, and is at a severe physical disadvantage against every apostle he faces. He gets by basically through the strength of his will and experience not by absurd powerups. If he was a weak minded person he would have died a long time ago.
February 20, 2013, 07:57 PM
1. Guts (Berserk) others have stated the reasons for this.
2. Furuichi (Beelzebub) no one likes women more than him, yet he is the least successful.
3. Tenma (Monster) A mild mannered, gentle physician who becomes a warrior
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