In any work of fiction, such as anime, a great hero will be an immensely respected figure who’s admired for their stunning charisma, their noble ideals, and of course, their immense power and notable deeds. Characters such as All Might, Captain Levi, and Kyojuro Rengoku are widely famed and respected, but other heroes have no such luck.
Eventually, most anime heroes will meet someone who does respect and admire them, even if it’s just one fan or sidekick who looks up to them. But until then, these anime heroes had pretty much no one who openly respected them. At most, these heroes were taken for granted or blended into the background as an apparent nobody.
10/10 Touta Matsuda Is Often Underestimated
In the Death Note universe, it’s not easy to classify the young cop Touta Matsuda as a villain, since he only aims to do his duty, and he does almost nothing to oppose the protagonist, Light Yagami, until the very end. In light of all that and his noble idealism, Matsuda is more or less a hero — but not a respected one.
Matsuda is often looked down upon, and no one expects much from him in the Kira case. Matsuda mostly just has idealism and his “face in the crowd” qualities on his side, but he is a good marksman who’s handy with a pistol.
9/10 At First, Saitama Was Nobody
After a point, the blond cyborg Genos befriended Saitama and respected him greatly as his unofficial mentor, but until then, no one respected Saitama as an amateur hero. Saitama absolutely had the strength and conviction of an S-ranked hero, but no one knew his name, and few people cared about his antics.
In those early days, Saitama’s sole motivation was his personal interest in being a homegrown hero, since he didn’t stand to gain fame, friends, or fortune with his actions. It’s remarkable that Saitama didn’t become discouraged and quit before joining the Hero Association.
8/10 Hanataro Yamada Is Often Pushed Around
Hanataro Yamada is a meek but hardworking Soul Reaper who was assigned to squad 4, the medical corps. Most Soul Reapers look down on squad 4’s members since Hanataro and his fellows don’t ever fight Hollows, though Captain Retsu Unohana is an exception. Everyone respects her.
Then there’s Hanataro Yamada, a low-ranked officer who is often taken for granted, ignored, or even harassed a bit. Hanataro simply puts up with it since he always puts duty first, but surely a part of him resents getting no respect and no praise for the noble work he does.
7/10 Minoru Mineta Started Off Very Slowly
My Hero Academia
When Minoru Mineta used his Quirk’s spheres and Hanta Sero’s tape to outfox Midnight, the onlookers were fairly impressed, including Recovery Girl. But even with that victory under his belt, Minoru is not respected very much. In fact, his classmates are getting pretty tired of him.
No one appreciates Minoru’s constant complaining and cowardice, and except for Denki Kaminari, his classmates don’t like Minoru’s pervy behavior and poor treatment of class 1-A’s girls. Minoru needs to do a total 180 and rethink his ways before he can command any real respect.
6/10 Soma Yukihira Endeared Himself To No One
Over time, Soma Yukihira the troublemaker chef started making a name for himself at the elite Totsuki school, and Takumi Aldini saw him as a worthy rival not too long after their first meeting. But in his first few days as a transfer student at Totsuki, Soma was widely disliked and underestimated.
Soma made a poor first impression with his defiant words, and no one saw any reason to respect or admire him at all. It also doesn’t help that he was a total unknown and hadn’t attended any culinary schools before this one.
5/10 Ryota Suzui Is Just Kind Of… There
Ryota Suzui is not disliked or hated, but then again, his classmates at the elite Hyakkou Academy also don’t particularly respect him as a gambling student. Ryota is a nice guy, and he knows the basics, but he never says or does much of anything to stand out at this competitive school.
Ryota tends to blend into the background, and given his meek and defensive nature, that’s just fine with him. At most, he is Yumeko Jabami’s hanger-on, cheering her on and worrying about her when she is taking part in a high-stakes game of chance.
4/10 Thorfinn Karlsefni Was Just Some Kid
Thorfinn’s father, the famed Thors, was renowned far and wide as the “Troll of Jom,” an undefeatable juggernaut of war who could put even his fellow Jomsvikings to shame. Askeladd, despite his mission to assassinate Thors, thought highly of the man.
Thorfinn is a different story. Askeladd and his crew didn’t think much of the Troll’s son, and they only barely tolerated the vengeful Thorfinn tagging along with them. Only after Thorfinn learned to fight did Askeladd’s men have any respect for him.
3/10 Naofumi Iwatani’s Reputation Was Ruined
The Rising Of The Shield Hero
The isekai hero Naofumi Iwatani was betrayed early on, with princess Malty and her father the king conspiring to ruin Naofumi’s reputation and brand him a depraved criminal. For a time, Naofumi was widely hated for a crime he didn’t commit, and no one even wanted to speak with him, let alone befriend him.
Naofumi was all alone for a few days, but then he got resourceful. He made the highly questionable choice to buy a slave and make her his teammate, and after supporting his new partner Raphtalia, Naofumi started turning things around. Now he’s the real shield hero, not a devil.
2/10 Leon Bartfort Knows No One Likes Him
Trapped In A Dating Sim
Leon Bartfort is another isekai hero whom no one liked at first, but at least he wasn’t framed for any crimes. Rather, Leon is the third-born son of a minor noble, meaning he has low standing in a world where women make the rules. He’s tolerated, but not much more than that.
Leon knows he can’t change this society’s ways, so he had some fun with his lowly status. Leon went wild as a snarky troublemaker at school, having so little to lose, and that made him fun to watch. He often made enemies, but eventually, he also made two friends in Angelica Redgrave and Olivia.
1/10 Denji Is Nobody At All
Denji, also known as Chainsaw Man, is such a nobody, he lives in a shed and has no known last name. All he has is a serious debt that he cannot ever repay, and the mob is pressuring him more than ever to pay up somehow. Denji has no family or friends to rely on, either.
In short, Denji is a total zero, but at least his devil dog Pochita liked him as a loyal follower. Now Denji is a part-devil warrior called Chainsaw Man, but with power doesn’t always come great respect or admiration. Now, he’s just a nobody with extra powers. Denji still has a long way to go.
NEXT: 10 Anime Characters Who Died Too Soon