10 Best Anime With An Adult Protagonist, Ranked


When most people think of the average age range for anime characters, most would assume they’re mostly kids or teenagers. Though this is largely true, several legendary anime series consist of an adult cast. These types of anime can be refreshing for older viewers since most cover relatable themes, like going into the workforce or dealing with the struggles of adulthood.


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While teenage heroes and heroines are cool, the medium is simply oversaturated with them. Not every anime with an adult protagonist comes from seinen or josei, either. Some of the best shonen and shojo series star adult cast members.

10/10 One-Punch Man’s Saitama Can Defeat Enemies With A Single Blow

One-Punch Man follows Saitama, a superhero who can defeat his enemies with a single punch. Though this ability gave him what he needed to make a meaningful change in society, Saitama is bored most of the time since none of his foes offer him any real challenge.

Saitama was once an average office employee but found himself jaded from toiling away in a cubicle all day. Society’s direction wasn’t sitting right with him, so he wanted to impact the world positively and defeat the bad guys. Saitama has a generic hero story, but One-Punch Man proves that being the strongest comes with several harsh realities.

9/10 Psycho-Pass Is A Thought-Provoking Dystopian True Crime Series

Psycho-Pass isn’t the average crime anime. Taking place in the twenty-second century, Psycho-Pass immerses the viewer in a world where the very definition of justice has changed. Justice is enforced by the Sibyl System, which determines how much of a threat a citizen might be by looking at their mental health and guessing if they’re bound to become criminals.

Akane Tsunemori wants to enforce the law, but quickly realizes that the Sibyl System is inherently flawed after working alongside other inspectors. Psycho-Pass is a thrilling series that makes viewers question right versus wrong.

8/10 Cowboy Bebop Is A Timeless Sci-Fi Classic

Cowboy Bebop stars an ex-gangster, a former police officer, a genius hacker, and a dog who collects data. This futuristic series is a timeless classic that every new anime fan needs to watch at least once. It may have a fun premise, but it has underlying emotional and occasionally dark themes. Existentialism is a significant theme throughout Cowboy Bebop.

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Spike Spiegel, the protagonist, is a bounty hunter who lives by his own moral code. Spike may seem like he’s too lazy and aloof for his own good, but it’s only because he’s trying to protect himself by not showing his true feelings. It’s hard to read Spike, only adding to his overall charm.

7/10 Samurai Champloo Stars One Of The Best Main Trios In Anime

Samurai Champloo is a unique seinen series that takes place in feudal Japan. Its opening theme is instantly recognizable and one of the most memorable for its time. Instead of incorporating pop and rock elements, it’s a chill hip-hop song. Samurai Champloo makes many pop culture references throughout the series that, though unrealistic for the time, make the main cast seem more relatable to the average viewer.

Samurai Champloo’s central trio of the ex-waitress Fuu, the rough-around-the-edges Mugen, and the ronin Jin is one of the best in anime. Mugen and Jin’s constant bantering is hilarious, and they’re more frenemies than rivals, while Fuu’s compassion is too admirable to ignore.

6/10 Trigun Stars A Human Typhoon With An Expensive Bounty

Vash The Stampede earned the nickname “Human Typhoon” thanks to his constant villainous antics. He loves causing mass destruction for a few laughs. Vash leaves a path of destruction in his wake, no matter where he goes. Hence, he has an expensive bounty looming over his head.

He sounds like a total monster until it’s revealed that these are all just rumors. In reality, Vash is a kindhearted guy with a good sense of humor and a profound love of doughnuts. Though he does leave a path of destruction wherever he goes, it’s unintentional. Trigun is the perfect blend of dramatic action and slapstick comedy. Vash is one of the most well-written anime protagonists of his time, and his story is unforgettable.

5/10 Death Parade Makes Viewers Question The Meaning Of Life

Death Parade shows what happens to humans after they die. They can either get reincarnated, or their souls are banished into a void. Before the decision is made, their souls take a drip to Quindecim, a bar owned by Decim.

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Decim makes the final decision about where their souls will reside from there on out. Decim is detached and doesn’t get close to the people he judges. Initially, he did not understand human emotions but grew slightly more empathetic by the end. Each trial is emotional and makes viewers question the meaning of life and whether their souls would be sent to the void or get reincarnated.

4/10 Bungou Stray Dogs Is Chock Full Of Literary References

Bungou Stray Dogs is a fan-favorite seinen series for a variety of reasons. Though it features dark content, it’s not quite as gritty as others in the genre. Plus, it has a great sense of humor and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Bungou Stray Dogs is the type of anime that has viewers giggling one minute and sitting on the edge of their seats the next.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Bungou Stray Dogs, however, is the number of references it makes to classic literature. One of the most popular characters, Dazai Osamu, is named after the famous Japanese author who wrote No Longer Human, which is also the name of the character’s ability. Dazai’s character references the book and even personifies the novel’s protagonist.

3/10 Berserk Proves That Sometimes, Life Never Gets Better

Compared to shonen series, seinen series are much grittier and more pessimistic. While shonen heroes always save the day and improve their lives through the power of friendship and hard work, seinen protagonists don’t have it so easy. Berserk’s Guts is the epitome of this trope.

Guts is a fan-favorite protagonist because he keeps fighting even though things never get better for him in Berserk. The series doesn’t even try to hide that Guts’ life has no chance of improving, but the nihilism is part of Berserk’s charm.

2/10 Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku Encourages Viewers To Be Themselves

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku stars childhood friends-to-lovers Hirotaka and Narumi. They’re both massive otakus with similar interests, unexpectedly reunited when they both got hired for the same company. Narumi loves playing otome games and reading BL manga, while Hirotaka is an avid gamer.

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Narumi thinks that her otaku tendencies are embarrassing and prefers to keep them to herself at work, but Hirotaka doesn’t see the issue with her being herself and talking about her hobbies. Older fans were excited when Wotakoi came out since most romance anime take place in high school, so it was refreshing to see one set in the workplace for a change.

1/10 Gintama’s Lovable Oddball Protagonist Wants To Make Ends Meet

Gintama stars Gintoki Sakata, a master samurai who had to put his blade away after aliens took over feudal Japan and outlawed swords. However, he’s defiant and walks around with a wooden sword to stick it to his extraterrestrial overlords.

Gintama is a classic parody of shonen anime that viewers love since it constantly makes recognizable pop culture references they can immediately latch onto. It makes the characters seem more relatable that way. Gintoki, in particular, just wants to make ends meet by freelancing at Yorozuya. When he’s not working, Gintoki’s lounging around, eating ice cream, and skimming through the latest edition of Shonen Jump.

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