15 Anime Characters That Make Great Role Models

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Role models can either be fictional or non-fictional. The only thing that matters is whether or not they make a difference in people’s lives.

Of course, we must also make sure to emulate “good” role models – regardless of whether they’re real or not. And for the right reasons too!

After all, no one will take someone who says Sasuke is their role model simply because he’s “edgy and cool” seriously.

No offense if some of you do this, by the way. It’s all about self-improvement, right?

Fortunately for us anime fans, there’s actually an abundance of possible characters that we can consider great role models. So let’s have a look at some that really stand out.


15. Erza Scarlet

Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail anime

Anime: Fairy Tail

First up, we have one of the most simped waifus in Fairy Tail who’s also among the most powerful mages to ever exist in the guild’s history.

Not only is Erza strong, but she’s also kind, caring, and protective to those she cares about.

She might not show it often, but she cherishes her guild and considers her guildmates as family. She would do anything to protect them – and by extension would go through anything to get stronger.

And to that end, she values discipline and has a strong work ethic when it comes to improving herself through training and combat.

All in all, she’s the perfect guildmate/role model to have.

The looks, the attitude, the style — she has it all.


14. Izuku Midoriya

Izuku Midoriya in My Hero Academia

Anime: My Hero Academia

Here we have someone who hasn’t got much going for him at all. At least, he used to.

Someone who had very few breaks in life until he met his teacher and predecessor — All Might, one of the greatest heroes of all time.

Before acquiring his powers, Deku was a bit of a loser. He was weak, a crybaby, and was bullied by Bakugo and other kids.

What’s admirable about him is his can-do attitude despite him having no Quirk.

He has both the courage to jump in at any dangerous situation, and the will to either overtrain himself or sacrifice even his body to save other people.

You can say whatever you want about him, but Deku is anything but a quitter and a coward. To put it simply, he’s hero material with or without his One For All.


13. Yuji Itadori

Yuji Itadori Sorcery Fight anime screenshot

Anime: Sorcery Fight

Shounen protagonists usually make for great role models, and Yuji Itadori is no exception.

A huge part of this is due to him being mostly raised by his grandfather who molded him into the energetic, outgoing, and ever-helpful MC we know and love today.

He’s the kind of guy who risks his life even for strangers.

Itadori fits the “selfless hero” archetype, which is why it’s fortunate that Sukuna was bound to him.

Who knows what could’ve happened if it were someone else?

Only Itadori has both the will and the courage to contain (and sometimes even bargain) with this terrible demon.

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen someone with such balls since watching a certain doctor and dimension-eating space entity.


12. Edward Elric

Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Ed might come up short in the height department.

But he more than makes up for it with the size of his levels of caring & empathy.

He’s the perfect example of a character that has intelligence and curiosity — both of which he has plenty of.

Sure he was a little too ignorant and stubborn in his youth, and even a few times after that in the show, but what’s important is that he’s willing to take responsibility for his mistakes.

Moreover, it’s been made clear in the series time and time again that Ed values his family more than anything.

After all, he’s willing to go as far as to sacrifice his limbs and even his alchemy just to ensure that his little brother is safe.


11. Kamina

Kamina in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann anime

Anime: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Kamina is the ultimate aniki that one can ever hope to have, and I’m sure that some of you may agree with that statement.

First off, he’s the reason why Simon became the man he was by the end of the series.

He never hesitates in bringing the once weak yet hopeful boy up whenever he’s down through his speeches and wise words.

I mean, there’s a reason why everyone in his team was so depressed after he bit the dust.

Heck, even the way he went out was badass and stemmed from his desire to keep his comrades safe. What a guy!


10. Senku Ishigami

Senku Ishigami from Dr. Stone anime

Anime: Dr. Stone

If you love learning and science, then you can do no better than having Senku as your role model.

After all, he exhibits every single characteristic that a scientist should have.

Namely he has a high degree of curiosity, intelligence, passion, and grit. More importantly, he’s open to trying out new ideas to solve every problem that comes his way.

When it comes to ingenuity and innovation, Senku stands among the top in all of anime.

Sure you might not have 200+ IQ like Senku. But what’s stopping you from having the same amount of passion and dedication to something?


9. Koro-Sensei

Koro-Sensei in Assassination Classroom anime

Anime: Assassination Classroom

Koro-sensei might’ve lost his human form before he became the homeroom teacher of class 3-E, but he sure does exhibit more humanity than most people nowadays.

He’s a creature that was made to kill – but he would much rather spend time with his students and protect them from harm.

It’s kind of ironic in a way, since he made quite a name for himself as an assassin long before he taught a bunch of assassins.

Then again, it’s safe to say that he more than redeemed himself for his past after everything that he did for his beloved class.

In the end, he knew his death was inevitable. But at least he passed on knowing that his students were safe and sound.


8. Miyuki Shirogane

Miyuki Shirogane from Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Anime: Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Realistically, Miyuki Shirogane is the perfect role model for students and young adults alike.

He might not have powers like most people on this list do. But he’s not one bit overshadowed by them when it comes to his work and study ethic.

After all, keep in mind that this is the same guy who actually enjoys his part-time job along with losing sleep studying to be at the top of his class.

How do you think he got his iconic eyebags anyway?

Moreover, Shirogane is also patient enough to wait for his crush to confess first. Though most of the time, I kinda wish he’s not…


7. Tanjiro Kamado

Tanjiro Kamado in Demon Slayer anime

Anime: Demon Slayer

When it comes to loving and caring for his family, very few characters in anime come even close to Tanjiro.

And yes, that includes even most Shounen characters – which is really saying something.

He’s someone who’d make Dominic Toretto proud with his heroics and dedication whenever his family is involved.

Naturally, this isn’t just limited to Nezuko but also extends to his friends and companions whom Tanjiro would risk his life for at a moment’s notice.

The work of a Demon Slayer is never done. But Tanjiro’s not one to quit so easily. You know, with the power of family on his side and all.


6. Yona

Yona Akatsuki no Yona anime screenshot

Anime: Akatsuki no Yona

Say what you will about this princess – but I think she’s a great example of how someone can change for the better over time.

It’s no secret that Yona started off as a cheerful, caring, yet privileged character (if not spoiled).

In fact, she was also a bit too naive and ignorant at times and is far from being a good role model at that.

What redeems her character, however, is that she was willing to change her perception about the world as soon as she actually got to live in it.

This is something that’s hard to do – especially for someone raised in a life full of vanities and luxury such as her.

But this mad lass managed to do it anyway!


5. Usagi Tsukino

Usagi Tsukino from Sailor Moon anime

Anime: Sailor Moon

Ah, magical girls.

What better role models could there be besides characters that quite literally embody love and justice themselves?

Usagi Tsukino is not your average magical girl, however.

After all, she does have her flaws like most characters on this list. But what made her all the more compelling as a character is her willingness to develop into a better person.

Whether it be through training or maturing after every trial and tribulation, Tsukino never took her powers for granted and has worked her butt off in order to be worthy of her title as the Sailor Moon.

Basically, she’s not just a cutesy magical girl with the usual admirable traits, but a more realistic one who knows she has much to improve on.


4. Gon Freecss

Gon Freecss in Hunter x Hunter anime

Anime: Hunter x Hunter

When it comes to young anime MCs who were raised properly by a loving parent, Gon Freecss often comes to mind.

This is pretty interesting since Mito isn’t even his mother, yet she was able to raise Gon into such a polite and cheerful character.

And just by herself, might I add!

After all, we all know Ging isn’t exactly “Father of the Year” material.

In hindsight, I truly think he deserved that awesome punch from Leorio!

With that said, Gon is a good role model simply because of the carefree and cheerful way he approaches the world.

Moreover, he’s also not completely naive and harmless. He knows when to defend himself and his allies as one should – although he does tend to go way overboard at times.


3. Monkey D. Luffy

Monkey D. Luffy One Piece anime screenshot

Anime: One Piece

“Sometimes, the real treasure is the friends we find along the way.”

Very few characters in anime adhere to this statement as much as Luffy — the captain of the Straw Hats and an aspiring Pirate King.

Despite being a pirate, Luffy goes beyond stereotypical norms, and cares more about his Nakama than any amount of fame and fortune that comes his way.

He never, and I repeat never lets his friends down. And he would risk his life repeatedly just to see them safe and sound.

Granted, Luffy is a pretty extreme role model to live up to. But I think we’ll be fine if we cherish our friendships even just a quarter as much as this guy!


2. Might Guy

Might Guy from Naruto anime

Anime: Naruto

Speaking of guys, we have the greatest Guy of them all — Might Guy!

He’s the captain of Team 9 (or Team Guy) and is considered as one of the strongest ninjas in Konohagakure, and also in the entire world.

After all, this is the man who came close to beating Uchiha Madara using only his Taijutsu — so much so that Madara actually dubbed him “The Strongest”.

Considering this, it’s kind of hard to think that Guy is that same talentless kid in his backstory.

You know, the one that almost everyone laughed at because he sucked at ninjutsu?

This shocking development is proof that Guy is among the most resilient characters in his series. And he’s someone who’s definitely worthy of our respect and admiration!


1. Guts

Guts in Berserk anime

Anime: Berserk

Sure I wouldn’t really recommend him as a role model for kids. But I sure as hell would for adults who understand the intricacies of what makes Guts a “good” role model.

As we all know, not everyone (even in the real world) is blessed with things like a good childhood, a loving environment to grow up in, and a pampered life.

Guts had none of these privileges.

And in the end, this is what I meant about choosing someone as a role model for the right reasons.

You don’t idolize Guts just because he’s a dark and badass mofo who never backs down even from overpowered demons from hell.

Instead, you should idolize him because he’s a mentally unbreakable person who didn’t lose his way, even despite suffering so many tragedies in life.

Now that’s the kind of person I want to be. How about you?

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Red Fox

An average enjoyer of memes, movies, anime, manga, light novels, and video games. He also LOVES gambling — er, playing all sorts of gacha games mostly F2P in his free time.