15 Hardest-Working Anime Characters Of All TimeThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
More often than not, hard work is the foundation of a character’s development throughout any series.
It’s borne from either an intense desire to achieve something, or simply from necessity to survive.
And when it comes to anime, we’ll find no shortage of admirable characters who would work themselves to exhaustion to satisfy their wants and needs.
And in this ranking we’ll take a look at some anime characters that would put anyone’s work ethic to shame.
Anime: One Punch Man
Saitama might not look like that much of a hard worker in the recent episodes, but he was actually a very motivated guy when he was just starting out as a hero.
This was back when he still had his hair and a non-cartoonish face.
The story was that before his days of destroying monsters and villains with just one punch, he once underwent a very strict training regimen.
With it being as iconic as it is, most of you probably already know how it goes.
He did 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, followed by a 10-kilometer run every single day without fail.
All with no air conditioning in his house and a sparse diet that consisted mostly of bananas.
Now that’s dedication right there!
14. Sadao Maou
Anime: The Devil Is a Part-Timer!
Sadao’s situation is as hilarious as it is confusing.
I mean, the guy was on the top of Ente Isla as the Demon King, but the next thing you know he’s become your typical diligent and approachable service worker on Earth.
The best part is that he doesn’t seem too bothered by his predicament.
In fact, he’s even devised a “diabolic” plan that would see him ruling the world as MgRonald’s highest-ranking employee after climbing up the corporate ladder.
Talk about staying positive.
Good luck, Maou.
13. Mamoru Takamura
Anime: Hajime no Ippo
It’s no secret that being an athlete is amongst the very few professions that demand the utmost amount of dedication and hard work.
If you want to be the very best, that is.
And as a multiple division world champion, Takamura knows the woes of training at the highest & most grueling level.
Throughout his career, he’s gone through many dreadful weight-management regimens while also training day-in and day-out.
It’s pretty obvious Takamura is the most talented boxer in the series. But he rightfully doesn’t let this get to his head.
12. Chisato Mera
Anime: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
For an anime character who’s in a comedy series, Chisato sure is living a life closer to that of a tragedy.
She’s the opposite of Joker, basically.
In addition to losing her father because of a business venture gone wrong, she also has three siblings to raise all by herself.
Because of this, she was forced to work a total of 12 part-time jobs at one point – while also going to school.
Seriously, time management for her must be a pain to deal with.
What’s more, is that she also participates in shady test trials for drugs (the medicinal kind) and lives off of the land often just to feed herself and her family.
Yato is yet another hard worker who would do anything just to have even the slightest amount of recognition & respect as the other gods.
I think at this point it’s even appropriate to just call him “The King of Odd Jobs”.
And while Sakata Gintoki and his crew might have something to say about that, no one can deny that Yato’s work ethic is pretty damn admirable.
He rarely complains, and works his way towards his dream little by little, regardless of knowing how much time it will take him.
And considering that he only charges his clients a measly 5 Yen per job, it’s only safe to say that it’ll take him a very, very long time to get there.
10. Izuku Midoriya
Anime: My Hero Academia
Izuku is one of the most well-known underdogs in anime, and for good reason.
He was, after all, born without superpowers — or in this case, his Quirk.
Normally this would be fine. But not if you’re in a world where almost anyone is capable of superhuman feats, depending on what they got from the genetic lottery.
Despite having the worst luck, Midoriya overcame his problem with One For All, although it naturally comes at a price.
Throughout his journey of becoming a hero, he continuously subjects himself through strict physical training to be able to control this newly-acquired Quirk.
9. Baki Hanma
It’s really not surprising that Baki was born with a chip on his shoulder.
After all, his father is called “The Strongest Creature On Earth”.
That’s a hell of an old man to surpass. But Baki isn’t the least bit concerned, nor is he intimidated by the challenge.
It doesn’t matter if it’s night or day — rain or shine. Baki is always looking to improve his physique and fighting prowess through methods I could only call outright insane.
And honestly, I wouldn’t blame him for having such an intense desire to beat his father.
Especially since Yujiro was responsible for his mother’s death, in addition to just being an all-around Grade A jerk to him all the time.
8. Rock Lee
Bushy Brow might not have as much screen time in the later episodes of Naruto as some of us might have liked.
But his burning passion for training and Taijutsu is always on display whenever he’s around.
What can I say? He learned from the best, after all.
He’s one of the very few ninjas cursed with a severe lack of talent in Ninjutsu. But he certainly doesn’t let it get him down.
Like with most of his problems, Rock Lee plows through his handicap by training several hours every single day and with a cheery attitude.
I mean seriously, who could even hate this guy?
7. Erza Scarlet
Anime: Fairy Tail
Erza is no stranger when it comes to physical training and pushing her body to its very limits.
After all, her magic is unique in the sense that it isn’t comparable to what most wizards have.
Instead of the usual elemental magics that are quite common in Fiore, her Requip allows her to put on and swap out all kinds of magical weapons and armor.
These weapons and armors give her a significant boost in both her physical and magical capabilities.
Then again, it’s pretty obvious that her magic would be pretty useless if it weren’t for her willingness to train her base physique, and to learn how each of her equipment works.
6. Isaac Netero
Anime: Hunter x Hunter
This old man wasn’t the chairman of the Hunter Association for nothing.
Although from how loose and carefree he often acted around Gon and Killua, a few anime fans probably thought that he was some Mr. Satan or King-type character at first.
That is, until the series finally showed what he was truly capable of – and what he had to go through to achieve that level of power.
He started training in a mountain at 46. That consisted of praying, meditation, then throwing 10,000 punches per day for years.
Needless to say, this kind of training is virtually impossible to do even for the most disciplined hunters in the show – much less for monks out there in the real world.
Anime: Black Clover
Asta isn’t your ordinary wizard.
And unlike Erza, he doesn’t have Requip that can help him overcome his lack of elemental magic.
Instead, what he has is an intense and burning desire to surpass his rival, and to become the Wizard King by relying on his Anti-magic abilities and physique alone.
And he’s not just all talk.
In fact, he’s been training his body every day to its breaking point ever since his youth.
Fortunately for him, this reckless (yet still effective) work ethic paid off, as it actually ended up complimenting his grimoire’s abilities pretty darn well.
4. Might Guy
We already went through this guy’s (pun intended) star pupil, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t let Might Guy have his share of glory for being one of the more hardworking anime characters I’ve ever seen.
As if he didn’t set his bar high enough — being untalented with Ninjutsu — and all he also had to make it much harder for himself by declaring Kakashi Hatake as his eternal rival.
Remember the one and only son of the White Fang of Konoha?
The shinobi who stole over a thousand ninjutsu? The Sixth Hokage? The youngest Chunin to ever graduate?
Yeah. That Kakashi Hatake.
From that alone, I can almost imagine just how hard Guy had to train just to keep up, and surpass Kakashi at one point.
After all, this is the man who Uchiha Madara himself declared “The Strongest”.
If there’s anyone who knows the meaning of hard frickin’ work, it’s this guy.
Guts has gone through so much physical and emotional torture that the only thing that kept him alive was the unbreakable will that he managed to cultivate for himself.
His childhood was as rough as his adult life, as he’s more often than not hard at work, if not being abused by his foster father.
For better or worse, this did make him develop an obsessive attitude towards work. To the point where he was eventually able to swing a sword twice his size and slay demons and humans in droves.
In my opinion though?
I still think he got a pretty bad deal, all things considered.
2. Son Goku
Anime: Dragon Ball
Goku is one of the most overpowered anime characters of all time.
He is also widely considered as the strongest fighter in his series, short of Jiren and the gods.
And surprise, surprise — this didn’t come easily for him. He had to work his way to the top ever since his early childhood.
I mean, the guy has basically been training non-stop ever since the early episodes of the series. I’m talking about his preteen days, by the way.
Then again, I guess that’s just to be expected from a pure-blooded planet-conquering Saiyan.
Which then brings us to the #1 entry on this list…
Anime: Dragon Ball
Wait, there’s no way that the “Prince of All Saiyans” works harder than a “clown” and a “low-class warrior” such as Kakarot, right?
Except he actually does.
To his fury, he even admitted it at one point in the Buu Saga, along with the fact that he still wouldn’t be able to surpass Goku despite doing so much training.
Remember him training at 400x gravity despite his injuries?
That’s how desperate he was to show Goku up. And this desire is still alive and well, even in the most recent episodes of Dragon Ball Super.
Maybe one day, Vegeta.
Maybe one day.