Selfless & Generous Anime Characters: The Ultimate List

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Let’s face it:

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out here in the real world. So where’s the harm in admiring your typical kind-hearted idealistic characters in fiction?

Sure, seeing well-written anti-heroes is great – but there’s just something inherently heartwarming in seeing generous characters.

And on that note, let’s take a look into some of the most generous characters in across all of anime.


17. Ichiro Inuyashiki

Ichiro Inuyashiki from Inuyashiki anime

Anime: Inuyashiki

Starting us off is a hero who might be way past the prime of his youth – but he more than makes up for it with his unselfish heart.

Ichiro shouldn’t have gone through the things he did.

Not fighting Hiro (who’s ironically not the hero of this story), nor sacrificing himself in the end.

I mean, he’s 58 years old for crying out loud!

People his age are supposed to be relaxing and enjoying the fruits of their retirement. Not fighting high-tech robots or blasting away meteors from the sky!

Then again, it was only through Ichiro’s brave sacrifice that the world (and his loved ones) survived.


16. Izuku Midoriya

Izuku Midoriya My Hero Academia anime screenshot

Anime: My Hero Academia

As a character, Izuku Midoriya comes from a long line of “underdog” Shounen protagonists.

Deku’s practically the underdog if we’re talking about anime characters alone!

He was weak, shy, a crybaby, he was bullied in school, and more importantly, he was one of the very few people without a Quirk in a world where the significant majority have them.

Despite all this, one thing you can’t say about Deku is that he isn’t hero material.

Even without his powers.

There’s a reason why All Might chose this kid above any possible successors – and I have to say that I 100% agree with his decision.


15. Gon Freecss

Gon Freecss in Hunter x Hunter anime

Anime: Hunter x Hunter

Gon Freecss is yet another kind and adorable Shounen MC who anyone would like to have as a friend.

Before his hunter days, Gon was just an island kid that was raised properly and with care. And it shows every time he interacts with other people.

And although he might not look like it, Gon is actually pretty mature for his age.

He knows when to take things seriously and the value of hard work.

He’ll stop at nothing to make sure that his friends are safe and well — oftentimes even to the point where he’s willing to sacrifice his own life.

Now you can see why he’d be a very good friend. As an enemy though? Well, good luck…


14. Alphonse Elric

Alphonse Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

As long as you don’t mess with his brother, Alphonse is one of the most mellow characters in the series.

Among the two brothers, Al is often the calmer and more light-hearted one – despite looking more intimidating than Ed throughout the series.

And funny enough, Al is taller too, even in his human form (don’t tell Ed I said that)!

Though much like his brother, Al takes his family’s well-being very seriously.

In addition to sacrificing his body (albeit inadvertently) for his mother’s resurrection, Al has also sacrificed his soul to ensure Ed’s safety in the later part of the series.


13. Elaine

Elaine in Seven Deadly Sins anime

Anime: Seven Deadly Sins

Isn’t it a bit ironic that the supposed embodiment of greed ended up falling in love with a girl as selfless as Elaine?

Elaine, despite her duty as the Fountain of Youth’s Holy Maiden, has sacrificed both herself and the contents of the fountain in order to make sure that Ban survived.

In hindsight, she was the perfect waifu for Ban – since she is his counterpart, in a way.

Although it’s safe that Elaine’s selflessness rubbed off on Ban in the end, as he did return the favor and sacrificed what she had given to him later on.

I’m always happy to see martyrdom get rewarded.

And in Elaine’s case, it came as a happily ever after with her beloved.


12. Zeff

Zeff from One Piece anime

Anime: One Piece

I don’t know about you guys, but Zeff is my nominee for the “Best Father in One Piece Award!”

Really it’s a no-brainer considering everything this man has gone through for Sanji — someone who he didn’t even know back then, and wasn’t even related to him in any way.

I’m not ashamed at all to admit that Zeff’s backstory with Sanji is among the very few moments in anime that made me all teary-eyed.

It’s just impossible not to admire this guy’s love and selflessness when it comes to Sanji.

Like one blue mohawked man would’ve said:

Judge might be Sanji’s father, but he ain’t his daddy.


11. Koro-Sensei

Koro-Sensei in Assassination Classroom

Anime: Assassination Classroom

Despite the slightly foreboding title, this series is actually one of the few that has tugged on my heartstrings.

Well, especially because of the way it ended.

Koro-Sensei is a good teacher — nay, a great teacher that has always cherished his students and his time with them.

Despite the circumstances, Koro-Sensei tried his best to forge and develop a bond with each and every one of them — and it worked, as they all did have their good times by the end.

This is something that made his eventual departure kind of a hard pill to swallow in my case.

He knew his passing was inevitable, but he was selfless enough that it just didn’t matter.


10. Rem

Rem Death Note anime screenshot

Anime: Death Note

It’s kind of strange that a literal Death God would be on this list, don’t you think?

Well not in Rem’s case it’s not!

Despite being born in the Shinigami Realm where she holds dominion over the death of mortals, she instead followed Gelus’s footsteps and watched over Misa.

Whether it was love or a sense of duty, it bound Rem to Misa. She became her guardian and has personally threatened Light in case something were to happen to her.

Too bad this devotion of hers got her killed in the end.

It was an honorable end for a Shinigami though, which is something I couldn’t say for most of Death Note’s cast.


9. Shinra Kusakabe

Shinra Kusakabe from Fire Force anime

Anime: Fire Force

Shinra Kusakabe is yet another one of your usual Shounen protagonists.

You know, the kind who’s always outgoing, always there to help, always itching for a good fight, and is amazingly stubborn when it comes to protecting others.

More importantly, Shinra is also the “heart” of his group in a lot of ways.

I mean, he’s just so darn charismatic that he can turn an antagonist into one of his love interests!

And it’s understandable.

After all, this guy is so selfless to the point that he’s willing to take so much beating for the people he cares about!


8. Tatsumi

Tatsumi in Akame ga Kill! anime

Anime: Akame ga Kill!

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Tatsumi would be on this list.

After all, this ever-helpful and altruistic character is among the few “martyrs” in anime that have sacrificed their lives for a good purpose.

Scratch that. A GLORIOUS purpose, as one variant of a certain Norse trickster god might say.

He didn’t back down in the face of adversity, and has shown time and time again that he wouldn’t mind risking his life for the big picture.

He’s among the most pure-hearted among the innumerable anime MCs out there – and certainly one of the coolest too!


7. Armin Arlert

Armin Arlert Attack on Titan anime screenshot

Anime: Attack on Titan

If we were born in the same world as Armin, we’d most probably not have the same traits that made him likable to us fans.

I mean, can you imagine being that kind and well-mannered in a world that’s filled with buck-naked, man-eating giants and homicidal humans?

Both Eren and Mikasa had a lot on their plates to be sure.

But it’s not like their friend Armin has had it easy.

And despite all the hardships, Armin still kept some degree of optimism and kindness with him even in the later parts of the series where it got real — real fast.

Heck, he even sacrificed himself and straight-up died for his friends at one point. You know what, I think Armin’s low-key a badass!


6. Sakura Kinomoto

Sakura Kinomoto from Cardcaptor Sakura

Anime: Cardcaptor Sakura

Ah, yes.

How can we ever forget about magical girls when it comes to characters who know the virtue of self-sacrifice?

Sakura might not be the most mature character in her series (she’s actually pretty naive and gullible most of the time). But at least she’s the kindest.

She’s honest, friendly, cheerful, and always ready to help others in need.

Basically she’s the person you’d want going around and solving everyone’s problems.

Which is exactly what she does throughout most of the series.


5. Madoka Kaname

Madoka Kaname in Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime

Anime: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Here we have our second magical girl — Madoka Kaname, who’s coincidentally also the second strongest character on this list power-scaling wise.

Simply put, Kaname is among the several magical girls who act as the forces of all things good and adorable in the series.

Of course, those of you that already watched the series know that Puella Magi Madoka Magica is anything but adorable.

It’s funny, really, since I never once thought of the show as being too wholesome after watching it through the end. Despite it being about magical girls and all.

That’s why I have so much respect for Kaname.

She never once abandoned her role as the universe’s guardian – even with all the messed-up stuff she went through.


4. Usagi Tsukino

Usagi Tsukino from Sailor Moon anime

Anime: Sailor Moon

And here’s our third (and final) magical girl to make an appearance!

It’s hard to make a case against Usagi Tsukino being on this list.

After all, she’s literally the incarnation of love and justice.

In terms of feats alone, she’s also arguably the strongest anime character ever, so there’s that. As if she’s not amazing enough, eh?

Sure Usagi might’ve been a bit immature and a crybaby in the early episodes. But she eventually grew into the Sailor Moon we all know and love.

She became someone who even wouldn’t think twice to sacrifice herself for her friends, or for the multiverse as a whole. In the name of love and justice!


3. Itachi Uchiha

Itachi Uchiha in Naruto anime

Anime: Naruto

Now, enough about cheerful and adorable magical girls. They’re cool and all – but they’re more or less expected to be altruistic by default.

Instead, how about a grim yet badass character that was disguised as a villain for a long time?

Itachi Uchiha might not have been perfect.

But he sure as hell deserves a spot on this list for several good reasons.

No one — I repeat — no one has ever sacrificed as much as Itachi for the Hidden Leaf Village.

Not Naruto, not Sasuke, heck, not even Danzo and his goons combined have sacrificed so many lives dear to them for the village.

Sure that might come off as a controversial take.

But it’s hard for me to think otherwise considering how much Itachi did for the sake of his brother and Konoha’s peace.


2. Lelouch vi Britannia

Lelouch vi Britannia Code Geass anime screenshot

Anime: Code Geass

For the fans of this series and Naruto, it’s pretty obvious that Lelouch is much like Itachi in more ways than one.

From the get-go, they both had a goal that they were willing to do just about anything for, except forsaking their own siblings.

See, the parallelism is there.

Lelouch also desired peace like Itachi, although not only for his country but for the entire world.

Sure the way he treats his allies is sometimes questionable. But he does care about them despite not showing it often.

All in all, Lelouch is a fantastic and well-written MC who embraced the role of the villain, simply because he desired a peaceful world for Nunnally.

Even if it meant he wouldn’t be able to live in it with his sister in the end.


1. Subaru Natsuki

Subaru Natsuki from Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World Anime

Anime: Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World

For our top spot in this list, we have the ultimate simp who’s willing to die tens (or hundreds) of deaths just to protect his friends.

Well, mostly Emilia, but it doesn’t really matter in this case.

The point is Subaru is about as selfless and generous as they come.

Sure he does have his flaws. But very few anime characters even come close to this extent of martyrdom.

Subaru might not be one of the strongest or smartest main characters we’ve seen. But he sure as hell is among the most unselfish of them all.

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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.