The Best Male Anime Role Models You Can Learn A Lot From!
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27+ Male Anime Role Models You Can Learn A LOT From!

Male anime role models aren’t talked about too often. Not specifically.

They’re the backbone of the anime industry since many anime are aimed at the male population, who dominate the anime space by demographics.

Male anime role models are featured in:

  • Shounen.
  • Seinen.
  • Fantasy.
  • Slice of life.
  • Comedy.
  • Isekai (at times).

And other variations of the same genres.

Let’s talk about the BEST of them.

 

1. All Might (My Hero Academia)

All Might My Hero Academia hero | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

All Might is a hero in the MHA series, but that soon changes over time as you watch the multiple seasons of this franchise.

He loses his position, but even through losing it, he’s still a male role model to many and a role model in society. This is in spite of the eventual depression that follows as we see in S6 of society itself.

Still ignoring the anime itself, All Might has qualities that many can learn from, benefit from, and adopt as a male anime role model that are transferrable to the real world.

 

2. Belgrieve Red Ogre (S-Rank Musume)

Belgrieve Red Ogre S Rank Musume father | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Belgrieve is a father to Angeline, a girl he adopted after finding her in a forest.

He’s a character everyone likes in the anime because he has:

  • Humility.
  • Humbless.
  • Charcacter.
  • Discipline.

Plus he’s a man who’s hard on his daughter to not spoil her too much, as well as someone who trains, has a simple philosophy, and doesn’t mope around hoping for the best.

He has masculine energy.

 

3. Kenichi Shirahama (Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple)

Kenichi Shirahama Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple martial artist | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Kenichi might be a forgotten character in 2024, but he’s one of the most relevant characters from the 2000s era, just an underrated one.

He starts out getting bullied by his classmates, and he does nothing about it because he lacks confidence and self esteem,

After being helped by a girl called Miu Furinji, who happens to be a martial artist in his school, she introduced Kenichi to the dojo she lives in with other expert martial artists.

They teach Kenichi martial arts of all kinds and he ends up becoming disciplined and more confident, so much so that he defeats his bullies and becomes more of a “man” in the process.

The definition of progress is a process.

 

4. Touma Kamijou (A Certain Magical Index)

Touma Kamijou A Certain Magical Index face | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Touma Kamijou from Index is a character who’s regular by all means.

He doesn’t have a lot of money, he’s a student, he does his best to NOT spend money foolishly, and he’s not reckless…. Except when it comes to his morals, ethics, and sometimes getting in people’s way who are clearly doing unethical things.

He stands on his principles and doesn’t back down from them, no matter how they may come across to others.

In other words, he’s one of the best anime role models.

 

5. Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto)

Naruto Uzumaki Naruto | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Naruto is a classic and doesn’t need much of an explanation. He’s a character who since Naruto began, has become one of the most famous figures in entertainment, NOT just the anime world.

That’s the result of a billion-dollar franchise.

Naruto is relatable, end of story, and though sometimes unrealistic, he’s still someone with qualities worth striving for.

 

6. Krillin (Dragon Ball Z)

Krillin Dragon Ball Z human | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Krillin goes unnoticed when talking about this topic. He’s a human with supernatural powers, but very normal human fears just like any other human being.

He has a wife and kids and works as a police officer later in the series. He works hard, does his part, doesn’t slack off, and is a role model by his actions despite his so-called lack of power.

Put some respek on Krillin’s name!

 

7. Tatsumi (Akame Ga Kill)

Tatsumi Akame Ga Kill green eyes | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Tatsumi from Akame Ga Kill will always be one of the better shounen protagonists out there.

He may start out a bit sloppy in his new role as an assassin, but he grows, develops, embraces the struggle, doesn’t make excuses, and doesn’t give any cute speeches like you see with some protagonists who are unrealistic at times.

He succeeded in his role of helping his poor village, despite the high cost, and became a man of his word in the process. Leaving a legacy.

 

8. Mumen Rider (One Punch Man)

Mumen Rider One Punch Man after getting beat up | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Mumen Rider was one of the most popular OPM characters when the first season aired. That’s because despite his lack of power and strength, he held his ground and did his absolute best against a villain he was too weak against.

Not to mention this spirit, courage, determination, and willingness to commit to his duty.

Mumen Rider is a stand up character.

 

9. Soma Yukihira (Food Wars)

Soma Yukihira Food Wars shounen 1 | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Soma is an expert chef later on as the anime progresses. He starts out in his Takeaway style restaurant, learns skills from his father, and takes it to the so-called “big leagues”.

He learns along the way, adapts, gets creative, never gives up, and enjoys the process while he’s at it.

The latter is most important. Enjoying the process makes something of you, and add that with the rest of it and you have someone capable fo being a good role model for others.

 

10. Tomoya Okazaki (Clannad)

Tomoya Okazaki Clannad protag | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Tomoya might seem like an odd choice but not at all. He’s one of the most human and realistic characters on this list for male anime role models.

He’s sarcastic, has dark humour, might enjoy teasing his friend a bit too much, and sometimes his eventual girlfriend Nagisa Furukawa, but deep down he has a good soul.

We see this further in the 2nd season of Clannad where things get hectic after he has his first child and the relationship he has with his father.

There is a lot to learn from Tomoya, in a well-rounded kind of way.

 

11. Kamina (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)

Kamina Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann hero | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Kamina is the anime’s hero, the one everyone admires, and the one with the crazy ideas and the willingness to push forward in the hardest of times.

Usually with a smile on his face and ambition in his heart.

Kamina has a lot of qualities a male anime role model could have. Being persistent and having an optimistic attitude towards the future are a few of those qualities.

 

12. Kuga (A Galaxy Next Door)

Kuga A Galaxy Next Door family | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Kuga is the guy who after his parents die, he’s left with his sister and brother (younger). He inherits the house and gets royalty which keeps him afloat, and he also houses some of his friends in his relatively big house.

He writes and publishes his manga bringing in more income and ultimately does the best he can now that he’s responsible for his younger siblings.

He might not be the cliche male role model, but his insistence, persistence, never-quit attitude, and his desire to do the best for his family speaks for itself.

 

13. Kraft Lawrence (Spice And Wolf)

kraft lawrence merchant | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Kraft Lawrence is a businessman, first and foremost. He invests in stocks and is a merchant. He meets Holo The Wise Wolf and they both do even better together in the context of business.

What better way to build your life travelling and making money than being a merchant (seller) and learning about finance and economics to stay as savvy as possible?

Kraft Lawrence is an example of what’s possible despite the timeline of the series since it translates to 2024.

 

14. Piccolo (Dragon Ball Z)

Piccolo Dragon Ball Z namekian | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Piccolo is the “second father” of Gohan, and fans know what I mean. Since the beginning of DBZ at least, Piccolo has gone through radical changes since Raditz, Goku’s brother showed up.

He’s a man of principles, ethics, and morals, despite how he first started out in the original DB franchise.

He won’t do things to kiss ass, please others, or for the sake of it without some sort of purpose or mission. There’s a lot to learn from him.

 

15. Benno (Ascendance Of A Bookworm)

Benno Ascendance Of A Bookworm | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Benno is a businessman in this Isekai series and the one who helps Myne sell the products that she makes while in this new world (with an old timeline clearly).

When it comes to making money Benno is a happy man and is always excited, optimistic, and driven to the absolute best to get top results.

He’s also a businessman who has character, morals, and standards rather than the typical image of someone who rips people off.

Benio is a prime example of what a good businessperson looks like.

 

16. Natsu Dragneel (Fairy Tail)

natsu dragneel | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Natsu Dragneel is likeable, end of story. He has character, is funny as F, and always has people’s best interests at heart. Even when those people aren’t the most likeable or respectable but there is a line that must be crossed.

Being the face of the anime (one of many) it only makes sense that Natsu is a male anime role model.

 

17. Subaru Natsuki (Re:Zero)

subaru natsuki s2 part 2 smile | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Subaru is misunderstood and misconstrued by many people. You have those who claim he’s a crybaby (considering his circumstances, critics would have committed suicide).

Then there are those who get too emotional in general.

In reality, Subaru went from being too selfish about what he wanted to think more about others and looking at things from a bigger picture. Plus considering everyone instead of only himself or his needs.

He grows, and develops, and the progress is what makes him one of the more human characters out there (and a realistic male role model with flaws).

 

18. Rider (Fate Zero)

rider fate zero character | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Rider from Fate Zero might be one of the most likeable FATE characters there are. He’s loud, confident, always speaks optimistically, and basically has the attitude of what a “good” king may look like.

The guy who summoned him learns a lot from his ways.

Rider sets out the examples of keeping your eyes on the prize and thinking big.

 

19. Tanjiro Kamado (Demon Slayer)

tanjiro kamado demon slayer flames | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Tanjiro is the nicest protagonist there is, probably. Especially in Shounen. He’s too kind in the beginning, whereas later he has kindness but he doesn’t excuse it for common sense and what must be done.

He’s empathetic, thinks of others, never puts himself first above what’s important in the bigger picture, and does things differently enough to annoy others.

He also is unbothered by insults or those who get angry over the smallest things.

 

20. Gohan (Dragon Ball Z)

gohan saiyan 1 | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Gohan is a butchered character in the DB franchise. He could have been so much more in some ways, but in other ways, he still turned out the way some expected.

He’s what his mother always wanted:  a kid who grows up to be something in the world, rather than just another person who ain’t shit in the grand scheme of things.

Not to say Goku is that person, but they’re too different people and Gohan is definitely a role model in his own right.

 

21. Junichirou Kagami (Denpa Kyoushi)

junichirou denpa kyoushi | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Junichirou Kagami is an unpopular character from Denpa Kyoushi. Unpopular because he’s not referenced much.

In this educational anime series, Junichirou becomes a teacher and he uses his knowledge of games and being an Otaku to teach his classes through metaphors and other descriptive ways of stirring the imagination.

He’s one of the stand-out teachers in all of anime, with life lessons to be learned from.

 

22. Kakashi Hitake (Naruto)

kakashi moments | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Kakashi Hatake has been through a lot in the Naruto series and he’s respected by so many people in the village.

As an OG, he passes a lot of his wisdom to Naruto and even Sasuke despite Sasuke being stubborn and not caring in the early stages of the anime.

Sakura also learns from Kakashi in some ways.

Being a guy who has lost those he loved, and had to do what he did, there is not just plenty to learn, but how he handled it is role model territory in itself.

 

23. Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach)

ichigo kurosaki bleach orange hair | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Ichigo Kurosaki just wants to protect his friends. That’s his only goal in the series as a protagonist compared to other Shounen protagonists who can be wishy-washy or unrealistic.

He stands up for himself, doesn’t tolerate bullying or people taking advantage of others, and will fight for what’s right when all is said and done.

He doesn’t know it all, but he tries his best to figure it out even if he can be quick to anger in the process.

Ichigo is passionate.

 

24. Makarov Dreyar (Fairy Tail)

makarov gramps | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Makarov is the OG in Fairy Tail. the guy who helped create the Fairy Tail guild in the first place. He’s the one everyone reports to and looks sup to, and Makarov even has connections to the magic council and other “higher-up” places.

Being someone who’s been around for a while he doesn’t tolerate disrespect and won’t bow down to anyone. Stubborn but for the right reasons.

He’s like a parental figure to so many people.

 

25. Nara Shikamaru (Naruto)

shikamaru naruto series | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Nara Shikamaru was the most laid-back character in early Naruto and the one who never seemed bothered to play his role. But when he did, we ee how smart, intelligent, witty, and strategic he is.

Not just this, but it’s what Shikamaru fights for and his purpose that makes him different. Laid-back people don’t fight or do things for the sake of it unless drive for a bigger reason.

Shikamaru is a sensible character with some savage in him.

 

26. Kenshin Himura (Rurouni Kenshin)

kenshin himura botosai | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Kenshin was once a killer in his past under the rule of higher-ups during the war. When war starts, nobody knows what they’re capable of until after the fact.

He tries to make amends, live his life peacefully, and refuses to kill ever again and does his best to work on his personal development to shape the world into a better place.

His past catches up with him, but somehow he still maintains.

 

27. Vegeta (Dragon Ball Z)

vegeta dbz saiyan | https://animemotivation.com/best-anime-male-role-models/

Vegeta is the last male role model on this list mentioned, but obviously, there are many more than this list mentions.

He might not have started in the best way possible, against his own will mostly, but he makes it through so much and even cries at some point despite being a tough bastard.

Vegeta’s story is much more inspiring and encouraging because of his hardships, personal development, and the major changes he went through.

He’s the original when it comes to characters who start bad but get better, but in his case, it’s genuine and justified to an extreme.

Recommended:

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