27+ Inspiring Anime Characters You Can Learn Something From

Shoyo Hinata Smile Haikyu
Written by Theo J Ellis

Inspirational anime characters make you wanna do better in life. Or make you do something with yourself at the least.

That’s what inspiration is: wanting to do something important.

As a side effect, inspiring anime characters can be motivational, too. Which is more about your reason, your “why”.

Let’s talk about both since they’re connected.

That means:

  • Female anime characters.
  • Male anime characters.

 

1. Kyoko Sakura (Madoka Magica)

Kyoko Sakura madoka magica pink hair

Kyoko Sakura has always been one of my favorite Madoka Magica characters. And probably the most inspiring.

She’s the type of person who makes a decision and doesn’t complain about it later IF things turn sour.

Responsibility is important to Kyoko Sakura. And she has tons of it, along with inner strength from her tragic past, and independence.

She’s just rough around the edges.

 

2. Vegeta (Dragon Ball Franchise)

Vegeta dbs normal form

Vegeta is one of my favorite characters of all time. And always will be. DBZ was my first anime.

In the beginning we see Vegeta is also rough around the edges, but more so than most. He’s a savage.

Having Frieza, one of the most evil, powerful colonist run your life and control you has that effect. V

egeta was separated from fatherhood.

Despite all the harsh realities he faced, and what it made of him, he managed to change and become a better person.

There’s a lot of inspiration to take from Vegeta’s journey.

 

3. Kamina (Gurren Lagann)

Kamina bored

Kamina from Gurren Lagann is a character I don’t see enough when talking about “inspiration” these days.

He’s the main character of Gurren Lagann, and is the reason for a major turning point in the anime series.

He’s also one of the reasons him, Simone, and Yoko reach the surface and break away from their underground life.

Kamina is a person who see’s the bigger picture, and is able to use that to push forward. Regardless of obstacles.

 

4. Izuku Midoriya (My Hero Academia)

Izuku Midoriya cheerful

Izuku Midoriya is one of the “new school” heroes of the Shonen world. Or I should say a character on his way to becoming a hero.

He starts out like any other kid without confidence. He’s bullied, mistreated, disrespected, and told he won’t amount to anything.

Every opportunity is used to put Deku down, and crush his hopes and dreams. But his life changes after meeting his idol and being given a chance.

Deku’s effort, attitude, and overall mindset is what makes him an inspirational/motivational character.

Related: The 12+ Best Anime Motivational Videos To Give You An Extra Push

 

5. Maki Oze (Fire Force)

Maki Oze smile season 2

Maki Oze isn’t the main character of Fire Force, but a relevant one. And she does get her shine quite a lot in the series.

Not only she is one of the strongest from the 8th company, she’s the most disciplined when it comes to training and physical fitness.

She has a military background, and that plays a part in it. But Maki’s skill with martial arts and fighting is an art in itself.

It’s inspirational to see her in action, especially when you’re familiar with her personality and outlook.

 

6. Shoyo Hinata (Haikyuu!)

Shoyo Hinata season 4

Shoyo Hinata is one of the stars of the show. The pinnacle to the story. A very cliché Shonen protagonist, but NOT in a bad way.

I’m talking about his energetic persona when I say cliché.

Shoyo isn’t as tall as other sports players and it doesn’t matter because he makes up for it with hard work. Not just pure talent.

Once he starts to hone his skills and attitude, he becomes a major force in volleyball.

Alongside Kageyama.

Relevant: 51+ Inspiring Haikyuu Quotes About Life

 

7. Yuuki Konno (Sword Art Online)

yuuki konno waifu

Yuuki Konno is another personal favorite of mine.

She’s from the 2nd season of SAO, the Rosario arc. One of the best arcs in the franchise.

Yuuki Konno has a hidden illness nobody knows about at first. She hides it with a smile while in the virtual world of SAO.

You come to find out later that she has AIDS. And is confined to a bed in a high tech hospital. That’s her life.

Virtual reality gives her hope, and a chance to live again. And that’s why when in the VR world she does everything she wants to do without giving it a second thought.

Her strength and resolve is what makes her inspirational.

 

8. Goku (Dragon Ball Franchise)

Goku bandages smiling

Goku is a character that has to be mentioned. His most inspirational aspect is his work ethic and mindset.

He always finds a way to reach the next level, and unlike Vegeta, he doesn’t rely just on his own efforts.

Goku has less of an ego and so, he has no issue with seeking people out to help him grow and get stronger.

Learning from others is something Goku is willing to do.

This is a consistent aspect of his character and why Goku has become one of the most inspirational anime characters ever known.

 

9. Shirase Kobuchizawa (A Place Further Than The Universe)

Shirase Kobuchizawa smile smirk

Shirase Kobuchizawa goes through what most people do when pursuing success. Or something others consider impossible.

And through it all, she uses it as fuel. As motivation. Even inspiration to push forward and make her big dream come true.

This anime is a group effort so it’s not about just one character. But Shirase is a big part of how it comes together.

I relate to her personality.

 

10. Isla (Plastic Memories)

isla plastic memories kawaii smile

Isla is a funny character. Funnier than she seems on the surface. Especially when you understand the anime.

She’s also a tragic character. And that plays into her inner strength. How strong she is. And how she carries the world on her shoulders.

That to me is what’s so inspirational about Isla. Not many people can deal with that and yet power through it.

And STILL smile.

That’s regardless of the fact she had a little help.

 

11. Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto)

Naruto Uzumaki wink

Naruto Uzumaki is a character you can’t get away from. He’s one of the most recognized anime characters, ever.

Some people aren’t too fussed about him, but others love him to death Especially Indian fans.

He comes from a place of isolation. Didn’t have any parents, and most people ostracized him. And feared him.

The one thing that saved Naruto from the darkness is Iruka Sensei. And he uses that to change the Shinobi world.

Naruto’s journey is raw and real. And despite some mishaps, he’s inspirational story is solidified.

 

12. Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail)

erza scarlet red hair queen of the fairies

Erza Scarlet is one of my low key favorite characters. She’s one of the greatest female characters of all time.

She grew up a child slave. And still managed to overcome the struggles of her childhood and becoming strong as a result.

She wars armor as a metaphor. To make her feel “strong” because she once felt so weak.

Erza has standards and principles most people will never match. That’s because she’s accountable to herself, and doesn’t make excuses.

Relevant: 9 Anime Characters Like Erza Scarlet You Need To Know About!

 

13. Levi Ackerman (Attack On Titan)

Levi Ackerman suit

Levi Ackerman might as well be a main character throughout the entire series from start to finish.

He’s recognized, and even put on a pedestal in the anime community by so many fans.

What makes him inspirational? His story, his effort, and the amount of fight he has in him.

He literally defines “it’s not the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog.”

He might not be the most positive, cheery person. But the way he carries himself is what makes him different.

 

14. Mugen (Samurai Champloo)

mugen samurai champloo cover

Mugen doesn’t give a f*ck. He lives his life for himself, kind of like Kyoko Sakura. He’s as solid as it gets.

If he makes a hard decision, he sticks with it to the end. If his life is being threatened, he’ll fight without regret or resorting to begging.

In a word, Mugen is what a “man” looks like. He’s responsible to the core, and won’t make excuses for himself.

Mugen might not be the most jolly character, just like Levi, but there’s aspects to him that makes him inspirational.

 

15. Kakashi Hatake (Naruto)

Kakashi Hatake character

Kakashi is a cool, calm, and collected guy. At least until things get serious enough to warrant him not being calm.

He wasn’t always this way. Life made him this way through tough experiences and harsh realities.

Kakashi grown with his pain and his journey, as opposed to letting it destroy him. Like many others.

It’s all of this that makes the Kakashi you see in Naruto inspirational as a Sensei.

He’s easy going and isn’t the type to coddle.

Related: 12 Of Greatest Anime Teachers

 

16. Mikoto Misaka (A Certain Scientific Railgun)

Mikoto Misaka blush season 3

Mikoto Misaka, also known as the Railgun of Tokiwadai middle school.

She’s one of Academy city’s most powerful Espers. One who’s reached level 5.

Because she goes to a prestigious school, people assume she’s arrogant. But she’s more modest than it seems is possible.

This makes her likable. And everything she’s earned has been made possible through hard work. Especially her level.

No excuses, no slacking. Mikoto Misaka is the type to go out there and make it happen, instead of crying about why it can’t happen.

 

17. Saitama (One Punch Man)

Saitama opm protagonist

Saitama seems like a depressing character when you watch through One Punch Man. But there’s an inspirational side to him.

You can see this especially from Genos’s point of view. He looks up to Saitama and see’s him as a Sensei.

Saitama went from being a businessman who as miserable in life, to training his hardest to become strong. And is modest enough to not want to take credit for everything.

He’s different, and definitely can’t be compared to other characters on this list.

 

18. Mirajane Strauss (Fairy Tail)

Mirajane Strauss cute

Mirajane Strauss has a similar experience to Naruto when you really think about it. She has demon blood in her.

This caused people to treat her like a monster. And ostracize her and her sister and brother.

Bullying, throwing stones, Mirajane was put through a lot of abuse for something she didn’t ask for.

Even in spite of that, she somehow maintains her kindness. And passes it onto others (even though she’s not one to be F’d with).

Mirajane is so underrated as a female character.

 

19. Kazuma Satou (Kono Subarashii)

Kazuma Satou tracksuit

Kazuma Satou has become an inspirational character in the anime community since 2016.

Why? Because he’s a man who strives for gender equality. And won’t stand for anyone and their double standards.

He see’s things for how they are, and doesn’t play mental gymnastics to conveniently benefit for gender reasons.

He’s not the most moral character, not at all. But his philosophy is both accurate and inspirational.

He’s the truth that the WOKE crowd fears in real life, because he gets to the heart of the matter.

 

20. Atsuko Kagari (Little Witch Academia)

Atsuko Kagari cheeful

Atsuko Kagari is a witch in training. A beginner with no real talent for the craft, unlike everyone else.

She’s bullied for it, teased, and look down on by some people in her school. And she uses it as fuel to succeed.

Sometimes she gets down and feels like quitting. And sometimes she feels like her haters are right and there’s no point trying.

But she still brushes herself off and stays focused on her goals. That makes Atsuko relatable.

 

21. Koro Sensei (Assassination Classroom)

koro sensei changing color gif funny

Koro Sensei is one of the best anime teachers you’ll ever see. A stand out character who’s wise and full of knowledge.

His teaching methods are different, but straight to the point and easy to understand.

He’s willing to bring himself down to a students level, if it means helping them succeed and better themselves.

This is all while being a powerful character who moves at Mach 23 speed.

Definitely a weird looking character, and a funny one. But also one you can learn from.

Relevant: The BEST Life Advice You Can Learn From 53 Anime Characters!

 

22. Homura Akemi (Madoka Magica)

Homura Akemi cute

Homura Akemi is an introvert. A shy introvert. One who’s socially awkward.

This all changes at some point. And she becomes cold, distant, aloof, and hard to get close to. It’s her way of protecting her feelings.

She’s misunderstood for these reasons. Underneath the barrier she puts up is a person with the best intentions.

She gives up her life for the sake of another, and does everything in her power to make things right.

Homura Akemi’s resolve and persistence speaks to her unbreakable inner drive to succeed.

 

23. Kyoko Kirigiri (Danganronpa)

Kyoko Kirigiri anime smart

Kyoko Kirigiri from Danganronpa is one of the most memorable of the anime’s cast of characters.

She’s witty, clever, thoughtful about her actions, and always thinks things through. Intelligently.

Logic, NOT emotions, is always at the forefront. And her ability to stay calm in chaotic situations is a lesson in itself.

Another underrated character.

Relevant: 19+ SMART Anime Characters You Should Get To Know!

 

24. Mio Akiyama (K-On)

Mio Akiyama wearing hoodie

Mio Akiyama is another introvert on this list. She’s shy, nervous, socially awkward, and hates crowds.

Even still, she goes on to make music with her school club and manages to overcome her fears. With a little help.

Her passion for music is what gives her the courage to “get over it”. And being a hard worker, that’s another positive trait that helps.

She might not be the most energetic character, but she’s influential and for the right reasons.

Related: 15+ Interesting Anime Girls Who Are Introverts

 

25. Allen Walker (D. Gray Man)

Allen Walker character anime

Allen Walker knows what it means to experience pain and loss. His loss affects him in a physical way.

Like Edward Elric from FMA, Allen Walker’s body is cursed. His left arm and left eye become tools to exorcise demons.

It’s a kind of twisted fate or karma.

Even with this curse, Allen Walker, kind of like Natsu Dragneel, is still cheerful and manages to smile through the BS.

The one thing he values most is friendship and his new family.

Related: 38 Of The Greatest D. Gray Man Quotes From The Best Characters

 

26. Violet Evergarden (Violet Evergarden)

Violet Evergarden forest trees

Violet Evergarden has been through a lot for someone her age. She’s made to do things she shouldn’t have.

Used as a tool for war, Violet kills many people. But with war behind her, she strives to move on from it.

The ONE thing she needs to solve is the true meaning of love. An important person said he loves Violet, but she doesn’t know what it means.

This leads to self discovery on another level all together. And she ends up helping others deal with their pain or trauma.

In the end, Violet becomes an inspirational character with a lot of lessons worth learning from.

 

27. Lucy Heartfilia (Fairy Tail)

Lucy Heartfilia fairy tail hand

Lucy Heartfilia is a character you either love or you hate. It depends on your perspective of her or the anime.

For me, Lucy Heartfilia gets a little too much hate. Some of which is exaggerated and unjustified.

She’s empathetic. A trait that seems undervalued in 2021, but is absolutely needed in society.

She’s caring. The type of person you can trust with your life and with your word. A friend or partner for life.

Most of all, Lucy refuses to give up despite her weaknesses. And that’s what makes it so easy to get emotionally invested in her character.

She’s relatable and easy to connect with on so many levels.

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • All Might (My Hero Academia)
  • Rika Kawaii (Wonder Egg Priority)
  • Edward Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist)
  • Gaara (Naruto)
  • Akame (Akame Ga Kill)
  • Yui Kiriyama (Kokoro Connect)
  • Jellal Fernandes (Fairy Tail)
  • Shinso Hitoshi (My Hero Academia)
  • Kenshin Himura (Rurouni Kenshin)
  • Mine (Akame Ga Kill)
  • Natsu Dragneel (Fairy Tail)

Featured image: source

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Alessandra
Alessandra

dont wonk how i pick onee…..

Anime is LOVE
Anime is LOVE

I believe Asta from Black Clover would’ve been a better choice

Ahmad
Ahmad

Might Guy or Lee from Naruto would’ve been a good addition.