Selflessness is generally admirable, but some anime characters take it way too far. Instead of helping their friends out occasionally, they put their own needs on the back burner and run themselves ragged trying to meet everyone else’s demands.
More often than not, these overtly selfless individuals get taken advantage of by people who don’t have their best interests at heart. They’re naive and fail to realize that not everybody is a good person. This can get some characters in life-threatening situations where they carelessly throw their lives on the line for someone who may not be worth the effort.
10 Yuji Threw Himself Into The World Of Jujutsu Sorcery To Save Someone He Had Just Met (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Jujutsu Kaisen’s Yuji Itadori is one of shonen’s most likable protagonists because of his unwavering optimism, sense of humor, and boundless kindness for almost everyone he meets. He’s wise beyond his years and incredibly selfless. He swallowed a cursed finger without worrying about repercussions to save Megumi, whom he’d only just met at the time.
Yuji’s actions led to real consequences down the road in Jujutsu Kaisen. He even broke down mid-battle after realizing just how dangerous the world of jujutsu sorcery can be. Other characters, like Nanami, pick up on Yuji’s selflessness and have expressed concern about it. He witnessed Yuji continue fighting Mahito and expressing guilt for not saving Junpei despite having several wounds.
9 Hiroto Suwa Values His Friends’ Happiness Over His Own (Orange)
Hiroto from Orange has a laid-back and outgoing personality. He’s a good-natured guy who’s always the first to reach out to his friends if he hasn’t heard from them in a while. He doesn’t do anything to make himself stand out or seem special. He always does the right thing without expecting anything in return. However, his selflessness tends to get the better of him.
Hiroto is willing to put his happiness on the back burner to see his friends smile. He put Naho and Kakeru’s feelings ahead of his own romantic feelings because he wanted to see them happy.
8 Armin Is More Worried About His Friends’ Safety Than Protecting Himself (Attack On Titan)
Though selflessness is a heroic trait, the characters in Attack On Titan should allow themselves to be selfish and save themselves on occasion, given the nightmarish reality they live in. Many of the heroes are selfless, but very few compare to Armin Arlert.
Armin had a very low opinion of himself when he was younger and just starting out in the Survey Corps, leading him to become a pushover because he genuinely believed he was worthless. However, even as Armin gained a sense of self-esteem, his spirit of selflessness never went away. He’s willing to put his life on the line for his friends and is always prepared to throw himself ahead of the people he cares about to protect them.
7 Giyu Jeopardized His Position In The Corps To Protect Tanjiro & Nezuko (Demon Slayer)
Giyu Tomioka is the aloof Water Hashira in Demon Slayer. Though he emerged on the scene with his nichirin blade in hand and ready to kill Nezuko, he changed his mind after watching how she jumped to protect Tanjiro. Giyu referred Tanjiro over to his sensei and protected their secret so they could find a way to cure Nezuko.
Giyu broke the Demon Slayer Corps’ code and jeopardized his position as a Hashira to help out two people he’d never met before, one of whom is a demon he would have killed in any other situation. Giyu may pretend he couldn’t care less about others, but he’s got a heart of gold and truly came through for Demon Slayer’s sibling duo.
6 Itachi Sacrificed Everything For Konoha (Naruto)
Itachi was initially introduced as a villain in Naruto, but it turns out that he never had any ill intentions. He killed his entire clan to protect Sasuke and, ultimately, Kohoha’s peace. He believed becoming the villain was the only way to protect Sasuke by making his brother seem like a hero after defeating him.
Though it didn’t go according to plan, it’s admirable that Itachi went as far as he did to protect Konoha’s peace. Killing his own clan caused him tons of grief and trauma, but he nonetheless went through with the plan with the prospect of peace in mind.
5 Shirou Emiya Had To Learn How To Prioritize Himself (The Fate Series)
One of the most important Shirou Emiya learned in the Fate series was the importance of prioritizing himself. Shirou literally disregarded his hopes and dreams to save Sakura, but he quickly realized that a hero was the opposite of what she needed. She just needed a shoulder to cry on.
Shirou’s hero complex used to be one of the most infuriating aspects of the Fate series because it was just such an immature mentality. Luckily, he grew up over the course of the Fate series. By the end, Shirou learned from his mistakes and realized that he doesn’t always have to swoop in and save the day.
4 Touma Kamijou Saves People Without Expecting As Much As A “Thank You” In Return (A Certain Magical Index)
Touma Kamijou from A Certain Magical Index doesn’t even realize how many people are grateful for his help. He’s a very selfless hero who always throws himself on the front lines for whoever he sees in trouble, even if he’s never met them.
Touma unknowingly racked up many people who would do the same for him out of gratitude for how he came through for them. Though his humility and altruism are admirable, Touma often gets hurt in the process of saving others and is almost always in the hospital with serious injuries afterward.
3 Izuku’s Blind Selflessness Literally Wreaked Havoc On His Body (My Hero Academia)
Izuku from My Hero Academia had one of the most inspiring underdog stories in shonen anime. Despite not having a quirk at first, he beat the odds and made it into his dream hero academy. However, Izuku’s got a serious case of blind hero syndrome. He’ll throw himself into danger without considering the repercussions and has even rushed into the fire to save people who’ve previously hurt him.
Though people like Stain would argue that this resolve to save others makes Izuku a true hero, fans cannot help but express concern for his physical wellbeing. Throughout My Hero Academia, fans have witnessed Izuku tear his body apart and repeatedly break his limbs with a quirk he can barely control to save others.
2 Tohru Doesn’t Want To Inconvenience Anyone With Her Problems, So She Runs Herself Ragged Trying To Help Others (Fruits Basket)
As the protagonist of Fruits Basket, Tohru Honda has helped cement the series as the juggernaut of shojo anime. Fans love her kind personality, outgoing behavior, and admirable work ethic.
Not every fan of the show was so enamored with Tohru. Some even argue that she’s not the best role model for younger viewers because of her constant selflessness. Tohru doesn’t know how to tell people “no” and takes drastic measures to avoid inconveniencing others. Tohru often places her needs on the back burner for her friends’ happiness, so she tends to become a pushover.
1 George Joestar Was Naive & Tragically Misread A Situation Out Of The Kindness Of His Heart (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)
If George Joestar never misread the situation with Dario Brando at the beginning of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood, then the Joestars would never have been plagued with Dio’s influence for centuries to come. George got into a carriage accident. Then, Dario Brando approached him, saw how wealthy he was, and tried stealing an expensive ring.
George assumed Dario was trying to help him after the crash instead of seeing what was actually going on. He repaid Dario’s perceived kindness by taking in his son, Dio. George was selfless until the very end when he died trying to protect Jonathan from the newly-vampirized Dio.
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