A common saying is that “it is better to be loved than feared.” In other words, someone with a significant amount of power would be more successful and have a more fulfilling life by attempting to earn the admiration of others instead of intimidating them.
Many characters throughout different anime have ascribed to such a mantra, and they have made it their mission to be adored by everyone. Whether hero or villain, it’s interesting to see if they were actually successful in being perceived as charismatic figures worthy of adoration and respect.
10 Hashirama Sought Peace Even When Inconvenient (Naruto)
Hashirama is the first Hokage in Naruto, and his example set the standard for generations to come. Although overpowering the Uchiha clan, he did not seek to exterminate them. Instead, the shinobi combined their forces and formed a nation that would come to be known as Konoha.
Despite Madara’s chafing under his leadership, Hashirama made many attempts to placate the Uchiha clan. Even after Madara’s failed coup to destroy the Leaf, Hashirama did not take out his anger on the villain’s former subjects. Instead, he treated it as an isolated incident.
9 Netero Was Adored Despite His Desire For Challenge (Hunter X Hunter)
As the chairman of the Hunter Association in Hunter X Hunter, it was important for Netero to be loved and respected. He kept this standard for most of his life, winning the devotion of his constituents and organization members across the world.
Despite Netero’s desire for challenge and defeat, he did not go out of his way to antagonize anyone except Meruem. He saw the Chimera Ant King as a healthy way to vent his frustrations and ultimately died a hero as a result of his sacrifice.
Despite looking down on the humans of Fullmetal Alchemist, King Bradley took lengths in order to be respected by them. Whenever rumors of his homunculus nature proliferated, he went out of his way to silence them personally. This was seen as early as the first chapter when he killed a former ice alchemist.
To Bradley, it is much more convenient to his master’s goals if the people of Amestris are completely oblivious to their impending doom. As a result, he fostered a fake family, all to make himself look better in the eyes of the public.
7 Luffy Never Misuses His Great Strength (One Piece)
Although one of the most powerful characters in One Piece, Luffy is surprisingly responsible with his strength. He never plundered any of the regions he saved and occasionally even ran from the treasure their grateful denizens wanted to give him.
Despite refusing to call himself a hero, Luffy is treated as such by people across the world. His reputation has become so strong that even marines will give pause to chasing him. The Straw Hat Grand Fleet vows to answer Luffy’s beck and call, indicating just how much he is adored by other pirates.
6 The Evangelist Was Worshipped By Her Followers (Fire Force)
Although understandably feared by almost everyone in Fire Force, the Evangelist was loved and worshiped by her followers. They were so devoted that they were even willing to give their lives in order to fight off their various detractors.
What makes the White-Clad’s devotion to the Evangelist so profound is that they’re aware of her grand plan. The cult understands that they’re actively working toward a cataclysm no one can survive and simply doesn’t care. Almost admirably, their love eclipses their fear.
5 Armin Always Prefers A Diplomatic Solution (Attack On Titan)
Despite being one of the smartest tacticians in Attack On Titan, Armin prefers a diplomatic approach over a violent one. Ever since learning about the world beyond the sea, he’s attempted to reach out to other cultures’ sense of humanity for Eldians.
To this extent, Armin stopped Eren’s Rumbling even though it was the only thing that could prevent ultimate Eldian destruction. Armin may have been successful in saving the final twenty percent of the Earth, though their descendants did not reconcile with Paradis as he had hoped.
4 Escanor Sometimes Resented His Great Power (Seven Deadly Sins)
Seven Deadly Sins‘ Escanor had an unusual relationship with power. Although he hated that it got him ostracized as a young man, he did not want to lose it during the final battle against the Demon King. In the end, he even gave his life for a momentary increase in strength.
Regardless, Escanor has always viewed power as a means of gaining respect. He hoped that by impressing Merlin with superhuman feats of strength, she would come to love him. Although being kissed upon death, Escanor’s longings were never reciprocated.
3 Coyote Starrk Just Wanted Companionship (Bleach)
Bleach‘s Coyote Starrk was the strongest member of the Espada. However, he did not join the organization to reap fame or kill shinigami. Instead, he simply wanted companionship from his peers.
Since the other hollows of Las Noches were too weak to survive Starrk’s enormous spiritual pressure, he depended on Aizen’s people for company. The marksman was so starved for affection that he even created a companion out of his own spiritual energy in order to ward off his loneliness.
2 The Emperor Tried His Best For People To Love Him (Akame Ga Kill!)
The Emperor in Akame Ga Kill! was a product of unfortunate circumstances. Orphaned as a child, most of his decisions were manipulated by his advisor, Minister Honest. He was too inexperienced to understand that for every edict he passed, more people suffered and sought to rise against him.
By the time Night Raid breached the palace, Honest had phrased things as if they were ungrateful usurpers that needed to be taught a lesson. The Emperor did not strike out due to malice. He thought violence was the only way to win his subjects back.
1 All For One Seeks Loyalty From His Henchmen (My Hero Academia)
Despite gleefully deeming himself as the “Symbol Of Evil,” My Hero Academia‘s All For One is surprisingly humane to his underlings. He stepped out of hiding in order to save Shigaraki from All Might, exchanging the League’s freedom at the cost of his own.
Additionally, All For One does not make deals with potential henchmen with coercion in mind. Instead, he simply asks those he’s given or taken quirks from to remember his favor and pay it back when requested. In the end, All For One would prefer to be viewed as a benevolent god to his henchmen rather than a vicious tyrant.
NEXT: 10 Anime Heroes Their Worlds Need (But Don’t Deserve)