Oh, anime protagonists. We love you, we cheer for you, we laugh at your jokes, gawk at your insane hijinjks, and bawl our eyes out at your defining moments of pathos. Sure, there have been a number of moments when your choices have been rather questionable (did you really, really need to “accidentally” fall face first into that girl’s ample cleavage, or test the elasticity of her panties while rummaging through her drawers?) you still get a pass from us, your adoring viewers, because hey, isn’t that what anime protagonists are supposed to get away with?
Though one thing’s for certain: some of you – and when I mean “some”, I mean a heck of a lot of you – just don’t quite seem to be able to grasp the concept of a wardrobe. Y’know, like that big wooden box in your bedroom that’s supposed to house clothes that can make up more than just one outfit? The outfit you have on every mother-loving episode?!
So let’s go through the top 5 types of anime protagonists who definitely need a change in their wardrobe – the possible reasons behind their looks, what changes we’d love to see them in, and why it’d be good for them.
The Shonen Series Protagonists
Yep, we’re looking right at you, Luffy, Son Goku, Naruto and Natsu. Day in, day out, you may be saving the world, or your team, or your eternally tortured best friend – or heck, a mix of all three at the same time – but you still got to wear that same old outfit day in, day out. I mean, we get it – you’re the brash, no-holds-barred, devil-may-care adorable idiot hero, and you’ve just got to have that iconic signature look that your young viewers recognize at a glance as they painstakingly draw all your muscles and scream bloody murder when some commercial print just doesn’t get it right. But seriously – would it be too much to ask to just add a little bit more color to your look? Try on a different shirt? Make the footwear match the occasion? Seriously, we think the ladies in your life would wholeheartedly agree – not to mention give the artists a bit more of a challenge to pull a punchline than to just draw your closets full of the exact same apparel over and over.
What do red-blooded teenagers Kimihito Kurusu (Monster Musume), Koyomi Araragi (Bakemonogatari), Tomiki Sakurai (Heaven’s Lost Property), Junichi Tachibana (Amagami) all have in common? Yep, you guessed it: they’re all high-schoolers. Okay, so maybe it’s a bit too much to expect them to constantly add some personal flair to their school uniforms, what with complying with school protocol and all (besides, they’re not delinquents, as far as I know), but we also do wish we could see them a bit more out of their academic threads and in something a bit more comfortable. I guess we do have those beach episodes to thank for this, as well as their Christmas episodes. It’s not just a chance to see them hang loose on board shorts or get cozy in scarves, pullovers, and gorgeous coats, but also to see them get cute with their potential lady loves – each one of them.
Tearjerker Rom-com Protagonists
Ah, yes , the heroes of the series we just love to throw our feelings under a bus for. Oh look at Yuuta Segawa (Papa no Iukoto o Kikinasai!), just pulling two or more jobs trying to make ends meet for his adopted siblings and having to be all grown up for their sakes, NBD. And over here, we have Hideki Motosuwa (Chobits) desperate to bring back the sweetheart program he lovingly raised from Day 1 back into a persocom that refuses to activate. Oh, that’s okay, it’s not like I needed my heart in the first place.
With all the hard work and emotional fortitude guys like these go through for their loved ones, it’s just sad that they can’t even tend to their own needs. You know the type – guys like these will happily wear their shirts, pants – even underwear – threadbare just so they can keep the sweet, angelic smiles on their loved ones’ faces. So please, for the love of all things sugoi, someone buy these guys some brand new threads. If anyone’s more deserving of it, it’s them.
They’re the neketsu – the hot-blooded heroes who scream out their attacks for maximum damage, and whose hair just doesn’t quit even in the face of impending cosmic destruction. Whether they’re barely out of high school (Shirou Emiya [Fate/Stay Night] and Shiki Tohno [Tsukihime]), look like college sempais who lift big time (Akatsuki [Hagure Yuusha no Aesthetica] and Kurou Daijūji [Demonbane]), or you know, just your friendly neighbourhood superhero who takes out intergalactic baddies with just one epic punch(Saitama [One Punch Man]), they know how to save the world, and they damn look good while doing it.
While we’ve no complaints at all about their everyday looks – most of us wish we could look half as awesome as them just smirking at the ladies and turning their knees to jello – we’d still love to see them kick back and relax for a day or two. Those toned, muscle-bound bodies need some timeout and TLC, too, and hey, a change of pace and scenery at the beach, amusement park, or shopping district – without the monster of the week popping up — wouldn’t hurt either. We sure bet those arms, back and legs would make them cut quite the figure in crisp shirts, sports jackets, and lean cut pants to show off their assets.
Cooking Show Protagonists
While some superhero in the West goes “Flame On!”, these protagonists know the best thing to do with a blazing fire – put on a woke, roll up their sleeves, and get cooking. The cooking anime protagonists know that a well-cooked meal can pack as much action and suspense as an epic fight scene, and will often elicit the most outrageous reactions once the dish is sampled by their unsuspecting judges. (foodgasm, anyone?) With such classic somewhat-shonen heroes such as Liu Mao Xing (Cooking Master Boy), to charmingly playful baking wizards like Kazuma Azuma (Yakitate Japan!!), to fighter food geniuses like Soma Yukihira (Shokugeki no Soma), we love seeing them work their gastronomic magic at every breathtaking turn.
We do understand that a chef’s life is marked by his threads, they do have lives outside the kitchen, too. So, what we’re saying is: more relaxation episodes! More chillaxing means more civilian gear! Just like your romcom heroes and your action heroes, these cooking virtuosos need some timeout too. Besides, those chef’s uniforms probably needs some heavy-duty laundering.