8 anime with recognizable adult protagonists

Who doesn’t love a classic shonen anime with young, energetic characters and a cool story full of superpowers and fantasy? Many probably grew up watching TV channels, as TV channels often prefer action-animated shows to appeal to audiences, especially younger ones. Those who watch it will feel the satisfaction of the protagonists in defeating evil, courage and journey as compared to watching romance, drama or comedy anime.

For people who grew up watching an anime, or just started watching anime, but have already passed the teenage stage, shonen anime is probably not your only cup of coffee anymore. Since anime is an industry with many different genres and plots, some of them have a mature character as the protagonist who is more relatable to people of different ages.

Here are some anime that are aimed at people with mature characters and good stories.

Note: This article is based on the author’s opinion and may contain some spoilers for the anime series on the list.

From Uramichi to Ginko: 8 Anime with Recognizable Adult Protagonists

1) Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan’s Uramichi Oniisan

Uramichi Omota (Image via Studio Blanc)“/>
Uramichi Omota (Image via Studio Blanc)

Have you at some point in your life felt tired of doing the same thing over and over? The feeling that you want to stop, but can’t because of everyday expectations? Uramichi Oniisan can be the perfect watch for those who want to relate to the situation.

It tells the story of Uramichi, a 31-year-old former gymnast who works in the entertainment industry as a host of a children’s TV show. While he seems happy on the outside, Uramichi suffers from depression deep inside and does his job despite hating it. While it may sound depressing, the anime managed to wrap it up in a dark, humorous way.

2) Kakushigoto: My Father’s Secret Ambitions Gotou Kakushi

Gotou Kakushi and Gotou Hime (Image via Ajia-Do Studio)“/>
Gotou Kakushi and Gotou Hime (Image via Ajia-Do Studio)

People can’t help but keep secrets from others and sometimes justify it as a necessity to “protect” others. The secret is kept out of fear or possible embarrassment from the moment it is discovered and judged. Kakushigoto tells the story of Gotou Kakushi, a manga artist who wrote a manga with inappropriate content.

When his daughter Hime was born, Gotou struggled to keep his job a secret for fear of embarrassment and disappointment. The anime portrays a simple father-daughter relationship, with Gotou having to balance between being a single father while hiding his work and finishing it before deadlines. His ongoing rivalry with his editor makes for some of the best cynical banter on the show.

3) Gintamas Sakata Gintoki

Yorozuya Squad (Image via Sunrise Studio)“/>
Yorozuya Squad (Image via Sunrise Studio)

Some may already be familiar with Gintama, an action-comedy anime with 367 episodes full of jokes and parodies. The main character, Sakata Gintoki, unlike the typical Shonen protagonist, is a 27-year-old man with a lazy personality who wants a carefree life because he wants to die one day in peace without being tied to anything. He does odd jobs to pay his bills, willing to do any kind of work that’s assigned to him.

Initially, Gintoki is judged as an immature person by those around him. But in reality, his carefree personality is just a diversion that hides his past full of war memories and losses. The series sometimes shows how the fatigue of losing another loved one has made him apathetic.

4) wolf children‘s Hana

Ame, Hana and Yuki (Image via Studio Chizu)“/>
Ame, Hana and Yuki (Image via Studio Chizu)

Another anime depicting a single parent struggle is wolf children. As a 1-hour 57-minute film, the anime is able to properly portray the tension of motherhood of two not-truly-human children. Hana, the main character, found herself the only parent of her unborn children when her partner died. Her partner was a werewolf, the last of its kind, and together they had two children, Ame and Yuki. Though she doesn’t know how to raise werewolf children, she decides to take her children to live far away in a house in the countryside where she learns everything from farming to repairing things, to support her children while hiding their race.

Being able to take care of oneself is already difficult for some people, but taking care of two other individuals and being consistent is one of the qualities that make Hana a formidable character.

5) Cowboy Bebop‘s Spike Mirror

Spike Siegel (Image via Sunrise Studio)“/>
Spike Siegel (Image via Sunrise Studio)

In reality, no one is absolutely good or bad because we are a mix of both with our own morals and codes. Spike Mirror from Cowboy Bebop is a perfect example of a morally gray protagonist. As an adult whose job involves bounty hunting, Spike’s hobbies include sleeping, smoking, gambling, and sometimes brooding in the rain.

His life is empty, because he is often bored because he doesn’t take anything seriously. He does not allow himself to be invested in anything or anyone because of the fear of his past. Spiegel is sometimes a villain and sometimes a hero, like when he risked the life of an old lady in a hostage situation, but also stopped a murderer before he could take many more lives.

6) Wotakoi: Love is hard for Otaku

Narumi, Hirotaka, Kabakura and Koyanagi (Image via A-1 Images)“/>
Narumi, Hirotaka, Kabakura and Koyanagi (Image via A-1 Images)

According to some people, adults are mature individuals with responsibilities for their own lives, who have to work for the things they want. From an economic point of view, adults have no choice but to work to earn a living, and socially they have to blend in with their environment so as not to be left out. But this turns out to be difficult if you are an Otaku.

Otaku is a Japanese word that describes people with obsessively intense interests, particularly in anime, manga, and video games. They can be very pushy in their interests and are often shunned by society. An image of the same is in Wotakoi: Love is hard for Otaku.

The anime is an office romantic comedy series that revolves around four different characters with their own circumstances as an Otaku. One of them even has to desperately hide her interests in the workplace until she finally finds people she can identify with.

7) Mushishi‘s ginko

Ginko/Yoki (Image via Artland)“/>
Ginko/Yoki (Image via Artland)

There are times when we just want to sit back and enjoy a show that isn’t fast paced and relaxing, while it isn’t boring. Mushishi is a perfect example. While watching the show, you will be immersed in Ginko, the main character of Mushi, who wanders from one place to another.

Ginko is a rather laid back person who cannot stay in one place for too long. He is caring, with an open mind, but can also be serious at times in need. His journey leads him to places with beautiful natural landscapes and involves him in a variety of problems as he tries to solve them, while also wishing for a simple and peaceful life.

8) Berserk‘s Guts

Guts (Image via Millepensee Studio)“/>
Guts (Image via Millepensee Studio)

guts of Berserk may look like a rough character at first. It turns out that there is nothing that can be done as he had to face a hard life from the moment he was born and it didn’t get any easier after that. Orphaned, hunted, forced to kill another, enslaved and betrayed, it is safe to say that he is the epitome of all the bad things a person experiences in life.

This makes his personality difficult to approach as he struggles with his trauma and thus affects his relationships with others. But his growth throughout the story is incredible as he goes from an aggressive and touch sensitive boy to an understanding and compassionate but still beast of a man.

In addition to the above mentioned, there are many more anime creations that have shown and still do many interesting and recognizable characters. This list contains only a few and is a purely subjective article compiled by the author.

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Edited by Abhipsa Choudhury


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