How to Tell If You’re a Shounen Anime Protagonist: A Guide

Naruto Shounen Anime

By Sean Aitchison

Have you ever trained in the woods for days on end? Are you incredibly passionate about one thing and rather dimwitted with everything else? Has your appetite ever financially devastated your friends or family? Then you may be a shounen anime protagonist and thus at risk of being part of a long-running, but ultimately satisfying story.

But how can you tell for certain if you’re amongst the likes of Goku, Luffy, Naruto or Sōma? Lucky for you, we’ve put together this handy guide for your convenience. If you think you might be a shounen protagonist, you’ll find this checklist helpful.


First and foremost, do you have spiky or otherwise uniquely shaped hair? Is said hair a natural style held together not with gel or other hair products, but with pure cosmic cowlick stubbornness? 

You may be a shounen protagonist if you’re recognized solely by the silhouette of this hair, or by an outfit you wear every single day — though small changes may occur over time. Other cosmetic symptoms of being a shounen protagonist may include a unique hair color, a penchant for wearing bright colors, or a power that causes your appearance to temporarily change in some form.



Being a shounen protagonist may manifest and result in a hearty appetite. If you’ve piled up plates at restaurants and frightened people as a result of how much you can put away then you may want to ask your doctor if you’re a shounen protagonist, especially if you somehow manage to keep your figure and health despite such gluttony.

This high appetite may be the result of a massive need for calories, another symptom of being a shounen anime protagonist. If you find yourself gorging after workouts, in need of a refuel after any skirmish or believe that food has the power to fully heal your wounds and bring you back up to strength, then you show the same symptoms of many well-known action anime protagonists.

Power and Personality

Fire Force Shinra

The most common symptom of being a shounen protagonist is heaps of talent in a specific field. This includes — but is not limited to — great fighting potential, heroic instincts, naturally-high power levels or strength, or a unique and unforeseen power or skill. This may be a normal trait in some, but if you work hard to attain strength or obsess greatly over improving it, you may be a shounen protagonist.

Other major symptoms include pushing yourself nearly to death in order to get stronger, never being satisfied with even godlike levels of skill or strength and ignoring pretty much everything that isn’t your passion.

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There’s also a side effect of being a shounen protagonist. Your qualities may manifest as a complete lack of knowledge in all things outside your passion. You might not necessarily be an idiot, but your intelligence just lies solely in one area. However, such deficiency doesn’t prevent those diagnosed as a shounen protagonist from exhibiting a heroic spirit — another symptom that may cause one to have a strong distaste for injustice or those who hurt others and stand up to bad guys as a result.



If you exhibit one or more of these symptoms, then you may be a shounen protagonist. Is this a condition to be worried about? Not at all! Quite the opposite in fact. Shounen protagonists are brave, heroic and selfless, fighting with all their skill and/or power to do away with bullies, bad guys and villains. 

Shounen protagonists might be a bit lacking in certain fields, but they’re to be admired for many of their selfless actions and their impressive drive to grow stronger.

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Goku’s desire for more power stems from knowing that he can always improve. Sōma Yukihira seeks all variety of culinary skills to prove that he can stand on the same level as the greatest chefs in the world. Naruto’s endless optimism and energy draws in dozens of friends when he previously had none.

The list goes on and on, so if you find yourself experiencing the characteristics of a shounen protagonist, don’t fret, you’re probably pretty awesome. Believe it!

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