I think I can say for most of us that it is a struggle to stay motivated no matter what our hobbies and passions are.
When I’m going through a rough patch it really helps me to watch my favourite anime to see my favourite characters go through the same things that I’m going through.
No matter what kind of hellish circumstances these characters are put into they come out on top, rising above what is expected of them. Much like these characters, I assume you have those that think it’s impossible for you to be something better or they put you down for no other reason than to make themselves feel better. It might not even be other people, maybe you have self destructive thoughts that tell you that you’re not good enough.
Personally, I have a desire to master something so that others may look to me for advice and I can be of some helping hand of sorts. Maybe I’ll never feel good enough; but that isn’t what this is about.
It’s about working towards something that makes us happy to look back on our progress and feel proud that we made it this far.
It isn’t about how hard these characters get knocked down, it’s about how many times they get back up and keep moving forward.
Most Inspiring and Motivational Anime Underdogs
1. Ippo Makunouchi (Hajime no Ippo)
Ippo is a character that has resonated with me for years and will resonate with me for many years to come. His consistent motivation into bettering himself has always inspired me to never give up, no matter what kind of difficult situation I’m going through. There have been moments in my life where I felt that my existence is pointless, that I’ve wasted so many years of my life and doing pointless things like playing games, not being more outgoing and not trying to make friends. But Ippo reminds me of my other good qualities too. I’m not gonna lie and pretend I know what it feels like to lose a dad or support my single mother on the family business, but I think there is something that is relatable about Ippo for everyone. Ippo shows us what struggle is like, what love is like, what having friends is like and how precious they can be.
2. Shirahama Kenichi (History’s strongest disciple Kenichi)
Kenichi is similar to Ippo. He’s been bullied all his life, he doesn’t have any friends and he’s not even good at school. But there is one thing that is really good at and that is, standing up for the things he believes in, standing up for his friends and protecting what is important to him. I guess that is what we all strive to have, people worth fighting for and a reason to keep growing. This is what’s so inspiring about Kenichi. He has a drive to keep improving himself so that he can back up his ideals and prove to others that his philosophy is not misguided. As the story moves forward we see people drastically change their perspective by witnessing Kenichi’s unflinching ideals. And this isn’t just the characters its the viewers who get to witness first hand; what hard work and efforts can lead to.
3. Yukio Tanaka (Beck)
We’ve all felt lonely before and I don’t think there is any other character that better showcases what it’s like to be alone than Tanaka. He is kind and gentle but too shy and timid. He thinks too little of himself so he has no goals and aspirations; nothing to look forward to in life. He has a friend but it’s more like an acquaintance as they have nothing in common. In fact, Koyuki has no one that he can relate to, which can feel extremely lonely. I feel like this sometimes because I don’t have any friends that have something in common with me. I like anime, making art and programming. It’s not like I don’t have friends but they just like the different things from what I like, and I just wonder what it would be like to talk to my friends about personal things I find cool and interesting. When Yuki really starts to shine is when he finds his love for singing and music.
4. Usopp (One Piece)
Usopp is a character that is human in a world full of monsters. He has a grand dream to become the bravest warrior in the sea. Usopp is extremely, extremely relatable. When I take a step back and look at how I would react to the situations that will stop faces every day I come to realise that I would act the same way he does. I would be just as scared as he is if not, more. It is easy to sit back and hate on this character because we are detached from the dangers of the works of fiction. On their defence it is difficult to imagine yourself facing someone that is made out of ice, magma, fire, rubber or light, itself. People that they can lift buildings slice ships and mountainsides rocks in half etc. But Usopp has never given up,he always knows that he can never run away no matter how difficult an opponent might be. He knows that others rely on him just the same way he relies on others. He undermines his value/worth and his contributions in the straw hat crew but he doesn’t realise that he is quite possibly the most versatile member of the crew. He can fix ships make weapons like the climate tact, and he is a very talented marksman.
5. Naruto uzumaki (Naruto)
I guess this was to be expected. Naruto is the definition of an underdog hated by all, lacking talent, friendless and no parents to love him. Despite how much I didn’t like the end of Naruto I can appreciate the authors efforts on creating a character so unique to show that even a person with the whole world against him can rise up and earn admiration from everyone in his village. He carries the will of those before him, fights for those who cannot fight, and he went to rescue the only friend who truly Understood his pain. The authenticity of Naruto is insane. He is brutally honest and has been through the things for most can only imagine.