15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts in 2024

Shonen anime has been one of the most-watched genres in the anime world for as long as it has existed. With so many new characters coming to life, there is tough competition to be the favorite. Some of the characters have long lost the battle, fading away with time. However, here is a list of all the popular shonen anime boys that have maintained their top spot in people’s favorite lists.

15. Gintoki Sakata (Gintama)

Gintoki, with his laid-back and carefree attitude, warmed his way into people’s hearts long ago. His hilarious quips and quick wit, paired with his strong sense of justice and loyalty, make him the best of both worlds.

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Gintoki | Source: Fandom

Gintoki’s personality and the depth of his character are also one of the major reasons why he is so adored. He is not perfect, as his flaws are pretty apparent, but his honesty makes up for it. His realistic writing sometimes makes him seem like a mirror to reality, which makes him all the more lovable.

14. Guts (Berserk)

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Guts | Source: Fandom

Despite the disappointment in the anime, Guts remains unthwarted as a fan favorite. The personification of “getting past the hurt,” Guts, who should be either dead or the worst villain in the history of villains, is just a fighter.

Having gone through everything that Guts did, nobody is expected to come out of it sane. However, Guts’ indestructible mentality and the found family he has are both responsible for him being able to make it as far as he did. His popularity stems from all the trauma he has, all the grief and anger he carries, but he moves forward despite all of it. Everyone is praying for him to get the happy ending he deserves.

13. Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach)

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Ichigo | Source: IMDb

Ichigo is the heart of the story, there is no doubt about that. With his brilliant writing, Ichigo’s character is properly fleshed out with an upward progressive journey, and not shonen-typical idealistic dream. He only has the desire to protect people he cares about, something everyone can agree with.

Ichigo’s growth is also well-paced, which makes him seem much more grounded and realistic, with all his internal struggles and his eventual acceptance of his inner hollow, the shadow self. Relatable and emotionally multifaceted, he doesn’t seem shallow, which makes people like him more.

12. L (Death Note)

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
L | Source: Fandom

L is intriguing, as are all the other characters in Death Note. However, his eccentric first-of-a-kind personality sets him apart and makes people prefer him over Light. With the tiring stereotypical character tropes, everyone craves something new.

L’s unconventional methods and mysterious countenance add to his complexity as a character. Despite his genius and refusal to break any laws, compared to the morally grey Light, who was selfishly motivated, L draws people to him more. L is not the hero of the series (no one is), but he could have been, which makes people appreciate him even more.

11. Mash (Mashle)

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Mash | Source: Crunchyroll

Mashle became one of the top hits last anime season, with its new take on magic and muscle. With no magical abilities to speak of in a world of magic, Mash stands out because unlike most shonen protagonists, he does not gain magical powers overnight for the plot but paves his way using brute force, literally.

Mash is the best of Harry Potter meets One Punch Man, with his ridiculously overpowered movements, with no magic involved whatsoever and the hilarious quips which makes him fun to watch. His dynamic with the other characters also make him seem multidimensional, which is appreciated.

10. Saitama (One Punch Man)

Already at the top, completely skipping the tragic loss and dreadful training arc, Saitama’s entire existence goes against the ‘normal.’ As a parody of every shonen trope, the anime plot and how Saitama is written contribute heavily to his popularity.

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Saitama | Source: Fandom

Saitama’s being overpowered should have been the main reason people would be repelled away, as it gets boring and repetitive, but the super unenthusiastic and perpetually tired Saitama is ironically a breath of fresh air.

9. Edward Elric (Full Metal Alchemist)

Being forced to grow made Edward mature beyond his age, which is why his personality is complex and well-developed. Feisty and headstrong, Edward has an intriguing backstory that results in many internal struggles.

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Edward Elric | Source: Fandom

Edward’s determination and ability to grow past his struggles and moral dilemmas make him significantly popular. He also has the key traits of shonen characters—a strong sense of justice and willingness to sacrifice for the greater good.

8. Bakugou Katsuki (My Hero Academia)

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Bakugo | Source: Fandom

If you’re surprised to see Bakugo on the list, you really shouldn’t be because when is he not trending on Twitter? The antithesis of everything a hero stands for, the forced-to-be bad guy, the most out-of-place person in a story about wanting to be a hero, his growth has made him one of the most well-loved characters ever.

Less rival and more antagonist, Bakugou’s beginning was thorny, much like his path to becoming a hero. However, his strong sense of self and refusal to change in order to fit in makes you want to see how his story ends. He has taken responsibility for all his actions and made his way to the top of the list of favorites. He has also never lost a popularity poll, so there you have it.

7. Denji (Chainsaw Man)

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Denji | Source: Twitter

Love him or hate him, Denji is one of the best and freshly written characters in shonen. With much more simplistic goals as compared to the other protagonists, Denji’s character is based on a lot more interesting things than idealistic shonen goals.

Denji’s ‘shallowness’ comes from his upbringing or lack thereof. He brilliantly portrays the result of a lack of human interaction, emotional regulation, and self-worth. His realistic writing is something not much heard in the shonen genre, which results in both good and bad reactions from the audience, contributing to his popularity regardless.

6. Kamado Tanjiro (Demon Slayer)

Speaking of textbook shonen protagonists, Tanjiro is the perfect example, but in the best way possible. Always the kindest, nicest guy around with his soft words and warm eyes, Tanjiro is easy to warm up to.

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Tanjiro | Source: Fandom

Tanjiro has it all, from his unyielding determination to his ability to forgive and forget if needed, which makes him well-loved. His driving force is primarily saving his little sister and not revenge for his family, which also highlights the positive parts of his personality.

5. Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan)

Levi fits the popular ‘hero with the tragic backstory’ trope, which immediately draws your attention to him. His snarky personality and insane fighting skills make him one of the strongest characters, making him easy to like.

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Levi | Source: Fandom

Starting from the literal bottom and fighting his way upwards with pure determination and hard work, Levi’s story makes him seem more fleshed out, adding to his charm. His refusal to submit to anyone else and his very significant presence make him stand out and well-loved.

4. Sung Jinwoo (Solo Levelling)

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Sung Jinwoo | Source: Fandom

Already a hit among manhwa-readers, Solo Levelling’s Sung Jinwoo went over and beyond everyone’s expectations. With well-paced storyline and proper build-up, we are not immediately thrown into Jinwoo’s success story, but we see his struggles and his growth, which came with lot of effort.  

Solo Levelling uses your typical shonen jump formula, which obviously strikes all the good points in the heart of the watcher, contributing to Jinwoo’s immense popularity. The shonen audience does love themselves a good underdog, which is exactly what is given to us, with Jinwoo starting off at the bottom of the barrel with no overwhelming talents or gifts, but only his hard work and dedication which makes you want to root for him.

3. Gojo Satoru (Jujutsu Kaisen)

Is there anything needed to be said about the strongest, Gojo Satoru? From his appearance to his personality to his powers, Gojo lacks absolutely nothing, except maybe the ability to shut up sometimes but that just adds to his annoying charm.

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Gojo | Source: Fandom

The strongest sorcerer to exist, with his blunt, childish, and in-your-face personality, Gojo has risen in popularity steadily since day one. His weird sense of humor that makes even the most intense scenes seem effortless feels fresh. His overpowered abilities do not grant him free will; he is, in fact, the most shackled by the laws of their world, and this striking contrast gives him much more depth.

2. Itachi Uchiha (Naruto)

The beloved shinobi who sacrificed himself and willingly chose to be a traitor just for the sake of peace, Itachi Uchiha, remains indisputably one of the most adored characters of all time. In the black-and-white world of Naruto, Itachi was the gray area, which made him enigmatic to many.

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Itachi | Source: Fandom

A talented shinobi since the beginning, Itachi’s power stems from his heart and not just his skills, which makes you realize that he is inherently driven by his heart and not his mind. Despite being the villain, with his tricks and mind games that fooled everyone, his every appearance had people hooked.

1. Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece) 

Again, with the well-loved textbook shonen personality, Luffy is undoubtedly one of the most popular characters ever. His strong sense of justice, determination to achieve what he wants, willingness to help others even at his own cost, and adventurous, carefree personality all add to his infinite charm.

15 Male Shonen Characters Who are Reigning Over Hearts
Luffy | Source: Twitter

Unlike all the other pirate captains, Luffy doesn’t strike fear in your heart but endears you to him. His real flaws and no-nonsense, less talk, more actions personality, topped off with unyielding optimism, make him easily lovable.

Siddharth Sood

Siddharth Sood

Meet our Founder - Siddharth Sood, aka ‘MC SID’ is an entrepreneur selling official licensed Fan merchandise by day and a Wedding Rapper by night. Sharing his opinions on pop culture is his true passion. Also its worth mentioning Batman and him have not been seen in the same room at the same time ever, just saying.

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