10 Worst Shounen Protagonist Mistakes In Anime History

One of the most popular anime genres out there is shounen anime. This particular genre features mostly male main characters and is filled with action and adventure. As much as fans of these shows root for the heroes, it does not make them perfect. There have been many times when a shounen protagonist has made a mistake and dealt with certain consequences as a result.

RELATED: 10 Best Shounen Anime Series Of 2020, Ranked

 Some of these mistakes affect the personal growth of the character themselves, while others impact the people around them. There are some mistakes that are so consequential that they change the entire tone of the protagonist’s series.

10 My Hero Academia: Deku Doesn’t Save Eri

Deku and Eri My Hero Academia

One of the most popular shounen of recent years, My Hero Academia focuses on the superhero training of Izuku Midoriya, perhaps better known by his hero name of Deku. One day, he runs into a young girl named Eri, who is trying to escape from the cruel treatment she has endured from the villain Overhaul.

Despite his initial misgivings about Overhaul and the pleas from Eri, Deku lets Overhaul take her away because he isn’t ready to take on such a powerful adversary. He regrets his inaction and puts great effort into rescuing her.

9 Hunter x Hunter: Gon Loses His Nen


In his quest to become a great Hunter, Gon Freecss has faced many enemies in battle. However, it is his last fight that proves to be the most costly. When his comrade Kite is killed by the cat humanoid Neferpitou, Gon loses control and summons up every bit of his Nen, or life energy.

This power is enough to decimate Neferpitou, but it nearly kills Gon, as well. In the aftermath of the battle, Gon loses all of his Nen abilities, and it is uncertain if he will ever get it back.

8 Yu-Gi-Oh!: Yugi Loses Exodia

The power that Yugi has as a Duel Monsters player is evident from the beginning of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, as he is able to combine his cards to summon the nearly unattainable Exodia. However, he soon loses this massive advantage due to his overly trusting attitude. 

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He shows his Exodia cards to fellow duelist Weevil, who promptly throws them into the ocean in order to remove any competition. While Yugi later does defeat Weevil, it is obvious that showing such a strong part of his deck to another duelist was foolish.

7 One Piece: Luffy Punches a Celestial Dragon

Luffy punches Celestial Dragon

Fans of One Piece know that, while Luffy is a beloved leader of his fellow pirates, he sometimes acts in reckless ways that put all of them in danger. One major instance of this is when the Straw Hats encounter the group of aristocrats known as the Celestial Dragons. When fellow pirate Hachi is injured by one of these elites, Luffy retaliates by punching him in the face. By attacking such a powerful authority figure, the captain of the Straw Hats ends up putting a large target on the back of his entire crew.

6 Naruto: Naruto Fights Sasuke At The Hospital

Naruto and Sasuke fight at the hospital

While many admire Naruto for his loyalty to his friends, this can sometimes be overshadowed by his desire to be acknowledged as a great ninja. This is most obvious when he engages in a fight with teammate Sasuke on the rooftop of the hospital where Sasuke has been healing from a previous mission.

Since Sasuke is dealing with the issues he has with his brother, it would have been best for Naruto to decline his challenge. Instead, this fight sets in motion the events that fracture their team.

5 Bleach: Ichigo Fails To Control Zangetsu

Ichigo stares in Tite Kubo's Bleach anime

Ichigo may be a strong-willed character with a breadth of supernatural abilities, but this is one aspect of himself that he doesn’t have an initial handle on. Ichigo is part Hollow, and this is amplified by his Shinigami powers so that it manifests into a physical being whenever Ichigo ventures into his inner world. 

RELATED: Bleach: 10 Most Powerful Villains, Ranked

This spirit, known as Zangetsu, desires to have complete control over Ichigo’s body and is able to gain it whenever Ichigo is extremely weakened. Since Zangetsu fights in the berserker style, this makes him very dangerous.

4 Dragon Ball Z: Goku Gives Perfect Cell a Senzu Bean

Cell Holding Senzu Bean

As lovable of a hero as Goku is, he has a bad habit of making poor decisions when he is eager to participate or witness a remarkable fight.

The Cell Games are a perfect example of this; wanting to show off the true potential of a now stronger Gohan, Goku takes an energy-restoring Senzu Bean and gives it to Perfect Cell, allowing him to regain his full strength. This is done without any regard for the fate of the planet or the safety of his own son.

3 Code Geass: Lelouch Uses Geass on Euphemia

Lelouch talks to Euphemia

As the highly-intelligent protagonist of Code Geass, there are few mistakes that Lelouch has made. However, when he does slip up, the effects are catastrophic.

Confiding to his half-sister, Princess Euphemia, about his abilities, Lelouch illustrates that an extreme example would be to order her to exterminate the Japanese people. Unfortunately, he is unaware that his Geass is now permanently active. Therefore, this order is forced to become a reality. The awful result is a massacre of the Japanese, and Lelouch is forced to kill Euphemia in order to stop her rampage.

2 Attack on Titan: Eren attacks Marley

By the time of Attack on Titan’s final season, Eren has definitely been through a lot of traumatic events. However, that doesn’t mean that his actions in Marley are forgivable.

Having infiltrated the enemy territory, he turns into his Titan form and lays waste to the Marley citizens. This forces the rest of the Scout Regiment to attack in order to back Eren up despite their initial misgivings. When the Marleyans retaliate to Eren’s attack, the fan-favorite Sasha is shot and killed.

1 Fullmetal Alchemist: Edward and Alphonse Try To Resurrect Their Mother

What makes this mistake so profound is the fact that it shapes the storyline of an entire series. After their mother passes away, brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric attempt to use human transmutation in order to bring her back.

The issue is that human transmutation is a big taboo in alchemy, and for good reason; Edward loses his leg, while Alphonse loses his entire physical body—Edward is able to put his soul in a suit of armor by sacrificing his arm. In order to make this right, the boys go on the adventure that makes up Fullmetal Alchemist.

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