10 video game heroes who have Shonen protagonist traits


Anime and video games have a long history of complementarity and harmonization. Whether through art styles, movesets, or box art, the influence of anime is easily apparent in a number of franchises. Something else shared among these mediums is the shared demographics of young male audiences.

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The focal point of the console war-era cheese that made up the bulk of 90s gaming advertising, male machismo has literally driven console sales since the late 80s. ‘wonder that Shonen, a genre of manga that focuses exclusively on the coming-of-age story, usually through an allegory of brute force out of this world, has spawned many archetypes of characters who have found their way. in the game.

9 Toon Link has childish charm

GBA Era Toon Link

THE Legend of Zelda is an interesting case. The series has consistently sold better outside of Japan, perhaps thanks in part to the rigorous localization process of the first entry. Coupled with the western fantasy elements of the show, one might not immediately think of “Shonen” when they think of Link. However, Link’s incarnation of The Legend of Zelda Windwaker, is just a kid when adventure finds him. Certainly, a plot device used to reignite the adventures of many of the protagonists of Shonen.

A staple of the Shonen genre, Link is torn from his familiarity as a young boy and forced into the role of a hero. His Wind waker the incarnation is particularly expressive in a way that others weren’t and the flashes of personality in his eyes reminds the minds of similar child heroes like everyone else. Digimon and Pokemon cast or Hunter x hunters’ Gon.

8 Sora has the look and the attitude

Ponderous Sora

The cult Disney X Square collaboration series Kingdom Hearts features many Disney properties that have become animated icons of the West. However, the series’ protagonist, Sora, has characteristics seemingly taken from the pages of a Shonen manga.

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Sora’s undying optimism and love for his friends drives the convoluted storyline of Kingdom Hearts forward. Like any good Shonen protagonist, Sora’s true power can only be achieved in tandem with the power of friendship. With his tousled spiky hair and youthful ignorance at the start of his adventure, Sora’s journey through the Kingdom Hearts series, as well as his appearance, reflects many character arcs and designs that resonate with Shonen Manga fans.

7 Sonic the Hedgehog could be from planet Vegeta

Super Sonics in Sonic Forces

There is no gaming hero who owes more to his shonen inspiration than Sega’s mascot, Sonic The Hedgehog. Created in the United States by Japanese employees of Sega, the existence and success of Sonic is a true testament to the mass appeal of Shonen’s heroes.

Much of Sonic’s world came out of the Dragon Ball playbook. He has the ubiquitous spiky hair, known to turn from blue to gold after a Super Sonic transformation, and is an obvious homage to Goku’s legendary Super Saiyan transformation. Even the process of transforming into Super Sonic, in search of 7 Chaos Emeralds, is directly reminiscent of the 7 Dragon Balls. Sonic is so Dragon Ball in his heart that he even has two former enemies who have become friends in the form of Knuckles and Shadow, replacing Piccolo and Vegeta respectively. It’s baffling to think that with all of this Shonen influence, the Archie Sonic comic is still its darkest portrayal in media.

6 Mega-Man X loves the thrill of getting stronger

X and zero at the start

The blue bomber suite series, Mega man x, debuted on SNES in 1993. With the advent of ’90s rad-itude, the Mega man The series got a new coat paint that took out Robot Masters’ awkwardness in favor of the much cooler Reploids. It’s clear from the get-go that X is a different robot breed than its predecessor, and unlike the original Mega Man, Mega Man X seems to be seriously enjoying the thrill of combat.

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After being saved by Zero at the end of the intro level, X declares his latent goal of one day wielding the great power of his fellow Red. X continues on the path to power as a blue Yuske Urameshi from this point on, gaining abilities along the way. Experienced players even had the chance to solidify the Shonen connection by unlocking a light capsule that allows X to perform a haduken, the famous energy ball attack of street fighter with a distinctly Shonen hand movement.

5 Ryo Hazuki is Sega’s first avenger

Ryo Hazuki ready to throw

Sega Shenmue was an ambitious title that tried to tell a story of revenge. A technical marvel at its release, Shenmue is one of those times you had to be there in the game. Sega’s attention to detail, right down to recreating the weather, distracted many people from the narrative imperfections that are more apparent in a replay. . The simple hit tale is all set in motion after Ryo Hazuki witnesses his father’s death, triggering groans of familiarity around the world.

While his goofy move would undoubtedly put him at a disadvantage against people like Goku or Saitama, Ryo’s bow is yet another brick in the wall for the tired father-centric revenge tales trope in Shonen. Between this story and the constant fights he finds himself in, Ryo Hazuki is a traveling series of Shonen Jump.

4 Travis Touchdown is the adventurer in love

Travis Touchdown in combat

Travis Touchdown first appeared in SUDA51 No more heroes for the Nintendo Wii. Although he hasn’t been in the gaming community for a long time, Travis has attracted considerable fandom since the series began in 2007.

Two years earlier, and probably during the development cycle of No more heroes, Sinchiro Watanabe Samurai Champloo had started his “anime run.” This may have impacted the general personality traits of resident Wii party animal, Travis Touchdown. Physically, Travis shares a red jacket, spiky black hair, and mastery of the sword with Mugen, Samurai Champloos“protagonist. The similarities between the two don’t end there, however. Travis’s love for almost every woman he meets is comparable to Mugen’s wandering eye for women throughout his series, a tired trope that often drives people away from both mediums.

3 Phoenix Wright is both clumsy and knowledgeable

Objection Pose by Phoenix Wright.

Phoenix Wright from Avocado Ace The series has an anime art style that lends itself well to visual novels. When you play the games, it immediately becomes obvious why it would eventually get an anime adaptation.

While he may be an extraordinarily competent defense attorney, it’s his awkward confidence outside the courtroom that makes him an endearing protagonist. Reminiscent of characters like Monkey D. Luffy, Phoenix Wright pisses off just about anyone he comes across, a trait that’s built into standard bar legal practice.

Parappa the rapper has The power of belief

Parappa the rapper believes

Hip-hop heroes Parappa the rapper may not have the traditional spiky-haired Shonen look, but he certainly has the right attitude.

Throughout his series, Parappa is always able to find the strength to overcome any obstacle. He can fight with bars instead of swords, but his motto – “I have to believe it!” – is a clear show of courage that only a Shonen hero could consistently show. While Parappa finally got the anime treatment, her TV adventures ended up focusing more on little kids than young men.

2 Viewtiful Joe is the high fanboy

magnificent view

While Viewtiful JoeThe latter’s influences may be more directly related to the Sentai genre that gave us Ultraman and Power Rangers, Joe himself is an ordinary otaku.

His transformation into the titular hero suited to spikes is a characteristic of Shonen in and of itself that draws parallels with the entire cast of My Hero Academia, and his intense admiration for Captain Blue is his main inspiration for wanting to be a hero. Plus, like One Piece hero Luffy’s obsession with Shanks, Viewtiful Joe just wants to emulate, and eventually outdo, his personal hero.

1 Beat serves street ready fashion

Jet Grind Radio Heroes

Radio Jet Grind because the Sega Dreamcast was ahead of its time in many ways. By popularizing cel-shaded graphics, the dynamic world of gaming is still hard to sidetrack today.

While the game technically has a set of heroes, GG frontman Beat has become the franchise’s mascot. With his bright orange shirt, matching roller blades, headphones, and bright green weight shades, Beats’ memorable style would be right at home alongside Yu-Yu Hakusho’s cast-inspired cuts or street wear adorned by fighters. Z when they don’t fight.

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Every Power Rangers TV Show

Each Power Rangers TV show (in chronological order)

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