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    Seinen Protagonist
    While the boys go out to play, the adults have it their way.
    Type: A cynical, hard-boiled and morally ambiguous hero
    Species: Trope
    Status: Very Used
    Media of origin: Countless, especially in seinen anime and manga.

    A seinen protagonist is a protagonist usually seen in a seinen manga and anime.

    Why This Trope is Badass

    1. Their stories are usually realistic, as they experience more than battle hardships. In fact, these said stories are focused on their relationships with others and internal struggles.
    2. They are considered deconstructed versions of a shonen protagonist, which makes their stories more refreshing and compelling.
    3. Like their shonen counterparts, they grow not only in terms of abilities, but in terms of strength of character as well.
    4. They possess a strong sense of willpower.
    5. Most of them are relatable, as they are explored as complex characters who are dealing with personal and social struggles.
    6. Their sense of morality is complex as well, as they know that the world is not completely black-and-white.

    Bad Qualities

    1. Many seinen protagonists are known for being cynical and apathetic, albeit in a sympathetic manner.
    2. As a result of their personal hardships, many seinen protagonists experience so much emotional and/or mental distress that it causes them to isolate themselves from others and to develop trust issues.


    In order for a character to be qualified as a seinen protagonist, they must have at least 4 necessary traits.

    Necessary Traits:

    • Heroic/anti-heroic
    • Cynical/apathetic
    • Is a complex character
    • Sophisticated and mature
    • Hard-working
    • Hot-blooded
    • Is morally ambiguous
    • Stubborn to a fault
    • Reflects and/or questions on his/her actions
    • Is a determinator (a type of character who refuses to give up, regardless of the obstacles.)

    Additional Traits:

    • Has anger issues
    • Has killer instinct
    • Has rivals and/or mentors
    • Has a tragic backstory
    • Stoic
    • Is lustful for sex
    • Rebellious/Autonomous


    Anime & Manga

    Cartoons & Comics


    Live-Action Film & Television

    Video Games

    Web Animation/Comics


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