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Young/Timid Boy Protagonists

Leave me alone. We all have our preferences, some people like tsundere girls etc., I just happen to like younger boy protagonists, or specifically the innocent/honest type. And I say 'young' but that could range from young boy to young adult ~8-18 depending on their personality. I don't mean any boy, like Erin from AOT, Meliodas, or Naruto, I mean boy characters that have some of these traits; 1. Aren't always that strong/are often protected. 2. More timid. 3. Cute...this is a big factor. 4. Innocent/naiive 5. Kind/honest/Shy If anyone else likes these kinds of boy protagonists, maybe they will find this list helpful. If you don't like the more dependent type of male protagonist, then you might find some of these characters annoying for the fact they potentially aren't strong and are emotional. I left out Yaoi anime. Uke kinda fits these traits by definition, and they are a different category to me, though there are a couple light shonen ai here. Also, not all of these are GOOD anime. I enjoyed them personally, but some of them are average. This list is catered to a preference in MC type. If I had to try to sum up this character type, it'd be one where the general impression is more of 'they're cute' and that they need to be saved/helped, almost like a heroine (but not that bad), and in general they're a kind, honest, or innocent person. More shows will be added as time goes on and I watch more anime. :D But do keep in mind this list only can include anime I have a good knowledge of, at the least. If anyone has suggestions I could add in, feel free to comment.
1 07-Ghost


Teito spends much of the anime pondering about various sad aspects of his life and occasionally learning to fight. He's saved all the time by the other characters, and is young, honest, and cute. He also has a temper. Sadly this anime ends with 'the story is not completed at all, this is just the beginning' type of ending, and there is no next season. However, I enjoyed watching it and the place they stopped wasn't so bad, considering what happens if you keep reading the manga .-. ...

2 The Heroic Legend of Arslan

The Heroic Legend of Arslan

He eventually grows into the typical prince character that wants to regain and change his country, but he's cute, not that strong, naiive, and uncertain at various times during the story. I do wish he had even more screen time since he's the MC, there was a lot a time dedicated to moving the plot. I think he was 13, or 15 maybe?

3 BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad

BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad

Kind of a shyer, honest type character in this story. It's a normal boy (Yukio on cover) finding a meaning in life from music, playing the guitar and singing. It could be argued that half the story goes to the 'bad boy' character Ryuusuke. I wouldn't say I loved the animation that much, but it was a good story. 

4 Blood Blockade Battlefront

Blood Blockade Battlefront

Leonardo does have his moments of strength in this anime, but in general he is rescued a lot and has a very honest personality. I really liked his eyes, some people found them creepy, to each their own. This anime has a unique feel to it with a setting in New York, and the episodes were fast paced and not always focused on the MC, but I found it enjoyable over all. I thought the OP and ED songs were great.

-also the hype for 2nd season is real

5 Bungou Stray Dogs

Bungou Stray Dogs

Atsushi is honest and somewhat timid. While feeling insecure, his outward personality is fairly normal, but timid enough at times he can make this list. He's got a cute choppy haircut. The show's focus is action and the theme is super powers/mafia. 

6 Chaos Dragon

Chaos Dragon

Yea, this is the anime where about 1 character dies per episode. But well the MC is a young boy who is kind hearted and honest. You may want to read some reviews on this before you watch the viewer rating for this is pretty bad, though I didn't hate it that much.

7 DRAMAtical Murder

DRAMAtical Murder

This is rushed because they fit in the side stories/good endings of many of the characters. Aoba passed out a lot, and this is one of the stories that's pretty close to shounen ai. Like I'm pretty sure this was based off a BL game. ANYWAYS. Aoba is honest and docile, and cute. This IS on the list, but the rush and therefore the plot and character development is kinda iffy...I would only reccomend if you're into this genre.

8 Days


Tsukamoto almost crosses the line of hopelessly earnest, and it seems that the show promotes his main ability as being able to run? On top of this he is extremely kind and humble, with developments leading to him becoming a more 'selfish' character only appearing near the end.

9 Devils and Realist

Devils and Realist

He's honest and what not, but William has a temper. Well, it almost seems tsundere-ish. He doesn't really have any power unless he 'awakens' T_T. Which is only once and a while, so mostly he's weak. The fact that he's surrounded by taller and seemingly more mature demon men makes him younger in comparison, and he's pretty cute. Don't get the wrong idea/hopes, this is not shounen ai.

10 Ghost Hound

Ghost Hound

The MC in this has a bad trauma that literally haunts him...The story changes between our main character and 2 others with different but also bad situations. He is timid, cute, and nice. I thought the build up in this anime was great, but the end was somehow dissapointing and lackluster, though it did have a proper ending.

11 Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East

Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East

Another young(but he's secretly not) boy that is protected by the other characters most of the time. He also has a temper but is still kind hearted. Just look at his (Shino's) character photo and decide whether you think he's cute or not. And he has a pet crow all the time, that's adorable.

12 Haré+Guu


This show is older and comedy only, bits of plot are rare in this show. Hare is an adorable little boy that plays the straight man and has an honest personality. He is not timid. If you don't like the first episode of gags, you won't like the rest. 

Also there is no 'serious' plot in this. Only moments when you think 'think could be slightly serious', but then it will be resolved in moments and the heart warming moments are just as fleeting.

13 Hourou Musuko

Hourou Musuko

If you read the summary on for this you can probably tell why it's included; a timid boy trying to discover his true self. Honestly this show is on my watch list but I hesitate to try it because I read the ending wasn't the best.

14 Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

He starts out weak and gets stronger, it's a nice progression. He's not timid, but he is very innocent, honest, and sometimes naiive as he works towards his goal. I thought he, as well as characters in general were pretty cute in this anime.

15 K


In regards to Shiro, as the first season is about the eventual recovery of his memories, the first season is the only one where he really fits the requirements of needing to be protected, pure, and kind hearted. Though he's not very honest, can be pretty cunning actually! I really love the animation in this series, the second season is already out.

hm- one issue however is how much time you get to see the MC (neko shiro and black-blue haired tsundere boy), which is widely split up due to all the other characters that also get a chunk of screen time.

16 Karneval


Technically saying Nai is the sole MC wouldn't seem right to me, Gareki is included and gets a lot of screen time. However, Nai fits all the traits on my list and is one of my fav. characters, he is just so cute!❤ 



This is a longer, and older series, where the main character is kinda cowardly/timid throughout it. Well, near the end he shapes up a ton, but often he is rather timid and pure. I liked this a lot when I watched is several years ago, but it's also been a while. I recall a good last arc to the show and a slower, filler like start.

18 This Boy Can Fight Aliens!

This Boy Can Fight Aliens!

I found this anime to be lacking in plot due to the fact it's just a 30 minute episode, but it was rather brightening. The vibrant colors and heart warming ending make you feel more optimistic. It brought in some psychological aspects as the MC struggles with his existence. This one almost doesn't make it on the list as Kakashi is honest but not weak(only mentally) and many other traits are left out because of the lack of time.

19 Kuroko's Basketball

Kuroko's Basketball

The MC is soft spoken and though determined still fits a somewhat innocent character type. There a some, but not a ton of 'Kuroko got hurt' or 'Kuroko needs help' or 'Kuroko is being earnest' moments. He might be slightly apart from vunerable but still fits well enough. 

20 Black Butler

Black Butler

Uhhh he's a young boy protagonist and needs to be protected all the time, but he's not honest, pure, naiive, or really that kind. He's kind of merciless actually. However, I'm pretty sure more people know of kuroshitsuji considering it's a pretty well known show and thus know more of what kind of a character Ciel Phantomhive is.

21 Kyo Kara Maoh!

Kyo Kara Maoh!

This is an older anime, so since it's mostly comedy it might be harder to be entertained, especially since the animation isn't that good either. The main character is more outgoing than many of the others on this list, but he is young compared to the older characters that surround him, honest, naiive, and not that strong (most of the time). 

22 Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee

Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee

Forgot this one at first because I dropped it. To be honest I just got kinda tired of it. I felt that they could have made the plot a bit more serious and dramatic, and that darker tone would have fit well and held my interest. Overall though the MC is a good hearted boy, and he gets a cute sidekick too. I added this because it has a season 2 and 1, and I think it wasn't that bad that no one would like it, I just got bored with it.

23 Loveless


This is an older series so animation can be iffy, AND it doesn't have a proper ending. It's a shounen ai. Ritsuka is naiive, honest, and broken mentally in some ways. He is more tsundere-ish. He has a cat ears and a tail, which is adorable. 

24 Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

This one almost didn't make it on here. Yes Alladin is a young boy, but he doesn't many of the traits on my list above other than cute and honest. I would say that Alibaba, who could be included as a second main character, fits more of those traits in season 1 of magi, thus with Alladin and Alibaba combined I add this onto the list.

25 Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100

Mob is on the apathetic side, but at the same time he's just really awkwards and dense (which makes him kinda innocent). His hair style is kind of cute and dorky, and he's completely honest as well as timid. Although he's sort of omnipotent with his psychic powers he doesn't want to use them and still ends up protected sometimes.

26 My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia

Izuku is innocent, super modest, and the timid type. Despite this being a shounen anime he gets away with his personality type because at the same time he is brave and possessed no powers for most of his life, leading to his inferiority complex that is expressed by his timid personality.

27 Nabari no Ou

Nabari no Ou

The ending of this made me sad and slightly annoyed, though it was wrapped up nicely... It's mainly about the young boy Miharu's mental struggle of whether to use his 'godly' power or not. Miharu has a temper but spends much of his time darkly pondering about what choices to make and is in general honest and kind. The other time is mostly spent protecting him from those who want him to use his powers for their benefit.

28 Nanbaka


The show itself is rather average 1st season and slightly better 2nd season. What I didn't expect was Jyuugo to turn into such a a cute cinnamon roll at times. He is struggling with himself, and just cares about his friends. Overall a lot of sparkles and everyone is super colorful and has painted nails? I actually found this quite unique in the setting and mix of characters and thus entertaining.

29 Natsume's Book of Friends

Natsume's Book of Friends

This anime has a more subtle and peaceful air as the adorable Natsume and his fat cat go on adventures in this supernatural episodic series. It has four seasons and I found it pretty enjoyable though there isn't a lot of main plot/really serious moments. Natsume is reserved, quiet, and kindhearted. He's not that strong but is often helped by his fat cat and others.

30 No. 6

No. 6

This is a light shounen ai, kinda. Sion is protected the whole time by Nezumi, because he struggle to adapt to the new slum-like place he is forced to live in. He's kindhearted, and pretty naiive.

31 Pandora Hearts

Pandora Hearts

Another one where the MC Oz darkly ponders about his past and his connection to the Abyss. I rather liked this one though technically the plot is not resolved by the end. Oz is a cute 15 year old-ish blond and fits all of the above descriptions until his purity is shattered by the cruel reality of the abyss. It's an older anime but the animation is OK.

32 Poco's Udon World

Poco's Udon World

Hm, I feel like this is a bit dif. than normal. But Poco is a legit adorable little kid, precious and innocent. While the MC is easily flustered and thus close to fitting as well. Overall this is a cute slice of life comedy with the feels.

33 Rozen Maiden

Rozen Maiden

The younger looking protagonist stays in his room due to a trauma, but I wouldn't say he's that innocent(he's often salty), though he is weak physically and mentally. I would say this anime was ok overall, I leaned more towards being entertained by it.

34 Sci-fi Harry

Sci-fi Harry

This one is close to a mind fuck at times and the ending was satisfying and at the same time not. The animation in itself was not the 'cutest', but Harry was naiive and weak for a while, and he definately was struggling mentally and emotionally the whole time, which gave him a very timid character. I think he was highschool age.

35 Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

The MC is Balsa, but the kid in the lower right of the anime title picture is just as important, and fits all the traits on my list. Plus, this is just a good show, a little action, a little fantasy, a bit of mystery, some slice of life, and a great female protagonist. 

36 Servamp


I think that Mahiru is pretty put together as a MC, so he almost doesn't make the cut, but he's pretty darn honest and innocent in his world views so I'll include him for now. Thus I added him to the list. Overall I was really excited for an anime the was vampire themed, but have felt that it is slightly lacking in impact so far and can be rather cliche at times. (Will have to see how it turns out later). :'(

37 Shounen Maid

Shounen Maid

Awww. Chihiro is just so cute. He takes things seriously and can be more responsible than many adults. Overall this is a cute slice of life where they had a young boy wear a maid outfit without making it seem creepy. Cute slice of life things happen and Chihiro earnestly gets worked up about trivial issues. Overall is cute, optimistic, and the animation is very nice.

38 The Morose Mononokean

The Morose Mononokean

Ashiya is the honest and easily flustered MC type in this supernatural themed anime. I read ahead, and based on the manga this show should stay pretty light and fluffy, no real serious plot developments. There may be beginning hints of some sort of 'danger' Ashiya could be, but nothing really develops. Just for a heads up. In genereal it reminds me a bit of Natsume Yuujinchou with an episodic nature with a focus on the different Youkai and the issues that come with them.

39 Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul

Kaneki's young timid boy status only applies to the first season of tokyo ghoul as he undergoes a 'transformation' in character types between the two. In this first season he is a freshly changed ghoul that struggles with his new life and is generally kind, honest, and weak...poor guy

40 Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle

Syaoran isn't weak, but he's quiet and honest. He spends the series protecting sakura and collecting her feathers in a fairly short arc/episodic manner.

Due to this episodic nature I felt many times lacking in character development/interaction. It almost seems like eternal repitition of finding sakura's feathers (I have watched season 1 but only started/stalled season 2).

41 Tsuritama


With a combination of the pure, naiive, cute, but not so honest Haru, and the honest and super shy Yuki, Tsuritama makes the list. A series that sticks mainly to a plot about friendship, fishing, and comedy.

42 The Betrayal Knows My Name

The Betrayal Knows My Name

This one doesn't have a proper ending, though it ends at an OK stopping point. This is sort of a light shounen ai? Though there are no confessions. The MC is protected the whole time, is kindhearted, and cries a lot. If a male character crying a lot annoys you don't watch this. If a constant pity fest of 'why does he have to suffer so...?!' annoys you then don't watch-note that the MC is not telling himself this, others are thinking about him like this. There is a subtle difference that splits really annoying like Leon from Garo to more loveable Yuki from this series. I like it myself, but that's just me.

43 Welcome to the Ballroom

Welcome to the Ballroom

It is meant to develop into the usual scenario of the MC gaining confidence etc. (as sports anime do) as they get better at the sport but currently Tatara, the MC is humble, flustered around girls, and very earnest. Started out the show with him briefly bullied.

44 Witch Craft Works

Witch Craft Works

Literally this was like a reversal of roles. Kagari is the Knight, and Honoka is this super reserved, cute, pure, and kind hearted shy boy that is always getting rescued. -lol honestly super fits the description despite all the girls around him, just not the same annoying MC that I normally find them to be (haha funny part is many dislike the timid types compared to more aggresive but whatever) The animation and soundtrack was really nice, but the plot was rushed. And we are left hanging in the end, never knowing the important secret that connected Kagari and Honoka in the first place. I did like it overall though, it was entertaining to see all the different witches.

45 xxxHOLiC


Watanuki is a bumbling nice guy that is naiive and often protected. He has high spiritual power, but no means to use it to defend himself...The animation is strangely stretched at times, like in the neck and limbs, but I like the overall dark supernatural vibe. It's mainly episodic, but I found the second season to be more exciting than the first.

46 Yuri!!! on Ice

Yuri!!! on Ice

Conisdering how much hype this had, I doubt many don't know how much Yuri fits this description. Yes, he got older, but he's still lacking confidence, reserved, shy, easily shaken at matches, and all around adorable. I enjoyed watching him perform in various areas. The one thing that was sad was the lack of outside performance time after a certain point it was mostly competition after competition. This is borderline Shounen Ai. They went as far as they possibly could without confirming anything (there are a few signs that strongly suggest but tech. could be easily written off as other things), which is acutally kind of annoying. 


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Spiderus Oct 28, 2019

Gah, I've found another one! (If you can't tell these kinds of characters are also my thing... I'm so happy you made this list! T^T) Mayuki from Fantastic Detective Labyrinth hits all of these points head on. He's such a sweet bean!!! The anime isn't the most extraordinary, but I enjoyed it none the less and you might want to consider watching it if you're ever bored~

Spiderus Apr 29, 2019

I know it's quite old animation (that's something I like~), but Romeo from Rome's Blue Skies is the most innocent and honest boy I have ever seen! His friend Alfredo is nice too, but when it comes to down-to-the-core purity, Romeo is at the top. It's a worthwhile watch that doesn't get the attention it deserves. I loved it, and hopefully I'm not wrong when I say I think you will too! (Awesome list btw!!)

Rubyfan12 Sep 1, 2018

Why those male protagonists has to be young/timid?

eucalyptusleaf Jan 29, 2018

 very nice. i very much enjoied this list! ;3

SweetFantine Sep 28, 2017

Shy and soft boys are the best! Srsly...

I don't think crybabies are annoying at all! What annoys me are those high tempered harem/shounen protagonists who are aggressive and hardly pleasant... I wonder why I find shy anime boys more attractive/worth of taking care of than shy anime girls?

I found your list to be very useful for me! Thank you!

 PS: Leo and Nai are too adorable! I want to bite them so badly!!!