There are a plethora of anime genres for fans to partake in, but most of them will have one thing in common: the importance of moving the plot forward. Even the most benign moments in a story will hinge on a character’s agency, whether it be the protagonists, supporting characters, or antagonists.
Nothing adds to a story’s most tense moments quite like a character who’s entrusted with an important task and manages to succeed. Sometimes a character might be tasked with moving the plot forward in a less direct way, as well. No matter how they pull it off, anime stories have countless characters who pulled through for their teams when it mattered most.
10 Aqua Successfully Purified The Riverhead Lake (KonoSuba)
This KonoSuba quest was one that only Aqua could have managed since she’s a goddess acting as an Arch Priest class with high-level holy magic. But what Aqua thought sounded like an easy quest turned out to be quite the traumatizing experience when she was harassed by monstrous alligators for about five hours straight. Nevertheless, Aqua faithfully stayed inside the cage until the deed was done and even declined to stop the quest halfway in when Kazuma took pity on her, earning her a sweet 300,000 eris reward.
9 Okabe Fools The World & Prevents World War III (Steins;Gate)
Steins;Gate is a series that dares Rintaro Okabe to defy fate against all odds, and he almost gives up. After all, when your opponent is time and causality itself, how could one ever hope to come out on top? But at Okabe’s darkest hour, he receives a D-mail from his future self, motivating him to deceive the world and save both Mayuri Shiina and Kurisu Makise. Emboldened by his future self’s confidence, Okabe tries one more time to pull off Operation Skuld—and succeeds.
8 Keiichi & Rika Overcame Fate & Escaped The Hinamizawa Of 1983 (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Kai)
The first season of Higurashi: When They Cry introduces viewers to a hopeless reality where grisly murders occur no matter what actions are taken. But Higurashi: When They Cry Kai shows viewers what happens when people communicate and trust each other.
To escape her untimely death, Rika realizes Keiichi is the strongest chance she has to overcome fate. By inspiring Keiichi to trust his friends, Keiichi never falls prey to Level 5 Hinamizawa Syndrome, preventing the tragedies Rika had spent 100 years trying to escape.
7 Mary Accepts Miyo’s Challenge To Save Yumeko (Kakegurui XX)
In Kakegurui, Miyo Yobami poisons Yumeko Jabami as a ploy to lure a more affluent gambler to their game of Nim Type Zero, prompting Ryota Suzui to call someone with a lot more chips. Suzui naturally calls Mary Saotome, who promptly rushes over. Realizing her options are to participate in the game or let Yumeko die, Mary agrees to take Yumeko’s place at the table with the hopes of winning an antidote. Mary is especially observant and notices the dealer’s shuffling technique, ultimately using it to her advantage and winning the game.
6 Tokai Teio Learns From Her Experience As Team Leader (Umamusume: Pretty Derby)
After injuring her leg and losing her chance to be a Triple Crown undefeated horse girl, Umamusume: Pretty Derby‘s Tokai Teio is understandably down in the dumps. But Trainer appoints her as Team Spica’s leader while her leg recovers with the intent of helping Teio find another reason to race by helping her teammates.
Teio doesn’t understand how being the leader will help but dutifully performs the role anyway. After spending time helping Team Spica with menial chores and seeing their passion for racing, Teio has a heart-to-heart with Mejiro McQueen that reignites her own passion for the sport.
5 Megumi Brings Yuji Back To His Senses (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Things go horribly wrong during Yuji, Megumi, and Nobara’s first assignment in Jujutsu Kaisen. They’re overpowered by curses at the West Tokyo City detention center, and Sukuna fully takes over Yuji’s body by the end of it. Gojo is unfortunately nowhere to be found, and Nobara is out for the count, leaving Megumi as the one responsible for dealing with Sukuna and bringing Yuji back.
Against all odds, Megumi bravely fights a losing battle against Sukuna. But right before Megumi can use his Innate Domain as his last stand against Sukuna, Yuji recognizes and is moved by Megumi’s willpower, which helps him regain control of his body.
4 Zenitsu Protects Shoichi & Defeats The Tongue Demon (Demon Slayer)
Although it’s by a technicality, Zenitsu does manage to keep Shoichi safe during the Tsuzumi Mansion arc. Zenitsu Agatsuma is an incurable coward early in the series and consistently fears for his life despite being a trained demon slayer. But Zenitsu’s true power comes alive when he’s most afraid.
Despite being passed out from fear, Zenitsu’s instincts are sharp while unconscious, meaning it’s the best time for him to fight. He demonstrates this well by defeating the Tongue Demon with one swing of his nichirin sword.
3 Momiji Faithfully Delivered Tohru’s DVD To Kureno (Fruits Basket 2019)
In Fruits Basket, after Uo’s outburst during the play Tohru’s class put on for the school festival, Tohru desperately wants Kureno to see Uo’s passion. But she can’t bring herself to deliver the DVD copy of the play herself since getting close to Kureno means risking Akito’s wrath. Instead, Momiji guesses that Tohru wants Kureno to see the play and takes it upon himself to make sure Kureno gets the DVD. Though getting close to Kureno is dangerous, Momiji nevertheless delivers the DVD without a hitch.
2 Tae Completed Her Shopping Trip & Wiped Out Franchouchou’s Debt (Zombie Land Saga)
Surprisingly, the least cognizant member of Franchouchou, one of Zombie Land Saga‘s idol groups, ends up being the one to pull off one of their most impressive feats. After being entrusted with a simple shopping trip, Tae Yamada ends up going on quite the adventure through Saga. Tae’s escapade culminates in a jet ski race where she just so happens to bet on the winning racer. Most impressively, Tae’s winnings are just enough to wipe out Franchouchou’s debt so they can start focusing on their idol work instead of paying their creditors.
1 Morgana Successfully Guided Ren Through Mementos (Persona 5 The Animation)
Although he wasn’t aware of it, Morgana’s ultimate mission in Persona 5 was to make sure Ren Amamiya made it through Mementos and awakened his master, Lavenza. Following his instinct throughout the story, Morgana makes sure to point out Mementos as a priority that will help him regain his memories.
He was also expecting to become human again, but it turns out that Morgana’s main purpose was to guide the Trickster to their final battle against Yaldabaoth. It’s not what he wanted, but Morgana was glad to have helped the humans he admired.
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