Anime protagonists are the face of the series. Viewers see the story through their eyes, and they are usually the characters fans know most about right from the start. Most of the main characters are open books. The audience knows their story, thoughts and feelings more than any other character.
However, not every anime protagonist is easy to figure out. Some people keep their innermost secrets from the world, including the public. Whether they are hiding a terrible secret, have unresolved traumas or simply living a more private life than most, these anime protagonists have a mysterious past that even fans do not know about.
10 Tohru hides the pain for everyone (fruit basket)
At first glance, the Tohru Honda hardly seems like a mysterious character. But just like everyone else in Fruit basket, she is far more complicated than she suggests. Tohru has a dark past that she hides under her positive vision and sunny disposition.
She has suffered a lot of pain in her life, ever since her father died years ago. Instead of accepting her feelings, Tohru pretends to be well and focuses on helping others. As the years passed, her true feelings became a dark secret she refused to reveal until she finally opened up to Kyo later in the series.
9 Hi hides his true identity after becoming an entrepreneur (darker than black)
Hi is a contractor and assassin who works for the syndicate in Darker than black. Because of his position, he has buried his past and his true identity, and assumed any name or profession that will help him in his job. At the beginning of the series, he goes by the name Li Shengshun, a shy and gentle-mannered Chinese exchange student.
To those around him, he appears pleasant and unpretentious. However, this is just a facade, and his true identity is unknown for a while. Throughout most of the series, Hi remains largely a mystery, even to audiences. Even after his story is revealed, his true feelings and intentions seem unknown.
8 Satou Matsuzaka uses his sweet look to hide a scary secret (Happy Sugar Life)
Good sugar life seems like the typical cute slice-of-life series, and Satou Matsuzaka seems like the usual cute main character. However, it does not take long before viewers realize that this can not be further from the truth. Beneath her adorable exterior, Satou hides a terrible secret.
She has become obsessively in love with a young girl named Shio and keeps her locked in her apartment. Anyone who discovers their secret or gets between them falls victim to her cruelty. Satou is determined to keep her a secret no matter what, even if it means killing those who stand in her way. However, because of her sweet appearance, no one seems to suspect anything.
7 Tsukasa is trapped inside the world without remembering who he is (.Hack // SIGN)
.Hack: // SIGN is the story of a virtual reality game known as The World, and the main character Tsukasa is unlike any other player. At the start of the series, he wakes up inside the game with no memory of his past or who he is. While other players can log in and out of The World, Tsukasa is trapped in his realm.
He becomes an anomaly among players, with many believing that he may even be a hacker. Tsukasa spends the entire series trying to discover his true identity and eventually leave the game, and when his true identity is revealed at the end of the series, it is one of the most shocking moments of all.
6 Tomoya Okazaki’s childhood remains a mystery for most of the series (Clannad)
Tomoya Okazaki is Clannadhis cynical criminal protagonist. He seems to have a strange resentment for his hometown, and it is unclear why. It is revealed early on that Tomoya has a strained and even cross-border violent relationship with his alcoholic father, but the audience never quite knows why they have become like this. For most of the first season, Tomoya stays with Furukawas, ignoring his former home.
It’s not before Clannad After Story that fans see the truth behind his childhood and upbringing. As he gets older, Tomoya realizes that his childhood had more than he remembered, and he discovers how much his father sacrificed for his sake. After years of alienation, the two are finally reconciled, and Tomoya aims to become a better person in the end.
5 Homura’s intentions are unclear at first (Madoka Magica)
Homura Akemi may not be the main character in the original series, but she is the only main character in Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion. In this film, the truth about this mysterious member of the group is finally revealed. Up to this point, Homura is a bit of a mystery to both the girls and the audience.
No one can really tell what her true intentions are, not even Madoka. But her goals are made clear in Rebellion while she sacrifices herself to desperately try to stop Madoka and the others from becoming magical girls. Although she appears cold and numb, in reality she has simply been hardened by the tragic reality she reveals.
4 Kouta has no memory of his childhood due to a traumatic life-changing event
Kouta is the main character in Eleven Song and has returned to his cousin’s hometown to go to college. Although he seems like an average guy in every way, Kouta has a dark secret buried deep within him that even he cannot remember. The audience learns that he has no memory of his time in Kamakura as a child due to a very traumatic event, but what that event may be remains a mystery throughout most of the series.
It is not until near the end that he remembers that he met the female lead Lucy all those years ago and witnessed her brutally murder his family right in front of him. After this revelation, Kouta remembers everything and uses this newfound knowledge to heal from the trauma and find forgiveness in his heart.
3 Yukito appears as a mysterious traveling puppet master (AIR)
At the start of AIR, Yukito Kunisaki wanders into a coastal town and makes ends meet with his cordless puppet show. Even after meeting the female protagonist Misuzu Kamio, Yukito barely opens up and remains a mystery. Throughout most of the series, it is unclear why he is there or what his goals are. In the end, he tells Misuzu that he travels to search for a “girl in heaven”, but even this tells the audience very little about him.
It is not until the very end that his true identity becomes known. Before the story begins to fit together the pieces of who Yukito really is, he disappears. Even after his story and connection to Misuzu are revealed, he remains a confusing mystery that viewers still do not fully understand.
2 Mei Misaki’s existence is filled with mystery (another)
Mei Misaki is the female protagonist in Another. She is quiet and unpretentious, with classmates who even call her “the one who does not exist”. It even looks like Chief Kouichi is the only one who can see her. She remains a mystery throughout the series, and little is known about her in general.
It’s all about Mei, but it’s unclear what her true connection to it all is. Even as Kouichi becomes more familiar with her, he finds himself puzzled by the unexplained events that take place around them.
1 Loid Forger abandoned her true identity after becoming a spy (Spy X Family)
At the start of Spy x Family, the world-famous spy, codenamed Twilight, is introduced as the main character. After joining WISE, he left his name and everything about his true identity. Instead, he assumes the identity necessary for his mission, and he assumes the name Loid Forger in the first episode.
Loid’s past is a complete mystery, with only a few pieces of information known to the public. His life is completely dedicated to his work, so it’s hard to say what he really thinks, let alone who he is.