Because just having a protagonist would be awfully boring.
Where would Batman be without Robin? Or Sailor Moon without Luna? Peanut butter without jelly? Without these amazing sidekicks, the extraordinary would simply be ordinary. Recently, we asked you who your favorite anime/manga sidekicks were and the votes are in! So here’s a look at five epic side characters who made their respective series a little more fantastic.
Alphonse Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist) – Alphonse is incredibly loyal and has a heart of gold despite having a body of oversized metal. However, much like in the case of Tony Stark, being trapped in a large, clunky suit of armor has its upside: he’s nearly invincible, which makes him mighty handy in a fight. But, most importantly, he is unwaveringly dedicated to his brother, staying with the lovable li'l shrimp through thick and thin.
Mokona Modoki (Tsubasa/xxxHolic/Magic Knight Rayearth) – Mokona definitely give Pikachu a run for the cutest sidekick award. They’re so cute in fact, that they couldn't be contained to a single series; the ladies of CLAMP put them in three different series. Plus, they boast 108 “secret techniques” including hyper gravity and super strength, so they’re not only cute, they’re helpful too (and not easily distracted by ketchup).
Shippo (InuYasha) – Although Shippo originally tries to steal the Shikon Jewel Shards from Kagome and InuYasha (and who could blame him), he eventually becomes their loyal sidekick. He can be a little cheeky from time to time, but he always tries to help when it counts. How can your heart not melt a little bit for those adorable derpy eyes.
Pikachu (Pokemon) – Arguably the cutest sidekick in anime history, Pikachu manages to teach Ash (and viewers) lessons in hard work, dedication, and compassion with just one word: his own name. Some might consider it narcissistic, but it's super effective on our hearts.
Jet Black (Cowboy Bebop) – Jet is the ultimate sidekick. Not only is he always there to brawl with Spike, he’s also a skilled pilot, a mushroom aficionado and a halfway-decent cook. An ex-cop with a soft spot for Charlie Parker, Jet is the dad of the ship; he knows when to leave well enough alone, but is always there to make sure everyone’s okay at the end of the day. Someone get this guy a "#1 Surrogate Dad" mug already.