Shonen anime are well-known for having large casts of well-loved and colorful characters. However, because these lineups are so big, oftentimes seemingly major characters will be pushed aside to give more screen time to others. Or maybe a particular character's role just isn't meshing well with the current direction the story is heading in.
Regardless of the reasons why, many still can't help but feel cheated when a seemingly important character is set aside -- especially during the anime's biggest moments. Here are a few characters from shonen anime who got shafted when the action started heating up.
My Hero Academia's Midnight Gets More Fanservice Than Action
Midnight is a Pro Hero and teacher at UA Academy, the best hero school in the universe of My Hero Academia. She's one of the few staff members who gets a decent amount of focus, and plays an even larger role in the spin-off series My Hero Academia: Vigilantes.
Despite this, she gets little to no on-screen fights in the mainline anime. It often feels like her role in the series is just to provide fanservice and nothing else, which is rather disappointing as there don't seem to be many female Pro Heroes working at UA.
Bianchi from Reborn! Went From an Assassin to a Gag Character
Bianchi is introduced as a fearsome assassin in Reborn!, one of the best in the underworld. But aside from the first big action-focused arc, she is often relegated to the background. Whenever the Tsuna and his friends find themselves in a rut trying to figure out what other powerhouses to recruit into their cause, they never once consider asking for Bianchi's help.
Instead, she ends up spending most of her screentime doing household chores with the other female characters as her relevance diminishes more and more with time. Later episodes of Reborn! would treat her more like a gag character rather than the potential threat she was in her introductory episode.
Hunter x Hunter's Leorio Still Doesn't Have His Own Arc
Leorio was introduced as a core member of Hunter x Hunter's main quartet, but his importance seemed to wane after the "Hunter's License Exam" arc ended. He was already shown to be not as physically strong as the other three, so that may be why he hasn't played a part in any major battles present in later arcs. Kurapika would suffer the same fate; however, unlike Leorio, he still got to play a major role in the "Yorknew City" arc and the Phantom Rouge film. Sadly, Leorio still hasn't gotten any arcs dedicated to him as of this writing.
Gintama's Otae Has Never Shown Her Incredible Strength
Otae is feared by many characters in Gintama for her strength, which has led to her earning the respect (begrudging or otherwise) of many people. However, that strength tends to be used more often as a gag rather than something to be treated seriously.
As a result, whenever the stakes get high and the characters start to get serious, Otae is nowhere to be seen amid all the action. This begs the question of whether Otae is genuinely as strong as others claim her to be, or if she's just so strong that having her get involved in Gintama's biggest battles would have them end prematurely.
Ukyo from Dr. Stone Rarely Got to Use His Greatest Abilities
Ukyo is initially built-up to be one of the most formidable members of Tsukasa's army during the "Stone Wars" arc. With his unmatched archery skills, superhuman hearing and high level of intelligence, many Dr. Stone fans were expecting to see a big, flashy fight between him and Senku's friends. This ultimately does not happen -- and he doesn't even get the chance to participate during the Stone Wars once it finally begins.
Ukyo did manage to get a few chances to shine in the manga later down the line, but arguably not to the same extent as Tsukasa's other generals. But with the manga officially concluded, it's unlikely he'll ever get any more chances in the future -- unless the creator decides to write a sequel series.