7 Anime Series With Exceptional Side Character Stories

When you watch a series, you watch it for the main characters, of course. Writers are supposed to tell their most interesting story about these main characters and you are suppose to watch them develop. However, stories in anime need not be completely about the relatively small world of the main cast. In fact, some of the best series will share focus with a number of side characters and their adventures that contribute to the overall plot or the plot line at hand in that moment.

However, not all side character focus is particular great. For example, much of the side characters in Code Geass are little more than pawns. Some of them are interesting characters, but have rather lackluster stories of their own. Alternatively, Naruto would sometimes switch to side character focus, but often in these cases the tales were sometimes quite dull. Let’s explore series that really allow side characters to shine bright.

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

FMA is popular for many reasons, I am sure, but one of those reasons is almost assuredly the cast of characters. There are moments when Ed or Al are not seen at all, but the side characters it focuses on all have great stories to tell that help shape the overall world of the series. It is this kind of storytelling that brings everything together and makes the world feel alive.

My Hero Academia

The thing about this series is it has a world that was naturally set up to have a lot of characters and seduced viewers into wanting to see more of them. Thousands of heroes all with distinct powers and to watch those heroes utilize those powers is as enthralling as any Western super hero media. However, while Deku and his mentor are interesting, the various stories that go on around them are often a little better. They help shape Deku in many ways as well, but you watch those other characters grow as well. Iida, Todoroki, and even Bakugo grow into more dynamic characters through the story, and while Deku helps in this development, they have stories of their own.


This is a series where it can actually be kind of difficult to pin down who exactly is the main character. You will find several series like that on this particular list because it is really a storytelling method that utilizes a larger bulk of characters. In Shiki, you watch a town very quietly descend into chaos until things are not so quiet anymore. Each character with their own roles to play in this and also their own motivations make it a chilling and enthralling horror tale.


Sports anime series do tend to expand their character focus from one main character to the team, but they don’t always do it very well. Haikyuu excels in this in every regard, sometimes even going beyond team. Every character in this series feels very unique and has their own personal struggles. It is this that has enabled this particular series to convert the non-sports anime fans to at least attempt the genre.

Hunter X Hunter

There are many, many cases in HXH in which the side characters are actually vastly more interesting with their stories than the main characters. Where this series excels above all other in its shounen genre is in the creation of engaging antagonists in particular. They are very dynamic and you almost assuredly want to see more of their stories.


Similar to Shiki, Durarara is a story made up of the stories of many characters that all sort of of ultimately flow into one intersection. While it may be easier to spot more of a main set of characters, this show is very much about the parts that every character has to play. They all contribute something to the story with their various going-ons about the odd town of Ikebukuro. If nothing else, you want to see how they all are connected.


Sharing the same light novel author as Durarara but a different setting, Baccano follows the same storytelling pattern as Durarara. This is a story that can span several different times, which makes the plot line it flows into even more addicting. This series really did creates some beautiful characters in every way and you want to know more about each of them.

Know any more anime series with good side character utilization? Let fans know in the comments section below.

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