In all the manga that I have read and anime I have watched, the protagonist always appears in the first chapter of manga or first episode of an anime.

Most of the time without reading the plot we can tell who is the protagonist after watching only a few episodes.

So my question:

Has it ever happened that there any anime or manga where:

  1. The character who we think is the protagonist turns into a supporting character and another character turn into the protagonist

  2. The protagonist appears or debuts later than 1 or 2 chapters or episodes.

But not including where the protagonist dies and there arises another protagonist.

And while providing an example try to mention which type of plot as mentioned above

  • I can only think of Ichigo 100%, with Toujou Aya as main heroine, but as the story goes, while she still consider one of protagonist, the story shifted to be around Nishino Tsukasa.
    – Darjeeling
    Aug 24, 2014 at 7:28

3 Answers 3


When I read this question, I remember the shojo manga From Eroica with Love.

In first 3 chapters in volume 1, the main protagonist is the girl who have psychic ability. The main plot is "Psychic children team VS the phantom thief". But after 3 episode, the author found other character (Major of NATO) got more interest from reader. Then the author changed plot of follow episode (latest books is volume 39 and still continue) to "NATO vs KGB", and never seen psychic children.

I think such a radical change is easy to happen in manga series, because the author writes each episode every week (or month) based on reader's feedback. For example, Jump manga is easy to change to fight manga. Dragon ball changed from adventure to fighting. Yuyu-hakusyo changed from detective to fighting.

Next example is Boogiepop series. Each story of this series has different protagonist. all protagonist meet the boogiepop, but each protagonist has different understanding about it.

Such a change of observing point is also common (as same as novel). For example each episode of The Twelve Kingdoms has different protagonist for each "Kingdom".

  • Another example would be JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
    – Xeo
    Aug 25, 2014 at 10:57

Yes, there are. TV Tropes refers to this as a Decoy Protagonist, although TV Tropes' definition generally seems to refer to when the apparent main character gets killed early on in the series. Some examples of this may include Gurren Lagann, Yuru-Yuri, and Bokurano (I took these straight from the examples page and have not actually watched the latter two).

  • Did you mean Yuru-yuri? the link you cite above doesn't have yuri-yuri
    – Darjeeling
    Aug 24, 2014 at 7:21
  • @Shinobu Oshino My mistake. I'll edit to fix.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    – absinthe
    Aug 24, 2014 at 7:23
  • @ShinobuOshino oh how i wish it was YuriYuri, then rather than hinting that the possible relationships we actually get to see them bloom (that and i can stop correcting myself when i search for it, I and U are really close together)
    – Memor-X
    Aug 24, 2014 at 23:04

"Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni" does exactly this. The first main character (Keiichi) is still alive but the series completely shifts focus later on to one of the supporting characters which turns out to be the one the whole story have been circulating around the whole time. I won't say who because I would spoil it.

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