in the first playthrough literally anyone except Defender is fine
in New Game+ Magic Swordsman is pretty great because he gets extra hits and on top of that, each hit deals a debuff.
If you don't feel like grinding too much, try playing on easy mode first, then use New Game+ on whatever difficulty you want. >>3648100
Shadow Side has done the cardinal sin of removing most of its shotas and nosedived the franchise with it. At least we had the Forever Friends movie before it truly was kill.