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My Personal Top 10 Most Annoying Anime Characters

Any discussion of which anime characters are the most annoying ends up generating a lot of nerd rage on the internet. Designate any anime character at all as "annoying" and there will always be fans of that character defending them.

So, of course for a while I've been hesitant to do something like this. It just kind of seems like whining and not like I would be doing anything that productive. But I guess sometimes, on the other hand, it can be nice to vent. So here are my picks for the ten most annoying anime characters I can think of (with some honorable mentions).

I'm not counting obvious rivals or villains like Gary Oak from Pokemon or Sae from Peach Girl. You're supposed to hate them, even though they can also be sympathetic at times. I chose characters who are protagonists or supporting characters on the "good guys" team, who are nevertheless irritating to watch. Let the rant begin!

10. Ren (DearS)

Ren is cute and all but she's just so... stupid! The whole series is just based on a basic formula where Ren does something stupid and Miu and other characters have to do damage control, as if they were taking care of an infant or mentally handicapped person or something.

This might be okay, after all it is a comedy, but the weird thing is the implied fetish fuel. Mental retardation is not attractive! The series makes it seem sexy that Ren is so innocent and naive, clearly going for that Starfire concept of the cutesy, girl-next-door, innocent alien girl who doesn't understand what is kiss. But the thing is, other fictional examples of this type of girl are better. Many of them, like Starfire herself, are still smart and competent, they just don't understand Earth culture and figurative language and things like that. Sort of like foreigners who visit other countries are on Earth. But Ren is so empty-headed as to barely seem functional. And the series uses the same jokes around her all the time, making it no mystery at all as to why this was just a half-season show. Oh hahahaha we get it, she loves melon bread, that was so funny... the first time.

9. Meryl (Trigun)

I like her in some of the action scenes, where she is, I'll admit, pretty good with a giant-ass gun. However, in non-action scenes, all she seems to do is whine, and her English dub voice was shrill and grated my nerves constantly when I watched this. I get that as an insurance girl, she has to be all business, in contrast with the "manic pixie dream girl/free spirit" she works with, Millie. She sometimes feels like the only sane person in the cast.

But ah, she bitches and whines non-stop and her voice is just so annoying! I would pay double what I paid for my series box set of Trigun to just have one with Meryl's voice muted or her gratuitous complaining cut! It borders on ruining a show I otherwise really like. At least she changes and becomes less annoying over time. The serious moments make the better side of her personality shine through in the later episodes. But she often seems like she's abrasive, condescending, and acts like the other characters' displeased mom all the time.

8. Asuka (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

Another character with a shrill, annoying English dub voice, and a personality to match. When I was initially watching Evangelion on Cartoon Network, I remember always talking about last night's episode the next day like "yeah, Asuka was super annoying but the rest of the episode was pretty cool". If they had introduced her initially, I might not even have given the show a chance. Some scenes with her were just painful, and she strikes me as rude, obnoxious, arrogant, and a bully. (You can probably tell that I'm more of a Rei Ayanami fan?)

In Asuka, I could kind of see everything I hate about Western culture reflected and magnified. She has a dismissive attitude towards all things Japanese (which I think is being a rude guest in a foreign country). She loudly whines about everything, and does nothing to hide her disdain for Shinji and outright hatred of Rei, both of which come across as snap judgments she makes within a few moments of meeting them. She's basically proof that being too outspoken is not always a good thing.

7. Kagome (Inuyasha)

She's sort of the anime world''s equivalent of Bella Swan; a likely author stand-in for her own wish fulfillment for the wish of being sought-after by hot, brooding, supernaturally-gifted dudes despite being completely ordinary in every conceivable way. Again, she also has an annoying English dub voice that just pains my ear drums every time I hear it. Did they tell the English VA's the difference between sounding young and energetic and sounding like a banshee-possessed c-word?

Anyway, Kagome is basically an object in her own story. She's the character in distress most often except maybe for Shippo, and a lot of the plot revolves around guys fighting over her, as well as her bizarre love rivalry she has with... herself? That's right, she has to fight a past-life version of herself for her lover's affection. And she worships him even though he's an immature ass. Romantic, ain't it?

6. Kaoru (Rurouni Kenshin)

In Japanese AND English, her voice is annoying. While I respect Kaoru's drive to rebuild her martial arts dojo and regain the honor of her father's fighting style, mostly she's on this list because they make the same unfunny jokes about her over and over and over. Oh she can't cook. On the 76th episode that joke is... stale. Oh, Misao is calling her a bear, and she's calling Misao a weasel, and the animators are also still making that joke about Megumi being like a kitsune... how amusing. Ugh. Basically they had all this potential with Kaoru to make her a good character, and they make her a cliche nagging wife type. Lame. And while she's kind of cute when she gets all romantic with Kenshin, she's also a bit dumb and weak, making me wish female characters who were better than her got more screen time.

5. Ayeka (Tenchi Muyo)

She's not a terrible character, but I definitely rarely sided with her in her numerous fights with Ryoko. For one, she's related to Tenchi, as is Sami, which really leaves only Ryoko as the only decent choice Tenchi could make and somehow yet they go for a "marry 'em all" ending. Eh...

Anyway, Ryoko is so badass that Ayeka just seems sort of lame in comparison. She seems like a spoiled, arrogant, royal brat who looks down her nose at everyone and is never satisfied with anything. Her English voice is just plain cringe-inducing, and it seems like she starts a lot of the bickering and/or escalates the fighting way too often, instead of acting like a reasonable adult. (Although let's be fair, Ryoko does her share as well.) She's one girl you just want to go "Excuse me, princess!" to.

4. Naruto (Naruto)

In case you were thinking of hating me for being a misogynist, I do have one guy on here too, so now you just get to hate me for hating everyone's favorite screaming traffic cone. I know Sakura and Sasuke also get a lot of hate, but Naruto is one of the most annoying anime protagonists I've ever seen. At least Sakura and Sasuke are annoying in that they sit there and have flashbacks and feel feelings and think thoughts without actually doing all that much (initially at least), but Naruto is kind of flashy and... highlighted about his annoying-ness.

First of all, I hate the fact that he tarnishes the name "ninja" almost as much as Edward Cullen tarnishes the name "vampire". Ninja are supposed to be stealthy assassins moving unseen in the hidden shadows. Naruto is louder than a kindergarten boy on the playground bragging about his own farts, and he wears the notoriously conspicuous color bright orange. He's about as far removed from any traditional definition of "ninja" you can get. I guess I prefer my ninja to be more historically accurate (well they didn't really wear black either, they wore disguises and street clothing that would help them blend in, black clothing would have stuck out and that is a Hollywood fiction). Funny enough, you only see this "silent assassin" type from the villains mostly in Naruto. But I guess if you called them "mages" and realize that their "ninjitsu" is really just a type of magic, the show is okay. But Naruto remains an annoying character, regardless.

Somehow she looks particularly punchable in this shot.
Somehow she looks particularly punchable in this shot.

3. Keiko (YuYu Hakusho)

In a world of humans, demons, and oni with fantastic supernatural abilities, Keiko is painfully ordinary. She's also not much of a character, since she revolves so heavily around Yusuke. She's there just to fill that wet blanket/nagging girlfriend character, and to be a damsel in distress at times (even though Kuwabaka and Yukina also fulfill that role in different arcs). She does absolutely nothing in the most important arc of the show, the Dark Tournament arc. What do you expect though? She has no powers, unless you count super nagging and super crying.

She's a disappointment as a love interest for someone as badass as Yusuke; sometimes I hoped he would see the romantic potential in other girls. Even Botan does more and is more interesting and lively. Keiko barely seems alive half the time. The romance is sweet, but largely that's because it's sweet to see Yusuke even giving the time of day to a girl so boring in the first place. Maybe he likes the challenge of getting a girl who's so aloof and such a goody two-shoes type. Or maybe, he just thinks she's kind of hot when she's pissed off.

2. Haruhi (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)

I seriously don't understand the appeal of this show. Being told out of order makes it make little sense until you plow through and watch it until the very end. That's not really innovative, just annoying. Haruhi is obnoxious and her motivation is so "first world problem" to me that I could never really take it seriously. She's just not happy that reality doesn't have fantastical things that, while some people might believe in them, probably only exist in fiction; specifically she's looking for time travelers, espers (people with ESP), and aliens. It's a childish, unrealistic motivation, and the lengths she goes to in pursuit of it (blackmail and sexual assault) are disturbing.

In another anime, Haruhi would be the antagonist. She has the arrogance, and this annoying, childish mentality of treating everything as a game. But the anime basically just rewrites reality so that Haruhi is God of their universe, but they don't dare tell her this because... reasons? She comes across as indifferent to the suffering she takes great joy in inflicting on Kyon, Mikuru, and other characters. So yeah, basically she is exactly like God.

Honorable Mentions:

Character:
Show:
Reason:
Usagi
Sailor Moon
All the crying and whining, and with such a compulsive sweets habit you wonder why she isn't 300 lbs.
Ranma
Ranma 1/2
He's consistently a jerk to almost every girl in the series. They go nuts fighting over him anyway.
Shippo
Inuyasha
Cute, but weak, often the team's dead weight or "character in distress".
Shinji
Neon Genesis Evangelion
No wonder even most Evangelion fans hate him. He is whiny and always runs away from things in a dishonorable way.
Kyousuke
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Also no wonder he's hated by most of the fans. He's very cruel to Sayaka at a time when she is crucially emotionally vulnerable.

AND THE WINNER IS...

1. Chibi-Usagi (Sailor Moon)

She nearly ruins my favorite parts of Sailor Moon, and I find that unforgivable. I love the characters called the "outer Senshi" who represent the outer planets; Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto (well it was a planet at the time, damn it!). Love them. They're all so cool, mature, deep, emotionally complex, and interesting. And yet Chibi-Usa shows up in their story arcs like a fart in an elevator and ruins all the coolness of everything else that's happening in the show.

She's not at all needed in the story. She pretends to be a side-kick or mentee to Sailor Moon, even adopting her catch phrase and literally jumping into her spotlight. Okay, every Batman needs a Robin, right? But the problem is she doesn't respect Usagi at all. She constantly criticizes and whines about her. So she becomes sort of confusingly bipolar about whether she loves or hates Usagi. How can someone learn from a mentor they don't respect?

Finally, there's the creepiness. Since Chibi-Usagi is really hundreds of years old, she acts mature for her age. Okay. But what makes it super creepy is that she acts like she's in love with Mamoru, who is basically to her a past version of her father! And she acts like a love rival getting between him and Usagi and... it's so cringey and perverted. Why would you want to get in the way of the courtship of your own parents anyway? Doesn't she care about existing? Every scene where she acts all cutesy and romantic with Mamoru basically just makes me want to vomit.

I was hoping they would make Chibi-Usa look permanently older somehow magically after the Black Moon story arc, and they didn't. You have to just wonder what her purpose in the show even is, other than as fanservice for the pedos in the audience? Ugh...

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Comments 4 comments

CYong74 profile image

CYong74 7 days ago from Singapore

Agree with you about Kaoru. At various points, she seemed ready to break the 80/90s stereotype of the hapless love interest constantly in need of rescuing. But ultimately she just gives up and stays that.


RachaelLefler profile image

RachaelLefler 6 days ago from Illinois Author

Yeah, I guess I feel let down by her as a character. She's set up as if she's going to become a great swordswoman and badass some day, but she never really does that much that's important. I think it's largely because Kenshin is so good that he kind of overshadows her. One thing that sucks is that she barely plays much of a role in the Kyoto arc. That's the best story line in the show and it revolves around Kenshin vs. Shishio and Misao getting Aoshi back. Kaoru is kind of forgotten about (although she does help take down the minor members of the Juppongatana, which is not nothing, but Misao's role is bigger even in that part too.).


RachaelLefler profile image

RachaelLefler 2 days ago from Illinois Author

I guess with Chibi-Usa, her purpose is probably just to market the show for girls who are younger than the teenage main characters. I still think the Chibi-Mamoru-Usagi love triangle drama is a little disturbing.


RachaelLefler profile image

RachaelLefler 35 hours ago from Illinois Author

I'd also like to add that Chibi-Usa seems to be better in Crystal than she was in the 90's anime and that most of what I said was referring to the 90's anime.

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