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Anime Characters Fans Can't Stand

The wide, weird, and wild world of anime is home to thousands of memorable characters. The very best of them linger long after the credits roll, inspiring a plethora of fan responses. Countless children all over the world have lobbed imaginary Kamehamehas at each other in imitation of Goku. Scholarly books have been written about Rei Ayanami, Sailor Moon, Nausicaa, and other dynamic anime heroines. Thousands of fans literally wear their devotion to Naruto and all his ninja pals on their sleeve, in the form of elaborate tattoos

Not every anime character is a winner, however. Some of them are sniveling brats, overpowered idiots, shoehorned-in replacements, and manipulative jerks. Just as anime fans adore their favorite characters, they detest their least-favorites with unique intensity. These widely-hated figures induce rolled eyes, exasperated rants, and an ocean of irritated social media posts. Who inspires the most ire of all? We're here to answer that question one pariah at a time. These are the anime characters fans can't stand, from cloyingly sweet magical girls to unrepentant murderers.

Near (Death Note)

If you were to describe "Death Note" in a single word, it would be "tense." As Light Yagami becomes the most effective serial killer in history, he squares off against everyone from his own father to Interpol. Each new murder, alliance, and escalation increases the pressure — but nothing compares to the white-knuckled intensity L, the world's most brilliant detective, brings to the series. In L, Light finds the Sherlock Holmes to his Moriarty. Their battle of wills is the beating heart of "Death Note," powering the series through an eye-popping array of revelations, twists, and countermoves. 

And then L dies. L's death has been controversial among "Death Note" fans for years, with many arguing that the series should have ended with his demise (via CBR). "Death Note" doesn't just continue on without L, however — it attempts to replace him. Enter Near, the most widely hated character in "Death Note." Fans regard him as a pale imitation of L, and it's not hard to see why: Like his predecessor, Near is a quirky genius with childlike interests, his passion for toys mirroring L's sweet tooth. His eventual victory over Light also strikes many as unconvincing and unsatisfying. Near might be the detective who brings down Kira, but he's not the one fans remember long after the credits roll.

Haruhi Suzumiya (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)

Haruhi Suzumiya is a rambunctious high school girl who just so happens to be one of the most powerful characters in all of anime. She has no clue she's capable of bringing on the apocalypse with a bad mood — in fact, she believes her life is frustratingly ordinary. Little does she know, the members of the SOS Brigade, the club she organizes to bring some excitement into her life, are an alien, a time traveler, a psychic, and Kyon, the token human who's in on it all. Together, they use their fantastic abilities to clean up Haruhi's unconscious messes and keep her entertained with harmless antics, lest she destroy the world.

To many fans, this unique premise makes "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" a whimsical delight. But to some, this series seems more like a nightmare. One fan on Reddit summed this position up well by calling Haruhi "one of the nastiest, most manipulative characters ever written." Indeed, Haruhi is always working on some scheme or another, which her friends are always eventually roped into. Her high spirits can also read as pushiness and narcissism — if she wants something, she'll make sure she gets it, no matter what impositions that puts on others. Is "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" a charmingly odd comedy or a vision of terrifying servitude to an uncaring god? According to many, it's very much the latter.

Minoru Mineta (My Hero Academia)

"My Hero Academia" is full of lovable weirdos. Aizawa carries around a sleeping bag for impromptu naps. Aoyama fights bad guys with a glittering navel laser. Iida has car engines in his calves. Each of these heroes, and all the other oddballs who populate the series, has their own devoted legion of fans. Except Mineta. Everyone hates Mineta.

What is it about the hero known as Grape Juice that inspires fans to Photoshop him out of their posters? As one Reddit user put it, "He honestly makes every scene he's in worse." Though he's earned a bit more characterization as the series has gone on, Mineta is still primarily defined by being a perverted twerp. There is no situation Mineta cannot make uncomfortable, no liberty he won't take, and no moral compunction that will stop him from leering at his female classmates — or doing worse for dubiously comedic effect. Beyond his icky behavior, he's also prone to arrogance. This is pretty rich, considering his quirk isn't exactly the most impressive in "My Hero Academia": Mineta grows detachable, grape-like orbs out of his head. Dude has the power of having a fruit salad where hair should be. If he were a more interesting character, perhaps this goofy ability would be charming. But he's not, so it isn't. If most "My Hero Academia" fans were in need of a hero and Mineta were the only one around, they'd probably prefer to face their trial alone.

Shou Tucker (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)

There's no shortage of villains in "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood." This is, after all, an anime in which the seven deadly sins are actual characters. How, then, could a mere human inspire more fan hatred than a shape-shifter like Envy, who cold-heartedly kills lovable dad Maes Hughes? The answer is simple: The human in question is Shou Tucker, one of the most hated characters in anime history.

Shou Tucker earned his State Alchemist's license by creating a chimera capable of human speech. When Ed and Al happen upon him, he's been laid low by his inability to repeat this legendary feat. Abandoned by his wife, Tucker lives alone with Nina, his irrepressible young daughter, and Alexander, their playful dog. When the brothers visit Tucker again, he excitedly reveals a new chimera that slowly repeats Edward's name. Ed immediately realizes that Tucker created this dead-eyed, dog-like beast from Nina and Alexander, cursing them to a horrific existence.

Enraged, Ed beats Tucker to a pulp. A whole lot of fans cheer him on: Hating Shou Tucker, as one Reddit post suggests, is the only thing that dependably unites the "Fullmetal Alchemist" fandom. How could it not? The man turns his daughter and dog — and his wife, who became the chimera that earned him his license — into an abomination against nature for the sake of career advancement. The quick death he earns at Scar's hands is more than he deserves.

Sae Kashiwagi (Peach Girl)

Sae Kashiwagi lives to make Momo Adachi's life miserable in "Peach Girl." As Momo initially believes Sae to be a friend with her best interests at heart, the hateful high schooler is especially well-positioned to accomplish this aim. Sae's cruelty is mind-bogglingly multifaceted: She spreads rumors, wears disguises, and organizes break-ups, all in the name of making Momo cry. Forget Regina George: Sae is the ultimate mean girl. 

Then Sae has a change of heart. She doesn't ever become a good guy, exactly, but she does start scheming in Momo's favor and takes a hard look at why she's so driven to destroy others in the first place. But many fans find her vicious actions hard to forget, let alone forgive. As far back as 2007 and as recently as 2020 (via The Mary Sue), "Peach Girl" fans have been identifying Sae as one of the most vitriol-inspiring villains in anime. Some argue that her illness-riddled childhood makes up for her crimes, or that "Peach Girl" wouldn't be the series it is without her antagonism. The latter point is probably true, but the former is a bit hard to swallow — abject trauma doesn't make Momo into a megalomaniacal manipulator, after all. Sae Kashiwagi takes wickedness to a new level, and a whole lot of fans will hate her forever because of it.

Chibi-Usa (Sailor Moon)

Chibi-Usa from "Sailor Moon" is adorable. She sports bouncy pigtails that resemble bunny ears, has a unique connection with a magical flying horse, and wields attacks with names like "Pink Sugar Heart Attack" and "Twinkle Yell." But all this candy-coated cuteness gives many fans a stomach ache. Complaining about Chibi-Usa is practically a pastime in "Sailor Moon" fandom: Reddit posts nearly a decade apart can be found voicing similar complaints about the littlest Sailor Guardian.

To outside observers, fans' irritation can seem strange. "Sailor Moon" is, after all, an anime series chock-full of princesses fighting the forces of evil with bedazzled tiaras and big-eyed kitty-cats. Is "Pink Sugar Heart Attack" really that much worse than Usagi's "Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss"? According to many fans, it very much is. Unlike Usagi, who fails tests and gets into spats with Rei, nothing tempers Chibi-Usa's saccharine presence. Moreover, as one keen-eyed Reddit user argued, the original '90s anime does her no favors by making her brattier tendencies more prominent. Chibi-Usa's syrupy sweetness might charm Mamoru, but it leaves many "Sailor Moon" fans nauseous.

Shinji Ikari (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

"Neon Genesis Evangelion" is an anime as controversial as it is popular. Fans have been arguing about virtually every aspect of the arcane series for decades. Who's better, Asuka or Rei? Is the original TV ending a stroke of genius or a pretentious cop-out? Are the "Rebuild" movies unparalleled triumphs or total garbage fires? One character arouses more enmity than any other aspect of the series, however: Shinji Ikari, the boy who just won't get in the gosh-darn robot.

Hating Shinji isn't a uniformly accepted act among "Neon Genesis Evangelion" fans, though it is widespread. As Zac Bertschy at Anime News Network argues, hating Shinji for being an overwhelmed teenager is a sign of fundamentally misunderstanding the entire series. "Evangelion" is an overt deconstruction of giant robot anime, with Shinji acting as the pinnacle of this aim: He doesn't get in the robot because getting in the robot has traumatized him. Regardless of one's stance on this take, the fact remains that Shinji's arc leaves many viewers cold. Some find him "infuriatingly pathetic." Some think he constitutes a bait-and-switch, given the series' action-packed exterior. Some are probably irritated by the sheer volume of debate the character inspires. One thing unites this disparate discontent: All of these viewers hate Shinji Ikari, anime's most unlikely shonen protagonist.

Nina Einstein (Code Geass)

Nina Einstein from "Code Geass" does absolutely nothing by halves. When she becomes infatuated with Princess Euphemia, she sails way past schoolgirl crush territory into full-on obsession. When Euphemia dies, Nina bypasses mournful despair in favor of becoming murderously unhinged. When Nina is recruited by Prince Schneizel to make weapons for the Holy Britannian Empire, she comes up with F.L.E.I.J.A., a bomb capable of killing millions. Above all of this no-holds-barred intensity, there is Nina's bigotry. Her utterly rabid hatred of the Japanese, known in the world of "Code Geass" as "Elevens," knows no bounds.

Nina enjoys a small measure of redemption at the end of the series: She builds a counter-measure to her terrifying bomb and is even seen at the wedding of infamous Japanese resistance leader Kaname Ohgi. But fans' memories are long, and no one's in a rush to stop hating a character largely defined by bloodthirsty fanaticism. In an anime full of unpleasant people fans love to hate, Nina is still often named as the number-one most hated "Code Geass" character of all time (via CBR). Whatever good she manages to do before the credits roll is simply too little, too late.

Makoto Itou (School Days)

Adolescence makes fools of us all, especially when it comes to dating. Faux-pas are made, dates go badly, attempts to be smooth end in disaster. No matter how deeply you embarrassed yourself in high school, however, you can probably rest assured that you didn't sink to the lows Makoto Itou does in "School Days." How bad can this nondescript-looking everyteen be, you wonder? Let's put it this way: Makoto is the kind of character fans describe as "the most deplorable human being I have ever had the displeasure of encountering."

Makoto's crime is one of sheer selfishness. Like so many harem anime protagonists before him, he's inexplicably surrounded by gorgeous girls who all want his attention. Unlike most of his ilk, however, Makoto lacks anything resembling a moral center: He's a flagrant cheater, inveterate liar, and absolute perv. Some fans argue that "School Days" is a deconstruction of its genre, and that Makoto is supposed to incite hatred. If so, the anime definitely succeeds in its goal. If not, well, Makoto-haters still get to enjoy his explosively bloody death in the series' final episode. Sure, Sekai's brutal murder of the boy she once loved is shocking, but in the minds of many fans, it pales in comparison to the way Makoto forgets about her the moment another pretty girl comes along.

Akio Ohtori (Revolutionary Girl Utena)

Akio Ohtori would probably love to learn that he inspires a boatload of negativity. After all, this is a guy prone to shirtless acrobatics in a cherry-red convertible — subtlety is not his bag. Within the elliptical world of "Revolutionary Girl Utena," Akio represents corruption, manipulation, patriarchy, and disillusionment. Perhaps his worst quality is his selfishness, which is shockingly deep. There is no one he will not use to achieve his aims: The students of Ohtori Academy, his tragic fiancée, and even his benighted sister are all fair game. The only things that matter to him are his own desires.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people find him repugnant. But just as Akio's villainy is complex, so too is the fan hatred he inspires. As the longtime administrators of "Utena" fandom's online hub, Empty Movement, recall, Akio was once widely derided as a "cookie-cutter villain." Today, fans are more likely to understand his brand of cruelty as uniquely "effective and devastating" (via The Mary Sue). This is a point in the series' favor: Audiences are meant to find Akio's brand of alluring brutality especially awful. A boorish bad guy is easy to dismiss, but one who knows how to flatter and charm lingers, enabling acts of intensely intimate evil. Just like Utena, we're drawn to Akio and repulsed by him. As many fans can tell you, the sort of hatred that inspires can last for decades.

Ichigo (Darling in the Franxx)

"Darling in the Franxx" revolves around human relationships. Every Franxx is piloted by a pair, Hiro and Zero Two's romance forms the heart of the series, and the loss of his beloved is what spurred Dr. Franxx into pouring himself into his work in the first place. It's not really a surprise, then, that the most despised character in the series is a girl determined to drive a pair of star-crossed lovers apart.

Ichigo is a thoughtful, kind, and intelligent leader. But she has a major blind spot when it comes to Hiro, as she has feelings for him — something she barely understands, given her cloistered upbringing. Once Zero Two arrives, Ichigo's crush on Hiro curdles into vindictive jealousy. This reaches a boiling point in Episode 14, when Ichigo forces a kiss on Hiro, who's been freshly separated from Zero Two. Enraged fans took to the internet in the wake of this explosive installment, inundating producer Yuichi Fukushima's Twitter account with furious messages. Hiro and Zero Two are reunited in the end, and Ichigo ends up married to Goro. But some fans probably still twitch with anger when they hear Ichigo's name.

Zenitsu Agatsuma (Demon Slayer)

"Demon Slayer" has taken the world by storm. It's easy to see why: This anime boasts dynamic animation, intriguing characters, and a propulsive plot. Tanjiro, our good-hearted hero, brings tender optimism and killer action sequences to the table. Nezuko, his younger sister, wages a daily war against her own demonic nature. They encounter a wide variety of heroes, mentors, villains, and fighters as they travel across the demon-haunted landscape. Unfortunately, that includes Zenitsu Agatsuma.

You don't have to go far in "Demon Slayer" fandom to encounter fans complaining about the orange-haired menace. As one Reddit user pleaded, "Does Zenitsu get better?" Others are past the point of hope entirely: "Zenitsu Agatsuma is the WORST," declared one fan, who went on to ask, "Like why? Why does he exist?" Zenitsu's irritating personality is obvious from the get-go: He's introduced in the act of desperately begging a freaked-out girl to marry him. But he's not just a creep — he's a coward as well, and a long-winded one at that. His whiny rants about how scared he is, how doomed he is, and how badly he wants a girl to pay attention to him eat up time better spent, in the opinion of many fans, on literally anyone else.

Kyubey (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)

An alien emissary whose name is short for "Incubator," Kyubey shamelessly manipulates our heroines to prevent the heat death of the universe. Somehow, his extraterrestrial race is able to counteract entropy with human emotion — and apparently, no human emotion works better than that of young girls. It's all very logical to an emotionless creature like him. Who cares if the process runs on the exploitation of guileless children? Who cares if it inevitably transforms them into the very "witches" they're sent to slay? Who cares if that creates an endless cycle of misery built on the backs of girls who only ever wanted to make the world a better place? To Kyubey, all that matters is that it works. He's the ultimate utilitarian.

It's no wonder, then, that Kyubey is widely regarded as one of the most hateworthy anime baddies of all time. "Madoka Magica" offers viewers an up-close look at the havoc Kyubey's bargains wreak, from time-traveling Homura's Sisyphean quest to save Madoka, to the tragic disintegration of Sayaka's psyche. Even though Madoka's universe-changing wish breaks the cycle of suffering forever, she has to give up her life on Earth to accomplish it. No wonder one particularly inventive fan decided to strap a Kyubey plushie to the back of his car, ensuring it would be dragged along the road (via SoraNews24) — this adorable alien is an architect of anguish.

Chi-Chi (Dragon Ball Z)

Behind every great man, there's a great woman. Goku is widely regarded as the greatest guy in all of anime, at least in terms of power level. That means the woman behind him has to be pretty darn spectacular, right? According to "Dragon Ball Z" fans, this is very much not the case. Goku's wife Chi-Chi is generally seen as a massive bummer — and that's putting things lightly.

Chi-Chi is a talented warrior in her own right, and a fiercely loving mother. But she's also given to truly bonkers fits of rage, and can be smotheringly overprotective. It's understandable that she'd want to keep her family from harm, but come on, Chi-Chi — when you marry Goku, you have to deal with the fact that he's going to be squaring off against dangerous dudes most days of the week. Unsurprisingly, fans who turn up to watch Goku lay the smackdown roll their eyes when Chi-Chi delays the main event. After the seventh-or-so repeat performance, they can't help but get exasperated.

Though many fans find Chi-Chi unbearably annoying, others argue that she's a casualty of lazy writing, rather than a true stinker. As one Reddit user put it, "I don't mind Chi-Chi because I usually try to remember that when she's awful, it's mostly because [Akira Toriyama] ... sucks at writing women." Whatever one's stance is on this point, however, Chi-Chi's unpopularity is undeniable.