Anime heroes often serve as the audience’s point-of-view characters, fulfilling viewers’ wildest self-indulgent fantasies. An archetype of a hero is someone the audience wants to look up to – a tenacious, determined and strong-willed figure. These types of anime heroes earn the respect and admiration of their fans, inspiring them to strive for greatness.
Yet some characters fall far short of this compelling ideal, consisting of more faults than virtues. These types of heroes deviate from their valiant archetype. While some pity these unfortunate characters for their lack of admirable qualities, their foolish shortcomings make them prime targets for roasting.
10/10 There is nothing heroic about the lazy samurai Gintoki Sakata
GintamaThe indolent protagonist Gintoki Sakata is a man of few virtues. Despite being a decade older than most shonen heroes, he is unemployed, manipulative and dangerously addicted to gambling and alcohol. At least the lazy samurai is hysterically self-aware of his myriad shortcomings.
Gintoki’s vices become the source of countless gags, and even his teenage apprentices act more mature and sensible than their irresponsible mentor. As much fun as roasting Gintoki is, he remains the beloved hero of the series by coming together in difficult situations.
9/10 Atsushi Nakajima is too boring to be a main character
Bungou stray dogs
Being overshadowed by the much more compelling side characters of your own show is the unfortunate fate of Bungou Stray Dogs’ hero Atsushi Nakajima. Not only is Atsushi’s ability to transform into a tiger one of the least creative in the entire series, but his rigid, spineless attitude makes him a lame hero even outside of action scenes.
Unfortunately for Atsushi, the show’s cast is full of vibrant and multi-faceted characters that surpass him in every way. Fans would rather follow them than the show’s designated hero.
8/10 Tatsuhiro Satou’s World of Illusions is even scarier than the reality he’s running from
Welcome to NHK
The whole plot to Welcome to NHK revolves around uncovering just how much of a loser its hero, Tatsuhiro Satou, really is – and it’s not hard to see why Satou couldn’t succeed in life. This 22-year-old college dropout spent almost four years of his life as a NEET.
In fact, Satou never leaves her apartment and exists in a fantasy world of conspiracy theories. Finding a job or a worthwhile hobby is not something Satou seriously considers, as he is too terrified to step out into the world.
7/10 Haruhi is a narcissistic nuisance with too much power
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Characters with less self-awareness than the titular protagonist of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is hard to come by. Haruhi is smart and effortlessly talented in almost anything, and tramples her potential by acting arrogant, hot-tempered, and selfish all the time.
Haruhi’s competitive, narcissistic personality drives most of the show’s conflicts, and her disregard for other people can be extremely annoying. Despite reality literally changing to accommodate Haruhi’s needs, she remains unhappy with everything and everyone, pathetically unable to stick to her decisions.
6/10 Boruto fails to live up to his father’s honor both in the series and in the real world
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Naruto Uzumaki was a role model for an entire generation of shonen fans, fighting for his dream through countless hardships. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations should be as inspiring as its predecessor. Unfortunately, the son of the legendary hero lacks the admirable qualities that made his father an incredible protagonist.
Naruto was an outcast underdog who fought to earn the respect of others. Boruto is a spoiled brat who is unable to live up to his father’s honor despite the talents and support his status affords him.
5/10 Tomoko is unable to overcome her social anxiety time and time again
WataMoteits unfortunate heroine Tomoko is specially designed to be as fryable as possible. The entire series is dedicated to placing this painfully socially inept girl into the most gruesome, difficult scenarios imaginable. Tomoko begins her first year of high school, hoping to make friends and find a boyfriend.
Unfortunately, Tomoko needs to gain at least rudimentary social skills before she becomes the social butterfly she envisions herself to be. This task proves to be too difficult for her, and it’s hard to even feel sorry for someone so ridiculously helpless.
4/10 Yukiteru Amano cannot make a single decision without throwing a tantrum
Such a high-stakes show as Future diary would benefit from a resourceful, nimble hero who has a chance to navigate a death game with the future of the world at stake. Unfortunately, Yukiteru Amano is none of these things. Instead of proactively leading his story, Yukiteru hides behind Yuno and cries whenever his safety is compromised.
Indecisive and emotionally unstable, Yukiteru does not grow as a hero throughout the series, never learning any lessons and refusing to mature. His behavior annoys the viewers at first, but towards the end of the show, his patheticness just becomes funny.
3/10 Ciel Phantomhive overestimates his intelligence and independence
Despite presenting himself as a youth strategic genius, Black Butler‘s Ciel Phantomhive is nothing more than a spoiled brat accustomed to luxury. Without the help of his demonic butler Sebastian Michaelis, Ciel wouldn’t even be able to dress himself, let alone serve as the queen’s watchdog or avenge his family.
Raised as an aristocrat, Ciel cannot survive without countless servants, even though he positions himself as head of the household. In fact, it’s funny to see someone so childish and arrogant act so high and mighty.
2/10 Umaru is a spoiled brat who takes advantage of her brother
The internet loves to make fun of Himouto! Umaru-chan titular protagonist. Even those who cannot tolerate Umaru’s childish antics love to turn their hatred into snarky comments about the character’s patheticness. Umaru, who is a perfect student in “outdoor mode”, turns into an unbearable slob behind closed doors.
Instead of helping her brother around the house or taking care of herself, Umaru lays around playing video games and throwing tantrums if things don’t go her way. Annoying at best, Umaru may be a shame for never growing out of his selfish childishness.
1/10 Shinji is often dismissed as a crybaby
Neon Genesis Evangelion
The infamous one Neon Genesis Evangelion protagonist Shinji Ikari was designed as a flawed, complex character that deconstructs common mecha archetypes. Still, that didn’t save him from being the butt of countless jokes. It’s easy to roast Shinji for his inability to stand up for himself and his lack of backbone.
Shinji’s weak mentality and helplessness are some of his core characteristics. As much fun as it is to bully Shinji for being childish and pathetic, most fans still recognize the teenager as an exceptionally well-written hero.
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