Anime fans don’t exclusively love characters who are good people. In fact, there are a ton of beloved anime characters who are bad people. This doesn’t mean that they’re bad characters – some of them are among the best anime characters ever created. What it does mean is that they’ve done some seriously messed up things.
Sometimes, it can be frustrating when other fans love a character whose bad behavior makes you cringe. This is most common when people let the character’s bad traits slide, and celebrate the character as if they’re some kind of saint – if you were grossed out by Miroku’s wandering hands, you probably aren’t super thrilled about the Inuyasha fandom’s fondness for him. At other times, it’s the character’s motivation that makes them fascinating – Revy from Black Lagoon may be a vicious mercenary, but the reasons for her bad behavior actually make a lot of sense. Viewers might also delight in the badness itself – watching Hisoka do his thing is one of the most fun parts of H X H.
Jiraiya Is An Irresponsible Pervert In ‘Naruto’
Jiraiya is one of the most beloved characters in the Naruto franchise. While he has his good qualities – he’s a skilled ninja who has successfully completed important missions for his city, and he’s a mentor who did a lot of good for his protege, Naruto. But Jiraiya is far more flawed than many fans are willing to acknowledge.
The problems with Jiraiya can be divided into two categories: perversion and irresponsibility. He spies on random women while they’re changing, drools over a 12-year-old Naruto transforming into a half-naked boy, tells a young girl he’s been raising for years to hook up with him when she turns 18, and makes Naruto edit and ghostwrite his pornographic literature. There’s nothing wrong with a healthy interest in sex, but Jiraiya violates other people’s boundaries on a regular basis.
In terms of being irresponsible, Jiraiya is Naruto’s godfather, but allows him to live as an orphan for his entire childhood. When he finally gets around to interacting with him, he’s extremely reluctant to train him and complains about it nonstop.
C.C. Drove Mao Insane And Then Abandoned Him In ‘Code Geass’
When fans think about characters in Code Geass who have done terrible things, they usually think of Lelouch – the anti-hero protagonist – or villains like Charles zi Brittainia, Lelouch’s father. They don’t usually think about C.C., the green-haired immortal who delights audiences with her snarky attitude and pizza addiction.
C.C. is an enjoyable character to watch because she’s charming. She’s also sympathetic – it’s hard not to feel bad for her when she’s been shunned and tormented because her immortality led people to believe she was a witch. But C.C. also did something egregiously terrible that she’s never truly taken to task for.
Years before she met Lelouch, C.C. gave the Geass powers to Mao, an orphan child she found on the street. She developed a parent-child relationship with him while also apparently becoming his lover. When Mao loses control of his Geass’ powers and starts hearing other people’s thoughts constantly, he’s driven completely mad. Because C.C. has been one of the most important figures in his life since early childhood, and because her thoughts are the only thoughts he can’t hear, Mao gets far too clingy, and C.C. leaves. Eventually, Mao comes back even more deranged than before, ready to eliminate anybody who gets near C.C. so that he can have her back in his life.
Mao comes off as creepy and stalkerish – but that’s only before you know his history with C.C. In fact, C.C. took on responsibility for a child, gave him powers he couldn’t control, and then abandoned him when the behavior she instigated got to be too much – it’s hard to fault him for wanting to find her again. In the end, C.C. kills Mao, and then the issue never comes up again, and C.C. goes back to being a fan favorite.
Vegeta Has Blown Up Planets In ‘Dragon Ball Z’
If you ask your average DBZ fan who their favorite character is, chances are high that they’re going to say Vegeta. Vegeta is an exciting, dynamic character who goes from villain to hero over the course of the series. When fans focus on how dedicated he’s become to the Z Fighters, or how good of a dad he is, they’re conveniently forgetting all the awful things he did while he was still a villain.
Has Vegeta changed? If anyone on Planet Arlia survived his blasting it to bits, they would probably not care very much about that question. Neither would his former comrade Nappa who he eliminated for basically no reason – if he were still alive to have an opinion. Vegeta changed, but he hasn’t exactly made up for his multitude of sins.
Watari Runs A Messed Up Orphanage In ‘Death Note’
When most people make moral judgments about the cast of Death Note, they’re talking about the protagonist, Light Yagami. Sometimes, they’re even talking about his rival, the great detective L. What people usually aren’t talking about is Watari – a character who seems to enjoy near-universal respect from the fandom. He doesn’t deserve it.
Why? That’s because Watari is in charge of Wammy’s House, an orphanage that rounds up brilliant children and trains them for the lofty position of L, the greatest detective in the world. The kids get so ravenous and stressed about it that in the early days of the orphanage one of them takes his own life and another starts taking other people’s. Watari has L working around the clock starting at age eight – it’s obvious that L has never had anything resembling a normal childhood and has become an emotionally maladjusted adult who survives on cake and not sleeping. Also, while it’s not confirmed that the unorthodox methods of getting information that L uses are Watari’s idea, he has no objection whatsoever to helping him.
Watari seems like one of the more innocent members of the anime’s cast, but he truly is not.
Alucard Is A Sadistic Vampire In ‘Hellsing’
Alucard is a vampire who turned against his own kind for a singular purpose: more opportunities to legally bust some heads. Being an Alucard fan isn’t about loving a character who does the right thing or cares about other people. It’s about watching a total tough guy take out others who are even more morally repulsive than he is. If you’re looking for a protagonist who cares about helping others and preserving the peace, find another anime – Hellsing will only frustrate you.
Umaru Doma Is Lazy And Selfish In ‘Himoto! Umaru-chan’
Umaru Doma is a spoiled brat. That’s totally the point of Himouto! Umaru-chan, and it’s part of what makes her so endearing… but that doesn’t make it any less true. Sure, she’s not wiping out whole civilizations like some people on this list, but she’s definitely lacking in the reasonableness department. Within the first few episodes, viewers see Umaru throwing a tantrum because her brother won’t buy her a video game, getting angry at him for having to stop playing video games with her long enough to buy groceries, and more. There are moments in the series where she shows signs of caring about something other than her personal desires, but they are few and far between.
Hisoka Has No Morals In ‘Hunter X Hunter’
It’s pretty obvious that Hisoka is a terrible person – he specifically doesn’t care about being good. In fact, Hisoka’s main priorities lay in fighting and destroying anyone who presents an entertaining challenge to him. This means that he’ll sometimes help out the good guys, but will happily turn on them whenever it’s convenient. Moral considerations are utterly foreign to him. Despite this, plenty of fans adore Hisoka. His utter inability to care about anyone besides himself is oddly kind of refreshing, and his clown aesthetic is by turns terrifying and delightful.
Accelerator Has A Body Count Of 20,000 In ‘A Certain Magical Index’
Accelerator is one of the most beloved characters in A Certain Magical Index, but it’s not because of his good deeds. He’s a cruel and sadistic psychic who wants to be stronger than anyone else, and isn’t afraid to hurt others to earn that distinction. In fact, he takes out 20,000 people in an attempt to prove his strength. His backstory is a tragic one – thanks to his extreme strength, he’s endured painful experimentation that led him to the conclusion that being the strongest is the only way to keep himself safe, and the only way to intimidate others into leaving him alone so that he doesn’t harm them.
At the same time, he genuinely does want to prove himself superior for the sake of it, and demonstrates glee when he defeats powerful enemies. He’s a complicated character who’s hard not to root for – but it’s equally difficult to ignore his body count.
Hotohori Is Majorly Entitled In ‘Fushigi Yugi’
Hotohori is the emperor of Konan, an ancient Chinese city that provides the setting for much of Fushigi Yugi, a show that was well-loved when it came out in the mid-1990s, and which still lives on in the minds of nostalgic millennials. As the emperor, Hotohori is naturally a little entitled. Some of this is excusable, but he takes things too far in a way that makes him seem like a seriously awful dude.
When Miaka’s boyfriend Tamahome is brainwashed into attacking her, Miaka is beyond devastated. Rather than giving the young girl space to sort out her feelings or even offering real comfort pertaining to her loss, Hotohori swoops in to ask her to be with him instead. His crush on her is apparently a way bigger deal than the fact that someone she loves just attacked her. Hotohori is generally kind-hearted and well-liked by what’s left of the fandom, but this moment betrays how selfish he truly is.
Miroku Is The Bad Kind Of Pervert In ‘Inuyasha’
There are two kinds of perverted anime characters. One kind is perfectly fine and can even be entertaining – they’re interested in sex and romance, and they enjoy talking about it with like-minded people. The other kind gropes people without asking, harasses people who have made it clear that they aren’t interested, and just generally foist their perversion on others. Miroku is the latter type.
He has an extremely good reason for wanting to have children, since it’s the only way to get rid of a curse that could take his life, but there are plenty of ways to have kids that don’t involve constantly grabbing every woman he encounters no matter how much they might protest. Any positive traits Miroku has are overshadowed by aggressively disrespectful conduct toward women.
Revy Is A Ruthless Mercenary In ‘Black Lagoon’
Revy is often cited as one of the best female characters in anime – and that label isn’t wrong. However, the reason that people like Revy isn’t because she’s a kind-hearted soul. Rather, she’s a sadistic mercenary who will happily eliminate literally anyone who gets in her way. Why is Revy like this? Because she doesn’t trust anyone but herself, and feels like the only way to stay safe is to be totally ruthless. She’s experienced extreme mistreatment at the hands of everyone from her father to the NYPD. While her hard-hearted ways are understandable – even sympathetic – they don’t make the people she’s gone after any more alive.
Hozuki Is Effortlessly Violent In ‘Hozuki No Reitetsu’
As a minion of Hell, Hozuki is 100% within his rights to be a terrible person. He totally is – and that’s exactly why viewers love him. Hozuki assists King Enma in determining the fate of the souls of the damned, and oversees their punishments. A gruesome job by any standards, but Hozuki’s violent predilections extend beyond the professional. He’s also perfectly content wailing on, poisoning, and otherwise inflicting pain on his boss – and when it comes to his rival and worst enemy Hakutaku, he’s utterly savage. Despite all this, he does have moments of kindness – so while hes’s definitely not a great person, he’s an interesting and balanced character who makes for an excellent protagonist.