Some anime characters we just love to hate. Be it because of their charismatic demeanor, ruthlessly powerful combat ability, or physical attractiveness, these characters toe the line between resentment and praise. On the other side of the spectrum, are characters we just hate, characters who rub us the wrong way and offer little to no redeeming qualities. Regardless of one’s circumstances, acting without empathy will always result in being referred to as a jerk. So, these are our picks for the top 10 jerks in anime!
10. Ikari Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangelion
Shinji has garnered quite the following over the years for most hated protagonist of all time. Understandably, he is forced into a very perilous situation at only 14-years-old but, as time goes on, he starts to wear out this sympathy very, very quickly. At some point, it has to be accepted that the world will end if you do not get in damn the robot! Yet, Shinji just seems incapable of realizing just how dire the stakes are in this universe.
Shinji goes through several depressive episodes - whining and crying for far too long. While depression in itself is no laughing matter, Shinji takes things further by using said depression as a means for committing unspeakable acts. For those who have seen The End of Evangelion, Shinji reaches new lows as he masturbates of the comatose body of Asuka. Let’s just say, Shinji takes being a ‘jerk’ to a whole new level.
9. Tomozaki Fumiya from Jaku-Chara Tomozaki-kun(Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki)
Tomozaki hails from a recently released anime but he threw his hat into the ring with superpowered force. Tomozaki is an outcast with no friends or partners to speak of. He is, however, the master of an online fighting game. So, when he one day meets with the number two ranked player - a female peer of his who happens to be the most popular girl in school - he is tasked with integrating himself into society.
Our first glimpse into the world of Tomozaki is through a rather lengthy monologue; in which he rambles about how attractive people are playing life on easy mode, life is unfair, and nice guys always finish last. While being reclusive does not make someone a jerk, Tomozaki- despite being clearly interested in Noname, still plays with the feelings of several of his peers (notably, Fuuka, the girl in the library). He also, despite complaining about the levels of natural attractiveness of his peers; refuses to clean up his act in the slightest (meeting NONAME in battered and worn down trousers for example). Tomozaki would garner some sympathy were he truly so hopeless but complaining to such a degree about something that could be worked towards fixing, whilst simultaneously manipulating those around him, earns him jerk-tier status on this list.
8. Orimura Ichika from IS: Infinite Stratos (Infinite Stratos)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2011 – April 2011
Orimura Ichika is the dim-witted and oblivious protagonist from Infinite Stratos. While attending an all-girls mecha-suit piloting school, he gradually amasses a harem of cute girls who appear to have never seen another man in their entire lives. They all subsequently fall for him, and herein lies the problem. Ichika, the renowned playboy that he is, just refuses to pick up on any signs these poor girls are laying down.
One of two things is occurring here. Either, Ichika is overtly playing the field - refusing to settle down with one girl in hopes of forging an illustrious harem (and thereby hurting each of the girl’s individual feelings). Or, Ichika truly is so braindead that when these girls ask him out or LIE HALF-NAKED ON TOP OF HIM, he sees it as nothing more than pals being pals. Either way, Ichika has gained scorn from anime fans from across the globe for living adjacent to the dream but refusing to act upon it.
7. Kaiba Seto from Yu☆Gi☆Oh! Duel Monsters(Yu-Gi-Oh!)
- Episodes: 224
- Aired: April 2000 – September 2004
Kaiba lives his life in Yugi’s shadow. With all his money and power, he remains simply unable to best Yugi in the sport he has dedicated his life to. This unfortunately makes Kaiba a little...let’s just say “irritable”. Kaiba cares little for others around him be they, acquaintance or coworker - only providing comfort for his younger brother, Mokuba. His interactions with Yugi often begin with bodacious bragging, before crumbling down into a sea of self-resentment. He even goes so far as to threaten his own life in order to defeat the pharaoh in a duel.
Standing atop a large castle, Kaiba steps to the edge and affirms that, should Yugi complete his attack and win the duel, the resulting shockwaves would most definitely send him toppling to his doom. As a result, Yugi ultimately forfeits. How low can you get? Those who have watched The Dark Side of Dimensions will also see that Kaiba has constructed his own virtual reality studio - in which he runs test simulations to defeat Yugi. It seems only in his dreams he can attain that which he has always strived for.
6. Kurono Kei from Gantz
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2004 – June 2004
Tasked with fighting aliens invading our planet, who do you think would be the protagonist of such a tale? If you thought a highschool loser with no friends, an obsession with sex, and all of the charm and charisma of a damp sponge, you guessed right! Kei spends most of his time during the early episodes of the show fantasizing about sleeping with everyone he meets and being incredibly jealous of his friend Kato. From the first episode, where Kei becomes incredibly angry that he is forced to save a homeless man’s life, we get a glimpse into the kind of person he is.
Kei, despite all his shortcomings, perfectly emulates the teenage outcast and does a good job of grounding the weirdness surrounding Gantz. Jaded with the world, he takes out all these aggressions on some alien dirtbags! You would think that, after becoming accustomed to the game, he would grow as a character. Well, think again! As he gets used to doing what needs to be done to survive, he actively abandons those he sees as fodder and becomes incredibly hostile to those who have “wronged” (not slept with) him. Unfortunately, Kei does not receive any sort of redemption until the manga. However, should you choose to pick it up - be warned; you will be reading for a long time before you finally warm to him.
5. Griffith from Berserk
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2016 – September 2016
Griffith is an incredibly self-centered and selfish person. Every act he commits on the show is done so in order to further his own goals and aspirations. Wanting to ‘own’ Guts, Griffith eventually sees himself beaten down and destroyed lying in the snow. Yes, the torture exacted upon him was cruel, but still, Griffith has completed atrocities that garner no excuses. After leaving behind his humanity and becoming a member of the God Hand known as Femto, Griffith becomes devoid of all emotion - sinking despairingly into pure evil incarnate.
Griffith has often stated that his dreams are the most important thing to him. Such a level of ambition is incredibly volatile. What Femto does to Casca and Guts is unforgivable and truly cements his role as the villain of the series. No longer a human, giving up everything he had ever had or could have had to achieve his goals, Femto becomes a character who rightfully earns his spot as one of the biggest anime jerks of all time. Miura has done an excellent job crafting this character. It is just a shame we have to hate him so darn much!
4. Mahito from Jujutsu Kaisen
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2020 – Currently Airing
Mahito is a strange case. Constantly jovial, his bright and cheerful demeanor is enough to sucker anyone into striking up a conversation with him. Be forewarned, however, that he may just be eyeing you up to add to his collection of miniaturized human puppets. Yes, as one of the primary antagonists of Jujutsu Kaisen, Mahito does all he can to bring about the return of Sukuna and bring him to the dark side. While Mahito clearly has no qualms with eradicating all who stand in his way (as shown by his ruthlessly murdering of three innocent teenagers speaking loudly at the cinema), his true villainy comes about when he takes a young Junpei Yoshino under his wing.
Feeding Junpei’s tortured soul with promises of power and revenge, before pulling the rug from beneath him at the last second, was truly heartbreaking to watch. Then, to add insult to injury, he murders him! All of this was in an effort to provoke Yuuji to such a degree that he would be forced to invoke Sukuna and possibly be captured in such a state. After all of this goes down and Mahito is left bruised and battered from his run-in with Sukuna, he still appears light-hearted and jovial, bathing alongside his comrades. Truly, he is a maniac with no sense of morality whatsoever.
3. Brando Dio from JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2012 – April 2013
Dio is the main antagonist of the original Jojo series, as well as several of the subsequent releases. Dio is a villain with no moral compass of which to speak - replaced instead by an insatiable hunger for power. Willing to step over anyone to further his goals, Dio has committed heinous acts of violence and psychological torment against men, women, and children. For example, his manipulation of the Joestar family in order to isolate Jonathan, shows his devious and cunning side. Then, his violently slapping of Erina, shows his more destructive and chaotic side.
Dio continues to be a megalomaniac in the later additions of Jojo’s as well. While he begins to accept that others, aside from himself, perhaps hold a modicum of power, this does not stop him from his attempted defeating of the Joestars. Dio becomes much calmer and collected in these later seasons which only makes him all the more hateable. Truly, Dio will go down in infamy as the king of memes and the king of jerks.
2. Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti from Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2016 – September 2016
Petelegeuse made his debut in the latter half of Re:Zero, During this time, he would continuously torture both Rem and Subaru, killing Rem a number of times and forcing Subaru to watch. Needless to say, he is not a very nice person. Petelegeuse rose to infamy due to his malicious treatment of everyone’s favorite waifu - Rem. As Subaru tried and failed countless times to save her, viewers could do naught but look on in horror at the number of atrocities Betelegeuse exacted upon his victims.
It would be quite a long time before fans could finally watch that confident jerk meet his maker at the hands of our heroes. However, no matter how many times he was put down, he somehow found a way to rise once again in order to cause more headaches. Petelegeuse is a nasty piece of work, however, the reason he does not top this list is due to the information we received during the recently released second season of Re:Zero. Those who have watched will know that perhaps there is more to Betelegeuse’s backstory than we first imagined.
1. Itou Makoto from School Days
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2007 – September 2007
If Ichika was the mild-mannered and oblivious high school heartthrob, then Makoto Itou is Hugh damn Hefner! This guy takes playing the field to an entirely new level. Bored with the lack of sexual activity in his relationship, Makoto engages in an affair with another of his peers. Not wanting to continue their deviousness behind Kotonoha’s back, Sekai demands he end things. Unfortunately, Makoto, the slippery little rascal that he is, instead ignores Kotonoha and lies to Sekai for more sexy sex time. What a guy!
After this, you would think he would come to his senses. On the contrary - Makoto starts to ignore BOTH his lovers, before proceeding to sleep with any girl who shows the slightest interest in him! He continues this behavior (also refusing to take responsibility for a possible pregnancy) until his lovers all cut ties with him and...well...surely you know the rest (do NOT, make either of these girls mad). Makoto Itou is a true scumbag who treats women as if they were disposable objects. Thankfully, this is anime so those who power through to the end of the series will see Makoto get what’s coming to him.
What makes someone a jerk is an incredibly subjective topic. However, what we can rest upon is that, should someone commit objectively immoral actions, with no regard to who they may harm either emotionally or physically, they are in contention for a place on this top 10 jerks in anime list.
Let us know who you think is the biggest anime jerk in the comments below!