Working up the courage to ask someone out is one of the most universal fears out there. What if our expression of love gets thrown back in our faces and crumbles our confidence forever? Or maybe our crush will just outright reject us before we even get a chance to confess! This Valentine’s season, we’re here to celebrate that stomach-churning feeling with the Top 10 Love Rejections in Anime. Love truly is rough, but at least you aren’t any of these guys!
10. Adachi and Muranushi from WWW.WAGNARIA!! (WWW.WORKING!!)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Oct 2016 – Dec 2016
Sayuri Muranushi is a bit of an oddball. She comes from a family of exorcists and regularly serves restaurant customers who nobody else can see, but she firmly believes that ghosts don’t exist. Adachi stands on the sidelines, trying to decide whether he likes her or is scared of her. In episode 8, he overhears a conversation where another employee tells Muranushi that she should try going out with Adachi, and he instinctively shouts, “No way!”
Even though he backpedals hard and insists that he really does like her, Muranushi doesn’t buy it and thinks that he must hate her deep down. Eventually, she covers her ears and skulks away. Good job, Adachi.
9. Meowth and his lady love from Pokémon
- Episodes: 276
- Aired: Apr 1997 – Nov 2002
Why did Meowth learn to speak human language, anyway? To impress a girl, of course! In episode 70 of the original series, we learn that Meowth spent his formative years in Hollywood as a street cat, but one day he met Meowzie (Madonnya in Japanese) and decided to make something of himself. In order to compete with Meowzie’s human owner for her love, he forced himself to walk on two legs and listened in on dialogue lessons to learn human speech. But when he triumphantly showed off his work to Meowzie, she called him a freak!
To make matters worse, she rejects him again when he meets up with her years later and saves her from a street gang. According to her, even a gang leader Persian is preferable to Meowth! Harsh. At least Jessie and James are there for him!
8. Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! (Uchimaki and Usami from This Art Club Has a Problem!)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 2016 – Sep 2016
The ultimate 2D bride – that’s what Uchimaki wants to create one day. He’s so single-minded in his ambition, that the actual girls who have a crush on him don’t stand a chance! When a younger student confesses her love in episode 2 and he gently turns her down, she asks if he’s interested in his clubmate Usami instead. Little does he know that Usami herself is hiding in the bushes nearby, clenching her teeth and hoping he says yes.
And he denies that as well! Two rejections in one fell swoop. But if we think about it, perhaps Usami is better off without the man who’s obsessed with creating his own custom waifu.
7. Jack Atlas and Carly/Mikage/Stephanie from Yu☆Gi☆Oh! 5D’s
- Episodes: 154
- Aired: Apr 2008 – Mar 2011
Jack Atlas, by all accounts, is a stud. He has a flashy white motorcycle, spiky hair, fancy bling, and a jacket collar so big he could probably fly away on it. So naturally, he has girls falling all over him. He has varying degrees of involvement with all of them over the course of the series, but dumps them in spectacular fashion in the very last episode.
After a rooftop dinner surrounded by his three love interests, he claims that women are a distraction and that the next time they see him, he’ll rule the whole world. Then he summons his motorcycle from seemingly nowhere and rides off to a new adventure. Badass? We honestly can’t tell.
6. Bulma and Yamcha from Dragon Ball Z
- Episodes: 291
- Aired: Apr 1989 – Jan 1996
Dragon Ball is a series that spans multiple generations, both in its own universe and in real life. Characters grow up, get married, have children, and sometimes break up. Throughout the original series, Yamcha had his heart set on Bulma and spent most of his life trying to win her love. They had an off-again on-again relationship, but it ended for good when he was blown up by one of the Saibamen – the lackeys of Nappa, who himself is essentially a lackey of Vegeta’s.
While he was dead, Bulma got to know Vegeta better and fell in love with him instead. So by the time of the Android saga, Yamcha has come back to life and thoroughly lost out to the very man who had him killed the first time. This inferiority complex follows him for the rest of his life and his only consolation is an offscreen girlfriend who we know nothing about. It sucks to not be a Saiyan.
5. Koyomi and Tsubasa from Bakemonogatari
- Episodes: 15
- Aired: Jul 2009 – Jun 2010
Tsubasa has always loved Koyomi, but she’d never dare tell him. She’s been repressing her emotions as a way to deal with the stress of having to be perfect all the time, so she never takes risks like that. This opens the door for a malignant cat spirit to possess her and reveal her feelings to Koyomi behind her back. But since her crush is already in love with someone else, he has to turn her down.
Much later in episode 5 of the second season, when she has full control of herself, Tsubasa confesses her love to Koyomi in her own words. Even though she knows it’s much too late, the outpouring of emotion frees her from her repression and she cries for the first time in years. Unexpectedly, this painful rejection sets her free from the cage she had built for herself and lets her live life without hesitation from then on.
4. Sasuke and Sakura from Naruto
- Episodes: 220
- Aired: Oct 2002 – Feb 2007
Ever since they were first assigned to a team together, Sakura has been smitten with Sasuke. And can you blame her? Back in the 2000s, everybody wanted an emo pretty boy to call their very own. But Sasuke’s brooding charm comes from a troubled past that catches up with him by the end of Part 1 of the anime, and he leaves the village for good one night in episode 109.
Sakura catches him before he leaves and pleads with him to share what he’s feeling so she can help. With cold dispassion, Sasuke tells her that he always saw her as just an annoying girl and would never share anything with her. And that’s the last thing he says to her for years. We know he was going through a rough time, but that’s the kind of thing that can break a girl’s spirit. Maybe bad boys aren’t so great after all.
3. Subaru and Rem from Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- (Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr 2016 – Sep 2016
Even though Rem is the waifu of many an anime fan, she can’t seem to find true love in her own series. She adores main protagonist Subaru and works up the courage to confess to him in episode 18, but he rejects her outright because his heart belongs to another girl named Emilia. Ouch.
We wish she would’ve taken this emotional beating and moved on from it, but instead, she devotes herself even more strongly to Subaru and insists that she’s fine just being his mistress or servant if that means she can at least be around him. Hmm... now her popularity as a waifu makes perfect sense. Hey Rem, if Subaru won’t love you, at least we can!
2. Jellal and Erza from Fairy Tail
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: Oct 2009 – Mar 2013
On a cliff at sunset in episode 154, childhood friends Jellal and Erza reunite after seven years apart. Jellal had been a brainwashed villain for quite some time and has all but given up on atoning for his horrific actions. Erza implores him to live for the future, but their intense debate causes them to tumble off the cliff and onto a beach with beautiful glowing spores surrounding them. Jellal pulls Erza close and we see their lips inch toward each other. Their silhouettes meld together against the retreating sun and... he pushes her away. “I can’t. I have a fiancée.”
Dammit, Jellal! This has to be the lamest excuse in anime history. Erza supposedly buys this paper-thin lie and leaves him alone, but she seems to know in her heart that he still loves her. To add salt to the wound, she turns around and sees Happy choking back laughter with a broken heart drawn in the sand. It seems like even the queen of the fairies can get rejected – and in the most idiotic way possible.
1. Makoto and Sekai from School Days
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 2007 – Sep 2007
As a generic short-brown-haired male harem lead, Makoto had one job: have shipping moments with everyone, but only get with a single girl by the end. Instead, he got greedy and decided that screwing all of his potential lady friends behind their backs was the best choice. Normally, this would just get him labeled as a cheating bastard, but he had the bad luck to anger some girls who are most definitely not good with rejection.
Once his jilted ex-lover Sekai finds out what really happened in the final episode, she stabs him seven times with a knife. Well, that escalated quickly. Sekai herself meets a gruesome fate at the hands of Makoto’s other lover, who decapitated Makoto’s corpse and was carrying around his head in a duffle bag. Lesson learned – greed kills, kids.
Everyone on this list got rejected in one way or another, but they still kept living their lives (well, except for Makoto). And some of these pairs learned more about themselves or even got together in the end! So rejection really isn’t the end of the world – it’s just another part of life.
What did you think of our list? What’s the most devastating anime love rejection you can think of? Let us know in the comments, and check out more of our Valentine’s Day articles on Honey’s Anime!