What do the characters we hate say about us?

This week we look at the characters we hate and once again ask you the readers decide if that it means anything about Narutaki and I. It is often said that what we hate the most in others in what we hate about ourselves. Does the fact extend to anime characters we hate? Do the characters that get under our skin the most provide some insight into our psyche? Does it tell us something different then what the characters we like or are they merely opposite sides of the same coin?

If there is one thing the internet has enough of, it is hate. Hate for shows, hate for people, and plenty of hate for characters. Unfortunately, we will be spreading such ire today. What would our former post be without its companion piece? However, I would like to point out this post isn’t about bad characters or poorly written development, it is about characters we dislike for inherent flaws in their personalities. I would even argue, if I can passionately oppose a character that means they are actually written rather fully. Once again we are trying to explore what, if anything, it means to dislike a character with such fervor. This, much differently from the previous post, can get a bit hairy and quite intense at times. But we will do our best to be respectful. Maybe.

I really hate fake strong female characters. They are female characters that the writers try to pass off as strong but are really just weak. Cecily Cambell from The Sacred Blacksmith is a prime example. We are supposed to believe that she is a strong swordswoman that can defend her self. But she mostly goes around being useless. This annoys me more that the standard token chick because at least you don’t have high expectations out of them. Another great example is Clarice from Claymore. Also belligerent women than are actually weak but the writers mistake being confrontational with strong. The fact that they kept portraying Sheryl Nome as a strong woman when she is clearly just fronting to hide her deep insecurities. The fact that people rally behind her as some sort of symbol of feminine strength really ticks me off. Also the fact that show never acknowledges any of Sheryl’s behaviors as anything but a virtue. This is in contrast to Ami Kawashima from Toradora whose same actions are seen as the weakness and defense mechanisms that they are. The other character that stood out to me as being horrible was Takumi Nishijo from Chaos;Head. He had to be one of the most unlikable protagonists I have ever seen. People usually complain about harem leads being generic and unsympathetic. Takumi has all the traits that make harem leads so hated and then either exaggerates those traits or has even worse traits on top of that. He is selfish, petty, lecherous, misanthropic, and just a disgusting human being. At least I felt some amount of sympathy for Tatsuhiro Sato from Welcome to the NHK. I have not one iota of good will towards Takumi and could not drag myself through a show with him as the lead.

I can be a harsh critic when it comes to character flaws, so where to draw the line was a little more difficult because once again this isn’t just about annoying characters, it is about characters that sort of epitomize traits that I dislike above all else. First up is a woman whose death I called for as each episode she further gathered my dislike, oh Flay Allster (from Gundam SEED), how I will always recall your attempts (and successes) at being a racist solipsist who uses her femininity in the worst ways with hatred. One must draw the line at trying to get nice guys killed. Squarely in the middle is Sakujun (from The Story of Saiunkoku) who has something not quite right about him from the moment you lay eyes on him. Sakujun acts in such a roundabout way that he takes advantage of good people so much so he borders, no, he is mentally abusive. He portrays the ultimate ends of using guilt and obligation to get what you want. And to round things out is Misa (from Death Note) whose ridiculous obsession with Kira makes her a gothic doormat. Her inability to see the things right in front of her is phenomenal and intensely frustrating as is her attempt to see anything Light does as love.

The oddity for me is Hinagiku Katsura from Hayate the Combat Butler. I normally adore characters like her. She has pink hair, she uses a sword, she is proud and confidante but kind and supportive and she loves someone from afar. But for some reason I really don’t like her as much as the rest of the cast. Unlike say Narutaki who actively hates Sanji I just don’t really like Hinagiku. I can’t put my finger on what exactly I dislike about her that stops me from liking her the way everyone else worships her. I do on the other hand get all worked up about her fandom that insists that the manga should be about her and that she is the best character ever. It is like everyone would rather be reading Hinagiku the Combat Student Council President. I myself like the lead characters as they are.

A character I have trouble understanding my dislike (this may be too tame of a word) for is Sanji (from One Piece). By all normal circumstances, he should rank rather high for me but it never happened. Sanji’s got a laid back style, he cooks, and he is a good fighter but something about his love sickness really doesn’t jive with me. And I also think this particular case has also boggled the minds of many of my close friends.

The challenge is the same as before. Take what we have given you and try and make an analysis of our character from the characters we hate. Also feel free to write in the characters you hate and what you think it means about you. I did find it a little harder to choose characters I hated than Narutaki. I think we both have affection for charters as deep as the other one. I think we also both like a wide variety of characters. The biggest challenge was for use to narrow out lists down to 3 characters. But for some reason I have a harder time hating characters.

I feel like just writing this helped me learn a bit about myself!

7 thoughts on “What do the characters we hate say about us?

  1. JANAiBlog says:

    Good picks, I mostly agree, especially with Misa and Sheryl. I don’t get why people love them so much; I just find them annoying.

    Expect some fanboy backlash for that Hinagiku mention though. =)

  2. Sheentaku says:

    Takumi Nishijo is a character who I think is made to be hated, he is borderline insane and well is a creep.
    What happened in the visual Novel and kinda in the anime is heeventually manned up and became a better person.
    Though i still hated him too… but I saw his redemption

    A lot of Hisui’s characters are deeply flawed. They attempt to act like what’s expected of them, but they are not like that deep down inside (Sheryl and Cecily). I think they are more interesting than your average moe blob, they at least attempt to be strong and just like in real life not everyone is.
    Though I dislike them too I still understand them.

    The hate that Harem male leads get is something i never understood, they are surrounded by beautiful women. I think any man would be indecisive about that.

    Narutaki Characters all except Sanji (who really does not deserve your hate) are all mean people and well I hate them too!

    Characters I tend to hate are people like Naruto, Natsu from fairy tail that basically act constantly dum and do not think things through and believe that a punch will solve anything.

    Really good post guys, super enjoyed it! A suggestion for the next one though.

    How about characters who are written as a Villain but you end up liking?
    For example Dio from JOJO is one for me, His vain, pure evil but by god that man has style.

  3. reversethieves says:

    I think the hate for harem male leads stems more from them being extremely generic and even times below average guys who really exhibit no qualities that would attract women let alone 4-10 of them. But that is why it is a fantasy, as if to say to the viewer, hey you can have this happen, too! I can’t say I really hate them, atleast not in the same way as the characters I’m discussing here because for the most part they just aren’t really written that well in the first place. And as I said in my first paragraph, a poorly made character doesn’t garner my hate.


  4. Extrange says:

    There are quite a few characters that have my full hate:

    1) Shy, indecisive characters: Tsuna Sawada (Hitman Reborn!), Rito Youki (To Love-Ru). They spend 95% of the plot trying to move forward or confessing, but to fail over and over again in a endless loop of torture.

    2)DUMB AS A DOORKNOB Characters: Naruto (Naruto), Jio Freed (666 Satan). They are common in shounen manga, but these 2 are the biggest ROCKS ever. They act tough, but most of the time are too confused about what’s happening around due to their brain limitations. Notice that a slight dumb factor isn’t bad and can enhance the character’s charm (Luffy (One Piece) and Natsu (Fairy Tail) are a good example.) But Naru/Jio are Darwin rejects…

    3)E.M.O. aka Extremely Malignant Organisms: Shinji Ikari (Evangelion) Sasuke (Naruto) . They are emos, enough said. It’s on our genetic code to poke emos with a stick and smear their mascara with their tears as we call then fake Goths.

  5. reversethieves says:

    Misa has fanbase because she is attractive and has the ditzy appeal. But she is horrible person and a horrible character. Sheryl is easy to hate but is still a well written character so I give her a total pass. Still does not mean that I like her.
    We discussed the possibility of major Hina backlash and went with it. I think I was hardly harsh to Hinagiku. I could have torn her apart but I felt that would be unfair and disingenuous because I feel all in all she is a good and fun character. I just don’t like her like you would think I would and not anywhere near as much as her fanbase does.
    I could not stick around for Takumi Nishijo’s redemption. I feel some sort of growth from being the horrible person he was could be the only redeeming part of that franchise but he as just too sickening for me to go on the jorney.
    I guess I don’t care about moe blobs so they don’t anger me. It is the missed potential of the characters I picked that angers me more. Characters that are useless from the get go don’t get your hopes up just to let them down. They try to sell Cecily as one thing but give you another. The main girl from Clannad was never supposed to be a powerhouse of awesome that then let you down.
    Narutaki is just a mystified by her Sanji hate as you are. But I think it is because Sanji is all about this superficial lust as opposed to any genuine affection despite what he says.
    As I told mechafaux on Twitter that is an idea we had been kicking around for awhile. It is definitely on our written list of articles to do. With a ton of other half formed ideas and partially written drafts.
    I am pretty sure that Narutaki shed a few manly tears when he found such a kindred spirit.
    Well it is obvious you do not like male characters who do not take a hold of their own destiny either through apathy, fear, or stupidity. Also you apparently like the Eiichiro Oda school of goofy shonen protagonist as opposed to the Kishimoto family style. Then again Narutaki and I are big Oda fans but not so much Kishimoto fans so we understand where you are coming from.
    Sheryl Nome is a great character but because in a way she is fun to hate. My main problem is that I felt the writers did not see Sheryl as being in the wrong.
    Plus Ranka is awesome. I am sure the same complaints about Ranka’s flaws could to thrown out about her but I forgive them. All in all I am not saying people should not like Sheryl. She is a well done character and adds to the plot. I just don’t like her very much. I guess I would have just liked a more ToraDora approach to her behavior. Which just shows you should watch ToraDora.
    – Hisui

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