20 Most Cringy & Awkward Anime CharactersThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
For every social Chad hitting up ten different group chats with the charisma of a TV salesman, there’s a poor soul in the corner practicing how to say hello to the teacher.
Anime is no different.
And we have a plethora of socially awkward, weird, and just cringey character.
I bet a lot of us can relate to periods where we had the social skills of an old boot.
So I thought it’d be fun to go over some of the most awkward characters that anime has to offer.
Hopefully this doesn’t hit too close to home.
20. Nozomu Itoshiki
Anime: Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei
There’s nothing cringey about mental health or seeking help when you’re depressed. But my boy Nozomu really takes it too far.
He sees death and depression in everything he looks at, and is very vocal about his opinions.
Whenever he sees someone sad, he just tries to make a pact with them to commit double suicide, even if they’re his students. Even if he’s never interacted with them before.
Yet he stands out on this list, as he doesn’t seem shy at all. But if what I’ve stated so far doesn’t sound like the most socially tone-deaf thing ever, then you might want to tone down your time on Tumblr.
19. Olivia’s brother
Anime: Asobi Asobase: Workshop of Fun
Olivia’s brother is one of the few neckbeards who have managed to find their way into anime.
The dude definitely has the confidence of a god, and probably doesn’t feel awkward.
But everyone in his vicinity likely doesn’t share that sentiment.
The way he talks seems like it was ripped straight out of r/iamverysmart – and his otaku nature is definitely on the higher end of the spectrum.
Don’t get me wrong, I love anime and Japanese culture. But the second you start referring to real life as the “lower world”, something has gone wrong.
He also literally spits on people, which is very cringe.
18. Moeka Kiryuu
I think it’s pretty fair to say that most of us prefer to text over talking on the phone, because our generation is built upon awkwardness.
But Moeka really takes this to the next level.
Even if she’s in the same room as you, she’ll reply to every question over her phone, regardless of how serious the situation might be.
She’s generally very detached from people, but boy does she get obsessive once she takes a liking to you.
17. Shun Kaidou
Anime: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
I really love Shun, but my boy is cringy as all hell.
The mere fact that he basically has a theme song for whenever he starts his role-plays/delusions is evidence enough that he’s mentally in a completely different anime than the rest of the class.
So even though a lot of us want to protect our dear Shun, we have to question whether it’s because we actually think that he’s cool, or is it because we were called “cringe” in middle school when we did something similar?
This is a safe space, we can be honest here.
Anime: Black Clover
Grey is so socially awkward and shy that she can barely function as a magic knight.
She can’t stand the idea of people looking at her, and constantly has to cover up her face, or transform into one of her teammates.
She also has a lot of issues with talking to people, and tends to stutter a lot while conveying the simplest messages.
Giving Grey confidence would probably be the biggest buff that Black Clover has ever seen.
Anime: Death Parade
Since I don’t want all the people on this list to just be extreme danderes, I thought it would be good to bring up an entirely different kind of awkwardness.
Decim just doesn’t fully understand people, and couldn’t read the room if his life depended on it.
He’s very committed to his job and truly does try his best to be a good judge of character.
But he ultimately just can’t see through the façade that most people put on.
Because of this, he’s made some rather questionable choices, and damned people who simply lied for another’s benefit.
Legoshi’s awkwardness comes as a direct consequence of the cards he was given in life.
Being that he was not only a predator, but was also extremely tall and intimidating, he spent most of his life with his head down and his tail between his legs.
Never wanting to scare his fellow classmates, he grew into a rather socially awkward dude who couldn’t handle confrontations.
And don’t even get me started on his first experience with Haru. That was the most hilariously awkward nope I have ever seen.
13. Yuuga Aoyama
Anime: My Hero Academia
Aoyama is just too extra.
Honestly, bless his sparkly little heart for being so unapologetically his own person. But my dude would have definitely found his way into some cringe compilations.
Being that even his Quirk is a bit odd, especially when he has to use it while on his back like a turtle… plus the fact his costume specked heavily into the fabulous tree, I think it’s safe to say that he stands out.
His demeanor is also a bit awkward, as I’m sure that no rational person has ever thought of leaving a message made out of cheese in front of someone’s window at night.
Anime: Death Note
Put down your pitchforks for just a second and let me explain.
There’s no question that L is a supreme badass and that we all love him.
However, if you just took his actions and/or personality and slapped it onto any person in your life, you would come to realize that he was a bit cringey.
I want you to really think about what it would feel like if a person you had not known for more than a month or two, suddenly started wiping your feet with a towel out of the blue, and then offering to also give you a massage.
Was the scene powerful and poetic? Yes.
But was it also realistically cringe? Also yes.
11. Kouhei Imamura
Anime: Grand Blue
Putting Kouhei on here is the same as putting myself on here, but it must be done.
There’s a time and a place for showcasing your love for anime.
The first day of college might not have been the best decision.
It also doesn’t help that he then kept asking about where the high school girls were, again while on a college campus, and starting to cry when he realized that they actually went to, well, high school.
I love the dude.
But he would definitely have a rough time bouncing back socially after that.
10. Inosuke Hashibira
Anime: Demon Slayer
Social competence is something that we learn while young from the people around us, and it’s something hone into our adulthood.
Or we learn it through YouTube channels, whatever works.
But when you’re raised by boars, it isn’t as natural.
Inosuke initially can’t understand anything but violence and constantly misunderstands the situation, leading him to yell at people who are only being nice to him.
Even though that mentality is probably helpful when you’re fighting for your life, it’s a death sentence when it comes to one’s social life.
9. Shouya Ishida
Anime: A Silent Voice
Shouya strikes a very similar note as Legoshi, as his awkwardness stems from a type of trauma.
However, he wasn’t born with this, but rather it came as a consequence of his own actions.
Being that he was ostracized at a young age for being a bully, Shouya becomes very lonely and awkward, and loses the ability to even look people in the eye as he walks past them in the halls.
He does get better with time. But man, those years were not easy on him.
Okay, I’m going to need you to turn off your hormones for this one.
Even though girls being needlessly ecchi is all fine and well in anime, and I’m sure that some of you would say that it would be hot in real life… it wouldn’t.
At least not in the manner that Darkness does it.
Someone busting a load because they were called an idiot, or because they were informed that they might die while on their mission, should be a red flag to everyone around.
7. Sawako Kuronuma
Anime: Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You
Being judged by your appearance is like the ultimate nerf in life, as people can form strong opinions on you right off the bat.
Sawako has it extra hard, as people legitimately think that she’s the girl from The Ring who’s out for their soul or something.
Naturally, this means Sawako wasn’t really able to practice her social skills. And she became extremely shy and awkward as a result from it.
6. Shigeo Kageyama
Anime: Mob Psycho 100
As they say, “with great power comes great responsibility”.
Turns out it also comes with severe awkwardness as you spend your days saving the city while your peers are out at parties discovering their hormones.
And what really makes Mob one of my favorite characters in all of anime is the fact that he consciously works on his awkwardness and really tries to better himself.
He starts working out with the nicest gym bros, and even starts standing up for himself.
It was a rocky road though for sure.
5. Sakura Haruno
Although characters in the show never recognized her as such, Sakura was extremely cringe.
She’s got an obsession over a guy who has stabbed her more times than he’s acknowledged her feelings… I mean, it’s just embarrassing.
The fact that she also constantly speaks out how she’s going to be on par with her teammates, while doing absolutely nothing and crying for a big strong man to save her, is equally cringey.
But what really takes the cake for me is the fact that she still has the nerve to punch Naruto, the dude who literally saved her life countless times.
4. Sora & Shiro
Anime: No Game, No Life
Sora and Shiro are a weird duo, as they’re simultaneously charismatic and awkward beyond repair.
This is because they can only really function when they’re together.
But so much as a few feet between them, and they literally become too awkward to even leave the room, let alone speak to someone or do something productive.
Lucky for them, they rarely get separated. But when they do, it’s just a clown fiesta.
3. Mikuru Asahina
Anime: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Mikuru just constantly looks like a lost adorable puppy.
She’s kind and sympathetic to anyone and everyone, but she cannot stand up for herself. Even if her life depended on it.
She kind of just goes with the flow and squeals while Haruhi harasses her for the tenth time that month.
Even though she doesn’t seem to mind much in retrospect, I really wish she would have gotten over her awkwardness and called the police or something.
Or read some Nietzsche, I guess.
2. Tatsuhiro Satou
Anime: Welcome to the N.H.K.
This entire show details Tatsuhiro’s battle with his mental health and his social awkwardness.
And not in a cutesy dandere way.
I have to go in to spoiler territory to prove my point here, so spoiler warning:
My dude literally almost committed suicide, but he felt to awkward to admit that he wanted to keep on living, and then nearly did it by himself when the rest of his suicide pact group gave up.
Besides his obvious depressive state, it’s beyond worrisome that a character can be so awkward that they nearly lose their life over it.
1. Tomoko Kuroki
Anime: WataMote: No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Unpopular!
Like my previous pick, this show pulls no punches when it comes to portraying severely awkward people.
Tomoko is so awkward and cringey that we as viewers pull back from time to time, and need to shake the cringe away.
She tries so desperately to be popular and to fit in. But she just can’t seem to understand common social etiquette, and just keeps making a fool out of herself over and over again.
Which is realistic to some extent, because let’s face it, we were all kinda cringe when we were young.