Top 12 Most Useless Anime Characters Of All Time

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).

I love anime characters – usually.

But there are some anime that have such useless protagonists & pointless characters that it’s surprising they haven’t drowned on land yet.

On the other hand, you have competent protagonists who are generally insufferable too. But the useless ones are always so darn interesting (in their own way).

Here we’ll go over some anime characters that never reach their full potential (or are canonically useless, but we love them for it).


12. Yuu Otosaka

Yuu Otosaka from Charlotte anime

Anime: Charlotte

Charlotte is one of Jun Maeda’s worst projects, acting as a tonally dissonant coming-of-age story with mixed morals and a rushed conclusion.

The main character, Yuu Otosaka, is one of the main problems of the series.

He starts out as a first-year student capable of temporary possession over other people, before quickly (very quickly) being overpowered thanks to the One-Eyes Grim Reaper: an edgy pseudonym reflective of his deus-ex-machina level up.

Throughout the majority of the series he’s a selfish and arrogant person. I mean this guy regularly abuses his powers.

By the end he’s changed, but is still a blank, bland, forgettable main character overshadowed by his contemporaries.


11. Yukiteru Amano

Yukiteru Amano Future Diary anime screenshot

Anime: Future Diary

Yukki is equal parts relatable and insufferable.

He’s an anxious, timid, introverted person – which is fine – but his deflection of responsibility and logic can become quite annoying.

I do feel bad about the position he’s placed in as a contender in some battle royale. But when he’s complaining every episode for the first half, it can get quite annoying.

Then when he does step up his game and attempt to change, he becomes a selfish and violent person for a while, before reverting back to his usual complaining self.

At least his design is good. But as with most of Sakae Esuno’s characters, they never reach their full potential, and act as empty canvases for the side characters.


10. Ayumu Mutou

Ayumu Mutou from Japan Sinks 2020 anime

Anime: Japan Sinks 2020

Ayumu Mutou is one of the central protagonists of Masaaki Yuasa’s recent Japan Sinks 2020, a tale of a post-earthquake Japan on the brink of devastation.

I’ll get this out of the way: Japan Sinks 2020 is a narrative disaster, a seismic mess of plot and characterization. I didn’t know when I was supposed to laugh or cry, so I laughed through tears throughout the entire show.

Ayumu is a perfect example of this tonal dissonance.

She’s constantly complaining, putting herself before everyone else throughout the entire show.

She’s emotionally stunted, or over emotional, and constantly upsets or annoys or inconveniences those in her group. Her whole family is pretty insufferable, to be quite frank.


9. Shouichi Tsuji

Shouichi Tsuji from Junji Ito Collection anime

Anime: Junji Ito Collection

Most of Junji Ito’s stories have blank, self-insert protagonists with little identity outside of what the narrative necessitates.

However, he does feature a few recurring characters (such as the model and Tomie).

The best example of this is Shouichi Tsuji, a regularly appearing protagonist who bites iron and steel due to the iron deficiency in his blood.

He’s chaotic and childish, pulling occultist pranks on those he disagrees with and constantly lying.

Throughout every story he appears in, he wreaks havoc or pain onto strangers, family, and friends. He’s just an ass.

I love him, but he doesn’t really do much outside of pranking (horribly) and getting into trouble.


8. Hacka Dolls

Hacka Dolls in Hacka Doll the Animation

Anime: Hacka Doll the Animation

The Hacka Dolls are an artificial intelligence trio that gain tangibility when you call upon them through the smartphone app.

However, this trio we follow are… sort of useless.

They’re defect models due to production issues, and therefore are given moderately weird tasks to fulfill poorly.

No matter the episode, they manage to save the day after ruining the day, always bringing a chaotic and eclectic energy bound by their technical malfunctions.

They’re almost the epitome of useless: artificial intelligence that perform incorrectly.


7. Ash Ketchum

Ash Ketchum from Pokémon anime

Anime: Pokémon

Ash (or Satoshi) is by far his worst during the first season and the Kanto region.

But he always acts relatively useless and naive outside of battles. He improves massively, but still loses most of his Pokémon battles.

At least now he’s strategizing his team, as opposed to earlier parts where he would throw any random lot of Pokémon into a team and over-rely on his statistically weird and under evolved Pikachu.

Nonetheless, I’m putting him on this list for his kinda tiring attitude and inability to win, despite his sometimes overwhelming advantage.

I mean, Ash winning his first league championship was big enough news that CNN legitimately wrote an article about it. Seriously.


6. Tomoko Kuroki

Tomoko Kuroki in No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys Fault I'm Not Popular!

Anime: No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys Fault I’m Not Popular!

With an anime title like “No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!” You would expect a deflective, socially inept student incapable of changing themselves in favor of projecting their insecurities onto those around them.

Well done. You expected correctly. You did it. Congratulations.

She’s sleep deprived, socially anxious, completely introverted, chronically lewd, and messy.

Though it’s suggested we’re seeing what she sees, and she doesn’t in fact look that disheveled, it’s fair to assume she looks somewhat similar given everyone’s reactions to her.

I love Tomoko because she’s useless, don’t get me wrong. She’s a treat to watch stumble through her series.

I just wish we had more.


5. Makoto Itou

Makoto Itou from School Days anime

Anime: School Days

Makoto Itou is a bland, disgusting, selfish creature.

He’s the protagonist in School Days and an infamous target for scorn. Upon initiating a romantic relationship with his crush, he discovers he simply cannot keep his hands to himself. So he begins a sordid tale of cheating and depravity that upsets and traumatizes everyone around him.

He basically impregnates his best friend and then walks away to find someone else.

He’s literally one of the most irredeemable characters in anime, adding nothing but misery to every scene and the lives of those surrounding.

His design is boring, his voice is tiring, and he’s got nothing going for him. I hate Makoto Itou, did you notice?


4. Eiji Hoshimiya

Eiji Hoshimiya Big Order anime screenshot

Anime: Big Order

Hoshimiya looks like a worse Yukiteru Amano. And acts quite like him, too.

He was originally believed to be behind the Great Destruction that wiped out a large portion of Japan.

And he internalized that guilt to make him one hell of an edgy fella.

His design is uninspired, and throughout the trainwreck of a show he consistently messes up and proves himself utterly useless (with minor moments of almost redemption).

Avoid the anime and save yourself some time.


3. Christopher Thorndyke

Christopher Thorndyke from Sonic X anime

Anime: Sonic X

Like the next person on this list, Chris isn’t so much useless as he is fundamentally superfluous.

Firstly, by adapting the Sonic Adventure games, Sonic X pigeon-holed itself into needing to include outwardly human designs – to mixed degrees of success and believability.

Then they decided to make Chris more or less a secondary main character, acting as the guardian and confident of the Mobius critters while they’re on our planet.

He’s a rich kid with an annoying voice who doesn’t bring anything remarkable to the series; every time he’s on screen you want him off. And I feel that’s enough to include him on this list.


2. Tea Gardner

Tea Gardner from Yu-Gi-Oh! anime

Anime: Yu-Gi-Oh!

Tea Gardner, also known as Anzu Mazaki in the non-localized/4kids version, wants to be a professional dancer and hangs around with the main group. She kind of lingers, really.

She can be supportive, but outside of being a cheerleader she doesn’t really do much.

Her deck is pretty awful, comprising mostly cute cards that don’t have good (or any) effects.

Her design is also fairly plain and forgettable, yet she sticks around through the entire show. She’s likable, and eventually roots herself as a solid main cast member, but she still never ends up overly useful and often wins due to flukes.


1. Holmes

Holmes from Vampire Holmes

Anime: Vampire Holmes

Vampire Holmes is a show released in 2015, comprised of 12 episodes. So it’s pretty short.

Vampire Holmes is also based on a smartphone game.

Vampire Holmes’ main character is a deviant Sherlock Holmes who doesn’t really investigate much, nor drinks that much blood.

Vampire Holmes is abysmal.

He doesn’t use reasoning skills, angers everyone around him, gets on bad terms with everybody, is lazy and rude, never has a redemption arc, and is generally insufferable.

He’s drawn awfully, animated awfully, voiced awfully, and even subtitled awfully.

Watch this absolute masterpiece, please, to witness the most useless anime character ever to have existed.

Browse: Anime

Kafka Champin

Kafka was playing games in utero, and writing lists even longer. He has published numerous books and video essays, and is currently a student at university.