Reflecting on Shojo Corner’s post about popular characters that starsamaria didn’t like, I though it would be interesting to make my own list with my own thoughts. Reflecting on that further, I thought it would be an interesting idea to expand this into a two parter: first my own thoughts on characters I don’t quite see the appeal; and then a follow up post about manga and anime series that are popular, but I simply do not like at all and don’t quite understand the appeal behind them. As for gauging popularity, I’ll be using MAL and their rankings to gauge if a character is popular. So these are all chosen from the top 500 and are all characters I am at least somewhat familiar with.  Also, I’ve listed them below in order of popularity because I thought that would be fitting.


Lelouch Lamperouge
ranked 1 on MAL

You know, I don’t really hate Lelouch all that much as I simply don’t understand how he’s the most popular character on MAL. I don’t really see the appeal of super genius ass holes (pardon my language) and I guess that’s going to be a running theme for the male characters on this list. Granted Lelouch is pretty tame compared to the next person on this list, but I never really much cared for him and I just don’t understand how he got first place on the popularity list on one of the biggest anime and manga communities in the English speaking world. He’s way too smug for someone that accidentally got the chance to challenge the empire and I really dislike how he treats other characters. His sister, for example, he pays her lip service, but I was never really convinced he cared for her (same for the soldiers he commands). He was just never a really sympathetic character and there wasn’t anything that really stood out about him, so I don’t understand why others like him to such an extent. I don’t like his design much either.


Light Yagumi
ranked 3 on MAL

This is coming from a Death Note fan, but I don’t get why people like Light. He’s integral to the story, to be sure, but he’s one of the biggest ass holes I’ve ever seen in an anime and manga. Simply put, he’s basically a sociopath with a major god complex, and I don’t quite see the appeal of that. In fact, I had felt that we were suppose to dislike Light as he’s basically a big hypocrite and does quite a lot of questionable things to evade capture. I thought it was a pretty ingenious way to write a story too. Unfortunately, the majority of anime/manga fans don’t agree and actually like him.


Lucy
ranked 22 on MAL

I don’t like Lucy and I’m really surprised at her popularity given that she is basically a mentally unstable killer. Yup. I think that basically sums up why I cannot fathom her popularity. Add the fact that she has an alternate personality that acts like she’s 5, it really kind of creeps me out that people actually like her as a character. :| No offence guys, but are mentally unstable girls who act like they are 5 and have no qualms about killing people really that appealing? This is beyond the appeal of a broken bird and more just regular disturbing character who also happens to have a sad past. Don’t get me started on the romance angle of this series. So much wrong with it, so much!


Yuki Nagato
ranking 34 on MAL

Ok, I’ve only watched season 1 of Haruhi, so maybe that’s why, but I don’t get her appeal at all. She has zero personality and presence and acts too doll like for my tastes. I like kuuderes as much as the next person, but when they are so emotionless to the point that they rarely utter a word, well I just can’t get behind that.


Inuyasha

ranked 99 on MAL

Jerks sure are popular. I don’t understand why, as I find them hard to sympathize with and hard to like. I think the thing that bothers me the most about Inuyasha is how much of a hypocrite the guy is. He gets angry when Kagome sees Koga, but it’s all ok when he goes off to see Kikyou. If you are going to tell someone they can’t do something, you better not go do it yourself or you will just look like a major ass. He really left a bad taste in my mouth.


Louise

ranked 103 on MAL

Oh Louise, ever obnoxious. Even her last name was so obnoxiously long that I couldn’t be bothered to type it all out. I usually don’t mind tsunderes too much (in fact, I prefer them to most other female character tropes), but Louise was overkill. So much so that I really dislike her. She’s too bratty, too abusive and too immature. There really are no real good points about her and I’m honestly perplexed by why she is so popular, especially since I notice people complain about characters like her (example: X is such a bitch is a pretty common complaint in anime fandom), yet she gets a free pass?


Chi

ranked 124 on MAL

People seem to love Chi and I’m honestly baffled as to why because she really doesn’t have much of a personality. She’s literally a baby that need to learn to speak and understand. Now Sumomo? Yeah, I can get the appeal, she’s adorable and spunky and mischievous. Chi? Blank stare and repeats what you say. Maybe it’s the moe. I don’t get the moe appeal. Actually I do, and it bothers me because I don’t find infantile grown women to be at all cute, let alone interesting characters. I think a lot of you will notice this is going to be another trend here.


Tohru Honda

ranked 155 on MAL

I think people are familiar with my dislike of Tohru. She’s another moe sweet thing with zero personality. She really is too bland and I personally don’t see the appeal behind total doormats like Tohru (and I don’t think I ever will). What I find ironic is that male characters who act even a little like Tohru get massive (and I mean massive) hatedoms (why hello there Raki from Claymore), yet Tohru is so popular. Why is that guys?


Orihime Inoue

ranked 210 on MAL

I’m surprised she’s so popular. I thought most people who read or watched Bleach were sick of what Mr. Kubo did to her character. I guess I was wrong. Now, I think Orihime had a lot of potential to be a pretty interesting character, but unfortunately Kubo did not develop her in any meaningful way, so she’s left as a love sick fool that constantly utters “Kurosaki-kun” to the point of absurdity. In short, there isn’t anything remotely interesting about her, so I’m left scratching my head why people like her as a character. Are generic damsel in distress characters still in? I thought we were in the 21th century.


Neji Hyuuga

ranked 218 on MAL

I’m not terribly up to date with Naruto, so maybe he gets better, but from up to where I have read (pre-time skip), he’s another super genius ass hole. Why are these guys so popular? His treatment of his cousin, Hinata, no matter the circumstances, was horrible. I just could not get his appeal, but apparently he’s more popular than Rock Lee. Why? I’ve got no clue. I thought Rock Lee was an amazing character, who encompassed that even if you aren’t blessed with talent (like our friend Neji here), you can still achieve your dreams through hard work and dedication. Wasn’t that the theme of Naruto? Did it change down the line? Is that why this guy is so popular?


Trafalgar Law

ranked 430 on MAL

I’ve got nothing against Law, but I’m really perplexed why people latched onto him. I mean even before him saving Luffy and his current spot light, people were latching onto him when they knew next to nothing about him. Hell, we still know next to nothing, except a few tidbits here and there. So I’m seriously perplexed why everyone seems to love him. I’m pretty much indifferent to him because we don’t really know that much about him. He is a major character in the current on-going arc, so my opinion will most likely change by the end, but for now, there really isn’t anything to really like or dislike about him, so I’m kind of confused why his popularity just sky rocketed out of nowhere. He is literally the most popular side character (non-Straw Hat) with the sole exception of Ace. So I have to ask, what is it about him that people like that other side characters haven’t provided? He looks cool? But so does Kidd and a bunch of other characters. See this is what I mean, I don’t get his crazy popularity spike.

Now, I hope I haven’t offended anyone and if you want to challenge what I wrote here, or just enlighten me why certain characters are so popular, please feel free. I’m always curious to see why people like certain kinds of characters and that’s mainly why I did a follow up of my own based around Shojo Corner’s post in the first place. :) Part two will be coming out in a couple of days as well.

–SW

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