Villains, heroes, supporting characters, they’re all human (well, most of them). And as such, they have flaws (unless they’re Mary Sues–implausibly flawless characters that the plot goes out of its way to favor) and are prone to being disliked. And then we get to the characters that make our blood boil. Not only because they’re hard to digest, but because the story attempts to set them up as a character to feel sorry for, regardless of how obnoxious then can be or how terrible their actions.
Be it characters that got sympathy in-story or set up as if the audience was meant to feel sorry for them, let us go over the characters that wouldn’t get any sympathy from Ike.
And as always, be wary of spoilers!
Kagome – Inuyasha
Episode 109, Kagome suggests Inuyasha takes Kikyo to safety, but proceeds to mope and whine about it for the whole episode then bitches at Inuyasha for not getting her feelings. But it was her idea in the first place, and it was a life or death situation. But she’s more concerned about her love triangle woes. This is but one example of the double standard that plagues Inuyasha as far as the KagomeXInuyasha subplot is concerned. It’s actually an effect of the idiotic recurring scenario where everyone gets on Inuyasha’s case about him not understanding Kagome’s feelings in regards to Kikyo, yet no one calls out Kagome when she doesn’t get Inuyasha’s feelings regarding Kouga. This becomes even more glaring as Kagome does nothing at all to make Kouga understand she’s not interested in him, which of course gets under Inuyasha’s skin. Also, unlike Kagome, Inuyasha didn’t have the upbringing nor access to means that would give him the understanding of feelings people expect of him.
All in all, the unfairness of Inuyasha’s treatment really doesn’t contribute to making Kagome’s situation deserving of sympathy in this or any episode where she in afflicted with jealousy.
Yozora – I Don’t Have Many Friends (Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai)
Self-centered to sociopathic extremes, easily upset and prone to tantrums when things don’t go her way, hates “popular” people regardless of whether or not it is deserved. Thinks she’s entitled to Kodaka based simply on the fact they’re childhood friends, and rather than make an actual effort to be with him, she prefers to sabotage everyone else she thinks is getting to close to Kodaka.
Even though her backstory is pretty tragic, it is difficult to sympathize with Yozora due to her attitude. Her bitterness can leave a bad taste that lingers even post-character-development because her backstory really doesn’t excuse her behaviour during most of the series. And while Sena started as bad as Yozora was, Sena got better thanks to Kodaka. Yozora thrives on stepping on other people for the sake of getting her way or her own personal satisfaction, yet no one bothers to reprimand her for it.
Sure, she’s started to become a better person eventually, by letting go of her obsession with Kodaka and finally becoming accepting Sena as the friend she always wanted to have, but she’s not yet completely stopped, nor does it excuse the way she’s acted.
Whitney – Pokémon
Whitney. Any veteran to the Pokémon games will shudder at the mention of that name, specifically because her Miltank is the nightmare of any Johto players.
To this day, I have memories of her Miltank steamrolling my team in Crystal. And HeartGold and SoulSilver make Miltank even more challenging.
And this brat has the gall to throw a crying fit and call you a meanie when you finally defeat her.
Regardless of what people of your gym say about your crying fits, there’s no pity for you, Whitney.
Anise – Tales of the Abyss
Tales of the Abyss is a great game. One of the best titles for the 3DS (and originally the PS2) and a good entry point to the Tales series. But it’s also one of the most polarizing games in the whole franchise for two reasons: the handling of certain scenes and sporting a protagonist with divisive opinions.
One of the most controversial scenes is the destruction of Akzeriuth at the hands of Luke, who was actually mind-controlled into doing it by his mentor, the antagonist of the game. Afterwards, everyone got on Luke’s case about him being a horrible person, as if he deliberately did it. Anise here was one of the people to be the harshest about it. But the main issue with this scene? No one seems to get that Luke was being mind-controlled, and by the one person he actually had a reason to trust. Everyone else either was withholding vital information from Luke, being more concerned with their own agendas, or a spy/traitor.
And Anise? She was constantly hitting on Luke prior to the event because he was from a wealthy family, something she did to anyone who displayed any form of wealth. She had reasons, being that her parents were ridiculously naive and falling for a lot of scams which got them into massive debts so she wants to pay them. It would give meaning to why she needs the money and would make her understandably sympathetic. However, the issue lies further ahead on the plot.
Anise was revealed to be a spy working for Gran Maestro Mohs, one of the major antagonists of the game; she was selling info on the party to the enemy because her parents were taken hostage. Anise, rather than tell that to anyone from the main party or get their help, just continues to sell them out. The result? Ion’s death. The guy she was assigned to guard and the guy she genuinely loved. Unlike Luke, she was completely aware of what she was doing, there were many ways she could have dealt with this, and yet with just some tears and an apology, she’s instantly forgiven, when it took Luke a major chunk of the game to be forgiven for something he was mind-controlled into doing.
The Uchiha Clan – Naruto
The Uchiha. A clan with a story of spawning arrogant shinobi who think they’re entitled to greatness. And a clan whose most vile shinobi are known for having the plot bend itself so they never have any actual fault in any of their deeds. Their strongest shinobi in history wants to rule over the world with a world-wide mind controlling technique because of his own hubris? He just loves his deceased brother too much. It’s in his blood.
One of their young ones saw his beloved dying and wants to rewrite reality because he doesn’t want to live in a reality without her? He just loved her too much and went insane.
The Uchiha have a history of trying to seize power and believe they’re all entitled to greatness? It was written in a prophecy manipulated by the black-half of a plant-man trying to revive his long-sealed mother. Their sole known survivor has gone on a rampage for revenge and turned into a world-class wanted criminal? It’s a cycle of hatred resulting from the aforementioned prophecy hijacking.
The Uchiha just can’t have full responsibility for anything, can they?
Tobi – Naruto
Ran a nation to the ground as a tyrannical ruler. Caused the deaths of millions, Naruto’s parents included. Created the equivalent of a fourth world war. And why? Because his crush died and he did not want to accept living in a world without her.
And Naruto, who has every reason to resent him, tells the final villain not to talk shit about Tobi because he was the coolest just because he wanted to be Hokage. Yes, Naruto thought the one that killed his parents is the coolest because he wanted to be Hokage.
What’s with sharingan-wielders being so easily forgiven in this series?
Yuki – Menáge a 3
Yuki used to be my favourite character in Menáge a 3. I was a YukiXGary shipper back in the day, and her phallophobia-induced rampages were quite amusing, although the fact she got no comeuppance for the damages she caused during her rampages can get under many people’s skin, myself included.
At one point, Yuki and Gary’s relationship downgrades to an all-take and no-give situation, with Yuki demanding gratification from Gary without offering anything in return. Part of it can be attributed to her phallophobia, but even then, there were plenty of ways she could have given Gary something in return without the need to trigger her phobia rampage. Eventually she realizes she’s been a bad girlfriend and decides to make an effort for Gary but rather than talking to him about it, she just jumps the gun (as is the norm in the Menáge A 3 universe) and fumbles the ball completely.
After they share an intimate moment, Yuki immediately thinks her being a bad girlfriend led Gary to cheat on her. But rather than listening to Gary or talking to him about things, making an effort to make things work, Yuki just decides they should break up with Gary having no say in it. As they break up, Yuki still asks if she can continue to get the gratification she’s been getting from Gary.
And in the aftermath, the story plays out as if people were supposed to feel bad for Yuki. But she’s made no effort to listen or to talk things through with her boyfriend, yet wanted him to continuing giving her pleasure after they broke up and just handed him over to Sonya so she can relieve her sexual tension for the sake of their band, it makes pitying Yuki as difficult as watching Mufasa’s death without feeling a tug at the heart.
And that wraps up the list. Did you feel like any character was missing? Does anyone else deserve a spot here? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and show us no sympathy!
Share this post: