Image from myanimlist.net
Sometimes you don’t have to be smart to be everyone’s favorite.
Everyone loves a smart, clever protagonist, but occasionally it’s the complete doofus that captures your attention and holds it for the longest time. This list is dedicated to the laughable but lovable morons that prove themselves both useful and likable, despite a lacking in mental strength. These are Anime’s Top Ten Idiots
Again, this is just my personal list, so feel free to mention your own.
10. Krillin — Dragonball Z
There’s a reason Dragonball Z Abridged has an “owned” counter for this guy. Bless his little heart, he tries so hard, with so little to show for it.
Krillin is Goku’s best friend from years back, training buddy, and the punching bag for most of the show. He tops the list here because, as adorable and funny as he is, Krillin never really wins a fight for the whole show, and has become a joke in his own right. But since he does make a good life for himself and his family later on, you’ll still find yourself cheering for the little scamp.
9. Joey Wheeler/ Katsuya Jonouchi — Yu-Gi-Oh!
Joey and Krillin have quite a bit in common: they’re best friends with the protagonist; they’re not that good at what they do, and they both act as the comic relief. But where they separate is the field of results, and Joey delivers with flying colors.
Joey may not be that smart (and he may be more gullible than a toddler) but he legitimately works hard and takes care of the people he cares about. Loving and kind, his tooth-and-nail approach makes him good enough to give Yugi Muto a challenge and even give Seto Kaiba some pause. Funny, sweet and loyal, Joey is proof that hard-work can be just as endearing as natural talent.
8. Sanosuke Sagara — Rurouni Kenshin
The last survivor of the Sekihōtai, “Sano” is the brash fist-fighter of Kenshin’s group, with a loose moral code and an itch for a good brawl. But his simple, straightforward nature leads him to be thick-headed. When the situation gets more complex, you’ll often find Sano looking completely lost.
Despite this, anyone should be lucky to call Sano their ally. Exceedingly strong, loyal to a fault, and merciless when his friends are injured, Sano will go out of his way to help a friend (while insisting he didn’t do anything special). He may be a mooch, and he may lack any kind of tact, but you’ll still want him in your corner.
7. Aisha Clan-Clan — Outlaw Star
From thick-headed and well-meaning to boisterous and clumsy, Aisha takes Sano’s approach to life and turns it up to eleven. Her goal is simple: Find the Galactic Layline and prove to her people, the Ctarl-Ctarl empire, that she’s not a waste of space.
In practice, Aisha’s similar to Sanosuke: Brash, thick-headed, and aggressive in a fight. But she’s anything but easy going, with a massive ego and an abundance of enthusiasm. But she makes a good comic relief, kicks about 13 kinds of ass, and will do the right thing when the chips are down. Loud and Proud, there will always be a special place in the hearts of Outlaw Star for miss Aisha.
6. Arystar Krory III– D. Gray Man
When Katsura Hoshino took a stab at making a vampire, magic happened.
This sheltered, overemotional exorcist is gullible, comically naive, and prone to sobbing over the tiniest things. But when his innocence activates, he becomes a bloodthirsty berserker, willing to tear his way through Akuma. But, no matter which side is out, he’ll never harm an ally, and his large heart has made him a fan favorite. Krory is three shades of adorable, and every episode he gets is worth the watch.
5. Ash Ketchum– Pokemon
Oh, Ash, my defense of you gets so hard each and every new show. But, despite several bumps in the road, few can bring themselves to hate the always energetic Ash, perpetually on a quest to shove all the small animals into tiny balls.
Ash, the main-stay trainer of Pokemon who never seems to catch a break: He showed up late to graduate, he’s always the last to know about new Pokemon, and he never catches up to his rival. But his enthusiasm is pretty much on par with the target audience, and his willingness to suffer for the sake of his Poke-friends is always admirable. More or less, he’s the traditional underdog, and everyone likes to cheer the underdog.
4. Kazuma Kuwabara — Yu Yu Hakusho
Not that smart, not all that handsome, Kuwabara appears like nothing more than a foil to the protagonist when he first graces the scene. But everything changed when the self-proclaimed second-strongest punk of Sarayashiki Junior High School put his life on the line for a small kitten, and joined the fight against a horde of demons.
Kuwabara is Yusuke Urameshi’s rival/best friend/punching bag. Most fans (minus the fanfiction crowd) tend to adore Kuwabara for his tenacity and iron-clad code of honor. They like seeing someone who was clearly a failure at life climb his way to something great, just by sheer force of will and refusal to quit. Going from Butt-Monkey to valuable team member in quick time, Kuwabara is proof that no character is above being essential.
3. Monkey D Luffy — One Piece
Similar to Mr. Ketchum, Luffy is the enthusiastic idiot with more energy than brains. But when you see that shining face, going on and on about how he’s gonna be king of the pirates, how can you not pump your fist in support?
What makes Luffy a cut above Mr. Ketchum is his ability to deliver. Ash usually takes a few episodes before he can really pull through on his promise to beat someone, where Luffy can easily prove that his talk of “being strong” is anything but talk. With an unbreakable moral code and determination that borders on being stubbornly blind, there’s a reason Luffy is so loved amongst fans of the show.
2. Tamaki Suoh — Ouran Highschool Host Club
Oh how predictable, a girl valuing a Shoujo pretty boy over a list of Shounen Heroes. How in the world could I justify this?
With more vigor and sincerity than anyone can ever handle, just like the painful perfectionist, Tamaki.
Tamaki is a handful, with his overzealous wish to help his friends/family/random strangers in the most melodramatic way possible, while being the most clueless character of the entire cast. But for all his posing and over-the-top antics, Tamaki’s sincerity, kindness, and desire to please people is so strong and so passionate, it almost hurts. He’s almost impossible to stay mad at for long, and he just needs someone more level-headed to temper his more… outrageous plans.
- Vash the Stampede — Trigun
Vash is a pacifist in a world meant to replicate the Wild West. He appears to be a coward, an idiot, a wandering soul whose ability to get himself in trouble is beyond uncanny. But underneath that idiot persona is a deadly accurate gunslinger…who would give anything in the world to be anything but.
Vash is a kind-hearted soul who stumbles into trouble on a regular basis thanks to the massive bounty on his head. But all of his foolish behavior stems from a steadfast refusal kill, and a secret fear of accidentally hurting another soul. He’s a clumsy push-over who’s crying on the inside, more than aware that he could decimate an entire town if he wasn’t careful. This self-imposed motley of the local fool is heartbreaking to watch when you finish the show, making him the most lovable doofus ever.
What are your favorite fools of the medium? Feel free to comment below, and don’t forget to check out my list of anime’s worst openings. Remember to like and share!