14 Anime Couples Who Were Better Off Without Each Other

14 Anime Couples Who Were Better Off Without Each Other

Valentine’s day, the corporate holiday of love, has a lot of folks fiending to get with the person they adore. However, oftentimes cupid’s arrow happens to land on people who just make each other worse (and not in the fun kinky way). No medium serves up a hearty helping of such toxic couples quite like anime.

Here, then, is my attempt to rank the worst anime couples I’ve ever come across, starting from the just kind of terrible and proceeding all the way down to the worst of the worst. Be sure to chirp off about the notorious anime couples you love to hate for their vile romantic chemistry, or lack thereof, in the comment section.

Without further ado, let’s get to love shaming.

14 Anime Couples Who Were Better Off Without Each Other

#14 Koichi x Yukako (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable)

Crazy in love. (Screenshot: David Production / Netflix / Kotaku)
Crazy in love. (Screenshot: David Production / Netflix / Kotaku)

While JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable is on the upper echelon of peak JJBA parts, so too is the toxicity of its romance between the dependable Koichi and the resilient Yukako. Like any tale of unrequited love, Yukako obsessively pines after Koichi while the short-stack high schooler shrugs away her advances. Since folks in JJBA have stands, which are ghost-like beings with supernatural powers, Yukako escalates Koichi’s rebuffs by kidnapping him. Astonishingly, Koichi inevitably gives in to Yukako after witnessing the dire lengths she’ll go to become the object of his affection. To each their own, I suppose.


Read More: Why You Should Watch JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

#13 Korra x Mako (The Legend of Korra)

Skip. (Screenshot: Nickelodeon Animation Studio / Studio Mir / Netflix / Kotaku)
Skip. (Screenshot: Nickelodeon Animation Studio / Studio Mir / Netflix / Kotaku)

Whenever I rewatch The Legend of Korra, the sequel series to Nickelodeon’s popular Avatar: The Last Airbender, I often opt to skip straight to the third season. I do this so as to spare myself the painful love triangle between Korra, Mako, and Asami. But more pressingly I just don’t care to subject myself to how frustrating Korra and Mako were as a couple. What basically starts off as a schoolyard “I’m mean to you because I like you” between the pair is expounded upon by the mere existence of Asami, who like the audience is a bystander to their hot-and-cold relationship.

Things take an even more frustrating turn for the worse when TLoK season two implements an amnesia storyline in which Korra forgets she and Mako have already broken up and Mako…just lets it slide for a painfully long time while Asami, Mako’s then-girlfriend, watches on in befuddlement. Ultimately, Korra and Asami wind up together but Christ, was it a painful process getting there.

Read More: The Legend Of Korra: The Kotaku Review

#12 Kyousuke x Kirino (My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute / Oreimo)

It's incest, innit. (Screenshot: AIC Build / Kotaku)
It’s incest, innit. (Screenshot: AIC Build / Kotaku)

My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute is an anime that was on television. But more seriously, the anime follows a high schooler named Kyousuke and his popular little sister, Kirino as the pair grow closer together after Kyousuke discovers that his sister is a closet otaku. While the show progresses with some admittedly endearing character writing for the blood siblings, things take a turn when Kyousuke catches feelings for Kirino, curbs his childhood bestie who has a crush on him, and marries Kirino in the anime’s final three episodes. Spectacular (derogatory).

#11 Rui x Natsuno x Hina (Domestic Girlfriend)

ಠ_ಠ (Image: Diomedéa / Kotaku)
ಠ_ಠ (Image: Diomedéa / Kotaku)

To put it plainly, the love triangle in Domestic Girlfriend is an exercise in unfortunate events that transpire over the course of years. The series starts off with a guy named Natsuo Fujii hooking up with a girl named Rui Tachibana after meeting each other at a mixer. At the time, Natsuo has feelings for his school teacher, Hina. When Natsuo and Rui go their separate ways, his father drops the bombshell that he’s re-marrying and they’re going to be living with his new step-siblings, Rui and Hina.

While no one is at fault for the awkwardness of their current situation, the trio quickly becomes entangled in a secret love triangle when living under the same roof. While on paper Domestic Girlfriend has the making of any trash romance anime, the show surprised me with how maturely, given their circumstances, the trio act in relation to one another’s feelings. Definitely still a toxic relationship by every definition of the word, but it compels me so it’s ranking lower on this list.

Read More: 17 NSFW Anime And Manga To Check Out For The ‘Plot’

#10 Akito x Shigure (Fruits Basket)

Pictured: cheaters prospering.  (Image: TMS Entertainment / Kotaku)
Pictured: cheaters prospering. (Image: TMS Entertainment / Kotaku)

Fruits Basket is a supernatural romance anime about a girl named Tooru Honda. After being welcomed into the home of a well-off family after a tragedy leaves her homeless, Tooru discovers that the wealthy Sohma family is possessed by the spirits of the Chinese Zodiac and transforms into their respective animals when a family member of the opposite sex hugs them.

While Fruits Basket’s core premise is whimsical, the romantic relationship between Shigure and Akito is some bizarro shit. First off, Shigure fell in love with Akito before she was even born because of a prophetic dream, à la Twilight. Later on, the pair engage in psychological warfare by sleeping with other people to get revenge on one another. Somehow the two wind up together and have a kid, who I reckon will be in dire need of a therapist.

Read More: The Fruits Basket Reboot Does A Classic Manga Justice

#9 Sagiri x Masamune (Eromanga Sensei)

Don't open that door. (Image: A-1 Pictures / Kotaku)
Don’t open that door. (Image: A-1 Pictures / Kotaku)

Alright, so you know how entry number 12 was about a dude who winds up dating his step-sister? Well, Eromanga Sensei’s protag, Masamune, does so as well, but their relationship is extra gross because he also serves as her pseudo-parental figure following the death of their parents, which leads Masamune’s sister, Sagiri, to become a shut-in. The siblings wind up making ends meet by selling erotic manga together and inevitably fall for one another. If there ever were a crown for the most dumpster fire anime, Eromanga Sensei would arguably have a claim to the throne.

In case you’re surprised by how similar Eromanga Sensei’s storyline is to Oreimo, they were both created by the same mangaka, Tsukasa Fushimi. Inspiring how far self-plagiarism can take you.

Read More: The State Of Anime In 2017

#8 Kazuya Kinoshita and like every woman on Earth (Rent-A-Girlfriend)

I hate this man. (Image: TMS Entertainment / Kotaku)
I hate this man. (Image: TMS Entertainment / Kotaku)

If you enjoy getting frustrated at every turn with an anime character, Rent-A-Girlfriend is the show for you. As one might surmise from the title, Rent-A-Girlfriend is about a high schooler named Kazuya Kinoshita who uses a rental dating app. Kazuya, however, is a degenerate who, upon going on a date with Chizuru Mizuhara, publicly shames her for doing her job. He then coerces her to keep up their charade by lying to their grandmothers about their romantic status.

I couldn’t limit Kazuya to just having a toxic relationship with Chizuru because he has a frustrating relationship with just about every woman in the anime, barring Sumi Sakurasawa. Much like how It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a spiritual successor to the misadventures of the Seinfeld gang, Rent-A-Girlfriend is what would happen if Scott Pilgrim’s main character never learned to stop being a self-important P.O.S. While the manga gives him a glimmer of character development, the damage of his past pigheadedness, and characters routinely never calling him out on it, is far too great to ignore.

Read More: Rent-A-Girlfriend Is A Surprisingly Honest Comedy About Paying For Intimacy

#7 Endeavour x Rei (My Hero Academia)

You deserved better. (Screenshot: Bones / Kotaku)
You deserved better. (Screenshot: Bones / Kotaku)

My Hero Academia’s Endeavour might be the superhero anime’s number-one hero, but in the Todoroki household, he’s a certifiable villain. MHA follows Izuku Midoriya, a “quirkless” boy who inherits the superpowers of a world-famous superhero, All Might, and attends UA Academy, a school for fledgling heroes. But we’re not here to talk about Deku, we’re here to admonish Endeavour, the story’s problematic hero.

Chief among Endeavour’s misdeeds is the emotional trauma he inflicts on his wife, Rei. Rei and Endeavour’s marriage was orchestrated as a result of an arranged marriage to sire a child with a powerful quirk. Things got so bad between Endeavour and his wife that Rei was hospitalized for her mental health after she threw a hot pot of water onto their son’s face, permanently scarring the boy, because of how much he resembled his father. Thankfully, season six of MHA is forcing Endeavour to reap what he sowed in prior seasons.

Read More: Netflix Is Working On A Live-Action My Hero Academia Movie

#6 Yuki x Kaname x Zero (Vampire Knight)

Disaster love triangle. (Image: Studio Deen)
Disaster love triangle. (Image: Studio Deen)

If there were ever an anime award for a show that broke even with its love triangle in the worst possible way, Vampire Knight would be the odds-on favourite to win that undesirable accolade. Vampire Knight is a supernatural romance anime about a girl named Yuki who, with her fellow disciplinary committee members, maintains order in their school while hiding the fact that they’re all vampires. A messy love triangle ensues between her, a pureblood vampire named Kaname, and her childhood friend — and hater to all vampirekind — Zero.

Aside from the rampant abuse between Yuki and Kaname — most notably a scene in which Kaname forces her to feed off his blood after bleeding her dry — the pair are also siblings. In the end, Kaname ends up having kids with both Zero and Yuki after Kaname falls into a deep vampiric sleep. My lord.


#5 Yuzu x Mei (Citrus)

14 Anime Couples Who Were Better Off Without Each Other

Trigger warning: sexual assault

When I went into watching Citrus for the first time, I expected a typical yuri romance. What I wasn’t expecting was a “they’re not related by blood” sibling romance about a gyaru high schooler named Yuzu and her kudere half-sister, Mei. But this isn’t my first rodeo, as you can see from this list, so I was willing to give the show a chance. My optimism and patience wore thin whenever Mei would routinely force herself on Yuzu. Much to my chagrin, Citrus’s narrative used these scenes to incite Yuzu’s sexual awakening and handwaved Mei’s actions as a consequence of an unexplored abuse she survived as a child. Apparently, they wind up getting married in the manga but all I want is the time I put into this series back.

#4 Light x Misa (Death Note)

Vile.  (Screenshot: Madhouse / Kotaku)
Vile. (Screenshot: Madhouse / Kotaku)

Hoo boy, what isn’t there to say about how abusive Light Yagami is toward his fellow Death Note user, Misa Amane? Death Note follows Light Yagami, a high school student who finds a cursed notebook that gives him the power to kill anyone whose name he writes in it, so long as he knows their names and faces.

While on the one hand this anime equivalent to the Joker and Harley Quinn is a cautionary tale for never meeting your heroes, these two willingly tango with each other in order to achieve their lofty goals. While Light’s goal is to cleanse the world of criminals by any means necessary, Misa just wants to be the woman by his side as he does it. And boy howdy, does Light take advantage of Misa’s affections. Outside of following the basic tenets of internet misogynist Andrew Tate’s playbook by routinely belittling and verbally abusing Misa, Light goes the extra supernatural mile by having Misa shorten her lifespan repeatedly in order to get the one-up on the cunning detective L and his proteges, Near and Mello.

Read More: Donald Trump Buys The Death Note For $US10 Trillion In Latest One-Shot


#3 Yuno x Yukiteru (The Future Diary)

Despite all her rage, Yuno's still just a rat in a cage. I'm sorry.  (Screenshot: asread. / Kotaku)
Despite all her rage, Yuno’s still just a rat in a cage. I’m sorry. (Screenshot: asread. / Kotaku)

The love story between Yuno and Yukiteru is as convoluted as The Future Diary’s flip-phone death game — uh, let me explain. The Future Diary is a death game anime in which a group of random people utilise their supernatural phones to predict the actions of their competitors and become the next death god. Basically, all you need to know is that Yuno, the playbook definition of yandere, is the universe’s biggest stalker and will destroy the lives of anyone who gives the pathetic protag an iota of affection. Outside of outright threatening the lives of Yukiteru’s friends and family, Yuno even kidnaps and tortures Yukiteru in order to fulfil her romantic fantasies. The anime tries its damnedest to retroactively justify her actions with a gruesome over-the-top origin story, but that only serves as set dressing for Asread Studio’s sci-fi thriller.

Read More: The Future Diary: Redial Is the Ending the Series Was Missing


#2 Sakura x Sasuke (Naruto)

Water under the Great Naruto Bridge, as it were. (Screenshot: Pierrot / Kotaku)
Water under the Great Naruto Bridge, as it were. (Screenshot: Pierrot / Kotaku)

#2 Sakura x Sasuke (Naruto)I was debating bumping this entry down to like number seven but I talked myself out of it when I recounted all the ways Naruto’s Sasuke and Sakura are an infuriating pairing. In order to spare my blood from boiling, I’ll just bullet-point why these two suck together.

  • Sakura is basically Sasuke’s stalker and he is just not interested.
  • Sasuke attempts to kill Sakura after telling her to kill Karin, his new stalker.
  • Prior to this, Sakura lies to Naruto about liking him so she can convince Naruto to give up on saving Sasuke. She later gets cold feet about killing Sasuke, thus the above bullet point.
  • Sasuke tricks Sakura into thinking he’s fatally wounded her at the climax of the Great Ninja War.
  • Sasuke becomes an absentee father to their child, Sarada.

While the bar for Sasuke and Sakura is literally underground, the two found a way to burrow even deeper in the recent episode of Boruto: Naruto The Next Generation. Basically, Sasuke petulantly confronts Sakura about whether or not his absence upsets her. When Sakura admits that it does, Sasuke grabs her hand and places a wedding ring on her finger and shits out the casanova line “wear that.” All the self-respect leaves Sakura’s body and she thanks Sasuke for the privilege of finally getting her quota of Uchiha affection. Go back to fighting a dinosaur or whatever the hell Boruto has you doing, you idiot man.

Read More: Loving Boyfriend Edits 115 Hours Of Anime Filler Out Of Naruto For Girlfriend


#1 Hachiko x Takumi (Nana)

If you've watched Nana, you may be entitled to emotional compensation. (Screenshot: Madhouse / Hidive / Kotaku)
If you’ve watched Nana, you may be entitled to emotional compensation. (Screenshot: Madhouse / Hidive / Kotaku)

Trigger warning: sexual assault

Pound for pound, the absolute worst couple in all of anime goes to Nana’s Hachiko Komatsu and Takumi. While other terrible couplings rank high for how their shows’ more supernatural story elements heighten their rampant abuse and mistreatment, Hachiko and Takumi’s relationship is the textbook definition of toxic anime couples for how their bad romance reflects emotional and physical abuse in the real world.

Read More: NANA Teaches Readers How to Mourn a Friendship

For context, Takumi is a bassist in a band (red flag) and Hachiko is quick to fall in love with any man who gives her the time of day. Things get complicated between the two when Hachiko catches feelings for her friend Nobu and Hachiko gets pregnant. Hachiko inevitably decides to be with Takumi because of the likelihood that he’s her child’s father but the decision irreparably damages her relationship with Nobu and her roommate, Nana Osaki. Takumi routinely verbally abuses Hachiko, forces himself upon her, and controls every aspect of her social life under the guise of keeping their relationship a secret from fans. To make matters worse, the dude still cheats on her after their child’s birth and the father of their second child is still very much up in the air.

Should Nana mangaka Ai Yazawa decide to end the series’ long hiatus, I pray she gives the girls from apartment 707 the happy ending they deserve.

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *