We all know that one person, you know the one, the person that says something totally inappropriate that settles a wave of awkwardness over any group. Of course, if you don’t know someone like that, it is probably you. From adorkable to straight up anti-social, anime is filled with characters with social problems and even characters with some full-on awkwardness. So who is your awkward anime spirit animal?
Sawako Kuronuma from Kimi ni Todoke
Kimi ni Todoke built its plot around Sawako and her unique brand of awkwardness. It is not so much that she is particularly bad at socializing, it is more so that everyone mistakes her nice actions for scary ones. Really it is her own shyness that gets in the way. Of course, all that awkwardness is undone by the attentions of Kazehaya, the resident popular boy. Although the lesson shouldn’t be that you need someone popular to overcome your awkwardness, more so that you need to practice talking to people.
Tomoko Kuroki from WataMote
Tomoko is perhaps the most famous socially awkward anime character, and the spirit animal of so many fans. Her awkwardness is sometimes so INTENSE that it is actually impossible to watch the anime because of the cringe. There is really no redeeming her, Watamote is all about trying to endure the awkwardness as she creeps people out without realizing it and has no clue about social norms outside eroge games.
Mr. Kimura from Azumanga Diaoh
Every school has that one creepy teacher, and in Azumanga Diaoh, that is Mr. Kimura. While he has a habit of appearing out of nowhere, what makes him so socially awkward is his obsession with school girls in all their school girl-ish costumes. Yet for all his potential to end up in jail, he has a pretty hot wife, a daughter and even does stand-up guy things like pick up litter and donate to charity.
Tatsuhiro Satou from Welcome to the NHK
There are few more socially awkward creatures in anime then the NEETs, and if the NEETs had a king, it would be Tatsuhiro Satou. Welcome to the NHK is about a number of things, but mostly it is about the days he wastes away being not employed, educated, or in training. He looks at naked girls, he tries gold grinding, and generally peruses the internet, but when it comes to talking to people, well, the internet can’t prepare you for that.
Crona from Soul Eater
Not even the shounen genre is safe from awkward characters. In Soul Eater, one could argue that Crona is so socially stunted because of the way he was raised. That, combined with the sassy trash-talking sword inside his body has created a gloomy, awkward young man that can’t decide if he wants to be evil or good.
Ako Tamaki from And You Thought There Is Never a Girl Online?
And you thought there were no cute awkward girls in anime? With a cute face and veritable rockin’ body, Ako seems like she would be super popular, but she really is only interested in living her life out online. Regardless, because of her sweet demeanor, she’d make an excellent waifu.
Haruyuki Arita from Accel World
Chibi and chubby, Haruyuki is naturally a target for bullying. This has pushed him to search out places to be alone on the local network at school. Although not completely terrible with people, he doesn’t really trust them anymore, and because he has a craving for loneliness, it just makes them distrust him more.
L from Death Note
L is the poster child for awkwardness. Despite being just completely off-the-charts smart and with excellent deductive capabilities, he scores complete zeroes in all other areas, like tact. He is blunt and says uncomfortably awkward things that make him a good detective, but kind of a terrible human.
Kouta Hirano from High School of the Dead
Not unlike Haruyuki in Accel World, Kouta Hirano is chibi and chubby as well, a natural target for bullies. Fortunately, circumstances were on his side! We all know that the apocalypse is the dawn of the new world, one for the socially awkward masses that nerded out about guns and weapons rather than went on dates and had lives! His day has come!
Rintarou Okabe from Steins;Gate
The thing about being a character in anime, and possible a character in life, is that the smarter you are, the more awkward you are. There is some sort of correlation there and it is shown in characters like Okabe. He created a time machine, but he’s still pretty adorkable when it comes to interacting with people.
Sunako Nakahara from The Wallflower
Sunako may look like Sawako from Kimi ni Todoke, but she takes awkwardness and turns it up to the extreme. To match her gloomy look, she is obsessed with horror movies and the macabre, but to make things worse, when she looks at a beautiful person she bleeds from the nose and cowers away. It is a troublesome quirk, considering the four beautiful boys that live with her are trying to rehabilitate her.
Rikka Takanashi from Love, Chunibyou, and Other Delusions
We all have a little chunibyou in us, but like Togashi, we know it is appropriate to hide it until we are behind closed doors. Not Rikka, though. No, Rikka lets her freak flag fly often and publically. She is one of those people that would be embarrassing to be friends with.
Tsukimi Kurashita from Princess Jellyfish
Tsukimi, and indeed almost all characters in Princess Jellyfish, is pretty cringe-worthy. She is petrified by stylish people and lives her life as a jellyfish otaku. While she gets countless make-over’s, she feels like it makes her a different person, so at least she owns her awkwardness actively.
Shiro and Sora from No Game No Life
Separately, stepsiblings Shiro and Sora are two awkward beasts, but together, they almost form a fully functioning person! You see, they are both NEETS, but Sora is outgoing and great at negotiation while Shiro is emotionless and cold, but devilishly brilliant. It is probably why these two awkward folks make such a great gaming team.
Cringing that we left someone else so socially awkward off our list? Well, stutter it out in the comments section below.