2017 marked 100 years of anime, and in that time we've been told amazing stories with characters we've grown to love (or hate). But while there are plenty of stylistic elements of Japanese animation that we appreciate, there are also tons of clichés found in shows of every genre.
One of the most common anime clichés we see happens to be the inclusion of at least one female character with abnormally-sized breasts that are out of proportion with the rest of her body. This trope is often used for comedic purposes, while giving the character more sex appeal (which is really nasty, given that a number of these characters are teenagers). But it's not funny anymore; it's getting annoying now because we end up with a bunch of characters who do mostly nothing in their series other than look pretty and - in some cases - fawn over the male lead.
Some of the strongest heroes in fiction are from anime, but you won't find any of them here. Instead, you'll find a bunch of people who are kind of useful but mostly there as eye candy with some comic relief tossed in.
These are the 15 Anime Heroes Who Have More Bust Than Powers.
15 Lucy Heartfilia (Fairy Tail)
Lucy is a mage from the Fairy Tail guild, a member of Team Natsu. She carries a ring of keys that allow her to summon Celestial Spirits from another world, and she is also armed with a whip with a heart-shaped end (get it? because that’s part of her last name).
Yeah, yeah, she’s cute and all, but unlike her teammate Erza, who is disciplined and focused on becoming stronger, Lucy seems to care more about her appearance. She regularly changes outfits, which is unusual for an animated character, and may rely too much on her sex appeal. She can summon powerful beings, but she herself isn’t that strong. Take the keys away and you aren’t left with much else. At least she's nice to the spirits who do most of the work.
14 Elizabeth Liones (Seven Deadly Sins)
Apparently, there are tons of reincarnations of Elizabeth, starting with a goddess dating back to 3,000 years ago, but we will stick with the current version. She is a princess from the Kingdom of Liones, having been adopted by the king and queen. In her past lives she was the lover of Meliodas, but in the current time she travels with him to find the Seven Deadly Sins, and he is constantly groping her along the way.
She is fairly gullible, and is always complaining about being useless or bad at stuff, and a burden on the Deadly Sins. Another common anime cliché is when a girl beats up the male protagonist after he accidentally grabs her chest, yet this girl will do nothing when he does it on purpose.
13 Blair (Soul Eater)
Blair looks like a witch in the Soul Eater pilot episode, but turns out to be just a cat who can do magic. To give off further Sabrina the Teenage Witch vibes, she ends up moving in with Soul and Maka, and offering advice and assistance in battle when the world is later thrown into chaos.
In her human form, she is constantly using her looks to flirt with Soul, and actually removes her towel in the middle of a get-together, exposing herself to Soul and Maka’s friends, and giving all of the male characters nosebleeds. Some fans may find her annoying (her voice, at least), but others find her to be a combination of sexy and funny.
While she has fairly strong magic, Blair is better known for her body and sexual antics, at the real heroes' expense.
12 Albedo (Overlord)
Albedo is in charge of overseeing the Floor Guardians of the Great Tomb of Nazarick, but before Overlord began, Momonga reprogrammed her to be madly in love with him. Much to our disturbance, it worked. From day one she has been throwing herself at him and threatening any of the other Floor Guardians who may steal his affection away from her. She continues to stick close to him unless he is off on his own private mission.
There is little humor in this major character change for her, because it practically consumes her entire character. Even Momonga has to tell her to calm down at times, before she starts a fight over him. He tells her that he made her the way she is, which doesn’t bother her at all.
11 Misa Amane (Death Note)
Misa’s character made sense at first – she was grateful to Kira for killing the man who murdered her parents and wanted to thank him by joining his cause. Fair enough.
The problem was that she wasted her own career (she was an up and coming model) and Shinigami powers to follow Light around like a stray puppy. She would have been better off if she simply admired his work, but she was so in love with him that she threw away her own sense of self to try to win him over, to no avail.
She either couldn’t see that Light was insincere in his feelings towards her, or she didn’t want to – and thus her potential as a cool character went down the drain.
10 Lucoa (Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid)
Lucoa was once a dragon goddess. She had so much power, and then just threw it all away by getting drunk and having an affair with her sister (wait, what?!). Lucoa is the anime equivalent of when someone either gets fired after drinking on the job, or is eventually denied a job due to an alcohol-related mark on their record.
We’re kidding here (sort of), but Lucoa should have known better than to consume whatever weird drink, cursed or not was given to her, even if it came from a friend.
Now she just hangs out all day, bumming off of Shouta, who she regularly toys with and embarrasses for fun – yet she’s still a popular character among fans of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. We all know one reason for it.
9 Hestia (Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?)
Her nickname is “Loli Big-boobs” – that right there should say it all, but we’ll continue.
While Hestia can be a hard worker, she has a lazy streak – she stayed with her friend Hephaestus and remained under her care until she was kicked out. Even after that, she took a while to find work. Then she struggled to recruit anyone into her familia, which shows a lack of charisma and leadership skills.
The fact that she appears closer to childhood than adolescence in age makes the addition of her large chest more unsettling. Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon? In some cases, no – depending on why you’re there, you may share a common interest – but in this case, yes, definitely yes.
8 Anzu Mazaki/Téa Gardner (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
Anzu is one of Yugi’s friends (and more or less his crush) from school who follows him on all of his dueling adventures. She’s constantly rattling off friendship speeches while commanding the cheering section. While her bust isn’t the most noticeable part of her character, it’s still there. But that’s not why she’s the most annoying character in the original series.
She duels occasionally, but either wins by default or loses. The only thing she does for the plot is explain and commentate on it, which is distracting from the dueling action. Most of the recurring characters are more compelling than her, yet they disappear after season four. She takes up way too much screen time when 90 percent of Yu-Gi-Oh! could have been done without her.
7 Ukraine (Hetalia)
Ukraine's chest is so big that the Hetalia developers added sound effects to her movement to emphasize its larger size. But Ukraine isn’t a sexual character by any means – her large chest symbolizes the fact that Ukraine is a major agricultural nation (with “large tracts of land” and whatnot).
Ukraine is a nice person (er, country) with a motherly nature who cares for her younger siblings, Russia and Belarus. She just doesn’t do all that much, though she cries a lot. In fact, her siblings usually run amok and drag her into their goofy shenanigans while she grins and bears it.
Despite her well-endowed figure, Ukraine is one of the more forgettable countries in the world of Hetalia, and her family’s lack of screen time doesn’t help.
6 Nico Robin (One Piece)
After previously battling them as an antagonist, Nico is the archaeologist of the Straw Hat Pirates. She ate the Hana Hana no Mi, a Paramecia-type Devil Fruit that now allows her to create copies of her body parts.
Nico’s figure is one of those classic cases in anime where her large chest is incongruous with her otherwise skinny frame, which looks rather unhealthy. Her chest wasn’t that large at first, but for some reason her breasts grew several sizes following One Piece’s time skip. She’s considered a J-cup in Japan.
While Nico is an intelligent character with athletic prowess, she isn’t quite as powerful as her fellow pirates, which makes her a bust in multiple ways. At least she has concrete skills and doesn’t have to rely on sex appeal entirely.
5 Leafa (Sword Art Online)
Leafa is Kirito’s cousin who doubles as his adoptive sister. She is one of half a dozen girls in his unofficial harem, and while the entire harem is annoying in itself, her blood relations to Kirito make her affection towards him cringeworthy at best, and at worst, disturbing. If any of the girls need to take a hint, it's her.
Leafa was helpful during the first part of the Alfheim arc in Sword Art Online, but once the gang gets together, she fades into the background as another one of Kirito's female friends. Leafa is one of the bustier girls in the group, and while she’s a decent fighter, the animators take too many liberties in highlighting her physical assets with multiple close-ups.
Leafa has the same issue as any SAO hero, where her magic and other abilities are nonexistent outside of the game world. Not to mention, half of her group outpaces her in skill.
4 Jynx (Pokémon)
Jynx is a psychic and ice-type Pokémon from the first generation, a very feminine species with no male counterpart. She is known for her busty figure and large lips, which she uses to perform her signature move, Lovely Kiss, to put enemies to sleep.
Jynx is known for being overly affectionate, with her romantic advances scaring the crap out of the male characters in Pokémon (Brock almost kissed a Jynx owned by Nurse Joy in a banned episode). While Jynx is a rarer Pokémon, she isn’t one of the most powerful in the Pokédex.
More often, she is considered one of the joke Pokémon who occasionally pops in for some comic relief at the heroes’ expense and isn’t taken that seriously by the trainers or the fans.
3 Stephanie Dola (No Game No Life)
Stephanie is the granddaughter of the late king of Imanity who was ousted from the throne after losing in a tournament that the king insisted be held to determine the country’s next ruler. Now she serves under the winners of the tournament, Sora and Shiro (also known as Team Blank), handling Imanity’s state affairs and picking up the slack for her less-than-motivated bosses.
Stephanie is okay at games, but is constantly losing to Team Blank and ending up in embarrassing situations where she is treated like a dog (or a “Steph,” as they jeeringly put it) and left with almost no clothes or dignity. She is naïve and emotional, and her violent outbursts often get her into trouble, much to Sora’s amusement. Having to deal with Team Blank is probably what's making her crazy, though.
2 Orihime Inoue (Bleach)
Orihime is another annoying female character who is primarily there to fawn over the male lead, who she is madly in love with. She is clingy, needy, and constantly depending on Ichigo to save her. It’s creepy how she is able to detect him by scent and sense his Spiritual Pressure, and she plays it off like she has this “spiritual connection” with him – no, she’s a stalker who doesn’t think or talk about anything else.
She is useless and adds absolutely nothing special to Bleach – and with all of that filler, there is plenty of room for her to try. Not even her busty figure can make the fans like her – they all find her annoying and overly obsessed with Ichigo.
1 Shizuka Marikawa (Highschool of the Dead)
Shizuka is the school nurse at Fujimi High School, and the only adult in the group when the zombie outbreak happens. She takes care of the students, continuing to serve as their nurse, as well as their driver.
She is written as a stereotypical blonde, ditzy and initially unaware of the zombies coming in, and her abnormally-sized chest is often used as a comedic device. She also regularly has a sleepy look on her face, and she shows a lack of maturity in comparison to the students, as she constantly worries about what will happen to her in the future.
While she clearly has brains, with all of her medical knowledge stored inside, she doesn’t use them very often. Highschool of the Dead still focuses a lot on her breasts.
Which anime hero have you found to be a complete "bust" in terms of ability? Do you think these characters should be taken more seriously? Sound off in the comments!