Anime’s Ugly Ducklings

Over the years many people have noted how contrived some anime can be at times. When the prettiest girl in school meets the handsomest boy in school (or prettiest girl meets other prettiest girl/handsomest boy meets other handsomest boy) is it really that surprising that they develop a relationship? Of course they will have some conflicts, what would a story be without it, but in general, it’s the pretty ones that are the stars of the show. And when we look at fantasy anime things get even more laser focused, in which the prettiest girl/boy is always destined by some higher being or legend to end up with the handsomest boy/girl.

duck looking confused
What about the other characters?!

But what about all the other anime characters? Are they honestly fated to live in the shadows of the pretty people in anime and relegated to minor roles as at best an un-named peasant and at worst some petty villain? Don’t these not so pretty anime characters also deserve to have stories with depth, drama, and maybe even a little love too? I say YES! Just because an anime character has the face of a duck doesn’t mean they can’t be the swan of their own story! So if you’re looking for some anime with a main character is not exactly a looker, you might want to check these out!

ducks in a bath
There’s a lot more ducks than swans!

My Love Story!!

This big lunk has a heart of gold!

Takeo Goda is a big, kind of scary looking guy, and he knows it. He towers over other people, is strong enough to lift part of a building by himself, and has a face that strikes fear into anyone that doesn’t know him. Though Takeo is truly intimidating, this big lunk has a heart of pure gold. Unfortunately, because of strangers reactions to Takeo’s appearance, he has developed a poor self image and has very low self worth. Takeo often thinks of himself as a red ogre from a fairy tale, and at one point even believed that as long as he was useful to his friends it didn’t matter what happened to him. But that negative thinking slowly began to change after he saved a very petite girl from a pervert on a train. At first, when the girl (Rinko Yamato) started following Takeo around and giving him gifts, he thought that she was just being nice to him because she had a crush on his handsome and charming best friend (something that’s happened to him quite a few times). But with the help of his best friend and Rinko’s courage to tell him how she feels, Takeo learns that he’s finally in the lead role of his own love story!

takeo and rinko
he’s a big guy!

Wallflower

cast of wallflower
It’s like My Fair Lady extreme edition!

Though Nakahara Sunako was once called “ugly” and rejected by her crush, it’s not really her natural appearance that people find so alarming about her. What’s much more disturbing (besides her love of an ameba printed skirt) is her passion for horror movies, her love of dark places and skeletons, and all things gruesome and gory. Even something as domestic as cooking can turn into something quite horrific when Sunako becomes enthusiastic about it.

sunako with dark aura
It’s her hobbies that are most disturbing
Though she can be creepy cute!

Regardless of Sunako’s inclinations, her aunt is determined to transform the teenager into a refined lady and her aunt’s plan to make that happen is just as unusual as Sunako herself. Her aunt has bribed four beautiful boys with free rent if they will live with Sunako in a giant mansion and teach the girl how to be an elegant debutante. But as excited the boys are to not pay rent anymore and determined to succeed, Sunako is just as stubborn to not change her ways.

She’s scary without even trying
sunako with skull
She’s a little too attached to that skeleton!

Toilet Bound Hanako Kun

nene being inspired
Her little daikon legs keep her moving toward her dreams!

Nene Yashiro has no luck getting a boyfriend. She carefully coif her hair and tries her best to look cute, all to get the attention of her crushes. Unfortunately, every boy she confesses her feelings to doesn’t feel the same and she often gets rejected because they don’t like her “daikon” (giant radish) legs. Well Nene isn’t about to let vegetable limbs get in the way of her love, so she knocks on the door of Hanako san, one of her high school’s mysterious seven wonders. Hanako san is supposed to be the spirit of a little girl that haunts a stall of the girl’s bathroom and will grant your wish for the right price. But when Nene knocks on Hanako-san’s stall door what appears is not Hanako chan, but rather Hanako kun! And to make matters worse, one thing leads to another and Nene doesn’t get her wish for love granted but instead is bound to Hanako Kun to be his assistant and if she doesn’t she will turn into a fish!

cast of tiolet bound hanako kun
One little knock on a door got her more than she bargained for!

Way of the House Husband

tatsu in apron
It takes a real man to keep a house!

Tatsu was once known as the Immortal Dragon and was one of the most feared mob bosses in Japan. His skills in violence and organized crime are legendary. He has tattoos, he has scars, knives seem to just appear in his hands, and his very presences frightens people. Even his enemies both respect and fear him equally . . . But that’s all in the past now that he has married the love of his life Miku (she’s a bit of an otaku) and is retired into being a house husband. Thankfully for Tatsu, he can put his years of experience in organized crime to good use keeping his home shipshape (with zero tolerance to dissension) be the best husband to Miku (with blood oath loyalty) and being the best (or at least most intense) neighbor a suburb could hope for.

tatsu with birthday cake
Such a dedicated husband, he even remembers birthdays!

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