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Ugly Cute / Anime & Manga

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  • Rock Lee and Guy-sensei from Naruto (aka Thickbrows and Superbrows).
    • Kisame's sword Samehada, especially when it's cuddling up to Killerbee.
    • White Zetsu and his brother Guruguru have this going for them. Despite being villains, both are quite childlike to the point of being Affably Evil. WZ only has half a face, but likes to joke around while Guruguru is a humanoid mass of tendrils whose obsession with poo keeps him from seeming sinister even when he is being sinister.
    • Some of the Tailed Beasts fit this category during that brief flashback where we see them as babies.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Envy's true form, when stripped of all the many grotesque human souls that make up his body, is a creepy little slug-like creature with multiple legs and large eyes...and yet you just want to pick him up and snuggle him. (Note: It is highly advised that you do not snuggle him, or else he'll commandeer your body.)
    • Gluttony counts as well. He's a Big Eater Gonk, but the fact that he's completely devoted to his 'sister' Lust, is rather docile unless acting on orders to attack (or when the ones he cares about are harmed), and pretty much has the personality of a puppy, makes him a top case of Ugly Cute. He looks like a giant Ziggy, although his choice of snacks is problematic. Gluttony's even cute when his ribs open like a zipper to reveal a giant mouth.
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    • Also Sloth. He's huge. He's lumpy, fanged, and freakishly dangerous. He hosts blank eyes and a vapid expression. But something about his unmotivated, drag-your-feet mannerisms and simple speech ("Mendokusai...") make him look like a perfect candidate for a plushie. His big muscles just make him look huggable. His asymmetrical design brings to mind tears like a cheetah's face. He says, "Buh?" and the readers squeal, "So cuuute!" He gets spartan-kicked off a tall building into the snow after wandering around aimlessly in a military base...the fans let out an, "Awww!"
    • There is even Father's true form, which strangely looks a lot like....Morphing Jar?
    • Also, Bido. He's short, bald, and more animal-like than most of the later chimeras, with a tail and scaly skin, but he's also oddly cute. It's helped by how loyal he is to Greed and how excited he is to see Greed again after Greed has been fused with Ling.
  • Quite a few characters from One Piece would qualify, especially Usopp, Brook, and Bearsy.
    • Oars Jr., despite his meteoric apparition, would qualify just in the same way as King Kong - A giant, green, gargantuan (he is at least three times bigger than your average giant!), demon-looking pirate with a soft heart (A typical run-of-the-mill Gentle Giant). He is shot, hit with a giant shockwave, had his leg severed and his heart was impaled by shadows while trying to save his friend who made him a hat that protected him from the rain.
    • And Marine officer T-Bone, who looks like a zombie despite being alive and well. But he's so compassionate and earnest in his desire to help people that he has the undying loyalty of his subordinates (even if they're a little creeped out by his appearance) and it's hard not to feel bad when the Straw Hats have to plow through him on their way to Enies Lobby.
    • For a female example, we have Kokoro's granddaughter Chimney.
    • Smiley, an enormous Blob Monster that could transform into an axolotl.
  • The Orc Captain from Delicious in Dungeon. She looks like other orcs, fat, muscular, with pig-like features. But she's also drawn some with cute features like round face and big eyes. Combine that with her Proud Warrior Race Guy tendency and Brutal Honesty, she won over many fans.
  • Jinenji, a gigantic, bug-eyed, Quasimodo-esque hanyou from InuYasha who, nonetheless, manages to be incredibly endearing.
  • The Dark Liege of Nora (when she's not in human form).
  • Rico/Loli and all versions of Exedore/Exsedol from the Macross and Robotech universes, but especially the latter's original Super Dimension Fortress Macross form.
  • Pen-Pen from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Seriously, it's not the prettiest penguin you've ever seen (he's got clawed wings, dear God!) but what counts is how endearing he can be, especially when you know why Misato bothers to keep him despite his flaws (like being a glutton, good-for-nothing bird).
  • In Digimon, some Digimon like Gazimon qualify.
    • Gabumon is one of the early Ugly Cute Digimon. He's a weird lizard-dog-unicorn thing, but you just want to give the guy a hug.
    • Guilmon would fit here too. In reality, he would look far more terrifying than cute (think Godzilla), but his childlike demeanor, antics, and voice just make him so adorable.
      • Renamon applies as well. The species is described in canon several times that they are tough and intimidating in appearance (especially their glaring eyes) that other Digimon become nervous or threatened by their presence despite the Renamon not intentionally trying to scare others off. This doesn't stop people, be it in the canon or in the fanbase, to still consider the race (especially female ones like Rika's Renamon) to be beautiful, elegant, cute, or (depending on who you ask) sexy.
    • Generally, Chuumon is quite ugly, but when he's separated from his friend Tsukamon...
  • Ryuk in Death Note. His disposition towards personal amusement, his apple addiction and his associated withdrawal reactions, and his permagrin are all endearing.
    • Even better, L. The manga's artist, Takeshi Obata, said he was supposed to look ugly. And L has legions of fangirls (many of which compare him to a panda!). Doesn't help that the few times he smiles are genuinely endearing.
    • Rem is also actually quite lovely in an odd way.
    • Gelus looks like an abandoned rag doll. Awwww!
      • What's even more awesome is that in the originl designs, Gelus was supposed to be an extremely beautiful Shinigami. Ohba, however, decided that making him The Grotesque would be better because Gelus is such a pathetic figure and the audience would relate to him better. He was right!
    • Some fans view Hideki Ide falling under this due to his... different style of eyes.
  • The snail youkai from Karas that accompanies Nue is a bit ugly, but also utterly adorable.
  • President Aria from ARIA. That is supposed to be a cat?
  • Several instances in Dennou Coil. Just look at Densuke, Oyaji, or even Satchi.
  • The giant Totoro and the Catbus.
  • He'arring from Chaotic definitely qualifies.
  • BioMeat: walking mouths that somehow look cute and definitely grow on you. So cute, an American couldn't shut up about it and got om-nom-nommed.
  • Emi Izuzu's "normal" form. Cutest gonk ever.
  • The title character from Patalliro!.
  • Boyacky and Tonzura from Yatterman. The closing of the 2008 series seems to specifically aim for this.
    • Odata Buta, the robot pig mascot also has fans.
  • The Tachikomas from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex are cyclopean Spider Tanks, but their voices and gestures make them incredibly adorable even as they slaughter terrorists with gatling guns.
  • Children portrayed in Tekkonkinkreet, especially White. The art style makes it hard for anything to be stereotypically cute, but White still manages to be downright adorable at times.
  • The Kodama from Princess Mononoke.
  • Eyeshield 21 loves this trope. 50% of the Devilbats are made up of Ugly-Cutes.
  • Pokutes from Haré+Guu are kind of cute in a weird way.
  • Senritsu from Hunter × Hunter is nearly bald and has buck teeth, but she has a very kind heart.
  • Inko-chan from Toradora!.
  • Kitano from Angel Densetsu manages to be both utterly terrifying (to the other characters), and completely adorable (to the audience).
  • In Wild Fangs, Gido is a sentient furball who looks like a rather unfashionable scarf. It's cute.
  • Weirdly enough, Charlotte's cake dragon from Puella Magi Madoka Magica looks cute when it's not showing off its sharp teeth.
  • Kyo Sohma's true form from Fruits Basket. He looks like some sad mix between a bunny rabbit and a dinosaur.
  • The way all insects are drawn in The Borrower Arrietty manages to be ridiculously cute and pretty realistic at the same time. They all have the right number of legs and beady eyes, but their portrayal is more like that of the soot spirits than something dirty or abhorrent.
  • In-Universe example: Nyanko-sensei in his Maneki Neko form from Natsume's Book of Friends is constantly referred to ugly, "pig cat," "world's ugliest cat," etc. by nearly every character who sees him. Taki, as well as much of the fanbase, finds him absolutely adorable. The former's fangirling of him is seen as very odd by her peers and has become something of a Running Gag.
  • Kaoru from Nana to Kaoru.
  • The Child in his misshapen and demonic fetal form from Berserk. He became genuinely cute after Griffith is reborn.
  • In Pandora Hearts, Vincent's Chain (at least the dormouse one) is freaking adorable. LOOK AT IT.
  • Beerus, the main antagonist of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. His playful, cat-like nature is hard not to find endearing, and his appearance is based on a Cornish Rex, which would also fall into this category.
    • Fat Buu, post heel face turn, goes from being a vinyl toddler-minded murderer to a heroic pudgy-faced well meaning manchild. His genuine naivete helps here.
      • Hell, Kid Buu is kind of cute.
    • Krillin is short to the point of dwarfism, has no nose or chin and when he does let his hair grow out, it makes him look even goofier. Despite this, he's considered endearing enough in-universe that Android #18 gives him a playful peck on the cheek. And then they get married and have child.
  • Is Seto Kaiba's favorite card, Blue-Eyes White Dragon a "cute" monster? No, but in the episode of Yu-Gi-Oh!, where Yugi duels Johnny Stepps at Kaibaland, there's a scene (cut from the dub, sadly) with a prize machine full of plushies shaped like Duel Monsters, including an adorable BEWD plushie.
    • Yugi's Kuriboh plays this Trope straight, as do all of its variations. (Or maybe its simply just cute; fans are split.)
  • Tomoko from Watamote. Admit it, her eyebags make her look cute.
  • Aikuro's teacher disguise in Kill la Kill, with oversized sunglasses, bad posture, and scruffy hair/stubble. It's supposed to make him look like a plain middle-aged man, but some fans actually find him unbelievably sexy in it, and prefer it to his normal bishounen looks.
    • Senketsu manages to be one of the most adorable characters in the series despite being a sapient and rather creepy looking school uniform.
  • Tsuyu Asui of My Hero Academia is a frog girl with huge wide eyes, a wide mouth that is usually in a wide line or smile, long, semi-slimy looking black hair that sometimes blocks her eyes in a Snape-like fashion and of course, frog-like limbs and a long frog tongue. And yet she's beloved by fans because of how adorable her resultant appearance is, obviously the fact she is one of the nicest characters in the show and her Badass Adorable status helps quite a lot.
    • Todoroki's scarred half of his face is oftenly portrayed like that, particularly by Midoriya/Todoroki shippers.
  • Iggy from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure initially appears a regular Boston Terrier with bad habits. After the heroes are able to tame him, however, he's very much a playful, helpful, and loyal dog. Subverted later on as Art Evolution tries to draw him with a human-like face, though his new look still is of a prankster.
  • Bleach has Dondochakka and Pesche, both of whom are quite Gonk-y in terms of character design, but are nonetheless quite lovable.
    • Liltotto Lamperd is an inverse example. She's adorable by conventional standards, but has an ability that involves distorting her mouth into an abnormally wide maw.
  • Attack on Titan: A few Titans manage to fall under this, in particular the now memetic "Kawaii Titan"/Peering Titan.
  • The Kuu-samas from Gatchaman Crowds insight.
  • While most of the characters from Midori no Makibao is gonk, Makibao himself is cute- if you think of him as a hippo instead of a horse.
  • Shaman King: Chocolove is infamous for being a case of Values Dissonance, but if you look past that, he's pretty cute. In fact, his constant use of terrible puns is borderline Adorkable. It kind helps that he looks a bit like the aforementioned Usopp.
  • Chu-Chu from Revolutionary Girl Utena has often been described as an ugly-cute monkey-mouse. It's a balancing act; the design itself is pretty ugly, but the way he acts can be downright adorable (or irritating; individuals' mileage may vary).
  • Gundam as a whole has the Zeon-made Acguy, an aquatic mobile suit that is somewhere between "teddy bear" and "angry potato" in terms of appearances. As a result, it's not treated as much of a threat, but is widely beloved by fans precisely because it looks far too cute for a nearly 130-ton war machine. Later versions take the teddy bear motif to its logical conclusion and end up being traditionally cute.
  • Mitty, from Made In Abyss. She is a small, amoeboid thing with sharp teeth, distorted features, and one large, round eye. Despite the description, she somehow manages to look huggably cute. When her backstory is revealed, she also manages to be The Woobie to an extreme extent.
  • Yon, from Junji Ito's Cat Diary Yon and Mu, is acknowledged by Ito to be strangely cute, despite his often creepy appearance. Still, since he's basically just a cat, he's not remarkably ugly.
  • Slime Life: Slime is a blob of blue goo with black dots for eyes and stubby arms and legs, yet is constantly adorable.
  • Knights of Sidonia: Tsumugi is a giant fleshy alien/human hybrid with only a vaguely humanoid body shape, lots of tentacles, and she usually interacts with others through a faceless "head-tentacle" that emerges from her abdomen and is capable of speech. Despite all this, she has the voice, personality, and mannerisms of a teenage girl. She acts innocent and friendly enough that a lot fans find her genuinely adorable.


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