Akame ga Kill!: Seryu Ubiquitous, the mentally-ill Imperial Guard with a strong sense of justice, is no-less an Anti-Villain than her friends in the Jaegers, having been orphaned at a young age but having grown up wanting to stop anyone and anything that could harm the things she holds close. In all honesty, she simply intends to protect her Empire, and she cares about her Jaeger comrades. She even loves children, and is willing to play games with them on her off-time. However, her Ax-Crazy nature when fighting those she believes are villains trying to oppose the Empire, and her hypocritical blindness towards the benign motives of Night Raid make her incredibly hard to sympathize with when she acts like a batshit insane murderer in a guard's uniform simply out for blood. It didn't help that she was also the first one to brutally kill a Night Raid member, and on top of that, the victim being fan-favorite Sheele.
Aquarion Evol tries to make Mikono Suzushiro come off as a shy girl that despite of having daddy issues and insecurity problems because of her apparent lack of powers as an element, tries her best to help and understand the people around her. But to many, she comes across as uncaring, spoiled, indecisive and useless (both in and outside the Aquarion!), and only makes up misunderstandings that Amata must apologize for, showing no concern over his issues or how her indecisiveness causes him and Zessica trouble.
In the manga and OVA, Shin is intended to be sympathetic because his dreams were crushed after he was tricked into becoming a mercenary. However, he's not a particularly heroic or moral character. His self-absorption, wangst, and failure to contact Ryoko during his deployment make him unsympathetic in some fans' eyes. In the TV anime, he's so emotionally flat and withdrawn that it's difficult to sympathize with him.
Mickey, a traumatized Vietnam Veteran who struggled to adapt to civilian life, is intended to be sympathetic as well. However, he comes across as amoral, self-pitying, and self-absorbed, abandoning a fortunate life and the people who loved him. Instead of getting therapy, he chooses to fight in a bloody civil war that is tearing Asran apart. His anger issues and overbearing personality in the TV anime make him even less sympathetic.
In Assassination Classroom, the Reaper's dying moments were supposed to paint him in a sympathetic light. However, he was also a remorseless killer who betrayed Koro-sensei just because he didn't give him enough attention. There's also the fact that he begged Koro-sensei to train him, showing no empathy for the fact that he murdered his father.
Gabi is meant to represent the viewpoint of Eldians living in Marley, and is initially presented as a naive but ambitious military cadet who cares a lot for Reiner, who is her older cousin. However, as the arc progresses, Gabi grows increasingly unlikable due to her treatment of Falco and her buying more and more into Marley's anti-Eldian propaganda. Fans' dislike towards her has reached a peak when she is directly responsible for Sasha's death, and even to this day is regarded as one of the series' most hated characters.
Annie shares her backstory that she was born to a Marleyan woman and an Eldian man, but abandoned her and was subsequently adopted and trained by Mr. Leonhardt. It could have worked to make her more sympathetic in the eyes of fans who only view her as a sadistic monster... had she not stated that if she had to kill everyone she had killed all over again to get back to her father, she absolutely would.
There's the titular witch herself. While the movie stays true to her characterization in the game, it also plays up Bayonetta's more negative traits such as her Blood Knight tendencies, violent sadism, and her general Sociopathic Hero persona. It certainly doesn't help that some of the fight scenes are rather anticlimactic, making her come off as a boring Invincible Hero rather than the Showy Invincible Hero she usually is. Also, in the games she was very protective of Cereza, but in here, she leaves her with Luka and doesn't think about her until near the end.
Then there's her fellow Umbra Witch, Jeanne. While she played a villainous role in the first game, it was only because she was brainwashed into serving Father Balder and the Angels of Paradiso. The anime, however, makes no mention of said brainwashing, so it seems she's serving Father Balder willingly and takes great joy in the chaos she causes, such as shooting up a train full of people during her first meeting with Bayonetta. Thus, her sudden HeelFace Turn near the end of the film comes off as shallow and fake.
Enzo also ends up being this. While he was was jerk in the games, he was largely entertaining due to his Butt-Monkey status and was noted by Bayonetta herself to be a respectable family man. Like with Bayonetta, the film plays up his more negative traits, transferring his Butt-Monkey status to Luka and portraying him as a greedy sleazeball who overcharges families for funerals, something that even disgusts Rodin. The fact that he never gets punished for this makes it worse.
Both of the captains who ditch Soul Society with Aizen. Tousen abandons his closest friend Komamura to travel the path of least bloodshed to justice, which apparently includes supporting Aizens slaughter of an entire town, and he repeatedly mocks Komamuras appearance when he gains sight. Gin Ichimaru spends over a century helping the Big Bad with little reservation, and seemed to have a personal cruel streak regardless of Aizens influence. When he reveals that he was always looking for an opportunity to kill him as revenge for taking a piece of Rangikus soul that she seems to be doing just fine without, the mournful tone over his death can feel a bit undeserved.
Hiyori Sarugaki, one of the exiled Vizards, comes off as incredibly bratty, hot-headed and just an overall Jerkass ever since her debut. Sure, what happened to her was a horrible situation out of her control, but the Turn Back the Pendulum arc shows she was always a jerk, regularly attacked Shinji for no reason and gave Urahara a lot of shit just for being promoted to Captain and replacing the woman Hiyori looked up to, not to mention the other Vizards went through the same thing and manage to not lash out at every person who even slightly pisses them off. She even casually mentions wanting to kill Chad and Orihime for getting too nosy about the Vizards, even though Shinji is the one who suspiciously joined Ichigo's school despite clearly not being a teenager in order to put pressure on Ichigo. When she gets bisected by Gin when she rushes to attack Aizen (despite Shinji specifically warning her not to do that) during the Fake Karakura Town arc, a lot of the fans felt like her brash, reckless behavior finally and deservedly bit her in the ass.
Saya Kisaragi of Blood-C. At first, the show presented her as a skilled warrior against the Elder Bairns. But the problem is that she fails in protecting and saving people. The most egregious example is episode 8 where she just watched several of her classmates die before she could attack and at the end, all of them, except the class representative, are dead. Her mourning of their deaths was supposed to come out as sympathetic. But given the track record of how many people died throughout the show and the Idiot Balls that these people had been holding on, it's not.
While Mei definitely has her reasons for being the way she is, the fact that Yuzu ends up putting in much more effort to get her to open up and keeping the relationship going to the point that it seems like the latter is carrying the entire thing on her back is not lost on many readers. This is especially apparent in Chapter 35 when it's noted that a full year had gone by and Mei is still more or less the same. Then when it's discovered that Mei is in another Arranged Marriage, the fandom hoped that she would finally open up to Yuzu. Chapter 36 then reveals that Mei did tell Yuzu at the last moment in a letter, which is basically the equivalent of getting a divorce via text message. While her reasons for doing so were also understandable, it felt like less of a want to protect Yuzu from a heartbreak and more of a result of Poor Communication Kills since there was really no reason to not let Yuzu know about it early on note If anything, letting Yuzu know about the Arranged Marriage early on would've relieved them both from a nice chunk of the drama by letting the fact sink in and giving them time to either prepare for the eventual break-up or formulate a plan to stop everything, or Take a Third Option and run away together. In Chapter 40, Mei becomes even more divisive when she quits school in order to rush the arranged marriage.
Additionally, Shou himself is meant to be seen as sympathetic given how he's remorseful for being absent from Mei's life. However, from the looks of Chapter 40, he's done nothing to make his father reconsider the situation despite Yuzu telling him that she's in love with his daughter. Granted, he is shown talking with his father about it, implying that he did, in fact, play a role in getting Mei out of the Arranged Marriage, but some think he should have acted sooner.
Ruruka Andou. Her and Seiko Kimura were supposed to be portrayed as two former friends that ended up having a fallout together, but it came across as a victim finally standing up to her bully. Andou believes that the only thing good about herself is the sweets that she makes, but Kimura is on a medication that has a deadly reaction to sugar, so she can't eat Andou's sweets. Despite stating this multiple times, Andou blames Kimura for their All Take and No Give relationship, because if Kimura won't eat the sweets Andou has to offer, thus nearly killing herself, she must not care about her at all. The manga anthology shows that Andou is well aware that it might kill Kimura to eat her sweets, and doesn't seem to get why Kimura might be upset about that. Made even worse by Kimura's Extreme Doormat attitude, quietly accepting Andou's abuse until Komaeda indirectly causes their fallout.
Ryota Mitarai is a Hikikomori who works to the point of near-starvation or collapse, but considering it's his anime that directly results in the brainwashing of the Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair cast, thus creating Ultimate Despair for Junko and he is never directly punished for this left a very bad taste in a lot of fan's mouths. While the whole thing was Junko's fault, Mitarai keeps this information to himself for years, even when he could easily create a countermeasure, and refuses to admit his part in Junko's crimes until it's almost too late. Even then, he only focuses on how he was personally victimized as opposed to the damage he unintentionally caused.
In Detective Conan. The culprit of A June Bride Murder Case, Toshihiko Takasugi. While he does have a Freudian Excuse, his eventual redemption and the fact that he got a very light sentence for his attempted murder can make some feel sour. First, there is the fact that he goes for a Revenge by Proxy, instead of going after the man responsible for the death of his mother. And even then, Superintendent Kiyonaga Matsumoto wasn't fully responsible. He didn't see her when she was wounded during a car chase, because he was pursuing a criminal, and he never forgave himself for that. At the end of the episode, he feels remorse for what he did but it's only because he realizes that his victim was his childhood friend (and crush) all along, not because she was an innocent victim.note Watch him gloat about how easy it was to trick Sayuri and then his reaction when he learns the truth about her. Moreover, he has the dubious honor to be one of the few culprits in Detective Conan who don't go after an Asshole Victim, yet he has one of the lightest punishments and gets a happy ending three years later. All in all, he comes off as an Easily ForgivenKarma Houdini to some people, when a lot of the series' Sympathetic Murderers have their lives destroyed or even die.
Though Yggdrasil in Digimon Adventure tri. is indeed the main villain, he's intended as a Well-Intentioned Extremist: his actions against humanity are to protect the Digital World, because he believes that humanity is a threat to Digimon. This is more or less a Recycled Script of his actions in Digimon Savers... with one big exception. In Savers, the villain for the first half of the series was an evil human who, of his own initiative, did some rather horrible things to Digimon, so Yggdrasil's fears, while ultimately inaccurate, weren't unfounded. In tri, there is absolutely no precedent to this idea that Humans Are Bastards. Every single threat the Digital World faced in the Adventure continuity was the result of an evil Digimon, with the sole exceptions being the Digimon Emperor and Oikawa, who were mind-controlled or manipulated by an evil Digimon. On the other hand, those same threats were resolved by humans bailing the Digital World out, so not only does this attitude make little sense outside of naked prejudice, but he's also an Ungrateful Bastard.
This trope is the main reason why Kyoma Mabuchi from Dimension W is such a divisive character. He is meant to be portrayed as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold with a soft spot for kids and a Dark and Troubled Past involving the deaths of his girlfriend and his fellow soldiers. But while his past is genuinely tragic, it does little to garner any sympathy for him, especially with his horrendous treatment of Mira due to her being a robot ( and resembling his deceased girlfriend.) He spends most of the series bossing her around and treating her like a robot and not a person, never calling her by name and referring to her as a piece of junk. One particularly egregious example is in episode 5 where after Mira manages to escape the other world, instead of being concerned, Kyoma punches herfor not being there when he needed her (hurting his hand in the process). The fact that he warms up to Mira in the end does very little to make up for him treating her like shit for 11 episodes straight.
Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z can count in the Frieza Arc, due to the earlier dubs attempt to make him an Adaptational Nice Guy. He originally started out as an Arc Villain of the Saiyan Saga who wanted to destroy the earth, but did an Enemy Mine with Gohan and the rest of the Z-Fighters. When Vegeta gets killed by Frieza, the dub tries to get fans to feel sorry for him when he tells Goku about how Frieza conditioned him into the ruthless person he was. This ignores the fact that Vegeta still committed a lot of atrocious acts without Frieza. These elements weren't in the original manga and were likewise ignored in Funimation's later dubs of the series and Dragon Ball Z Kai.
Mai (member of the Pilaf gang from the original Dragon Ball) from Dragon Ball Super is seemingly supposed to be viewed as a cute Love Interest for Kid Trunks. However she can come off as unsympathetic considering she's a grown woman in a child's body, and flirts (like with a flirtatious wink) with a child who's unaware of the truth (which is essentially rape by deception, realistically). Eventually dating the child, largely because it keeps a roof over the heads of the Pilaf Gang, and gives them food, and potential access to gadgets and the dragon balls. Made worse in the future timeline where the manga reveals she, and her comrades used up Shenron's last wish on the selfish desire for her, and her comrades to have young bodies again, preventing Future Gohan from wishing any of those killed back as shortly after Piccolo was killed causing the Dragon Balls to disappear. It also helps that if the genders were reversed in this scenario, people will be horrified and there would be many complaints about this aspect of the show.
Aoba Kuronuma is meant to be sympathized with because Izumii used to hit him out of envy for their parents attention. While Izumii is second only to Izaya to being the farthest thing from a saint in the series, Aoba comes off as being just as bad as Izumii when he sets his room on fire just to get him beaten by their abusive father. Not helping matters is that the anime tones down Izumii's abuse towards Aoba, so it makes that act seem more like Disproportionate Retribution. His backstory doesn't justify manipulating Mikado and causing him to Jump Off The Slippery Slope.
We're supposed to sympathize with Louise because of her enormous insecurity complex, her miserable school life, an abusive older sister, emotionally distant and incredibly strict parents who are more interested in their daughter as an asset than as a person. Not to mention that being a noblewoman of minimal magical talent makes her a complete laughingstock by the norms of Halkeginia society. However, while Louise has plenty of reasons for the audience to side with her, she still drives off any supporters due to her infamously brutal and non-stop abuse of Saito; which is not only horrible on a basic human level, such as the legendary incident where she flogged him to a bloody pulp with a horse whip, but also makes her a blatant hypocrite given her home life.
Less commonly, some fans view Saito himself in this light. This mostly stems from his lechery and his seemingly deliberate dedication to being a Jerkass, and is especially fuelled by one incident in the light novels where he makes a deliberate attempt to rape Louise. The sympathy level for Saito remains so high in comparison because, A: he genuinely does grow and become less of a hornball prick over the story, and B: most of his treatment by Louise is so awful that he looks better in comparison. The Reveal that the familiar spell on him essentially Mind Raped him to be completely loyal to Louise no matter how badly she abused him also earns Saito a lot of sympathy points.
Akito Sohma from Fruits Basket. While her childhood was understandably horrible, it all kind of rings hollow due to the fact that she herself horribly abused the rest of the Sohma family for the most childishly petty reasons. Just to start off, she put Kisa and Rin in the hospital due to their respective relationships with Hiro and Haru, verbally and emotionally abused Yuki, half-blinded Hatori and ruined his relationship with his girlfriend, planned on locking Kyo away from society once he became an adult, and tried to kill him and Tohru during a Villainous Breakdown. To say the fandom felt she was way too Easily Forgiven at the end would be an understatement.
Nakago, the Big Bad of Fushigi Yuugi, is supposed to be seen as a victim of circumstances that drove him to evil, and as a result, the intent is to make him come across as pitiable and worthy of forgiveness. Because of the horrific atrocities he commits, like driving Suboshi to murder Tammahome's family, this doesn't work so well: by the time his Dark and Troubled Past comes to light, many readers had lost all ability to sympathize with him.
In Happy Sugar Life, while Satou's reasons for being the way she is are explained (like how she lost both of her parents and was made to live with an aunt who was clearly unfit to raise her), this nevertheless does little to cover the fact that she commits horrible actions the most damning being murdering Shouko due to suspecting that she might go to the police to notify them about Shio's whereabouts.
Haruhi Suzumiya: The main character had this in The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya. Nagaru Tanigawa wants you to feel sorry for her after Kyon scolded her, but take it into account that the reason Kyon lashed out at her in the first place was because she spiked Mikuru's drink for a scene in a movie, kept hitting her, and said "Mikuru is my toy." This is probably the only time she ever gets called out for her Jerkass behavior.
Matsukaze Tenma from Inazuma Eleven Go got this from a handful of people, especially in the western community. Many people find his trait of speaking about soccer like it's a person to be very annoying and childish, rather then cute and innocent like it's supposed to come off as. Incidentally, the characters in the show and the game make fun of Tenma for this exact reason.
Hunter × Hunter: Meruem, the Arc Villain of the Chimera Ant Arc. He has something of a god complex, believes that genocide is the answer for humanity's atrocities, and abducts several gaming prodigies to test his own intellect and kills the losers. One of said prodigies is a blind girl named Komugi, who becomes a Morality Pet to him and eventually falls in love with her. Meruem's relationship with Komugi is supposed to be treated as his redeemable quality, but with the way he treated her, it bordered on Stockholm Syndrome. Not helping matters is that after he contracts radiation poisoning, rather than let Komugi leave with her life, he decides to play Gungi with her one last time. While he does warn her that his condition is contagious, he makes no effort to stop her when she refuses to leave.
By extension, the entire Royal Guard can be this. The narrative tries to portray them as noble and heroic. However, they have no problem aiding in mass murder and genocide. Neferpitou, in particular, spends a good chunk of their screentime acting sadistically. As such, this can damper the effect their deaths are supposed to have.
Gon can come across as this on numerous occasions due to his morality centering around his personal convenience rather than trying to accommodate to others. Some people didn't sympathize with his quest to find his father simply because he searched for a deadbeat that admitted he didn't want him, but shut out any information about his biological mother because his mind couldn't comprehend having two motherlike figures.
Killua. He's apparently meant to be seen as a sympathetic Anti-Villain who just wants a buddy and has some issues that he needs to work out. However when these "issues" are "I gut people who so much as take a tone with me while grinning ear-to-ear", it's hard to see him as anything but a monster. He gets better, however.
One of worst examples of this is how they treated Eiji Touno or Hikage Miyama. Although his murder motive is probably one of the least sympathetic among the Kindaichi villains (his girlfriend died during an accident because someone with an S.K. initial didn't let her on an already-full lifeboat, so he decides to kill 9 people from the incident whose names bear those initials), he is later given the chance to live a new life as a completely free man after he loses all his memories after his attempted suicide (which is what most Kindaichi villains tend to do when they are caught) and became a new leaf. While the manga tries to portray what happened to him as a positive thing, viewers disagree that he should be completely let off the hook just because he didn't remember his past crimes.
The murderer from "The Undying Butterfly" case is the biological son of Midori Madarame and her deceased lover, Minoru Suga, who wants to exact vengeance on his mother, whom he believed had betrayed his father and drove him to commit suicide. He does this by (almost) killing the whole Madarame family as a form of Revenge by Proxy on his mother. After the truth is uncovered, he and his mother reconcile and promises to be Together in Death, giving him some sense of closure and even happiness during his final moments. To a lot of viewers, even his Bittersweet Ending is undeserved, as he essentially intended to kill several innocents to avenge the father he's never even met, and doesn't believe that Midori should forgive, much less defend, him after he ruined her life.
Macross Delta has its own villain faction, the Kingdom of Windermere. At first glance their reasons for going to war seem understandable: they fought a bloody revolution to free themselves of the New UN, which culminated in a superweapon being detonated on their planet. Now they want to liberate other worlds from the New UN. For a portion of the fans, though, their methods of going to war, particularly the fact that they enslave anyone who tries to stand in their way via Mind Control, invalidates any moral high ground they might have otherwise had. Additionally, none of the planets they "liberate" are shown to have any problem with the New UN, making the Windermerians' actions seem unwarranted. This gets particularly bad as the series goes on and they announce their intention to conquer the whole galaxy because they believe themselves to have been "chosen" by the Protoculture. The narrative seems to want the audience to feel sympathetic to them, but the fact that they are the aggressors in the current conflict, justifying their conquering and enslavement of other people via notions of racial supremacism, made many fans give up on them as anything other than evil.
In Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, the Huckebein are this, essentially having a condition in which they must kill others in order to remain alive. While they were apparently intended as characters doing what is necessary to survive, and the author admitted to being surprised by how many people did not find them sympathetic, they come off as sociopathic mass murderers rather than sympathetic or well-intentioned characters.
The Vagan: We are supposed to feel sorry for them because they live in disastrous conditions, infant mortality is high, and they were abandoned by the rest of the Earth Federation following the botched Mars colonization. However, nothing justifies their brutal attacks on civilians and slaughter of innocent people who had nothing to do with their plight.
Lord Ezelcant: He's a Visionary Villain who lost his son to the Mars Rays Disease and only has a few months left to live. He wants to create a new humanity that will be free of war and violence, but his methods are both so brutal and nonsensical that it's impossible to think he has a point.
My Hero Academia: Rei Todoroki, Shouto's mother, went insane from the domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of Endeavor. Yes, it's sad, but it doesn't excuse the fact that she not only outright tells her own mother that she doesn't want to be around Shouto, due to his resemblance to his father, but even splashes boiling hot water on his face when he gets her attention, resulting in a permanent scar. Endeavor, being a horrible person notwithstanding, is the one who is seen as responsible for this. While Endeavor throwing her in a mental institution soon afterwards is seen as a Kick the Dog moment, some fans believed that it, ironically enough, really was for her own good.
The title character from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. She is an emotionally unstable, distrusting, paranoid, bad-tempered character who sometimes acts ungratefully even to people who are on her side. She dislikes grown-ups, eating meat, and abhors killing of any kind, to the point where some viewers find her alienating as a character. Case in point: she shows no gratitude to Nemo when the latter kills a soldier (to save her from being shot) and loudly calls him a murderer. She also nearly ruins her friendship with Jean out of jealousy when she suspects she may lose him to Electra (despite his occasional obliviousness, Jean is otherwise dedicated to her). The island/Africa arc overemphasizes her character flaws and turns her into an insufferably bratty jerkass. Because of this, it is difficult for some viewers to reconcile this with the show's 35th episode finally shows her maturing. (All this, despite showing scenes where she's obviously growing to care for her new friends, notably Jean and Marie.)
Sasuke Uchiha rapidly becomes this as the series progresses, at first his Freudian Excuse is very strong i.e his brother Itachi murdered his parents and his entire clan and he naturally wants Revenge. However that excuse for all Sasukes misdeeds stretches thin when he antagonises his allies and dismisses the tragedies of those who have also lost their loved ones compared to his own trauma, Kakashi in particular highlights how selfish Sasuke is as he reveals to him that his loved ones (Obito and Rin) are already dead when Sasuke threatens them. After Sasuke's FaceHeel Turn it becomes even harder to sympathise with him as he betrays the village, actively tries to murder his friends, attacks the Kages and generally acts like a terrorist. It comes to the point where the whole cast (except for Naruto, Sakura and Ino) being prepared to bring Sasuke to justice is entirely justified and Narutos determination to redeem Sasuke is almost nonsensical. Also Sasuke being as Easily Forgiven in the Distant Finale conflicts matters more as the worst punishment he gets is being somewhat exiled from Konoha which is barely a slap on the wrist in the weight of his crimes.
The Belated Backstory of the legendary "Salamander" Hanzo, the ninja against whom the Sannin won their titles by surviving a battle with him sets Hanzo up as a Well-Intentioned Extremist who lost sight of his goals but is honored in defeat by his rival as a man who strove for peace. By starting a lot of wars and turning his homeland into an unlivable hellhole that produced the most psychologically broken, defeated human beings in the series, just because he was arrogant enough to think his strength could unite the world. Most fans still consider Hanzo an utterly unsympathetic character whose violent death at Pain's hands was richly deserved, as his claim of good intentions didn't make him any less of a paranoid warmongering dictator.
Sakura Haruno's angst over her Single-Target Sexuality the aforementioned Sasuke really makes her unsympathetic in many viewers eyes. Kishimoto claimed in interviews he tried to make her feelings for Sasuke as realistic as possible but that falls flat as in the manga she hasnt even had a proper conversation with him, and when she did talk to him he just called her annoying (even after she told him she loved him and was willingly to ditch her peaceful life just to be with him) and knocked her out. After the Time Skip she mellows out... until Sasuke comes back into the story and she Took a Level in Dumbass trying to take Sasuke down herself and of course fails, requiring Kakashi and Naruto to save her ass from the boy she loves. The Final Battle and Distant Finale makes it worse as Sakura easily forgives Sasuke for trying to kill her multiple times, and she settles down and marries him having learned no lesson whatsoever. Also Kishimotos insistence that Sakura would be a terrible woman if she moved on from Sasuke didnt help matters.
Tobi AKA Obito Uchiha. He's supposed to be a world-weary counterpart to the protagonist who has given up hope on any chance of world peace, preferring to put everyone in a Lotus-Eater Machine where they can escape all the problems of reality. Instead, many saw him as a whiny Manchild who can't get over Rin's death.
The way Utakata's master Harusame tries to extract the Tailed Beast from his disciple in an anime-only Filler is supposed to be seen as good intentions to the point that upon realizing this, Utakata eventually rebuilt the pedestal with him after accidentally killing him. The problem is, extracting the Bijuu from a Jinchuuriki will also directly kill the host, and with no indication of Utakata having trouble with his Bijuu, nor even knowing why his master does it in the first place against his will, it comes off as Harusame crossing the Moral Event Horizon with Utakata having every right to defy his master and killing him sounds more like a Kick the Son of a Bitch than what is supposed to be.
Madara Uchiha, the Big Bad of the story, is probably the biggest example in this work. Hes apparently meant to be pitied as someone who was forced to grow up in a ninja world full of war, and is just trying to create a utopia so his dreams of peace can become reality. This is all well and good, if you forget that the story shows that he and his former friend, Hashirama, managed to accomplish peace with the creation of the Hidden Leaf Village. Hell, Hashirama even tries to make him leader of that new village, but Madara refuses. Its even harder for viewers to see him as someone who wants peace at any cost due to his obvious glee before every battle. Add that to fact that his entire Start of Darkness is caused by him wanting to remake the world in his image, even screwing over his best friend to do so, and this makes him come across not as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, but more of a hypocritical Jerkass. The fact that Hashirama actually said it wasnt his fault after everything he did seriously pissed some fans off as a result.
Boruto Uzumaki, Naruto and Hinata's son. It's hard to sympathize with the boy who only wanted his father to come home when he is as bad (if not worse) than Naruto during his childhood. Unlike Naruto, Boruto doesn't have a crappy childhood but takes it all for granted and does the same antics his father used to do, all so his father can pay more attention to him. He keeps calling his father a bad parent, going as far as to wish he was dead and is unable to understand other people's feelings (such as complaining that his father is never around in front of Sarada, whose father was never with her for her whole life). And when Naruto finally spends some time with him, he ignores him and brushes away his affections.
Gendo Ikari. While his villainy is entirely driven by his own self-hatred and loneliness, it's hard to feel much for him given his downright horrible treatment of his son, creepy grooming of Rei, and generally coming off like he's completely insulting the memory of his late wife. It's no wonder that many Fix Fics have him face some kind of Laser-Guided Karma at the hands of one of those three.
Asuka Langely Sohryu is this for one half of the fanbase. She's clearly meant to be a Jerkass Woobie (even providing the page image) and her Dark and Troubled Past is undeniably tragic, but her abrasive and egotistical personality made her detractors feel her backstory wasn't enough to cover her more obnoxious traits. The downright ungrateful way she acts about Rei saving her from a horrible Mind Rape and general treatment of Shinji are just two of the many sore spots people have with her character.
Much like Asuka, for the fans that don't find him The Woobie, Shinji is this in spades. While he has plenty of good reasons to be an emotional wreck, his detractors can't help but find his fixation on his terrible circumstances to be over-the-top to the point of coming off as hysterical wangst. As a result, they wish they could make him shut up and grow a spine.
Boa Hancock can fall under this, being an extremely self-centered, misandrist and petty bitch who embodies Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!. Her Freudian Excuse that she was enslaved by World Nobles doesn't make her misandry any less irrational, as there are plenty of female World Nobles and male slaves, and the later Fishman Island arc's narrative is quite adamant about not judging humanity as a whole based on the World Nobles making the lack of criticism toward her general hatred of men a Broken Aesop.
About everyone sans Team Rocket in the episode "The Path To The Pokémon League". We're supposed to see AJ as this guy who's tough but fair to his Pokémon, especially his Sandshrew, but it's hard to think so with the whips he lashes out and giving them short breaks of rest. One also finds it hard to sympathize with Ash for losing because of him being petty and bragging that AJ's Sandshrew doesn't love him. And Misty and Brock don't get off scot-free either because they don't show a lot of concern about the possible abuse and goad Ash into battling AJ only because he insulted their gyms.
Paul was not a sympathetic character per se, but others defended him, even praising his strength as a trainer, per the Aesop you need to respect those with different opinions which Paul would ultimately learn to do and become a better off, (somewhat) more sympathetic character for. But besides defending him despite his being far worse about disrespecting those who disagreed or didn't live up to his opinion, the frequency and seriousness of his cruelty was worse than many of the shows clear cut villains whom were justly condemned. Notably his training and abandoning for being weak of Chimchar was identical to what was treated as a Moral Event Horizon for the prior trainers of Ash's other fire-type staters, the one, unacknowledged, difference being Paul was upfront to Chimchar about it. The catalysis for his redeeming character development, losing to Brandon and learning Ash had beaten them, was seen as being negated by Paul beating Ash almost immediately afterwards and all his other praise causing his change to be seen as insufficient and unearned if not illegitimate.
Serena can come off this way in her relationship with her mother, Grace. We're meant to see Serena feeling as though Grace is pushing her into following in her footsteps as a racer and wanting her to do things she doesn't want to do as being valid and reason to root for her. But it's made clear that Serena chose to try out Ryhorn Racing, actually does have a talent for racing but doesn't enjoy doing it because it gets too rough for her, and indeed has a history of giving up on something she takes on the moment it starts getting too hard and requiring more extra effort from her. Grace thus seems insistent that Serena stick to racing because she knows that's something she's skilled at and pushes for her to put in more effort and work harder at it so that she can get better at it, which isn't an unreasonable thing for a mother to want for her child. Yet Serena acts as though her mother was overbearing, even when Grace has given her enough comfort and freedom of choice that her striking out on her own in order to join Ash on his journey was possible in the first place.
Similarly, we're supposed to be on Lillie's side whenever her strained relationship with her mother is brought up. But while her mother isn't the best in the world (constantly busy due to her work), she doesn't bring this up at all - instead, Lillie is angry with her mother for once evolving a Clefairy that was under her (not Lillie's) ownership without consent. (If Lusamine's Imagine Spot is to be believed, Clefairy had no problem with evolving.) In the present day, Lusamine brings the whole gang to Aether Paradise for a tour, but when she uses the opportunity to try and make small talk with her daughter, Lillie actually takes offense and angrily storms off with the rest of the gang, more upset with being treated like a child than happy her mother is attempting to set aside time for her. When Lusamine is taken by Nihilego, Lillie continues to treat her mother as selfish and condescending for being absorbed despite Lusamine Taking the Bullet for Lillie's brother. The speech she gave her mother did get cleaned up and made a bit more impactful in the dub as Lillie did say near the end she respected her mother. Part of this issue seems to be because of the Adaptation Personality Change given to Lusamine. Lillie's behavior works for the game characters, but due to the anime's changes, she no longer comes out as being entirely in the right.
Though Mewtwo is indeed portrayed as a villain in Pokémon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back, it tries to mitigate by saying that he was driven to villainy by the revelation that he was an artificial being and is Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life. However, his first violent act is blowing up the laboratory where he was created, killing all of the people there, after a conversation which lasts for no more than five minutes. His creator may be a bit of a jerk by rather callously brushing off his questions, but there was no indicationOriginally, anyway The line about them going to lock Mewtwo in a cage and run experiments on him was added for the dub. that the scientists were actually mistreating Mewtwo or were going to do so in the future, thereby making him come off as a Manchild whining about how his life sucks because he never asked to be born.
Pokémon: The Movie 2000: The Power of One has Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres become this thanks to Early Installment Weirdness. When the movie premiered, the anime portrayed most Pokémon as just animals with superpowers, so it could be assumed that the legendary birds just didn't have the capability of higher thought and were acting on instinct. But as the show went on, more and more Pokémon, especially Legendaries, were given fully developed personalities and were implied to have human intelligence, retroactively making the birds so selfish that they're willing to wipe out all life on Earth just because they don't want to be around one another. Pretty much every Fan Fic that translates Pokémon Speak and references this movie has Lugia rip into them for their behavior.
Kyurem may have had a point in Pokémon: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice when he attacks Keldeo as punishment for the latter's arrogance in challenging him when not remotely ready and lying about being a Sword of Justice, but that doesn't excuse Kyurem chasing him miles out of the arena and attacking a train and then a city populated entirely by people and Pokémon who don't have the slightest knowledge of their quarrel, just because Keldeo is there. He is never called out for this.
Mamoru, during his breakup with Usagi during R. He receives an apparent prophetic dream that if he stays with her, she'll die. Rather than talk to her or anyone, or even assume it's a trick by a new enemy, or even investigate at all, he acts cold to her and declares he doesn't love her anymore to prevent it from happening. He sticks with this act even as she's visibly heartbroken over this. Although he expresses guilt over this, he still tries to find ways to make her lose interest, even asking his friend Motoki how to be as unlikable as possible. Ironically, it worked — not for Usagi, but for some viewers.
Haruka and Michiru, aka Sailors Uranus and Neptune, are introduced as Dark Magical Girls in a semi-antagonistic role opposite the more idealistic Sailor Moon and her team during the Infinity arc. They repeatedly discourage Usagi and the other Guardians from investigating Mugen Academy and the Death Busters, refusing to share information or open any meaningful communication with the other girls, and especially in the anime adaptation they disparage the abilities and ideals of the main characters (even though by this point Usagi and the other girls have successfully fought off two or three different groups of world-threatening villains and are hardly untried amateurs). While they have many avid fans — especially given their depiction as a committed lesbian couple who are never subjected to the Psycho Lesbian or Bury Your Gays tropes in a time when such representation was hard to find — their smug superiority, condescension toward the established main cast, and determined clutching of the Conflict Ball combined to make them unlikable to a lot of viewers.
The Amazon Trio's HeelFace Turn comes across as rather forced considering they spent pretty much every episode prior to that acting incredibly creepy and stalkerish to their targets, compounded by the Mind Rape tactics and sexual assault undertones whenever they attack. FishEye does get some individual character development when he begins to question if the Trio are able to have dreams of their own, mixed with his unrequited love for Mamoru and the sympathy he develops for Usagi, so he usually tends to avoid this reaction. Hawk's Eye and Tiger's Eye, however, get no such development, with their motivations being read as wholly selfish and more for the sake of telling Zirconia off than any understanding of love or dreams. Tiger's Eye in particular is regarded by many to be unlikable, not helping at all by the fact that he was the most overexposed of the three.
Pegasus is supposed to be seen as the prince-like love interest for Chibiusa, but is rather emotionally abusive to her. Never mind how incredibly screwed up his interactions with her while he was still in horse form and made some not so subtle advances towards her even though she's an elementary school student, but he refuses to answer any of her questions about who he is or where he comes from. He demands blind faith from Chibiusa and throws the equivalent of temper tantrums if she tries to find out any other information about him, cutting off contact from her and worsening the guilt complex she's had since R. That he makes her continue to lie about their relationship puts Chibiusa in grave danger. One other aspect of Pegasus' dislike from the fans is how his presence undermined the theme of the Sailor Guardians being strong on their own as girls and a team, as they suddenly became dependent on him for their new powers and transformations. Sailor Moon couldn't even attack without him!
While Seiya's "Am I not good enough?" question in response to Usagi's emotional breakdown over Mamoru in episode 194 is enough to earn him some sympathy in general, it's also a pretty reasonable thought that Usagi — who, mind you, is in mid-breakdown over finally acknowledging that Mamoru hasn't contacted her since his departure after holding this in all season — should respond with a blunt "no," that in the midst of Usagi cracking, it's not about HIM. Bare minimum, this really wasn't the time.
Shaman King has Hao Asakura (the manga version), who is supposed to be a Tragic Villain, and the audience is supposed to see his eventual ascension to Shaman King as a good thing. Unfortunately, the cold hard truth is that most of the cast have pretty tragic backstories too, to one degree or another, and none of them grew up to be genocidal monsters out to exterminate "baseline" humanity! Many readers instead regard him as a Karma Houdini of the highest order, and one who hasn't necessarily abandoned his plans for worldwide mass death and destruction so much as delayed them. What doesn't help matters is that Hao's goals come as petty, arrogant, and hypocritical. He goes on big rants about how Humans Are the Real Monsters with them always fighting, killing each other or things that are different than them, and destroying the harmony of nature. The final nail in the coffin is that Hao is all of those things, and he's killed far more people than he cares to count (the body count is at least in the thousands). Many of his actions killed other humans or shamans alike; one of which that caused Lyserg's start of darkness. Compared to Hao who only lost a total of three people in his past lives: his mother, his first friend Ohachiyo (by his own fault due to revenge), and Matamune (who abandoned him when Hao went off the deep end). No wonder he comes off unlikable by a lot of readers. At least the anime adaption pointed out, in-and-out of universe, how wrong his philosophy and views were, and how they are most definitely not something you should sympathize with. Plus he avoids being a Karma Houdini in the anime. The manga tries to do this, but fails spectacularly and seems to almost agree with Hao.
Shitsurakuen: Tamao calling Sora out for not considering how the boys feel about acting like misogynistic bastards. Apparently Sora not stopping to think "What if these guys feel bad about committing horrible atrocities?" while constantly preventing said horrible atrocities is meant to be poignant, but it just comes across as one big Never My Fault from the boys' side. This is even more obvious because there are boys like Sumita and Akane who didn't act like misogynistic bastards, but we're supposed to feel bad for the likes of Tougyu and Shoujo who tortured girls for absolutely no reason. There are good ways to show that boys can also be the victims of misogyny to a degree, this is not one of them.
Naoka Ueno from A Silent Voice is a prime example of this. Whilst the rest of the cast are deeply sympathetic, tragic and likeable people, especially Shoko Nishimiya and Shoya Ishida (after he Took a Level in Kindness from his bullying days). Ueno on the other hand doesnt improve her Jerkass attitude once throughout the story and is a Karma Houdini. Unlike Ishida she continued to torment poor deaf Shoko well past elementary school and explicitly says to Shoko in private (before slapping her) she doesnt regret her bullying her at all, yet Uneo is still accepted into the main group of friends and Easily Forgiven by Shoko herself which removes any ounce sympathy the reader might have for her. Even her Freudian Excuse which was revealed in chapter 50, fails to make Ueno sympathetic since it turns out shes been in love with Shoya since they were kids and felt guilty when their friendship group started bullying him and she specifically blames Shoko for splitting them apart. Except her Irrational Hatred of Shoko is actually just jealously since she learns Shoko loves Shoya, which causes her to lash out and only drive Shoya further away from her. Worse still immediately after Shoya gets hospitalised after preventing Shokos suicide attempt, Ueno beats up Shoko again furious that Shoya is hurt because of her and says she wishes Shoko had actually killed herself before Yaeko Nishimiya steps in. Not mention Ueno prevents anyone from seeing Shoya on his sickbed and proceeds to make out with his unresisting comatose body. The ending tries to play up her crush on Shoya as a redeeming trait but all the reader has witnessed is a YandereAlpha Bitch who hurt her friends and helped drive a innocent girl to try and commit suicide, all out of a possessive crush on a boy who doesnt reciprocate her feelings.
Chris Thorndyke from Sonic X is this for many viewers of the show. Hes written as an Audience Surrogate for children to relate to, but this backfired horribly. First off, hes not the average kid. Hes wealthy and he has adults around to keep him company. He also had friends his age at his school. Second, while his parents arent necessarily good parents, they show many times that they do love and care for Chris and would drop everything just to help Chris when he is in trouble. Despite this, Chris still acts as though his parents are too neglectful. Even Cream calls him out on his attitude towards his mother one time because she saw Chriss mother crying about how she felt she was a bad parent.
Strange Dawn: Yuko. She was clearly intended to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and given the situation that she and Eri are in, we're clearly meant to sympathize with her. However, she spends so much of the story being obnoxious, rude and selfish with her nicer moments being too few, too little that it's difficult to see her as anything but an insufferable and selfish asshole.
In Tenchi Muyo!, both Ryoko and Ayeka have been this to some fans, but the one character most fans strongly view as this is Haruna from Tenchi Universe, the Big Bad of The MovieTenchi Forever! Originally Yosho's lover back on Jurai, the two ran away together because they could not get married due to her not being a noblewoman. But, on the way, she took ill and died by the time they reached Earth. Yosho buried her, and eventually fell in love with Tenchi's grandmother. But Haruna's restless spirit remained behind, and when she became aware of this, she was outraged. She kidnaps Tenchi into a pocket dimension, where she brainwashes him into forgetting all about his old life and believing himself to be her lover. This would be creepy enough, except the film makes it pretty clear that their relationship includes sex. That's right, Haruna is, by almost every definition of the term, raping Tenchi repeatedly during the events of this film. Needless to say, most fans who pick up on this subtext are appalled and regard her as nothing more than a villain.
Although she's not as strongly disliked as Haruna, the OAV version of Washu falls into this for a significant number of the fans due to one particular case of Never Live It Down. Although we're supposed to feel bad about The Reveal that she had a son and a husband once, but her husband's family took them both away because she wasn't considered of sufficient social status, the infamous scene where she emotionally tortures her daughter Ryoko for giggles makes many fans skeptical that she deserved to be a parent in the first place!
Naofumi in the beginning of The Rising of the Shield Hero. He may have gotten a raw deal, he may have had to make some grey choices in order to survive, but the way he trains Raphtalia in the early days of their relationship would make him a villain if he wasn't the main character. Especially since the main reason he purchased her wasn't due to her being all he could afford but more so that he could have a surrogate to take out his anger against Myne on, even hoping she gets hurt in the course of his ownership of her. There's also the fact that by purchasing Raphtalia, he's essentially doing the exact same thing the king did to him, being forced to fight against one's own will. To an extent, this was something of an Intended Audience Reaction, but it still makes it hard to sympathize with him no matter how much the narrative may try to do so.
All three cardinal heroes, particularly Motoyasu and Itsuki after they fall to their Curse series and subsequent HeelFace Turn. While it's made explicitly clear that every one of their screw-ups is on them and they are not meant to be sympathetic for the messes they create, the narration tries to prove that they are not beyond redemption. However, their constant bullying of Naofumi, disregard for the innocent lives their supposed to protect, and absolute stupidity and refusal to learn leaves a sour taste in the audience's mouth. Combined with Motoyasu's creepy pedophilic tendencies towards Filo and Itsuki's overbearing arrogance, many would rather see the heroes dead than redeemed. The only one who doesn't fully fall into this is Ren, as he has sympathetictraits to balance out his Jerkass tendencies, and even then he can be just as self-centered and Lethally Stupid when he teams up with the other two.
In Toradora!, we're supposed to be rooting for Taiga during her fight with Sumire Kanou, but the whole reason the fight happens is because Sumire rejected Kitamura's love confession (which he did onstage in front of the school, mind you) and Taiga's response to something that isn't her business is to throw a massive tantrum, physically attack Sumire and accuse her of being a coward who can't face her own feelings. It's only when Sumire explains that she rejected Kitamura because she didn't want him to throw away his dream in order to follow her to America that Taiga calms down, but by then both girls are bruised and battered and Sumire even breaks down crying. Taiga does get punished with a two-week suspension and Sumire more than held her own in the fight, but it does feel like Taiga got off too easily for her behavior, especially since when she writes an apology to letter, all it says is the word "FOOL" on it, cementing how immature and bratty Taiga's approach to the whole situation was, and that she thinks she was in the right to do it.
Aigami, the Big Bad of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, is meant to be portrayed as a Tragic Villain he is due to the hardships he endured and the death of his beloved Master Shin, but his actions throughout the film completely destroy any sympathy for him to the point that you'll feel more sympathy for his sister Sera and his friend Mani. It's been said that prior to the film, he'd been using his Quantum Cube to erase anyone he deems "evil". He wants to kill Bakura because Bakura killed Master Shin, however, Bakura was under the control of the Millennium Ring at the time, meaning he wants to kill Bakura for something that was not even his fault. He also tries to kill Yugi, someone who has shown him nothing but kindness, because Kaiba wants to resurrect Atem and if that happens, he would lose the power of the Plana, meaning he's willing to kill someone just to keep his powers. He also tries to kill Joey when the latter tries to protect Bakura by sending him to another dimension, sadistically taunting him about how he's going to slowly erase all his memories, even though Joey had saved him from Scud and his gang earlier in the film. Also, unlike Bakura and Marik, Aigami doesn't have the excuse of being influenced by some evil force as the Millennium Ring only posesses him at the climax of the film, meaning that all of his actions throughout the film were done of his own volition. The fact that he practically gets away scot-free, with the closest thing to a punishment being him losing his powers thanks to Atem temporarily returning to the physical plane to save Yugi, only makes it worse.
The Commons of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V. They're the unwealthy majority of the city and are regullarly abused and oppressed by the Tops, with some even being forced into slavery during the Friendship Cup. The dimension revolves around gladiatorial combat where only the strong move forward, and the weak are mistreated. The problem is, the Commons are just as blood-thirsty as the Tops. Yuya sees such a competitive outlook as abhorrent and aims to change that, but neither the Tops or Commons care what he has to say unless he wins duels and provides blood entertainment. Yuya's may be fighting back a long-standing history of another world's different values, but the people he's trying to help still ignore his message and act like jerks.
Shun Kurosaki, the brooding Sole Survivor of the Xyz Dimension, who lost everyone he cared about shortly after his sister was kidnapped. His major motivation is rescuing his sister from the bad guys. Characters like Yuzu will point out his tragic past to justify his behavior as a cold loner. The problem is that he knowingly trapped innocent people in cards so he could lure out Reiji, kidnap him and use him as leverage against his Big Bad father. He's a cold jerk to everyone he meets and is quick to using violence. Once in the Synchro Dimension, he abandoned his mission to live out his dreams of being a pro duelist (He claimed he was going pro to get into the Friendship Cup and convince people to join their cause, but even the Lancers think it's bullshit.) He frequently rejects the Lancers every time they try to help him, even after they've saved his life twice and helped him break out of prison. Worse still, he still says that he doesn't consider them comrades and doesn't acknowledge how they've helped him. So it's kind of hard to sympathize with the lone wolf when the reason he's alone is because he's horrible and ungrateful to nearly everyone for no real reason, and still hurt innocent people because it was convenient for his plans.
Battle Beast, a feral duelist introduced midway through the Fusion Dimension. Yuya eventually determines that he's just cornered prey lashing out at perceived threats and doesn't really want to fight. His actual portrayal before this point is more like a sadistic predator, assualting and carding people who weren't even aware that he was there, physically attacking Crow between defeating and carding him, and then bragging about it to Yuya, all the while displaying a Slasher Smile indicating that he's very much enjoying all this. Also, he really only admitted that he didn't want to take part in Academia's war, not that he disliked fighting in general.
Zarc, the show's Big Bad, has the motivation that he was an entertainer who was pressured into brutalizing people by the crowds when they cheered him on when he accidentally hurt an opponent. Therefore, he's intended as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who was corrupted by humanity's desires. The problem is, as far as we can tell, there was nothing stopping him from calling the crowd out or just not doing it again, and his initial disgust at accidentally hurting someone seems to subside really quickly in favor of hurting people For the Evulz. What's more, we never actually see Zarc claim any kind of remorse for it; his status as a victim is almost completely inferred after the fact. And even then, you'd think the endpoint of this would be him becoming a Heel, but instead he uses his vague spirit powers to try to destroy the world. More or less, his arc is "people liked it when I hurt people in the arena > I really enjoy hurting people in the arena > I am an Omnicidal Maniac," and for this, he blames humanity. It's really hard to call him the victim when minimal outside pressure sent him Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, and he made no effort to stop it at any stage.