18 Anime Heroes Who Are Constantly On The Receiving End Of A Beatdown

Over 5.1K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of 18 Anime Heroes Who Are Constantly On The Receiving End Of A Beatdown
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Vote up the anime hero that has no hope of winning anything, ever.

Just because a character technically falls on the side of good does not mean good fortune always follows them. In fact, heroes who always lose are practically their own anime cliche. Sometimes, characters who virtually never achieve their goals get pretty annoying - after all, who wants to watch someone fail over and over again?

That would be depressing, but thankfully, all these unlucky anime characters come with charismatic personalities that see them through the thick of things. Anime characters who rarely win serve as comic relief - laughing at Yamcha's misery is an important part of the DBZ experience.

On the flip side, these characters can display genuine growth as they struggle to achieve a goal that seems impossible. Winning isn't everything, and these unfortunate anime characters show how losing is something important in and of itself.

Photo: OLM / Madhouse

  • Yamcha might be jacked AF, those muscles are clearly just for show. In Dragon Ball Z, everyone is jacked AF. You need to be more than just buff if you want to win a fight. Yamcha loses so often that fans created a meme where he gets owned by a Magikarp. It almost seems like his only purpose is making Goku and Vegeta look stronger by comparison.

    2,241 votes
  • Ash Ketchum Of 'Pokémon' Is Not The Very Best Like No One Ever Was
    Photo: Pokémon / OLM

    Despite catching and training Pokémon for two full decades, Ash Ketchum still loses battles more often than he wins them, at least the important ones. Seriously, he failed to defeat the Pokémon League five times - a feat easily accomplished by any 10-year-old playing the video game.

    For some viewers of Pokémon, this makes Ash a failure as a character - but for others, his stats remain beside the point. If Ash truly capitalized on his experience and defeated his opponents, the show would quickly become boring and unrelatable for the show's target audience: children.

    1,975 votes
  • 3
    176 VOTES

    Takemichi Hanagaki Is Weak But Keeps Trying In 'Tokyo Revengers'

    Takemichi Hanagaki Is Weak But Keeps Trying In 'Tokyo Revengers'

    From his youth as an underling in a gang that didn't respect him to his adulthood working marginal jobs to survive, Takemichi Hanagaki has spent his entire life losing. When he discovers that he has the ability to travel backwards in time, that doesn't change right away. He wants to use his power to save his ex-girlfriend Hina from losing her life to gang warfare. To do that, he needs to befriend key members of the Tokyo Manji gang, and gain enough respect and strength to move to a top position.

    While he does eventually manage to move forward with his goal, he has to take countless beatdowns and losses to get there.

    176 votes
  • 4
    180 VOTES

    Natsuki Subaru's Strongest Skill Is Perishing In 'Re:Zero'

    Natsuki Subaru's Strongest Skill Is Perishing In 'Re:Zero'
    Photo: White Fox

    After being isekai'd to another world, Natsuki Subaru develops one ability - the power to come back to life at "set point" in time after he passes away. At first, he uses this ability constantly, whether it's because he's arbitrarily ended by a madwoman trying to slice out his guts or because someone closes to him loses their life and he's willing to endure temporary pain in order to save them.

    Other than kicking the bucket, he has little else in the way of ability. He's decent at strategic thinking, and he has a knack for convincing powerful people to help him out once he actually stops to figure out how to do it. But he's no good at fighting, which means that every time he's up against someone who is, he's likely to suffer painful losses.

    In recent seasons, he decided to prioritize keeping himself alive for the sake of his loved ones. 

    180 votes
  • 5
    1,807 VOTES

    Genos Can't Catch A Break In 'One Punch Man'

    One Punch Man revolves around a guy who defeats any and all opponents with a single punch, so it stands to reason the other characters aren't going to win very often. Genos, a crazy powerful cyborg, would trounce his opponents in any other series, but here that glory goes to Saitama. Poor Genos usually just gets thrown into a wall or something. 

    1,807 votes
  • 6
    1,232 VOTES

    Mai Valentine Is A Disappointing Female Duelist in 'Yu-Gi-Oh!'

    Mai Valentine, supposedly to be a skilled professional duelist, loses nearly every game the viewer finds her in. One of her few wins was defeating Rex Raptor, a 15-year-old who got distracted by a combination of her looks and fake psychic powers. Other than that, Mai perpetually lives in loserville. She even loses to Téa Gardner, a character with little-to-no experience with the game.

    At one point, she loses a duel and consequently gets stuck in the shadow realm. Considering the fact that she's one of the only female duelists in Yu-Gi-Oh!her persistent losses feel pretty disappointing. Must all the competent characters be men? 

    1,232 votes