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The 13 Most Toxic Anime Couples of All Time, Ranked

September 10, 2020 10.1k votes 2.9k voters 96.8k views13 items

Anime depicts all kinds of romantic relationships. Some are cute and romantic, some are a meaningful communion between two souls, and some are kind of messed up. This list is going to look at couples whose relationship is really, really messed up. For that reason, this article includes discussions of some potentially upsetting topics like abuse, so tread carefully. 

Some of the toxic anime couples of this list are just incredibly bad at having a relationship: Goku and Chi Chi from DBZ might be able to fix up their marital problems with the help of a couples' counselor. But other relationships are so awful that they can't be fixed - anybody ever watched Happy Sugar Life? Sato and Shio's relationship is so toxic that it's hard to even describe without shuddering.

Which of these relationships do you think is the most unhealthy? 

  • 1

    Makoto Itou & Every Girl He Knows - 'School Days'

    Photo: TNK

    No article on toxic relationships is complete without this epic mess. Makoto Itou is a seemingly mild-mannered harem protagonist who starts off wanting to date Kotonoha Katsura. Because Kotonoha isn't ready for sexual activity, he gets bored and starts sleeping with Sekai Saionji, the girl who helped set him up with Kotonoha to begin with. When Sekai gets uncomfortable with the idea and wants to break it off unless Makoto is honest with Kotonoha, Makoto just lies to Sekai and says he broke up with Kotonoha without actually doing it.

    After that, he starts sleeping with just about every girl he meets, and lies to all of them about his true intentions. Eventually, they all dump him because he's refusing to talk to Sekai, who claims to be pregnant. Well, all except Kotonoha, who is totally obsessed with Makoto.

    Ultimately, Sekai is so frustrated with him that she stabs him. Kotonoha finds his body and cuts his head off, then confronts Sekai, who she eliminates. She then sails away on a boat, cradling Makoto's head.

    Are they toxic?
  • 2

    Masamune Gotou & Kyoko Kouda - 'March Comes In Like A Lion'

    Photo: Shaft

    Masamune Gotou is a middle-aged man married to a terminally ill woman. He's cheating on his ailing wife with Kyouko Kouda, a very young woman who has enough family problems to deal with without adding Gotou to the mix. This relationship set-up is already toxic enough: imagine how his poor wife must feel! But it gets even worse from there - Gotou is physically abusive to Kyouko - he's been seen smacking her on more than one occasion. Despite this poor treatment, Kyouko is still extremely attached to Gotou, and she tries desperately to stay involved in his life even when he seems like he's trying to end things.

    This upsets Kyouko's adoptive brother Rei, even though Kyouko has been incredibly emotionally abusive towards him throughout their childhoods. It's just that bad of a situation.

    Are they toxic?
  • 3

    Sakura Haruno & Sasuke Uchiha - 'Naruto'

    Ask any Naruto fan what they didn't like about Boruto, and chances are high that they'll cite the fact that Sakura and Sasuke got together. That's understandable - the relationship is toxic as hell.

    It begins with Sakura fawning over Sasuke despite his total lack of interest in her, and punching Naruto for getting in the way of her time with him. Sasuke rudely dismisses her and routinely insults her. This is exaggerated, but still relatively normal 12-year-old behavior. But things get way worse from there - at one point, Sasuke actually makes an attempt on Sakura's life. 

    Though Sakura has no reason to forgive this, she brushes it aside and forgives him anyway. But what she can't forgive is his political stance against Konoha. The government committed atrocities against his family, but Sakura lacks empathy for his very real grievances and makes almost no effort to understand why he's angry.

    After the two actually get married and have a child, Sasuke is gone on missions so often that he literally does not recognize his own daughter. While he shows some interest in fixing this, this only happens when Sarada is twelve, which means that he's been neglecting his relationship for at least that long. By then, it's been too little, too late.

    Basically, this is a relationship where it's okay for them to hurt each other, and it's also okay for them not to understand or support each other. 

    Are they toxic?
  • 4

    Seiji Yagiri & Mika Harima - 'Durarara!'

    Seiji Yagiri is desperately in love with a floating head in a jar. That head belongs to a Dullahan named Celty, but because it's separated from her, it can't really communicate and doesn't seem to be conscious.

    In order to help her brother get over his obsession, Seiji's older sister Namie has a girl named Mika Harima, surgically altered so that she appears to be Celty's head grafted onto another person's body. She pretends to be Celty for a while, but is ultimately revealed to be Mika.

    Why did Mika go along with this? Because she's a stalker who followed Seiji so relentlessly that he ended up defending himself physically. She would go through anything to be with him, no matter how painful or dangerous. After the revelation of who Mika really is, he agrees to be with her until he can find a way to be with the floating head he truly loves.

    It's hard to get more toxic than that, but there's one more horrible detail. Namie did the whole surgery thing not out of normal sisterly love, but because she's romantically attracted to her teenage brother. No wonder the kid has no idea what a normal relationship looks like. 

    Are they toxic?