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Gia's List: The 7 Least Artistic Characters in Anime

by Gia Manry,

The people who draw manga and anime, as a general rule, are decent artists. One can only assume that this is why they take such delight in creating characters who are horrible at drawing. Maybe it's a way to get aggravation out against wanna-be artists, or maybe it's just a chance to draw something awful and not care. In any case, these are seven of the worst artists in anime character history.

7. Sakaki (Azumanga Daioh)
Despite grades that keep her at least out of the class's team of "Baka Rangers," athletic animal-lover Sakaki can often be found doodling in her notes and books during or outside of class. The doodles are almost always cats and definitely always adorable things, which is no surprise from the reserved cat fanatic (some might even argue that Sakaki is a crazy-cat-lady-to-be). Her doodles appear several times in Azumanga Daioh, such as the image here, when Sakaki created a backdrop for her pal Tomo-chan's unique stuffed animal story-telling. It's not that Sakaki's art is bad, it's just hard to take a high schooler's kindergarten-esque crayon art terribly seriously. Though we all felt for her when another classmate, Kagura, started drawing arrows spiked through one of Sakaki's adorable kitten doodles.

6. Sawako Kuronuma (Kimi ni Todoke)
Intelligent, honest, and well-meaning, Sawako is nonetheless referred to as "Sadako" by her classmates, due to an unfortunate resemblence to a ghostly horror story and a shy, reserved nature. By and large she sticks to her schoolbooks, keeping her head down and her nose to the proverbial grind. As Sawako begins to blossom socially thanks to the intervention of popular guy Shota Kazehaya, she begins to make friends. And true to form, when these friends realize that Sawako is a truly terrible artist despite the rest of her sterling scholastic history, they have a pretty big chuckle over it. It also helps them realize how very much they care for her as a true friend. To be totally fair though, her art might actually be more stylzed than god-awful, which is why she's not too far down this list.

5. Mamori Anezaki (Eyeshield 21)
At first glance, Mamori and the artist above her, Sawako, couldn't be more different. Mamori is popular, with a strong maternal instinct that lands her as the manager for the Deimon Devil Bats, her school's football team. (American football, that is, not soccer.) There are similarities, though: Mamori is sweet, kind, and an academic powerhouse who is in fact one of the school's top three students. Her only academic failing is, of course, her terrible drawings, which actually serve as a running gag throughout the series. It's played in stark contrast to another character, the comedic Shozo Togano, whose art tends to surprise everyone by being pretty darn good, "unlike someone else" (cut to Mamori's latest doodle, such as the one shown here, which was inspired by the Misaki Wolves team.

4. Rukia Kuchiki (Bleach)
Because of the strong following of Bleach, Rukia is probably the most famous terrible artist on this list. The once-and-future shinigami famously uses ridiculous doodles of bunny rabbits to explain various situations, a gag that is one of the show's oldest, dating back to the time that Rukia unintentionally gave her shinigami powers to the glowery but otherwise fine young gentleman Ichigo Kurosaki. It should be said that Rukia's art isn't necessarily bad per se; the skill with which she draws little bunny heads is clearly derived from a lot of practice. Where Rukia's art fails is in having anything remotely to do with whatever she's trying to use the art to explain, usually just distracting or confusing her audience. And unfortunately, Rukia is both sensitive about her art skills and able to kick just about anyone's butt.

3. Keima Katsuragi (The World God Only Knows)
You may be starting to detect a pattern here about characters who perform pretty well in school except for their art schools. In Keima's case, though, he's not a shy, reserved young woman who just happens to be bad at art...he's a socially awkward dating-sim fanatic who aces all of his school exams, no doubt ticking off the teachers who scold him for his obsessive attention to his "PFP" portable gaming console. Art is still where Keima's skills dwindle (along with P.E.), and pretty much any time he has to show his doodles to another person, they respond immediately by telling him how bad he is at drawing before moving on to the topic at hand...pretty much no matter how vital the subject at hand may be. Unfortunately, this is even true of Keima's otherwise kind, sweet, and patient assistant/supplicant, the devil Elsie.

2. Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece)
Finally, the complete exception to the "good-at-all-school-but-art" rule! Luffy is certainly talented at a lot of things, like fighting, eating while asleep, screwing up completely simple tasks, yelling things that get people to reconsider their values on the fly, attracting brilliant crew members, and just generally getting in and out of trouble. But by and large Luffy isn't particularly book-smart. He's also a really awful artist, even when he's drawing something ridiculous and stylized...like his own pirate Jolly Roger flag, as you can see here. It certainly inspired fear in the heart, mused Luffy's crew member Zoro, just not in the way he probably intended. Like other characters, Luffy's terrible art is a running gag, even as recently as the creation of his crew's second ship.

1. Hime Onizuka (Sket Dance)
She's not the most popular or famous character on this list, but Hime Onizuka (also known as "Himeko") is almost certainly the worst artist of them all. In one early episode of the series, Hime asks her fellow odd-jobber Bossun to draw a cat— specifically a Scottish Fold —after learning that he's a decent artist (even though he thinks his skills are only average). Hime viciously mocks a would-be mangaka, Roman, when her cat drawing is mediocre...and then proceeds to offer up the drawing shown to the left. This is the beginning of an ongoing gag in which Himeko's drawings look like evil monsters that need to be banished to the netherworld rather than anything cute, fluffy, or sane. Her complete lack of drawing skills never particularly bothers the Osaka native, who, by the way, also defies the "good at everything else" archetype (at least as far as we know).

The new poll: Since we're on an art kick this week, let's talk about art anime— shows for which art is a central theme. Specifically we want to know which one is your favorite, and we're listing out the critical favorites like Honey and Clover to the cute comedy Hidamari Sketch, along with a few others. You know the drill— vote, comment, and check back next time!

The previous poll: Last time we wanted to know which fast-talking motor mouth anime characters you liked best (and perhaps thanked your favored deities for subtitles due to), and the results were clear: Excel Saga's titular heroine wins out over all of the other characters listed, even those from newer shows. Here are the results:

  • Excel (Excel Saga) - 26.40%
  • Hitagi Senjougahara (Bakemonogatari) - 22.08%
  • Graham Spector (Baccano!) - 19.98%
  • Ahiru (Princess Tutu) - 12.73%
  • Sana (Kodocha) - 12.27%
  • Kyouka (Kyōran Kazoku Nikki) - 2.80%
  • Poemi (Puni Puni Poemi) - 1.87%
  • Mika (Morita-san wa Mukuchi) - 1.87%

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