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7 Useless Animal Sidekicks

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Let's be frank, some characters are really annoying. If we got a step further, some characters are really annoying and useless to a show's plot as a whole. Creators try to get the audience to overlook this by making the character fuzzy and cute, but the point still stands. This week's List looks at seven animal companions that are completely useless.

7. Jaken (Inuyasha) Jaken is technically a kappa, a sort of turtle-like demon thing. He's Sesshōmaru's most devoted lackey, which is the guy's only real strong point. He has a staff with fire abilities that he is somewhat capable with but his other powers are weak at best. Despite this, I guess his loyalty really is worth something since Sesshōmaru opted to bring him back to life.

6. Shiina (Vampire Princess Miyu) Shiina is Miyu's deceptively cute rabbit shinma. It's primary function is a sort of "alarm" to detect opposing shinma's power levels with its creepy, jaundiced eye. When it comes to battling, though, Shiina doesn't have any physical abilities. That job goes to Larva.

5. Albert Chamomile (Negima!) Chamo is resident chain-smoking, skirt-chasing ermine. His magic abilities are secondary to hooking up his friend with girls or making some quick cash. He can be resourceful, but those skills are again used on his less savory activities or buying stuff online.

4. Chim-Chim (Speed Racer) I don't know how the Racer family came into possession of a chimpanzee, but they could have at least taught him how to throw a wrench or something (gaffaw). Instead he's the constant companion to mischievous Spritle. The duo tag along in races and regularly throw Speed off course or cause all kinds of trouble. If Spritle's brother wasn't a racing genius, he and his pet ape wouldn't survive to adulthood.

3. Puar (Dragon Ball) Puar starts out as a quirkly, useful member of the cast but is later retired to a couch potato after Dragon Ball Z starts. His shape-shifting abilities get Yamcha and Goku out of some bad situations but this is abandoned by the time the Saiyans invade and the cat-like creature spends multiple episodes passed out. The closest he gets to action is when Majin Buu transforms him into chocolate and eats him.

2. Meow (Space Dandy) Meow is useless both as a cat (which he'll argue he is not) or as a useful member on the Aloha Oe. His defining qualities are eating all the food, making a giant mess, and failing to catch any aliens. He's not very smart and will choose the laziest option before anything else. The only thing Meow might be good at is being a mooch.

1. Magikarp (Pokemon) The saddest Pokemon of the original 150 (Cubone not withstanding), Magikarp is the thorn in James' side and always great for schadenfreude comic relief. Like his in-game counterpart, Magikarp can do literally nothing except desperately flail about in hopes of "splashing" something. James lucks out that the otherwise useless fish gains some muscle when it evolves.

The new poll: With the upcoming con season, I'm curious how many of you attend cons? How many do you attend? Tell us your favorite con experiences in the forums!

The old poll: Last week's poll asked which anime mother is more witch than parent? This one was really close! Like a difference of FOUR votes. So which mom is the worst? *drumroll*

  1. Ragyo Kiryuuin (Kill la Kill) 28.9%
  2. Medusa Gorgon (Soul Eater) 28.6%
  3. Ren Gyokuen (Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic) 10.1%
  4. Marianne vi Britannia (Code Geass) 8.9%
  5. Precia Testarossa (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha) 5.8%
  6. Shinzen Tennozou (Speed Grapher) 5.6%
  7. Kyoko Zeppelin Sohryu (Neon Genesis Evangelion) 4.5%
  8. Misaki Aoyagi (Loveless) 4.1%
  9. Kaede Domyoji (Hana Yori Dango) 2.6%
  10. Hiroko Kageyama (Gilgamesh) 0.9%

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as Associate Editor for Anime News Network, blogs about women and LBGT topics in anime and manga on her blog Engendered Dilemma, and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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