Top Ten Screwball Anime Characters

My lack of energy to write and rocklobsterjwt’s articles on his top heroes and villains have inspired me to write a list of anime’s top screwballs.  After all, rocklobsterjwt has a good lists of the good and the bad, so I wish to cover the ugly.  Enjoy!


10.  Alice Malvin of Pumpkin Scissors

I practically fell in love with Alice after she shouted “Aku Soku Zan” at the start of the first episode.  She’s very fiery and zealous in regard to those suffering due to the effects of the war, and she tries to impress her zeal onto her subordinates.  All those showing a lack of enthusiasm soon feel her annoyance!


9.  Maki Umezaki of Geobreeders

This girl seems to have done nothing but watch gangster movies her entire life.  Calling herself “the Red Shooting Star,” wearing a white suit, and wielding a pair of broomhandle mausers, she knows how to let lead fly as she references various Japanese crime movies.  In the first Geobreeders OVA, she even gains possession of a 20mm machine gun to use on a ship filled with phantom cats.


Rarely does she ever seem so ladylike.

8.  Ayano Kannagi of Kaze no Stigma

One of the greatest hotheads in anime, Ayano vents her anger at Kazuma–a former member of her clan and hero of the show–by things like trying to kill him or consuming copious amounts of food as she declaims his faults.  The fact that her power increases in direct proportion to her wrath usually means that she is in a constant choler.

Seek the World of Ideal Forms...

Seek the World of Ideal Forms…

7.  Osaka of Azumanga Daioh

This transfer student always has her head in the clouds.  She can’t help but perform random actions and think random thoughts, mostly involving Chiyo using her pigtails to fly or turning Chiyo’s father into a cat.  She’s certainly one of the most entertaining characters to watch!

That picture says it all.

That picture says it all.

6.  Lavinia of Soukou no Strain

The episode “Lavinia’s Lovely Plot” alone makes her deserve a place on this list.  Basically, Lavinia finds herself attracted to Sara Werec and gets into ridiculous scrapes trying to get Sara to fall for her.  And the scene where Lavinia belatedly shows up to rescue Sara from some bullies with heavy machine guns is priceless.


5.  Ichijo of Pani Poni Dash

She seems like a very capable person, but is always doing weird things, like praying for rain on school trips (successfully) and trying to poison the main character.  Her shining moment is when she negotiates with the All-Japan Banchou League in episode thirteen.  After convincing them to cease their hostile intentions against the school, she says “Are you okay with that?” and then proceeds to convince them that they would completely lose face if they do not carry out their attack.  That’s screwball at its finest!

This has screwball written all over it.

This has screwball written all over it.

4.  Papillon of Busou Renkin

After this character awakens as a homunculus, he takes to wearing a butterfly suit and showing off his sexuality most flamboyantly.  In addition to this, he seems to have a high code of honor and takes a great liking to his primary enemy, the protagonist Kazuki.  To highlight his screwiness, he goes to the beach wearing one of the most ridiculous swimsuits ever, which practically blows one of his henchman’s minds.


3.  Lian Qin of Canaan

This wench is quite insane.  She has sadistic tendencies toward the heroine, Canaan, and an underling of hers and something like a sister complex in regard to Alphard.  She’s also careless enough about modesty to walk naked into a room of several men!  At the same time, the audience rather feels sorry for her, and her antics are unforgettable!


2.  Rintaro Okabe of Steins; Gate

A self-proclaimed mad scientist, he goes under the pseudonym Kyōma Hōōin–extra emphasis on the O syllables!  He insists on giving people nicknames and knows practically every conspiracy theory there is.  I have to say one of my best friends reminds me of him, which only adds to my enjoyment of this character.

"Have you found Jesus?"

“Have you found Jesus?”

1.  Swamp Gordon of Coyote Ragtime Show

You can’t beat an afro wearing preacher trying to atone for a life of crime!  Mister, the hero of Coyote Ragtime Show, needs to enlist Swamp’s help for one last heist.  This character gets some great lines, and his accent is priceless.  He’s one of the most unique characters anime has to offer!

Honorable mentions: Ed of Cowboy Bebop, Fr. Alexander Anderson of Hellsing, Onizuka Sensei of GTO, and Tylor of Irresponsible Captain Tylor

So, what do you think of this list?  Any screwballs you wish were on it?

9 comments on “Top Ten Screwball Anime Characters

  1. dmdutcher says:

    That’s great Coyote Ragtime was no. 1. Such a fun, underrated show. I have to add Gai Daigoji from Nadeisco, who is pure screwy awesomeness.


  2. I would rank Radical Edward and Osaka a bit higher than you did. And thanks to your post, I’m adding Pumpkin Scissors and Coyote Ragtime Show to my watchlist for next year.


    • You should enjoy those shows. Coyote Ragtime Show is pure fun, and Pumpkin Scissors’ mood ranges from awesome to hilarious. The latter’s biggest weakness is that some episodes between 5 and 10 sag, but the series improves after that and features an exciting finale.


  3. zeonista says:

    This is a wonderful list of characters who are likable (mostly) but who have a screw or two loose. A nice list of shows too, I enjoyed all them all in their time. I need to watch some of those again some time.


  4. The Cajun Samurai says:

    I would add Samejima Mamimi from FLCL…she’s more than one fry short of a happy meal. Also, Sana Kurata from Kodocha…bless her heart, she’s just so dingy and hyperactive.


  5. TWWK says:

    I’ve not seen most of these series, but from the ones I have, I will say that Okabe and Osaka are definitely two of my favorites characters!


    • I have always had an odd fascination with unpopular series. As a matter of fact, I made a point of not watching Full Metal Alchemist until its popularity had died down. Hence, all the little known characters you see in the list.

      And Okabe and Osaka’s antics provide endless amusement for sure! In particular, I say that the scene with Osaka attempting to wake Yukari sensei while holding a butcher’s knife ranks as the most hilarious scene ever animated!


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