10 Awkward Anime Crushes to Make You Feel Better About Dating

Feeling down about your own romantic prospects this Valentine's Day? Let the anime world sooth you with tales of unrequited simping.

Zenitsu feeling the love in Demon Slayer
Photo: Ufotable

Dating can be both a heartache and a headache. You keep trying and trying to find someone who shares some sort of connection with you, go through all the anxious rituals of texting and calling and trying to keep it together when you run into them, trying to find an excuse to ask them out. That could all be for nothing if you end up getting ghosted. 

But what if your date was actually a ghost, or a ghoul, or even a god? 

Maybe they’re a superhero. Maybe you’re both superheroes. In anime, it usually doesn’t matter, because you can have the power to defy gravity or slay demons and still break down when you so much as hear the name of your crush. From doing embarrassing things for attention to finding yourself in a really uncomfortable love triangle, almost anything can get between you and whoever is on your mind. Just don’t follow them into the bathroom.

Ken’s Deadly Date with Rize in Tokyo Ghoul

Something is off about the girl Ken Kaneki keeps seeing in a certain coffee shop but never has the nerve to ask out. Maybe he never should have. Rize Kamishiro isn’t who he thinks she is, not as sweet and definitely not as human. 

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Ken is so mesmerized by Rize’s looks and their shared interest for a horror author that he can’t see much else. He has to find out the hard way that she actually lusts for human flesh. The only thing about him that Rize is attracted to is the smell of his blood, which makes her hungry, so she puts on the damsel in distress act for him to walk her home so he can become her prey. You know something is wrong when your date starts growing tentacles. There is also a reason she only goes to that coffee shop—it’s where all the ghouls hang out.

Yato’s Ungodly Attraction to Hiyori in Noragami

Should gods get romantically entangled with humans? Probably not, but that doesn’t keep minor deity Yato from crushing on the mortal Hiyori Iki. He doesn’t exactly pull off godlike moves. It would probably help if he and his sidekick didn’t creep on her in the girls’ bathroom, even though one of his earthly “clients” supposedly called on him from another stall. 

Yato’s feelings become more obvious when Kouto Fujisaki kisses Hiyori at a capybara theme park (don’t ask), and he himself almost kisses her. What is really twisted about this is that  Fujisaki is no human. He is a spirit who is actually Yato’s dad, and possesses the body of a random human boy to get that kiss, so he can see Yato seethe with jealousy. 

Hiyori is also infatuated with his smell for some reason. She constantly swoons over it, but what he actually smells like is a mystery.

Naru Falling for Masked Villain Nephrite in Sailor Moon

So everybody knows that Usagi and Tuxedo Mask are the poster couple of Sailor Moon (are you even an anime fan if you don’t?), but early on in the series, there is an unusual tryst between Usagi’s friend Naru Osaka and a man of mystery. Prowling Tokyo as Masato Sanjouin, Nephrite harvests human energy and tries to trap Usagi using fake love letters that were supposedly from Tuxedo Mask. 

Naru is intrigued by whoever is behind these letters. Convinced she’s Sailor Moon, Nephrite meets her at the mall dressed as Tuxedo Mask, though she senses he is not the real deal. He takes advantage of the infatuated teen to suck out her love energy. Unexpectedly, she still falls for “Masato” and tries to protect him from attack, and during his dying breaths, she asks if he would someday like to go out for chocolate ice cream. It borders on absurd.

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Deku and Ochaco Losing Their Heroic Cool in My Hero Academia

Heroes-in-training Izuku “Deku” Midoriya and Ochaco Uraraka may go to a superhero high school, but they are still just awkward teens with raging hormones. 

The hero thing kind of gets lost when a nervous Deku arrives for the entrance exam and is saved from tripping over his own feet by Ochaco’s anti-gravity powers. He then freaks out about talking to a girl, even though he couldn’t bring up the courage to say one word to her. He has the same reaction later on when the students are doing their internships and she texts him. Ochaco isn’t any less lovestruck, and it’s obvious. 

Ochaco’s classmates start picking up on what’s going on when she blushes furiously at just the mention of Deku’s name. She not only spies on him training from the window of the girls’ dorm common room at night, but does it floating upside-down. 

Elizabeth Gushing Over Ciel in Black Butler

This might be the less ridiculous of the two get-senpai-to-notice-me situations in Black Butler, but Elizabeth deserves a mention for taking everything over the top. 

Being arranged to marry someone doesn’t automatically mean that person is looking forward to spending the rest of their life with you. This was an aristocratic thing in Victorian England, but Ciel Phantomhive has no interest in his kissing cousin, who leaps on him whenever she sees him. You can almost swear her voice also goes up an octave. When he brushes her off, the crying is ludicrous, but her fiancee status keeps her going. The birthday party Elizabeth sets up for Ciel is an obnoxious display of balloons and ribbons, much to his horror, but he keeps up the facade because of his status in high society. At least Ciel makes some effort to save her from a zombie horde.

Irina Not Being Professional with Karasuma in Assassination Classroom 

If there’s one thing assassin Irina Jelavic knows how to do (besides fire a machine gun), it’s seduction, but she seems to trip all over herself whenever she runs into Ministry of Defense agent Tadaomi Karasuma. 

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Remember that this anime is about an eight-legged mutant teacher that an entire class of teens is being trained to assassinate. Bizarre circumstances aside, the students help her snag a date with Karasuma. Fail. Never talk about your first kill on a first date. After that, he keeps insisting their relationship is nothing but professional, but the tension keeps building. When Irina is injured and he tears his shirt off to turn into a bandage, an eyeful of his ripped upper body gives her a literal nosebleed. After school on Valentine’s Day, she insists she has nowhere to sleep, so he reluctantly invites her to his place. She just about loses her mind.

The Tsukimi-Kuranosuke-Shu Love Triangle in Princess Jellyfish

Put yourself in the insecure shoes of 18-year-old Tsukimi Kurashita. 

Tsukimi tries to rescue a jellyfish from a pet store and gets an unexpected assist from a stranger in designer clothes. The stranger needs somewhere to spend the night. Since this person appears to be a woman, and you live in a no-men-allowed apartment complex of female manga geeks, you oblige. The next day you wake up to find that this “woman” is actually the most beautiful boy ever (sans clothes and makeup). 

Kuranosuke has been into fashion since he can remember and could care less about gender norms. It gets more complicated from there, because not only is Tsukimi furiously blushing over him in his male form, but also over his older brother Shu, who is just as shy and awkward as Tsukimi. You know how red the faces of anime characters can get? Yeah, that.

Misa Simping for Light Way Too Hard in Death Note

It’s obvious Misa Amane has an attraction to serial killers. It’s also obvious she can’t understand when someone doesn’t have one iota of attraction towards her. 

After realizing that (spoiler alert) Light is the Kira killer who snuffs out people’s lives just by writing their names in a grim reaper’s notebook, she offers to be his accomplice. That’s how desperate she is. She is actually willing to be an accessory to murder for Light to so much as look at her, which he rarely does (even when she tries to surprise him with ridiculously frilly lingerie). He only agrees to pretend he’s her boyfriend so he can look like less of a suspicious loner to the police. 

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Misa starts calling Light saccharine names that put him on the verge of lashing out. He finally does kiss her, only to keep using her as an accomplice, but it backfires. Simping intensifies.

Grell’s Outrageous Hitting on Sebastian in Black Butler

You might think a demon butler and a grim reaper are a match made in hell, but not in the sense of two creeps burning together.  

Sebastian wants nothing to do with Grell’s ridiculous (and incessant) advances. Grim reapers (shinigami) are already dead, so maybe someone who no longer fears dying is brazen enough to not just ask for a kiss in public, but literally jump onto the object of his affection, though his face ends up on the pavement. 

 Grell goes so far as to call Sebastian “Sebas-chan,” an offensive play on the butler’s name. In Japan, you can address children and pets as -chan, and even a significant other (behind closed doors), but it’s generally taboo for addressing other adults. The English dubbed version of the anime translates “Sebas-chan” to “Bassie”. Maybe Grell believes simping for Sebastian will make something happen, but his theatrics aren’t working.

Zenitsu and Every Single Girl He Meets in Demon Slayer

Though Zenitsu might be a full-fledged demon slayer, when it comes to girls, saying he has some growing up to do is an understatement. You’d think getting a smack upside the head from fellow slayer Kanao after obsessing over her would bring him to his senses. Hardly. 

When he first glimpses Nezuko, Zenitsu chases her relentlessly, face flushed and eyes bulging, never mind that she happens to be a demon—and his slayer friend Tanjiro’s sister. He enters hyper-infatuation mode whenever she’s around. That Nezuko seems more afraid of him, despite being a demon herself, really says something. Zenitsu never lets rejection get to him. The Butterfly Mansion is basically his dream vacation (even if he is there to recover from demon-inflicted wounds). 

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With Kanao around and three other girls watching over him, he tries to make moves every chance he gets. The response? “Take your medicine.”