Who is the most clueless male protagonist?


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    This topic aims to find out which one of our stalwart male protagonists needs to be hit the hardest with the biggest clue bat imaginable. Before we really get going here, I think we need to narrow down the candidates list from my initial 33 to say maybe ten and then start the voting in earnest. Only male J-Novel club title protagonists made the initial list. [New Life +] was specifically excluded because it's suspended. So here are the eligible "candidates". (I'm using that term very loosely.)

    • Kanie Seiya (Amagi Brilliant Park)
    • Zagan (An Archdemon's Dilemma - How to Love Your Elf Bride)
    • Shun (Ao Oni)
    • Hajime Nagumo (Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest)
    • Oscar Orcus (Arifureta Zero)
    • Yukinari Amano (Bluesteel Blasphemer)
    • Naoto Miura (Clockwork Planet)
    • Akuto Sai (Demon King Daimaou)
    • Veight (Der Werwolf: The Annals of Veight)
    • William Maryblood (The Faraway Paladin)
    • Haruhiro (Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash)
    • Souma Kazuya (How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom)
    • “Diablo” (How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord)
    • Rekka Namidare (I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse)
    • Dale (If It's for My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon Lord)
    • Touya Mochizuki (In Another World With My Smartphone)
    • “Ray Starling” (Infinite Dendrogram)
    • Ichika Orimura (Infinite Stratos)
    • Koutarou Satomi (Invaders of the Rokujouma!?)
    • Taichi Yaegashi (Kokoro Connect)
    • Keima Masuda (Lazy Dungeon Master)
    • Suimei Yakagi (The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind!)
    • Yuuto Suoh (The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar)
    • Yuichi (Me, a Genius? I Was Reborn into Another World and I Think They’ve Got the Wrong Idea)
    • Touya Hojo (Mixed Bathing in Another Dimension)
    • Yuchi Sakaki (My Big Sister lives in a Fantasy World)
    • Gin Imose (My Little Sister Can Read Kanji)
    • Yuta Gamon (Occultic;Nine)
    • Shinich Kanou (Outbreak Company)
    • Ichiro Tsuwabuki (Paying to Win in a VRMMO)
    • Rio (Seirei Gensōki: Spirit Chronicles)
    • Orphen (Sorcerous Stabber Orphen)
    • Rentt Faina (The Unwanted Undead Adventurer)

    Let the fun begin!


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    I dub Naofumi from the Rising of the shield here as clueless!

    I dub Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura as clueless!

    I dub Yona from Yona of the Dawn as clueless!

    edit: two of those are from manga though.

    I also dub Aiz from Danmachi as clueless

    I also dub Ainz from Overlord as clueless

    edit 2.5: I am gonna add to the list buddy

    Edit 3.0: well I did not see the "male" part of the OP.


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    Akuto from Daimaou and Ichika from Infinite Stratos are pretty hard to beat. They might as well be as dense as a black hole. (Also MC in Little Apocalypse, though I only read the first volume of that).


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    @legitpancake said in Who is the most clueless male protagonist?:

    Akuto from Daimaou and Ichika from Infinite Stratos are pretty hard to beat. They might as well be as dense as a black hole. (Also MC in Little Apocalypse, though I only read the first volume of that).

    The premise of Little Apocalypse is that Rekka is so dense and wishy-washy that he indirectly caused the apocalypse by not being able to choose from one of the zillion women out for his affections, causing them to fight a war over him that led to the end of the universe. So in-setting, that's some major consequences for his density.

    Even then, I still think it's pretty difficult to unseat Ichika from Infinite Stratos for the throne.

    They both do react in much the same way with regards to girls outright declaring their love for him, viz "oh, they're just teasing me" or "I don't get it, well whatever". Ichika just seems more like a musclehead from his narration in comparison.

    As for the list of candidates in general, a lot of them could probably be taken out of the running immediately due to accepting, or at least acknowledging, the romantic advances of their partner(s). Several more are aware of the romantic interest, but are too socially awkward to handle it, so they might merit some minor footnote mention, but nowhere near the cluelessness of the top few, who are not even aware of it in the first place.



  • I vote Ichika (IS) as most dense on the list.

    Also I feel Kanie (Amagi) and Yuuto (Ragnarok) shouldn't be included since they generally have an idea, they just choose not to reciprocate or act.


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    @paul-nebeling said in Who is the most clueless male protagonist?:

    I can only comment on the series I've read:

    Zagan (An Archdemon's Dilemma - How to Love Your Elf Bride)

    Not clueless - just socially inept.

    Hajime Nagumo (Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest)

    Not clueless - he knows that the girls love him, and he's made it quite clear that he only loves one girl.

    “Diablo” (How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord)

    A candidate to the extreme if he is still clueless after book 4 bath scene. If this is the case, this guy, without a doubt.

    Touya Mochizuki (In Another World With My Smartphone)

    Not clueless, just uptight.

    “Ray Starling” (Infinite Dendrogram)

    Yup. A good candidate, but no girls who are hanging on around him making overt moves that he ignores.

    Keima Masuda (Lazy Dungeon Master)

    Clueless? Ehhh... Not quite, he doesn't care - he is in love with his sleep.

    Suimei Yakagi (The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind!)

    Yep. Clueless.

    Yuuto Suoh (The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar)

    Not clueless, his heart is set on someone else.

    Yuichi (Me, a Genius? I Was Reborn into Another World and I Think They’ve Got the Wrong Idea)

    Yuichi? Why can I not think of the character Yuichi? Remind me who this person is...

    Ichiro Tsuwabuki (Paying to Win in a VRMMO)

    Not clueless. He is well aware that everyone and everything loves him, but his heart is for the one he loves the most: himself.

    Rentt Faina (The Unwanted Undead Adventurer)

    Prime clueless material.


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    Too many, and they are all out there.


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    @paul-nebeling said in Who is the most clueless male protagonist?:

    This topic aims to find out which one of our stalwart male protagonists needs to be hit the hardest with the biggest clue bat imaginable. Before we really get going here, I think we need to narrow down the candidates list from my initial 33 to say maybe ten and then start the voting in earnest. Only male J-Novel club title protagonists made the initial list. [New Life +] was specifically excluded because it's suspended. So here are the eligible "candidates". (I'm using that term very loosely.)

    I'mma split this list into sub lists for how I'd categorise them, there'd be too many spoilers tags everywhere for much reasoning.

    Prime candidates
    (these are the super dense)

    • Ichika Orimura (Infinite Stratos)
    • Akuto Sai (Demon King Daimaou)
    • “Diablo” (How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord)
    • Suimei Yakagi (The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind!)
    • Yuchi Sakaki (My Big Sister lives in a Fantasy World)
    • Rentt Faina (The Unwanted Undead Adventurer)

    Dunno what order I'd put these guys in except Ichika in #1 and Akuto in #2

    Not as bad as those guys up there
    (basically, these guys were dense enough to be up there but end up in some sort of relationship making their denseness irrelevant OR just become aware)

    • Yukinari Amano (Bluesteel Blasphemer)
    • Hajime Nagumo (Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest)
    • Dale (If It's for My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon Lord)
    • Koutarou Satomi (Invaders of the Rokujouma!?)
    • Souma Kazuya (How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom)
    • Touya Mochizuki (In Another World With My Smartphone)
    • Touya Hojo (Mixed Bathing in Another Dimension)

    (These are only a bit dense to start with/more confidence probs or something else stopping them reaching epic density tier)

    • Zagan (An Archdemon's Dilemma - How to Love Your Elf Bride)
    • Shinich Kanou (Outbreak Company)
    • Haruhiro (Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash)
    • “Ray Starling” (Infinite Dendrogram) - potentially much worse, hasn't been tested enough
    • Ichiro Tsuwabuki (Paying to Win in a VRMMO) - human emotions are "nonsense" to this dude, he is dense but he also flat out doesn't care.

    Not in the running
    (These guys don't fit that dense harem protag mould for one reason or another)

    • Yuuto Suoh (The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar) - made his choice but less dense to start with even though in harem environment
    • Kouki (Me, a Genius? I Was Reborn into Another World and I Think They’ve Got the Wrong Idea) - no harem hyjinks/has GF not looking elsewhere
    • Naoto Miura (Clockwork Planet) - automata or GTFO
    • William Maryblood (The Faraway Paladin) - only goddesses need apply, what are even human women?

    Haven't read enough/have enough info so can't classify them yet

    • Rio (Seirei Gensōki: Spirit Chronicles) - suspect density
    • Oscar Orcus (Arifureta Zero) - has showed signs of density
    • Taichi Yaegashi (Kokoro Connect) - has showed signs of density
    • Keima Masuda (Lazy Dungeon Master)
    • Veight (Der Werwolf: The Annals of Veight)
    • Kanie Seiya (Amagi Brilliant Park)
    • Orphen (Sorcerous Stabber Orphen)

    Haven't read at all

    • Shun (Ao Oni)
    • Rekka Namidare (I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse) - I assume this one is up there with Ichika?
    • Gin Imose (My Little Sister Can Read Kanji)
    • Yuta Gamon (Occultic;Nine)

    Think that's it?

    If it were outside J-Novel or outside light novels I could add more.


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    @smashman42 I've been working from the full list, and it's tedious. You're quite right though. Some of those guys aren't clueless at all. They just have other "priorities".



  • Ichika Orimura has to be my top pick


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    If we include female characters there are certainly some female characters that are in the clueless/dense about love and romance. Though I can't think of many from LN.


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    @drone205 Well, Fie from Watafuta qualifies, doesn't she?


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    @jaquobus She does, but she gets the same 'out' via my criteria as Hajime (Arifureta) or the Touya (Smartphone) - even though we got to see next to nothing of the romantic relationship, it was established that it started.

    So IMO she's just human dense tier, not superhuman dense tier like Ichika et al

    That's my 2c on it anyway.


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    @jaquobus I deliberately excluded female protagonists. Fie would be the only one, unless you also want to add Haru to the list. Besides, Fie seems to do just fine where Queen is concerned and Haru doesn't need to be hit with a clue bat.


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    Is Diablo really that clueless? At the point where the story is right now, he seems perfectly aware of how the girls feel about him, but he's unable to respond except via demon lord roleplay.



  • @paul-nebeling Bakarina's black hole tier denseness is probably unbeatable.

    That aside, I think Ray deserves more credit on denseness. It's not as apparent since we don't have that many females hanging around him. But you have be REALLY dense to actually know you're called an all-nizer and not understand what they mean with it.


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    @paulnamida Yeah, Ray's clueless score keeps creeping up little by little. With 33 protagonists to compare pairwise, of takes a lot of time. William Maryblood is getting a getting some taps with that clue bat for confessing to an actual Goddess.


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    @paul-nebeling Least he knows what he wants.


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    @steelblaidd True. He's at about the same level at Yuuto, I think.