My Hero Academia is one of the most popular anime out there at the present. However, as it is with all popular things, not every piece is as beloved as the whole. Not every character in My Hero Academia is a fan favorite, like Todoroki. Fans loathe Minoru Mineta, the tiny, grape-headed pervert who spends more time peeping than fighting. He's widely regarded by viewers as loathsome and disgusting.
That hatred for may remind longtime anime fans of another despised character: Sakura Haruno, the third leg of Naruto's Team 7. She started as one of the core heroes, only to slowly fade to the background as the story progressed. With the exception of Shou Tucker from Fullmetal Alchemist, Mineta and Sakura rank among the most-disliked characters in anime. But which is worse? Does My Hero Academia or Naruto contain the most-hated character?
The Useless Characters
In action anime, some characters are, naturally, more powerful than others. That's particularly obvious in shonen action anime, where fights and powers are among the most important aspects. The problem is that Mineta and Sakura are distinctly weaker than the rest of the surrounding cast.
In the early arcs, Sakura often stood in the background, offering support that rarely served a point in the series. During the Chunin Exam Arc, Sakura showed signs of growth, most obvious in her battle against Kin Tsuchi, in which she cuts her long hair to break free and turn the fight to her advantage. However, for the majority of Naruto, Sakura is merely a supporting character. Despite being established alongside the other core players, Sakura rarely defeated any of the big villains.
On the other hand, Mineta has a fairly underwhelming super power. His hair turns into sticky grapes. He attends the same class as Uraraka, who can bend the laws of gravity, Iida, a super-speedster, and Todoroki, arguably one of the most powerful heroes ever. By comparison, Minoru's powers are obviously less useful. When he needs to fight, he utilizes his absurd abilities in clever, strange ways.
Both characters serve less of a role in the main plot, despite being propped up on par with far more beloved figures. But when people say "Oh, Mineta and Sakura are useless!" they often are missing the real reason why they hate them. Characters like MHA's Anivoice and Naruto's Tenten have far less-useful powers than the rest of the cast, but neither is featured. The problem, then, isn't that Mineta and Sakura are useless, but instead that their major story roles aren't justified by their lack of impact on the plot.
Why Is Mineta Hated?
In many ways, Mineta fulfills the popular anime trope of the "lovable pervert," like Master Roshi (Dragon Ball), Jiraiya (Naruto) and Miroku (Inuyasha). However, the difference between Mineta and those characters is that they possess other attributes. They aren't simply defined by their perversions. Furthermore, most of those perverts are often attacked or punished for their actions.
Mineta, on the other hand, seems primarily defined by his desire to see girls naked, which is profoundly uncomfortable. During Mineta's first major moment in the series -- when the League of Villains attack Class 1-A -- he is given a chance to shine. Yet, uses this screen time to perv on Tsuyu, a fan favorite. Arguably, the moment he gropes Tsu, he becomes My Hero Academia's most hated character.
That said, other, more popular anime perverts behaved far worse than Mineta did. For example, Master Roshi was motivated by perving on 16-year-old Bulma to give Goku a Dragon Ball, yet no one seems to care.
Still, a perverted, small kid creeping on more beloved characters? That's clearly not someone who ever stood a chance of being as popular as his peers.
But Why is Sakura Hated?
On the other hand, Sakura is one of the most hated characters in Naruto -- and, by extension, all anime -- because she lacks a real direction. She is defined solely by her relationship to other (male) characters. While her attraction to Sasuke and, later, Naruto serves as her primary motivation, the other characters are driven by considerably greater goals: Naruto wants to become Hokage; Sasuke wants vengeance. But Sakura? All she wants is a guy to like her.
That changes over the course of the series, most notably when she trains under Tsunade. However, that development comes too late for many fans. Even after that growth, Sakura continues to fawn over Sasuke and Naruto in ways that only serves to push a love triangle that no one wants.
Furthermore, there's this aspect: shipping. One of Naruto's most popular ships was Sasuke and Naruto, with which Sakura, would interfere no matter which way you sliced it. Naturally, other characters came in the way of this ship (such as Hinata, who Naruto later married). The difference between Hinata and Sakura, however, is that Hinata had an arc, had far less screen time, and had a far more charming and lovable personality than the abrasive and often-condescending Sakura.
So Who is Worse?
Although hatred for Mineta is well-justified, he is ultimately a periphery character who's often beaten up in the main action of the story. When he does something the audience hates, the other characters pummel him. Consider that early scene in which he fondles Tsu, who responds by shoving his face under water to drown him, while paying little attention to him.
On the other hand, Sakura is an abrasive character who, despite being established as one of the core heroes, has weak goals, weak arcs, and rarely pushes the plot forward. She serves as support, but, despite that, has no meaningful goals -- at least, not until more than halfway through the series.
There are tons of characters who commit awful acts, yet still have fans: Haruhi Suzumiya drugs her friend, Shinji Ikari does things while Asuka is in a coma, and Griffith did everything humanly possible wrong. But the reason they aren't hated like Sakura is that they at least had arcs and goals. They grew (or fell); Sakura is hated because audiences had to endure her.
Mineta, however, is taken in grape-sized bites; viewers can tolerate those micro-doses of irritation. It's far more difficult to deal with an already-unlikable character when they're a primary protagonist.That said, Shou Tucker from Fullmetal Alchemist is still far worse than either of them.