Anime usually features a diverse range of characters from all walks of life. It includes characters with supernatural powers, vampire characters, black anime characters, manic-pixie characters, characters with exceptional fighting abilities, etc.
When it comes to character depiction, anime does not shy away from showing the ones with various mental and physical disabilities. This is probably the best aspect of anime, that it is diverse and inclusive of all people.
That being said, anime also features depressed characters, or those who are dealing with various mental illnesses with depression being one of them. Depression is a serious mental illness that affects a person’s day-to-day life and can make doing simple tasks difficult and energy and effort-consuming. If not treated properly, it can make the sufferer inflict harm upon themselves.
In this article, I will be taking you through some of the depressed anime girl characters, who have perfectly represented the debilitating effects of this serious mental illness. However, must I give you a trigger warning because some of the content in this article deals with abuse, violence, bullying, etc.
So buckle up and get ready to be acquainted with some of the most popular depressed anime girls in the world of anime!
Also read: Best anime streaming sites
List of 9 Depressed Anime Girls
Kayo Hinazuki from Erased
Kayo Hinazuki from Erased is definitely my favorite depressed anime character. Kayo’s story is sad, although it is made better eventually.
As a child, she is severely physically abused by her deadbeat mother, who takes out her own frustrations on her. This causes Kayo to fall into a deep depression, as a result of which she becomes withdrawn, unsocial and isolated.
In the story, her social isolation causes her to fall prey to the kidnapper and murderer, the main antagonist of the story. However, in an alternate timeline, she is saved by Satoru from her abusive mother, who also befriends her, causing her to be safe from the murderer.
Lain Iwakura from Serial Experiments Lain
Lain from sad anime Serial Experiments Lain is a depressed anime girl who is usually quiet and a bit of a social outcast. She has a slouched posture which is a tell-tale of her introverted personality.
She also has a variety of other mental illnesses other than depression, some of which cause her to hallucinate vividly.
The reason for her issues can be attributed to her tumultuous family that consists of her non-expressive sister, emotionally distant mother, and her computer-obsessed father.
This causes her to withdraw from society, become socially awkward and fall prey to a variety of mental health issues.
Yuki Nagato from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Yuki Nagato is a humanoid interface that takes on the appearance of a regular high-school girl. She was created with limited social abilities which forms a big part of her personality. Although she is not outright depressed, her personality is rather that of a social outcast and a loner.
She hardly speaks and puts down any opportunity to communicate only using physical gestures like nods, staring, or pointing and giving one-word replies to communicate her feelings.
Yuki Nagato also has a monotonous voice and her facial expressions rarely change as a result of which she comes off as “shy” and socially awkward. She understands human emotions really well although is incapable of expressing her own.
Lucy/Nyu/Kaede from Elfen Lied
Lucy or Kaede also known as Nyu (split personality) is a depressed anime girl from the anime Elfen Lied. This is one of my favorite anime and when I found out that I had to write an article on depressed anime girls, her name came second to my mind after Kayo Hinazuki.
Anyway, Lucy is a diclonius, a humanoid species with horn-like protrusions on their heads possessing special telekinetic powers. Lucy was an orphan, tormented by other orphanage kids for being different. After a particularly traumatic incident involving a puppy, she kills her fellow orphanage kids.
She appears socially withdrawn but is happy when she gets to spend time with Kouta. However, she also has a dark side that is blood-thirsty and violent and constantly hallucinates horrific images that ask her to kill.
All her childhood trauma makes her severely depressed and evokes a hatred for humans within her. As an adult, she develops a split personality called Ny1 u after getting shot in the head, who has a personality completely opposite to hers.
Mamimi Samejima from FLCL
Mamimi Samejima from FLCL is a depressed anime girl and a loner who spends most of her time smoking and loitering under Mabase’s largest bridge.
She seems to be bullied by her peers rendering her friendless with her only social connection initially being with her Tasuku whom she claims to be her ‘boyfriend’. She is a pyromaniac and comes off as uninteresting, stupid, and naïve and is hence looked down upon by the rest of the cast.
Mamimi can also be very destructive when nobody is looking and seems to be lacking willpower and control over her life. She is also very dependent on others like Naota and his brother.
Mamimi has a hard life at home with both her parents having separated or gone, suggesting that she is either homeless or runs away from home to escape the unstable situation. This can hint towards the cause of her depression and anhedonia.
Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion
Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion is a depressed anime girl who appears to be socially withdrawn and emotionless.
She barely interacts with anyone except for Gendo whom she is loyal to yet distant. Although it has been commented that although Rei is expressionless, it doesn’t mean that she has no emotions.
Eventually, in the series, this depressed anime girl begins to form real relationships with other characters in the series and even shows genuine emotions.
Her English voice actress also commented that it’s not that she has no personality because otherwise, she would not have been interesting to the audience. It has been commented that she has a schizoid personality disorder.
Homura Akemi from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Although she is not exactly a depressed anime girl but seems distant and cold. Despite being that way, she is also athletic and intelligent.
A reason for this can be the fact that she has been traumatized by her experiences and the suffering she endured during her time as a magical girl. She also wants to protect other girls like Madoka Kaname from making the pact with Kyubeyi that would turn her into a Magical Girl.
Although she has been described as emotionless by her friends, the truth is far from it. Although she does not easily show remorse, sadness, or pity, she is capable of feeling sadness and guilt.
She has seen a lot of suffering which made her this way and she claims that she feels guilt for every life she is unable to save or alter.
Tsubaki from Mirai Nikki
Tsubaki is a high priestess and an oracle from the Omekata Religion. She is also commonly referred to as the “Sacred Eye” among her followers because of her powers of clairvoyance.
When Tsubaki was introduced earlier in the anime, she was portrayed as a fascinating polite anime girl, who is quite friendly and cares only about her survival.
However, her true colours are shown as the series progresses, and it sheds light on her sad past.
In actuality, Tsubaki is a bitter, and a depressed character who has a very cold personality and someone who despises her life.
She has developed a vengeful personality towards her world and the Omekata religion.
Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail
Erza Scarlet is one of the most prettiest and saddest anime girls from the manga and anime series Fairy Tail.
She is one of the only few female main characters in the anime series. She’s a very powerful magical girl who has a very strong sense for justice.
Erza Scarlet is portrayed as a red-haired beauty in both the series and manga, and she is quite fierceful and tough.
However, Ezra also has a sad past and a very tragic backstory. Thus, when she cries or is highly emotional, it is shown that the entire world feels her pain.
She is also often referred to as the strongest female character in the entire series.
Depressed anime girls are plenty. Although not all of them show outright signs of mental illness, a lot of them can be categorized as so either because of their painful backstory or their cold and aloof nature. However, in most cases, these two factors are not exclusive of each other. You can find several depressed anime movies, quotes, wallpapers, and GIFs all over the internet.
Who is your favorite depressed anime girl? Let us know in the comments!