Top Ten Anime Characters With Sad and Depressing Back Stories

These characters can be considered very inspiring and leave you in tears. Sometimes... They even change throughout the series and become stronger because of it! (WARNING_ MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! )

The Top Ten

Guts (Berserk)

How is he not number 1 he has the most tragic life in anime and manga history. Number 1 & 2 are Naruto and gaara how was there life even tragic. Guts was born from his mom who was dead hanged on a tree. He killed a person when he was little and when he grow up he saw all his friends get killed and his girlfriend raped right in front of him, by his best friend.

Honestly, very little people can compare to Guts. Not only is his world so brutal, but his past is perhaps the most violent and messed up.

Just read berserk... You will understand... Like now... I SAID NAO!

These people above most be going by popularity, don't a single one have anything close to the hell that is guts is life

Gaara (Naruto) Gaara is a fictional character in the Naruto manga and anime series created by Masashi Kishimoto. He is the jinchuuriki of the one-tailed shukaku and can control sand that is stored in his gourd.

Gaara has had a demon spirit put inside him at birth the ritual killing his mom. And because of the demon everyone's been scared of him and hated him and they've even tried to kill him when he was only 5. He was lonely and scared and his only friend was his Uncle (His mom's brother) who secretly hated him and wanted to kill him because of his sister's death. And one day thinking he was being attacked by enemies he accidentally kills his Uncle causing him pain since he WAS trying to kill him and before he dies he tells Gaara that no one loves him and he will never have friends and that everyone hated him screwing him up causing him to go psycho and wanting to kill everyone making him bloodthirsty... But thankfully in part 2 he changes and becomes caring and finally becomes the Kazekage which has been his dream and swearing to love and protect his village, friends, and family (meaning his 2 older siblings) even if it kills him... - TheOverreactingFangirl

The only reason y I put gaara over naruto is because naruto had the third hokage looking after him.

His death made me cry so much. His story was indeed very sad. People's hatred towards him, even though he had nothing to do with. Being treated with scorn and hatred, having no one to love him. Having been betrayed. Love changed Gaara. I'm very happy that Naruto was successful in reaching Gaara's heart and was able to befriend him and understand him. He changed Gaara, he taught him that the world is a cruel place but there are people who care for you, who love you. I'm glad that Naruto is Gaara's first friend.

The pain this guy had to go through... he is honestly the only character to actually make me cry. I felt such a connection to him.

Sasuke Uchiha (Naruto) Sasuke Uchiha is a fictional character from the manga and anime franchise Naruto, created by Masashi Kishimoto.

Why is Sasuke even the top? It definitely should be Gaara, then Naruto, and then Sasuke. Now I'm not saying that what happened to Sasuke wasn't bad and painful, it's how he was after that.

Gaara was feared and isolated more than Naruto, and was almost killed by a family member who he thought loved him and was on his side, which caused him to grow numb.

Naruto didn't know why he was being isolated and hated for no reason. He worked hard to earn the villager's respect and friendship,and showed them in his own positive way that he's not the monster that some of them think he is. He even befriends Gaara, and knew that he wasn't truly evil, just hurt and misunderstood like himself.

Sasuke was loved by everyone in The Hidden Leaf Village who wanted to adopt him, but he refused their help. So unlike Gaara and Naruto who were shunned, Sasuke isolated himself BY CHOICE. So Sasuke let himself continue to suffer that pain he felt, instead of looking for guidance that could ...more

His father had doubts about him being as strong as his brother Itachi and was always looked down upon by him. He loved his older brother and they'd train together until Itachi began to change and became very dark and trained less. Then, one day he comes home to see that his whole clan/family has been murdered to then find out it was done by his older brother Itachi and not wanting to kill his little brother because of his love for him he let's him go knowing that one day Sasuke will claim revenge and kill him...

I'm mean seriously? Why? Naruto is the saddest anime character but sasuke...well he's not the saddest anime character and Naruto has to be number 1 that's all I have to say...

Oh man, whenever I hear Sasuke's backstory, I just burst into tears. WHY ITACHI? Then I hear Itachi's story and I'm like, "Well, now who do I blame? "

Itachi Uchiha (Naruto) Itachi Uchiha is a fictional character in the Naruto manga and anime series created by Masashi Kishimoto.

Had to choose between his village and his own clan who staged a coup de ta against it which was lead by his father. Chose the peace of the village and assassinated his entire clan, even his parents. Because this mission was done in secret to protect the honor of the clan, he was forced to live a life in exile, hated and feared by every person in the village for being a mass murderer and despised by his little brother who he'd loved too much to kill. The worst part is that we only find this out after he dies... - TheOverreactingFangirl

I cried when he died. I wish I had a brother like him. So selfless and protective and would sacrifice anything for his little brother. He chose to be hated by everyone just to save the Uchiha's name. He chose to give up everything for the village. And he didn't ask anything for return, not even a simple thank you. He doesn't crave neither power or attention, he just wants what's best for everyone. Do you know what it's like to choose between your family or millions of lives?

No one can go through what this character did. A lot of naruto characters are in such despair. Itachi uchiha took the biggest sacrifice and endured a horrible life even after. Read the itachi story books for a more in depth story.

Has had to endure a life so sad that it's completely beyond even my screwed up imagination. To kill everyone you love, continue to serve the authority that caused it, make everyone hate you, and to have an excruciating terminal illness all before age 20? Itachi has the worst luck of any character I've ever read. Even worse, his name is NEVER cleared, and even in death he will never obtain justice.

Ken Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul)

I absolutely love his story even though it is so sad he is like a guardian to me and I want to call his sexiness daddy!

He most definitely has a more tragic story than Gaara though I agree that gut should be number one but man Kaneki has been through it all torture, lost parents memory heck he even clawed his eyes out

He made me depressed. Just...
He lost his dad at an early age
He lost his mom
Abandonment issues
He finally goes on a date and gets turned into a ghoul instead
He cannot eat human food anymore
He has to distance himself from his best friend
Cannibalism, or losing humanity. He is stuck with this
He is so tragic on each level, I'm still depressed about his story.

His life is so sad and depressing he actually developed multiple personalities. Like, come on guys. Give him a break.

Lucy (Elfen Lied) Lucy (born as kaede), is a tragic, fictional Japanese Anti-Heroine, and Anti-Villianess, who is the main protagonist of her debut source, a manga officially known as Elfen Lied [alfen leed], written and illustrated by Lynn Okamoto, which was best known for it's T.V. adaptation of the same name, Directed more.

She is a Diclonius, who was abandoned and put in a orphan were people would treat her like crap because she had horns.
Then 3 guys killed Lucy's dog in front of her, the first thing she has ever cared about and it's because of a girl she thought was here friend so she realized that humans are terrible and kills the kids.
After escaping the orphan she meets Kouta who becomes her best friend and excepts her for who she is and she eventually falls in love with him.
On the last day Kouka is staying I'm that village he says that he's going to a festival but lies about going with his female cousin so he says male cousin so that he doesn't hurt Lucy.
But Lucy goes to the festival and sees Kouta holding his female cousin.
Since Lucy saw just her worst fear and she realist that she once again trusted a human which lead to misery, she snapped and started slaughtering people.
Later when Kouka, his sister and his dad are on the train to travel back home Lucy kills Kouka's sister ...more

Her one and only companion got beat to death in front of her when she was like 8

She must be number 1

Oh yes. So depressing actually, no one should have ever gone through what she did...

Thomas Norstein (Digimon)

How is Thomas NOT IN THE TOP TEN? He saw his mum get hit by a truck at a really young age. - ItsDaWorldOfSNuGGLEZ

Naruto (Naruto) Naruto Uzumaki is a fictional character in the anime and manga franchise Naruto, created by Masashi Kishimoto.

Personally, I think Naruto has the saddest backstory, as throughout his life, so many depressing things has happened. When he was first born, not only did his parents die, but he had a demon sealed inside him. Having his parents die left him orphaned, and also having a demon inside him caused the whole village to treat him as an outcast. Some clips of his past in the anime got me crying as Naruto didn't do anything wrong, but he just got so much hate by the villagers.. Further on in the story, he has one of his team mates leave him, to go off with Orochimaru. Then, one of Naruto's trainers, Jiraiya, died whilst fighting Pain/Pein, which must have been so depressing for Naruto. Then Gaara dies, but luckily Chiyo sacrifices herself to bring Gaara back to life.. Unfortunately, Chiyo dies... Another depressing moment for Naruto. I think the worst time period for Naruto was when he was younger...

I cry every time! I think Naruto's is sadder than Gaara's. Just a comment, just a opinion, no hate. Like Gaara was royalty so he could get what he needed like food, water,a home, and a place to train. But Naruto didn't have that until Sarutobi was so kind enough to give Naruto his own home. Plus, people stood out of Gaara's way. And Gaara chose to live like that. To love himself only. Naruto had the same past but he fought through with hard work and determination. Just an opinion, I love Gaara too

When he was a baby he had had a demon spirit put inside him while his parents dead leaving him alone and sad. Everyone (like Gaara) ignored him and hated him and no one ever trusted him. He then was always jealous whenever he saw his classmates get picked up families after class. His only friend and most caring friend was his teacher Iruka who treated him like his son. As he grew he became friends with more people and began to love and care for them protecting them with his life and hoping to one day become Hokage (which is like Kazekage)

Naruto has a really sad past. His both parents died when he was born, so he lived alone in the village. Everyone hated him because there was nine-tail in him.He didn't have friends up until team 7 and even the teachers avoided him. He pulled pranks on the village people so he would get attention. To me it's pretty sa, in the anime his beloved teacher died and it was really hard for him. In the ninja war his great friend died too saving him.

Kotomi Ichinose (Clannad)

Unlike Tomoya, she was old enough to understand what happened and to remember all the horrors that resulted from what happened. Even though everything worked out in the end (10 years later), it was still an emotional and depressing story.

She had held everything inside and was already a sensitive, withdrawn, shy girl before episode 12 happened ;-; I feel so bad for her and I can vote her. Even if her backstory isn't the most tragic to some people no matter what she CAN'T handle it making it so much more sad...

This one was the only one that made me cry

It's just...she never got to say goodbye. She felt it was all her fault and she blamed herself nearly her whole life for her parent's deaths. She was already sensitive and everything...oml I'm crying ;-;

Homura Akemi (Madoka Magica) Homura Akemi is a fictional character from the 2011 anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica and its related media.

You think all of these are bad!? This girl has suffered for 100 timelines she started out as an innocent 14 teen year old, but after Madoka died and she kept repeating timelines she turned really cold and distant from others! She’s seen the only person that matters to her die over 100 times!

Had the ability to control time and after her best friend dies, she travelled back to their first meeting to change her fate, while giving up her own life to fight alone (determined to stop her friend from making a magical contract which would prevent her death). She failed every time and watched her best friend die countless times, but she never gave up and every time went back to try again only to keep failing. A really sad story.

I cannot believe she's so low. Homura met a girl named Madoka Kaname and immediately fell in love with her kindness and attitude. This makes it a great ship between the two, but Homura kept on having to experience Madoka dying, and managed to go back in time multiple ways, just to save Madoka from getting into a life-changing (death) contract.

She's the best character ever! Think about it, having to see your best friend die so many times, and others die too, and failing to save your best friend for more than 100 times... it's just sad.

The Contenders

Crona (Soul Eater)

Poor smol child... Medusa was a TERRIBLE mother. *Lusamine from Pokemon intensifies* - PokeFallsMagica

Crona's life started out terrible. A witch (Medusa) taught (forced) Crona to kill and if Crona didn't do what was asked, they were thrown into a dark room. Medusa also replaced Crona's blood with black blood. The black blood was a soul itself. The soul would come out of Crona's back (as a black creature) and bully Crona in this dark room. (The creature is named Ragnerok, sorry if I spelled that wrong. Ragnerok later punishes Crona by saying "I wont let you have dinner", "I wont let you sleep", etc) Crona is later consumed by madness and starts obeying what their mother says. Crona is shown to isolate and be very very negative on themselves. Crona most common catchphrase is "I don't know how to deal with..."

A richly complex and melancholic character born and raised in a loveless environment. You will be missed Crona... RIP.

His life was so sad I can't take it!

Ikuto Noguchi (Digimon)


Kakashi Hatake (Naruto) Kakashi Hatake is a fictional character in the Naruto manga and anime series created by Masashi Kishimoto.

Kakashi's father committed suicide when he was young. He never had anything like a childhood, burdened with all the responsibilities of an adult from a young age. He joined the ANBU when he was twelve, almost forcing himself to grow more quickly, to become mature and overcome his hardships. Later, he was forced into a three-ninja cell comprised of Obito and Rin. Although he didn't show it, he grew to care for them greatly. Then, Obito sacrificed himself for his friends, leaving Kakashi behind his own Sharingan, allowing him to use his patented Chidori, and asked Kakashi to protect Rin; later, Rin sacrificed herself by throwing herself in the way of Kakashi's Chidori to save countless lives. Reverting to his coldhearted and ruthless nature, he used his talent for the greater good. He sympathized a little with Itachi, but that was short-lived. He softened a little after his mentor Minato became Hokage, but after the nine-tailed fox attacked the village, Minato and Kushina died, leaving ...more

One of the most terrifyingly depressing back stories I've ever heard. First his dad commits suicide, which in itself is a horrifying event for a young boy. He saw his best friend get crushed right in front of him after having taken a painful blow to the eye, leaving a scar both mentally and physically. He killed his teammate Rin and was so guilty about it that he was constantly trying to 'wash the blood off' that his mind seemed to be telling him was on his hands, not to mention the fact he had to say 'lightning blade' when he used his jutsu because 'chidori' reminded him of what he did to her. Not long after his sensei died and in the original series sandaime was killed. In Shippuden when he found out that Obito was behind the shinobi war it tore his mind to shreds.

he's sexy

Kakashis gonna get that puh cause he's a sexy beast

Van Hohenheim (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood)

He grew up as a slave. Then his lufe change and he actually began to see a normal future for himself and then it all disappeared within one night. He was left all alone with nothing but cries of 500,000 tortured souls inside of him. Souls he used to call friends. For years he lived on just trying to live. Trying to find the beauty in life and just keep moving on. Then he met Trisha and fell in love. Then he had two sons. He sat, unaged, as his wife and children grew older than him. He felt himself a monster. All he wanted was to grow old and to die with Trisha. To not have to watch his children fadw before him. So he researched but then he learned of horrible new. He had to leave his family. He made a promise to Trisha that he would return, and she should wait for him. Then Trisha dies and his sons hate him. He fights for the survival of all. And in the end, he dies with a smile on his face in front of Trisha's grave.

A slave to the king, chosen for an experiment from which a creature was made from his blood. The king wished to become immortal and the creature know how to do so and tricked Van into standing in the centre of the circle when the ritual was performed. It had deceived them, not mentioning that human lives needed to be sacrificed for someone to become immortal, and Van ended up becoming immortal. The entire country was sacrificed and everyone's souls merged with his body. He had to live with the guilt and memories and the worst part was that he couldn't die despite how much he wanted to. - TheOverreactingFangirl

That's actully very sad :'(


Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan) Levi Ackerman is a fictional character in the manga and anime series Attack on Titan, also known as Shingeki no Kyojin in Japanese, created by Hajime Isayama. He accompanies the main protagonists in the second half of season 1. His most notable feature is being "Humanity's strongest".

He group up in an underground abandoned city with no sunlight until he was in his twenties. His mother was murdered when he was five. He was raised by a criminal until he abandoned him. He lived as a thug most of his life. He was threatened into joining the Survey Corps. He watched his friends being brutally murdered in front of him.

Seriously guys, everything that has happened to him is misery. All my friends complain on how he never smiles, but they haven't seen The OVA, 'Attack On Titan: No Regrets...'

It's horrible and tragic. Levi deserved more. He cares so deeply about others, but was too strong to show it. Hajime Isayama even mentioned he is the most emotional character in the series.


Levi went through a lot not to mention that he was an accident because he's mother was a prostitute but he's father was he's mothers brother, now if that's not enough let's see the OVA and the fact that levi lost his scouting team.
I feel like Levi has OCPD which can scar him for life and not enough yet here is another thing he's kind, the Ackermans never forget anything on what happened to them here is why levi is my fave character and I would hug him in real life if he existed because he went through a lot and he deserves to be happy again
And this are probably the main reasons he doesn't smile.

Levi not only suffered from the most tragic anime backstory on this list, but he also has insomnia(he can’t sleep). His life is so tragic, and he deserves to be higher on the list.

Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach) Ichigo Kurosaki is a fictional character in the Bleach manga series and its adaptations created by Tite Kubo.

This is my opinion: how did Ichigo snag top ten when the only tragic event that occurs in his past is his mothers death? I think that Rukia or Toshiro or One of the visords had it rougher

Orihime Inoue (Bleach) Orihime Inoue is a fictional character in the Bleach manga series and its adaptations created by Tite Kubo.

She is alone ever since her loving brother died

Fate Testarossa (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha)
Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail) Erza Scarlet is an S-Class Mage from the infamous magic guild Fairy Tail. Erza starts off as a lone wolf and stays loyal to following the rules. As the story develops Erza changes into loving mage strong and independent. As her terrible past haunts her she ignores her Nakama's calls that they want help. more.

When she was just a child her village was taken and were used as slaves to build a tower called "The Heaven Tower" and her only friends were 5 other children and a kind, gentle elderly man. Wrongly accused for trying to escape she's taken and tortured till her friends save her. As she turns to attacking the guards and bots she trips and is almost killed till the elderly man known as Simon jumps in front of her to save her and is killed breaking her heart. Then, one of her friends, Jellal, betrays her and everyone else causing her emotional pain plus during her torture she loses an eye and is given an artifical eye.

Why not she was really sad at her childhood and she was under torture all the time and I love this person

After she got over the pain of being and orphan and seeing death and torture around here from the age of about six, she finds her mum who was abused by Erza's dad and she attempts to kill her own daughter.

Yah she even don't know who her parents are and her best friend also give her unforgettable wound

Gintoki Sakata (Gintama) Gintoki Sakata is a fictional character in the manga and anime franchise Gin Tama created by Hideaki Sorachi.

Well he is actually suffering from us because he did not had any more season

Even if kagura is very young gintoki experienced this all when he was younger than kagura and the fact that he doesn't say anything and dies on the inside is just depressing

He past was really depressing but now if you see kagura past in the manga you will realize that kagura suffered more than gintoki and also because she is also really young

Abandoned at birth with no family, reduced to eating off corpses from the war in order to survive, brought in by a sensei, and eventually was forced to kill the same sensei, made enemies out of one his closest friends(takasugi), almost died several times, yet keeps it inside him so as not to burden others. His life is filled with tragedy.

Trafalgar Law (One Piece) "Surgeon of Death" Trafalgar D. Water Law is a fictional character of the One Piece manga franchise created by Eiichiro Oda.

After all that Law has been through, if that happened to me I'd be traumatized for life. The loss of his parents and the destruction of his town, with a disease that seemed uncurable, and his sudden cause for blood and killing, and the loss of the man who helped and died for him...

Law's past was probably the saddest in the whole one piece series! His home town was infected with a disease that was killing everyone in seconds! It was incurable and his family, neighbors and friends all died. He then joined the donquixote family and meets corazon who saved him in return for his own life.

You all forgot that he crawled below dead bodies to survive... And also Corazon had muted him when he wanted to cry out loud... Deserves to be at least top 10

At just the age of 10 he (along with the rest of his town) contracted a fatal disease which took years of his lifespan, and because this disease attracted too much attention the World Government completely eradicated his home town, killing everyone, including his parents and little sister. With his mental and emotional state shattered, along with(and on his own estimations) only 3 years to live, Law joins the Donquixote Family in hopes of destroying everything. While in with the Donquixote Family, Law meets Corazon, the clumsy brother of the head of the family, who makes it his goal to cure Law of his illness and get him away from his dangerous brother, Doflamingo. But after risking his life to cure Law, Corazon is shot dead by Doflamingo, right in front Law. In just 3 years, Law lost his entire family, his hometown, and the man who risked death to protect him.

Yasutora Sado (Bleach)
Hayate Yagami (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha)
Minene Uryu (Future Diary)

Her parents both died and something else happened ( I haven't finished the series) and that all drove her to become a psychopath. That pretty sad right?

Nozomi Tojo (Love Live! School Idol Project)
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