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

1 Guts (Berserk) 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!

Its just tue limit of awful

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2 Gaara (Naruto) 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

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.

Well if you see Naruto Shippuden episode 297 you'll know the truth behind his parent's and his uncle's actions. His parents always loved him very dearly. They wanted to see if he can control the monster when affected psychologically. I think itachis story is worst by the way.

Why the hell is sasuke on top. That spot is for Gaara.

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

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... - TheOverreactingFangirl

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? "

Woah, top three all in Naruto?

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4 Itachi Uchiha (Naruto) 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?

There's no doubt that Itachi has the most tragic past ever. I still wonder how he isn't in number 1 position? Ahhh... why? Why you had to die Itachi? I have saw edo tensei Itachi's farewell to sasuke 15 times but... I still cry a lot. Whenever I saw him and minato I always cry a lot (especially minato) but still both minato and itachi share #1 in my top ten naruto characters list.

Itachi Uchiha always had to be the mature one. He accepeted the hate of his village, of his brother, so that war may be averted. He truly follows the path of the greater good. He gave up everything. But in the end, his efforts amounted to almost nothing.

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5 Ken Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul) Ken Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul)

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.

I feel sorry for him just looking at the picture. I read the first few manga and had to stop because his story is like a "catch 22".

Don't forget how his life gets worse as he's tortured and has to watch his best friend die.

Poor Kaneki,he's such a sad character...

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6 Lucy (Elfen Lied) 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.

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...

Wow, that's so sad and wrong! Whi cheats on someone with their cousin?!

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7 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

8 Kotomi Ichinose (Clannad) 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...

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 ;-;

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

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) - TheOverreactingFangirl

I cry every time I think about his past he really is a strong character

Naruto is way number 1 gaara and sasuke at the same time 2 and further etc.

Because Naruto were ignored and couldn't even get into shops just look on YouTube he were pushed out of an mask shop and the seller throwed masks on his head and all villagers not shikamaru and the other children but the other villagers they sawn it and were saying ugly words and things to him.

Sad is that Naruto even didn't knew what everyone meant with beast and fourth hokage his fathers death later it did.

Naruto didn't had someone that really liked him except hinata.

The villagers are still stupid because Naruto only saves village and now everyone wanna become an friend with Naruto I mean like all what you said in his childhood now he did something and than...😭 I cried every time every time danzo I hate you danzo ruined Narutos life.

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

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.

His dad commited sucide, and his best friend was killed (or thought to be killed) I his place when he saved him. His best friend's last wish was for Kakashi to protect Rin, but instead he accidently killed her when she jumped infrot of his chidori.

Kakashi was lonely and depressed for many, many years and always feelt guilty for being unable to protect either fo his team mates.

The saddest story in Naruto.
1. His dad suicide when he was a young boy
2. He doesn't even see his mother's face
3. Something happened to his whole family (he said to Sasuke that all of his important people were already dead, which mean includes his family)
4. His first best friend (Obito) crushed by a rock in front of him
5. The one he promised to Obito that he will protect (Rin), sacrificed by jumping into his Chidori
6. And then his sensei (Minato) dead.
7. He still be haunting by his best friends' s death for the rest of his life, even when he's grown up.
8. His students (Naruto and Sasuke) keeps hating each other
9. Then one of them (Sasuke) became a nukenin and want to kill him. And destroy the Konoha village too.
10. His favorite author dead (Jiraiya)
11. The Fourth Shinobi World War began. And he realized that masked - man actually Obito
12. And Obito dead. One more time.
13. And finally, when Naruto series end, he still single.
--> ...more - Kuroemon2002

Mum is dead
Dad commits suicide
Kills his friend Rin
His friend Obito sacrifices his life for him
Then finds out that his friend is alive but has to watch him die all over again
His students get into trouble and his friend Guy is unable to fight ever again.
Honestly that's not even half of it.
Sooo sad.
:( :( :(

The Contenders

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

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. - TheOverreactingFangirl

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.

Homura went back in time over and over, always failing to do what she felt she needed. She didn't save Madoka, time and time again. All her past timelines ended in tragedy and death, with nothing more to do than start over again, and try the impossible. She made a wish not for herself, but to protect the wellbeing of her one friend. She had to restrain anyone who encouraged Madoka to make a contract, even other Puella Magis. She could never kill Kyubey, another body would replace it after death. She ended up utterly despairing, yet being trapped in a world as a test by the incubators, but unknowing of it. She found out, utterly giving up. - PastelFlowers

Her life was pure suffering.
T.V. series: Repeated the timeline over a 100 times to save her only friend Madoka (her love) from death, but unable to. Betrayed numerous times. Gave up her own life to fight Madoka's fate, and she couldn't tell anyone (more likely, no one believed her). In the end Madoka sacrificed to became a God, she was forgotten by everyone else except Homura.
Wraith Arc - Manga (sequel from T.V. series): Homura lived in loneliness and doubted her own belief in Madoka.
Rebellion movie (sequel from T.V. series): Found herself to be one who subconsciously trapped Madoka and her friends. Became a witch, rejected salvation and cursed herself to protect Madoka. Willing to live in eternal despair for Madoka. In the end, she rewrote the whole world for Madoka's happiness.
Game: And before these happened, she had already been an orphan with serious health issues, low self- esteem, no close relationship. - Kuroemon2002

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12 Crona (Soul Eater) Crona (Soul Eater)

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!

I love soul eater it’s still my favorite show and crona is one of my favorite characters and I felt really bad for him/her? I don't know if crona is a girl or boy😭

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13 Ikuto Noguchi (Digimon) V 1 Comment
14 Van Hohenheim (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood)

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

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.

That's actully very sad :'(

15 Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach) 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

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

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

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

It's not just that his past is so sad, it's also that he act like it was nothing while he dies from the inside; basically killing himself for others happiness

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.

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17 Orihime Inoue (Bleach) Orihime Inoue (Bleach)

She is alone ever since her loving brother died

18 Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail) 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 friends' calls that they want 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.

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

Her mother kept her in her womb for over 100 years till situation become familiar. And when she was born her mother went crazy and wanted take her body to star new life and thereafter her mother left her in a village. And it is stated as the start of misery of her childhood when se was sent to construction of tower of heaven where she was tortured and lost an eye.

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19 Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan) 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 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.

Why he is only with this rank? He deserved at least top 5 because his life is the most sadist between all aot characters..
Even his childhood wasn't normal because he lives at underground and need to survive (maybe by killing people around him) and he also being raised by the killing machine, his uncle and trained him into a killer after his mother died. Then he lives alone until he meets farlan and Isabel and they died after joining their first expedition of survey cocorpshe lost his squad in S1. S3 he meets his uncle and not long after that he dies.. then Erwin..OK I literally can't say it his life is too..

20 Yasutora Sado (Bleach)
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List Stats

1,000 votes
92 listings
3 years, 161 days old

Top Remixes (7)

1. Guts (Berserk)
2. Trafalgar Law (One Piece)
3. Gintoki Sakata (Gintama)
1. Zeref (Fairy Tail)
2. Jellal Fernandes (Fairy Tail)
3. Sasuke Uchiha (Naruto)
1. Crona (Soul Eater)
2. Guts (Berserk)
3. Gaara (Naruto)

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