20 Anime Characters That Need TherapyThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Don’t you sometimes wish that you were from an anime?
To have a harem, talk on the roof of a school, maybe fight off some demons, get called a bakka, that kind of stuff?
Well today we’re going to break that illusion by looking at some anime characters that are so messed up, you would never want to be in their shoes.
These are our picks for anime characters that need some serious therapy sessions.
20. Seiji Yagiri
This show has a surprising number of characters in need of a counsellor.
From Shizuo’s anger issues to Mika’s stalker habits, the show is a lot darker than it initially seemed.
Seiji probably worried me the most.
Not only was he the target of Mika’s stalking sessions, but his own sister was also in love with him. And Seiji was in love with, wait for it… a severed head he kept in a jar.
His love was so deep that when Mika was caught just looking at it, he slammed her head against the wall and nearly killed her.
And that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to those two.
Anime: Elfen Lied
Elfen Lied is an extremely dark show as it is, and most of that darkness centers around Lucy.
In principle it’s a common trope: kids bullied her because she had horns and was therefore different.
But man was the bullying extreme.
Her only human friend told the bullies that Lucy was taking care of a stray puppy, and they then proceeded to beat it to death in front of her.
She understandably killed all of them and would go on to hate humanity as it is. So she would need a really good therapist to get through that much turmoil and hatred.
18. Gon Freecss
Anime: Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Gon initially seemed like a normal, happy-go-lucky kid. But man were we wrong.
The boy is kind of unhinged. Spoiler warning ahead:
We get a few hints of this when we see that he doesn’t really care whether people he doesn’t know die in front of him. He doesn’t even bat an eye.
But when his friend gets killed, he becomes so angry that he even kept punching the corpse just in case.
Even losing his arm in the battle didn’t bother him, as the thought it was some sort of penance.
You could argue that he got better after that. But honestly he still looked up to his father, who abandoned him and didn’t even come to his aid when he was in critical position… now that shows some troubling behavior for sure.
17. Midari Ikishima
Gambling is a life-altering addiction, and everyone in this show should seek out a therapist honestly.
But Midari is probably the most obvious case.
Just like the rest, she values gambling and the position that comes with it over everything else in life.
However, she does take it a bit far.
She literally plays Russian roulette with herself just so that she can get the high of taking a risk. At that point it’s not even about the money or validation, it’s just therapy time.
16. Katsuki Bakugou
Anime: My Hero Academia
By all means, Bakugo has the potential to be the top hero.
He has tremendous power, is a good tactician, and has that patented hero resilience. However, his attitude is a total miss.
The most obvious chink in his armor is his lousy temper.
The man would scream at a baby to stop it from crying. Of course, this anger didn’t just come out of nowhere.
With his superiority complex being endangered by Deku, and even the sense of guilt he felt for having to be saved by the heroes, the man has some issues.
And if he could just talk it out, I’m certain he would be an even bigger powerhouse than he already is.
15. Yuu Otosaka
Spoiler warnings here:
Yuu started off as a normal kid. Sure, he kind of manipulated people and felt superior because he had a superpower but nothing major.
But all that changed when he lost his sister.
He went insane for a while and basically gave up on society. And the second he went back to normal he was tasked with traveling all over the world and stealing all the powers mankind had accumulated.
This caused some serious mental damage, making him not only have a few breakdowns, but even dissociating to the point of complete amnesia.
14. Kaede Azusagawa
Anime: Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
Unfortunately, I think a lot of people these days can relate to Kaede’s struggles.
After being cyber bullied beyond belief, she secluded herself in her room, unable to go back to school or even just face the outside world.
Plus with the supernatural twist the show presented, Kaede also got cuts all over her body as a result of the bullying.
That amount of stress makes her completely dissociate and become a “new” Kaede.
She does get help in the show, and her brother does wonders for her. But man do I want her to completely heal.
13. Nozomu Itoshiki
Anime: Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei
Literally everyone in this show needs a therapist.
With one character being an obsessive stalker, another carrying weapons and demanding the teacher to marry her, and the female lead thinking that people hang themselves in order to get taller…
But the teacher, (Nozomu nicknamed Zetsubou), is probably the most troubling. As he’s constantly in despair.
The smallest inconvenience makes him want to end it all, and he has had too many attempts for one person to count.
This man was not dealt a good hand in life.
His father literally sold him to the devil, resulting in Hyakkimaru living most of his life without any bodily functions inside of a puppet body.
He had to go through a lot of bloodshed to get it back, seeing kind people die, and even having to fight his own brother just so that he could get a normal life.
He has nearly given up on his humanity a few times. So a therapist would be a must if we want him to keep on the straight and narrow.
11. Johan Liebert
While I do think Johan needs a therapist, I’m also aware that it would have to be the best therapist humanity has ever seen. Because this man is damaged beyond repair.
Owing to a tragic past where he and his sister went through some horrible things, too many to count honestly, Johan has completely lost any idea of who he is and what the purpose of life could possibly be.
This makes him extremely dangerous, not only to everyone around him, but also to himself.
Anime: The Seven Deadly Sins
This one might come as a shock if you aren’t fully caught up, as he usually just seems cheerful and upbeat.
But spoiler alerts here:
We later learn that he has been experiencing nothing but pain for hundreds of years. Because of his and Elizabeth’s forbidden love, they were both cursed by the gods.
The curse made sure that Meliodas would meet Elizabeth, fall in love with her, and then have her die in front of his eyes over and over again.
The one time he couldn’t keep his emotions in check, he blew up an entire city. So I can imagine that he still has quite a lot of unresolved anger and sadness owing to that curse.
9. Obito Uchiha
Anime: Naruto: Shippuden
There were a few villains in Naruto that I considered putting on this list. But I landed on Obito as he was the hardest to talk-no-jutsu.
As many fans of the series have pointed out, Obito is a Naruto who has lost all faith.
He was such a happy and ambitious kid, but all of that was taken away from him:
Being crippled by a falling rock and then seeing the woman he loved killed by his best friend.
Madara and Zetsu being around to further fan his flames also didn’t help.
So even though he might have not have the most tragic backstory, I am looking at you Kakashi/Itachi, he obviously needed a lot of help before coming to terms with his demons.
8. Tatsuhiro Satou
Anime: Welcome to the N.H.K.
Satou is just straight up depressed.
Not the anime “given up hope on humanity” depressed. But the realistic “I don’t want to do anything ever” depressed.
The entire show tackles his mental health and how many steps it takes for him to get over the seemingly smallest hurdles, like being in public.
Spoiler warning here too:
At one point it got so bad that he nearly killed himself. The worst part is that it wasn’t even his plan in the beginning, he was just around suicidal people and thought he might as well join in.
Now that type of attitude needs to be handled by a professional.
7. Subaru Natsuki
Anime: Re: Zero
Even though this is an isekai show, the most unbelievable part of the entire thing is that Subaru still has a shred of sanity left.
In case you’re unfamiliar, he was taken to another world and given a special “power”, it being that he can resurrect at certain points in time.
And my dude just keeps getting killed over and over again in the most gruesome ways possible.
If that wasn’t enough, he also gets to see those he loves suffer a similar faith over and over again.
I’m pretty sure that even his therapist would need a therapist.
6. Osamu Dazai
Anime: Bungo Stray Dogs
In a similar fashion to Zetsubou, Dazai is really into the thought of death.
He keeps attempting suicide, usually being stopped by random factors such as his inability to fit inside a wood-chipper.
And he honestly worries me even more than Zetsubou. Because unlike him, Dazai seems completely content most of the time.
Even when he’s trying to end it all, the dude looks as happy as a clam! Even though I can get that some of it comes from lingering regret from having a troubled past and all that, I still think my man needs to get checked out.
5. Reiner Braun
Anime: Attack on Titan
With Reiner, it isn’t a case where I think he’s insane. But rather that he feels so much guilt that it will destroy him on all levels.
In fact, he has already tried to give up on life once.
This was all because he put all the blame for what happened to Paradise Island on himself. Not only convincing the others to continue the mission, but even knocking down the gate that kept tens of thousands innocent people alive.
The fact that he ended up going through the same situation (but as a victim this time) definitely did not help. There’s no right or wrong in Attack on Titan, just a whole lot of traumas.
4. Naofumi Iwatani
Anime: The Rising of the Shield Hero
Naofumi was dealt an awful hand at the isekai roulette table; not only being transported to a new world with the only defensive legendary item, but also having the whole world turn against him shortly after his arrival.
Both of his friends are people he bought from a merchant, and his outlook on life is cynical to say the least.
The new world bit him hard. And he would need a year of therapy before being capable of resisting the urge to bite back.
Even his newfound power relied on his raw hatred and anger, making him hurt even those he cared for.
3. Rintarou Okabe
Okabe liked to call himself the mad scientist, and boy if he knew how right he was going to be.
Okabe and his gang discover a way to travel back in time, be it only one person at a time. And because of said time travel, we get a spoiler alert here:
Okabe got the Subatu Lite special and had to see his loved ones get killed dozens and dozens of times. At one point he even notes how it doesn’t affect him anymore.
In fact, he sticks around for a bit after the incident to look for clues.
And don’t even get me started on what happens to him in the movies. That just seems like a whole different headache.
Berserk has always been infamous for how brutal its world is, and no one has felt that more than Guts.
Even his birth was tragic, considering that he was born from a corpse. So you can imagine how the rest of his life wasn’t that much better.
But, of course, the main psychological punch happened by the end of the series. Huge spoilers here:
Not only does he see countless friends die, get his hand torn off, and realize that he was betrayed by the man he valued over everyone else… but that same man abuses the woman that Guts loves right in front of his eyes. Jeez.
Anime: Redo of Healer
Yes, I think this man is more messed up than even Guts.
Redo of Healer excels in two things: being dark, and just barely not being H-rated.
The protagonist, Keyaru, is a dude who had been abused for ages.
We’re talking assault, drugging, verbal and physical assault, being kept in a dungeon, mental anguish, you name it.
If there’s a bad thing that a human can experience, Keyaru has gone through it.
And unlike Guts, who kept at least a sliver of his humanity, Keyaru goes off the deep end.
He basically vows to do all the things that were done to him to the perpetrators, plus some added torture.
The man has multiple screws loose. And he would need a miracle to embrace humanity again.