Anime Underground

13 Fantastic Anime That Tackle Mental Health Issues

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Vote up the anime that does the best job depicting mental illness.

One of the great things about anime is that it's a medium capable of taking on any topic, even the most complex. This includes mental health issues, something that many people face, but not everyone wants to talk about, and not every piece of media is willing to grapple with.

Anime about mental health can deal with the subject in a wide variety of ways. Sometimes, a mental health issue crops up briefly, like with Death The Kid's obsession with symmetry in Soul Eater, while at other times it's a major plot point. Yuri!!! on ICE uses its protagonist's anxiety to drive the story and deepen the character. It can be addressed with humor, like in Comical Psychosomatic Medicine, a short anime themed around educating the public on psychological concepts using jokes, or it can be quite serious, as with Rei Kiriyama's struggles in March Comes in Like a Lion. 

Specific mental health issues are frequently not named - perhaps to let viewers come to their own conclusions, or perhaps because mental illness is heavily stigmatized in Japan. As such, it's rare to see an anime character with a clear-cut diagnosis or one who is undergoing treatment. Still, the symptoms can be quite apparent and can play a major role in the story.