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15 Anime Characters Who Experienced Psychological Torture

Updated September 24, 2019 7.6k votes 1.8k voters 82.9k views15 items

Psychological torture scenes are among the highest intensity and alarming ones out there. While most such scenes focus on inflicting physical harm, others are more focused on the victims' mind.

Many anime characters who experienced psychological torture are at the mercy of their enemies' supernatural abilities. When Mob Kageyama is forced to live through a grim fictional existence where he's being severely bullied by his classmates and has no power with which to defend himself, this is entirely due to Mogami's psychic powers. On the other hand, some examples of psychological torture are fairly down to earth. While much of the physical torment that Jason visits upon Ken Kaneki is impossible without magic, the psychological burden of being forced to choose what lives Jason should take - no magic involved.

Which instance of psychological torture disturbed you the most?

  • 5

    Yuki Sohma Was A God's Plaything In 'Fruits Basket'

    Just about everyone in Fruits Basket is the victim of some form of psychological torture, but for now let's focus on Yuki Sohma's experience, as it's one of the more compressed ones. 

    In order to gain favor with the family head, Yuki Sohma's mother essentially gave him to Akito when he was a young child and Akito was a slightly older child. Because Akito was suffering from some severe trauma of their own, and because Akito genuinely felt that Yuki was property, things quickly escalated into torture territory. What begins as Akito issuing mild complaints turns into Yuki being locked in a tiny room for days at a time while Akito screams about how the world is an absolute nightmare.

    Yuki is so broken down by this that it takes a toll on his health - his asthma flares up, and he can barely leave his bed. He only gets out when Shigure finally rescues him at Haru's urging. 

  • 6

    Yukina Is Tormented For Financial Gain In 'Yu Yu Hakusho'

    Yukina Is Tormented For Financial Gain In 'Yu Yu Hakusho'
    Photo: Sunrise

    Yukina is an ice demon whose tears transform into valuable jewels as they're falling. This sounds lovely and romantic until you realize that there are plenty of people out there who would be happy to take advantage of this by making her cry.

    This happens in one of the most extreme ways possible when she's kidnapped by a group of unscrupulous businessmen who keep her locked in a room for weeks on end, and do whatever they can think of to elicit her valuable tears. One of the most gruesome acts involves destroying the birds she'd befriended outside of her window, solely because she was getting minimal pleasure from interacting with them.

    Though she's eventually rescued from her captivity, it's likely not something she'll ever fully recover from.

  • Nico Robin is the victim of such severe psychological torture that she winds up believing that she barely deserves to exist and only begins to heal when Luffy declares his willingness to fight against anyone who opposed her. 

    The torture took place over a long period of time. As a child, she was working as a researcher who wanted to discover the history of the world. Her fellow researchers were wiped out, leaving Nico as the only survivor. She's branded a criminal who seeks to destroy civilization. She tries to find a group of people who will accept her, but is repeatedly betrayed. 

    Later, she's physically and verbally abused by Spandam, a member of the CP9 who abducts her. He attempts to persuade her that she's a useless, disgusting monster and mocks her attempts at moving forward with her life. When the Straw Hats rescue her, she's able to get her revenge by breaking Spandam's spine. 

  • 8

    Inuyasha & The Gang See Their Worst Fears Come True In 'Inuyasha'

    Inuyasha & The Gang See Their Worst Fears Come True In 'Inuyasha'
    Photo: Sunrise

    During one especially emotionally upsetting conflict with Naraku, the villain uses a root that forces everyone who is exposed to it to hallucinate that their worst fears have come true. Miroku imagines that the wind tunnel in his hand has been unsealed and is slowly swallowing him whole, Sango witnesses Kohaku going on a murderous rampage, Shippo sees himself being abandoned by the group, and Inuyasha believes that he and Kikyo are passing away together.

    Inuyasha eventually snaps out of it when he realizes that he needs to pull himself together to rescue Kagome. The others need help to stop the horrible thoughts.