Anime has its fair share of heart-wrenching series that leave people in pieces by the final episode, but the depressing anime here is more than just anime that makes you cry. These bleak anime series and films sit with you long after they are over, challenging your views and inviting existential questions that are guaranteed to linger.
Anime in this vein grapples with complex philosophies of humanity, survival, and judgment. It can also examine issues closer to home for people, like depression and social anxiety. It's the job of anime like this to present hard, difficult truths, and it can leave you with lasting pangs of sorrow at the very mention of a character's name.
The lessons and themes expressed in these stories may not be sparkly and hopeful, and the endings may be more bitter than sweet, but they remain grounded stories featuring the hardships and struggles many fans face on a daily basis. While they aren’t afraid to point out the negative, they do so with spectacular writing, outstanding animation, and extraordinary characters. They may leave you bummed out, but you won’t be disappointed.
- Photo: Nippon TV
Monster, the story of Doctor Kenzo Tenma, deserves every bit of the critical acclaim lit gets. The series deftly confronts questions of morality and the dire consequences that can result from a single decision. Monster unravels some profoundly deep and disturbing perspectives on life, death, power, and politics, providing viewers with incredible character studies and developments.
This isn't a happy-go-lucky, hope-conquers-all kind of story, but it will have you hooked and keep you guessing.Is this depressing?
- Photo: Aniplex of America
Anohana is about a group of kids who suffered the tragic loss of one of their friends in the sixth grade. Years later, they've drifted apart and one of them, a boy named Jinta, has become a complete recluse. He suddenly finds himself face-to-face with the ghost of the girl who died, and when he tells his old friends, they don't believe him.
The short 11-episode series follows the teenagers as they explore the bleaker aspects of grief, tragedy, and maturity. It confronts the concept of death unabashedly, challenging viewers to think about how brief life really is.Is this depressing?
- Video: YouTube
Famous for throwing its viewers for a loop, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is not what most people were expecting from a magical girl anime. Seriously, it's sometimes hard to sit through the amount of suffering on screen. Part of this series' popularity stems from the way it examines the sacrifices, dangers, and hardships associated with gaining otherworldly powers. It provides a tragic view of a classic trope.
Featuring incredible action, imagery, and character development, the trials and tribulations the cast of girls goes through is worth the heart ache. In the end, the show serves as a reminder to read the fine print, because every deal has a price.Is this depressing?
8. Welcome To The N.H.K.Photo: CTC
Welcome to the N.H.K. has been known to hit a little too close to home for many anime fans. See, the series explores otaku and hikikomori culture in the lives of several adult individuals. Themes of loneliness, social anxiety, depression, and isolation combine to create an exceptionally poignant series, bringing to light some unpleasant, but very real struggles.
Despite the heavy content, the great writing and enjoyable cast will take you through to the end.Is this depressing?