Are you tired of watching anime where characters make rational choices based on healthy mental functioning? If so, you might want to check out some shows that feature mentally unstable anime characters.
What makes insane anime characters so great is that they throw predictability right out the window. Characters with antisocial personality disorders, a condition that pops up frequently amongst anime villains, don't respond to situations the way you expect them to – building suspense and keeping you guessing about what's going to happen next and what's motivating them. Other characters with more common psychological symptoms like anxiety can be intensely relatable.
Note: "Crazy" anime characters aren't always portrayed in the most sensitive or realistic of ways. While these characters are engaging, they're often based on harmful stereotypes. In real life, people with mental illnesses are actually way more likely to be victims of violence than to act violently themselves. That's not the case in anime.
Future Diary's Yuno Gasai is one of the most notorious crazy yandere in all of anime. On the outside, she seems sweet, albeit a little clingy. The protagonist Yukiteru quickly realizes that her clinging is actually closer stalking and that her love looks more like violence.
Why is Yuno like this? Most people think it's due to her childhood, which involved being severely abused by her parents.
Shion Sonozaki – Higurashi: When They Cry
Higurashi: When They Cry is a show about a town besieged by a contagious mental illness that drives its sufferers to commit acts of unspeakable violence. With a premise like that, it's hard to choose just one character for this list – but Shion Sonozaki's dramatic mental breakdown really makes her stand out.
Shion is in love with a boy named Satoshi. When Satoshi disappears, Shion blames the powerful families who control their town. Her rage combined with a demonic personality that she develops to deal with her grief results in an explosive mental breakdown where she goes on a killing spree.
Death Note has a lot of characters that could be interpreted as mentally ill, but Teru Mikami is perhaps the clearest example. Mikami lives a life of obsessive rigidity and isolation. While this serves him well in his career as a defense lawyer, it leaves him exquisitely vulnerable to being as Light Yagami's right hand.
When Mikami gets his hands on the killer notebook, he goes full tilt crazy and starts not only killing criminals but literally orgasming during the process. When he realizes that Light isn't God and is, in fact, a deeply flawed human, he responds by committing suicide.
Seryu Ubiquitous – Akame Ga Kill!
Akame ga Kill! features the unstable Seryu Ubiquitous, who works for a crime-stopping squad on behalf of the emperor. Caring about crime comes with the territory, and it isn't necessarily a pathology – but in Seryu's case, it totally is.
Seryu's unshakable sense of black-and-white morality leads her to believe that the corrupt Empire she serves is flawless, and its enemies are pure evil. And in Seryu's mind, pure evil deserves to die, and she should get to enjoy herself destroying it. Her worldview doesn't allow for compassion or even access to reality.