Anime Underground
13.8k voters

15 Mentally Unstable Anime Characters Who Are Crazy But Fans Love Anyways

Updated October 8, 2020 56.3k votes 13.8k voters 341.6k views15 items

List RulesVote up the anime characters whose mental instability you find most fascinating to watch.

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. 

  • Photo: Madhouse

    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.

    Are they crazy?

    More Teru Mikami 

    #284 of 346 The Greatest Anime Villains of All Time#182 of 214 The Smartest Anime Characters of All Time#7 of 13 13 Anime Villains Who Try Way Too Hard To Be Evil

  • Photo: Madhouse

    Hisoka Morow of Hunter x Hunter is a character who could have anti-social personality disorder. He sees other people as fodder for his own sadistic amusement. He'll help and protect you as long as you're useful to him, but once that usefulness stops, he'll slaughter you with glee. He also lies constantly and enjoys playing violent pranks. Basically, this dude is a pleasure addict who finds joy in the suffering of others.

    Are they crazy?

    More Hisoka 

    #79 of 256 The Hottest Anime Guys of All Time#25 of 262 The Very Best Anime Characters#51 of 862 The Most Powerful Anime Characters of All Time

  • Photo: White Fox

    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. 

    Are they crazy?
  • Being a murderer doesn't automatically imply mental instability or illness, but in Gaku Yashiro's case, it sure seems to. The main villain of ERASED appears to be suffering from antisocial personality disorder, the official term for the colloquial one, psychopathy. Yashiro is an elementary school teacher who has dedicated his life to killing children.

    His motivations don't involve personal gain of any kind – they stem from a childhood experience where he murdered a bunch of hamsters and admired the efforts of the sole surviving animal.

    Are they crazy?