Even though we don’t want to bring this up with our peers, mental health is still a big issue for 21st-century men and women. To let go of our worries and not be stressed out, we often drift apart from places far away from reality. This particular place is what we call home, and it’s a comfort zone for our broken hearts. Japanese anime is one such comfort zone that gives us peace.
Though it is a double-edged sword because sometimes, the author knows what you are feeling and creates characters surrounding your own self. Take Sato from “Welcome to the NHK ” for example. A lot of people suffer from mental health issues, and there are in fact anime series that rightfully highlight depression, social anxiety, inferiority complex, and things that broke people down. With that being said, here is a list of 25 anime that honestly demonstrate depression, social anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Colorful follows the story of a suicide victim, who happens to be dying in front of a running subway train. However, he was saved by an invisible angel. Now, in order to lead his new life, he must find out the reason why he wanted to die and also uncover the truth behind his new body. The movie is depressing from the start and also subliminally depicts mental health issues.
Welcome To The NHK!
Welcome To The NHK! Is a staple when it comes to mental health problems. The show follows the story of Tatsuhiro Satou, a 22-year-old shut-in who lives in a delusional world and is full of insecurities. The show honestly depicts what goes inside the mind of lonely people, and by the end of the show, you’ll feel that you are Sato in one way or the other.
Wonder Egg Priority
Wonder Egg Priority is a new anime, and it follows a dream-like plot where Ai Ohto, a junior high student mixes her reality with trauma. I won’t be revealing any details about the show on this list, but Wonder Egg Priority is something you have to watch in order to believe. The storytelling, world-building is almost similar to Paprika, Paranoia Agent, and other Satoshi Kun movies we all love.
Orange is one of the favorites of many anime lovers, and it revolves around the concept of suicide and regrets. The story follows Naho Takamiya, who receives letters from herself 10 years in the future. According to the plot, Naho Takamiya must save a boy named “Kakeru Naruse” from committing suicide in the future. This show will keep you at the edge of your seats so make sure you keep some tissues around yourself because this thing will make you cry.
Hell Girl is an infamous anime that not all anime lovers understand because of its complex world-building. The plot revolves around a girl named Ai Enma, who happens to be the bridge between the living and the dead. Though the basic plot of the story might sound boring it’s the stories of the characters which will break you down. You can watch this anime on Netflix in sub and dub.
March Comes In Like A Lion
3-gatsu no Lion or often called March Comes In Like a Lion follows the story of an orphaned shogi-player Rei Kiriyama. The show highlights the struggles of socially awkward people and how they manage to live their day-to-day life. Depressed by financial problems and loneliness, Kiriyama must find a way to cure his depression which is taking his life inch by inch.
Erased is one of the best anime series of all time, and it is one of the most heartbreaking ones as well. The story follows the 29-year-old Satoru, who happens to trigger a time-traveling ability that allows him to travel back 18 years in his past. Now that he has this power, Satoru must find prevent the deaths of his friends and family while uncovering the real murderer from 18 years ago.
Your Lie In April
Your Lie In April follows the story of piano prodigy Arima. After a traumatic incident, Arima loses his will to play the piano again and lives a very temporary life filled with depression and anxiety. There comes a cheerful girl who enlightens him about music and takes him to the spotlight again. However, the story is so sad and depressing that at the end of the series, you’ll be left crying with tears of joy and sadness.
Violet Evergarden gives warmth to the heart and provides a realistic approach towards people who were raised without love and care. The plot revolves around a female ex-soldier “Violet” who happens to be left alone in the world when the person she respects and loves the most dies in the war. Now she must learn the ways of the world and live her life like normal human beings.
A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice is a mind-opening anime about bullying, depression, isolation, alienation, and regrets. The story follows the bully Shoya Ishida and victim Shouko Nishimiya who meet after a very long time. Shoya Ishida, who happens to be the bully in school is now a depressed teenager who attempts to commit suicide because of his regretful past. Shouko Nishimiya on the other hand has closed all the doors to her heart, making her secluded in herself. The story unfolds the life of these two individuals and how they overcome their ill-fated past.
Monster is a classic anime that will make you question your reality and understanding of the world around you. The story follows a renowned doctor in Japan named “Kenzo Tenma”. On a stressful day, Tenma gets entangled with Johan Liebert, whom he saved in the past, and now, Johan is on the run as a serial killer. Since Kenzo Tenma saved his life in childhood, he must take care of the monster he created while saving him.
Death Note follows the story of a pathological high school liar, who happens to receive a book of death from the grim reaper. Light is a smart student of the 21st century, and upon receiving the Death Note, our protagonist aims to create a world of his own. In this psychological drama, you’ll come across things such as gods, delusion, police, society, and human nature as a whole. For those who haven’t watched this show yet, you are in for a treat.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion is the epitome of depression and it encourages users to dive into the world of aliens, hatred, humanity, and anxiety. The show manages to keep the viewers at the end of their seats with its twisted philosophy and ideals. If you’re planning this watch show, get ready to see some serious PTSD issues and visual depression.
WataMote mixes two different topics into one. The first is comedy and the other is loneliness. The plot revolves around fifteen-year-old Tomoko Kuroki, who is a loner and delusional high school girl. In an attempt to get rid of the loner self, she starts putting the world around her and I guess a lot of us can relate to what it’s like to be a loner in school, colleges, and office places. Overall the comedy timing mixed with loneliness is a killer for a binge-watching night.
Gakkou Gurashi School-Live!
I first came across Gakkou Gurashi School-Live! In its manga format, I was lucky enough to finish it before watching the anime. This show breaks all the boundaries of delusions and anxiety. The story follows Yuki Takeya and her daily life at Megurigaoka Private High School. As the anime/manga moves forward, you’ll realize how deep the story is and what kind of impact it has on a senile mind. This is a must-watch for people who like suspense and zombie fiction.
Happy Sugar Life
Happy Sugar Life goes totally against its name because it showcases mental health issues among young teenagers. There is nothing happy or sugar about this series because it stretches the relationship between Satō Matsuzaka and a mysterious little girl named Shio to a dangerous extent.
Future Diary follows a game of diary where 12 individuals are given prediction devices that share the near future with them. Now, all these individuals must fight through the urge of living a normal life and burn their ethics in this battle of wits. The show showcases helplessness, anxiety, psychopathic characters, and willingness to survive against all odds.
Perfect Blue debits depression like no other anime and it is by far the most loved anime series of all time. The plot revolves around a famous singer who turns to act and becomes the worst product of the entertainment industry. She loses her usual self, fans, and her mental peace trying to fit in the industry.
Paprika follows the story of multiple characters struggling because of past trauma. In the midst of all this, Dr. Atsuko Chiba invented Paprika, a way to enter the dreams of other people and show them whatever they want. In the same universe, another device is named DC Mini. The device is supposed to help psychiatric patients get in the hands of the wrong people, who manage to enter the dreams of other people.
Flowers of Evil
Flowers of Evil is a slap to your face about teenagers being evil. I’ve only been through the manga version as of now but I am sure the anime will be as interesting as the manga. The plot follows a middle school student named Takao Kasuga who happens to steal the gym clothes of the girl he likes. Another girl from the same school catches him doing that and makes a contract with him to follow her hideous acts of violence and indecency.
Psycho-Pass follows a dystopian world where Japan follows a new government body called the Sibyl System. The story revolves around a new police recruit, Akane Tsunemori. On the first day on the job, Akane meets the reality of the world and how the world is disciplined by some people who are above everything else. The show blurs the line between what is good and what is bad while forcing you to pick sides between being rational or being realistic.
Goodbye, Mr. Despair
Goodbye, Mr. Despair is again a dark comedy anime, somewhat similar to the overall theme of Watamote. The show follows several aspects of human life in a satirical slice-of-life comedy. The main highlight of the show is the teacher Nozomu and their daily interactions with his students who are depressed, lonely, and don’t care about the world.
Elfen Lied is a violent anime that will push you to think outside of the box. The anime revolves around Lucy, who feels new emotions for the first time. Elfen Lied features social topics such as social alienation, revenge, and emotional abuse.
Paranoia Agent is one of the most acclaimed anime series of all time and is also considered a staple in mature anime series. The show focuses on a social phenomenon in Tokyo where people who are at the end of their sanity meet a mysterious boy named “Lil Slugger”. The series has symbolism throughout the episodes and it is one of the most confusing anime series of all time as well.
My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected
My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected or Often Appreciated as SNAFU is a show that will force you to see in the mind of lonely people. The protagonist of the show is a high school loner Hikigaya Hachiman. It’s a show that realistically showcases what goes inside the mind of lonely people and how they see the world with their distorted perspectives.