anime series about depression

Top 10 anime series highlighting depressed characters

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Have you watched a lot of rom-com anime series? But have you wondered about looking closely at life, especially the grim part of life? Then look at the following lists of anime series about depression, which are melancholy in nature and present the truth of life.

10 anime series about depression

Welcome to the N.H.K

Welcome to the NHK TrailerWelcome to the NHK Trailer

Welcome to the world depicting horror. If you are in love with the genre of black comedy, psychological drama, or slice of life, then this is perfect for you. 

The anime spins around the life of Tatsuhiro Satō, who is leading his life as a hikikomori. Satō is actually an unemployed University dropout. 

He uses drugs to lessen his confusing situation. A mysterious girl named Misaki Nakahara steps into his life and tries her best to pull him out of his lifestyle. 

This anime got plenty of positive comments and was received well by critics. 

Rainbow: Nisha Rokubō no Shichinin


Hiroshi Kōjina’s twenty-six-episode anime television series adaptation is set in the 1950s. 

The story revolves around six junior delinquents and a mentor at the Shōnan Special Reformatory near Tokyo. This anime highlights the class struggles. 

It points out how the lower class has to struggle during post-war Japanese society. 

It is based on prison drama, abuse, etc. 

Your Lie in April

Your lie in April TrailerYour lie in April Trailer

If you were a famous and fantastic piano player and suddenly had some traumatic event that you can’t play now, would it be easy for you to practice and continue again? Of course not. 

This series also shows the difficulty the person faced and yet was able to play piano with a girl’s help.

The conflict with dark experience, the depressing yet optimistic way to come out of it, is through this series. 


Mushishi Vol. 1 TrailerMushishi Vol. 1 Trailer

Based on the adventure, Iyashikei, and supernatural genre, Mushishi has been adapted quite a few times. 

The story set in the 19th century focuses on Mushi displaying supernatural powers. Except for some, the ethereal Mushi can’t be visible to many. 

Among them is the series’ main character, Ginkgo, who can perceive Mushi and even earn his livelihood as Mushi Master by aiding the problems caused by Mushi. 

This show has earned several awards and is well received by Japanese language readers.


Colorful movie trailerColorful movie trailer

Have you ever tried to look at the world from others’ points of view? Or wanna know now? Or what would you do if you got up and found yourself in another’s body? 

This show is about knowing the world with the eyes of others and a soul getting the body of suicide victim Makoto. The soul now goes on to uncover the concealed mysteries about his previous life’s sin and Makoto’s suicide. 

This supernatural drama is based on the novel of the same name by Eto Mori and directed by Keiichi Hara. 

The Tatami Galaxy

The Tatami Galaxy - Trailer [Subtitled]The Tatami Galaxy – Trailer [Subtitled]

Psychological comedy deals with the theme of absurdity. Therefore to some extent, this is a less horrific show. 

This series shows a character suffering from confusion because he can’t decide which path of opportunity to choose. 

Having a mischievous best friend, Ozu, and engineering student Akashi as guides, he works hard and tries every possible path of opportunity to get his wish fulfilled. 

Casshern Sins

Casshern Sins Trailer (Youmacon 2011 Other Finalist)Casshern Sins Trailer (Youmacon 2011 Other Finalist)

With this growing demand for technology, humanity falls into a great crisis. 

This theme is a common theme, especially in today’s world, where robots are there to fulfill desires. 

This show presents a world of robots who have taken the world of humanity. In order to flourish humanity, the humans summon the mysterious girl Luna who too failed to be till the end. 

Casshern, who was responsible for the death of Luna, now returns again, but this time with a forgotten memory of the past. 

Will this apocalyptic drama be the same as it was in the past? Or will the condition change with the change of the present situation?

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion | Official Trailer [HD] | NetflixNeon Genesis Evangelion | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

The show is a post-apocalyptic mecha thriller directed by Hideaki Anno. It has 26 episodes that initially had a runtime from 1995 to 1996. 

This show highlights the significance and workings of Evangelion pilots and members of Nerv by preventing Angels from creating more problems. 

The show’s imagery is borrowed from Christian and Jewish traditions. By applying Freud and Jung, the behavior of the character is created.

Aoi Bungaku Series

[AMV] Aoi Bungaku - Saisho no Shin[AMV] Aoi Bungaku – Saisho no Shin

It is a twelve-episode anime inspired by six stories from classical Japanese tales. 

This series is a deep, mature, and realistic series dealing with some stories of horror

In each of the stories, either one suffers from psychological conflicts or other confusing situations, presenting the audience with scope to think about such problems so they can finally find a way out. 

Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei

Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei Official Blu-ray TrailerSayonara, Zetsubou-sensei Official Blu-ray Trailer

The series is based on the theme of extremes, i.e., dark comedy, harem, parody, satire, school, and suicide. 

The story can be called pessimistic, especially towards the beginning, because of the suspicious character named Itoshiki Nozomu. 

However, the show’s pessimism gradually turns into optimism after the arrival of positive-minded Fuura Kafuka in Nozomu’s (in fact, in the audience’s) life. 

So this ends our list of the top 10 anime series about depression. Check out OTAKUSMART on Pinterest for more pop culture content.

RELATED: 25 Anime That Honestly Describes Mental Health Issues


Bitika Paul

Bitika Paul is a content writer and published author from West Bengal. She is a cinephile and watches movies or series of different languages and genres, in fact, she sometimes indulges in binge-watching. She writes content on popular culture, subjects, travel, books, lifestyle, foods, etc. She is a bookworm who doesn't want to get out of the house unless she is robbed of excuses.

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