Anime Emo Girls
Stop being such a drama queen Rei...
Everyone knows what emo means or, at least, what it stands for. Short for "emotional," this term not only encompasses a very distinctive lifestyle and music genre, but is also used as a way to describe someone who expresses their inner turmoil in often extreme ways. In this list, we'll explore the top 10 saddest girls in anime when it comes to looks - like those who appear perpetually downcast, and even void of emotions entirely; actions - such as those who experience overly impassioned outbursts or display difficulty with co-mingling easily in society; and, most importantly of all, those who have feelings of inner anguish - for example, those struggling with actual depression that can spawn from a tragic incident or some form of fear, anxiety or even nothing at all.
Yes, emo girls can be incredibly cute. They just look so sad! It could be something about the way their sullen eyes glaze over, how their lips tremble or even in the way they speak. It's what make these characters so endearing and downright adorable. More than anything, it just makes you want to break that fourth wall by reaching "into" that screen, giving them a long hug and telling them that everything is going to be alright.
So, dear readers, as you prepare to plunge into this depressing article, it's highly advised that you put a smile on your face and listen to some happy, upbeat music. You're going to need it.
Anime Emo Girls Ranked in Order of Sadness
10. Yuki Nagato
Okay, okay. We know that Yuki Nagata is a humanoid interface that only looks like an ordinary North High student. That's why she's number 10 on this list. However, she still has a place here because Yuki definitely appears to be one of the saddest anime emo girls. Much like how a person's specific DNA can make him/her predisposed to depression, Yuki was designed specifically to only have limited social abilities.
Because of her programming, Yuki rarely speaks, resorting to random gestures like nodding instead of saying "yes" and giving one-word responses or under-stated answers about how she feels. For example, she'll note that she "relatively" enjoys this or is "a little bit" disappointed by that. Yuki even claims that being social could actually affect her on a negative level, even to the point of causing her to malfunction!
Like someone who suffers from depression, Yuki finds little interest in fun social pastimes or "generic human activities." She doesn't seem to think very highly of herself, either. In fact, Yuki didn't even attempt to break free from Endless Eight's time loop, and forced herself to endure the prolonged isolation in Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody rather than fight it.
Lastly, when it comes to that "Well, Yuki isn't really human and can't feel feelings" argument, it can be argued that Yuki does, in fact, gain emotions later on in the anime. But that's a whole other story.
From: One Piece
This girl cries a lot. Like, way too much. And she whines about the dumbest things. It's a good thing Shirahoshi is a mermaid and lives in water because if she didn't, she'd probably shrivel up and die from all of the tears she loses on a daily basis. It's just a shame that Shirahoshi is the current form of Poseidon. Oh, Poseidon, how far you have fallen! Maybe that's why you're crying!
While an avid crybaby -- a trait we all love to see in emo girls ... to an extent -- Shirahoshi's excessive amount of emotional outbursts don't really make her depressed. She's just alarmingly in tune with her feelings. Let's list some of the times she's cried: when Megalo disappeared, when Luffy startled her and when Luffy told her he didn't like her before yelling at her (which, apparently, no one had ever done before). And that's not even counting all of the times she just expresses any form of emotion.
Because Shirahoshi's reasons for crying are pretty "shallow," she barely makes it on the list. But tears are, yes, a pretty "important" part of what make sad anime emo girls, well, emo. Cheer up, emo girl!
There are many things about romance writer Izumi Takanashi that make her appear overly sad. For one, she loves wearing black. Nothing says emo like the color black. Yeah, you could say she's goth, but that look on her face! Naw, she's emo.
Since Izumi writes -- or tries to write -- in her room 24/7, she's become quite sickly, causing her to look downcast all the time. While being bedridden is something people suffering from depression tend to experience, Izumi has confined herself on purpose. Why? Because she's a writer. Writing well is sometimes contingent on silence and, well, hiding away in your room can be a pretty effective way of doing this. It doesn't help Izumi that she literally locks herself in her room and doesn't work very hard at maintaining her appearance. Heck, she's perpetually covered in ink stains because she refuses to write with anything other than a pen. All of these examples are signs that Izumi could be depressed.
What's more, being in constant poor health has also made it difficult for Izumi to help around the house. Physical movement can actually cause her pain. And by movement, we mean lifting anything heavier than a pen. Doing so can have drastic effects. But it's okay. That's what the Souta family is there for. They clean up after her. (In fact, there's a rather amusing time-lapse scene in "Working!!" where Izumi can be observed sitting on the floor and staring off into space, while a 1980s movie-style montage shows the Souta family doing various chores all around her in quick succession.)
Izumi's favorite pastime, other than writing, is despairing about writer's block or wailing about impending deadlines. The fact that she's a romance writer makes things worse because there's no actual romance in her own life. So she's constantly immersing herself in something Izumi's characters get but she doesn't. That would make anyone depressed.
All Tomoko Kuroki wants is to be popular at school (and to engage in sexual acts). But she's too socially inept. And she knows it. All too well. As a result, Tomoko has adopted a rather morbid perception of life. What's worse, Tomoko can't even escape this overall grim outlook of existence in her own fantasies!
When you daydream, it's normal to imagine yourself doing well or, at least, succeeding in some way. But even that's impossible for Tomoko. Her fantasies might begin pleasantly enough (like riding a motorcycle), but always end in disaster (like when that fictitious ride on a motorcycle leads to her crashing it and ending up in the hospital). Wow.
Tomoko even looks miserable. Just take a gander at those giant bags under her eyes! They're there because she stays up late at night playing games or watching anime. In other words, she finds satisfaction from things that aren't real. However, these pastimes end up affecting her in real life. It makes her look and act emo. The fact that Tomoko also eats hamburgers at the hilariously named WcDonalds is another trait of depression, not just because stuffing your face with junk food is something you do when you're sad, but because she used to say the food there was only for kids and idiots.
Even though Tomoko's life is pretty messed up, her character and experiences are still portrayed in as light-hearted a manner as possible, putting her at number seven rather than higher up on the list.
From: Rosario to Vampire
Mizore Shirayuki is one depressed yuki-onna. She's not only lonely -- unsuccessfully seeking out any form of companionship during her first semester at Yōkai Academy -- but is misunderstood by her peers from the get go. Within no time, rumors begin flying around about her like crazy! And those rumors are pretty harsh, too. They revolve around a rather unfortunate relationship she got herself into that's not only inappropriate, but has put her in many horrible situations.
But even after Mizore overcomes this and "opens up" (and she only really does so with one character in particular and, even then, her openness is extremely limited), Mizore is still quite reserved and shows little to no emotions. Later on, she not only remains emo, but apparently becomes "psycho" to some extent. She's not just sad like most anime emo girls are, but also certifiable. Not a great combo.
It's not easy getting dumped. Usually, you're not just being dumped by the person you're in a relationship with, but by your ex's family and friends. M-m-m-monster kill! This is what 17-year-old Mamimi Samejima suffers from: she lost her ex-boyfriend Tasuku as well as Tasuku's younger brother Naota.
This hasn't made Mamimi emotionless like some of the anime emo girls on this list, but completely and utterly depressed. She looks and acts sad all the time. As a way to cope with this endless sadness, she's transformed into more than just a crazy cat lady. She's a crazy pet lady. Why limit yourself to kittens? There are so many animals out there! Plus, everyone of her pets are named "Ta-kun" -- obviously after her ex-boyfriend -- as a way to fill the void of having lost both him and Naota.
To add to her emo persona, she's an incessant chain-smoker of cigarettes. But Mamimi doesn't just smoke. She writes the words "Never Knows Best" on every one. Wow. Mamimi also spends her time loitering under Mabase's largest bridge, washing her clothes in the river. While already a rather depressing pastime, it's suggested in the anime that her parents are separated and that Mamimi ran away to escape it all. So her loitering there is, in fact, just her chillin' at "home." Oh, and Mamimi's constantly bullied at school and doesn't seem to have any friends.
While Mamimi has a rather intense personality, one that involves having difficulty discerning what's real and what's not real as well as having an overt love for setting things aflame (can anyone say pyromaniac?), all of this can be blamed on her depression, especially the fact that she can be exceedingly destructive when nobody is watching.
4. Rei Ayanami
From: Neon Genesis Evangelion
It doesn't help that Hideaki Anno, Director of "Neon Genesis Evangelion," had this to say about Rei Ayanami's overall character design: "Whatever else, she needs to be painted in as a bitterly unhappy young girl with little sense of presence."
Being bitterly unhappy is the very essence of emo. The First Child (First Children) pilot of the Evangelion Unit-00, Rei is portrayed as a socially withdrawn woman, especially at the start of the series. Even though she's seemingly emotionless (like Mizore) and rarely interacts with anyone except Gendo, this doesn't mean she isn't capable of feeling things. In fact, character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto tackles this phenomenon when he says "Rei is expressionless. But is it that she doesn't feel emotions, or that she is merely unable to express it?" One thing's for sure, Rei is capable of showing genuine emotion later on in the overall "Evangelion" story line.
While Rei's obviously "bitterly unhappy" and struggles in dealing with normal social interactions, there's little known about her past (except that she was born in the lower levels of NERV headquarters" and that she was ostensibly made from the "salvaged remains" of Yui Ikari, according to the Red Cross Book).The mysteriousness of Rei's past only adds to her depressing persona, making her emotionless-like personality appear much sadder than Mizore's.
3. Iwakura Lain
From: Serial Experiments Lain
Everything about Iwakura Lain just screams out emo. Plus, she's highly unstable. Because Iwakura is extremely shy, even experiencing severe reluctance when it comes to checking e-mails, Iwakura is oftentimes seen wearing a bear suit because this "outfit" provides a comforting effect for her. While in this bear suit, it becomes easier for Iwakura to face intimidating situations. (And for her, there are many things Iwakura is intimidated by.) Iwakura also has various other toys and child-themed objects to help cope with the world.
The fact that she has trouble answering e-mails should shed some light on just how unbearable it is for her to interact with people in real life. Making eye contact and participating in conversations (without having to insert a long pause when speaking) are close to impossible.
Despite being more comfortable with talking to people online than in person, Iwakura thirsts for human contact, making her situation all the more depressing. Even though having friends should make her feel happy, it normally makes Iwakura worry about other things, like fretting over how they perceive her to the point of obsession. Not only that, but Iwakura becomes deeply emotionally disturbed when terrible things happen to people, and they don't have to happen to people she's close to. This usually leads to Iwakura crying.
Even though Iwakura's more "comfortable" by herself, feelings of desperation and intense fear usually manifest in her mind whenever she's completely alone. Even though Iwakura has ways of coping, prolonged periods of isolation leads to self-neglect, depression and even psychosis (one particular scene involving a creepy alien immediately comes to mind). It's quite possible that all of this could lead to suicide.
Basically, it's the severity of Iwakura's condition and the irony behind her endless suffering that put her in the top three of the saddest anime emo girls.
2. Homura Akemi
Don't let Homura Akemi's overall aloofness and "icy" demeanor make you think she's just some cold-hearted lady. She's not some Tsundere character, either. She's so much more than that. We can blame Homura's personality on her exposure to the seemingly endless suffering of the world. This has, in turn, literally sucked all of the emotions out of her. On the outside, she's adapted to this harshness, but, on the inside, Homura is crying, weighed down by all of the lives she's been unable to save or alter during her tenure as a magical girl.
Because of what becoming magical entails in the "Magica" universe, Homura has tried everything possible to get Madoka Kaname from meeting Kyubey, the Messenger of Magic who grants the wishes of normal girls ... in return for their soul.
This isn't even taking into account Homura's life in the original timeline. Homura was on her way towards becoming truly depressed. Due to her timid disposition (and especially because of her struggles during P.E. class), Homura quickly became the subject of ridicule at school, leading to feelings of overall uselessness and making her question why she's even alive.
It should be noted, however, that if Nico Kanna had been included in the anime, then her character would have undoubtedly made it on this list. Here's a hint: Nico isn't really her real name, and what Nico means is part of what makes her story so tragic. Unfortunately, Nico is only in the manga. Check out her bio. It's hella intense.
From: Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku
Everything about LaLa-Ru just exudes emo. At first glance, all of her suffering is on the outside. LaLa-Ru rarely speaks, communicating through gestures instead. All of this depressive behavior is only accentuated by her overly forlorn-looking features, especially the sheer void of utter and complete sadness in those sullen eyes of hers.
Our first impression of LaLa-Ru doesn't help. The first time we meet LaLa-Ru is after main character Shu finds her standing on top of a large and rather tall chimney (of which climbing would already be nearly impossible, especially for someone who looks as fragile as LaLa-Ru). Intrigued, Shu asks her question after question to find out more about her, but to no avail. She doesn't speak. The only way LaLa-Ru responds (if you can even call it a response) is by pointing to the sunset, one that basically acts as her way of saying that the only thing she likes are sunsets. That's a bummer.
Lala-Ru's personality doesn't change much throughout the course of the series, either. She would rather be alone rather than in the company of another and prefers to keep silent. It also doesn't help matters that LaLa-Ru views one of her defining characteristics, a special power where she controls water by way of her pendant, as a curse, believing no one should use them, not even her. Even though LaLa-Ru may receive gratitude when she utilizes her powers, people become angry, even violent, when she refuses to use them, transforming her one, true defining quality into a vessel of additional grief and suffering on so many levels.
But Lala-Ru's emo-like behavior and overall appearance go so much deeper (much, much deeper) than just disliking her powers. Her past is insanely horrific, alarmingly tragic and abominably gruesome. Basically, you can add any other adverb-enhanced adjectives to describe Lala-Ru's life and they'll either be right on point or not nearly descriptive enough to fully encompass the scope of her suffering. No words can truly nor accurately construe the pain and terror LaLa-Ru has had to endure. What's more, she's tens of thousands of years old, meaning she's had to carry these simply devastating memories and all of the unbearable emotions that come with them for an insanely long time.
Lala-Ru is, by far, the saddest and tragic of all anime emo girls.