If you’re feeling alone and no one understands the feeling you’re going through, then you know how bad depression is. Finding the right way to come out of depression is quite challenging but not impossible.
Besides, depression and how it is depicted in movies and shows is so crucial because so much of the population watches it. Mental health is still not accepted everywhere, which is why the entertainment industry holds a very important place in how they show certain concepts of life.
So, let us talk about animes that show depression in the most metaphorical sense through beautiful animations and interesting characters.
- 1 18. Steins; Gate
- 2 17. School-Live!
- 3 16. Aoi Bungaku Series
- 4 15. Future Diary
- 5 14. Beastars
- 6 13. Elfen Lied
- 7 12. Parasyte-the maxim
- 8 11. H2O: Footprints in the Sand
- 9 10. Ghost Hound
- 10 9. Given
- 11 8. Anohana: The Flower we saw that day
- 12 7. Cross Game
- 13 6. Another
- 14 5. Serial Experiments Lain
- 15 4. Your Lie in April
- 16 3. Welcome to the NHK!
- 17 2. March Comes in Like a Lion
- 18 1. Orange
18. Steins; Gate
- Logline: Rintaro, with his friends, discovers a time travel technique where they can change the past and therefore change the present.
- Year: 2011
- Genre: Sci-Fi, Psychological Thriller
- Studio: White Fox
It is a psychological thriller that depicts the effects of time travel and how it causes so much ripple in the characters’ lives after they meddle with time.
A group of four friends produces a machine capable of a time machine that can send messages across time and how that causes problems through past and present.
- Logline: As Yuki Takeya looks for fun in school activities while she lives at school, other girls try to keep her safe as they are the only survivors of a zombie outbreak in their city.
- Year: 2015
- Genre: Slice of life, Mystery, Horror
- Studio: Lerche
School Live is a psychological thriller at its best! It has a zombie outbreak shown and the sad realities hitting in between the apocalypse and how the young adults handle all those experiences while running to save their own lives.
Yuki Takeya is a carefree girl and loves coming to school so much and doesn’t want to leave her high school. But a zombie outbreak leads to some people surviving alone in the school.
16. Aoi Bungaku Series
- Logline: a student finds solace in drugs to escape from his dull life and questions his existence in the world.
- Year: 2009
- Genre: Suspense, Drama
- Studio: Madhouse
Aoi Bungaku series is adapted from six different adaptations and talks about various concepts through life, such as dispiritedness and existential crisis.
This is the story of a man who feels disconnected from human life and tries to go through various attempts to go through human experiences. He feels utterly broken and tries to get out of it, making it look real for the viewers.
15. Future Diary
- Logline: The story follows the diary game that shows a battle royal between 12 different people who have been given a special diary that can predict their futures.
- Year: 2010
- Genre: Romance, psychological thriller, mystery
- Studio: Asread
This show is a psychological thriller that shows how people navigate through knowing about their futures before actually experiencing them. It talks about anxiety as people get to know about their futures.
12 different people come across a special diary that can predict their futures.
- Logline: The story takes place in a modern world where they show the interaction between carnivores and herbivores anthropomorphic animals.
- Year: 2019
- Genre: fantasy, drama, coming of age
- Studio: orange
Beastars show is a “society-driven” show and talks about how people survive in society through violence, sexual experiences, and such dark concepts.
The world is populated with anthropomorphic animals divided between carnivores and herbivores. There is a complex love story as well as a depiction of society at its worst.
13. Elfen Lied
- Logline: Two of the university students meet a girl called Lucy who seems harmless, but instead, she is a mutant serial killer who has a split personality disorder
- Year: 2004
- Genre: Sci-Fi, Dark fantasy
- Studio: Arms, Studio Guts(#2,5,7,10,12)
The anime is popular for talking about various themes such as social alienation and discrimination, concepts of identity, and abuse as well. It metaphorically explains the real incidents of lives by showing a true portrayal of it.
Elfen Lied is an anime that shows the main interaction between humans and Dicloni, who is a mutant who looks human but has telekinetic abilities and the power to cut objects in half by two controllable arms. Lucy is rejected by humans and seeks revenge on them.
12. Parasyte-the maxim
- Logline: Shinichi Izumi gets infected by a parasite monster that lives by butchering and eating humans. He struggles to co-exist with the creature to save his life and others as well.
- Year: 2014-2015
- Genre: Animation, horror, action, Sci-fi
- Studio: Madhouse
Parasyte talks about how the main character fights for his survival as well as tries to protect people around him. This also metaphorically shows depression by denoting the creatures as depression and how everybody is struggling to fight their own battles with this monster.
Shinichi is a high school boy who strives to save himself and people dear to him from himself as a parasite attaches him to Shinichi.
11. H2O: Footprints in the Sand
- Logline: Takuma is a blind high school student whose mom dies unexpectedly. His life is changed when he moves to a rural area with his uncle and meets several kinds of girls.
- Year: 2008
- Genre: Anime, Comedy, Harem, Seinen Manga.
- Studio: Zexcs
H20 is one anime to watch in depression as it talks about grief and emotional wounds. It also shows how his life changes when he moves to an area where he meets so many people that change his life for the better.
Takuma Hirose is a blind high school student who is sent to a rural area to heal his blindness after his mother dies in his childhood.
10. Ghost Hound
- Logline: Three boys, Taro, Masayuki, and Makoto, see strange supernatural occurrences happening in their small town of Suiten.
- Year: 2007-08
- Genre: Suspense, supernatural
- Studio: Production I.G.
Ghost Hound anime has more of a supernatural touch and talks about surviving through unprecedented times. One can relate this with mental health and how experiences could be similar for a person going through such difficult times.
The three boys navigate through the strange occurrences they encounter in their small town and enter the spirit realm that nobody else can do. The boy’s childhood trauma seems to be the key to their powers to enter the spirit realm.
- Logline: This manga follows the story of four students in an amateur rock band and the romantic relationships that form between them.
- Year: 2013
- Genre: Drama, Boys-love, Romance
- Studio: Dice Entertainment, Lerche.
Given anime is that one anime about anxiety and grief that everybody should see. This portrays how the character of Mafuyu navigates through the whole anime after his traumatic experiences.
It shows a lot of insecurities and self-doubts as a theme.
This is the story of a rock band of four and how the boys harbor romantic relationships amongst them.
8. Anohana: The Flower we saw that day
- Logline: Five childhood friends reunite as the ghost of their dead friend appears in front of them and pesters them to fulfill her last wish.
- Year: 2011
- Genre: Coming of age, Visual novel
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
The anime handles mature concepts such as isolation, depression, bullying, and suicide and how all that affects one’s life. It could be a triggering series for some, so viewers discretion is advised.
Six friends gradually grew apart as one of them died because of some unfulfilled desires. Menma, the dead friend, urges her friends to grant her last wish to help her. The friends try and help Menma fulfill her last wish and come together to do that.
7. Cross Game
- Logline: Aoba and her friend Kou train to fulfill Aoba’s sister, Wakaba’s dream of seeing them in a high school baseball championship together.
- Year: 2005-2010
- Genre: romantic comedy, coming of age, sports
- Studio: Synergy SP
This anime tells about how two friend’s come together to fulfill Aoba’s dream of seeing them together in a baseball championship by overcoming their differences and solving their cat and dog relationship.
This story has a lot of twists and turns when it comes to showing them both overcoming their fights and joining hands to fulfill their friend’s dream.
- Logline: Koichi Sakakibara meets Misaki, who is stuck in a mystery where people of their class are dying to gruesome deaths.
- Year: 2012
- Genre: Supernatural Thriller, horror, mystery
- Studio: P.A. Works
Another anime talks about grief and loss and how people navigate their lives through such loss and try to make sense of this situation.
Koichi shifts to a new school where he is stuck in a mystery involving a girl and several deaths of people around them.
5. Serial Experiments Lain
- Logline: This story is about lain, an adolescent girl, and her connection with Wired, which is a global communication like the internet.
- Year: 1988
- Genre: psychological, cyberpunk
- Studio: Triangle staff
Serial experiments anime talks about philosophical concepts such as reality and identity and also influences from cyberpunk. There are certain influences shown on the character’s trajectory from the internet.
The show depicts the dark world of paranoia, which is the internet’s whole depiction and how it affects a human’s life.
4. Your Lie in April
- Logline: Kosei Arima, a young pianist, who can’t listen to his own music after losing his mother and sees a drastic change as he meets a violinist Kaori Miyazono.
- Year: 2015
- Genre: Romantic, Drama, Manga
- Studio: A-1 Pictures.
Koesei experiences a mental breakdown right after his mother dies suddenly. He experiences the inability to hear the piano even though there is no physical issue with his ears.
It’s interesting to see how they have shown PTSD and signs of depression in the most mundane experiences and how it changes a person’s life.
The story follows the main character Arima Kosei who used to be a skilled pianist, and how he is forced back into playing the piano after meeting an eccentric girl who has a story of her own.
3. Welcome to the NHK!
- Logline: It is a psychological drama that shows Tatsuhiro, who strives to escape from NHK’s machinations and the self brought isolation.
- Year: 2002
- Genre: Comic, Graphic scenes, psychological drama.
- Studio: Gonzo
This anime about mental health has been a huge hit among people as it portrayed the concept of escapism vs. reality. Tatsuhiro was even struggling to get out of his apartment, but with some sudden experiences with new people.
He is forced to do things he would not have done before and changed his life drastically. Humor is used as a theme to show escapism and various other psychological issues.
NHK ni Youkoso is a psychologically driven show that shows Tatsuhiro striving to escape the NHK’s wicked ordeals and his isolating mindset. He then meets a mysterious person who knows a lot about him and helps him get out of it.
2. March Comes in Like a Lion
- Logline: Rei Kiriyama is an introverted person who plays Shogi professionally and sees growth in his relationships as well as his playing abilities.
- Year: 2016-2017
- Genre: Romance, Slice of life, coming of age.
- Studio: Shaft
This is one Anime that talks about tackling depression and showing how the main character deals with difficulties such as loneliness, social awkwardness, and how he dealt with it at such a young age.
March comes in like a lion is a show that shows the life of the awkward 17-year-old boy who is a professional shogi player. It shows how he deals with adult life difficulties such as financial difficulty, depression, and loneliness.
- Logline: It follows the story of Naho Takamiya’s first day of sophomore year and how she receives a strange letter addressed to her and sent by herself from 10 years into the future.
- Year: 2016
- Genre: Sci-fi, Romance, drama
- Studio: Telecom Animation Film
Orange anime is famous for showing a true portrayal of depression and suicidal tendencies and how people are regretful in real life. This is considered one of the saddest romances in anime.
Naho Takamiya gets shocked as she receives a letter from her future self about how she should be careful about certain people in his life, especially one person.