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Top 15 Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

(Last Updated On: March 12, 2022)

Characters are one of the key reasons anime is so popular. Anime would be incomplete without its fantastic and wonderful characters.

We see a lot of great characters. They almost always have the saddest backstories since saddest backstories are often an add-on to particular people, making them even more interesting than the typical character.

Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory


These anime characters serve as a continual reminder that not everyone is fortunate enough to live a life of sunshine and roses. Some of them have experienced tragedies and grief to the point where their pasts can only be described as absolute hell.

Fans can’t help but sympathise with the character, whether the sadness stems from a horrible past of torture or unavoidable circumstances that make the character hateful.

These characters’ lives have been so difficult that their emotional pain would have killed a normal person.

Here are some characters, both new and old, who have the most tragic backstory ever seen in the anime.

15. Ray – The Promised Neverland

Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Ray is a deuteragonist in The Promised Neverland. He never got to feel that ecstasy. His entire life had been spent painfully conscious of the awful world around him.

Ray is well aware that all of his buddies are livestock destined to be sold to aliens who will consume their brains. He also realized that his fate was the same as everyone else’s, and that he could only go so far.

Worse yet, he knew it was his own mother who was sending his pals to the monsters. He wasn’t tortured, but he was severely abused by the man.

14. Akame – Akame Ga Kill!

Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Akame is also known as “Akame of the Demon Sword Murasame”. She is the title character.

To those who are unfamiliar with Akame, she appears to be a cold-blooded assassin, but the harsh reality behind her character is more complex.

Her parents sold her and her younger sister, Kurome, to the empire. After they were both sold, she had no choice but to live, even if it required murdering others.

Akame has been betrayed by others she trusts, including a girl named Martha, who took advantage of an opportunity to try to cut Akame down. As a result, gaining her trust is difficult.

13. Lelouch Vi Britannia – Code Geass

Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Lelouch vi Britannia is the main protagonist of Code Geass. He demonstrates that even those who are born into nobility can have disastrous lives.

He watched his mother’s assassination as a child, which left his sister disabled, and was later exiled to Japan and abandoned by his father.

He despises both his father and the Britannia Empire as a result of that horrific tragedy. Lelouch takes on the persona of Zero after gaining the power of Geass and sets out to end Britannia’s control over Japan.

After that horrible incident, he hates his father as well as the Britannia Empire. After receiving the power of Geass, Lelouch adopts the identity of Zero and seeks to bring an end to Britannia’s rule over Japan.

Unfortunately, his drive for vengeance overcomes his wish for justice. He eventually changes into that same thing he set out to eradicate.

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12. The Elric Brothers – Fullmetal Alchemist

The Elric brothers - Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Despite their father’s absence, Edward and Alphonse Elric had a happy childhood with their mother, Trisha.

They were left sad after she died of an illness, and Ed began to hate his father.
They broke the ultimate alchemy taboo by performing human transmutation in order to bring their mother back.

Unfortunately, their efforts resulted in the birth and death of a creature with a broken face.What’s more, one of their brothers loses his entire body and is confined to a metal suit, while the other loses an arm and a leg.

Following that, Edward and Alphonse embarked on a difficult and emotional journey to restore their bodies.

11. Itachi Uchiha – Naruto

Uchiha Itachi - Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Itachi was Mikoto and Fugaku Uchiha’s first child. His early youth was marred by violence: the Third Shinobi World War broke out when he was four years old, and he observed many of the war’s casualties firsthand.

Itachi was traumatized by the death and destruction he witnessed at such a young age, pushing him to practise endlessly in order to realize his dream of becoming a ninja among ninjas and eradicating violence from the world.

Itachi Uchiha promised to establish a world free of bloodshed after witnessing the horrors of war as a child. Years later, he realized the Uchiha clan’s hatred and disgust for him. When his clan began plotting a coup, he discreetly joined the Hidden Leaf as a double agent.

Despite his best attempts, he was obliged to put his clanmates to death. The only survivor was Itachi’s brother Sasuke, whom Itachi convinced to hate him in order for Sasuke to avenge their clan. Itachi’s ability to carry this load alone for such a long time is nothing short of remarkable.

10. Nico Robin – One Piece

Nico - Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Nico Robin’s backstory is by far the most sorrowful of all the One Piece characters’ backstories. Her mother abandoned Ohara when she was two years old, leaving her vulnerable to verbal and physical abuse from her aunt and other children.

The marines invaded her home when she was eight years old, killing her mother, her fellow archaeologists, and her buddy Saul.

Robin spent the next 20 years avoiding the World Government. She was left to fend for herself throughout that time, since everyone she had come to trust finally betrayed her. Robin’s life had been a living horror until she encountered the Straw Hats.

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9. Crona – Soul Eater

Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Crona was abused physically and psychologically as a child by his mother, Medusa, and her demon weapon, Ragnarok.

Her mental state deteriorated as a result of their harsh treatment. Crona, as a madman, has no concerns about eliminating his foes and absorbing their souls. Crona’s bond with Maka aids him in breaking free from his craziness in the anime.

Regrettably, this does not occur in the manga. He succumbs to insanity and conducts unethical acts such as violently killing Medusa and assuming the identity of Kishin. Finally, it’s impossible not to feel sad for Crona.

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8. Seras Victoria – Hellsing

Seras Victoria - Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Seras was a former human and police officer before Alucard turned him into a vampire. For most of the series, Seras’ past remained a mystery.

Details of her past were not disclosed until the eighth episode of Hellsing Ultimate. Her father was an undercover cop, and the crooks he was investigating tracked him down to their home, where she witnessed them slaughter her parents, according to the episode.

She was shot and left for dead after stabbing one of her assailants, but not before witnessing one of the criminals abuse her mother’s body. This incident stayed with her throughout her youth.

7. Erza Scarlet – Fairy Tail

Erza - Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Erza Scarlet is far not the only Fairy Tail character to have had a difficult life, but she certainly did.

Erza was born 400 years ago, but was forcibly confined in her mother’s womb until she could utilize magic to transform into a human form through her daughter.

She was quickly abandoned once this failed. Her town was then besieged by a Zeref-following cult, and she managed to save her companion Kagura from being kidnapped, but she was kidnapped herself.

She was then sold as a slave and forced to construct the Tower of Heaven. She and a group of friends sought to flee after years of toil, but they were apprehended, and Erza was tortured.

Erza was on the verge of passing away when she lost her eye. All of this happened before she turned eleven, and it wasn’t the worst thing she’d ever gone through. She has a tough, stern mentality as an older teen, possibly as a result of what she went through as a child.

6. Eri – My Hero Academia

Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Eri is probably the best example of how a Quirk can be both a blessing and a burden. Her mother disowns her after she mistakenly makes her father vanish. Overhaul swiftly puts her into a coma after her grandfather takes her in.

Overhaul then tortures her day and night, draining her blood and effectively killing her before resurrecting her and repeating the process.

Eri has suffered such severe stress as a result of this that it takes her a long time to recall how to laugh, and she has blamed herself for everything unpleasant for a long time.

5. Lucy – Elfen Lied

Elfen Lied - Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Lucy was raised in an orphanage as a youngster, where she was bullied by the other children and abandoned by her carers. Her only friend was a puppy that she discreetly looked after.

Lucy was then forced to witness the assassination of her only friend. She lashed out and massacred her tormentors with her vectors as a result of this horrific occurrence.

Lucy is captured and imprisoned in a government institution, which further adds to her loathing of mankind. As a result of her interactions with evil humans, Lucy was changed from a lonely little girl into a violent murdering machine.

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4. Levi Ackerman – Attack on Titan

Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Levi Ackerman, often known as Captain Levi. He is the squad captain of the Survey Corps. He is widely regarded as humanity’s strongest soldier.

He was born in the slums to a prostitute and never met her father. He is nearly starved to death by his mother’s side after she passes away. His uncle does come to his rescue, but this forces him into a life of violence in which he must battle to stay alive.

The saddest part is that even when things improved, they were still not perfect. After all, he still had to battle huge human-eating creatures.

3. Hyakkimaru – Dororo

Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Hyakkimaru is the main character in the Dororo series. Hyakkimaru’s father sacrificed him as a sacrifice to various demons from the moment he was born in exchange for the prosperity of his land.

As a result, the demons take everything from Hyakkimaru, including his skin, limbs, eyes, voice, and spine. His father then tells him that he must be abandoned.

Later, Hyakkimaru is rescued and nurtured by Jukai, a doctor who provides him with artificial prosthetics to help him thrive. For the sake of another man’s ambition, Hyakkimaru is forced to suffer and cursed with a death sentence.

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2. Kakashi Hatake – Naruto

Kakashi - Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Kakashi Hatake is a shinobi from the Hatake clan of Konohagakure. Kakashi is far from the only Naruto character who has had a traumatic childhood.

At the juvenile age of five, he becomes a ninja, thrusting him into a life of combat at a time when most children can’t even spell their own names.

Later, his father is despised by the town for putting his comrades’ lives ahead of the mission’s success, and he commits himself when the ostracization becomes too hard to bear, leaving Kakashi to his own devices.

Things are exponentially worse when you’re a teen orphaned jounin. During a mission, his teammate Obito is crushed by rocks, and he is compelled to execute his other teammate Rin after a tail beast is sealed into her body.

Things continue to go wrong for Kakashi well into adulthood, yet he manages to maintain a somewhat calm demeanor about it. He’s obviously miserable and devastated, but at the very least he can laugh about it.

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1. Guts – Berserk

Anime Characters with the Saddest Backstory

Guts, often known as The Black Swordsman, is the primary character in the Berserk manga series and anime adaptations.

Guts has been surrounded by death and bloodshed since he was a child. He is taken up and raised as a child soldier after being discovered as an infant under his mother’s hanging corpse by mercenaries.

Gambino is his guardian who subjected him to horrific mistreatment and even sold him to one of his soldiers. Guts eventually joins the Hawk Band, where he forms friendships and relationships of solidarity.

Years later, he is forced to witness as Griffith, his companion, sacrifices his colleagues to demons and forces himself onto his girlfriend, Casca. Despite the fact that he survived the massacre, he is cursed to be chased by demons every night until he dies.

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Sahil Khan
I’m a 19-year-old Indian otaku. I love anime and it is the thing that sustains and refreshes my life. I want more people to know about anime. That's why I write articles about anime. The Dragon Ball series is my favourite anime.
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