These 11 Anime Characters Have Some Of The Saddest Pasts That Will Break Your Heart

Angel Beats Sad Crying

Sadness is something you can’t avoid in life.

Sooner or later you’re bound to taste it. Even if you do spit it back out.

But when you experience sadness in anime? this is what helps you relate or empathize with certain characters.

Sadness makes the dullest characters some of the brightest and most interesting. Because it’s a powerful emotion that hits pretty damn hard.

For me, there are 11 anime characters who represent sadness…


1. Jonathan Mar (Jormungand)

anime characters with the saddest past

Jonathan (Jona for short) is a middle eastern child soldier.

Imagine having to watch your parents die right in front of your eyes. All in the name of war and violence.

This is the catalyst of Jona’s past, which dooms him into a life of murder, war and violence.

He’s never known what it means to live like a child, and never will.

And yet – he still manages to smile through the pain.


2. Revy Rebecca (Black Lagoon)

anime characters with the saddest past

Rape, abuse, murder… These 3 words paint a dark, bloody picture of Revy’s past life.

Revy is cold-hearted and at times, seems like she no longer even has a soul.

But I guess that’s what life does to you when you’re forced into the dark abyss of the underworld.

Eventually it starts to eat away at your soul.


3. Sora Mea & Fratele Meu (Black Lagoon)

anime characters with the saddest past

Some people have been through hell and back. But these 2 twins ended up being stuck there since childhood.

Sora Mea and Fratele grew up surrounded by pedophiles, child abusers and rapists.

And were even forced into child porn.

In fact – on one occasion, they were given a choice: kill your best friends or we’ll rape you.

As you can imagine – their soul was broken from the beginning. And they end up becoming psychopaths for no fault of their own.


4. Balsa (Guardian Of The Spirit)

anime characters with the saddest past

Unlike the other characters on this list, Balsa’s story is spoiler-heavy.

So I’ll have to avoid mentioning it.

That being said, Balsa’s childhood is littered with murder, violence and a desperate struggle to survive.

She didn’t ask for any of it.


5. Shouko Nishimiya (A Silent Voice)

anime characters with the saddest past

Bullying is awful. And what’s worse is: being bullied because you’re a disabled, deaf child.

This is how the movie: A Silent Voice begins. And the consequences will stir your emotions like a pot of curry.


6. Yuno Gasai (Future Diary)

anime characters with the saddest past

Yuno’s not a Yandere for the sake of it (like other silly characters).

After all: Yuno grew up like a slave to her parents.

For the smallest thing she did, her parents would punish Yuno severely. Even to the point of locking her up in a cage with steel bars.

So it’s no surprise why Yuno becomes a vengeful, insecure teenager who’s been denied love and affection.


7. Akame (Akame Ga Kill)

anime characters with the saddest past

Along with her sister, Akame was one of many children forced into an experiment.

A set of kids were let loose in a forest full of danger beasts. with nothing more than a knife. If that.

Unlike everyone else, Akame and her sister were the lone survivors.

Some of the victims were even Akame’s childhood friends.

Read: 6 Of The Best Akame Quotes From Akame Ga Kill


8. Jellal Fernandes (Fairy Tail)

anime characters with the saddest past

Jellal is a child slave, raised in the tower of heaven. Forced to do hard labor for nothing in return.

Until the fateful day when Jellal and other childhood slaves forge a plan to escape.


9. Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail)

anime characters with the saddest past

Like Jellal, Erza also grew up a childhood slave, and was one of Jellal’s many friends.

But unlike Erza, most of the other children were slaughtered, mercilessly.


10. Vegeta (Dragon Ball Z)

anime characters with the saddest past

Like Erza and Jellal, Vegeta was basically a child slave as well. Forced to do whatever Frieza (a tyrant) ordered him to do.

Not only that, Vegeta got separated from his own father from a young age. Who Frieza eventually killed off, along with the entire Saiyan race.

This is the reason Vegeta has such a tough exterior.

He’s been through more than the average person is capable of dealing with.


11. Sheele (Akame Ga Kill)

anime characters with the saddest past

Clumsy, always making mistakes, a victim of bullying, and often torn down by others.

This describes Sheele’s past perfectly.

No matter what she’d do to help others it would always backfire.

And throughout her hardships she had 1 real friend, who would eventually abandon Sheele, despite Sheele saving her life.

Plus Sheele’s parents were killed too.

Read: 5 Things I Love About Sheele From Akame Ga Kill


Honorable Mentions:

  • Homura Akemi (Madoka Magica).
  • Gray Fullbuster (Fairy Tail).
  • Kirito (Sword Art Online).
  • Trunks (DBZ).
  • Lucy Heartfilia (Fairy Tail).
  • Shion Sonozaki (Higurashi).


Who else would you add to this list?

You might also want to read: 9 Meaningful Anime That Reflect Real Life Problems

I'm the Founder of Anime Motivation. An international retailer of official anime merchandise, toys and figurines. I've been a fan of anime for over 10-15+ years, with the first anime show I watched being Dragon Ball Z.

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