Gaslighting Anime Shows That Will Mess With Your Head

15+ Gaslighting Anime Shows That Will Mess With Your Head

Gaslighting anime shows are the type that:

  • Make you believe something that isn’t true.
  • Trick you into thinking otherwise.
  • Have a setup that is misleading.

And will ultimately take you on a trip you never even expected.

Some anime shows are more geared towards this, while others are not.

Either way, let’s talk about it!

Here’s a list.


1. Talentless NANA

Talentless Nana is named after the protagonist, Nana Hiiragi. She’s a devious little sh*t of a character and plays a similar role to Light Yagami in Death Note.

She spreads the gospel of “defeating the enemies of humanity” to school kids who are on an island, training, for these supposed enemies.

Once the first episode passes by, you see the real enemy is Nana, who has clearly been sent to “deal with” a certain problem.

The gaslighting in this anime is staggering. And so are the tactics, strategies, and the savagery of its characters.


2. Gakkou Gurashi

Gakkou Gurashi is about Yuki Takeya. She’s a pink haired girl who’s running down the halls, smiling, in school, and being as chipper as anyone could be.

That’s until you find out the truth at the end of episode 1, and what comes afterwards for the entire series.

The gaslighting in this anime relates to mental illness, PTSD, and trickery when you get down to it.


3. Future Diary

Future Diary, or Mirrai Nikki also focuses on a pink haired girl with mental health issues, but they couldn’t be more different as characters.

Yuno Gasai is a yandere, an obsessed girl who follows around a certain boy she feels she can take advantage of. And a boy she “loves”.

She also threatens and attempts to kill anyone close to him or anyone who even shows the slightest amount of disrespect, including his own family.

The anime’s premise is survival of the fittest, and there are gaslighting elements to it as well.


4. The Garden Of Sinners

The Garden Of Sinners is a FATE project and takes place in the same universe as FATE.

The story and plot are like a set of mysteries woven together, or separated like jigsaw pieces that have been scattered. This is part of the gaslighting in one way.

You don’t know what’s going on or what to believe.

The visuals and aesthetics of this series are sharp.


5. Summertime Rendering

Summertime Rendering is an anime that was butchered in terms of marketing since it was handled by DISNEY+.

The anime itself though is exceptional in quality, and can’t be compared to the average series.

Imagine there are humans walking around who aren’t human but are something else entirely. And you have no idea how to fix the problem and how to prevent it from happening despite having time-looping powers after death (like Re:Zero).

This adds a lot of mystery, mystique, mental gymnastics, and of course, violence that makes this anime one of the craziest but best in its genre.


6. Dark Gathering

Airing as of November 2023, Dark Gathering is a horror series about a kid called Yayoi who sees her mother get killed by a devilish spirit.

She then commits herself despite her age to gathering powerful spirits so she can one day be strong enough to take it down.

She’s cold, calculating, indifferent, and very introverted with her emotions.

Then there’s Keitaro and Eiko, both who have been cursed and all 3 work together as a “dream team” of sorts.

The level of gaslighting and mystery in this series will take you for a spin.


7. Higurashi: When They Cry

Mental health is real. This anime showcases it in the ugliest way possible.

The main characters are put in situations, each with their own arcs, where they question reality, the people around them, whether they can be trusted, and whether they need killing to ensure their own safety.

It’s a lot more than just that. Higurashi is like a psychological experiment with horror thrown in.

A lot of gaslighting takes place.


8. Happy Sugar Life

Satou Matsuzaka is the female character of the show, with pink hair no less, and is voiced by the same voice actress as Eiko from Dark Gathering.

She finds a girl who’s been abandoned and takes her in. Shio Kobe is her name. Satou claims to fall in love with Shio, and they practice their own ritual for marriage.

You can see how messed up this anime is gonna be.

There is a lot of gaslighting, horror, violence, betrayal, and straight-up madness from beginning to end.


9. Death Note

Death Note is a classic gaslighting type of anime show. Yagami plays the key role in this element, as he tricks, deceives, and manages to get away with multiple murders thanks to having a Shinigami and a death note in his hands.

He almost gets found out in the early stages, but still manages to succeed, sometimes making you root against Yagami, or for him depending on the circumstance.


10. Akiba Maid War

YouTube video

An anime with maids who are cute, gorgeous, and attractive can’t be that bad if ace value is anything to go off. But this anime, like Madoka Magica did, is gaslighting and tricking the audience.

This anime is violent, brutal, savage, and has so many twists like a planet-sized bowl of noodles.

Each episode will deceive and surprise you with what’s to come since little of this anime is predictable.


11. Paprika

Paprika is a crackpot kind of series. The kind of anime you either smoke weed to, get high while watching, or you just feel like you’re high watching it even if you’re sober anyway.

For this reason, it will be an anime you enjoy or one you dislike because it’s confusing.

This makes it an intellectually stimulating anime series since it takes a lot of thinking and focus, but that’s also why it has gaslighting elements.


12. Magical Girl Site

Magical Girl Site is one messed-up anime series. Girls are recruited into doing the evils of one person in particular, which is to say they’re tricked into a lifestyle that weren’t ready for.

Once it’s official and they become “magical girls”, everything gets more hellish as the episodes go by.

It’s like a more violent version of Madoka Magica, and it’s darker with what its characters are willing to do instead of the overall theme itself.


13. Electromagnetic Girlfriend

Not everyone has watched this anime but I recommend it. The series is about two characters, both who are romantically connected in the end.

What happens around both characters is destruction, violence, sickening accidents, and tragedy. The anime is in the psychological genre.

It uses mystery to lure you in only to hit you with what you never saw coming.


14. School Days

This one doesn’t need much of an explanation. It’s a classic in the sense of how messed up it is, how everyone knows it, and the kind of impact it brought to the anime community with its violence and savagery.

Characters who cheat, are coky and arrogant, and who play a role while ignoring potential consequences – this is the life portrayed in School Days.


15. Made In Abyss

Made In Abyss is an anime that should never have been made once you go past the first season of it. Things start to get extremely weird, odd, uncomfortable, and disgusting.

On the surface, the gaslighting of this anime is clear, as its the idea of “cuteness” being relevant when it’s really more barbaric and savage than that.

But once the characters ironically go deeper into the surface, that’s where it takes a turn for the worse in my eyes.


16. Shiki

This anime is about a sort of vampire in a local village that starts popping up, infecting more and more humans after they’ve been bitten.

One doctor called Toshio is a key character in the plot.

Shiki has so many twists and turns a snake road can’t compare. It starts off slow and around the middle of this series is where the heat on the oven gets turned up to the max.

This is when things get bloody, vile, savage, brutal, and morally questionable when you consider what’s happening.


17. Elfen Lied

Lucy is a creature called a Diclonius who’s born in a laboratory. She has vectors that can rip a person to pieces, and after she escapes in the first episode, the government hunts her down as if she is a bad person.

She can regress to a more childish state and this is the state that the male MC sees. But when she becomes her usual self, body parts start flying like paper planes.

This anime has plenty of ugly sides to it, one of which ic animal abuse and of course, gaslighting.


18. Re:Zero

Subaru Natsuki finds himself in a new world with new rules, and after learning he can return by death, he is then forced to deal with unimaginable amounts of trauma.

And there is a strong element of Gaslighting in this one.

Re:Zero is a lot of things, and well-written plus well executed are two of those things.


19. Perfect Blue

And lastly, there is Perfect Blue.

This anime is the definition of Gaslighting. The main character (Mima Kiroge) is an idol who decides to retire. After that, she starts being stalked by her “super” fans, one in particular, who’s weird, crazy, and obsessed with her.

This then leads to the female MC hallucinating and imagining things that aren’t even happening because of all the stress she’s put through.

She’s made to feel a type of way even though it’s not a real representation of what’s happening.

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