Miki Sayaka (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
Maybe it’s the pain buried behind their large, expressive eyes that we can see even when they smile. Maybe it’s because some of them have unspeakably dark pasts with pain they carry around inside that you want to help them let go of. Maybe it’s because they burst into tears at the drop of a hat and you just want to give them a hug.
Melancholy anime girls have a special sort of allure to them. Some of them put on a happy or angry façade, while you can tell that others are obviously depressed. Regardless of their outward appearance, there’s something about these gloomy girls of anime that we simply adore. With no further delay, here is a list of the saddest female characters in anime.
10. Mizore Shirayuki - Rosario to Vampire
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 3, 2008 to March 27, 2008
Mizore is an ice princess in more ways than one. Like many of the characters in the series, she’s infatuated with the protagonist Tsukune. However, her love is unrequited and her sorrows don’t end there. However, this isn’t the first time she’s suffered misfortune in romance, as the series later reveals.
Mizore is a yuki-onna, a spirit that manipulates the powers of snow and frost. Her cold temperament is in keeping with her magical capabilities. She is quite a lonely character, primarily keeping to herself. Her face is often expressionless, and she is rarely seen smiling. She is certainly one of the most endearing sad anime girls.
9. Yayoi Kise - Smile Pretty Cure!,
- Episodes: 48
- Aired: February 5, 2012 to January 27, 2013
Yayoi is one of the protagonists of the magical girl anime Smile Pretty Cure! She controls the power of lightning and is an extremely kind, empathetic person. She is generally introverted, only opening up and sharing her thoughts and dreams with those she feels comfortable around.
Yayoi cares deeply for her friends, and will protect them no matter what the odds are. Despite her inner strength, her emotional vulnerability leads to her crying quite a bit. Her tendency to be provoked to tears extremely easily earns her a mention here.
8. Hotaru Tomoe – Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S
- Episodes: 38
- Aired: March 19, 1994 - February 25, 1995
Hotaru Tomoe, also known as Sailor Saturn, is one of the youngest sailor scouts. For most of her life she has lived on her own, and because of this she hasn’t had a chance to make any real friends. Her life of isolation has left her with a mysterious, quiet demeanor that comes off as cold to strangers.
In the series it is revealed that a large part of her isolation is due to the fact that she is very sickly. Because of this, her classmates didn’t accept her and she was forced into solitude. She is a sweet girl at heart, but the perpetual sadness in her eyes speaks volumes, putting her on this list.
7. Enma Ai - Jigoku Shoujo
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 5, 2005 to April 5, 2006
Enma Ai is a spirit who always wears a sad, vacant expression. At the onset of the series, it would be easy to attribute her demeanor to her job. She has been tasked with torturing evil people and then ferrying each of their souls to hell. Who wouldn’t be depressed with that day job?
However, this task is more than something she has been assigned – it is something she must do to atone for her sins, which are darker than one could possibly imagine. Her sinister past reveals a great deal more about her sadness, and her truly tragic origin story earns her a spot on this list.
6. Tsubaki – Mirai Nikki
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 9, 2011 - April 15, 2012
Tsubaki is a villain in the Mirai Nikki series. Though young, she is the leader of a powerful religious sect and uses her powers to present the protagonists with a variety of obstacles. Despite her wicked nature, she is quite a tragic character that manages to provoke sympathy from the viewer.
Physically frail, she was born with almost no ability to see. As a result of her handicap, she was used and exploited in unspeakable ways by her family and their religious cult at a very young age. Though evil, she is a very sad character, earning her a place here.
5. Princess Shirahoshi - One Piece
- Episodes: Currently Airing
- Aired: October 1999 – Present
Princess Shirahoshi is a mermaid, and though she is the youngest of King Neptune’s children, she is a remarkable size for her species. Though this might make her fearsome, her disposition makes it impossible for her to be intimidating. How could you be afraid when she’s always crying?
Shirahoshi is as big a crybaby as they come. This is possibly a result of the fact that she has spent so much time on her own. She is extremely emotionally fragile, and it only takes the drop of a pin to make her burst into a hysterical fit of tears. Her leaky eyes secure her a spot as one of the saddest girls in anime.
4. Hayami Kohinata – H20: Footprints in the Sand
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 4, 2008 - March 21, 2008
Hayami is forced to live on her own after a tragic accident leaves her with absolutely nothing. She is hated by everyone in her village because her family's wealth and greed earned her a bad reputation. Now she is homeless, and alone.
After going through this kind of trauma it is understandable that she would be depressed. She is so defeated by her misfortune that when others attack her, she is unable to stand up for herself. Though her sadness improves with the help of the series protagonist Takuma, she still ranks as one of the saddest girls in anime.
3. Kikyo - Inuyasha,
- Episodes: 167
- Aired: October 16, 2000 - September 13, 2004
Kikyo was a shrine maiden deeply in love with the protagonist of the series Inuyasha. Her appearance is deceiving as she is no longer alive - she was killed by a half demon, pretending to be her beloved. In order to sustain her physical form, she must use souls of the deceased as sustenance.
Though being denied her beloved causes her deep pain, she remains cold, calm and calculating. However, it is apparent that underneath the surface she harbors a deep sadness. Though she can see the person she loves, she can never be with him. It is her tragic story that puts her in one of the top spots on this list.
2. Rei Ayanami – Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 3, 1995 to March 27, 1996
Rei Ayanami appears so emotionless that other characters in the series refer to her as a "doll." Because she is so cold towards others, most of her classmates avoid her, and she is quite lonely. She retains an air of mystery about her, and is another character who almost never smiles.
She isn’t completely devoid of emotion, however. It is eventually revealed that the main reason she is so detached is because she is an expendable creature, and is well aware of that fact. Throughout the series she carries this tremendous heartrending burden, putting her towards the top of this list.
1. Misuzu Kamio - Air
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 7, 2005 to April 1, 2005
The first impression Misuzu leaves is of an eccentric, quirky high school student struggling to make connections with her peers. However, it becomes clear that her inability to make friends has to do with much more than being a bit odd.
Misuzu has been cursed with eternal pain. Every time she becomes close to someone, her mental and physical conditions begin to deteriorate. Despite this, she begins to forge a close connection with the main character, Yukito. Her desire for love ultimately proves detrimental to her, making her the saddest female character in anime.
Tragic female anime characters are sad for all sorts of different reasons. Some of them pine over an unrequited love, while still others are just sensitive souls. No matter the reason for their sadness, they remain a staple character trope in anime. Feel free to post your favorites that didn’t make the list below!