There is a lot of anime out there and in this golden age of streaming, the choices have never been greater.
So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable anime through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, our attention this time turns to mental health awareness. From heartbreaking anime dramas to highly philosophical shows, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Depression is a long-running issue that many people go through daily. It’s not only a cruel and terrifying feeling to endure, but it can often lead to many underlying side effects if not given the proper treatment.
Orange is an anime that addresses depression in the vein of highlighting Naho Takamiya’s reaction and actions after discovering a close friend’s suicide. Even though she’s given unrealistic powers like time travel to solve her issues, feelings of guilt and regret surround her in every corner.
Within one season, fans will witness the many sacrifices and difficult decisions Naho will need to make to find a future perfect for everyone.
Welcome To The NHK
Welcome to the NHK is an anime that deals with adulthood and the pain that comes with it. It’s a series many teenagers should watch as it depicts how life won’t always give you a helping hand, even if you perform good deeds.
The story follows Tatsuhiro Satou, who spent most of his life isolated from society. He’s a college dropout, hardcore conspiracy theorist, and finds it difficult for himself to break free of his caveman lifestyle. However, he’s given a lucky chance to turn his life around, but it will require him to break free from his comfort zone.
Tatsuhiro’s character will resonate with many who have issues fitting in with society. It also addresses negative emotions regarding paranoia, lack of ambition, and peer pressure through Tatsuhiro’s situations.
Technology and social media’s growth has been impressive to many. With the click of a button, anyone can pursue fame or message anyone from far distances.
However, the desire for popularity and attention can often ruin one’s ambition and perspective on life. Enter WataMote, an anime series revolving around the unpopular and socially anxious Tomoko Kuroki.
While the crude humor will give you the giggles, those that struggle with loneliness, low self-esteem, and disappointment may resonate and feel pity for her. It’s worth watching for those who seek a series that feels humorous yet impactful.
While poor mental health can impact the victim’s psyche and abilities, it can also transfer problems to others, even if they don’t have the issue. A series that presents this prominently is School-Live!
School-Live! features a group of female classmates trying to make the best of life while enduring a zombie apocalypse. Zombies pose a physical threat, but keeping sane is a dormant issue for these girls.
Furthermore, this brings us to Yuki Takeya, a girl with PTSD and a childlike mentality who slowly and internally drives her friends insane. It’s a series that’ll leave an emotional impact on fans and an anime that lightly develops Yuki’s defeat of her internal issues.
March Comes In Like A Lion
While passing a test and exam is an accomplishment, many find themselves wishing they could’ve done better or achieved a perfect score. As many will say, life’s not perfect, and humans aren’t perfect, but can someone with many perfections undergo a similar feeling?
March Comes In Like A Lion presents an answer to this question with its talented yet somber protagonist Rei. Although he’s known as the best shogi player in his universe, Rei feels misguided, unhappy with himself, and has trouble making friends.
The unhappiness stems from his need to feel perfect all the time, which causes Rei considerable fatigue and angst as the series progresses. The series demonstrates the difficulty of living a wonderful life, even if you’re talented.
Perfect Blue is one of Satoshi Kon’s well-beloved films to many for the way it depicts horrors of fame, lust, greed, and self-criticism. It’s also a film that despises social media and criticizes how it can lead to more trouble than worth.
Mia Kirigoe is a pop star who leaves the spotlight to pursue acting, which causes her fans to feel mixed emotions. As time flies by, disturbing events unfold that put Mia in a broken state.
The story explores several topics regarding losing one’s innocence and view of reality. Kon slowly immerses the viewer into Mia’s twisted fantasy, and it never feels forced.
Therefore, retro and modern anime fans alike should watch this film.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
While giant mechs fighting monsters sounds like a superb experience, Neon Genesis Evangelion takes a different approach in the Mecha and Sci-fi genre. This series depicts mech pilots as weak-willed, empty, and traumatic.
Moreover, this is most apparent in its main protagonist Shinji Ikari who has lived with childhood trauma, peer pressure, and anxiety thanks to his father. Accompanying these issues is the whole world’s safety rests on Shinji’s shoulders, adding more stress to his life.
These mental health issues are the bare minimum of those addressed in the series. Neon Genesis Evangelion is worth watching if you’re up for the challenge.
There is often talk about family values in stories, but it’s usually in a positive light. Furthermore, this includes featuring families participating in activities where everyone is happy with no worries or stress.
If only that were the case for Ash, the main protagonist in Banana Fish. Ash struggles with childhood trauma, grooming, and abuse at the hands of many caregivers. Further, he often fails to maintain a confident facade for his gang members whenever familiar issues arise.
It’s an anime that will drive many to tears for its portrayal of overcoming past hardships. After viewing Ash’s life as a child to becoming an adult, his journey will resonate with people with similar experiences.
A Silent Voice
In many schools today, children and teenagers are frequently bullied for their presentation in society. Whether it’s for having uncool clothes or mental or physical issues they have no control over, adolescents find themselves at the mercy of bullies.
A Silent Voice focuses heavily on the external and internal reasonings and results of bullying through Shouya and Shouko. Shouya starts as the popular bully and eventually falls victim to his practice because of his actions toward Shouko.
Slowly the anime shows Shouya dealing with guilt, unhappiness, and despair by placing him in sad scenarios. It’s a film that excellently shows how one misdeed can impact a person’s future status in society.
Restarting your life with the ease of any item sounds amazing. However, some anime disagree. ReLife explores this concept with its male lead, Arata, who gains a chance at a better life during his teen years.
With the knowledge of his past mistakes, you’d think it’d be a walk in the park for Arata. However, that’s far from the case, as Arata only experiences failure regarding failing tests, being out of shape, and meeting new expectations.
Further, this leads Arata to develop insecure feelings about himself, as even with a second opportunity, he can’t correct his past mistakes. It’s a series that’ll make everyone reflect upon the blunders they’ve made in the past and what they could do in the present to atone for them.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime through the years about mental health awareness!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!