10 Anime Kids With The Saddest Backstories

Anya Forger using sparklers in Spy x Family; Mirio Togata holding a delighted Eri up with her hands in the air in my hero academia.

There is an ever-growing number of anime characters with tragic backstories. Some of the saddest of these origins belong to child characters. Though they are young, these kids have already experienced more than their fair share of the terribleness the world has to offer.

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Though a lot of these characters are in greener pastures now, they all began their lives in dire circumstances. Fortunately, most of them have gone on to live happier and healthier lives thanks to the kindness of friends. These characters had bad beginnings, but are living, at least slightly better, lives.

This article contains mentions of child abuse and neglect. Reader discretion is advised.

10 Naruto Uzumaki Is Hated By His Village


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Naruto Uzumaki not only lost his parents when he was very young, but his village turned against him. In Naruto, as soon as they learn that he harbors the nine-tailed Fox, the villagers fear him and the destruction he could wreak on their people.

Never one to be deterred, Naruto grows and trains in the hopes to be a great Shinobi and become the village Hokage one day. Even when everyone is against him, Naruto proves that diligence and patience pay off in the end.

9 Aang Runs Away From His Problems

Avatar: The Last Airbender

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Aang is only twelve years old when he learns that he is the Avatar, the bridge between humans and the spirit world. Terrified of this revelation, Aang runs away during the storm, gets caught in it, and unconsciously traps himself and his sky bison in a giant ball of ice.

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Aang is awakened one hundred years later only to discover that his people were all killed and the world is in turmoil. Avatar: The Last Airbender does a great job of portraying Aang’s anguish upon learning the horrible reality. Aang eventually takes it upon himself to fulfill his duties as the Avatar and save the world in the process.

8 Shiro Is Afraid of Abandonment

No Game No Life

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Shiro is one half of the gaming duo Blank in the anime No Game No Life. She is extremely reserved – only sticking close to her step-brother, Sora. However, her talent for practically any game makes her an unstoppable force in her new residence of Immanity.

Though she seems in her element now, it was not always the case. Shiro was all but abandoned by her parents, leaving Sora to be the only constant in her life. As such, she cannot function if he is too far away from her. Despite all her skills and intelligence, Shiro is a little girl who just wants to be cared for by the people she loves.

7 Anya Forger Was Saved By Twilight

Spy X Family

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Spy x Family's Anya Forger crying in Episode 7

Anya Forger is the adopted daughter of Loid and Yor Forger in Spy X Family. Though they seem normal on the outside, the Forgers all have secrets – including Anya. She can read people’s thoughts, which helps her understand her spy father’s mission. With a brave face and a desire to be a hero, Anya bravely marches into her role as the dutiful daughter and student.

However, her life was not always as exciting and happy. Before Loid adopted her, Anya was living in a run-down orphanage. The floors were dirty, and none of the children seemed to be well looked after. Luckily, Anya uses her powers to read Loid’s mind and impresses him enough that he takes her home with him, giving Anya a true family.

6 Ciel Phantomhive Seeks Revenge

Black Butler

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Ciel Phantomhive was a little boy when his parents died in a fire that also consumed their home in Black Butler. Left with nothing but his inheritance, Ciel makes a pact with a demon to exact revenge for those responsible for his parents’ deaths. In return, Ciel promises to let Sebastian devour his soul.

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Ciel’s history is tragic considering how happy of a child he was before the fire. His current calculating and cold demeanor helps him solve mysteries but seems too solemn for a boy so young. Sebastian does take care of Ciel, but the terrible truth of his contract makes Ciel’s life even tenser.

5 Ray Has Known All Along

The Promised Neverland

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Ray is one of the many children to reside in Grace Field House in The Promised Neverland. Unlike the others, Ray remembers his mother, who happens to be their caretaker. However, his memory is also a curse, as he has always known the fates of those who age out or get adopted.

Though he works for Isabella at first, Ray eventually sides with Emma and the rest of the children as they break free from Grace Field House. All the children trapped on the farm are devastated that their mother was not the caring person she purported to be, but Ray’s plight was worse, as he knew the truth and had to sit idly by watching his siblings being sent to their dooms.

4 Hotaru Tomoe Dies Multiple Times

Sailor Moon

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Hotaru Tomoe is the Sailor Scout of Death in Sailor Moon S

Hotaru Tomoe, better known as Sailor Saturn, is one of the Outer Scouts in Sailor Moon. Hotaru is the only daughter of a professor. Unfortunately, one of his experiments makes an alien being to appear, causing an explosion that kills her. Desperate to bring his daughter back, Souichi Tomoe gives his body to the being known as Germatoid and also allows Hotaru to be possessed by an entity named Mistress 9.

Hotaru does her best to live life normally and manages to suppress Mistress 9 mostly. However, during a battle with Pharaoh 90, and after learning of her true identity as Sailor Saturn, Hotaru gives her life to beat back Mistress 9 and Pharaoh 90. Fortunately, Hotaru is reborn with Sailor Moon’s help, but her young life is continuously filled with strife and danger.

3 Killua Zoldyck Comes From A Family Of Assassins

Hunter X Hunter

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Killua Zoldyck is from a family of assassins in Hunter X Hunter. He began training as soon as he was born, and was put through all manner of life-threatening practices. He was even left to fight through a martial arts tournament and told he could not return home until he reached the 200th floor – which took him two years.

When Killua began to balk at his family’s practices, they responded by putting a needle in his head, so they could control him. When he turned eleven, he finally left his family – choosing to take the Hunter Exam on a whim. Though he eventually finds friends and seems happy, Killua’s tragic past follows him and seeps into his duties as a Hunter.

2 Kayo Hinazuki Has A Troubled Home Life


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Kayo Hinazuki walking alone in Erased.

In Satoru Fujinuma’s original reality, his childhood friend, Kayo Hinazuki, was murdered when they were in fifth grade, but her true killer was never caught. Now that he is an adult, Satoru returns to his fifth-grade self, only to discover even more tragedies about Kayo. Her home life is made miserable by her mother’s abuse. As such, Kayo tries to stay out of the home as much as possible.

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Satoru takes Kayo in during this time to protect her from whoever originally wished her harm. Thankfully, Satoru and his mother help Kayo leave her mother’s house, and she grows up and lives a fulfilling life by the end of Erased. Nevertheless, Kayo’s troubled childhood left her feeling alone and scared for a very long time.

1 Eri Is Kidnapped

My Hero Academia

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One of My Hero Academia’s most terrifying villains is Overhaul. His destructive Quirk and his use of the anti-Quirk serum means that he can decommission Heroes, permanently. Yet, the most despicable thing he does is kidnap Eri. Her Rewind Quirk rewinds people’s lives, a quality that Overhaul harvests and tries to replicate.

Thankfully, Eri is saved by Mirio Togata and Izuku Midoriya and is brought into U.A custody. Since Eri cannot control her Quirk, Shota Aizawa becomes her quasi-guardian. Now, Eri is living her life to the fullest. Not only is she experiencing entertaining things like festivals and parties, but, for the first time in a long time, she is in a place where she is loved and protected.

NEXT: 10 Anime Kids Who Dress To Impress


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