Why People in the Anime Community Tend to Have Mental Health Problems

Why People in the Anime Community Tend to Have Mental Health Problems

Hello everyone and welcome to our shelter! 🙂 Today we’re going to showcase a very interesting (and brave) post by Andy at Andy Art TV. If you like this article don’t forget to go to their website and show them some love 😉

Look, before you attack me and send me hate-mail saying, “no that is not true, I don’t have any mental problems,” I would like to say that every community has its own set of problems. For example: The Hip Hop community has an ego problem, the party people community (what else should we call it) has a low self-esteem problem., and the list continues.

We all have problems. However, because I am an anime nerd, I wanted to address the problems in our community. People watch anime for many reasons but one thing that I continue to see is that many people in the anime community have some kind of mental problem whether if it’s seeping out red chakra like Naruto or contained within a ninja seal, we all have mental problems, myself included.

When I first started going to conventions back in 2011 to 2012, I wondered, “why do so many of these kids have mental problems.” This is the answer that I came up with.

Anime Attracts Outcast

Card Captor Sakura

I mean come on. It’s obvious. One of the reasons why Naruto is so popular is because so many people can relate to it. Ever noticed that party people are attracted to reality TV shows (if those are still around). Anime has many underdogs. Goku, Naruto, Ichigo, Yusuke from Yu Yu Hakusho. Shounen anime shows the struggle that young men face and although most of those stories take place either in Japan or an Asian like setting, teens can relate to that so much.

When I first watched Naruto in high school I thought, “dude, he is just like me.” I was alone, I never lived with my mother or father. I felt like the person who created Naruto somehow knew me as well.

This applies to magical girl anime like Sakura Card Captors (great anime, by the way, check it out). Serena from Sailor Moon is an underdog. She is not very smart; she struggles with school like most kids with mental problems struggle with academics. However, what we love about these shows is that they teach us to have grit. That is why right. The power of the human spirit. To grab life by the neck and keep choking it until it gives us what we want.

People that are outcasts are usually alone or have a small group of friends. When we can finally muster enough money to go to anime conventions and make some friends, life changes and we find some happiness.

There is nothing better to watch the underdog go from zero to hero.

Many teens with mental problems get made fun of. I have two friends that are exactly like that. One has a mild form of autism and the other has twitching problems, attention problems and the list keeps going. One of the things that we love about anime is for example: the super Saiyan transformation or the burst of energy when you needed it the most.

This creates an emotional connection with the anime characters.

The Kids That Escaped Trauma

Tiger and Bunny

Much like video games, anime is a form of escapism, however, why do some people get obsessed with anime over, let’s say, superheroes? While DC and Marvel superheroes are great, anime has a variety of stories. Superhero shows are predictable: the villain comes and causes a problem and the hero has to stop the villain. Right.

Anime and manga creators always try something different with their art and story. Take a look at Tiger and Bunny for example: an anime about superheroes but when you watch it you see that it has way more to it than just superheroes.

Many anime fans grow up in troubled homes. I met plenty that did. At conventions, it was hard not to find a soul that did not come from a troubled home. About 7 out of 10 kids that are huge anime fans came from troubled homes and have some sort of depression, anxiety, social anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. They find some solace watching anime and escaping into these beautiful worlds. You see, many anime characters have what the fans wish they had and that is “grit,” “strong will,” “confidence,” “and a burning desire to overcome adversity.” One of the reasons that anime fans love these characters is because many anime fans can be really… lazy in life.

You know the stereotype of the nerd living in their mother’s basement. It’s true. We wish we had a strong enough will to get out of mom and dad’s basement and to have the confidence to get that girl that we want so bad.

It is a way to escape our trauma and it sucks to say but it is also a way to escape ourselves.

The Children Who Grew Up Without Parents


If you are like me, someone who grew up without a father then you can probably relate to Naruto. Many anime characters grow up without one of their parental figures. Rarely do you see them with both parents.

Now let’s talk about the effects that single-parent homes have on a child’s mental health.

It is obviously much better to raise a child with both parents in the house. However, when a child grows up in a single-parent household, it tends to take a toll on his mental health. If the father was not around then the mother is going to expect him to be the man of the house when really the child has no father figure to teach him how to be a man. If there is no mother in the household and the child is raised by a single dad, then the kids grow up with a lack of empathy or compassion and have a hardheaded attitude. The father teaches the kids how to defend themselves from the real world and the mother teaches them to love and respect others.

Losing a parent or being raised without parents causes confusion on a child. The mental stress carries on for years. This mental stress then manifests into the child wanting to shut other people from his life, anti-social behavior, tantrums in school, unable to pay attention in school and so on.

These behaviors are common in anime characters. Especially the super popular ones like One Piece and Dragon Ball Super. So, when the kids sit down and see someone who is just like them, someone that they can finally relate to, they are hooked for life. They will never forget about Naruto, Goku, Luffy or Yusuke.

This is why the anime community has a lot of mental problems. It starts at home.

Don’t forget to visit Andy Art TV website 🙂 If you want to know my take on this article you can scroll down to the comment section, I’ll be there waiting for you 😉

10 thoughts on “Why People in the Anime Community Tend to Have Mental Health Problems

  1. I do agree with Andy – most people I’ve met from the Anime community had some kind of mental health issue. Not sure if it’s about the Anime itself, or if we’re just living in an era where mental health diseases are just way too common. Nevertheless, I have to say that I’ve found the kindest people in Anime conventions. Don’t know why, but there’s this atmosphere in Anime festivals that you’re going to be accepted no matter what you are. I always ask myself where the toxic Anime fans are when I go to one of those conventions, probably stayed at home, I guess.

    I did have anxiety problems in the past, and I do come from a mono-parental home. However, I don’t really think that’s why I got so much into Anime. For me, it’s about how diverse Anime can be and how they’re able to combine fantasy with real-life problems. I prefer Anime 1,000 times over movies or series, which I believe it always fall flat when it comes to displaying fantasy worlds.

    Don’t forget to share your thoughts down below and visit Andy at their website, it’s a good time over there 🙂

  2. Really nice take I definitely agree with some of this! I also grew up in a single parent home. I’m also a twin, so growing up I had to share a lot of things with my brother, which included tv time. I can’t fight, so that meant we always watched what he wanted, hence how I started watching anime ?. I started developing severe anxiety issues upon entering high school just due to being a twin (I’m very competitive and it’s not that I want to beat my twin I just don’t want to be left behind I guess). I also suffer from sensory overload, so it’s extremely hard for me to be in large gatherings for extended periods of time. I’d like to go to a convention one day it’s one of my dreams, but I’m a chicken and my body and brain start malfunctioning when I’m around too many people for too long. I can relate to a lot of certain anime characters and I think that’s why I like it so much. Naruto was one of the first anime I ever watched and I definitely thought me and him were the same because he’s an underdog and I am too! Also just the way I grew up, I never had many girls who looked like me and liked anime, so finding others that enjoy it as much as me is kinda like having my own club. I’m glad that Andy mentioned the factors that impact mental health (future social worker right here lol) because it’s important to take into consideration as well, which I think may contribute to why people turn to the anime community.

    1. “I can’t fight, so that meant we always watched what he wanted” why this is so relatable? XD

      Although it’s sad to hear about your mental health problems, I’m happy that you’re so honest about them 🙂 From my experience that’s a very important first step. Hopefully you’ll be able to go to a convention in the future. From my experience (again), people in Anime conventions are really kind with each other and it’s fairly easy to find outcasts like us eagerly wanting to make new friendships 🙂

      And yeah, I’m with you, the Anime community is a great place to meet interesting people eheh

  3. My childhood was all whacked out. It is too bad I didn’t have anime back then.

    I’m still fairly whacked out. But I can find my way a little better today. People who are a bit whacked out often understand each other better. Certainly not so judgmental about it. Later in the 70s, I found sanctuary in science fiction clubs and in the 80s in board gaming groups. Anime is the shared interest that helps me today.


  4. I like reading articles that bring out mental health issues and address them in a way that anyone can relate to. It seems to me that many in the anime community are very intelligent (perhaps another reason they feel like outsiders). They understand the stories on many levels. I’m a huge outcast…I’m 53 and just stumbled upon the anime world. Lol I also suffer from clinical depression, generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety. Further, I am disabled due to my anxiety. I don’t go out of my house very much (I was self-isolating before it was a “thing”! Lol). Also, I consider myself an “adult little” which further serves to alienate me from others, but I believe it’s what helps me to relate better to things the “younger generation” find of interest. Sadly,I really have no friends.

    I watch only a few anime shows, and they’re mostly the “girly” ones. My favorite is the School Idol series. I wish there were more episodes. I like mostly the female characters. To me, they’re sort of like friends. I also have characters who I can truly relate to. For example, I feel that I am a cross between Ruby Kutosawa and Chika Tomodachi. I was watching an episode of “Pastel Memories” today. The one girl said how she feels like she can never do anything right and she often feels like a burden to others. I was like that’s me!!!! I grew up being raised by my grandparents with little interaction with my mother, despite the fact that she lived with us. I was always told I was a burden. When I got married the first time, I was 18. My mother told my husband that I was his problem now. ? M(first husband turned out to be mentally, sexually and emotionally abusive.)

    Anyway, the anime I watch is a way to deal with my anxiety. I can turn on the TV and see what “my girls” are up to. I can listen to songs that are upbeat and positive. One of my favorites are “Aozora Jumping Heart” by The Aqours (from Love Live! Sunshine!!)

    Thanks for addressing such an important and much maligned topic. I will following your blog and sharing it on my Facebook page “Anime Art”!!

    1. Thanks for such a heartfelt comment. I’m not going to say I understand what’s to be in your shoes, because I don’t. I’ve also had depression and anxiety, I also felt as an outsider in the past. However, each person has their own experiences, which completely change the reason why you have a mental health problem and how the disease works.

      However, I will say you this. You’re not alone. I know other people over 50 that also isolate themselves at home and have symptoms of depression and anxiety. Like you, they also see Anime as a way to deal with anxiety. It always helped me to know that I wasn’t alone when I was sick, so I hope knowing this allows you to be more at ease with your own anxiety and depression. Also, never feel that you’re a burden to anyone. You’re a human being and, therefore, deserve to be valued and respected as one. All of us are different, but everyone deserves their space in this world.

      Hope you the best 🙂 And thanks for sharing the post. I recommend you visit Andy’s website, as they were the one who wrote this piece specifically 🙂

  5. I think you’re on to something. I got into anime because I had no friends, had a sad home life and had introversion anxiety and ocd. Anime and sci-fi was an escapism to an alternate world where I didn’t have to think about my life.

  6. One problem seems to be that the story content and the behavior of characters in some anime tends to nurture obsessive compulsive disorders rather than helping people overcome those behaviors. The anime sub-culture is often toxic.

  7. I agree with you. While I do agree with most of this article I personally have found anime fans to be quite toxic and too consumed with their own issues that they don’t care about the issues of other people. Of course there are some nice ones I’ve met but I feel like most were pretty mean, childish and rude especially if you don’t have the same opinion as them. For instance, I’ve had ppl get mad at me for liking an anime they don’t like or favoring a character or a ship/romantic pairing that they don’t like. It’s like you can’t even have a civil conversation about anime with these people without someone saying “well _______ is the best anime ever and you are WRONG!” And this is especially true for grown adult anime fans, not just the younger ones. I’ve even met people that didn’t like that I’m an anime fan just like them. Some people I’ve met like feeling like a special snowflake and wanted to prove they knew more about anime than me. I understand that we all have our issues and strongly attached ourselves to our favorite series/characters/etc because of it but I don’t understand why people have to be toxic about it.

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