The portrayal of mental health in mainstream cinema and television has been mediocre at best. It has often propagated misinformation, stigma, and sensationalized images of serious mental health conditions. It has propagated myths and assumptions that have come to define the meaning and representation of mental health in everyday conversations.
So if you have been confused about what shows to watch that have a well-informed and sensitive representation of mental health, we have got you covered. In this post, we will dive into the darling of binge-watchers of the present generation – anime series for mental health.
Now, we understand that most people consider animated dramas as a lighthearted and over-the-top escape from reality. But they are indeed so much more than this. Over time, multiple anime series for mental health have dealt with the topic with utmost sincerity and empathy.
Let us dive deeper into our top recommendations for the most effective and impactful anime series for mental health.
Best Anime Series For Mental Health
1. March Comes In Like A Lion
Following the story of a 17-year-old professional shogi player, Kiriyama Rei, this show is one of the best anime series for mental health. Kiriyama moves out on his own to avoid his adoptive family. Left alone, he fails to care for himself properly and is secluded by society.
The series throws light on the depressive symptoms of Kiriyama without explicitly name-dropping the disorder. It showcases in detail the mental and physical impacts of his condition on the quality of his life. The symptoms are not turned into comedic notes. The portrayal is sympathetic and realistic, giving viewers a peek into what actually happens during this time.
2. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Another acclaimed depiction of mental health in an anime series is Neon Genesis Evangelion. Evangelion dives into the psychology of humans and provides a sneak peek into how emotions actually work. The story is set in an apocalyptic world threatened by mysterious Angels. The protagonists are a bunch of teenagers who pilot futuristic robots, Evangelions, to save the world.
One of the kids, Shinji Ikari, is a troubled character constantly emotionally burdened by his role and his father’s expectations. Following his arc, the show dives into the mentality of loneliness, emotional instability, and inadequacy. It shows how characters explore their inner turmoils and psychological traumas, making it one of the best anime series for mental health.
Naruto is undoubtedly one of the most popular anime series that has left a huge impression across the world. The story revolves around the protagonist, Naruto Uzumaki, who aims to become the strongest Ninja in the world.
From the early episodes, Naruto is depicted as a stubborn, mischievous child. However, it is later shown that behind his nuisance lies a deep longing for connection and loneliness. Growing up as an orphan, Naruto has always felt the need to belong.
Throughout the show, Naruto faces multiple internal battles that lead to self-discovery and personal growth. It showcases the need to carve a special place for yourself in the world and the importance of meaningful relationships.
4. Anime de Wakaru Shinryounaika Or The Psychiatric Anime
The Psychiatric Anime is one of the best anime series for mental health as it aims to educate the audience about various psychological health conditions in an entertaining and consumable way. The show features the characters of a psychiatrist and his various patients with different mental disorders, from anxiety, and depression to obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc.
Through these episodes, the anime series aims to spread awareness to the public. Its strength is making complex psychological concepts easily accessible to a broad audience. By exploring the day-to-day impact of the patient’s disorder, it portrays a realistic picture of how crucial mental health is.
While mainstream television shows do not have a delightful reputation for handling the nuances of the depiction of mental health, anime series are slowly cutting across the misinformation. Naruto, The Psychiatric Anime, March Comes In Like A Lion, and much more are some of the best and most impactful anime series for mental health.
Apart from them, My Hero Academia is also a stunningly beautiful anime series that depicts struggles around self-discovery and trauma. It can teach you a lot about gratitude, friendships, and personal growth. To learn more about it, click here.
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