The world of Japanese animation is home to hundreds of likable and heartfelt characters who can truly touch the viewer’s heart. Some anime protagonists are deeply tragic characters who have been through a lot, and those emotionally hurt characters are likely to burst into tears or at least confess their pain.
Other characters, however, make sure to hide their sadness at all costs and no one will catch them crying. These characters may be hiding their sadness or grief behind a stone-cold poker face, or maybe they’re just isolating themselves from others. They can even act as an impetuous tsundere to push people away.
ten Edward Elric rarely talks about the loss of his mother (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Edward and Alphonse Elric suffered a terrible loss when their beloved mother Trisha died of illness. In desperation, Ed and Al attempted a human transmutation to bring her back. They failed and lost their body parts as punishment for playing with the Truth.
Edward still misses his mother, and losing her has opened a huge hole in his heart. However, Ed is a hot-tempered tsundere who tends to lose himself in his work, which is his way of processing his grief and coping with his life. He is unlikely to openly talk to anyone about how he feels inside.
9 Ichigo Kurosaki hides his grief (Bleach)
Many Bleach the characters deal with a lot of sadness and grief, from the widowed Captain Byakuya Kuchiki to Orihime Inoue, who has lost her brother and feels inadequate. Unlike Orihime, who can sometimes show her sadness, Ichigo hides everything.
Ichigo’s heart still aches from the loss of his mother, and he sometimes feels very bad for failing as a hero. However, Ichigo’s badass persona demands that he hide all his pain and insecurity, so that’s what he does. Hiding all that pain and sadness isn’t necessarily the best plan, but it’s clearly Ichigo’s preference.
8 Shinobu Kocho hides behind his cheerful facade (Demon Slayer)
Many characters in demon slayer suffered tragic losses at the hands of the demonic hordes of Muzan, including the insect Hashira, Shinobu Kocho. She was introduced as a goofy and playful demon slayer, but Tanjiro’s sharp nose soon caught on to Shinobu’s hidden rage.
Shinobu’s heart aches with both fury and sadness over the loss of her older sister Kanae Kocho, though she does her best to hide these feelings behind her deceptively cheerful exterior. Anyone who met her would have no idea what kind of torment she is going through.
7 Yuki Sohma Always Plays Cool (Fruit Basket)
Fruit basket is a classic shojo anime series, and it’s yet another story where almost everyone is dealing with serious sadness and other emotional woes. For example, Tohru Honda acts cheerful and generous despite her intense grief, despite being perfectly willing to talk about it.
Meanwhile, Tohru’s new Kuudere friend, Yuki Sohma, is in agony. He’s terribly sad about his difficult lot in life as a potential Sohmas idol, but he’s determined to hide everything behind his cool, aloof personality and not let anyone know what he’s thinking. All of her classmates (except Tohru) fell for it.
6 Akira Tachibana distracts himself with work (after the rain)
The Semi-Obscure Seinen Anime Series After the rain focuses on a heroine named Akira Tachibana. She loves running more than anything, but a recent leg injury took her away from the running track. She feels bad about it and misses her favorite pastime, but this kuudere girl isn’t too keen to admit it.
Instead, Akira maintains an aloof facade to mask her sadness, and even her colleagues at the Garden Restaurant resent how much she is suffering inside. Akira simply gets lost in his job and harbors a secret crush on his boss, the hapless Mr. Kondo.
5 Itachi Uchiha lets everyone think he’s a monster (Naruto)
The ninja genius Itachi Uchiha was more loyal to the Hidden Leaf Village than he was to his own family, meaning he ultimately had to slaughter his entire family to prevent an Uchiha Uprising. It weighed heavily on Itachi, but he didn’t dare let his sadness show.
Itachi has been seen shedding tears before, but this is the only time viewers see him upset. He allowed everyone to see him as a villain, especially his brother Sasuke, and he maintained that villainous facade during his time with the Akatsuki. Deep down, however, he was both proud of Sasuke and terribly saddened by the fate of his family.
4 Gray Fullbuster won’t talk about Ur’s disappearance (Fairy Tail)
The members of the Fairy Tail guild are all emotionally expressive and outgoing people, and characters such as Natsu, Lucy, Erza, and the others are quick to show their sadness or express their joy. However, the ice wizard Gray Fullbuster has a colder exterior than any of his powers.
Gray misses his mentor Ur, the woman who taught him and Lyon Vastia the techniques of ice magic. However, Gray doesn’t like to talk about it and he keeps his grief to himself as much as possible. He’s not one to show sadness, but he got angry when he thought Invel Yura killed Juvia in battle.
3 Thorfinn Karlsefni turns his grief into rage (Vinland Saga)
The young Viking Thorfinn Karsefni saw his father die when he was only six years old, which scarred him for life. Until then, Thorfinn had been an optimistic, bright-eyed child. After his father’s death, Thorfinn donned a mask of rage and bitterness that lingered for years.
Thorfinn was raised by his father’s killer, Askeladd, and carefully hid his sadness all the time. Thorfinn only showed others his angry side, which made it almost impossible for him to make friends – not that he wanted friends.
2 Mayor Gori Suido keeps his sadness locked away (Tokyo 24th Ward)
Mayor Gori Suido has a lot on his plate as he rules Tokyo’s troubled 24th ward, and he doesn’t have time to show his true feelings or talk things out. Based on his actions and words, he urgently needs to open up about his personal issues, but he just won’t.
Mayor Suido lost his wife Kanae in 2013 and years later he lost his daughter Asumi. These tragic losses prompted him to dive even deeper into his work and push himself too far to keep the service safe. The oppressive cyberpunk surveillance systems of the 24th arrondissement are no substitute for a bereavement counselor.
1 Misaki Ayuzawa won’t share her burden with anyone (Maid-Sama!)
Misaki Ayuzawa finally showed her sadness to her friend Takumi Usui but for the most part, she’s the type to carry her burdens in silence and not show anyone her true sadness or pain. Misaki was devastated when her father abandoned the family, and she also feels very bad about her family living in poverty.
Misaki’s heart is heavy with sadness but she won’t show it. Instead, she gets lost in student council work and homework, and she uses the tsundere personality as a way to keep people at bay. She needs someone to share this sadness with.
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