Belldandy from Ah! My Goddess, perfectly fits this trope when she starts crying, usually because she sees Keiichi being in any way physical with another girl...
Misuzu from AIR obtains a certain level of woobie-ness in the last few episodes of the series, when she finally gets overcome by her curse and, after a lot of pain, dies beautifully in the arms of her adoptive mother.
Tetsuo from AKIRA is considered one. He largely wants revenge on the city after years of being subjected to Parental Abandonment and Kids Are Cruel, and looked down upon by everyone else in his gang including his best friend. The scenes from his backstory really make you feel for the guy, in part because he made a very cute kid.
Kanou Taisuke of Alive: The Final Evolution is a prime example. A happy-go-lucky individual, it turns out the reason he has superpowers is because He feels guilt over his parents' death. They died in a car accident, apparently caused by a drink can under the brakes. Before he left the car, he was drinking orange juice, left it on the divider between seats, and only saw it later in a plastic bag being taken away by police. Being a grade schooler, he attributed this to be entirely his fault.
Victorique from Gosick. A tiny girl, frail, cute, looking like a doll and with a harsh past. See her cry and feel the impulse to take her in your arms while saying "there, there, everything'll be all right". And enjoy the cathartic effect when it happens in-anime !
Misaki from Angelic Layer in episode 25 of the anime, a HUGE Tear Jerker episode, when she sees that her mom is the champion of Angelic Layer and jumps to multiple conclusions on why her mom never went to see her. She blames herself thinking that she was a bad girl and then all of her repression of her feelings from the entire show comes out and she runs away because she can't face her mom. Finally when her mom finds her she just bursts out crying and you want to scream "HUG HER ALREADY!" to her mom.
The fact that Fumi from Aoi Hana has to come to terms with the fact that she's a lesbian gets aggravated by her woefully bad taste in lovers.
Astro Boy from Astro Boy/Tetsuwan(Mighty) Atom may be "The Woobie" perfection. Not only is he incredibly cute, but his origin is that he only exists to replace a scientist's dead son, when he is unable to fill this void, the scientist (Dr. Tenma) simply discards him, selling him to a circus but rescued by the head of the ministry of science (Dr. Elefun) but even after that, Astro Boy goes through his entire series dealing with intense robot racism. The Woobie element is only increased in the original Manga when the Manga reveals Dr. Tenma was once married. When their son dies and Tenma replaces him with Astro, the wife is reluctant but as she begins to grow attached to him and even loving him like her own son, Tenma starts to hate Astro for not being like his dead son. Tenma starts drinking a lot and in a drunk rage selling Astro to the circus with his wife divorcing him shortly afterward. After that, the only time she gets to see him is far in the back of the circus audience until she becomes terminally ill with her last request to be seeing Astro one last time. The Ring Master not only refuses, but does not tell Astro she is dying so he won't leave so she dies alone without Astro ever knowing. Many more cruel acts follow at the circus including Astro being forced to kill other robots, and being tortured if he doesn't
Toris (aka Lithuania) takes the absolute cake because of all the Yank the Dog's Chain moments he has to go through.
Also, Canada. The unappreciated country never noticed, or when actually noticed, being mistaken (i.e. beaten up by Cuba) for America. His own brother can't even remember his name. But he at least gets his Crowning Moment of Awesome when he gives America an epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
China also qualifies. He's constantly ordered around by his fellow allies, he's picked on by numerous other characters, including his younger siblings; not to mention the strip where France, Russia and England help him get his land back after he was beaten up by Japan after the first Sino-Japanese war, but proceed to divide it amongst themselves. Their means of comfort don't seem to work either.
TsundereMean Brit England also has a number of Woobie moments. Hisolderbrothers have hated him ever since he was small and he's never had any friends in Europe (not that there are no reasons for all that), and apparently he feels genuinely sad about this, not to mention lonely. Finally he found America, someone who cared for him and whom England loved very much, until America eventually declared independence and broke his heart. And if this wasn't enough, all his attempts at getting closer to a now grown-up America end with America gleefully shooting him down - even when England is on his death bed. Twice.
Latvia is pretty much on his own and the universe seems out to get him... he was even eaten by a sheep! Come on!
Ukraine. The girl is a crybaby who was forced to leave her younger brother Russia, who she cares for and who genuinely cares for her too, to join the EU and try to become stronger... but none of the other countries will be friends with her. Plus she's incredibly poor and had to raise her younger siblings by herself, and her sister Belarus actually get jealous of her because of the attention she gets from Russia. Not to mention that she's a crybaby with huge... tracts of land.
Japan has his moment of woobieness when Fridge Horror sets in about his terrified reaction to Italy hugging him. This man is two thousand years old, and his reaction implies that he's NEVER been hugged. No wonder he's emotionally repressed.
Poor little Liechtenstein was dying in an alley in the rain when Switzerland found and saved her. Word of God was that she'd been through a lot of traumatic events before that, and she mentions having no food because of a depression.
Nation-tans in general. They live as long as their country exists, have to hurt or fight friends and family during war, are forced into marriages or alliances, eventually lose every human they become close to...
Chiyo-chan most definitely qualifies. Fans don't want to admit it, but they enjoy cooing over her being tortured by Yukari's driving, getting abused relentlessly in gym class, and being teased for her youth by most of her friends. Osaka also has elements of this, though most of her distress comes from her own spaciness.
Osaka was tricked into eating extremely spicy food by Yomi (in a moment of uncharacteristic jerkassery) after saying she couldn't handle anything spicy. Additionally if you translate Osaka's first image song into English, her woobie levels go waayyy up, since she's basically singing about how she realizes she's a Cloudcuckoolander, but is unable to do anything to fix it.
Sakaki also counts, thanks to her social awkwardness and constant bad luck with the cats she obsesses over. The only problem in her case is that most other characters think she's an aloof and cool badass, even though she's really just shy.
Kaorin may also count, due to her unrequited crush on Sakaki, who is totally oblivious. Then Kimura gets fixated on Kaorin, and the poor girl's life really becomes an emotional roller-coaster.
Czeslaw Meyer from Baccano!. He is tortured to death several times throughout his life, including by his trusted guardian, and Vino. He seems to suffer the most out of any character in the series, without much of a happy ending.
The Berserk universe is rough on pretty much everyone.
Guts and Casca, the Star-Crossed Lovers of the series have it especially bad. While Guts has shades of Jerkass Woobie, his lover is more of a a complete woobie. Casca was sold by her parents to a noble who wanted a new serving girl, only for her to learn that he wanted her for sex, not cooking and cleaning. She was saved from being raped only by the arrival of Griffith. The two had it relatively easy during their time with the Band of the Hawk and things take a rare, optimistic turn for them when they admit their love for each other...until the Eclipse went down, and it all went to hell. Griffith sacrificed the Hawks, leaving them to get slaughtered by countless monsters. Casca lost everyone under her command, and was ultimately raped when Griffith, who had become the fifth member of the Godhand, Femto, got his hands on her. Guts took down a multitude of demons and even chiseled off his own left arm in a furious bid to save her, but in the end, it was all for nothing. And things only got worse for them after the Eclipse, with Casca miscarrying and giving birth to a corrupted child as a result of Femto's rape tainting the child that she and Guts conceived and her traumatized post-Eclipse state in general being a source of serious heartbreak for Guts, to the point where at times one doesn't know which of the two to feel worse for. And that's not even mentioning the Superpowered Evil Side that Guts has which is now working against him and which wants Guts to kill Casca so that he can get back to his vendetta against Griffith. All in all, the Berserk universe has made it its mission to ensure that these two never find happiness.
Hinako Aikawa suffered excessive sexual abuse from her stepfather that had gotten her pregnant twice before the age of 15. This troper was hooked on Bitter Virgin primarily because he wanted to see her be happy at the end. And even then, the main characters' hyper negativity makes them skeptical that they'll be able to stay together forever, so it's hard to determine if the ending was really that happy...
Alois's maid Hannah from the second season. She has an eye gouged out by Alois...and later that night, she's right back to her maid duties, a large bandage covering half of her face. Even the "mysterious stranger" who is actually Sebastian takes what could be interpreted as pity on her. And then Alois walks in, hearing what the "mysterious stranger" said. Alois then smacks the tray out of her hands, gives her a hard slap across the face, and calls her a whore, mocking the pity given to her by the "mysterious stranger". He later chucks a costume crown at her face, causing her to bleed, and forces her to strip in front of him, Claude, and anyone who might be walking by just so he can use her dress to disguise himself. She doesn't really show any reaction to it, but she's probably used to that treatment by now.
Snake also counts, after his character got explored a bit. Poor guy is painfully shy because most people shun him for his appearance. He is also adorable, and has tea parties with his snakes.
Garcia of Black Lagoon. Getting kidnapped is never a pleasant experience, not to mention that he lost his mother at a young age.
And then he goes on to lose his father, and his favorite maid ends up shooting him. Poor kid can't catch a break.
Killy of Blame!!. He goes through the entire series getting the stuffing BLOWN out of him with semi-nuclear weapons, various bladed weapons, gigantic monsters and had a great deal of his skin burned off see here, and he never, ever complains. He just gets up, and walks onward. It's almost painful to read by the end of the series, as the massive physical trauma he has taken throughout the series is obviously beginning to take it's toll. A missing leg and completely blinded eye being the most obvious injuries. But still, he soldiers on...
Nemu Kurotsuchi, the daughter/creation of ruthless and sadistic Mad Scientist Mayuri Kurotsuchi, who abuses and humiliates in the Soul Society Arc. He's been toned down since his first appearance and hasn't beaten her since the Soul Society Arc, but he's still apathetic about her safety. To make matters worse, look what the Syazel Aporro Granz does to her...
Orihime has lived alone since her brother died, had to suffer bullying throughout her school years and suffers from major self-esteem issues. Not to mention the whole reason she lived with her brother in the first place was because her parents were such abusive assholes that an eighteen-year-old boy took off with his three-year-old sister to raise her by himself. Her problems are only magnified after she not only has problems with the Barrier Warrior powers she was bestowed and specially with her Heroic Self-Deprecation, is forced into a Sadistic Choice by an Omnicidal Maniac's servant and taken into a Crapsack World. Things only got worse from there, and it took her quite a bit to get better.
Ichigo tries to play the Stoic Woobie, but epically fails. For the longest time, he blamed himself for his mother's death, and became a Determinator who wouldn't let anything hurt his family or friends. Oh, and he Used to Be a Sweet Kid. He reached the point of a woobie. Just look at what Tsukishima's done to him! And Ginjou's revelations to Ichigo only made things much worse. It took a massive intervention to get him back to a funcional state.
It gets even worse as the new enemy Vandenreich a group of Naziesque Quincies are keeping him in a cell of energy and are forcing him to listen to the screams of the Soul Society as the new enemy is tearing them all apart.
Momo Hinamori, the sweet and gentle lieutenant whose obsession over her captain (Aizen) not only was groomed carefully by him, and eventually led to her near-death and coma. Her lack of briefing on the matter led her to believe that the one responsible (Aizen again) was thoroughly innocent for a long while, and right as she had managed to start getting over with it and return to the battlefield, Aizen tricks others into stabbing her. This is subjective, however; where some fans see a victim of circumstance and mass hypnosis, others see a gullible Scrappy.
Poor Hanataro, who just gets dragged around by the more powerful shinigami to help them out when they're about to fall over.
Arisawa Tatsuki, Ichigo's childhood friend who is forced to attack her best friend Orihime by Numb Chandelier, is the only survivor among her karate teammates who were killed by Yammy's Gonzui, is coldly dismissed by Ichigo after she confronts him over Inoue's disappearance and his spiritual activities, and being chased by Aizen when his spiritual pressure alone could crush her in his Hogyoku state. The poor girl has gone through a lot.
Arguably, Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club. He's forced to leave France to go live with his father because his Ill Girl mother is frail and needs the money. His grandmother hates him and the rest of the club. AND he gets stuck in an arranged marriage, though the girl ultimately calls it off. For a rich kid, he's had it pretty rough.
Blood+ is full of these. It seems that just about everyone, even the villians, have been hurt by someone stronger, lost loved ones, or generally suffered endlessly. Except maybe Amshel.
Sabato-chan from Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan is a parody of The Woobie in that every scene involving her usually ends with her being ridiculously destitute and suffering enormous injury (though, this is NOTHING compared to what the main character/Butt Monkey/Chew Toy Sakura has to go through on a regular basis).
Amon from The Boy Who Saw the Wind. First his family has to run away from the supposed government because of his powers. THEN he gets into a car crash which kills both of his parents. THEN it turns out the woman his parents worked with and he trusted was with the bad guys (the aforementioned supposed government). He ran away from her and eventually lived in a small seaside village with a nice family. Who promptly all get killed off a few months later, aside from one of his friends. They run away to some other place to live for a while. THEN his friend gets kidnapped. THEN so does he. THEN he's used to attempt to make something along the lines of an atomic bomb. He's rescued eventually and incites an entire city to rebel. After that, they go in and save the day, THEN he gets shot and he dies. And he's not even a teenager yet.
Meet Rin Okumura, the main character of Blue Exorcist. He was constantly harassed byother children when he was young, called a demon because of his temper and Super Strength. When he's fifteen, his father reveals to him that - surprise! - Rin is actually a demon (the half-demon son of Satan and a human woman, to be specific). His powers have been mostly suppressed by being sealed in a sword called Koumaken. If he unsheathes Koumaken, Rin will lose his humanity forever. Rin flips out at his father when he finds out, which catches his dad off guard. Satan takes this opportunity to possess Rin's adoptive father and meet his son. Rin's father's body can't take the strain, and he dies. Of course, Rin has to draw Koumaken and loses his humanity shortly after. Then, at his father's funeral, a "family friend" who he was told to rely on gives him three options: Die the easy way, die the hard way, or kill the people trying to kill you. Rin takes a fourth option and chooses to become an exorcist. He goes to exorcist school, where he finds out that his younger twin brother Yukio has known about Rin's powers before Rin did and is a teacher at the school (he had been training to be an exorcist since he was seven). Said brother tells him that he should either turn himself over to headquarters "or just die, please". Even though they reconcile, it still had to hurt. As Rin slowly makes friends with exorcist classmates, he finally has something to be happy about. Then his half-brother shows up and starts curb-stomping his friends, forcing Rin to expose his true nature to them. Things get... awkward, to say the least.
The Nothing Card. Good freaking God, the Nothing Card. The second movie's Anti-Villain, the Nothing Card was the one card that possessed "negative energy" power, to serve as a balance between all the positive energy power of the other cards. She considered all the other cards to be her friends, and they were happy. Then Sakura unleashed the cards, and she ended up buried under a house for years without anyone knowing she was there. Then she had to sit there and realize that all of her friends were being reunited and she still was still stuck under the same house. She finally got free, and began "vanishing" landmarks and people, stealing all of the Sakura Cards over the course of the movie. Anytime someone tries to stop her, or threatens to seal her away/take her friends back, she flips out. And the climax...well.
Sakura: I will seal you away again.
Nothing:NOOOOO! *makes the steps around Sakura vanish, stranding her* I've been alone all this time! Sealed away, trapped forever in a cold, dark place...I was so lonely! And now I have all my friends back, so why are you coming between us?!
Touma Kamijo from A Certain Magical Index. The entire reason Touma ever came to Academy City in the first place makes him a woobie. His right hand giving him bad luck is the entire premise for the show, but some people came to believe that being around him was enough to get affected. When he was a kid, a man blamed Touma and his right arm for his business failing and tried to stab the poor kid. To top it all off, a TV agency caught wind of this and decided to run a special program on little Touma and his arm. Adding insult to injury, they released photos of Touma without his parents' permision. And if THAT wasn't enough, you also find out that the head of Academy City orchestrated all of that to ensure that he would end up in Academy City in the first place! Talk about a Gambit Roulette.
Chrono in Chrono Crusade goes through hardship after hardship, both emotional and physical, including the death of one love interest and the impending death of his partner—thanks to a debilitating injury which leads him to have to drain away her soulto use his powers. Azmaria and/or Joshua may count as well, depending on who you ask.
Kohane of xxxHolic in the style of Love Martyr for her mother. Her parents split up, possibly because of her. Her mother hasn't used her name since then. Her mother won't touch her, let others touch her, cook her food or let her eat anything she thinks is 'unclean' since it might take her power away. Then she has to go on TV, exorcise spirits and because she happens to be better at it than other mediums, she's called a fake and gets some rather nasty abuse including being pushed down stairs, possibly losing an eye and having her house covered with graffiti sporting charming slogans such as EVIL, LIAR and DIE. See also: Watanuki, although quite a lot of it is his own fault or is genuinely good for him.
Even the extremely up-beat and idealistic Card Captor Sakura has its Woobies. Most prominent is Yukito/Yue, the former due to the lead-up and Tomato in the Mirror reveal of the latter's existence as a Split Personality, and the latter because of how broken up he was when Clow died.
CLANNAD, CLANNAD, CLANNAD. If you appear in Clannad and have so much as a name, you qualify for this trope. Everybody either has a tragically lost relative(s)/loved ones, health problems, social problems, broken dreams or any combination of them.
Life sucks if you have a name in Code Geass. Examples include:
Nunnally Lamperouge. At the age of six or seven or so, she's crippled when her home is attacked by supposed terrorists. She is struck by forty-odd pieces of shrapnel, costing her the use of her legs, and witnesses the death of her mother, who then collapses on top of her. This psychological trauma renders her blind. She and her brother Lelouch (who is about nine at this point) are then sent to Japan to be political hostages, where they are both frequently bullied for being Britannian. They are then abandoned and left to die when Britannia declares war on Japan. It gets worse once we move on from the backstory to the actual series. Despite all this, Nunnally maintains to cheerfully smile for those around her, seemingly willfully ignoring her brother's slow descent into darkness. Until Season 2, that is...
Her brother Lelouch, the show's protagonist, could also qualify, seeing as the universe (or at least the writers) seem to love kicking him when he's down. Or up. Or anywhere in the middle.
Shirley Fenette. After she finally works up the courage to ask her classmate and crush Lelouch on a date, later that day she learns her dad was an innocent civilian killed by collateral damage from the Well-Intentioned Extremist Zero's guerrilla war. Later, she finds out her beloved "Lulu" is none other than Zero himself. Before she confronts him about it, she gets mind-raped by Geass-user Mao into almost killing Lelouch, and to undo the psychological trauma she's suffered, her crush erases all of her memories about him, hoping to protect her fromhimself. She gradually falls in love with him again over the next year, and just when they officially become more than friends, someone from Zero's past shows up and restores all of her lost memories. She spends the next episode struggling to figure out what's really going on, eventually comes to terms with her feelings, realizes how lonely Lelouch is under his mask, decides she wants to be with him no matter what sins he's committed... and is promptly murdered by someone loyal to Lelouch.
There's also C.C., after her backstory is revealed and her mind is reverted to when she was a 10-year-old slave before she got the power of Geass.
Jiang Linhua/Empress Tianzi of the Chinese Federation. While not as central to the plot as the other characters mentioned, she's pretty much designed to raise protective feelings in the viewers - a young, albinic teenage girl used as a political pawn by the corrupt High Eunuchs, completely dependent on her servants, and utterly clueless about the real world... yet still touchingly determined to do the right thing whenever given the chance.
Euphemia is one of the kindest characters in the series, having good intentions and good means to achieve them, but due to Diabolus Ex Machina, she ends up causing a massacre and Lelouch is forced to kill her. After that, she is remembered as "Massacre Princess".
Kallen Kouzuki is half-Japanese, half-Britannian due to her father's relationship with a Japanese woman, her mother, which of course is looked down upon by the Britannian elite. While she has to cope with the death of her brother, who was a member of the Japanese Resistance, her mother turns to a drug called Refrain, which regresses the mind and allows them to relive happy memories in her grief. Due to her mother's inability to parent, she's sent to live with her father and stepmother, who hates her. She herself chooses to join the resistance to fulfill her brother's dream of a free Japan, while putting up the facade at school as a weak sickly Britannian girl. After the Resistance starts working with Zero, she falls in love with Zero, who she finds out the hard way is Lelouch, and after all that, near the end of Season 2, when Lelouch declares war on the world, her feelings for him, and whatever feelings he had for her culminates and is out to rest when they kiss, then part because of opposite sides of war. Even through all this, she's one of the ones who remain at the end and gets a slightly happy ending.
Allen Walker has his parents abandon him because of his freakish left arm, his adoptive father dies twice, once by his own hand, his teacher racks up debts of astronomical proportions and forces him to work to pay off said debts (keep in mind he's about elementary school age around that time); yet he still manages to stay one of the nicest characters in the entire series.
Lavi could possibly qualify for this. He was exposed to so much death and violence that by the age of sixteen he's emotionally barren and considers all humans to be mindless war-mongering idiots. Then after finally getting somewhat attached to the other Exorcists, his best bud Allen "dies". Then, even later, due to Mind Rape from Road, the embodiment of his sixteen-year-old self takes over Lavi's body and going on a murderous rampage to get rid of all Lavi's distractions, i.e friends.
Also Krory (Or however you spell his frakking name). Spent years shunned by the local villagers, felt his only purpose in life was to protect his grandfathers posessions, had his teeth suddenly fall out and teeth made of Innocence instantly grow in, killed the woman he loved, found out that his loved one was an Akuma, and genuinely belived that he was a monster, but really didn't want to be. Seriously, how 'bout we label the entire Black Order as a Dysfunction Junction?
Miranda grew up relentlessly mocked by everyone she knew, got fired from 100 jobs even though she kept trying her best, developed a severe inferiority complex, wanted nothing more than to be helpful to others but didn't think she could, got stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop after wishing "tomorrow would never come" in the presence of an Innocence... and even after becoming an exorcist, she's no less of a woobie. Her Innocence lets her heal any recently-inflicted wounds and repair broken objects, but as soon as she deactivates it, the damage returns... not to mention using it puts a massive strain on her. She constantly pushes herself to her limit, cries whenever she has to return somebody's injuries, and blames herself for everything that goes wrong. As if that wasn't bad enough, when she's too tired to use her full recovery power, she can feel when her comrades die.
Aoi Hidaka from Dancougar Nova is quite a Woobie under her Badass DriverFiery Redhead exterior. Heavily implied to be a test tube baby with no parents, she has believed herself to be alone and unwanted for all of her life. Her fellow Dancougar pilots (Johnny, Sakuya and Kurara) were the first true friends she ever had, after getting past their differences. And just when she has finally found a place where she can feel accepted, the evil alien computer Moon Will totals the Dragon's Hive, apparently killing everyone. Luckily, it later turns out to be a Disney Death, and she gets an happy ending after literally punching out Cthulhu...
The entire Yagami family of suffers from Light's actions. Ryuk even says at one point that they are the unluckiest family in the world - and yet their whole purpose was to add a little innocence into what is otherwise a dark, mayhem-and-murder-filled series. In the Live-Action Adaptation, Soichiro is made the Woobie even more in it simply by surviving.
The Shinigami Gelus, who fell in love with Misa, and because of this he died protecting her from a crazed stalker. And nobody even cares about his death; Rem only shows a little sympathy, and Misa herself is only interested in the fact that Shinigami can die. The fact that he's rather Ugly Cute only adds to his woobieness.
Ganta from Deadman Wonderland is quite a major woobie. Having his life turned upside down after everyone with the exception of himself killed and framed for the real perpetrator, the "Red Man," and sent to the madhouse known as Deadman Wonderland. Shiro counts too, especially in chapters 45 and 46.
Haraken of Dennou Coil deserves a mention here. Before the series even starts, his childhood friend and crush Kanna is killed in a car accident, which she is blamed for because the car's navigation systems are supposedly foolproof. Convinced that the mysterious Illegals were responsible, Haraken picks up Kanna's independant research on the creatures to prove his theory and speak to her one more time. This leads to a strange disease that makes his heart beat irregularly, at least one coma and no less than three life-threatening situations that involve his soul being separated from his body
The titular character, Conan, is a woobie. Despite his energy and brains, you can't help but want to hug him every time he gets thrown out of the way of something (usually at the hands of Kogoro, but there was also at least one occasion where Heiji picked him up, and several occasions where he was caught in a bomb blast). Also, the fact that he even has an alias in the first place - he has to keep the truth hidden from so many people, including the one person who means the most to him. He's constantly frustrated by the fact that he's stuck using a voice modulator to get his agendas accomplished (and is initially frustrated about having to resort to using gadgets instead of his own abilities).
He also fits this trope in his adult form, as Shinichi. He goes through a tremendous amount of pain every time he changes back and forth, and he never knows how much time he'll stay as a teenager. In particular, there's The Desperate Revival Arc where he actually has some time with Ran, but gets interrupted by a case, changes back at the end, and has to reappear to her as Conan
Conversely to Shinichi's case, there's of course Ran. He leaves her alone at the end of episode 1, and it's a few days in story-time before he gets his first gadget (the voice changer), during which time she's worried sick about him. She seems to always be waiting for him somewhere, and when she comes close to discovering the truth he somehow finds a way to distract her attention.
At the time the audience meets Ai, her parents and sister have died, leaving her alone... and on top of that, she's taken the same poison that was given to Shinichi, as a last-ditch effort to escape the Black Organization. If that wasn't enough, Professor Agasa found her laying face-down in front of the Kudo residence... in the rain. And... every time she and Conan cross paths with her former colleagues, she hunches over panicked, trying to hide herself.
The Digimon franchise has at least one in every adaptation:
Gatomon (aka Tailmon) had it rough since her birth: separated from the others while still an egg and spending most of her youth alone, she was eventually taken under the wing of Myotismon, whose name is synonymous with Bad Boss. She spent a lot of time being beaten and tortured simply for her 'defiant eyes.' She eventually leaves Myotismon, but there's a high price: her only close friend, Wizardmon, is killed by Myotismon for turning as well.
Gabumon from the first Digimon Adventure also qualifies to some extent. When he was talking with Matt in one episode, he admitted that he had no friends before he met him. Imagine a nice, warm-hearted Digimon like Gabumon alone, sad and friendless. The fact that he already makes Puppy-Dog Eyes frequently is enough to score him woobie points. Also, Tai tends to tease Gabumon about his pelt quite a bit, though he thankfully stopped eventually. Poor guy.
Another character that fits this trope perfectly is Ken from Digimon Adventure 02. His eventual rise and redemption are all the better for the hell that the second half of the series puts him through.
Digimon Tamers: 10 year-old Jeri Katou, originally the Plucky Comic Relief/Love Interest, is one of the only humans to have her Digimon permanently destroyed, by watching him be impaled and eaten by Beelzemon. Whom she still spares from death because she doesn't want more people to die in front of her AND for Takato/Giulmon/Gallantmon to go off the deep end. She is then kidnapped by a modern day Eldritch Abomination, and psychically tortured for several weeks so her angst and unhappiness fuels up said monstrocity. YEOWCH.
Ruki Makino/Rika Nonaka, also from Digimon Tamers, is a lesser one once you explore her character. Abandonment issues from her Father walking out on her mother, her Mom's a good person but is more interested in her career and oblivious to her needs in the beginning, thus leading her to pushing people away until it's almost too late.
Kouichi Kimura from Digimon Frontier is as good an example as every other Sixth Ranger in the series. The last thing his dying grandmother tells him is that he has a twin brother, whom he's never met. He goes looking for said brother and can't get to courage to go talk to him. When he finally does work up the courage, he misses the elevator and falls down the stairs, ending up either unconscious or dead (it's never really explained) Either way, his soul is separated from his body and he winds up in the Digital World, where he is brainwashed into the Evil Twin (or maybe not) and made to fight his brother and his brother's new-found friends until he's brought to his senses by The Power of Friendship.
Ikuto, from Digimon Savers, also is given some of the woobie treatment. First, his foster mother is killed right in front of him. Then his friend, Gotsumon, deems him a traitor (because he's human) and tries to kill him. Next, he meets his real father, who wants no part of him at first as he might bring back some serious emotional issues his mother suffered from. Once he does meet his mother, she's arrested. Then an entire fleet of digimon, headed by Gotsumon, declares war on Earth unless he's turned over to be executed. After that, his foster father is killed right in front of him, and suffers quite a bit while it happens. Hell, that's not even taking in his whole identity complex either.
There's also Touma from Savers. First, his mom was hit by a truck and died on their way to a festival, so he was sent to live with his rich Austrian father. Touma's dad is a good guy, but spineless, so he did nothing when Touma's grandmother basically refused to acknowledge him either for being half-Japanese or illegitimate. Then, we find out he has a younger sister who's very ill, and that the reason he's been working himself so hard that he's a licensed doctor at age 14 is to cure her. And that's not to mention the Fake Defector bit he pulled, which involved him nearly killing Ikuto and Yatagaramon, and indirectly killing Agumon.
Some fans of D.N.Angel feel this way towards Satoshi, and the series does seem to set him up this way sometimes — particularly his assertion that he can't let anyone close to him for fear that his Superpowered Evil Side will harm them.
Future Trunks from Dragon Ball, what with being the only hope left in an apocalyptic hellhole of a Bad Future where the villains could kill him at most any time and just leave him alive to toy with him for roughly twenty years until he finally turns the tables and it was awesome.
Gohan is also a woobie for having to go through witnessing his father die twice. He never was a fighter at heart and ever since he was 4, his childhood has been nothing but struggle. During his battle with Cell, it was hard for fans to watch Gohan turn from a Nice Guy into a homicidal manic that would make Frieza proud. Considering all the things Cell did, it's kind of hard to blame him.
How about Good / Mr. Buu? He just can't win against another form of himself. First, Evil Buu quickly beats him into submission, not even really toying with him. Then Mr. Buu defends Hercule and helps buy time in facing the final Big Bad, Kid Buu. This version is in all likelihood vastly stronger than the lean, grey earlier version, but takes his sweet time mercilessly slaughtering Mr. Buu and eventually causing the latter to depleting his ki reserves. It takes a freakin' lot to ellicit that feeling between two amorphous blobs which usually take shape, when it probably doesn't make sense how the match is even possible. (It doesn't affect him on a deeper level, but when you have *fanfare* "The Woooorld Champiooon" on your side, what will?) But he's far from the first in the series.
Saki from Eden of the East. From constantly being ditched by Akira (whether at the airport for five minutes or during a movie) to being told in a job interview that her opinions are not interesting because they coincide with the status quo, leading to her getting a bowl of ramen dumped on her by her prospective employer and being made fun of for it when she was in the bathroom to being so disappointed in herself not getting a job that Ryosuke, the man she loves, set up an interview for along with much more that she deals with because of Akira...every time Saki cries, you just want to give her a hug.
The Diclonii from Elfen Lied all fall under Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, but Nana, with her conviction to never kill anyone, even in self-defense, despite the horrible experiments she had to live through, is a definite woobie.
Vincent Law from Ergo Proxy tends to hover between this and Butt Monkey, depending on how seriously the situation is presented. Either way, you know his fate is gonna suck.
One episode parodies this. It features a subplot about a 7-year old girl who, after being orphaned and have various unpleasant things happen to her, was picked up by a mysterious organization and trained to be an unthinking, unfeeling assassin. In the climax of the episode, all this prompts an emotional breakdown so severe that the Great Will of the Macrocosm (a character who is literally a multi-purpose Deus ex Machina) re-writes reality itself to give her a normal, happy life.
There's also Pedro, who died and became a ghost who was forgotten by his "sexy wife" and son, Sandora.
Menchi. She's so adorable, yet she has to put up with all of Excel's craziness. And her attempts to EAT HER.
Unsui from Eyeshield 21 was a pretty big woobie. From the day he was born he was constantly compared to his naturally talented younger twin brother, Agon, who is a jerkass to say the least. No matter how hard he works (and boy does he work), he's only a good player while his brother is considered a once-in-a-century prodigy without even trying. Just when he thinks his efforts are finally acknowledged, it turns out people just mistake him for his younger brother. Ouch. And even after his Heroic BSOD, he still continues to work his ass off, only now it's to selflessly help his brother reach his full potential, despite the fact that Unsui has every reason to resent him. What does his younger brother do? He looks down on him, regularly insults him, and is a general ass to him.
Fairy Tail: Lucy has started drifting towards this territory more and more after the Time Skip. First, She finds out that her father died while she was away. She's not only targeted by an organization with Zeref, but suffers two humiliating defeats, one from Raven Tail, the other from Sabretooth. The latter is a particularly brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown which completely renders her unconscious.
The anime version of Wrath. Having died at birth and then offered to the Gate after his mother (Izumi Curtis) failed to revive him, he is a tortured soul filled with denial and a longing for maternal love. His naivety and innocence before he is awakened as a homunculus makes him even more pitiable.
Hohenheim doesn't have it easy either; in the manga, he was an illiterate slave until a homunculus taught him how to be a functioning human being capable of reading; and more importantly, alchemy. Turns out it's a villain with a major A God Am I who uses him unwillingly to destroy his own country Xerxes and then gives him a Fate Worse Than Death by making him nearly immortal by implanting some of the people of the country within him as a sick gesture of "thanking him". This is so traumatizing that he can't bring himself to be ever truly happy, even many years later when he has a family, because he honestly believes he is a monster.
Mrs. Bradley is the most noticeable woobie among the minor characters in the manga. At the end of the series, she had to cope with the fact that her husband and adopted son, both of whom she loved more than anything else in the world, were homunculi who were just using her to forward their plan. However, she manages to gain her adoptive son back, who no longer retains his memories as a homunculus.
Hell, almost every character in the series is a major woobie. Between the main characters, who you just want to hug all the time, all the characters haunted by memories of the war in Ishbal, the homunculi who just want to become human, and pretty much everyone who has to deal with the Crapsack World they live in, it would be shorter to list the characters who aren't woobies. And that list is basically just Kimblee. Special woobie points go to Al, though, for being the scariest looking character who you just want to give a hug and a lollipop to. But he can't eat lollipops because he's a suit of armor.
Despite the general tone, Gantz actually has quite a few woobies in it.
Takeshi is a toddler who lives with a neglectful mother and her abusive boyfriend in a rundown apartment. Said abusive boyfriend beats him to death just for eating his pudding while his mother does nothing to stop him. If that wasn't enough, he gets teleported into the Gantz room upon his death and forced to play a game of kill or be killed where people constantly die in the worst way possible by things that previously only existed in his nightmares, thus ensuring that he'll never grow up to be a normal, productive member of society.
Kei Kishimoto and Reika both suffer a severe case of unrequited love- Kishimoto died to protect Katou and Reika gave up her chance to be free of the Gantz game in order to allow Kurono to go free.
But it's Kurono's girlfriend Tae Kojima who romps home with the prize, especially at the parts where she dies in Kurono's arms while trying to protect him -when he was fighting to protect her- and when she's crying over the love for Kurono that she lost when her memory was reset without even knowing why. Such is the power of Tae's woobie-ness that it even rubs off on Jerkass Kurono himself!
Mamoru from GaoGaiGar. In the TV series he's a first grader that not only has a stange and unexplained power to fly as well as purify Zonder cores and turn them back into Humans, he's made a member of a secret UN orginization and is given the responsibity of helping to deal with these machine monsters, if that wasn't enough, yet more powerful Zonders come, known as Primevals, which he can't detect, but his Red Planet counterpart, Kaidou, can. After feeling useless in not being able to help against the primevals, he goes to Galeon, the robot lion that took him to earth as a baby. when he touches the G-Crystal "black box" he finds out that...he's an alien, created to balance out the universe by destroying the Zonders. This goes into a Crowning Momentof Heartwarming with his human parents, and him finally being able to help 3G again.
The unfortunate Joe Asakura in Gatchaman is a tough, jaded and heavily scarred version of this. Though to be fair, everyone on the team has their moments of being this, especially Ken and Jinpei. Even Katse could be seen as one given hir unfortunate fate.
Batou from the Ghost in the Shell franchise fits this trope beautifully, especially in the TV series. If there's an episode featuring him as the central character, you can bet that by the end, some aspect of his humanity will have been stomped thoroughly into the ground and you will want to give him an enormous hug. Even when he's not being actively emotionally tortured, there's still the matter of the girl he likes...
Grave of the Fireflies begins with the two main characters losing their mother in World War II and moving to their aunt's house. It only gets worse from there. Their struggles to survive during the time of war are one woobie-ish moment after the other, to the very end.
Two words: Kio Asuno. At the tender age of thirteen, he becomes a Gundam pilot. Because he spent much of his childhood playing battle simulators under the watchful eye of his grandfather, however, he has no idea of the realities of the war he's entering into. His Wide-Eyed Idealist nature and Chronic Hero Syndrome causes him to undergo one of the most painful Trauma Conga Lines in entire Gundam franchise. To start, he takes lessons with his mentor Shanalua, who, as a war orphan who hates killing, is horrified by the poisonous beliefs Kio learned from his grandfather about the enemy. Later, he finds out that she is The Mole for Vagan, but believes that explaining about how she's a nice person to the crew would bring her back. Shanalua flatly refuses because she would be executed for treason and sacrifices herself when Vagan mobile suits attack. Not long after painfully losing his mentor, he finds out that his father is alive as the Captain of the Bisidian pirates. Even so, Flit tells his grandson to forget it ever happened and believe his father is still dead, sowing his gradual detachment from his grandfather.But the poor kid can't even rest then. In Episode 35, having barely avoided death from his sheer lack of experience, Kio gets caught into a Vagan trap while the Diva was en route to retrieve the EXA-DB. While he did escape an episode later, he saw his grandfather try to shake off the Vagans in his outdated AGE-1 and, due to his tendency to follow his heart than his orders, dives right back in to save his grandfather. What ensues is him being captured by Zanald and being brought to Second Moon. But what truly seals the deal are Episodes 37 and 38. Upon his arrival, he gets transferred to Lord Ezelcant's palace, if only because he resembles Ezelcant's dead son Romy. Even with his fairly luxurious imprisonment, Kio realizes that Vagans are forced to deal with rampant poverty and/or the traumatic and deadly diseases from Mars Ray exposure. This is brutally driven home when he is brought to Deen's house after being pickpocketed. Kio finds that Deen's sister Lu (who is a woobie in her own right) takes an immediate liking to him. Not long after a simple dinner, however, he also learns that she is terminally afflicted by the Mars Ray disease and that she wants nothing more than to have something remotely close to a normal life, such as going outside, in the little time she has left. Growing close to her, this realization triggers a Heroic BSOD. This causes him to bring the condition that he could receive medicine for Lu (even though it only relieves the symptoms and doesn't actually cure the disease) when Ezelcant asks him to unlock the AGE system's security protocols. Having grown attached to Lu and having won her brother's trust, Kio found happiness during his imprisonment in Vagan, so it seems like the kid's finally going to get a break, right? Nope. In the middle of his father's rescue attempt, Kio returns to Lu's house one more time to deliver more medicine. What he finds instead is her brother mourning her peaceful death and a diary of all the memories she could have had with Kio. And as he escapes Vagan in his damaged AGE-3, he breaks down and finally realizes that there are others in Vagan that are just like Lu. Man, looking at all this text above, I'm not sure his Woobie status is YMMV.
Saji Crossroad His older sister is murdered (and may have been raped by her killer), his girlfriend is badly injured and later stops contacting him (and becomes a Dark Action Girl), and he inadvertantly leaks information that causes the deaths of many Cathara members. And to regain what he has lost and repair the damage he's done, he must go through Heaven and Hell and then back; namely by taking part in combat and fighting for the same organization he blames for what happened to him.
It's not hard to feel sorry for Allelujah after learning his backstory. Raised solely to fight, Allelujah has to abandon Marie in order to escape the colony to avoid termination. During his escape with fellow children designated to be killed, Al's Ax-CrazySplit Personality takes over and kills and eats his friends when food starts to run out. And then poor Al is forced by Hallelujah to pull the trigger and kill every child inside the facility when he returns with his Gundam, before finding out in the first season's finale that his archrival was Marie all along.
Soma Peires/ Marie Parfacy can be seen as one as well. Born through artificial scientific methods, Marie spent most, if not all, her childhood trapped in a glass container being constantly experimented on. In the process of making her telepathic, the HRL scientists stripped her senses of touch and sight, making her very lonely. Although the scientists let her bond closely with Allelujah, Marie eventually loses contact with her only friend as he has to escape to avoid termination. This makes her optimism and strong faith in God rather inspiring and ironic at the same time, as anyone else would surely be anything but optimistic or spiritual.
After learning their full backstory, one has to feel sorry for the ELS. Their homeworld was annihilated in a supernova, and the flashback showing this shows swarms of them flying about in confused, panicky patterns, obviously not knowing what to do in the face of this gigantic wall of fire bearing down from the sky. They then head out into unknown space to find new homes, and when they meet humanity, they started getting shot at and destroyed in large numbers simply for trying to talk to humans (they were unaware that the assimilation process was both extremely painful and usually lethal to humans).
In terms of actual suffering, the pilots from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing are pretty hard to rank, but they all go through some tough stuff:
Quatre Winner's psychotic destructiveness after his home is blown up and the fact that it climaxed in his 'killing' his Practically Canon Love Interest put them pretty high on the woobie scale.
Duo Maxwell has it easiest during the actual series run, but his backstory makes him a woobie as well. He lived on the street from a very young age, but the gang he ran with died due to a plague, including his idol Solo. After he gets taken in by the Maxwell church, the church gets occupied by terrorists who demand a mobile suit or they'll kill everybody in the church, so Duo goes and steals a suit, only to find that the church was razed to the ground while he was gone. He took his nickname, "Shinigami" because everybody who got close to him died, and he gave himself his name from Solo and Father Maxwell from the Maxwell church, so he could never forget that he failed to save them.
Mika from Gungrave. Almost every single episode she's in, she breaks down crying because a horrible and mentally scarring thing has happened. There are so many points where she just needs a hug.
Viral is for some strange reason this due to his infamous Diminishing Villain Threat though mostly to fangirls. After the timeskip and his Heel-Face Turn he became just outright awesome. Then near the end his vision in the Lotus-Eater Machine is him playing with a wife and daughter he'll never have. He mentions before being freed that he was just "dreaming a sweet dream". Cue tears from the entire fandom.
Also from TTGL, you have PrincessNiaTeppelin. Abandoned by her father and left to die for asking a goddamn question, she ends up finding the love of her life and has to fight her own father. Then, seven years later, before she and Simon can get married, she's torn away by the Anti-Spiral and forcedtobehismessenger. Then, right when she snaps out of it, he decides to Mind Rape/actually rape her. Then, after the battle is over, she gets to wed Simon... But dies at the altar, fading away into nothing, because she was created as an Anti-Spiral.
Yoko Littner. Let's just say this woman's attempts at a love life are tragic as hell (especially the first time). After spending the first part of the series being in love and later part dealing with the death of said loved one, she then witnesses the death of Kittan who admits his crush on her beforehand.
Hellsing's Seras Victoria, at least up through the seventh volume of the manga, just goes through one bad day after another. You know a girl's going to have it rough when she dies before the first chapter is even finished. By the end of the seventh volume, she's been repeatedly berated by Alucard for her weaknesses, repeatedly impaled with holy bayonets, been dismembered and blinded, was mindraped (in which she relived the murder of her parents and getting shot by the killers) and was forced to drink the blood of one of the only decent people she knew. Fortunately, that last bit had some... side effects.
Yuno can also be one when she's low on self-confidence.
Natsume. Her painful Unrequited Love-turned-tsundere attitude makes the word "woobie" consistently potholed to "poor girl" and applied to her before the YMMV rules.
Akuto Sai from Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou. Ever since he was told he was going to be the demon king, everything he does is interpreted as a malicious attack or an attempt to take over the world. It's hard not to feel sorry for him after it happens so many times to him.
Sango from InuYasha. Not only does she have to see her Father and comrades die by her brother Kohaku's hands (though against his will), and watch him being killed immediately afterwards, but her whole clan was decimated the same night. Adding insult to injury, Naraku revives Kohaku and has him under his control for most of the series, much to Sango's dismay. And if that wasn't enough, she ends up falling in love with Miroku, who basically has the magical counterpart of a terminal disease.
Kotoko from Itazura Na Kiss, especially whenever she cries during the first season.
Jinki Extend...Aoba Tsubaki; she's a total model mecha fan who gets thrust into piloting the actual thing by a mother who appears not to care for her at all. Of course, the final revelation that the mother actually does care, but that Aoba was the child of a rape between her and the apparent Big Bad doesn't make you less inclined to glomp Aoba.
Kaiji. Yes, you'll want to hug him, seeing him lose in a devastating manner, seeing him crying manly tears. Most likely one of the main factors that make the show so great. However, Kaiji is actually a very odd/interesting kind of woobie, as he also manages to be very badass at the same time. No, not in the "Badass with Dark and Troubled Past" way. You'll see him losing everything, crying, until he get's up in an outburst of badassness and does things like cutting off his own ear to win a manipulated game.
Kurusegawa Himeko from Kannazuki no Miko would count towards this as well. After being orphaned at a young age, stuck with abusive foster parents who kicked the self esteem out of her, she's raped by her best friend and forced to kill her, even after realizing that she loves her.
Karin, living a non-vampire life in a family of vampires. Her little sister is taken away from her when they believe they'll still have at least a few years. And in the end she gets her mind wiped against her will
Gokudera. Although he's incredibly aggressive and violent, his soft spot for his boss results in many, many touching woobie moments for him. The fact that he's willing to (and many times does) go through hell and high water for Tsuna makes many people just want to give him a big hug. Moreover, his past has been scattered with sad stories. he never knew his mom for five years since he was an illegitimate child. He ran away when he found about his parentage. He became a loner for the rest of his life, getting into gang fights frequently. His life was rough until he met Tsuna. There's no way he can't be ungrateful to the person who gives him a more peaceful life. Of course, one of his biggest and more famous woobie moments was when he's shown 10 years later, giving one of the most heart wrenching expressions when he sees Tsuna in the coffin.
Chrome Dokuro is another example of this trope. Half her organs are missing because her mother refused to go through surgery for her, and the people she's closest to constantly belittles her. Or so she thinks...
Both Serge and Gilbert are these in Kaze to Ki no Uta. Mostly Gilbert, though, because his life has seriously sucked.
Sawako from Kimi ni Todoke. It's practically the central premise of the series.
Alice from King of Thorn. As a child she was abused by her family, developed dissociative identity disorder as a result and then had her entire family killed by Medusa, the experience causing her to literally give birth to her imaginary friend Laloo via her back. Frightened by this, she then burnt down the house killing Laloo in the process, and afterwards was taken away and used as a guinea pig in Medusa-related experiments in constructing images from a dream-world. When the experiments failed, her body was ruined in the process until only her head and a small part of her torso remained. Oh, and she's never aged during all of this, remaining a little girl, with her only companion being a large, automated white rabbit. And after all this, even surviving an army attack and Zeus' race, she doesn't get happy ending, as she burns up her life in order to help Marco survive after he comes back to life.
Yuka/Yuuka in Kyouran Kazoku Nikki. Abused as a child? Check. Bullied by her schoolmates? Check. Emotional and physical scars? Check. Needlessly adorable, withdrawn, tries to stay strong for her family, and even rides a protective older brother-lion? Check, check, check. When driven to the brink, writes a "Farewell, cruel world" letter? Oh, check.
Anyone who can watch poor, adorable little Alvis Hamilton from Last Exile cry when so many atrocities happen to and around here without feeling the woobie effect either has had their heart turned to stone or never had one to begin with.
Some found themselves wanting to just hug Kagami on several occasions, particularly at the end of the class trip episode.
Same applies to Tsukasa, even more so than her sister. In fact, sometimes it seems the plot goes out of its way just to mess with her. (It doesn't help that she has big, cute, and expressive eyes unlike her sister).
Sheryl got Woobified too, in a big way, especially after learning about her disease, seeing fans laughing her off (and her albums in a bargain bin), and then seeing her poster as garbage in the street...
Fate Testarossa. She unconditionally loves her mother who neglected and abused her for not having a personality like her dead daughter that Fate was cloned from. Also, she suffers The Final Temptation despite not being the main character of the series. Even when she's visibly angry, her voice stays huggably soft(of course, she still has to yell her attacks). Many of the most popular Moe characters of the series are Woobies.
And the third season give to us little Fiery Red Head Agito. A sentinent Unison Device whose rude behavior is more or less the result of her having lost her original master(her kind feel despair without a master), being used as a guinea pig by scientist FOR YEARS without any kind of consideration for her, found some little happiness by finding a new master but living worried for him cause he was working for a Mad Scientist of dubious relliance, got the knowledge that her beloved master was actually a clone dying of genetic degeneration, saw him die IN FRONT OF HER EYES but the killer is an honorable Lady of War that did it in fair combat and took Agito under her wing, giving her a warm place to belong and a new purpouse in life. After that Agito seems to be recovered and even her rude attitude becomes more playful and happier ...and then comes the fourth season where she saw her current master, whom she has developed really strong and heartwarming bonds whith during the Time Skip, being near killed right in front of her AGAIN, suffered seeing her in recovering and is now constantly worried since her master isn't fully recovered yet and the enemy who near killed them is still free and wreacking havoc. This trope wanted to give this poor little creature a big hug several times.
Minawa from Mahoromatic is a clear Woobie with her perpetual failures for which she always feels sorry — the trademark "Gomenasai" — even though the failures were designed into her by Professor Kane. She actually goes as close as possible to the brink of Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds in a sense when she tries at the same time to kill and not kill Mahoro and Suguru. She eventually recovers from being the Woobie by gaining confidence in that she indeed has a heart.
Ako Izumi's character arc is based around it. First, as a bit of setup, she was apparently rejected by the boy she liked before the beginning of the story and is enormously self-conscious about the scar on her back. She has a minor breakdown during her first Day in the Limelight chapter, which Negi helps her recover from in the guise of Nagi, his imaginary cousin, gaining a crush on him at that time. After she and her friends accidentally get dragged into the magic world with Negi, she contracts a nasty disease, forcing her and her two friends to sell themselves into slavery to buy a cure. Nagi shows up to rescue her and unwittingly charms her to an extreme extent, making her grow extremely emotionally reliant on him. Everyone around her knows Nagi's real identity while they scramble for a way to resolve the issue, she finds out and goes through a Shower of Angst, though in the end she does a fairly decent job of accepting the truth.
Though quite frankly he got what was essentially the best out of the situation. Not only did no-one he cared about died, his father showed up and protected him; not to mention the fact that none of the villagers actually DIED, they were merely petrified and no-one ever said that the petrification was ever irreversible. In fact, early in the manga, it was shown to BE reversible. So while his town did burn down and was overrun by demons, Negi got the best out of a situation that could have been WAY worse
Chachamaru's character arc tends to focus on whether or not she even believes she has a soul or is a person at all. Negi helps her get over it with a pactio and unlike many characters she puts this plot point behind her.
Erstin Ho from Mai-Otome just can't catch a break. First, she's assaulted by a tentacle monster during swim class. Later, she's trapped in the woods as her survival equipment gives out, and then bitten by a snake with little hope of recovery... and then ends up Taking the Bullet for Arika when someone tries to kill her. It finally culminates with Erstin being revealed as a Mole for Schwarz (though she really doesn't want to hurt anyone), since it runs in the Ho family, and ultimately dying when Nina accidentally slices through her Slave.
Martian Successor Nadesico has Akito Tenkawa, ship's cook. Orphaned? Check. Doomed Hometown razed right in front of him as he was trying to rescue a little girl? Check. Press-ganged into military service and later almost-assuredly lethal test piloting? Check. BFF with The Obi-Wan? Check. On the plus side, his sheer Woobieness apparently makes him irresistible to women.
Shiro Kabuto, The Hero's little brother. His parents died when he was barely a toddler. His grandfather Juuzo took them in, but he hired a maid to raise them because he was barely in home. Several years later, in one single day, Rumi - the maid; he treated her like a a kind of older sister - was murdered, his grandfather was murdered (and Juuzo died right in front of his grandsons), and his older brother Kouji nearly stomps him under the foot of an Humongous Mecha. We see during the series he is sad because he don't have parents to hang with, and Koji, Boss, and Sayaka are most likely busy fighting a Mechanical Beast. He had a crush on a cute kid called Lorelei, but she died. And in one of the last episodes, Dr. Hell created a robot looked right like Kouji and Shiro's mother. She managed to convince him she was his real mother and tried to manipulate him to blow up the Jet Scrander. Later he had to shoot her, in spite of he was not sure of she was not his real mother. Have I mentioned he was only ten-years-old when the series began? Later, in Great Mazinger Kouji and Sayaka travel to America and he stays in Japan. Several times he complains he finds himself alone, his older brother does not write letters, and he even wishes upon a star Kouji returns soon. Jun tried to act like his Cool Big Sis because she was real sorry for him. And later in the series, he found out his father was not dead. And he had let his sons believed during years he was dead. And then, shortly after Shiro forgave him and they made up, his father Kenzo died. For real, this time. Also, in UFO Robo Grendizer Kouji Kabuto shows up, but Shiro does not, so it is fair wondering who was taking care of him. I guess the most obvious answer is Tetsuya and Jun -since they were his adoptive siblings and they were not underage- or Prof. Yumi -since he had been a Parental Substitute for Kouji and Shiro in the original series. It definitely suckes to be him. Although, on the other hand, he does not constantly whine about it.
Yuri, Sayaka's cousin, was an annnoying, cranky, demanding Bratty Half-Pint. She acted like that because her parents were too Married to the Job to take care properly of her and they never were in home. Also, she is a disabled Ill Girl needs to use a wheelchair, and she refuses to undergo therapy to walk again because she is afraid of everyone will leave her alone again.
Mitsuo, a child attended Shiro's school was a fat, shy kid wore glasses. Needless to say, bullies targeted him, and he hardly had friends. Shiro scared the bullies away once, but he told Mitsuo he could not help him and be his friend if he did not learn to stand up for himself. All that piled-up abuse was the reason that he pulled a Too Dumb to Live stunt.
Yukki from Mirai Nikki could be considered this. At the start he is a shy and introverted young boy, and then he gets shoved into a duel to the death with a bunch of psychopaths. His only consistant ally is the craziest of them all, the biggestStalker with a CrushYandereever, who, at one point, chians him up and imprisons him, so that no one would get in the way of their love. Poor guy.
While the protagonists of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise seldom get off easy, usually as an illustration why it's a bad idea to put a teenager in the middle of a war zone, Victory Gundam stands out by going out of its way to make the lead character Uso's life a living hell. Forced to pilot the eponymous Gundam against his will by leaders who honestly only value him for his skill, Uso and the Gundam develop a repuation by the enemy as an unholy terror that needs to be destroyed as quickly as possible. Uso does not take it well. "Stay away! You won't be killed if you stay away!" quickly becomes his... er... battle cry".
Kenzo Tenma and Nina Fortner. By the time you're halfway through the series, you're not hoping that Johan Liebert gets a bullet through his head so much as you're just praying to God that both of those two come out of it all alive, safe, and sane.
Grimmer, the ultimate Woobie in this series, with that constant smile of his. He was subjected to the horrors of Kinderheim 511 and developed a Split Personality...but he's one of the nicest people in the series.
Dieter's adoptive father attempts to Mind Rape him after abusing him for some time, all to find a replacement for Johan.
Akira Sakura from Narutaru. Extremely shy and depressed as a result of being sexually abused by her father, she has nightmares while wide awake, gets bullied at school, witnesses gruesome deaths, is kidnapped and held hostage by a dangerous highschooler, gets her head messed with by creepy sociopaths... and the list goes on and on.
It can be argued that the title character of is subject to a form of Woobiefication, mostly for the hard life he was able to overcome at the start of the series.
Rock Lee, who is unable to perform anything other than martial abilities, has been training night and day since a young age and continues doing so rigorously even when his arm and leg are crushed by Gaara. Because of how powerful he's become due to that training, he is one of the characters who suffer from the Worf Effect the most in this series.
Hinata Hyuuga inspires two kinds of reactions from people: those who are frustrated with her repeatedly fainting, her virtual inability to even remotely articulate her feelings to Naruto, and... oh heck, just look up Avoidant Personality Disorder, you'll practically find Hinata's picture there. The other kind of reaction is from people who can empathize with how crippling shyness is a curse, and to them, she's totally a Woobie.
Natsume Yuujinchou has Takashi Natsume, the boy who was passed from family to family , isolated, and bullied for most of his life, just because he "said weird things".
Poor Kirika from Noir: "I can kill people so easily. Why then don't I feel sad?" Awwww.
Ian from Not Simple. He's separated from his beloved older sister at a very young age when she is sent to jail for armed robbery, leaving him alone with his distant and verbally abusive father, and his alcoholic mother. When his parents divorce, his mother takes him to far away England where she takes up beating him and forcing him to do odd jobs to pay for her booze habit. When that doesn't prove to be enough money, she even pimps him out for it. When his sister is finally released from prison, they get separated again, after which he vows to Walk the Earth to find her. During this journey he discovers that his sister is his REAL mother, and all of his horrible abuse was out of the other woman's desire for revenge. To top things off he never finds his mother/sister, who dies from aids after contracting it from the guy Ian was pimped out to as a child... meaning that Ian has the disease as well. Then he commits suicide when he finds out that the woman he was in love with, whom he left behind to search for his sister, has died in the interim.
Let's begin with the titular character of Ojamajo Do Re Mi, shall we? A little sister who acts like she's the older sister, has lots of boyfriends despite not even being in elementary school yet, and is better than you at just about everything? Check. Your mom pushing you too hard in trying to teach you how to play the piano when you're a toddler? Check. Getting called out by your friends and family when you accidentally make their situation worse even though you were just trying to help? Check. Often late for school and acquire poor grades? Check. Accident prone because your're one of the show's comic relief characters? Check. Any chance you have at eating steak is cruelly snatched away? Check. Realize that upon your elementary school graduation that you and your friends are going seperate ways and you won't see them again for a long time? Check.
Momoko had to move from Japan to America at a young age and intially had trouble fitting in. Majo Monroe offered to help her adjust to her new life and taught her how to bake until Momoko accidentally discovered Majo Monroe's true identity and turn her into a green blob. She became a witch apprentice to try turning Majo Monroe back to normal, but by the time she was a full fledged witch, Majo Monroe was on the verge of death and left her earring behind for Momoko. Momoko then had to move back to Japan leaving behind her American friends and relearn her native language and culture. On her first day of school, she was asked to take off her earring since wearing jewlery in school was against school rules even though it was her most prized possession. Fortunately, things got better for Momoko.
Aiko was supposed to have an younger sibling who unfortunately her mother had a miscarriage resulting in her sibling's death which partially contributed to her parents divorcing and for a while assumed the divorce was her fault and often tries to persuade her parents to get back together.
Majo Rika spends almost the entirety of the series as a magic frog, but her status as a woobie is midway through the first season when her rival Majo Ruka shows up and takes over the magic shop and being seen as a witch frog was rather difficult for her. Doremi and Lala even lampshade this. Fortunately Majo Ruka eventually gets turned into a magic frog as well and eventually turns over a new leaf.
Seki sensei's father died when she was a child, and the death of said father caused her to be rejected from a position as a teacher at a private school so she had to settle for a public school. Also while she loves her students and the feelins is mutual, there are times when they don't make her job easy.
Each classmate has at least one moment where you couldn't help but feel sorry for them and wanted to cheer them up.
One Piece has tons of them, including the whole main cast. Having a tragic backstory is almost a requirement for joining the Straw Hats.
Luffy apparently never knew his parents (or at least his father, though he don't seem to care) and was raised by mountain bandits and an abusive, but well intentioned, grandfather. He still had a great time though, mostly because of his two "brothers" Ace and Sabo. Then, Sabo, in Luffy's flashback, gets murdered at the whim of a World Noble and Ace dies in Luffy's arms after the latter has gone through hell(almost literary, with it being the theme of Impel Down) and sacrificed 20 years of his life span to save him.
Zoro's childhood friend and rival got killed by falling down a set of stairs, the day after they had promised each other than one of them would become the world's best swordsman.
Nami was orphaned as an infant, and raised in relative poverty by a loving adoptive mother. Who was then murdered by Arlong in front of her eyes to save Nami and her sister.
Usopp's mother was dying from sickness, and he made up stories of his pirate father returning with a miracle medicine to cheer her up. After she died, he continued to tell the stories.
Sanji lost the entire crew of his original ship to a storm. He was then stranded at a rock in the sea with a bag of food and the captain of a pirate crew who had raided mentioned crew before the storm struck, for many weeks, almost starving to death, until he was finally rescued.
Chopper was always bullied by the other reindeers for his blue nose, and it really hit the roof when he ate a Devil Fruit which gave him the ability to transform into a "human". Rejected by both reindeers and humans(his human form resembled an abominable snowman), he was brought in and raised by a quack doctor - who then was killed in front of Chopper's eyes. See a recurring theme?
Robin was raised by an abusive aunt and indifferent uncle, and was constantly bullied by other kids because of her Devil Fruit powers, making her a "monster." She befriended a cheery giant, who died trying to save her, and a group of historians, who was killed along with the entire rest of her home island for researching forbidden subjects. Oh, and her mother finally returned after many years the day the genocide took place.
Franky ran away from home and lived in a scrapyard, before he was taken in by a shipwright, who later was (you guess it) murdered in front of his eyes.
And finally, Brook, the only one actually being a grown-up when this happened, is the sole survivor of a very close and friendly pirate crew who died around him of poisoning while playing their favourite song. He survived because of his Devil Fruit, but seeing as the steering mechanism of his ship was broken, and he was in the middle of the One Piece equalent of the Bermuda Triangle, he spent several decades drifting alone in the eternal mist.
Oniisama e... has a lot of them, specially Nanako, Rei and Mariko. Several characters (such as Kaoru and Aya, in the anime adaptation at least) and minor characters like Junko has their woobie moments.
Gretel◊ of OtogiJuushiAkazukin spends much of the series trying to earn the respect of her "Onii-sama", hoping to regain some small shred of the loving big brother he used to be, before they were taken in by the Big Bad. This coldness reaches it's peak when Hansel is ordered tokill her. She flees during a momentary resistance to the big bad's mind control. This troper found the scene where she finally breaks down crying in male lead Souta's arms heart-wrenching despite the resulting squabbling of the two clingy jealous girls standing nearby. To drive the point home, her day in the limelight episode is appropriately titled "Lonely Gretel."
Elliot Nightray from Pandora Hearts. In a series filled with Woobies, Elliot deserves a special mention. As if his family being ostracized for being branded "traitors" and being the target of a mysterious headhunter wasn't enough, he also suffers from RecurringBad Dreams. Then, it turns out that the reason why he has these dreams in the first place was because of his illegal contract with Humpty Dumpty, whose purpose involves protecting the current Glen by controlling the contractor into killing anyone who threatens his life... who just so happens to be his servant/best friend, whom his two brothers, sister and mother (who happened to be going off the deep end at that point) threatened to kill at different intervals, in front of Elliot. Which means, in effect, Elliot himself is the Headhunter. And by the time he learns this, his incuse has already reached that point in which rejecting his chain would kill him. Since the other alternatives were to get killed by either his big brother Vincent or his friend Oz, or to keep living without solving the current problem and eventually get dragged into the Abyss, he just chose to reject the chain. And the Humpty Dumpty thing would have been avoided if his father actually put his family's well-being before his family's honor enough to destroy Humpty Dumpty early on.
Oz, from the same series. He's neither the real Oz Vessalius, nor is he an actual human. Turns out that he began his existence as a pair of rabbit dolls owned by Alice and the Will of the Abyss one hundred years ago who was wished to life, and he's actually the B-Rabbit, a powerful Chain that was used to kick off the Tragedy of Sablier against his will by a certain blonde, green-eyed guy called Jack. After Alice killed herself to save Oz from Jack's control and stop Jack's plan, Jack and Oz were somehow tangled together after being sucked into the Abyss and spent the next hundred years being reincarnated and aging backwards over and over again, until Jack's soul was too worn down to keep control of his own body. And that was when the Oz as we know him was born. It's just that ever since then, Jack's been gaining strength and repeatedly possessing Oz, until he's ready to kick off Sablier 2.0. And just when it's getting better for Oz with Gilbert reaffirming his resolve to always be with him, good ol' uncle Oscar coming to their help, Jack being subdued and Alice coming back, said beloved uncle ends up killed as they escape and the poor boy is in denial.With the manga still on-going and the way it is, it's highly likely this isn't even the end of it.
Chimchar. Just...Chimchar. Watch the Tag Battle episodes and "Tears for Fears". This troper dares you not to cry. Also demonstrated in the episode "Chim-Charred."
The Team Rocket trio fits this trope well. James grew up in a rich family. Sounds great, right? No. Being born in high class society, he had to partake in activies he had little interest in, and his fiancee (who looks like Jessie, but acted far worse) was incredibly overbearing and tried to teach him to do things properly. The only friend he had in his childhood days was a loyal Growlithe who he left behind when he joined Team Rocket. Sometime during the Battle Frontier arc, his Chimecho became sick and he had to leave it with relatives something that was clearly heartbreaking for him to do. He does get a Mime Jr. in exchange though. Meowth grew up as an alley cat and fell in love with a wealth, but snooty female Meowth who rejected his feelings since he had nothing to give her. Meowth then tried to walk on his hind legs and talk like a human to make himself more unique. Unfortunately, this backfired since the rich Meowth saw him as a freak.
Ash after his full battle with Paul. In a case of irony, the only one that was able to cheer him up was Dawn, who went through something very similar as stated above.
How in the name of Ho-oh's saggy ol' foot has Mewtwo not been mentioned? To recap: the guy had all his childhood playmates die and his memories of them wiped before he was even born; when he awakens, he learns he's a clone of Mew created solely for experimental purposes; after he blows up the lab because of this, he gets taken in by Giovanni, the leader of freaking Team Rocket who sees him as only a tool; upon finding this out, Mewtwo blows up the gym and returns to his island of birth, deciding to (rather understandably) kill all humans. Mewtwo was the original woobie.
Larvitar, from near the end of the Johto saga. "Address Unown" reveals the full story of how, as an egg, he was stolen by greedy Pokemon poacher (using, from his perspective, a terrifying machine to take his egg), and he could only watch as his mother was injured trying to save him. Expounded by all this being shown in his mind to Ash and Co., complete with sounding like a terrified little boy. When he hatches, he's so terrified of humans it takes a courageous deed to get Ash to trust him, and a heartwrenching "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight to trust other humans, including Misty and Brock. Thank goodness he gets to earn his happy ending.
Misty having to put up with Ash's inexperience in the first season led to her bike getting destroyed and having to constantly tutor him. Being the youngest of 4 sisters gaver her a bit of an inferiority complex even though she's a more competent Pokemon Trainer than they are especially as time progresses. Said sisters also pawn off gym responsibilites to her so they can take a world trip. Being forced to take care of a Psyduck that's not exactly smart and can't even swim appears to have caused her some slight Sanity Slippage moments. Not to mention having to keep Brock in check everytime he falls in love with a pretty girl. Also having to seperate from a baby Pokemon you cared for as if it were her own child because said Pokemon has evolved/grown up and needs to stay in a foreign country/alternate dimension to look after other babies of it's species which also works as a tear jerker.
Emerald from Pokémon Special. His parents died and his relatives might as well be playing hot potato with him, each of them trying to dump him somewhere else. Because he's a midget, he couldn't do much of anything on his own and was picked on for it. As soon as some nice Pokemon try to help him out, said bullies mock him that he can't do anything without his 'tools'. He then resolves to do everything he can by himself, further alienating himself. If he had never seen Crystal and her selfless attitude, who knows what could've happened to him?
Also Blue and Silver for being kidnapped as children by a self-centered monster and only getting better because they escaped from him years later.
Most of the legendary pokemon for being living macguffins, enslaved by various baddies, etc
Sasami even more in Tenchi Muyo!. Imagine going 700+ years thinking that you're not the real thing, that the real Sasami died when she was four and that all you are now is just a vessel for a powerful goddess and, if the others found out about it, they might turn against you and shun you. It's no wonder she was such a Stepford Smiler there.
The main cast of Princess Tutu has elements of this. Fakir might be the most tragic example, considering he's fated to die unable to protect Mytho, not to mention the fact that his powers lead to the accidental death of his parents, and the girl he loves is really a duck—and unable to return to her girl form at the end of the series. Rue has a dark, sad backstory as well but she's often not as popular with fans—sometimes because they thing she needs to get over it, and sometimes because she got Mytho instead of Ahiru.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Whilst we could just go blanket and say "everyone," special mention goes to Sayaka. Starts off with the best intentions, apparently succeeds... falls hard. With Kyouko, this has already happened, though she recovered. Sayaka? Notsomuch. Other examples:
Mami. Badass mentor figure, has been completely alone since her parents died in the same accident that forced her to make a contract to save her life, and is doomed to fight and die unloved and unremembered. Which she does.
If anything, the 3rd Drama CD ups Mami's woobiedom value. She used to be Kyouko's friend as a duo of Magical Girls fighting Witches, the only friend Mami could ever have. Then... Kyouko's tragedy changed her to a cynical girl and decided to break up. Mami's attempt to make her stay was met with an ass-kicking to her, and she could only cry seeing that the only person she could get along with left her to be all alone again...
The PSP game ups this. So she survived the battle with Charlotte? Nice... but then Madoka-Homura made her look like getting abandoned again and depending on the choices, she continues fighting solo and grew further miserable due to loneliness... to the point that she becomes a Witch for it. "Lonely Mami is Lonely"doesn't sound so hilarious now...
Kyouko. Unwittingly sent her preacher father insane when she used her wish to try to get him more followers after his excommunication, to the point of trying to kill her and his entire family, along with himself. As a result, she believes in only working for your own benefit. And she's one of the more well-adjusted characters.
Homura. Probably the most heartbreaking of them all: Her wish was to go back in time to protect Madoka. Unfortunately, because of this, she's stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop where she has to watch Madoka and her friends die (or turn into witches) over and over again, including one heartbreaking instance where she had to Mercy Kill Madoka herself to keep her from turning into a Witch after she drained the darkness from Homura's Soul Gem. Only time will tell if she'll be able to save Madoka and Screw Destiny this time.
Despite being an antagonist that ended up killing Mami horribly during the events of the anime, Charlotte the Witch of Desserts has virtually attained this status in the eyes of the fandom after it became known that all witches that aren't ex-familiars are former magical girls manipulated by Kyubey into crossing the Despair Event Horizon; the various subsequent speculations on the reasons behind her obsession of cheese have only served to fuel this sentiment. To wit: she's often said to have been a Littlest Cancer Patient (hence the hospital imagery in her barrier). Cancer patients often can't eat dairy products... And chances are that the other witches wouldn't be much (if any) less sympathetic, either.
Charlotte's actual wish is later revealed in a Guidebook, and it just makes her more of a Woobie. Turns out it was Charlotte's mother who was ill and in the hospital. Charlotte wanted to share a cake with her mother before she died, so when Kyubey came to make a contract with her that is what she wished for, a piece of Cheesecake. Her mother died soon after she became a Magical Girl, and Kyubey asked why Charlotte didn't just wish to save her mom. This pushed her past the Despair Event Horizon and turned her into a Witch.
And finally... Madoka. Is watching all the above take place to everyone else, trying to keep everyone together and sane, but about the only option she has to really save everyone involves selling her soul. And it's strongly implied by Homura that this will actually make things worse, since all magical girls eventually turn into witches, and Madoka turning into a witch will end the world. She does eventually find a way to end this cycle of misery, by using her wish to rewrite reality so that no magical girl, in this or any other time or world, will become a witch, though this doesn't come without a cost: becoming a goddess and ascending into a higher plane of existence.
RahXephon has a few, but the one that stands out most is Hiroko Asahina. The episode that focuses on her is some kind of deluxe Tear Jerker supreme, with a side order of Dramatic Irony.
Depending on both versions and your own opinions, any of the main teen characters from Ranma 1/2 fit this trope. The anime versions of the majority of the cast tend to be more sympathetic- Mousse is the only one who looks better in the manga, and whether manga-Ryoga or anime-Ryoga is more sympathetic is a matter of personal opinion. For some setting-neutral examples of reasons for Woobiedom...
Ranma: a deep psychological trauma due to Training from Hell in early childhood that makes him afraid of a common pet, abusive parental figures (not only his mother and father, but both potential fathers-in-law, the grandmaster of his style, and his potential great-grandmother-in-law), a quartet of Clingy Jealous Girls who are perfectly fine with manipulating, deceiving and pounding him despite their proclaimed intent to marry him, a curse that earns the lecherous intentions of anyone who isn't aware of his true nature (and one opponent who knows and can't care less), and absolutely no friends whatsoever beyond his rivals and his fiancees.
The reason why some argue that anime!Ryoga may be more sympathetic than manga!Ryoga? In the manga, Ryoga at least gets the aforementioned girl. In the anime, the character who Akari Unryu (the girl in question) was inspired by showed up in a filler episode... and Ryoga left her. He admitted to himself that she loved him and he loved her back, he commented that he had never felt so happy or at peace as he did while he was on her farm, he noted that he might not ever find the place or be so happy again if he left... and he still couldn't seperate himself enough from his quest to defeat Ranma Saotome or get Akane Tendo's heart to accept this relief.
Ukyo: her childhood crush and fiancee abandoned her after their engagement was decided, after a decade spent pretending to be a guy she discovers that her target A: wasn't truly responsible, B: didn't even know about the engagement, and C: wasn't even aware of her gender.
Mousse: the girl he loves and has loved since childhood has never once shown even the slightest sympathy towards his efforts at wooing her, no matter what extent he goes to.
Shampoo: she is constantly pursued by an obnoxious childhood friend who refuses to accept her blatant dislike for his efforts at wooing her, she never even got the chance to enjoy becoming the winner of the tournament before being disgraced, she has been effectively exiled from her homeland until she manages to get her fiance to accept their engagement, she has no friends beyond said aforementioned reluctant fiance and annoying would-be suitor.
Ryoga is the closest thing to being pure hearted of them and even he has his jerkass moments — such as his notorious attempt at trying to murder Ranma after accidentally making him/her fall in love with him (long story).
Although with the possible exception of when he has a very short breakdown in the final battle, Lucia from Rave Master is mostly just a homicidal maniac... but in any flashback remotly related to him you want nothing more than to rescue him from the universe that exists to screw him over. Admit it, even if he's racked up a high enough death count to rival Hitler, you still have to be upset that the government forced him to witness a masacre that included his mothers murder then threw him in a high security prison 66 floors underground for no other reason than being the wrong guy's son WHEN HE WAS 5!
Musica witnessed a massacre too, of everyone he was related to rather than a large group of random people, but Lucia was clearly much more traumatized by his past.
Well, to be fair, Musica was found and taken in by a Father Figure who raised him while Lucia was, as mentioned above, thrown into a dark, high security prison cell 66 floors underground apparently butt naked and left there until he escaped simply because he just happened to be King's son.
Of course, Lucia wasn't completely alone the whole time. The only company he had during the decade in jail was one of the most powerful Dark Brings in the world, a piece of the Mother Dark Bring Sinclair. The way he speaks to the (non-sentient) Artifact of Doom, it really seems like he thinks of it as a surrogate mother figure. He (and the world) probably would have been better off alone.
Oscar, Andre and Rosalie in Rose of Versailles, though several others in the main cast and a few secondaries/bit characters fit this as well.
Suiseiseki from Rozen Maiden. The fact that she loves her sisters too much to fight them for the title of Alice makes you feel sad for her when her sisters start dying right in front of her very eyes in the second season.
Most of the dolls hit on this at some point or another. With the exception of Barashitou/Krakashitou, who doesn't want to give one of these poor girls a hug after learning about how they were designed to fight each other to the death.
And even Kirakishou hits this in the manga, of a far a far more lethal variety. The main reason she is considered evil is because she has been left alone inside the N-field since her creation, and by that has spend hundreds of years alone in isolation, making it hard not to feel sad for her when you consider that she has had nobody to love and in turn love back. This is part of her motivation for attacking the other sisters, out of a deranged view of wanting to be together with them, and with her dying words are "hold me more" while crying, it really casts some doubt on whether or not she truly is evil, but just very, very insane.
Usagi applies at several times - she's been to Hell and back since becoming a sailor soldier (literally, she's died several times).
Makoto lost her parents in a plane crash, no one wants to approach her because she has a manly physique. Her preclusion to beat up people causes others to be afraid of her, and she apparently has had her heart broken once (twice in the anime). Plus, as Sailor Jupiter, despite being the physically strongest scout, she is often the first to be knocked out.
Hotaru completely blows the rest of them out of the water though. Lost her mother when she was young, was mortally injured by her father's mad science, became the host of the third season's Big Bad, was ostracized by her peers for her healing powers and because the Big Bad occasionally made her hurt her friends against her will, became an Ill Girl because of the Big Bad's corruption of her body, was marked for death by Uranus and Neptune, was forced to eat her best friend's soul by her Superpowered Evil Side, nearly destroyed the world, then died to save it and only gets brought back as an infant. And this is only in the third season. Subsequent seasons are much better about Hotaru's treatment, but only because she hardly ever shows up at all. When she does come back, she gets about two scenes in StarS before getting stabbed in the back by her own adoptive parents as part of a poorly thought-out Batman Gambit that failed anyway. And the kid still wants nothing but friendship...
Sailor Pluto. Installed at the Time Gate by her father Chronos at a very young age, she's got a large but unknown number of years of loneliness under her belt. When the other scouts realized that she has to stay there watching life go by, it makes them cry. Sailor Moon is just Usagi with a costume on, but Sailor Pluto doesn't know how to just be Setsuna and has to make up a civilian persona. It's no wonder she's so guarded.
If you can get past her brattiness for a moment, Chibiusa, especially in her first season (Sailor Moon R). She's a five-year-old kid who has the responsibility of restoring the future and is being chased by a team of villains who are out to kill her. In the S season, she returns for training, but longs to be able to return home because she feels like she doesn't belong. And of course, there's the episode where a possessed Hotaru (who became her best friend) steals her heart crystal while she's still awake and breathing.
Maria in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, quite deliberately. Played for laughs because she has a distinct mischievous side that only comes out when nobody is paying attention, for example pressing her foot on another girls weight scale to increase her apparent weight.
Kobushi Abiru (initially) subverts this trope and (lately) plays it straight.
Minazuki Sanae in Sweet Ninja Girl Azuki. He's an orphan, he has no friends, there are mooks after his life and the bodyguard his grandfather hired, well, she might be even worse than all the above combined! Let's put it like this: he has a near-death experience every single chapter.
Sylphiel in The Slayers. When we first meet her, it's clear she's infatuated with Gourry, whose density can outmatch lead and thus doesn't notice it at all. She's also a delicate, shy young woman who seems incapable of raising her voice, in stark contrast to Lina. By the end of the series, her hometown has been wiped off the map unintentionally by the Big Bad, and her beloved father killed. She reappears in Slayers NEXT when the group returns to her hometown of Sairagg, which has been rebuilt and repopulated by the imprisoned souls of its dead population via the new Big Bad's power. She does get a brief reunion with her father, before the entire town is, again, killed off (or returned to being dead, whichever). Furthermore, any hopes of a romance with Gourry are smashed by his last second realization of love for Lina.
There's also a bit of this attached to Amelia, though in a far more disturbing, Stuffed into the Fridge sort of way; due to the fact that she's energetic, optimistic, cute, chaste, and all around endearing, the production staff use her quite a bit in order to convince us that the villains are indeed villainous. A particularly chilling example is The Hellmaster ripping out her soul while she writhes in pain in her friend's arms. Rather than just be revolting, however, it makes you want to leap to her defense and give her a big protective hug, or that's the intention anyway. When this is done twice in three episodes, it feels a little forced.
Zelgadiss. Apart from his curse angst, social troubles, self confidence seesaw etc., he also suffers from the Worf effect — if Zelgadiss starts BLEEDING you know you're in deep trouble.
Tails gets a few of these moments during Sonic X, not least when he spends roughly twenty minutes or so angsting about letting Sonic and Knuckles get hurt during a pretty awful attack.
While the Sonic X ball is in play, Cosmo has to be the most woobified Sonic character to ever exist in any medium, having gone through so much (death of her entire family and destruction of her home leaving her the last remaining member of her species, spending months trying to deal with the ever complex bonds of Defeat Means Friendship in the Sonic crew, plus the fact that she later discovers she's been used as a spy for the Metarex all along and the only solution is to either kick Metarex butt -a nigh impossible task- or destroy her vision and hearing) it's no wonder she has so many tearing up scenes.
And then, as if things couldn't possibly get any worse, Tails, who had developed an immense crush on Cosmo, is forced to kill her in order to save the world. The scene in which he struggles to pull the trigger is an infamous Tear Jerker.
Crona from Soul Eater is practically the living definition of this trope. Has a horrific backstory (it starts with having his/herJerkassEquippable Ally implanted in his/her body and goes onfrom there) and is a painfully shy, perpetually bewildered bundle of nerves. The entire fandom seems to be united in the desire to give him/her a hug and/or beat the tar out of Medusa. Not to mention half way through the anime series (and early in the manga) when s/he had befriended the main cast, Medusa re-appeared and brought back all the abuse with the added "bonus" of making hir betray hir new friends. Poor Chrona. It now looks as though Medusa is planning to send Crona against Shibusen again (she still wants Maka dead, likely amongst other things) and if Ragnarok's appearance is anything to go by, they're back taking human souls.
Eruka Frog could also be one, considering that she is working for Medusa ONLY because of snakes inside her body, and more later on she gets captured by shibusen, and an explosive collar put on her neck to enfore her help. One is worried what will happen considering Medusa can see everything Eruka sees, and Medusa could kill her to ruin Shibusen's plans.
Kagura Tennouzou from Speed Grapher. In her introductory episode we learn that Kagura's mother Shinsen, the wealthiest woman in the city, starves her own daughter out of jealousy. And that's just the start...
And the villians have this as well. Yeah, even Shinsen, whose husband left her while she was pregnant: the real reason she was starving poor Kagura. Not to mention the Big Bad himself, Suitengu, who lost his family, and Tsujido who was horribly treated by a bunch of rich puncks.
Holo from Spice and Wolf is this, to such a degree that it very much defines the plot. In public, she acts either calm and composed or cutely innocent, depending on the situation, but because she's really 700 years old, she has a fair amount of angst and loneliness, and she was heartbroken when the village she had been caring for no longer needed or desired her. She's become very attached to Lawrence, who they both know she will outlive by far. Then she finds out that her homeland might not exist anymore, completing her woobie transformation.
Mikuru Asahina in Suzumiya Haruhi. Think about it: She gets uprooted from her friends, family and timeline, is thrown into a culture alien to her without any of the technology she's used to in the future, where she is constantly manipulated, kept out of the loop and emotionally abused by none other than her future self. Add to this the fact that before being sent back in time, she underwent mental conditioning preventing her from ever revealing anything details of her old life to any of her new friends, no matter how much she might want to. And all of this abuse came from the people she's supposed to be saving.
Not to mention she cant form any romantic relationships with anyone from the present timeline and any friendships she makes will be short-lived as she will eventually have to go back to the future. Her adult self pretty much states that she doesnt see the SOS Brigade for years.
Another big woobie is Yuki Nagato (pictured). Starting at and especially in The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (both the novel and movie.)
Tenjou Tenge: Masataka Takayanagi is a pretty nice guy who has a crush on Aya Natsume, and is a fellow member of the very small Juken Club, making them fairly tight-knit teammates. Aya has a crush on Souichiro Nagi, the street punk protagonist. Souichiro treats Aya as an annoyance. Very early on, Souichiro picks a fight with Masataka, with Aya soon showing up to watch. Masataka, being a fairly well trained and experienced super-powered martial artist, easily knocks Souichiro around, and the latter is soon incapacitated. Aya cuts in angrily and tells Souichiro to get up, declaring that its not befitting of her lover to lose to such a subpar martial artist. This causes Masataka to go berserk and give Souichiro a brutal beatdown. Cue woobie status and popularity for Masataka, and a part of the early foundations for the Soichiro and Aya Hatedoms.
Any sympathetic character in Texhnolyze, but the main character Ichise may be the worst though.
Ivan counts as well, once we find out what he's like behind his flashy costume. And Kotetsu in later episodes, especially once his powers begin to fail him.
Kotone Himekawa from To Heart was introduced with a pretty sad backstory: her parents are never around, she's got Psychic Powers that cause people to avoid her, since getting close to her supposedly gives you bad luck because she can foresee any unfortunate events that would occur to anyone close to her.
Jonah Matsuka in Toward the Terranever catches a break. You know it's bad when the only truly happy moment the poor guy has in the entire series is when he's half-dismembered and dying because at least now he knows that Keith feels sorry for him.
Vash the Stampede from Trigun. Aside from being officially classified as a natural disaster, his name is generally feared and he's hunted for the unprecedented bounty on his head throughout much of the series. A good day for him is one on which he doesn't get shot at. And that's before we start to learn his backstory.
And, of course, Ange. She had her entire family killed, was physically and verbally abused by her aunt, and was bullied to the point of absolute misery by girls at her school, and then got turned into hamburger, AKA being torn apart by red hot pliers. And then, in the human world, probably was shot by her bodyguard, the person she currently trusts most. And then Bernkastel brings her back only to reveal that the "truth" that Ange's parents were the culprits, and her mom hated her, and it was Eva who really loved her. And then she gets turned into hamburger. Again.
Natsuhi, whose misery is so complete that the song discolor is pretty much the "Natsuhi's life is falling to pieces" theme song.
Zero Kiryu from Vampire Knight gets the razor sharp end of a burning stick so many times that the author must seriously get huge amounts of glee from torturing him. He's one of those rare characters that has justified angst. Nearly his whole family was brutally murdered before his eyes, creating a deep resentment towards vampires within him. Then that attacker bit him, dooming him to eventually become that which he hated most. He then spends the next years of his life slowly warming up to Yuki, the female protagonist, who he has an unrequited love for. Of course, that's not bad enough, so there'll naturally be The Reveal where his twin brother survived that attack, but then willingly joined the murderer of their family out of jealousy of his brother. Oh, and Zero's also descending into madness because of his bite, so in spite of his wishes, he has to drink the blood of his murderer and Kaname, whom he also hates, to save himself. He then finds out Kaname is planning to manipulate him to free himself, and is only keeping him alive because of this and his friendship towards Yuki, basically making the guy feel even more crappy about himself. He's then imprisoned by the hunter organization for simply being a vampire, despite his service to them. His aforementioned brother then goes to him and essentially kills himself in front of him (that's all his family dying in front of him now), and shoots him so that Zero will have to eat his flesh. Then he finds out the only person he's ever come to care for is a vampire too.
Thorfinn you poor, pathetic bastard. Watching your dad get murdered, having everyone who is ever kind to you butchered, losing your worst enemy/surrogate father figure, the kid just can't catch a break.
Voices of a Distant Star: Mikako in spades - she's a 15 year old girl drafted into a war against a mysterious alien invader. Her only contact with her boyfriend Noboru is via text message on a cell phone. As she gets further away from Earth, the messages take longer to reach him. The crowning Tear Jerker moment comes on Agartha when, lonely and heartbroken, she falls apart sobbing, eight whole light years away from home.
Noboru has his moments, too, though he's more of a Stoic Woobie. "It's just that... I will become someone who only waits for Mikako's mail."
Satou from Welcome to the NHK is a bit of a Woobie. He is a good person deep down. He is just not sure what to do with his life for most of the series.
You think he has it bad, Misaki has it worse, FAR WORSE!!
Aoshika Akiko from Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest. DEAR. LORD. This woman needs a hug. BADLY. From her preteen years, her life sucked, having been the victim of sexual assault because of her body. She married early because she was convinced that no other man would want her, but the marriage broke apart. She's now an under-appreciated middle school teacher, but she still cares about her students, especially Inugami. However, since Inugami is a Doom Magnet, things do not get any better for Aoshika. What do we mean by that? Well, Inugami has a attracted the attention of class sociopath Haguro, who tries to get Inugami's attention to no end and gets insanely jealous whenever he doesn't. After doing some truly horrific things to his right hand man for just chatting with Inugami, Haguro plans his final revenge against Inugami by having Aoshika kidnapped, molested, and then rapes her and makes Inugami watch the video of it. BUT IT DOESN'T STOP THERE because after raping Aoshika himself, he gets his Yakuza goons to gang rape her for several hellish hours.BUT IT STILL DOESN'T STOP THERE because while they're raping her, Haguro injects Aoshika with a drug that made her loopy to the point where it made her enjoy being gangraped in EVERY WAY POSSIBLE. AND he video taped it. AND he made Inugami watch the act happen live. AND he released the video on the internet to insure that Aoshika's life was over. We told you that she needs a serious hugging marathon.
Toboe in Wolf's Rain gets bullied a lot by the other wolves, particularly Tsume. This is partly because Tsume's just that way, but also because as the smallest and youngest, Toboe is the pack omega (which means he also acts realistically as peacemaker between Tsume and Kiba). Before joining Kiba's pack he befriended a young human but accidentally killed her pet bird, then dropped his human disguise, causing her to regard him as an evil monster. It is later revealed that before that he was owned by an old woman, until he accidentally killed her. In spite of all this Toboe never becomes bitter or cynical, and has his own Crowning Moment of Awesomewhen he manages to fight and kill a huge walrus that had defeated the other wolves (or three crowning moments, if you also count both of his attempts to save the life of Quent, the wolf hunter, the second of which failed and cost both of them their lives).
Yami No Matsuei has enough backstory, subtext, and unnecessarily cruel plot twists to make everyone some variety of woobie, but the winners are-
Hisoka Kurosaki - Locked away by his parents for his telepathic powers and partially to make sure he won't be prey of a demon tormenting them; at 13 witnessed a murder, and the murderer decided to get him to keep quiet by raping him and cursing him to die a horrible death; said curse manifested itself as an incurable (and probably very painful) illness for the next three years, died and came back as a shinigami, got kidnapped by aformentioned murderer/rapist/sorcerer to use as blackmail, fell in love with a girl and had to shoot her, and had to stop his Heterosexual Life Partner from commiting suicide a few times. All whilst having a massive inferiority complex and being (at most) 16 years old.
Princess Tsubaki - Was a Lonely Rich Kid with a heart problem, which was bad enough. She made friends with an Innocent Flower Girl called Eileen, who disapeared under mysterious circumstances, and fell in love with her doctor. She then finds out that said doctor murdered Eileen and transplanted her heart into Tsubaki, and starts to hallucinate that Eileen's ghost is possessing her, which her doctor is subtly mind-raping her into believing. And she still loves him, while being aware of how horrible he is. It's almost a relief when she pulls an I Cannot Self-Terminate and gets Hisoka to kill her.
Even compared to those two, Tsuzuki takes the cake. Ostracized from everyone as a child because of his Purple Eyes (believed to be a sign of the devil), he lived practically comatose in a hospital for 6 years before finally killing himself... only to get resurrected and gain a Stalker with a Crush who constantly tries to kill/rape him. He also keeps accidentally killing people, and feels absolutley awful about it, the guilt leading him to try commiting suicide again, only to fail repeatedly as he is now effecivley immortal. It doesn't help that he's this cute, hyperactive, slightly tragic, adorkable little thing that needs cuddles.
The little girl Kazusa in the Demons trill arc she is an orphan but not only that her own father sold her life to the devil in order to become a famous violinist so Tsuzuki, Hisoka and Hijiri go to great lengths to stop this she ends up dying after saving Hijiri from a falling pillar
Fubuki Tenjoin should also qualify for Woobie status, having been possessed by an Eldritch Abomination that was originally summoned by his best friend who he can't remember, returned to find that he's been gone for two years and... this is only what happens before the series actually starts. Somehow, after all of that, he's still one of the more well-adjusted characters in the entire series.
Oh my DEAR god. Nobody's mentioned MOKUBA yet?? Mokuba, who has had his soul stolen, been possessed and manipulated by a virtual version of his dead adopted brother, and (in the original series) watched his brother's steady descent into total lunacy (not to mention deal with his egotistical attitude all the way throughout the series)?
Mokuba should get special mention for all the crap he has to go through simply because he is Kaiba's brother! His kidnappings include: being chained in a dungeon, having his soul stolen, being dangled from a helicopter, being mind-raped and briefly possessed by Noa, and being pummeled by an evil version of one of his friends to lure Kaiba into a duel. With the exception of Duelist Kingdom (where Pegasus was after the key to Kaiba Corp that Mokuba hid, at first anyway) each one of his increasingly terrifying kidnappings was for the sake of manipulating Kaiba (and in Noa's case, just tormenting him). Also in the manga, his brother, at the height of his lunacy, subjects him to the "Experience of Death" penalty game known to cause heart attacks and insanity (though Yugi quickly saves him), and afterwards he is left to take care of his comatose brother and the company by himself (setting up the Duelist Kingdom kidnapping). You really have to wonder how the kid stays so upbeat...
Though he's a self centered asshole with Misaimed Fandom, it's hard not to feel for Kaiba with his backstory (which explains a lot about why he is the way he is, though it doesn't excuse it) and his devotion to his little brother. He did get put through a lot of abuse and he forced himself through it mostly for his brother—not to mention the many, many times Mokuba is kidnapped he gets all super desperate and self-sacrificing (not desperate enough to accept any help ever, but that's Kaiba for you). Plus, he opened a park that lets underprivelaged kids in free. Awww.
For that matter, why has nobody mentioned YUGI? Who's had his soul stolen, his friends and family messed with, the skin probably all but burned off his hands, had his life threatened more times than can be counted all for the sake of a children's card game, been used as a punching bag by everyone in Japan...
Both Shizuka Kawai/Serenity Wheeler and Katsuya Jonouchi/Joey Wheeler. Separated from a young age by their parents' divorce. Shizuka/Serenity, as of the beginning of the Duel Monsters storyline starts to go blind, and is the focal point of her big brother's struggle as a novice in the game in the Duelist Kingdom tournament who hopes to win the cash prize in order to pay for the operation to treat her condition. Jou/Joey, since his estrangement from his sister, has been living alone with his drunken gambler of a father whose debts he has to pay off with multiple after-school jobs (he is a noted exception to his school's rule against this) and appearances on game shows, not to mention his aforementioned predicament during the early part of the Duel Monsters franchise. While he improves and makes some impressive feats in the game, he nonetheless ends up as Kaiba's personal Chew Toy and suffers a few near-fatal losses, most notably when he tries to save Mai. And let's not even get into the KaibaCorp Grand Prix arc, where he becomes the butt of a joke based upon a card in Yugi's deck (Which even his friends laugh about). Poor guycan't catch a breakfor trying.
Seriously, no mention of Ryou Bakura? He has a dead sister (and it's presumed that his mother is dead too), his father's either always away at work (anime) or just not living with him (manga), and he has one of the worst psychopaths ever to grace the series as his alter ego. He's constanty posessed and forced to do some pretty squicky stuff, all of which he can't remember doing, but damn he know's it's bad...and since the focus is on his evil alter ego and his villainous deeds, he's always put on the bus when he "isn't needed". His mates are perfectly fine hanging out with him, and they genuinely like him, but the rest of the time (in the anime, anyway), it's like he doesn't exist. If you think of this in terms of plot, then his friends pretty much abandon him in favour of saving the world, leaving him to deal with the Super-Powered Evil Side on his own. No wonder it's such a popular fanfiction plot for him to finally snap and need professional help...
Not only that, the only friends he's ever had have been turned into figurines for his favorite game! And, according to Yami Bakura, he's been picked on relentlessly by other kids ever since he was little!
Yuusei himself is a good example; his parents both die in the Zero Reverse incident his father was desperate to stop from happening and tried to shut down the project, he ends up in Satellite where he learns this at some point, carries the guilt around for 17 years and feels he's responsible for his friends losing their parents and previous lives. About two years before the series starts, he loses a good friend, who went mad by trying to give himself up to Security as Kiryu, who deems him a traitor and another friend who stabs him in the back to get to Neo-Domino. Two years after that, he gets to Neo-Domino, only to endure physical torture, branded as a criminal for getting out of Satellite and forced to take part in the Fortune Cup for the sake of his captured Satellite friends (during said tournament, he gets thrown around like a rag doll by Aki). Then he has to face Kiryu in a life-or-death duel, where he's almost killed by Kiryu's Earthbound God and left for dead. Because of the experience, he's left with a fear of Earthbound Gods and doubts his ability to fight on. Even when he does regain his fighting spirit, he loses two more people (including the woman who raised him from a baby) in one go because of the man responsible for Zero Reverse, has to kill Kiryu and finally breaks down during his second duel with Rudger. With that out of his system, he literally plummets to Hell when Rudger blows up the bridge they're duelling on when Yuusei wins. With the second half of the series, he develops a new fear of the Machine Emperors, flips out when Placido begins to destroy the city, has his childhood guilt reborn which revents him from finally achieving Clear Mind and in the form of Lucciano claiming that his 'curse' isn't yet over. The guy needs a break.
Yubel, people. Y'know, the monster who had Judai/the Supreme King proclaim his undying love for him/her, only for him to abandon him/her (well, his reincarnation) to the depths of space and make him/her suffer the Light of Destruction? Yeah, it drove him/her crazy to the point that s/he thought love was pain. And then s/he came back to Earth to see that Judai had forgotten all about him/her. S/he still dished out a lot of pain. (Remember, love=pain to him/her. That means s/he still loved Judai. Aww.)
Judai, too. His parents are hardly ever home, and his only solace is Duel Monsters. And then his opponents start going into irreversible comas because of Yubel. He, suffering in silence but wholeheartedly believing it was for the best, sends Yubel, his favourite card, up into space so that s/he could absorb some positive energy with his newly designed Neo-Spacians. Later on, Judai starts suffering nightmares of Yubel getting tortured. They're so horrible that he had to have his memory erased of Yubel. About 8 years later, he sees Yubel again, he regains his memories back, and he despairs over how s/he actually took in the Light of Destruction which made her insane (bonus points for the fact that he already defeated the Lo D last year, only for it to come back.). After the Johan vs. Yubel vs. Judai duel, Johan gets sent to the other dimension. Then, Zwinkstein finds a portal to the dimension, which Judai and co. take to save Johan. The next thing you know, most of his friends are "killed", Sho betrays Judai, and then he takes up the "evil can only be destroyed by evil" policy. He wakes up after his reign of terror only to find out that he killed Jim and Axel, along with quite a few of the residents of that universe for Super Polmeryzation. Again, traumatized enough that he can't even fuse monsters without breaking down. The last straw is when he sees that Yubel has posessed Johan.
Let's face it, a good 80% of the Yu-Gi-Oh! cast qualifies for Woobie status at some point or another.
Akari from Yuru Yuri. Starting from about the second episode on, the show goes out of its way to make sure that the poor girl is either neglected, miserable, or both. The fact that her own friends seem to ignore her at times makes things even worse.
Mitarai Kiyoshi/Seaman from YuYu Hakusho was bullied to the point of physical and mental torture by his classmates, watched the infamous Chapter Black tape (featuring the most horrendous acts performed by humans) thanks a guy who said he was the Messiah, and then was given special powers that involved cutting himself and using his own blood to create monsters... Holy shit.
Many characters from Zatch Bell! fit this trope. The title character has no memories of his previous experience in the mamodo world (Makai) and is the son of the world's previous king and has a twin brother who hates him. His partner is a genius who starts the series out disliked by everyone, although he eventually becomes a popular student. There's Sherry Belmont, who has to battle against her best friend who was brainwashed by a mamodo. And of course the lovable losers that everyone likes to root for, Parco Folgore and Kanchome. Even Folgore gets a tragic past in the manga where it's revealed that his parents disowned him and he used to be a ruffian before becoming a pop star.
We can't forget to mention Kolulu, she was given a Jekyll & Hyde personality so that she would fight in the Mamodo war, fearing her Superpowered Evil Side she had Zatch burn her book even though it meant she'd be separated from her human partner Shiori/Lori and the two considered themselves sisters. And if that isn't Woobie enough for ya this is how she first appeared on the show: standing in the streets in the rain all alone crying her eyes out and no one was doing anything about until Lori found her. The ending of her episode was a big Tear Jerker for everyone.
Kiyo: (with tears running down his face) Ah man, now she's got me doing it.
The one good thing coming from Kolulu's predicament was that it was the driving force that encouraged Zatch to become a good and kind king.
Zombie Loan has its fair share of Woobies, but to this troper none stand out more than the golem girl. Rather simple-minded, and not much use in combat, she's considered a defective failure by her creator, Yoshizumi, and even abused onscreen/panel by him. After she shows affection for Shito while he's captured by Yoshizumi, he resolves to take her back with him and take care of her ...until suddenly she's shot dead by Yoshizumi's lackey, who saw her as just another monster to get rid of.