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  • Chihaya Kisaragi from The iDOLM@STER: Chihaya Kisaragi, known to be gifted with the talent to sing, at 15 years old, the young songstress cares about nothing but singing, spending almost all of her time devoted to singing only. She is considered to be "Cool and Serious", yet also has a very hard time deciding her emotions or what to say at certain times. Because of this, the other idols consider her to be "cold and heartless"(see Ice Queen) in some situations. She is also a difficult person to socialize with, sometimes shutting herself away from people to practice singing and to exercise. Despite these facts, Chihaya does have a soft spot for others, especially for people whom she cares about, even though she may never show it. Chihaya's family consists of herself, her father, her mother, and Yuu, her deceased little brother, who died in a car accident. After his death, her parents began fighting constantly, causing Chihaya to despise them. It is due to this that she became a "cold" person and devoted her life to singing. Her image songs can mirrored in this trope as her song lyrics usually deal with her emotional undertones that compliment this trope as well.
  • Fruits Basket:
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    • Isuzu/Rin Sohma is a Stoic Woobie who has gone through lots of heartache thanks to her Abusive Parents and the head of the Sohma clan, but hates herself for even wanting to cry on Tohru's shoulder and pushes away her boyfriend, Hatsuharu, to not get him hurt any further.
    • Said head of the family, Akito, too - though it isn't clear until pretty damn far into the manga why. Her grief manifested less as hypercompetency or great worldliness, but rather through wild mood swings, crying at the fear of abandonment, and physically abusing family members - including blinding Hatori in one eye, pushing Rin out of a window and later locking her up until she almost dies, repeatedly thrashing Kisa, and stabbing Kureno (one of her lovers, and the most loyal to her). All of which springs from a really bad childhood with a loving Disappeared Dad who died when she was a little girl, a very cruel and arguably crazy Evil Matriarch of a mother, and being forcefully raised as a boy to avoid being seen as a threat by said mother, who poisoned her with hatred and insecurity.
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    • Kyoko, Tohru's mother, used to be one in the past, also thanks to Abusive Parents who left her as an emotional wreck. She became a sukeban to ease the pain, and was then healed by becoming Katsuya's wife and Tohru's mom.
    • Saki Hanajima as well. She had a loving family, but everyone else outside the Hanajima household hated and bullied her due to her emotionlessness and Psychic Powers. It took Arisa and Tohru LOTS of effort to help her get better.
    • Tohru herself, in the manga, is shown to have severe self-esteem issues hidden under her eternal smile. She gets better. Akito also tries to Break the Cutie in regards to her but fails.
    • Kana, Hatori's fiance, went through this when Akito injured Hatori's eye after Hatori asked Akito for permission to marry Kana and Akito blamed Kana for Hatori's injury. Kana was so mentally broken by Akito's abuse that ended up agreeing, and became consumed by grief, falling into madness as a result. Hatori had to wipe her memories of their relationship.
  • The Mazinger series:
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    • Mazinger Z: Minerva-X. She was a Fem Bot (or rather a Humongous Mecha-sized Robot Girl) fully autonomous, capable to think, feel and act on her own was meant to be Mazinger-Z's Battle Couple. Rather being a Humongous Mecha was a humongous Robot Girl and a living being was even capable to cry. Unfortunately Dr. Kabuto never got around to build her, and her plans were stolen by Dr. Hell built her to destroy Mazinger-Z. However when she met Mazinger, her programming activated and she started acting like his partner. However she got hurt for a Mechanical Beast, went berserker and Sayaka was forced to kill her. However, according Shin Mazinger Zero, after dying in the original timeline her soul traveled to another timeline where Mazinger-Z became a demon and destroyed the world. Minerva sent Kouji back in time to prevent both disasters from happening, generating so an alternate timeline. However, Kouji has failed every time so far, and she has gone through hundreds of different worlds, reincarnating over and again only to see Mazinger becoming a demon and everybody dying horribly over and over and over and over and over again... so far she has gone through at least 2798 cycles of death and rebirth and she is so broken she is scared of allowing herself hope the current timeline will not end up with all people she cares for dying.
    • Great Mazinger: Female lead Action Girl Jun Honoo lost both of her parents when she was still a little girl. She was adopted together with Tetsuya by Professor Kabuto because he needed training two kids to become Humongous Mecha pilots and fight in a war, and she was trained in mecha and physical combat. Since she was a little girl she has constantly got to put up with insults and contempt for being female, half-foreign and half-black. Her adoptive father tends to treat her like a soldier rather a daughter, and she is in love with her loud-mouthed, arrogant, jealous, tactless, oblivious, annoying adoptive brother who is an Idiot Hero and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold with an Inferiority Superiority Complex. Thus, she is a Tsundere suffers of mood changes due to many tensions she endures daily and has developed a very nonsensical attitude. At the same time she is patient and understanding with someone else's flaws but she has little tolerance for bullshit. She also acts like a Cool Big Sis to Shiro ironically proper since he IS Prof. Kabuto's son, a fact neither Jun nor Shiro are aware of, and she encourages him to be grow up, be a strong boy and not depend on someone else.
  • Sailor Moon: Every one of the inner soldiers feels like this or is this to different degrees.
    • Ami's parents are divorced and she's shunned for being too smart.
    • Rei's mother is dead, her dad is a Workaholic, and she's shunned for having Psychic Powers.
    • Makoto's parents are both dead and she's shunned for being a Delinquent.
    • Minako's past depends on the the version. In the manga, she was shunned because she was too busy working as Sailor V to have any kind of a social life she had to defend the world alone for about a year at the tender age of 13. In the anime, she was both unpopular at her old school and quietly left England after realizing the guy she loved was into her Cool Big Sis figure. It's taken Up to Eleven in the live-action, where not only does she have to deal with a terminal illness on top of everything else, she doesn't even try to hide behind a Stepford Smiler facade, and is a blunt, cynical Anti Heroine.
    • As for Usagi, while she's normally an All-Loving Hero, she approaches this in the live-action show , the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal. She kinda comes close in the Stars season of the anime as well, being a mild Pollyanna who acquires shades of Stepford Smiler because she doesn't want to make her friends worry over her. Ultimately, things get worse, but after a huge Heroic BSoD, she ultimately overcomes this.
    • Even more so, in the live-action series Moon has a Superpowered Evil Side named Princess Sailor Moon, who was this. Cold, ruthless, and full of grief over the destruction of the Silver Millennium and the death of Endymion, PSM was determined to get her beloved Prince back, and destroy the world if she had to do so.
    • Subverted by Black Lady aka the Brainwashed and Crazy, aged-up Chibiusa. In the anime, she claims that her parents abandoned her and that Luna-P is her only friend ever, and joins the Big Bad due to her pain over it. This is because Wiseman has not only forcibly given her an age and powers upgrade, but has given her Fake Memories enhanced by his dark energy. She ultimately reverts to her original and non-broken self after either: an "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight with Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon, who has temporarily transformed into Neo Queen Serenity (anime) or via witnessing Pluto's Heroic Sacrifice to stop Prince Dimande from destroying the universe (manga and Crystal).
  • Reki in Haibane Renmei, complete with wings. Fred Gallagher, the man responsible for MegaTokyo and the title of this page, is an admitted Haibane Renmei fan.
  • In Kodomo no Jikan, Sae Shirai is this because of how emotionally stunted she is. She's extremely cynical, near-emotionless, and has the saddest backstory of all four teachers. She's been defrosting a bit, though.
  • Naruto:
    • Hinata's cousin Neji a male example. His father was sacrificed in his uncle's place, he grew up hating and resenting the main family for all they had done (and hadn't done, in the case of saving his father) and thus became a haughty, stoic bastard who had to take a beating from the aforementioned Naruto to see the truth (plus a lecture from Genma)
    '''Genma Shiranui: When captured birds grow wiser, they try to open the cage with their beaks. They don't give up, because they want to fly again.
    • The earliest example of the trope in this series: Haku. Broken after seeing his mother murdered by his father and having to kill said dad in self-defense, he then became a Street Urchin and wandered aimlessly until he was found by Zabuza Momochi. From then on Haku considered himself merely as a weapon for Zabuza's plans, and that ended up in tragedy.
    • Tsunade is a beautiful and skilled Combat Medic, the closest that Konoha has to a princess (she's sometimes called as such, even), but who has suffered devastating loses in her like (specially her brother and boyfriend). As a result she's a very bitter Hard-Drinking Party Girl, and it takes Naruto a LOT to convince her that she's not a lost cause and that she still can do a lot of good as the fifth Hokage.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: While pretty much everyone on this show has some kind of childhood trauma that they constantly obsess over and have allowed to define their whole personalities, only Rei Ayanami fulfills this trope by becoming stoic and detached in response.
  • Madoka Ayukawa from Kimagure Orange Road. This is especially evident in both the next-to-last manga chapter and the first movie, but arrived at in significantly different ways.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena
    • Juri Arisugawa is cynical and cold, plus extremely troubled for the actions of her once-friend Shiori and her old companion Ruka.
    • Anthy, too. She's so broken by her Rose Bride "role" and the abuse coming from her no-longer kind older brother Akio that her actions almost manage to defy character analysis.
  • Black Lagoon:
    • Revy from is the Sociopathic Hero version of this. She also hits every single button on the trope (tragic past, cynical attitude, mentoring a more idealistic teammate, such as Rock, etc.). Revy is unusual in that she's usually brimming over with emotion (usually visible boredom or annoyance when there's nothing to shoot at and unrestrained glee when there is), but goes into complete stoicism, foreshadowing her lapse into Whitman Fever later on in the arc.
    • Balalaika. Oh God, Balalaika. Thanks to the Afghan War and the subsequent collapse of her country, the cute teenager who wanted to become an Olympic marksman and make her family proud ended up as a cynical, scarred, and stylishly brutal Mafia queen.
    • Yukio Washimine sets out on the path to Broken Bird-dom in the "Fujiyama Gangsta Paradise" arc. Once she reaches it, she ends up crossing the Despair Event Horizon and kills herself in the end.
  • Zakuro Fujiwara from Tokyo Mew Mew rejected a band of True Companions that offered to include her, because she "didn't want to join anything". Someone she cared for died many years ago, her fame and beauty made people only want to be around her for shallow reasons, and on top of that, she'd become a half-animal Magical Girl. She eventually saw that the girls were sincere and became their close friend, even going as close to returning Fangirl Aizawa Minto's affections as they could show on TV. (Maybe.)
  • Interestingly subverted in Digimon Tamers. At first sight we have Ruki Maiko fitting in due to her cynical attitude, No Social Skills, and living up to the mentor role of this trope with a sweet, innocent girl her age named Juri Katou. However, we then learn that Ruki's past is sad yet not super troubled: while her parents are divorced and her good-intentioned yet childish mom pushes her rather hard to follow in her footsteps, her home life is otherwise quite normal and healthy. Juri, on the other hand, is much closer to this trope and has the prerequisite troubled past: her bright, cheerful demeanour would appear to be a mask to hide her inner pain due to her mom's death and her inability to relate to her dad and her kind stepmother, a mask that shatters after the brutal killing of her partner, Leomon. In fact, Ruki has an inner monologue in which she acknowledges that she may be hard on others and all but still has loved ones that support her unconditionally whereas Juri's emotional/mental problems run terribly deep, and finishes with Ruki feeling useless as she cannot help Juri as much as she wants to.
  • Angel from The Big O - right down to the scars on her back where her wings were plucked. It's hard, learning that your memories were fabricated and being told that you're not human; little wonder she ends up piloting a Deus ex Machina Humongous Mecha in order to erase the world. There is some debate over whether or not this is what really happened.
  • Mukuro from Yu Yu Hakusho. This demon woman is the ruthless and feared sovereign of one third of the Makai... but she once was a Sex Slave to a powerful demon who abused her ever since she was a child. To escape from such a grim life, she poured acid on herself to deform her once-beautiful face among other things.
  • One Piece:
    • Nico Robin. The reason why she's so distant and why she was introduced as an antagonist working for the Big Bad from two seasons is because of The World Goverment that took everything from her, including her mother, her only friend, and, eventually, her home island (yes, you read that right, her home island was annihilated by the World Government), because the archaeologists there stumbled on an Ancient Conspiracy, from reading tablets which were illegal. Since then, she experienced 20 years of people taking her in, claiming to help her if she helps them, and then selling her out when the agents come knocking, since she has a tremendously high bounty and the World Government lied about who she is and what she's capable of. Since her whole life then had been about betrayal, when Admiral Aokiji, who was one of the Marines who took part in her home's annihilation (then as a Vice-Admiral) met her again, and a secret government organization made themselves covertly known, she decided to turn herself in, if they agreed to let her friends go. Luffy decided nuts to that by raiding Enies Lobby with a vengeance. This caused Robin's heart to mend and she tearfully reunited with her crew when she learned they would not abandon her for anything.
    • Nami is shown to have been spectacularly broken as a little girl in the Arlong Park arc (due to the brutal murder of her adoptive mom and her years in Arlong's crew). Luffy made sure Arlong got his dues for that horrific treatment, and Nami, after a great deal of crying from all she had gone through, finally healed and got back on her feet. However, it took her a while to feel she could start trusting Fishmen in general after the devilish impression she got from the Arlong Pirates, which Hattchan found out the hard way.
    • The powerful, beautiful Queen of the Kuja Pirates and sole female of the Seven Warlord of the Sea, Boa Hancock, was utterly destroyed in her pre-teen years as a child slave tortured into almost insanity (alongside her sisters, Marigold and Sandersonia) by the World Nobles.
    • Vinsmoke Reiju from the Yonko Saga is a proud, lovely-looking, kinda lustful and very aloof princess, but she's had a very tough life as the daughter of the ruthless Emperor Scientist who experimented on her and her brothers. Only one of her siblings, none other than Sanji, wasn't affected by his experiments, and as a result he was horribly abused; Reiju really wanted to help but she was terrified of being bullied too, and could only help him in secret. After Sanji managed to escape with her help, she grew into a beautiful Action Girl - with lots of self-hate and quite the desire to die, even.
    • And in 862, another deeply-hurt woman appeared... and her name is Charlotte Pudding. A childhood of family and strangers alike calling her Third Eye freakish and referring to her as "a monster" made her snap and become the monster they all called her. Pudding grew as Big Mom's Mommy's Little Villain and one Hell of a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, willing to get her arranged groom Sanji and his family all murdered... but Sanji calling her third eye beautiful affects her so much that she collapses in tears.
    • When Baby 5's background of poverty and Parental Abandonment, plus enablement of her worst traits by the Doflamingo Family is expanded upon, all of her amusing needy, people-pleasing behavior stops being funny and becomes evidence of a VERY tortured soul.
  • In The Prince of Tennis anime, Tezuka's tennis coach in Germany is a beautiful ex-professional player named Hannah Essenheimer. She had her dreams trashed five years ago, traumatized by the bullying of other players who even came to steal and destroy her tennis gear before a very important junior tournament. She becomes embittered, cynical, and borderline alcoholic, but Tezuka and Echizen help her regain faith and return to the professional circle.
  • Layla Hamilton from Kaleido Star has a distant relationship with her well-intentioned but work-a-holic father and acting very exigent towards Kaleido Stage newbies, specially Sora Naegino and her friends. Slowly, the story reveals the events that shaped her into who she is...
  • Rue in Princess Tutu. In fact, she has been raised to believe she's the daughter of a monstrous raven (who's also incredibly and horribly abusive to her), which is where a lot of her angst comes from.
  • Isako from Dennou Coil, who grew up in a family of Abusive Parents that made her reluctant to trust anyone but her big brother Nobuhiko. When they both were in a deadly car accident, he died within seconds, something so traumatic to her fragile mind she repressed the memory and made a fantasy that before he was put into a coma, he promised they could find a way to be together. Now she's been searching for years to collect enough Metabugs and working for the local Mega-Corp to create a portal that will let her summon Michiko to grant her wish. Unfortunately, this has made her so jaded she can't connect with others on any emotional level, nevermind the daily Mind Rape, self-hatred, and depression. Thankfully, she very gradually opens up after meeting Yasako.
  • Ai Shinozaki, aka Corrector Ai, in Corrector Yui. She pretty much lost everything after her dad died and later her mother Azusa fell in a coma and, while trying to find a way to find her mother's conscience, which is lost in the Net, she has become cold and deatached.
  • Code Geass:
    • C.C. initially treats Lelouch with detached interest, repeatedly claiming that she's only helping him because it's part of their deal and chiding him for any little mistake. Her backstory, partially revealed in the first season finale and completely unveiled in episode 15 of R2, shows that she's an ex-slave girl who first had a Geass of her own, later was made immortal by the nun who gave her her Geass, and then spent the next few centuries in pursuit of her "one wish", which has left her a shattered wreck who doesn't even consider herself a human being any more. Whenever Lelouch learns a new part of her story and reassures her that he's on her side, it sets the stage for a slightly warmer relationship in the second season...which results in her being broken differently (after Lelouch learns the rest of the truth), losing all of her accumulated memories since she got her Geass. And later, she gets her memories back and her emotions become even more apparent. In the end, the time she spent with Lelouch was enough to restore her humanity, and she grew out of her boredom with life.
    • Kallen Kozuki is another case, given the divorce of her biological parents and the loss of her brother, Naoto, to the war that led to Britannia's occupation of Japan. On top of that, her father is now married to a Gold Digger who treats her like dirt for being a half-breed, and her biological mother has been reduced to live with them, serving as a maid. Even though she has the luxury of living with her dad in nobility and attending Ashford, Kallen does so while secretly fighting as part of the resistance group that eventually becomes known as the Black Knights, in hopes of freeing her homeland from Britannian tyranny. At first, she also has a healthy grudge towards Britannia, though she softens up after saving the lives of her fellow classmates during the Lake Kawaguchi incident. Fortunately, Kallen is shown to be better in the end of the series. She lives with her mother in an apartment in Tokyo and still attends Ashford Academy. Her mother is out of prison and it's implied that her father is still with her Britannian stepmother.
    • Lelouch himself in his backstory. From his troubling childhood that started with the murder of his mother, the crippling of his sister, and being in a country bombarded and occupied by the nation that discarded him forced him into hiding and craving revenge. In the following years, he felt like he was merely existing, but not truly living. That is, until he got his geass, which gave him the chance to change the society he detested and deliver the payback he so wished for. That said, his tendency to slip back when things get particularly hard on him shows he's still very much one Beneath the Mask and one Trauma Conga Line after the other results in him fully breaking to the point of crafting the Zero Requiem.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam:
    • Iserina Eschenbach from becomes this after her boyfriend's death.
    • Amuro Ray watches his father get sucked into space during the Zeon attack on Side 7, only to meet him later in the series and discover that he suffers from oxygen starvation and is clinically insane due to his prolonged exposure to vacuum. After the White Base reaches Earth and travels west to Ireland, Amuro meets his mother at a small village where she is a nurse. After certain events play out, she tearfully disowns Amuro when he refuses to leave the Federation and continue fighting Zeon forces in the Gundam. Lastly, after Lieutenant Matilda Ajan sacrifices herself to protect the Gundam from the revenge of Gaia and Ortega of the Black Tri-Stars following the death of their friend Mash. Amuro had deep feelings for her, but never got the chance to tell her.
    • Kai Shiden from is another male example: after the White Base is ambushed over the Atlantic Ocean after leaving Ireland, he uses the Gunperry transport plane to defend the ship with Miharu Ratoki. Miharu previously hid aboard the White Base as a spy for Zeon, but met with Kai in Ireland before the attack to explain that she takes jobs she does not want to do in order to take care of her little brother and sister after their parents abandoned them. Kai develops feelings for her and understands why she chose to be a spy, but convinces her to leave Zeon and find another way to live; Miharu helps Kai fire a missile that had malfunctioned during the battle over the Atlantic, but it pushed out of the Gunperry from the exhaust and dies falling to the ocean. After the battle is won and the White Base safe, Kai realizes what happened to her and is heartbroken for a LONG time throughout the remainder of the war.
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam:
    • Haman Karn, of all people, is revealed to be this in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, as meeting such an honest and friendly person as Judau Ashta is beginning to reawaken some of her old softness. She says, right as she dies, that she was glad she got to meet Judau because of this. Prequel manga Char's Deleted Affair confirms it by showing a teenaged Haman as a cute and earnest Genki Girl. The switch is... jarring, to say the least. Throughout the manga, she gradually changes into the cold and ruthless Haman the viewers are familiar with.
    • Roux Luka becomes this at the end of Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ after she kills Glemy Toto during their battle. Roux knew Glemy was in love with her, but she never returned his feelings because he had some serious parental issues that he constantly mentioned and also was a Zeon soldier.
    • Puru-Two, after Elpeo Puru sacrifices herself to save Judau from the Psyco Gundam Mk.II becomes one after Judau and Puru's spirit reason with her.
    • Four Murasame and Rosamia Badam are dark action girls and war orphans raised s tykebombs, which badly messes up with both girls' nonexistant mental stabilities.
  • After War Gundam X:
    • Ennil El, if not one of these at the start of the series, is most certainly one after the end of the Estarde arc. She does admittedly go through a weird, "kinda" Yandere phase after she tries to genuinely reach out to Garrod and let him know he's not alone, only to get shot at because his people skills were crap at the time and he got scared, in which she just wants him to die at someone's hands, but she eventually just gives up. Cue a Ramba Ral-esque conversation with Bridge Bunny Toniya and an attempt at a normal life, and then... stuff happens. Thankfully, she resolves to help Garrod and company out and gets a happy ending.
    • Garrod's mentor and Team Dad for the Freeden crew, The Captain Jamil Neate, counts as a Broken Bird, as an ex Kid Hero who is left physically and emotionally scarred after he used his Gundam X to fire the lethal shot that brought about the disastrous Colony Drop.
    • Garrod's partner and love interest, Tiffa, has some traces of this, manifested in her pathological shyness and inability to connect with others. Starting to trust the Freeden crew (aside from her adoptive father, Jamil) and learning that her horrible visions aren't set on stone are big parts of her Character Development.
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • Yumi Komagata was once a very well-known, beautiful, and intelligent oiran (courtesan), she fell in despair during the Meiji Restoration as she saw the uglier side of the Japanese high society and experienced many hardships. Fed up with this new world, built on lies and injustice in her eyes, she turned towards a man who offered her dignity and solace: Magnificent Bastard Makoto Shishio.
    • Other broken birds in this series are Shura the Pirate (forced to reject her femininity to lead her men without fear), Tomoe Yukishiro (hardened and depressed after her fiancé's death, learns to love again thanks to Kenshin...and dies), and Sayo Magdaria (a lonely Christian Ill Girl who closed herself since her parents' violent deaths).
  • Basilisk:
    • Kagerou is a beautiful woman whose powers kill through sex, she's forbidden from marrying the only man she's ever loved, despite possessing all other requisites (beauty, noble blood, Action Girl skills, etc.), thus, she becomes very embittered and sad as time passes and loses all hope of being happy with Gennosuke...
    • By the end of the series, Princess Oboro has become so utterly broken...that she ends up killing herself both to save her beloved Gennosuke and free herself from the Gambit Pileup she's trapped in. This makes Gennosuke cross the path into broken bird-dom, and he kills himself too, Oboro's lifeless body in his arms.
  • Barnaby Brooks Jr. from Tiger & Bunny fits the trope perfectly, haunted by his past and a good number of emotional issues stemming from it, eventually heals somewhat thanks to the presence of his partner- Kotetsu.
  • Chobits:
    • Freya. She's a Persocom created as a daughter for her parents to love and cherish, and her creator/father even programmed her to find the "person just for me" so she could love happily like a real girl. But she falls in love with her father, which eventually causes her to break down. Her sister Elda takes Freya's memories into herself, preserving her existence as Elda eventually becomes Chi. As Chi as no memories of her old life, Freya functions as Chi's protector and guide.
  • Princess Charlotte, aka Tabitha, from The Familiar of Zero. Root cause: emotional trauma of being a family member on the losing end of a royal power struggle which resulted in her father getting killed and her mother being driven insane, complete with near impossible "tasks", attempted murders and poisonings.
  • Any character of Cross Ange found to be a norma, Mana-incapable beings sent away to be used as Cannon Fodder, late in life (most are found out as babies), which means their once idyllic lives are shot to hell in a heartbeat, and they experience both the latent brutality of the outside world and the hazing of their new environment. Chief among them:
    • The main character, Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi, First Princess of the Misurugi Empire is, at the first episode, one of the most idealized people in her nation: dignified, loved, beautiful, and a star athlete, and is just one day away from her baptism ritual that will initiate her into the world of active royalty. She holds a very bright and optimistic view of her world and its future. The following day brings about a very rude awakening: her older brother Julio outs her as a Norma, something she wasn't even aware of, who are incapable of using or interacting with Norma and shunned upon society for it. Her father is arrested for keeping it a secret (and later executed offscreen), her mother dies in her attempt to spirit her away from the guards, and she is stripped of her title, rendered Persona Non Grata to the World of Mana, shunned by the society who loved her and she loved back, and sent to Arzenal, a Penal Colony, where she along with other Norma are consigned to their fates as Cannon Fodder against interdimensional dragons. After the hazing, getting shot at by teammates who wish to kill her as payback for getting another killed in a disastrous first sortie, realizing how much of her life has been a lie, being used as a pawn and lied to by her commander, and later, being betrayed once more, only by her sister who she was close to, only to find she now hated as well, and baited into an execution held by her brother where she sees how horrible her former society is, she only becomes more and more cynical until she wishes she could destroy the entire world. Though she doesn't hold fast to that wish, she maintains a high level of anger and distrust and becomes extremely cagey and retaliatory if anyone harms or threatens her or the few friends and allies she actually has at this point. No more is this evident than when she slaughters Julio's fleet and almost kills him when he attempts a massacre at Arzenal.
    • Hilda at first appears to be an alpha bitch, and Ange's greatest nemesis, until it is revealed that she was taken away from her mother at 5 years of age, and everything she did was a mask to escape Arzenal and get back home to her mother. As she succeeds and makes it back, it is revealed, as she nostalgically reflects on the place she finally made it back to, she was a happy child who lived a good life with her mother prior to her confiscation. Things go pear shaped when it is revealed her mother willfully forgot her and had another child, also named Hilda, who is now age 10. Hilda's mother angrily asks her to leave, calling the cops on her even though she said she wouldn't, who then proceed to beat up and arrest her. Battered, bruised, friendless, turned away by her mother, and back in Arzenal where she is under lockup for escape, she is at her absolute lowest point. That is, until Ange, who has been locked up as well after her rescue attempt in Misurugi turned into a near-execution, relates her own experiences with anger and offers her the idea of getting back at the World of Mana. From the point Libertus is re-initiated, she is incredibly no-nonsense, though she does have a soft sopt for her allies and a burgeoning affection for Ange.
    • Jill may be the worst of it. In her backstory, she was known as the former princess of Galia, Alektra Maria von Loewenherz, immediately disowned from her family for being outed as a Norma at age 9. She became the best hope for the Norma and the Ancient Humans in the first Libertus as the one who could pilot the Vilkiss. She failed in spectacular fashion when Embryo, the show's Big Bad, raped her in both body and in mind, causing the death of most of her comrades, not to mention the loss of her arm and Royal Signet Ring needed to pilot the Vilkiss. Her extreme guilt over their deaths, and her anger at Embryo and the World of Mana have left her with a lust for revenge, to the point where she will use and lie to her subordinates. She ends up driving away almost everyone, including her aspiring protege Salia (who joins Embryo instead), and becomes an ineffectual, brooding mess after being forced out of her post as commander. She does get back into the game after Ange slaps her and tells her to take responsibility.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • Haruhi. Think of the 'breaking' event as the baseball game, and the aftermath when she realized she was really nothing special turned her into a total jerkass cloudcuckoolander for three yearsnote . The SOS Brigade is formed and she has a small, reflective moment where she describes the above ("being angry and cynical wouldn't stand out!") but gets no real emotional resolution because Kyon doesn't know what to say. Kyon also notes that she's coming out of her shell and he thinks she's not becoming a better person, but returning to being a good person.
    • Yuki Nagato lives out 2 weeks repeatedly for more than 15,000 times in Endless Eight. That's nearly 600 years, according to Kyon's calculations in the anime and in the novels. In both versions, Kyon sees her sadness easily, and worries, because she is usually The Stoic turned Up to Eleven. That experience gave her emotions, and made her steal Haruhi's powers and create an alternate universe where everyone is normal and Haruhi is Put on a Bus. It also nearly led to her deletion by her boss. If you thought 8 episodes of Endless Eight was bad, just imagine going through the whole thing more than 15,000 times, with no breaks, and each episode lasting 20,160 minutes instead of 23 minutes.
  • Welcome to the N.H.K.:
    • Hitomi from appears to be successful despite her constant ravings about conspiracies. However, in the middle of the series, it is shown she is a bit of an outcast at work and unhappy in her relationship, even to the point that she joins a suicide pact and seems intent on jumping off a cliff over the ocean, until her boyfriend asks her to marry him, thus saving her.
    • Misaki, despite also being the Token Loli of the series, also has some very apparent Broken Bird tendencies as well. She flinches noticeably when she presumes another character is going to strike her because of the fact that she was forced to live with her abusive stepfather who constantly beat her, and she also attempts suicide by throwing herself off the same cliff her mother did years before.
  • All of the Orochi (male or female) in Kannazuki no Miko. The qualification for joining the Orochi is having a troubled past, and all of the characters in the original Orochi have either been through wars (Miyako and Girochi), sexual abuse (Corona), medical testing (Nekoko), or other violent situations. Many of the characters compensate by acting strong or confident, however, it is revealed in later episodes how destructive their pasts all were.
    • ''Chikane herself is revealed to be this, with her despair and qualification of being an Orochi Neck is being in love with Himeko, in an age where same-sex love are mostly jeered and most likely not going to be requited and remembering that in her previous life, her predecessor killed Himeko's in order to seal Orochi, which made her predecessor hate the God who ordained her to do so and passed it over to Chikane. It worked in her favor, enabling her to pull a Batman Gambit to join Orochi, wipe out the other Necks and then rigged the sealing ritual so she's the one who died instead of Himeko, therefore sparing her from that fate. And as a bonus, when she realized what Chikane went through, Himeko defied the norm and accepted her love.
  • Ah! My Goddess:
    • Urd, the elder half sister of Belldandy in has had a great deal of trouble coming to terms with her part divine, part demonic heritage, though she's made significant progress with it over the course of the series.
    • Morgan Le-Fay from The Movie, a fairy who was very embittered and sad due to having failed to go through the Gate of Judgement with her loved one, who eventually abandoned her. As a result, she became the local Dark Magical Girl.
  • Maron Kusakabe/Jeanne from Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne became this because of Parental Abandonment. Because of their work, her parents often left her alone as a little girl, and it is implied that, even when they were home, they fought a lot. Before Maron was even in grade school, they moved overseas for their jobs, leaving Maron behind, and at the start of the series, Maron hasn't gotten a single letter or phone call from either of them since. She hides her sadness most of the time, but the only reason she's anything resembling okay when the series begins is because Finn's around and she doesn't have to spend every night alone in her apartment any more, though having her best friend, Miyako, and her family right across the hall probably helps. (What has social services been doing this whole time?)
  • Miyuki Asaka of Game×Rush, before going right over the edge into Crazyville. Yuuki occasionally has moments of vulnerability, which cast him in this light.
  • Mai Valentine/Kujaku from Yu-Gi-Oh!, an ex-Lonely Rich Kid who had lived by and relied on herself since her parents had passed on, acting cynical and disenchanted until Jounouchi calls her out on her treatment of her opponents, Yugi wins back the star chips she lost due to the Player Killer, and (in the anime) Anzu duels her for Yugi's sake. After she defrosts, she reverts because Yami Marik put her into a coma where she was trapped in an hourglass, slowly forgetting everyone who ever loved her. Then, she has recurring nightmares about the experience. She winds up joining the villains for Season 4, because they have a magic thing called the Orichalcos that helps her cope.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS:
    • Yusaku Fujiki is one of six children kidnapped for the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project. They were locked up and forced to duel with VR equipment, being severely electrocuted and denied food if they lost. After six months of this torture, Yusaku was left with a wide range of mental illnesses including PTSD. This all happened when Yusaku was only six years old. Ten years later, Yusaku seeks revenge against the Knights of Hanoi in an attempt to regain the time he lost.
    • Jin Kusanagi is the resident Broken Bird of VRAINS , like Yusaku Fujiki, he is one of the six Lost Incident kids. Like the others, he was kidnapped and tortured 10 years ago, leading to him developing PTSD. He remains hospitalized as nothing more than an Empty Shell.
    • Takeru Homura, like Yusaku and Jin, is a victim of Lost Incident. After getting rescued he learned his parents died in a accident while looking for him, causing him to become standoffish and depressed. Only after learning about Yusaku's work as Playmaker and the adventures of Blue Angel and Go Onizuka did he start returning to his old self, but even then he still holds issues buried deep down.
  • Deadman Wonderland:
    • Minatsuki Takami invokes this in people so that they will be unwilling to fight her. Then she tears them apart. She may be getting better. Emphasis on may.
    • It turns out that Shiro is this, too. In fact, it's because of this that her Wretched Egg personality was created through the sheer trauma of being subjected to endless, brutal, torturous experiments. Wretched Egg herself can easily be called this as well; the reason she went from 'screwed up' to 'downright insane' is because Ganta, one of the few good things in her life, disappeared when she needed him the most, and then forgot she even existed after witnessing her gory destruction.
  • Wolf Guy Wolfen Crest has near all the female characters, with Akiko Aoshika (a kind Hot Teacher with rape in both her past and her present) and Ryuuko Kounuma (a Fille Fatale who also was sexully abused into insanity) as the biggest examples.
  • SHUFFLE! has three of these:
    • Kaede Fuyou, greatly broken as a little girl due to her beloved mother's death and not being able to cope with it. Made worse because Rin blamed himself for the accident that killed Mrs. Fuyou and his parents, which drove Kaede to abuse him as revenge — and it's only when the whole deal is cleared up that she can start living again. And then he falls for Asa and Kaede mentally splinters again...
    • Asa Shigure's mother, Ama. Her past as a normal demon woman chosen as the first test subject experimented on by the gods and devils was really, really bad. She still cries from all the trauma.
    • Ama's daughter, Asa, also has a period in which she behaves as one. Asa has huge demon powers and they start awakening, but Asa refuses to accept them, despite how the Power Incontinence is killing her. This is because Asa clearly remembers how Ama cried when she once used them accidentally, and she doesn't want to make her beloved mother relive her past life. Once Rin reaches for her, she gets better, but it takes him lots of effort (and having to deal with Kaede getting broken and unstable as well).
  • Anri Sonohara of Durarara!!. Her father's abuse and the witnessing of her mother murdering her father and killing herself left her without the ability to love.
  • Utako from My Lovely Ghost Kana is introduced as this. The first hint she has moved into the apartment is sobbing from the shower. She comes to live there with nothing but her guitar and a suitcase, previously having been living on the street. In a bit of expository dialogue, Daikichi narrates "Apparently while looking for work, she was led to an office and made to sign some contract written in some foreign language she had never seen before. And she hated it because she feared the big men and the cold showers and the dark little room..." However, she is trying her best to not dwell on her past, and it's never brought up again other than a later thought that, because of her new friends Kana and Daikichi, she's "not afraid to live anymore."
  • Suito Kusanagi from The Sky Crawlers. Being the only one who both knows that the Kildren never die, no matter how many times they are killed, and are condemned to follow the same meaningless actions forever, and actually cares, being one of them, has really screwed her up, despite her cool, professional demeanour.
  • Pokémon Adventures:
    • Blue just barely averts this, which is a refreshing change, given that she has every right to Wangst. She managed to stay reasonably upbeat as she spent a lot of time carefully planning to take down the Big Bad responsible for all her misery. (Admittedly, there are a few cracks now and then, especially when confronted with the crippling fear of birds that he had instilled in her.) After spending most of her time getting over everything (doing so in almost complete solitude), she finally found her parents and headed off for a joyous reunion... only for them to vanish right before her eyes. Ouch. Angst Coma was immediate, though she did wake up quickly enough to keep fighting.
    • X is a male version. Hyped as a battling prodigy as a little kid, he was constantly hounded by the press until he couldn't take it anymore and became a complete shut-in. With Team Flare now chasing him down for his Mega Ring and clearly having no qualms about killing him and his friends, his trust issues are through the roof.
  • Bleach:
    • Jackie comes from a very poor family. Her father made ends meet by turning to criminal activity. With the money he made, he bought Jackie her first pair of boots, but also got himself and the entire family murdered. Jackie was left alone and alive with her baby brother's blood staining her new boots and a Fullbring power (called "Dirty Boots") that constantly reminds her of everything she lost.
    • Riruka was a Spoiled Brat as a child, using her Fullbring to steal anything she found cute and lock it away inside her treasure box. One day, she decided to lock away her first crush in her treasure box, hoping he would come to like her back. Only when it dawned on her that he was traumatised and frightened, did she release him. She became very bitter after that.
    • Uryuu struggles to understand why his father hates Quincies; Ryuuken won't tell him and his grandfather Souken only states that Uryuu might agree with Ryuuken should he ever learn the truth. What Uryuu doesn't know is that a teenage Ryuuken was originally expected to protect the Quincy future until Aizen's Hollowfication experiments accidentally ruin it. Crushed, Ryuuken attempts to leave his family and the Quincies but is only stopped by his Ninja Maid, Kanae, who insists on joining him in exile. Although they Marry for Love, the Quincy King kills Kanae, leaving Ryuuken - a surgeon - to perform her autopsy. Believing doctors are forced to cut their loved ones, Uryuu vows to never become a doctor. He eventually learns that Yhwach's method of killing Kanae leaves behind a silver residue that can be forged into the only weapon capable of de-powering Yhwach long enough to kill him. Ryuuken was forced to perform the autopsy because he was a Quincy; although he forges the weapon and protects it in secret for many years until Uryuu is ready to use it, he's left with a deep hatred of Quincies. The epilogue reveals that Uryuu has become a doctor in his father's hospital, implying that Souken's prediction has come true: learning the truth about Ryuuken's hatred of Quincies has left Uryuu feeling the same way.
  • In D.Gray-Man:
    • Lenalee Lee turns out to be one of these, hiding a lot of bitterness behind her sweet and cheerful exterior. She outright hates the Black Order, the Innocence, and God, because of what she went through. It takes her a LONG time to get better.
    • Miranda also had some shades of this before joining the Black Order, mixed with Butt-Monkey. Even now, her self-esteem is badly damaged because of that.
  • Almost all of the magical girls in Puella Magi Madoka Magica fit this trope to some extent.
    • Homura Akemi, having gone through a "Groundhog Day" Loop to keep trying (and failing) to save Madoka from dying or turning into a witch, turned from an Adorkable young girl into a cynical, jaded Ice Queen. In particular, one loop ended with her having to Mercy Kill Madoka to stop her from turning into a witch; this traumatizing event was the Cynicism Catalyst that caused her personality to mutate for the worse. Even after Madoka's wish and apotheosis, which allowed Homura to escape the loop, Homura still keeps her Ice Queen image - probably because she failed to fulfill her promise to save Madoka.
    • Mami Tomoe was in a car accident that killed her parents. When Kyubey contracted with her, she wished for her life to be saved but didn't wish for her parents to come back to life, and has felt guilty about it since. This has turned her into an insecure Stepford Smiler who tries her hardest to be a Cool Big Sis to the other girls.
    • Kyoko Sakura was the daughter of a preacher whose radical ideas caused people to shun him. Because her family starved due to lack of funds, Kyoko contracted with Kyubey and wished for people to listen to her father. However, as Kyubey pulled the Literal Genie card, this caused Kyoko's father to develop a mind-control ability where the masses would blindly obey him. Once he found out about the wish, he killed their family and then himself. Since then, Kyoko has taught herself to no longer help anyone else.
    • Sayaka Miki was originally an idealist who contracted to heal the hand of a boy she had feelings for... but when she eventually learned that she essentially and impulsively gave up her humanity for someone who didn't reciprocate her feelings and was unable to adapt herself to the horrifyingly harsh life of a Magical Girl, she began to slip into despair and disillusionment as her view of the world ended up completely tainted, eventually becoming a Witch.
    • And in regards to Madoka herself... she comes DAMN close, specially in the third timeline. And then she gets better. Much better.
    • In the prequel Puella Magi Oriko Magica, we have Yuma Chitose, an eight-year-old who was constantly abused by her parents before they got munched on by a Witch, and the Hero Antagonist Oriko Mikuni, who was ostracized by everyone due to her father's seedy under-dealings.
    • Kirika. She thought so little of herself she chose to use her wish to destroy everything she was to become Oriko's willing slave.
    • And from Kazumi Magica, we have Nico Kanna. Accidentally killing her friends in a shooting accident as a child devastated her so much that when Kyuubey arrived, she used her wish to create a double of herself who never experienced the accident and promptly gave up her family, friends, and original name to. The guilt was so pervasive that when her witch manifested, its arrival was shown as holding a gun and saying "I don't want to hurt anyone anymore. Please kill me." Its made even worse when its revealed what her double became...
  • Detective Conan:
    • Ai Haibara is an interesting variant due to her apparent age. However, her Little Miss Snarker attitude masks serious issues before she took the local Fountain of Youth, starting with the murder of her beloved older sister and the constant fear of being found by the The Syndicate. This is underscored by her choice of a pseudonym that means sorrow, instead of the common, homophonous love.
    • Considering how long the series is, we meet many other broken birds as time passes. Some of them are: Akemi Miyano aka Ai's older sister, who dies while trying to escape of the organization; Asami Uchida ( badly depressed after learning exactly how much Love Hurts, since Shinichi turned her down and later someone else tried to kill her to impress her); Miyuki Hyuuga ( broken after losing her parents and seeing her love interest, who doubled as one of her parents's killers, commit suicide out of guilt); Natsuki Koshimizu an Amateur Sleuth turned Sympathetic Murderer after her bst friend's suicide; Sakurako Suzuka an orphan who was Drivento Suicide after being falsely accused of drug trafficking; Eri Akechi aka Sakurako's long lost sister, who murdered the real drug traffickers to avenge her; Hidemi "Kir" Hondou/Rena Mizuhashi ( a double agent forced to kill her father and then one of her friends to keep her cover); and many, MANY others. Sometimes even Ran Mouri gets close to broken bird-dom, thanks to all the Break the Cutie around her, but she manages to bounce back sooner or later. For a male broken bird, look no further than Seiji Asou - though, as he's been under a Harmless Lady Disguise and known as Narumi Asai, people mistake him for a female.
  • Loveless:
    • Soubi from is a male version, filling the more cynical and experienced mentor role to Ritsuka and having a traumatic background that he doesn't talk about.
    • Ritsuka himself becomes dark and hides any form of emotion, doesn't allow himself to make friends and keeps everyone at arm's length after having to deal with his brother's death, which he was a witness to, has an abusive and mentally unstable mother, and has to deal with the trauma heaped on him not only by all this, but by his hunt for his brother's killer and warped, terrifying dreams sent to him by his own brother, who faked his death.
  • Kurumi Akino from Haou Airen thinks that Reilan is one of these, but how much of her attitude is broken bird-dom and how much is a pure bitch is up to the reader. ( Though if we delve in her past, we see that it's half and half: she had an horrifying past, but it does NOT justify her later utter bitchiness.) And by the end, for all of her Love Martyr tendencies, poor Kurumi either barely averted becoming one, or did turn into a broken bird and then set on the path to recovery.
  • Happens to Yomi Isayama from Ga-Rei -Zero-. Because it's a prequel to the manga, you get to see her break down as things seem to go From Bad to Worse. Particularly heartbreaking when she's in the hospital recovering, and is unable to communicate at all, and although she goes through the motion in one scene, she is unable to cry due to losing her voice, which ultimately helps her to make her Face–Heel Turn. Also counts as Yomi's fall.
  • In Tsukigasa, Kuroe goes from idealistic and righteous to purely cynical after the person he loves cuts his arm off and he runs away from home, ending up dying in a ditch only to be saved by robbers (whom he hates).
  • Riyoko Ikeda's Claudine...!:
    • Claudine de Montesse is a female-to-male transgender man, so utterly broken that the poor dude shoots himself dead. WAH!
    • Rosemarie, Claudine's Unlucky Childhood Friend. Specially obvious after she gets heavily scarred and thus is seen as unfit for marriage, which was a big deal in the France of the early XX century and after Claudine kills himself.
  • Seine Miyazaki from Hekikai No AION. She was abandoned by her biological parents, her first foster father sold her to her second foster father who turned out to be an abusive man, who made her work, steal and traumatized her until being unable to swim. Her third foster father was loving and caring ( and she loved him and wanted to marry him) but he ended up eaten alive by the mermaids in front of her eyes and since she decided to follow the You Killed My Father path, she became target of the mermaids and Brainwashed and Crazy people for centuries and counting. All this combined make her an Ice Queen Action Girl.
  • Renge from Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato already had self-esteem issues due to being the only girl in the Royal Guard, but falling in love with her Face–Heel Turn-ed mentor Indrah as well as the death of the Unlucky Childhood Friend whose love she simply couldn't return push her over the edge and to her own death at the hands of her other friend, Hyuuga. Thank the Gods that she gets better.
  • Kaede Kunikida from Blue Seed. As one of the two Barrier Maidens of the story, the Terrestial Administration Center (TAC) used her abilities to fight the Aragami but never really saw her as a person - specially in the case of her adoptive father, Daitetsu Kunikida. As a result, Kaede grew up VERY embittered and faked her death, going through a Face–Heel Turn. Or so it seems. Her twin sister is the main character Momiji, and when she learns about Kaede being alive and with the enemy, she decides to try redeeming Kaede instead of killing her.
  • In 3-gatsu no Lion, Rei Kiriyama's complicated childhood has left him with a strained relationship with his adoptive family, socially reclusive, and thrust into adulthood and out own his when he's not truly ready for it.
  • Fasalina from Gun X Sword is an Affably Evil, Aloof Dark-Haired Girl ex-prostitute/pole dancer that had no parents growing up. She so resents and wants to redeem her unclean body that she joins up with The Claw and helps him bring his plans to fruition. It's pretty apparent that her past has left her a very broken individual that truly sees The Claw's plan as her best and only way to redeem herself. Even though she's a villain that can be VERY provocative, it's hard not to feel sympathy towards her at times.
  • Yuri Tsukikage AKA Cure Moonlight of Heartcatch Pretty Cure is introduced as a somber, lone, cold, occasionally harsh but straight-to-the-point girl who seems to not have any friends except Erika's sister Momoka (and they don't hang out together 24/7). Over time, her identity gets exposed and it's revealed why she became so broken: She used to work solo even without the help of her Fairy just to carry all the burden of battle herself, doing all those with a smile in her face. Thanks to that, her Fairy died protecting her, in front of her, she lost the important battle and unable to transform to a Precure anymore. She gets better eventually, then temporarily down again, then better for good.
  • Captain Tsubasa is uncommon in how the three broken birds in the cast are actually males, while the (very few) girls are much better-adjusted and cheerful. (It's a Cast Full of Pretty Boys, but still). Said male broken birds are:
    • Roberto Hongo. He was orphaned in tragic circumstances, found solace in soccer, became a Self-Made Man, then lost his career thanks to a Career-Ending Injury, fell in alcoholism and at some point was so shattered that he almost committed suicide, with only Tsubasa's father's Big Damn Heroes stopping him.
    • Carlos Santana. He's a former Doorstop Baby who lost his grandparents, was a victim of massive abuse from his sponsor and, as a result, grew up very embittered. He only started to get better when Tsubasa defeated him and when he found his mother.
    • Stefan Levin. His life was mostly fine until he lost his girlfriend Karen in an accident; as a result, he thoroughly blamed and hated himself for it and the soccer obsession born from that made his problems worse.) In his case, it's openly lampshaded: he says that he is like "[a bird with] only one wing" in an inner monologue, complete with a panel that shows him as a winged humanoid with a single wing.
  • A Certain Magical Index has a male example in Accelerator, who at the beginning of the series is a violent sadist who has no faith in goodness or other people. As the series goes on he very slowly has his faith in humanity restored bit by bit, primarily by his relationship with Last Order, the first person in years who has treated him with unconditional love and kindness.
  • Nearly all of the women in A Cruel God Reigns.
    • Vivi had her heart broken when Jeremy admits that he slept with a man twice, although he was forced to do so.
    • Sandra, whose first husband died and was then dumped by her boyfriend, resulting in a Bungled Suicide. Her marriage to Greg starts to slide downhill toward the end as well.
    • It was heavily implied that Valentine was sexually abused, resulting in her Dumb Struck status for most of the series.
    • Nadia is dedicated heart and soul to Ian, and get her heart broken when Ian starts to fall in love with Jeremy, and eventually cheats on her with him.
    • Liliya, Greg's first wife was Mistaken for Cheating and pressured by Greg into committing suicide.
    • Jeremy also applies to this trope as a male version. The whole series is about his Dark and Troubled Past, how his life gets destroyed, and is slowly repaired (sort of).
  • Berserk:
    • Guts, especially during the Golden Age Arc right down to lashing out physically during his breakdown. Still completely fucked up after the Golden Age Arc as well, but tends to express it differently.
    • And it's not like Casca doesn't exactly fit, either, always struggling with her past and her feelings for Griffith, and later for Guts himself. Then the Eclipse goes down, she loses all her men, including Judeau, who personally shields her from a demon, and then she gets horrifically raped and tortured by her former commander turned demon lord — right in front of Guts, no less — resulting in her becoming even more broken.
  • Riki from Ai no Kusabi is another Gender-Inverted Trope example as man who was Made a Slave but tries to hide this fact when he returns home to his friends. They notice something is wrong almost immediately because he went from being a Hot-Blooded Badass Biker to a passive, alcoholic loser.
  • By the time Haruka starts at the new school in the beginning of Kotoura-san, she has become cynical enough to use her telepathic powers to drive others away so she wouldn't hurt others.
  • Sekirei has several among the older Single Numbers, especially those in Minato's harem.
    • Kazehana is the Cool Big Sis of the main group, and a Hard-Drinking Party Girl. One of the oldest Sekirei, she once served on a death squad and had her heart broken by the man she loved. Minato becomes her Second Love, helping her to recover from her past heartbreak.
    • Homura was a prototype, causing him to suffer from unstable powers and No Biological Sex. He requested a male body, but over time it begins to take on female characteristics. As a result of this, he believes himself to be broken and plans to murder Minaka or die trying. His suicide attempt is interrupted by Minato, who convinces him to go on living. He's very slowly beginning to get better.
    • Akitsu is broken beyond broken, thanks to being a "Scrapped Number". She's considered a failed project, and was thrown away since she can't be winged — as a result, she considers herself "trash" and comes across as an Emotionless Girl.
  • Gilbert Cocteau from Kaze to Ki no Uta is a male version of the trope. As a child, he was neglected by his parents and later in his life, he was kidnapped and raped by Bonnard and does his first of several suicide attempts, and he suffered constant abuse by his father who poses as his uncle, which includes, among other things, rape and sexual abuse, and it turns him into a antisocial loner who gets around in order to cope with the trauma.
  • This is what Soichiro Arima from Kare Kano actually is, due to horrible child abuse in his first years and the massive issues coming from both this and his other relatives's treatment of him.
  • Tenjou in Murasakiiro no Qualia. As a child, Tenjou fell off a jungle-gym, getting her body fatally wounded. And that's when the traumatizing part begins. Completely conscious, she then watches her best friend replacing her "damaged body parts" with jungle gym parts. This trauma is the main reason she ended up as this.
  • Lupin III:
  • Misa Amane from Death Note is an interesting example of this trope. Rather than be aloof and cynical as most examples on here, she acts like a bubbly and childish Genki Girl. Very rarely do we see glimpses of her true insane nature, a product of narrowly escaping death at the hands of a crazy stalker, having her parents murdered right in front of her by a burglar and facing the possibility of their killer walking out on the charges, falling in love with Light who killed the guilty party and gave her closure, becoming a serial killer herself and teaming up with Light no matter how poorly he treats her, and at one point getting tied up and tortured for several weeks by the detective that's looking for him. At the end, it's implied that she kills herself after Light dies.
  • Quite a few characters in Attack on Titan. The most prominent examples are Mikasa and Annie, who both deal with their dark pasts through being stoic and insanely capable soldiers. Ymir is also one, having embraced an extremely aggressive personality to survive.
    • Krista Lenz, formerly Historia Reiss, also had a pretty awful past. She had been born to royalty out of wedlock, then she and her mother were banished to live on a farm because she was an illegitimate child, where her father abandoned her and her mother openly despised her, and the other children hated her. Then, her mother was decapitated in front of her, with her dying words being that she wished Historia was never born, and her father handed her off to the military as Krista Lenz so that the Military Police wouldn't kill her.
  • Sankarea:
    • Rea starts out the series as a Stepford Smiler and Lonely Rich Kid, extremely miserable due to her father's overprotectiveness and sexual abuse. When she discovers Chihiro's zombie experiment, she entertains the idea of becoming undead as a form of escape; later, when her father stops her from leaving their estate, she drinks Chihiro's elixir in an attempt to poison herself. However, once she does become a zombie, Rea abandons her father, and, with Chihiro's help, strives to live a normal life and starts becoming happier as a result.
    • Rea's mother, Aria, is a jerkass who cares more for her career than for her daughter, but it's later revealed that she acts this way because her husband doesn't give her the affection she deserves, rerouting it all to Rea. Also, she's not Rea's birth mother, so Dan'ichiro never loved her from the start.
    • Darin is a sardonic zombie expert and Mad Scientist who likes to see Rea more as a lab rat than as a person; it's eventually revealed that her father shunned her so that he could focus on his zombie work, so Darin shunned any sense of normality she had and dedicated her entire life to work with zombies and win her father's affection.
  • Fujimaru from Snow White and Seven Dwarfs is a male example, between being a human experiment who was cruelly sold by his mother and presently being Trapped in Villainy. He starts the series off as deeply cynical with no hope for a better future, and even after his Heel–Face Turn, it takes a while before he honestly starts to have faith that the heroes can win.
  • Lucy, the Villain Protagonist of Elfen Lied. She's been scorned, kicked, and trampled by humanity for most of her childhood, suffered horrific bullying from her peers, and almost everyone who befriended her either turned out to be a fake friend or killed, with the exception of Kouta, Yuka, Nana and Mayu. Seriously, she's just about as broken as it's possible for a bird to get. (But unlike her fans say, it does NOT justify the actions she'll take...)
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-'s Fai. Watching his twin die at the hands of Fei Wang Reed and thinking it was his fault after being trapped in a corpse filled valley for years is already bad enough. After that Ashura brings him to Celes where he learns that his smiles make people happy. Ashura then starts losing his mind and killing people because he wants to make sure Fai's curse activates on him (but Fai doesn't know that). He puts Ashura into a deep sleep and runs away, joining the Travelers as The Mole. And that was before the story even started. But Wait, There's More! In Tokyo he loses an eye to the kid he thought of as a son and is then turned into a vampire by his Love Interest. He turns cynical and cold until his curse activates and he stabs the girl he considers his daughter. Then Ashura wakes up, Chii is destroyed and they have to go to Celes. There his life is put on display, Ashura is killed, Love Interest Kurogane is almost killed, his other curse shuts down the whole dimension with him trapped in side, Kurogane hacks off his own arm to save him and almost dies again. Surprisingly enough the last is what gets him to feel better, finally.
  • From Fairy Tail, guildmates and Action Girls Erza Scarlet and Mirajane Strauss were badly broken in their childhood, leading them to become respectively aloof and bad-tempered youths. Erza's parents were killed by the same people that enslaved her. After befriending Jellal, she attempts to have him escape from the Tower of Heaven. Her plan fell through and she was tortured, leading to her losing her eye. Jellal was also tortured and turned evil, and he'd banished her from the Tower of Heaven, telling her that her friends left behind would suffer in her place. She also witnesses the death of her grandfather figure Rob. Mirajane lost her parents, and after using her Take-Over powers to defeat a demon rampaging her home village, she and her siblings Elfman and Lisanna were horribly scorned and exiled by the townspeople who thought that Mirajane was possessed. Both of them Took a Level in Kindness over the course of the story.
  • Rosario + Vampire:
  • Isla suffers from this in Plastic Memories. She is very cynical about her job, which is to retrieve Giftia, or androids, back from their owners near the end of the android's service life, lest they start to malfunction. Unfortunately this also means erasing the bonds the humans formed with the Giftia.
  • Hiromi Sudou and Aiko Houshou in the manga Variante: Requiem for the World are both examples of this?Aiko learns towards the end of the series that she was adopted, and that her biological father was a chimera who inadvertently killed her biological mother when he first started to transform. Her biological father also inadvertently transformed, killing both Aiko and her adoptive parents, in the very beginning of the series; her miraculous resurrection is due to her biological father being unable to accept his own mistakes and atoning by bringing her back at the cost of his own life. It is also revealed that Sudou wears the headband to conceal a scar on his forehead, that he received when his first love, a young runaway who turns out to be a chimera, lost control and transformed, nearly killing him. He was forced to shoot her in order to save himself and everyone else in the area. This is introduced to explain his protectiveness of Aiko and unwillingness to give up on her. Of course, it is also later revealed that the chimera girl, Nana, survived the gunshot and was kept alive and experimented upon, forcing Sudou and Aiko to find her and free her by killing her.
  • Belarus from Axis Powers Hetalia doesn't seem to be one at first, as she appears to be a creepy Clingy Jealous Girl who childishly clings to her brother Russia and never smiles, but Himaruya's notes all but state that she's one. i.e., her outlook on life, is rather negative as she finds that "humans are a series of misfortunes and hardships" and they're constantly filled with misfortune and make others suffer without realizing it by constantly striving for eternal happiness.
  • In Endride, both Louise and Emilio fit this archetype: Louise because of the discrimination and suffering her parents faced for their interspecies marriage, resulting in her working as The Mole for Les Collaborateurs to make money to support her family, and Emilio because of the betrayal he felt upon hearing rumours that his substitute father figure killed his real father and later exiled his substitute substitute father figure, leading to an irrational revenge quest that ends badly. Both characters eventually get Character Development that helps them get past this.
  • In Brave10, Anastasia is tough, self-reliant and cold, and chafes at the safety of Yukimura's castle. She also has a very Dark and Troubled Past at the root of it, including the loss of her family on foreign soil, being forced into sexual slavery, and training to be a ninja who kills her own feelings so that she can effectively infiltrate the Braves as The Mole in exchange for her family heirloom. Saizo, the protagonist, is another example who acts likea jerkass to merely cover up his massive fear of opening up to others and becoming vulnerable only to be thrown away on whim of his lord like his close childhood friend was. He tries to act indifferent and uninvested, but he when he finds himself serving a lord he thinks might just be worth it, he begins to move on.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003):
    • Lust becomes one after Scar dies, losing all hope since it meant she turned on her follow homunculi with nothing to show for it.
    • Because she feels that having been the Elrics' mother in her past life as Trisha, Sloth feels that she isn't a complete person any longer. She also takes a younger person under her wing like many other BB's do, this person being Wrath.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (and manga), Scar is tough, self-reliant and cold. He has a very Dark and Troubled Past as a survivor of a brutal genocide, which has left him seeking revenge against the State Alchemists who annihilated his people. He also takes a younger person under his wing like many other BB's do, this person being May Chang.

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