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Troubled Fetal Position / Anime & Manga

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  • Peach Girl:
    • Momo does this out of insecurity sometimes, and later on after she thinks that she was raped (she wasn't).
    • One scene had Sae hiding from a porn star and his camera crew who wanted her to film with them. She thought it was a video game shoot but Ryo lied to her about it. She hides in the bathroom, crawls into the bathtub, and starts sobbing while cuddling her legs close to herself. Thankfully Momo and friends save her before anything happens.
  • SHUFFLE!: After Kaede snaps, she is shown taking a shower in this position.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
    • Ako Izumi takes a Shower of Angst curled up after finding out that the guy she loves doesn't exist.
    • Asuna is in this pose in the beginning of chapter 352.
  • Peacemaker Kurogane:
    • Tetsunosuke often ends up in a fetal position, especially after he almost gets killed by Yoshida.
    • Suzu after he discovers his beloved master is dead.
  • Devilman
    • Satan is shown preparing to assume this position after he realises that he's killed Akira.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena:
    • Nanami goes into the Troubled Fetal Position after discovering that Akio and Anthy, who are brother and sister, have been regularly having sex.
    • Utena is seen in this pose in episode 10 while lamenting that perhaps she, being a girl, can't become a prince after all. She does it again in episode 12 after losing the duel and Anthy to Touga; in the same episode, Wakaba does it after her fight with Utena.
    • And finally, there's a flashback where the younger Saionji and Touga find a little Utena like this inside a coffin, totally traumatized after her parents' deaths. This scene inspires another where the older and no longer kind Saionji sees Anthy curled up in a coffin full of roses, mimicking what Utena did...
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  • Lain from Serial Experiments Lain does this a few times.
  • Simon from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which is done to signal that he has his Heroic BSoD after Kamina's death.
  • Mima from Perfect Blue indulges in a Shower of Angst and does this underwater.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • The pose is exhibited by a very young Misato (The Birth of Nerv), few after being the Sole Survivor of her father's crew. In fact, the just as young Ritsuko saw her for the first time when she was like that.
    • Shinji (especially in The End of Evangelion)
    • Asuka (At Least Be Humane and End of Evangelion).
    • Rei does it in Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days too.
  • Usagi from Sailor Moon curls up in a phone booth after Mamoru breaks up with her in a misguided attempt to protect her.
    • Before that, Naru is seen twice like this. The first time she's sitting on the bottom of a slide on such a position, as she and Usagi discuss Sanjoin/Nephrite's actions against Naru. The second, she's cutrling up in her bedroom after Nephrite's Redemption Equals Death as Usagi and Umino try to comfort her.
  • Melfina from Outlaw Star has done this a few times.
  • Naruto: Lots of characters. With Sakura, Gaara, Hinata, Juugo, and Naruto.
  • Elfen Lied:
    • Lucy, a lot after she ran away from the local Orphanage of Fear and later on she does this a lot when she's reverted from Nyu into murderous Lucy mode.
    • Mayu after she runs away from home and is living on the street.
  • Hatchin in Michiko & Hatchin does this in the first episode during her Shower of Angst.
  • Hatsumi from Hot Gimmick goes into the Troubled Fetal Position in Chapter 12 once she returns home after almost getting raped.
  • Umineko: When They Cry:
    • At second witches' tea party, Bern and Lambda make a few different comments ("What? Are you still hugging your knees?") that imply that Battler wound up doing this after all the unspeakable horrible things that happened in the second arc.
    • At the beginning of EP4, Ronove alerts Beatrice that Battler has assumed the position once again after her fake Heel Face Turn at the end of EP3 ("he has been crouching and clutching at his knees for some time now. I spoke to him several times, but he did not answer. I also carried him food, but he made no effort to touch it"), and that he probably won't be able to continue the game unless she snaps him out of it. Battler's just sleeping in the fetal position, but why tell Beatrice that when you can trick her into making an idiot of herself trying to cheer him up?
  • Sawyer the Cleaner from Black Lagoon, after she loses her voice machine.
  • While Soul Eater's Crona has sat in a Corner of Woe (played for humor), there are instances when he/she has done it in a more serious sense. One involves a scene where we see Crona inside of his/her soul (or mind) which is shown as an empty desert. Crona sits in the fetal position and his/her shadow asks all sorts of questions in which Crona answers with "Pass." At one point he/she sobs into his/her knees. Considering Crona's past with his/her abusive mother Medusa, it's no wonder.
    • Another notable scene features 2 Meisters and their Weapons in this position after reading Crona's poem and (s)he soon after follows suit.
  • Soul Eater has Professor Stein a scene where he's curled up in the fetal position, begging for someone to make the noise in his head go away.
  • Renton & Eureka does this in Eureka Seven whenever they are troubled or sad.
  • Aine does this in chapter 8 of Sensual Phrase when worried about whether or not she can remain as Lucifer's Lyricist.
  • In episode 11 of Ghost Stories Satsuki ends up doing this after spending just about the whole episode being stalked by an extremely Creepy Doll.
  • In Gankutsuou Albert does this while taking a Shower of Angst. He later does this after his engagement to Eugenie had been canceled and she becomes engaged to Andrea against her will.
  • Bleach:
    • In chapter 199, Orihime adopts this position as she tells Rangiku about her insecurities.
    • Loly does this in chapter 274 after Orihime reattaches her ripped leg and revives her partner Menoly.
    • A very young Tsukishima does it in chapter 477, right before Ginjou appears, cheers him up, and takes him in.
  • San finds Luna in this state in the 2nd My Bride is a Mermaid OVA, following an encounter with a ghost actually San's childhood friend, Saturn.
  • Betrayal Knows My Name:
    • Yuki goes into the Troubled Fetal Position in episode 2 while in the rain after being told rather harshly by the guy he thought was his friend that no one needs him.
    • Uzuki does this in episode 4 while depressed and wondering why someone like him is still alive.
    • Hotsuma in episode 10 when Shusei goes missing.
  • Myung from Macross Plus takes this pose while lying in bed.
  • The Sgt. Frog anime has Dororo often take this pose while in his Corner of Woe. Normally Played for Laughs. The episode that introduces the Soul Diver plays it a bit more seriously, as he gets stuck in his Trauma Mode and has to be pulled out of it, with Dororo staying in this position the whole time.
  • Tsubasa does this in episode 4 of Starry☆Sky.
  • After her hideous ordeal during the Eclipse, Casca from Berserk is seen in a very paranoid, hostile fetal position. She seems to stop doing this after the Time Skip, when she goes into the more carefree Ophelia stage of her insanity.
  • Yae from Hanjuku Joshi does it in Chapter 8.
  • One Piece:
    • At the beginning of the Skypiea saga, Usopp nearly drowns on the way up through the Sea Clouds. Then he jumps out thinking he's going to swim, only to fall right through, barely saved by Luffy and Robin. He then spends half of Chapter 237/Episode 153 curled up in a fetal position muttering "sky island so scary".
    • In a serious variant, there's King Neptune, who went into this after his wife, Queen Otohime, was assassinated, as he desperately attempts to hold back his murderous rage over it so as to avoid ruining everything she spent her life working toward.
  • Allen in chapter 206 of D.Gray-Man.
  • CLANNAD: Kotomi does this in one scene during a breakdown when news of a bus crash triggers memories of her parents's deaths.
  • In chapter 62 of Hen Chizuru does it in Chapter 62.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the titular character rests sits on her bed in this position after the deaths of Kyoko and Oktavia (Sayaka as a witch).
  • In Puella Magi Oriko Magica, Oriko Mikuni made the contract with Kyuubey after she had crossed the DEH, when her corrupt politician father killed himself and she was hated and shunned by everyone after having been the most popular girl in her high-class school. When Kyuubey finds her, Oriko is curled up in a corner of her empty home, wrapped in a blanket, simply waiting for death to claim her.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia:
    • Russia when his little sister Belarus tries to break down his door and demand that they get married.
    • Germany does a comedic version in episode 5 when Italy makes them both white flags to wave meaning they surrender.
    • Another comedic example occurs when the Netherlands tries to talk to Japan while the latter is in full Hikikomori mode. Just hearing the word "open" is enough to make Japan automatically do this.
  • Haruhi of Ouran High School Host Club is terrified of thunder and goes into this position whenever she hears it. And in a more comedic example Tamaki often does this when he goes into the Corner of Woe.
  • Trigun: Vash shoots Knives and then runs away after Knives first tests his angel arm. Knives clutches his wounded thigh and cries, "My leg! Why is there so much pain in my leg? Did you shoot me? DID YOU JUST SHOOT ME?!" while he and Vash are looking at each other in horror. Then Vash lets out an almighty scream and runs away. After that, Knives curls up in a fetal position while crying his eyes out.
  • Sometimes occurs in Pandora Hearts with Oz, Alice, and Gil.
  • D.N.Angel:
    • Daisuke in episodes 2 and 14 and 24.
    • Satoshi in episode 4.
    • Mio Hio in episode 20 as she grows more troubled about having to sacrifice Daisuke for a chance at truly being human, all while the time in her current borrowed body is running out.
  • Attack on Titan: Extreme Doormat Bertolt seems to do this as his default when sitting down. Also a common occurrence whenever something horrible happens, with both named characters and random extras assuming this position as despair or trauma take over.
  • In Kimi ni Todoke, Ayane is briefly shown sitting like this after breaking up with Mogi.
  • In Digimon Tamers, Jeri Katou spends a lot of time curled up like this while she's held prisoner by the D-Reaper.
  • Brock of Pokémon goes sulking into this position whenever someone asks him about his time with Professor Ivy.
  • Aya of Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note does this in the part of The Valentine Knows animated in episode 15, after finding her Valentine card to her crush Sunahara being posted on the train station's notice board, and overhearing that it was Sunahara who posted it.
  • In the Another anime series, it happens at least thrice:
    • Takako screams and then is seen crouching into this position and grabbing her head in horror, when her friend Junta not only dies while he's swimming, but his body is accidentally chopped up by a motorboat's engine.
    • In the flashback to how the Calamity took place in 1983, when a boy named Jun Hamaguchi is fatally hit by lightning, the girl who was walking right in front of him does this to shield herself. She might or might have not been Yuki Hoshikawa, the victim who followed.
    • Towards the end, Matsuko Arita "assumes" the pose after she barely survives the incredibly messy slaughter of her classmates.
  • Fruits Basket:
    • Whenever Kyo is genuinely upset, he runs off to be alone and does a variation of this.
    • Rin is seen in this position more than once, including a manga cover.
  • Koshiro from Koi Kaze is seen like this after learning that Nanoka, who he has essentially just had a date with, is actually his younger sister.
  • Chihiro does this on the stairs, while saying "Go away, Go away... Disappear..." after the events of the beginning of Spirited Away have unfolded.
  • The last scene before Full Metal Panic!'s epilogue is of Sousuke curled up and sobbing in the blown-out hole that used to be an AS's cockpit, realizing that he was seemingly going to die alone without even getting to say goodbye to everything he had finally recognized was Worth Living For.


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