It seems like the Occult Research Club is a bit of a Woobie magnet: pretty much all of the original members have plenty of heart-wrenching baggage to deal with.
- Vali Lucifer is the great-grandson of the original Lucifer and a human mother, as such he was born with talent and the Divine Dividing housing the White Dragon Emperor, making him one of the strongest beings in the world. Due to this, his father feared him, leading to Vali's bullied childhood. His father even kept his mother from making him anything but cooked noddles, resulting in Vali's obsession with them. Vali later ran away from home, knowing his mother's memories were erased. in childhood, exorcists chased him before Azazel found and taught him how to use his powers. Vali grew a desire to fight strong opponents to the point where he even said once that he didn't want to live in a world where the biblical god didn't exist since Vali never got to fight him. Ashamed by his weak rival, he threatened to kill his parents so that Issei would seriously grow stronger. All of it stemmed from his childhood and seeking to grow stronger to defeat his grandfather who was capable of challenging god-class beings. Caring a lot about his allies and the people he had worked with in Grigori. Vali was enraged by Cao Cao injuring one of his comrades. Vali later learned his mother lived with a human husband and that he has a half brother and a half-sister.
- Issei Hyoudou. A perverted kid and a Harem Seeker, he generally becomes happy when he gains a pretty girlfriend, Yuma Amano, and pulls out all the stops for their date. How does she repay him? By spearing him in the chest. Turns out the girlfriend was a Fallen Angel named Raynare who was just getting close enough to kill him for his Scared Gear on Azazel's orders. After his Emergency Transformation into a Devil, he ends up fighting his now ex-girlfriend who mocks him from being a quote "boring boyfriend". This hits him hard for several chapters, believing himself to be low class girlfriend material despite the Unwanted Harem that ironically grows around him.
- Rias Gremory. She was forced into a marriage that she wanted no business with and was forced to surrender after her now ex-husband to be threatened to kill Issei. Even after her marriage managed to be nullified, she often views herself as a failure of a King.
- Asia Argento. A former nun who was abandoned by her parents when she was a baby who became a nun after awakening her Sacred Gear to heal a puppy, who since after that had been named as holy maiden and all interaction she had with people being minimal beyond healing other and was banished from The Church for the crime of healing a Devil. She is taken in by the same Fallen Angel Issei went out with who planed to use Asia for her own personal gain. This plot resulted in Asia's death and no sooner than that she was revived as a Devil and her meeting with members of the Church she is offered to be mercy killed as a way to expiate for her sins. And despite all she was through, she remains faithful to God. And the worst part? The Devil she healed planed for all of that to happen to her!
- Akeno Himejima. Before becoming a Devil, she was a human/Fallen Angel hybrid, born from the result of Shuri Himejima, a priestess and Baraqiel, a Fallen Angel. When Baraqiel's enemies learned about her existence due to the Himejima hating her due to her heritage, they tried to kill her, but Shuri pulled a You Shall Not Pass! instead. Akeno disowned her father and went into exile, being hunted down for assassins of her own family, before she met Rias.
- Yuto Kiba. He was to be a Super Soldier alongside several other children in order to create artificial Holy Sword users. But they all turned out to be defective and were scheduled to be disposed of. The children Yuto was friends with sacrificed themselves to help him escape so that there was a chance for the experiments to never happen again. Hadn't Rias not approached him at the time, he would have died as well.
- Koneko Tōjō. Her older sister committed an offensive crime after becoming Drunk with Power. She was thought to soon share the same fate and was nearly killed if not for the interference of the Gremorys. She fears that if she uses the same powers as her sister, she would become just like her.
- Gasper Vladi. He's a Dhampyr, so he is often mocked at and ridiculed by other vampires. His backstory even states that he was murdered by Vampire Hunters before Rias found him. He also has very low self-esteem. Poor kid.