Almost every anime has that one quiet, dark-humored girl who will steal your heart without even trying.
These characters are generally referred to as emo girls, although their darkness may manifest in different ways.
Here are our top 15 emo anime girls of all time from cold-blooded killers, crybabies, and unfeeling semi-sociopaths.
- Best Emo Anime Girls
- 18. Tomoko Kuroki, Watamote
- 17. Iwakura Lain, Serial Experiments Lain
- 16. Re-l Mayer, Ergo Proxy
- 15. Mizore Shirayuki, Rosario to Vampire
- 14. Freya, Chobits
- 13. Izumi Takanashi, Working!!
- 12. Saeko Busujima, High School of the Dead
- 11. Nana Osaki, Nana
- 10. Rebecca, Black Lagoon
- 9. Mei Misaki, Another
- 8. Clare, Claymore
- 7. Rukia Kuchiki, Bleach
- 6. Rei Ayanami, Neon Genesis Evangelion
- 5. Lucy, Elfen Lied
- 4. Mikasa Ackerman, Attack on Titan
- 3. Yukishiro Tomoe, Rurouni Kenshin
- 2. Touka Kirishima, Tokyo Ghoul
- 1. Homura Akemi, Mahou Shoujo Madoka
- Final Thoughts
Best Emo Anime Girls
18. Tomoko Kuroki, Watamote
Watamote is a mixed result anime for many anime fans, but Tomoko is a good example of a social awkward emo girl. Having played many otome games in her life, securing over 50 in-game years of dating experience, Tomoko had high expectations when starting high school.
Only to never talk to her classmates or achieve any level of popularity. With her long black hair and bangs that cover one eye and most of her face, Tomoko also shares a signature appearance of a classic emo girl.
Every episode showcases her social awkwardness as she tries to achieve a popular status amongst her peers.
17. Iwakura Lain, Serial Experiments Lain
Lain Iwakura is a shy 14-year-old girl from the game and anime Serial Experiments Lain. While the story can take a few replays or watches to fully understand, Lain’s character is shy and illiterate when it comes to technology.
When Lain gets a NAVI, a type of computer, she projects herself more assertively online. Her emotions are not often displayed in person but rather restricted to online.
However, Lain also struggles with different personalities, which express different emotions and mannerisms.
She is quite distant from her family and from others in the school as well, only having one friend that feels any form of emotional connection to Lain.
16. Re-l Mayer, Ergo Proxy
At the start of Ergo Proxy, Re-L is insensitive and nearly apathetic. This is due to how children are raised in the society of Romdeau.
However, as the show progresses, she is seen expressing other emotions. She feigns disinterest around others and is overly conceited. She also doesn’t fare well under stress, as she has a strict fondness for order and control.
Re-L learns to adapt more as the story progresses and comes to realize that she needs to face the reality of the society she grew up in and the mystery behind it.
15. Mizore Shirayuki, Rosario to Vampire
Lonely, misunderstood, and lovelorn, Mizore Shirayuki has become quite the poster child for schoolgirls with unrequited, obsessive crushes on their teachers.
Despite possessing unique powers as a snow woman (yuki-onna), she frequently falls for underserving boys who either do not return her affections or are out to take advantage of her.
She thus ends up freezing them sooner or later, which just makes her feel terrible.
At one point in the show, she literally had to be stopped from taking her own life after everything she’s been through. If that’s not being emo, we don’t know what is.
14. Freya, Chobits
Freya has one of the most shocking and messed up storylines not just in Chobits, but in all of anime-land. Instead of being born normally, she was ‘created’ by Ichiro because he and his wife could not bear children.
Freya was equipped with a system that allowed her to fall in love with whoever she chooses to be with, but it backfired as she chose to fall in love with Ichiro, her own father.
Naturally, Ichiro could not return her feelings, and this made Freya extremely sad and depressed.
13. Izumi Takanashi, Working!!
If you can’t carry anything heavier than a pen without getting muscle ache for days, and if you have to crawl around instead of walking because you don’t have much energy, you’d surely be an emo girl, too. Izumi lives a very frustrating life.
Even though she’s doing her dream job as a romance novel writer, she can’t do much in life — not even clean herself and her surroundings, because of her weakness.
She keeps herself locked in her room all day since she can’t even travel far without fearing that she can just drop dead at any minute.
12. Saeko Busujima, High School of the Dead
Saeko is the most enigmatic main character in High School of the Dead, an anime set in a zombie apocalypse.
She’s a very badass and intelligent fighter who always bails the group out of sticky situations using her wits and mastery of kendo fighting.
However, when she’s not fighting zombies with wooden swords, she mostly keeps quiet and does not like talking about herself.
Her mysterious demeanor just doubles her attractiveness, and you’d find yourself hanging on to every word she once she decides to start talking.
11. Nana Osaki, Nana
Pale skin, pierced ears, red lips, and a choker — how much more emo can you get? Nana is a rock singer who, quite literally, performs songs classified under the ‘emo’ genre.
The best thing about Nana Osaki, though, is that she only appears to be cold and emotionless.
Despite being kicked into a difficult after getting expelled from school over wrong accusations of prostitution, she managed to hold on to her optimism that she can reach her dream of becoming a famous singer.
She is also a wonderful friend to her namesake, Nana Komatsu, and fiercely protects her although she doesn’t usually express her emotions through words.
10. Rebecca, Black Lagoon
You know someone is totally hardcore when they sport combat boots without any socks, right? Well, that’s Rebecca, or Revy, for you.
As one of the most prized members of the mafia-esque group, Black Lagoon, she is very adept at killing and does it without flinching — even when faced with an unarmed civilian.
She developed sharpshooting skills from her years in the streets, stealing and murdering to survive.
Even her fashion sense is totally emo, as she wears torn-off jeans, shorts, and a black crop top that leaves her belly totally exposed. Oh, and those bangs? 100% emo.
9. Mei Misaki, Another
Mei is the main character of the horror-thriller anime, Another. You’d think she was a ghost because her entire class at school pretends as if she doesn’t exist.
Mei also has one red eye and another one that’s kept hidden behind an eyepatch. Because of how her classmates treat her, Mei doesn’t have any friends.
That’s until Kouichi Sakakibara, the new student, starts to talk to her.
Unfortunately, strange and terrifying things began to happen the moment they started developing a connection.
Mysterious and gloomy, the eccentric Mei Misaki is definitely one of the most interesting emo girls in anime.
8. Clare, Claymore
The Claymores are interesting creatures, being part human and part shape-shifting monster called ‘Yoma.’ Due to having monster-like strength, the Claymores have sworn to protect mere mortals from the threat of full-blooded Yomas.
Unlike other warriors, though, Clare is only a 25% monster, leading many other Claymores to dismiss her as the weakest of them all.
However, Clare’s persistence and determination to be a good protector of the people led her to become a stronger warrior.
Still, she always feels like she’s stuck in between two worlds as if she cannot fit in anywhere.
7. Rukia Kuchiki, Bleach
Even under the threat of a death sentence, Rukia is able to keep her calm and collected demeanor.
But this very behavior is confusing to people who care about her, who usually learns about her troubles way too late because she does not show her emotions all that much.
Even though Rukia is an adopted member of an elite clan, she loves talking to commoners and holding on to her modesty.
Even for a Soul Reaper, Rukia is cold as a stone and pretends everything is cool even when standing in the face of death.
6. Rei Ayanami, Neon Genesis Evangelion
As one of the First Children to pilot the Evangelion-00, nobody knows Rei’s past or where she came from.
She is bitterly unhappy 100% of the time, and the mystery about her past just adds to the depressing enigma of her character.
Even when she starts forming bonds with some of her copilots and classmates, she can’t even crack a smile for two seconds without her dark expression returning.
It’s like there’s a dark, heavy cloud always hanging around her head, making her one of the most emo characters in anime of all time.
5. Lucy, Elfen Lied
If you don’t think you can ever feel empathy for a cold-blooded killer, then you obviously have not met Elfen Lied’s Lucy.
She may be vicious in her ways, but she can’t entirely be blamed for that. As a Diclonius, she has horns on her head and telekinetic abilities. Because of this, she was frequently bullied as a child. It didn’t get better as she grew up, too.
The government did a lot of experiments on her, making her violent and deeply resentful of humans and everything they represent.
She either exhibits extreme emotion or none at all — a true-blue emo girl.
4. Mikasa Ackerman, Attack on Titan
Mikasa’s cold stares can be terrifying, but she reserves those for titans and anyone who threatens to hurt Eren, whom she has sworn to protect with her life.
She’s cool and expressionless, but mostly because she chooses to focus all her attention and energy into keeping Eren safe.
She’s a fierce protector with a warm heart, and even though she rarely shows it, you’d fall for the way she obviously cares about the people around her — Eren, especially.
3. Yukishiro Tomoe, Rurouni Kenshin
Yukishiro Tomoe has the saddest arcs in Rurouni Kenshin, killed by the Battosai’s own sword. Her fiance, Akira, was killed by Kenshin early into the series.
This prompted Tomoe to track the infamous Battosai to avenge her slain lover.
After finding Kenshin, she falls in love with him instead and even gives her own life to protect her new husband.
It was a difficult end to a difficult life, and Tomoe only manages to smile in her last moments, as she recalled how Kenshin took away her happiness but gave her a second chance at love.
2. Touka Kirishima, Tokyo Ghoul
Touka starts out as a cold and calculating character in this horror-action series, but she becomes a little more optimistic with Kaneki around.
So when he leaves her and her family at Anteiku, Touka reverts to her own self and becomes even more withdrawn, quiet, and emotionless.
She would never admit it, but she feels scared and lonely without Kaneki around.
1. Homura Akemi, Mahou Shoujo Madoka
Finally, topping this list of the best emo anime girls is Homura Akemi, the cold and stoic magical girl who has seen enough suffering to ever be truly happy.
She has grown quite immune to pain and does not show sadness, pity, or remorse because she has learned how to put up a strong facade so she could keep going with life and her magical responsibilities, despite everything she’s been through. An undisputed emo girl — 10/10 would recommend.
So…if you ever feel the need to let out a few tears to release the stress or to clear your mind, you know these anime girls will always have your back.
Just watching our best emo anime girls would surely put you in a lonely, cathartic mood for days on end.
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