AnnaSartin's avatar


  • Cincinnati, Ohio USA
  • Joined Aug 31, 2014
  • ? / F

Cute Girls Whose Lives Suck

Ah, moe anime girls. Who doesn't enjoy watching them do cute things, or battle evil in colorful magical girl attire? But anime has changed over the years, and in the 2010's there has been a wave of shows about about cute little girls and moe blobs whose lives are not sunny and bright. The worlds they inhabit are dark and dreary- or highly dangerous- and their futures are uncertain at best. Quite often, their lives are just downright depressing.
1 Day Break Illusion: il sole penetra le illusioni

Day Break Illusion: il sole penetra le illusioni

Little orphan Akari becomes a magical girl and attends a special school with her new magical girl friends. How cute is that? Unfortunately, this is no 'Little Witch Academia'. The creatures Akari and her friends fight are the possessed souls of humans who are erased from existence when they are destroyed. Saving humanity means committing murder over and over again - which Akari is horrified to learn after killing her own cousin. They also have little choice in the matter, since their powers and destiny are both inherited.

2 The Girl From the Other Side: Siuil, a Run OVA

The Girl From the Other Side: Siuil, a Run OVA

Shiva is a small child who lives in a cursed world. She was abandoned by her original caregiver, humans and non-humans alike keep trying to capture and/or kill her, and even the kindly Outsider who has taken her under his protection is cursed and may not be able to protect her indefinitely. The nature of Shiva's existence and her connection to the curse is a mystery; but whatever future awaits this girl, it sure as heck isn't going to be sunshine and rainbows.

3 The Girl From the Other Side: Siuil, a Run (2022)

The Girl From the Other Side: Siuil, a Run (2022)

info coming soon!

4 Girls' Last Tour

Girls' Last Tour

Yuuri and Chito are two little girls who explore the world together. Unfortunately, their world is an empty, post-apocalyptic disaster with very few humans in sight and no available adults to aid them. Their 'adventure' is a never-ending quest to find the supplies they need to keep from starving to death, and potentially find somewhere to live. If it weren't for the fact that the two are so easy-going and optimistic about the whole ordeal, Yuuri and Chito's story would make you quite sad.

5 Kemurikusa


A group of sisters (and a young man with amnesia) travel through a ruined world polluted with a poisonous red fog and filled with giant mechanical monsters that try to kill them. In fact, several of their siblings have already perished on the journey as our story begins. There are no other people they can turn to for help, the dilapidated buildings and other ramshackle structures offer little in terms of protection, and water is getting more and more scarce. Our heroes wander the land in their trusty vehicle - half a bus. Yes, these girls are attempting to survive their hellish environment by traveling in HALF a bus! And I thought my local transportation system was bad.

6 Made in Abyss

Made in Abyss


Riko is a spunky child who has an adventurous spirit just like her mother - her missing mother, who abandoned her at the age of two to go exploring a highly dangerous pit known as the Abyss that has an ancient, deadly curse radiating from it. Ten years later, Riko is determined to do the same thing. She can't really help this urge since she died in the Abyss as a baby and was reanimated using an ancient artifact that makes her powerfully drawn to the place. Thus begins the tale of a twelve year-old reanimated corpse on her quest to find the mother who abandoned her in a cursed pit that will most likely destroy her. Fun times.

7 Made in Abyss Movie: Dawn of the Deep Soul

Made in Abyss Movie: Dawn of the Deep Soul

 info coming soon!

8 Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun

Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun

info coming soon!

9 Magical Girl Raising Project

Magical Girl Raising Project

A world full of magical girls! Doing good deeds, saving the world, and... trying to kill each other? Yep, the sixteen magical girls in this show are thrown into a death match where only a few will survive. Don't get attached to the characters in this show, folks. They don't live long and die quite spectacularly. 

10 Magical Girl Site

Magical Girl Site

More magical girls trying to kill one another, this time in a world run by a lunatic AI system that has already managed to destroy the planet once. Added bonus on the suck-o-meter: The sticks that give the girls their powers come with a nasty side-effect - it slowly eats up the user's lifespan.

11 Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Puella Magi Madoka Magica


Yet another show where Japanese schoolgirls meet a cute magical critter who gives them special powers to battle evil beings. In this show, they even get a free wish to boot! The catch? The 'cute magical critter' is a space alien who harvests their energy, and in time they turn into the same evil beings they've been contracted to fight, requiring another magical girl to slay them. Wash, rinse, repeat. The alien never runs out of energy this way, and the cycle of misery continues.

12 Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 3: Rebellion

Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 3: Rebellion

A Madoka sequel movie that shoves the knife into your soul just a little bit deeper when you learn that everything the main character sacrificed herself to accomplish has gone straight to hell and caused one of her friends to go insane in the process. (And just in case you aren't depressed enough, there are also a number of spin-off manga in this franchise where you can read about other magical girls having similarly horrible experiences.)

13 Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 4: Walpurgisnacht - Rising

Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 4: Walpurgisnacht - Rising

info coming soon!

14 Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story

Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story

All Iroha wants to do is find her missing sister, but because this is the Madoka universe we know better than to expect sunshine and happiness - for her or any other magical girl in this world.

15 Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Season 2 - The Eve of Awakening

Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Season 2 - The Eve of Awakening

info coming soon!

16 The Promised Neverland

The Promised Neverland


11 year-old Emma is a precocious, loyal, and highly optimistic girl growing up with her beloved 'siblings' in the orphanage where they live. Then one day she discovers that they are not actually orphans at all; they are livestock being raised for demons to eat! Only a few 'lucky' girls escape this fate when they turn 12 years old by becoming permanent slaves on the farm, giving birth to more babies to fill the faux orphanages and working to care for the children until they are ready to be processed as food. Emma is determined to somehow save herself and the other children from this horrific fate, even if she has to suffer a few broken bones or hack off her own ear to do it. Good luck, Emma! We're all rooting for you!

17 School-Live!



Yuki loves her school so much she actually lives there! She and her friends have a blast together every day in their school club. They may as well, since the girls are the only people in the school left alive and the outside world is overrun with zombies. Did I mention Yuki is completely delusional and thinks that everything is totally normal? Yep. She spends her days seeing things that aren't there, her mind trying to block out the trauma of her bleak reality. Meanwhile, the other girls are desperately trying to figure out how to stay alive and care for their mentally ill friend. I can't decide who I feel sorrier for.

18 Sunday Without God

Sunday Without God

Ai is an adorable young girl who grew up in a quaint little village - where all of the inhabitants are undead. Actually, everywhere is filled with undead people since the god who created this world seems to have disappeared, taking everyone's ability to die with him. Like her deceased mother, Ai is a Gravekeeper; someone who has the ability to put undead people to rest by digging graves for them. She travels around her ruined world doing so, because what else should a twelve year-old girl be doing with her life?

19 Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero

Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero


More magical girl fun! These do-gooders not only defeat evil, they even have a 'hero club' at school where they help people in their community. In spite of their good deeds, the laws of karma don't seem to apply to the characters in this show since all life seems to dish out to them is a steaming pile of crap. When they use their powers full-force, they lose something important in exchange. Do they REALLY need the ability to speak? ...or see? ...or walk? Apparently not. A seriously depressing show.

20 Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero: The Washio Sumi Chapter

Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero: The Washio Sumi Chapter

What, did you think this franchise was done trying to make you want to drown yourself from the misery? Hell no! Remember the wheel-chair bound young girl from last season whose heroic actions left her unable to walk? And the other bedridden girl who couldn't even move? Here's an equally depressing prequel series that shows you exactly how they wound up that way - just to brighten your day! You're even given the choice of watching these events unfold as a 6-episode miniseries or a trilogy of films. Lucky you!

21 Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero: The Hero Chapter

Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero: The Hero Chapter

Seriously, you still haven't had enough of watching these girls suffer yet? At this point, I'm guessing you're either a sadist who actually enjoys watching children become sacrifices or you are a masochist determined to make yourself depressed. Either way, the Yuuki Yuuna franchise continues to deliver in spades.

22 Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter

Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero: The Great Mankai Chapter

info coming soon!


You must be logged in to leave comments. Login or sign up today!

maika72 Feb 19, 2020

I'm not into magical girl animes, but after watching a bit of Puella Magi and seeing your list, I'll definitely give these a try! 

galpal Jun 9, 2019

Japan loves making anime about young girls forced to grow up by going to hell and back. What does that say about them as a country? On second thought don't answer that 

knoxyal Apr 1, 2019

Does Tanya the evil count? :)))

linanimex Apr 21, 2018

WIXOSS series also could perfectly fit in this list :)

kuzronk Dec 21, 2017

Princess Tutu? Utena?