14 Anime Featuring Physically-Disabled Characters

Gyomei Himejima

Anime is hardly the exemplar of disability representation in popular media. Ableist tropes frequently strain plot devices and then serve to advance an able-bodied narrative. The physical deformity is automatically made up for with superpowers as if living with blindness or amputation is fundamentally inadequate and needs magical reparations.

Although done spuriously, or misguidedly at best, most anime tend to be inclusive of disability in one way or the other. Here's a list of 14 anime representing physical disability!

14. One Piece

shanks

One of the Four Emperors of the New World, Red-Haired Shanks sacrificed his left arm while saving Luffy. The first to join the Straw Hat Pirates, Roronoa Zoro is also blind in the left eye.

13. Violet Evergarden

Violet with her artifical arm

Violet Evergarden lost her arms in the war and uses adamantine silver prostheses. It makes holding a pen difficult and she has to get used to typewriting. It doesn't impede her ambition to understand love though.

12. Guilty Crown

ayase

The combat pilot of the humanoid robot Endlave, Ayase Shinomiya is paralysed below her waist. We don’t have a clear backstory as to why, and she makes sure that we don’t need it.

11. Demon Slayer

gyomei

The muscular and tall Stone Hashira, Gyomei Himejima is blind. We haven't seen much of him in the anime yet. Tengen Uzui, on the other hand, loses a hand in the Entertainment District Arc. He becomes the only Hashira to retire with a disability.

10. Stardust Crusaders

The loyal DIO assassin and stand user N’Doul is blind. He took on the Joestar group in the Sahara all by himself. He's a minor antagonist who ‌‌‌‌‌‌tends to be overconfident but does have great analytical skills in battle.

9. Shion no Ou

shion

Great at shogi, Shion is mute and lost her family at a young age. She communicates her thoughts by noting them down. The story follows her ascent to popularity as the murderers of her parents start unveiling slowly.

8. Fairy Tail

gildarts

‌ The S-Class mage, Gildarts Clive remains a formidable member of the Fairy Tail Guild despite missing an arm, a leg, and a couple of organs. He's used wooden prosthetics in the past, but switched to more armor-like replacement in the present. The womanizer's had at least 13 flings in the past.

7. Boku No Hero Academia

all might

‌ In a world of quirks, All Might’s disability comes in two ways – first, he suffers from organ damage, and second, because of that, he cannot maintain his quirky strength for too long. All For One, who caused that damage, needs a ventilator and is blind.

6. Code Geass

nunnally

Nunnally Lamperouge, the sister of Lelouch vi Britannia becomes crippled after a staged attack on her mother. Going by pure speculation, her blindness may have been induced by a geass user. Her disability serves as a reminder to solidify Lelouch's selfish convictions to reform the world in his way.

5. Attack on Titan

erwin

Humanity’s smartest commander, Erwin Smith famously had his arm bitten off by a titan. He doesn't make any attempt to replace it, although that might be because his world doesn't have the technology to do it

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Humanity’s strongest soldier, Levi Ackerman, also wounds a great chunk of his body in an explosion.

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4. Hunter x Hunter

shoot

Shoot McMahon, the timid hunter who can conjure three floating hands is lacking an entire arm himself. And the blindness of Komugi, who’s arguably the most critical character in the Chimera Ant Arc, plays a decisive role in how Meruem perceives her and understands humanity through her.

3. Koe No Katachi

shouko

In what's perhaps the loudest and most popular anime to represent disability, Shouko Nishimiya plays the role of a clinically-deaf student trying to navigate the world and internalized ableism. She uses hearing aids, which Shouya kept damaging until she couldn't handle the bullying and transferred schools.

2. Naruto Shippuden

Both Naruto and Sasuke lose their arms in the epic standoff towards the end, and while Naruto goes ahead and replaces his with a prosthesis, Sasuke decides to atone for his past by remaining disabled.

1. Fullmetal Alchemist

elric brothers

‌This anime literally exists because the two main characters – the Elric brothers – are disabled. In a failed alchemy transmutation, Edward lost an arm and a leg, while his little brother Alphonse lost his entire body – his soul affixed to a hunk of armour. For the most part, the story is driven by their mutual longing to not be disabled. Additionally, Izumi Curtis, who taught the Elric brothers alchemy and martial arts, doesn’t have a uterus and parts of her intestines.

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