Playing Doctor: Part 2

It’s time for another session

It’s good to see that you’ve come back after last month’s lengthy session of diagnosing. I was beginning to get lonely. Make yourself comfortable, and this time I’ll be the one making the tea. So, do you remember what we do here in my clinic? We diagnose anime characters with whatever mental disorder seems to fit them best and decide on what treatment they need – if they need any. The most important thing to remember is not to report me to the officials so it doesn’t get shut down though, alright? Well, now that we’re settled, let’s bring in the first patient and begin our analysis.

Patient: Death the Kid
Series: Soul Eater
Diagnosis: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

I’m sure most of you Soul Eater fans saw that diagnosis coming as soon as you saw his name. Okay, so he’s a bit of an easy one since he was essentially created as the physical embodiment of OCD. Everyone has their own hang-ups about germs, order, or specific numbers…but OCD takes that to the level where it greatly interferes with the individual’s life. If they don’t obey their compulsions, they face significant distress…so they almost have no choice but to follow through. Kid’s hang-up is symmetry. The fact that his hair and his weapons aren’t symmetrical is often enough to bring him to tears. He choreographs complicated, symmetrical poses with his weapons. He spends an entire exam period just writing his name, erasing it over and over and sobbing violently when he deems that it isn’t perfect enough. Any lack of symmetry sends him into a fit of rage that can be incredibly detrimental. This amount of anxiety and stress is very taxing on the body, as well as a big waste of time. He has no control of his compulsions, and often doesn’t even attempt to suppress the invasive thoughts.

Suggested Treatment: Death the Kid’s OCD penetrates into almost every area of his life. It has caused him to fail exams, it gets him into fights with people at the academy, and it more often than not distracts him in a fight. All in all, he’d be a better Shinigami if he didn’t have this one weakness. Even if you ignore the social problems of this disorder – if he really wants to be a powerful Death God, he’s going to need to get over this. Desensitization therapy will be the key. We’ll show him slightly unsymmetrical objects, and NOT let him fix them. We’ll see how far he can go before he shoots everything into a perfect pyramid of rubble.

Patient: Tsukasa
Series: .hack//SIGN
Diagnosis: Major Depression (possibly co-morbid with Avoidant Personality Disorder)

It’s undeniable that something is a little off in this one, but it’s a little complicated to diagnose someone who lives inside a video game. Right from episode one, we discover that Tsukasa is unable to log out from the MMORPG called “The World” and is instead stuck in this virtual reality world with the ability to feel pain. If he dies in the game, it’s game over in real life. I’ll get to why this poses a problem for the diagnosis of major depression in a minute. Other than this, Tsukasa has most of the characteristic symptoms of depression. He has a lack of interest or pleasure in anything he does, is sad most of the time, worries excessively, feels guilty for things he didn’t do and tends to move and react sluggishly, as if in a stupor. Now, here’s where the problem lies: his eating and sleeping habits. I can’t tell if he never sleeps because he physically CAN’T in the game world, or because he has insomnia. The same goes with eating.This means I basically have to guess one way or another. Because of this, I’m going to say he has a mild form of it. I wouldn’t go for a diagnosis of dysthymia (requires less symptoms to be diagnosed with, but spans over a longer time) because I really have no clue what he’s been like for 2 years.

Suggested Treatment: For the most part, Tsukasa overcame his depression and fear of getting close to others once he was able to wake up to the real world. I would recommend that he is monitored by his friends and family to make sure he doesn’t slip into depression again. (The following are major spoilers for the last episodes of .hack//SIGN) Show ▼

Patient: Toshio Ozaki
Series: Shiki
Diagnosis: none

Toshio was recommended to the clinic by BlackBriar and Metanorn’s own Anaaga during the last session, so I was sure to drag him in. While it may seem odd to want to discuss someone who I have diagnosed as a (big emphasis on the quote unquote) “normal” human being, he makes for an interesting case! Instead of arguing that a certain character has a disorder – for Toshio – I’m going to argue why he doesn’t have one. Firstly, let’s list all of the things that could be taken as potential symptoms or indicators of mental unrest. (Spoilers for Shiki episode 14 and onwards) Show ▼

Suggested Treatment: After dealing with the Shiki, Toshio Ozaki should simply be cognizant of PTSD symptoms. As a doctor, he should be able to recognize some of the signs: nightmares, intrusive flashbacks, and increased anxiety. Otherwise, he’s a perfectly functioning doctor and needs no special treatment or monitoring. Whether or not the police want to deal with him and send him to jail for what he’s done is another matter entirely…

Patient: Hibari Kyoya
Series: Reborn!
Diagnosis: Schizoid Personality Disorder

Schizoid Personality Disorder is an interesting illness that lies along the schizophrenia spectrum. That means he’s actually somewhere along the same scale as Moeka was if you read the last post. The symptoms are all related to anti-social behaviour, such as a disinterest in socialization, preference for solitary activities, and a cold affect. It’s a known fact that Hibari absolutely hates people, and spends most of time trying to get as far away from them as he can. As soon as anyone interrupts his alone time, they will be “bitten to death.” Not only does he get violent if confronted, he will physically break out in hives if he’s stuck with people for too long. It’s quite a serious case, I must say.

Suggested Treatment: I must like talking about controversial cases…Yet again, there is a bit of a problem with the treatment of schizoid personality disorder, as clinicians are unsure whether or not this needs treating. The patient often doesn’t feel the need to change. In fact, they’re perfectly fine with this lifestyle. It’s a bit controversial whether this is just society imposing its own view on how normalcy should be, or if it really is something that needs correcting. Hibari being a lone wolf is fine, seeing as he does have friends to protect him. However, he really needs something to control that violent, vicious streak. That’s just not right. Cognitive-behavioural therapy should help, as medication would just interfere with his fighting.

Clinic Afterhours

Whew, that was a bit emotionally draining. Thanks for sticking through my rantings until the end. One of the convenient things about diagnosing anime characters compared to real people is that we get to see them in their natural setting. Not only do we see how they act around people, but we see how they behave when they’re alone. Often, we’re even given access directly to their innermost thoughts – something real life psychiatrists don’t have the benefit of seeing. That’s part of what makes doing this so interesting, because you an see how far their individual mental disorder or symptoms permeates into different areas of their life. Is it more obvious? Do they keep it hidden in certain situations? Having an omniscent view of their lives makes things much more intriguing. Although, as you may have seen, not all diagnoses are clear-cut.

If I ever come across enough “crazy” characters that I want to diagnose, I’ll most likely open the doors to my clinic once again. For now, I feel like I should move on to other editorial topics just to keep this one fresh. As always, feel free to pitch in any thoughts on the diagnoses, characters or individual disorders. Recommendations are fine too! I’m happy to answer everything, and hopefully I paid attention in lectures enough to answer anything on the more scientific side if that’s asked as well. For now, I’ll be temporarily closing up shop. When, I wonder, shall I call my dearest assistant again to come and play with me~?

Bonus Doctors:Show ▼


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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22 Responses to “Playing Doctor: Part 2”

  1. Yippy says:

    Interesting post yet again Overcooled. Although I haven’t watched any of the shows these patients appeared in, they’re still interesting nonetheless.

    I mostly agree with your diagnosis of Kyoka’s, though his case is a tad controversial.

    As always, keep up the stellar writing.

    • Overcooled says:

      Such kind words…Thank you!

      It’s hard to choose characters that everybody knows. It’s a weird crop of shows too since my tastes are a bit sporadic. XD

      • Yippy says:

        I get what you mean. When someone brings up the topic of anime in my circle of friends, it almost always revolves around the shounen trinity. When I pop my favourite anime of the season to them, all I get are blank stares… T_T Besides, variety is the spice of life, no?

  2. Bob from Accounting says:

    Faust VIII! I love him! *Implodes* Sorry, what was this post about again? Oh yes, more psychological diagnoses of anime characters. I don’t know any of these aside from Death the Kid, so, um, I don’t really have anything to say. FAUST!

    • Overcooled says:

      Yes! Faust is awesome! I really need to finish reading Shaman King…I’m about 3/4 through the manga and I never finished it. It was one of the first manga series I read as a kid too.

      • Bob from Accounting says:

        Same here, it was one of the series that (along with, as I recall, Sandland, One Piece and YuYu Hakusho) made me really love shonen manga in my formative years. Even today, it’s pretty close to Hunter x Hunter in terms of the shonens I hold close to my heart. And you really do need to finish it. If it’s any encouragement, seeing as you seem to love him too, Faust gets a supremely epic moment in the final arc.

  3. Gecko says:

    DEATH THE KID YES. When I clicked on the article, and scrolled down to see him I was cheering. Unfortunately he was the only one I knew… But I kinda sorta knew the other people so it worked out. In any case, this is super stellar interesting. Keep it up! It’s great to see things like this.

    • Overcooled says:

      lol I like how the only character people recognize is Death the Kid. If you like Soul Eater, you’d probably like Reborn! The other two anime are also really good! Everyone should go watch them now.

      Thanks, Gecko!! I’ll do my best to never run out of editorial ideas :3

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Thanks for the shout out, OC!! I was so waiting for this!!

    If I had to diagnose Toshio, my conclusion would be obsessive behavior to near madness. He was so obsessed with trying to get rid of the Shiki that it completely consumed him whole. Proof of that was the expression on his face as he was watching over his wife’s body before she rose. He was pretty much like the captain from the Moby Dick story who was more than willing to sacrifice anything and everything to catch the white whale.

    At that time he was so out of it that I was thinking “put him down now! he’s a mad dog”. Maybe that’s just my line of thinking because I still harbor bias towards the Shiki. LOL, gotta love the vampires!! So much bias that I wanted the Shiki to win.

    If you have a Part 3 in mind, I recommend we bring in Seishin for diagnostics because it’s strange we tested Toshio but Seishin is off our radar. All emotionally scarred characters from Shiki should be brought in.

    I wonder how Anaaga would pass judgment on Toshio as she also recommended him. Anaaga, what’s your opinion?

    • Overcooled says:

      No problem! You ask and you shall receive, for Overcooled never breaks a promise!

      Haha, I remember the Shiki vs Human debates that went on. I may be a bit biased since I’d probably follow in Toshio’s footsteps in that situation without any hesitation. If I need to cut off my emotions for a while just to live – so be it! At least I’m alive afterwards! ‘Obsessive behaviour’ isn’t really an official diagnosis, but I’d at least say he’s not functioning at an 100% healthy, mental state. We’ll see what Anaaga has to say too :3

      Seishin, huh? Now he definitely has something. The past suicide attempt and disregard for his own life says it all. Megumi would also probably have something (I’d have to do my research again before I say anything concrete!)

      • BlackBriar says:

        Hahaha, YES!! The Shiki vs Human debates raged on for weeks with no end. Not to sour things up but I think understand why the Twi-hards raged for their sides so passionately. Because for at least one time, I wanted to see a tragedy where the humans didn’t win.

        Maybe I’ll get my chance to see vampires winning when Underworld: Awakening comes along later in january. “In the endless between the Vampires and Lycans, a new enemy arose: Humans”. Here’s the summary: “When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrioress Selene leads the battle against humankind.” LOL, vampire rebellion!!

        Yeah, Seishin is definitely the posterboy for this. I won’t give an opinion if you plan to use him later but he has a lot of things buried in his mind. And I loved Megumi. I was pissed the way she died. She was the smexy vampire stalker girl any guy would love to be followed by. Her actions were driven by personal and vengeful reasons just like Seishin. Might need to read the manga for a refresher course.

    • anaaga says:

      For me, Toshi’s case is true in both of you guys’ opinions of his disease. As a working person, what he did is perfectly fine. And his goal to defeat the shiki gives him the obsessive disorder
      He does have another disorder, but he didn’t have it at first. He developed this disorder slowly throughout the series.
      If you see Toshi at first, he was just a normal doctor trying to solve the mystery in the village. He was compassionate and caring (can be seen from the way he treated his patients). Halfway throughout the series though, you’ll see Toshi as a ruthless doctor who has shallow emotions. Or maybe no emotions at all. He became deceptive and cold, different from how he used to be. He has psychopathic personality disease. And I think most of the villagers suffer from that too.

      • anaaga says:

        Psychopathic Personality Disorder, my bad.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I agree with everything both you and OC said but there’s another factor that adds fuel to Toshio’s obsessive descent. It’s the pressure he feels for being the top medical authority in the entire village and even more straining pressure for trying to uphold his father’s legacy despite resenting him because like Seishin, he was forced into tradition instead of living his life the way he wanted to.

        But where Seishin began to rebel when the village started falling apart, Toshio gave into tradition and became a doctor, so that’s where the extra responsibility comes in and made the madness a lot more potent. And that in turn, that was passed on to the villagers when the truth got out.

      • Taka says:

        It bears mentioning that Toshio was rather distant from his wife even prior to cutting him up. In the manga he stops and wonders why it was he married her.

        Buuuuut I think the creators intentionally try to portray him as unhinged in the latter half of the show. I think likely that yes he was normal at the start and then developed a problem but it’s not exactly consistent characterization (revealing parts of his backstory after he’s started to lose it) so it’s hard to make a diagnosis.

        • Overcooled says:

          I wouldn’t go so far as to say Toshio is a psychopath. But then again, I studied more along the lines of antisocial personality disorder than psychopathy..and there are some very fine differences between the two. The main thread that links the two is the lack of feelings, but I really do feel like he still has his empathy in tact despite all he’s done. I think he’s just suppressing it to survive, whereas someone who is a psychopath is emotionally incapable of feeling empathy whether they want to or not. Toshio may not care much for his wife or even about losing Seishin if it means saving the village, but he still cares. His devotion to his patients really exemplifies that.

          As Taka says, it’s hard to make a concrete diagnosis (as it is with any patient). :B I still think he handled the stress from everything that happened to him incredibly well though! I don’t think I would’ve survived if I found out my village had been overrun with vampires.

          • BlackBriar says:

            LOL. OC, I think you might survive if were charmed by one beforehand and you found out later. Because then, your judgement on the situation may get clouded (We’ve seen that a great number of times). Remember, other than their vicious, bloodthirsty nature, they are primarily seducers. Compared to humans, vampire emotions are significantly more potent, causing many vampires to become violent, gluttonous for blood, and very often sexual deviants.

            • Overcooled says:

              Saying I can outsmart a vampire sounds like a great compliment, especially from you XDD But yes, it’s a bit of a trade-off. While they have mind control, persuasion, and more strength…they are reduced to nothing but simple-minded beasts when hungry. Animals are very predictable when hungry, what’s partially why most studies with animals involve using food as a reward.

              If I did become a vampire, you’d be the first one I’d come to try and trick ahaha

  5. Renn says:

    Great characters. Death the Kid is a personal favorite. I think we should slap him in front of a mirror and make him look at his crazy hair. 😛

    So many anime characters are so fucked up, eh?

    • BlackBriar says:

      If they weren’t so screwed up, I don’t think we would have loved them so much. Especially the characters with a tragic backstory. They are what makes anime our escape from reality after a physical and/or psychological brutal day, like enduring school for instance.

    • Overcooled says:

      If I had a friend like Kid, I’d mess up his stuff ALL. THE. TIME. There must be some people in real life that are just as crazy as those in anime. It’s my life goal to find them!

      There are plenty of people with tragic backstories too. People who are spoiled just aren’t as interesting to talk to, and the same applies to anime. You’ve got to have a little twist in there.

  6. Mu-chan says:

    The 4th one is doctor Kazutakas muraki

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