Disabled anime characters come in many forms, including many with physical disabilities that span a wide spectrum – from impaired motor functions resulting from missing or damaged limbs to blindness and deafness.
Some of these characters with disabilities, like Edward Elric from Full metal alchemist, are the protagonists of their stories. Others are supporting characters.
This list includes 10 anime characters who are physically disabled, from needing prosthetics and assistance to being clinically deaf and hard of hearing.
Disclaimer: Spoilers are included for all anime discussed. This includes content and trigger warnings for discussions of wartime violence and mutilation.
Violet Evergarden and 9 other physically disabled anime characters
1. Edward Elric (Fullmetal Alchemist)
According to both Full metal alchemist and brotherhood, Ed and Al’s attempt to bring back their mother tore apart Ed’s left arm and right leg, and Alphonse’s entire body. Edward was able to recover thanks to emergency automail attachments and was disabled as a result.
Edward’s disability includes adaptation to the automail prosthesis. Automail requires constant repair, cannot tolerate cold and is extremely brittle. Despite being disabled, Edward became a renowned state alchemist and even stopped villains with twice his abilities.
2. Yang Xiao Long (RWBY)
From Grimm’s creatures to bandits, the world of Remnant i RWBY has many threats that can easily injure or maim. Yang Xiao Long of the titular RWBY team discovered this during the Fall of Beacon. She lost her right arm while trying to save Blake Belladonna from her abusive ex-boyfriend Adam Taurus.
The following months saw Yang struggling to do tasks after losing her arm, such as raking leaves or doing the dishes. The gift of a prosthetic arm from General Ironwood helped, but due to depression and PTSD, Yang faced a long adjustment period and needed her father’s help to get back into shape. Like Edward’s automail, Yang’s mechanical arm needed repairs and upgrades from battle damage sustained from a rematch with Adam.
3. Violet Evergarden (Violet Evergarden)
An orphan and child soldier, the titular Violet Evergarden helps people who can’t write or have trouble expressing emotions as an automatic memory doll for the CH Postal Company. She became disabled after losing both arms in a war, and later had them replaced with adamantine silver prostheses.
Violet herself describes the prostheses as “awkward, but solid”. It is difficult to hold a pen or pencil to write, so she had to adapt to typing. Despite being disabled and dealing with issues stemming from her metal arms, she can not only type 200 characters per minute, but also type without making grammatical or vocabulary errors.
4) Shanks (One Piece)
A decade before One Piece began, Shanks lost his left arm while saving Luffy from a Sea King. However, this did not deter the future emperor and captain of the red-haired pirates in any way.
Despite the loss of his arm, Shanks has proven his worth time and time again as captain and pirate emperor. His sword skills have not been dulled and he has a unique form of Future Sight with his Observation Haki. He is also the only Pirate Emperor who has not eaten a devil fruit.
5) Might Guy (Naruto)
There is a lot of damage throughout Naruto that might qualify someone for this list. Characters lose arms, legs and sight. While some die from these injuries, others are healed after a while. One such character is Rock Lee, who was disabled after having his arm and leg broken, but returned to fighting form after Tsunade operated on him.
After the Eight Gates attack on Madara shattered the bones in Might Guy’s right leg and reduced it to ash, Guy had to use a wheelchair to get around. This did not stop him from helping Kakashi during the hostage crisis aboard the Tobishachimaru. Per BorutoGuy is a teacher at the Ninja Academy, passing his confidence on to future generations.
6) Nunnally Lamperouge (Code Geass)
At a young age, Nunnally Lamperouge witnessed her mother being gunned down by assassins. This led to her developing two disabilities: blindness and the use of a wheelchair.
As revealed in Code Geass season 2 the blindness was the result of a Geass that Charles vi Britannia put on her. Nunnally broke it when she turned down her brother Lelouch in the finale and regained her sight. She must permanently use a wheelchair due to gunshot wounds to her legs as a child.
Her greatest strength is her unfailing kindness, as it keeps everyone around her from despairing. She became de-facto empress of Britannia and has always worked to end the fighting between Japan and Britannia.
7. Ayase Shinomiya (Guilty Crown)
Much like Oracle from DC’s Batman: The Animated SeriesAyase Shinomiya by Guilty Crown lost the use of his legs before the series. Unlike Nunnally, Ayase is more wordy and snappy, and her support is practical. Not only is she a mecha pilot, but has a robotic void that allows her to sprint and fly, helping the resistance group Funeral Parlor.
Ayase hates being pitied for being disabled, and will beat people up if they do, as the male protagonist Shu Ouma found out. The problem is that she constantly overestimates herself. When she’s not piloting mechs, she’s still a competent fighter, but tends to forget how limited her abilities are.
8. Komugi (Hunter x Hunter)
Another kind soul who not having supernatural or fantastic abilities to compensate for being disabled is Komugi from Hunter x hunter. Introduced in the Chimera Ant arc, she is a master of the board game Gungi, which Chimera Ant King Meruem challenges her to. Meruem keeps losing, which starts him on the path to learning compassion and eventually stopping his villainous ambitions.
Due to her blindness, Komugi is unable to see the monstrous Muerum for the Chimera Ant that he is. Instead, she sees him as a worthy opponent. One of the big reasons for this is that the only way for professional gungi players to make a living is by winning constantly. Komugi plays like her life depends on it, which is challenging considering she’s disabled.
9. Shoko Nishimiya (A quiet voice)
The female protagonist of the anime film A quiet voice, Shōko Nishimiya is clinically deaf. She wore hearing aids in both ears, until the male protagonist Shoya Ishida bullied her in elementary school and permanently destroyed one of her ears. This caused the already disabled girl to become depressed and suicidal.
Shōko believes that she is a burden to others because of her disability. Her constant smile hides this, and speech difficulties often get in the way of what she intends to say. As a result, she uses sign language and a notebook to communicate with others.
10. Bojji (Ranking of Kings)
Another deaf person who is a main character is Bojji from Ranking by Kings/Ousama Ranking. Bojji was cursed after his father King Bosse made a deal with a demon, which made Bojji small, weak and deaf, while Bosse’s qualities were increased a hundredfold. This led to the royal family rejecting the young prince as a viable candidate for the kingship.
Despite being disabled, Bojji develops his own fighting style that prioritizes speed over power. While being deaf and non-verbal makes it difficult to communicate, Bojji compensates by being able to read lips and have hyper situational awareness.