Anime creators love to make their audience cry. Tons of anime seem to have been created specifically to make fans cry. From heartfelt dramas about young love, unrequited feelings and relationship dramas to more serious stories that deal with themes like death, war and disease, anime has found countless ways to break hearts and make viewers cry.
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For all fans of heartwarming stories that will make you produce that salty eye discharge, you've come to the right place. There are many excellent animes about really moving and depressing subjects. These titles are sure to touch the hearts of audiences in one way or another.
Updated by Sarah Martin on August 9, 2022:Since this list was last updated in 2020, we've updated it with a few more tears that are sure to let audiences experience the full range of emotions. We've rounded up five more of the saddest anime movies and series that will have viewers reaching for their tissue boxes.
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at its surface level,Orangelooks like your average mystery anime. Protagonist Naho Takamiya receives a letter from her future self. However, she must decipher these letters to discover their meaning, especially since they concern the loss of her classmate Kakeru.
If Naho fails to discover the meaning of these cards, they predict the greatest tragedy for her and everyone else.Orangeis overwhelmingly melancholic, and viewers are taken on a journey with the characters as they grapple with their regret, guilt and pain.
WolfskinderIt has a sound premise but is actually quite exciting. It tells the struggle of a single mother named Hana trying to raise her two children. That's challenging enough, but the kids are half-wolves too. Her children's father went hunting and was killed, leaving Hana to raise the children alone.
Even sadder, Hana found his body when the garbage man was about to dispose of it. In this anime, audiences will experience the same feelings as Hana as she struggles to raise her two supernatural children.
18/20Your Name (2016)
The idea of fate in anime is nothing new. It's a common trope in many genres of the medium. Nonetheless,Your Nameapproaches it from a new perspective and is sure to make audiences cry. The film follows Mitsuha and Taki. Both are high school students who come from humble and average lives.
Mitsuha wants to live in Tokyo but cannot afford it. Taki struggles to keep up with his studies while working part-time. These are two very related characters brought together by fate when they suddenly switch bodies. They quickly realize how much their actions influence each other and that nothing in their lives is really a coincidence.
There is a lotAnime with deep social comments, but none of them are as willing to tackle tough issues asbanana fish🇧🇷 This anime follows Eiji and Ash as they slowly fall in love. This anime was praised for itrealistic depiction of their relationship.
banana fishis harrowing and sure to leave an impression on anyone who watches it. Ash is a gang leader and Eiji is a photographer. Unfortunately, their relationship is doomed to tragedy as they can never be together. Eiji is forced to leave New York, but Ash is stabbed while trying to say goodbye to Eiji.
16/20I want to eat your pancreas (2018)
I want to eat your pancreasis one of the saddest anime movies of all time and is sure to leave audiences in shambles. The film follows Haruki after he finds and reads Sakura's diary. He learns that Sakura is secretly suffering from a deadly pancreatic disease. When Haruki returns to the diary, he is shocked to learn that he is the first to find out about Sakura's illness. Haruki promises to help her achieve everything on her bucket list.before your inevitable death.
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This anime is tragic and its most painful event happens without warning. Sakura talks about her death like it's no big deal, but there's a lot of fear behind her bubbly facade. She teasingly flirts with Haruki all the time as they grow closer, but he doesn't realize his true feelings for her until it's too late.
15/20Plastic Memories (2015)
plastic memoriesis one of those shows that gives audiences a refreshing dose of reality and a reminder that nothing lasts forever. The premise of the show revolves around the creation of androids that are almost indistinguishable from real humans.
However, the main difference is that androids have a very short finite lifespan. They can only live up to about nine years. The protagonist falls in love with one of these androids and viewers have to see him realize that his time with her is running out.
14/20Violetter Evergarden (2018)
Violetter EvergardenIt's a deep and moving anime, and there are a few moments that will definitely have viewers reaching for their tissues. Most people cite this anime as one of the few that ended up ruining them.
Violet Evergarden, the main character, was specially created to be a weapon against enemies. But when the war ends, she must find a new meaning for her life. After recovering from her injuries, she began working as an Auto Memory Doll, her job being to put people's thoughts into words on paper.
13/20Chrono Crusade (2003)
Chrono CrusadeIt's all about the fighting in New York City after World War I. However, it is not an easy drama. The series is actually about a demonic entity and the Order of Magdalene whose goal is to stop demons from destroying the world.
Fighting the monstrous beings has its difficulties, and the Order has seen a lot of terrible collateral damage. One of the main characters, Rosette, still has hopes of finding her brother somewhere in the rubble, since he was snatched from her by a demon.
20/12True Tears (2008)
real tearsIt's pretty easy andsimple love story, but that doesn't mean viewers won't be crying by the end of the series. It follows a boy named Shinichirou Nakagami who ends up living under the same roof as the girl he has feelings for.
However, Shinichirou begins to notice that she behaves very differently at home than when they are somewhere else. He is eager to help her as best he can, but has a hard time finding the best way while taking care of himself at the same time.
20/11Elfen Lied (2004)
mention itemis famous for being extremely depressing. For starters, the show has a pretty gruesome scene of animal cruelty at the beginning. So if this is something that would break someone's heart, viewers might want to stay away or find a guide to tell them what to skip.
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mention itemfollows a young woman named Lucy, who is a Diclonius, a human with terrible powers. She becomes the victim of an agonizing scientific experiment. Lucy eventually escapes by killing everyone around her and receives a wound that causes her to revert to a childlike state. It's one of the most controversial anime out there and definitely not for the faint of heart.
20/105 centimeters per second (2007)
Makoto Shinkai films are known for their stunning visuals that set them apart from pretty much everything else. during your coupYour Nameis certainly his best-made film overall, hitting fans hardest to date.5 centimeters per second🇧🇷 Revolving around two close friends separated by life, the film is about growing up and alienation.
Despite their best efforts to keep in touch, the characters drift apart throughout their lives. However, the memories of each other remain and they keep hoping to see each other again despite the growing distance between them. The film gives a realistic portrayal of the natural course of life and how people tend to drift apart naturally at times. The title refers to the speed at which cherry blossoms fall.
WhileSteins TorIt is not classified or marketed as a sad anime, it still has one of the most heartbreaking arcs in all of anime.Steins Tortells the story of Okabe Rintarou, a college student and self-proclaimed scientist who accidentally discovers a way to change past events by sending D-Mails. After using the D-Mails, Okabe and his friends find that when time moves, it tends to recede.
Okabe must race against the clock to save his childhood friend Mayuri, only to end up seeing her die over and over again. Eventually, Okabe gets to the point where he has to choose between Mayuri and the girl whose life he saved sending the first D-mail, the one he fell in love with - Makise Kurisu. Watching Okabe keep failing and the two despairing in the face of overwhelming obstacles is enough to break anyone.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhoodis an anime with one of the most moving stories ever told. It is the story of two young brothers who broke the laws of alchemy by attempting human transmutation to bring their deceased mother back to life. The brothers paid a heavy price for their indiscretion. The younger Alphonse lost his entire body. The eldest brother, Edward, lost his leg and then his arm while retrieving his brother's soul and binding it to armor.
However, these brave and stubborn brothers refused to accept their fate and went in search of a way to get their bodies back. They believed that the Philosopher's Stone was the key, but given the stone's true nature, they had to grapple with the moral implications of its use. This only scratches the surface.Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhoodis a rich, layered and heartbreaking anime with multiple tragic stories that will make your blood run cold and your eyes water.
20/07Tokio Magnitude 8.0 (2009)
When an 8.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Tokyo 25km under the sea, two young siblings, Mirai and Yuki, struggle to reach their parents as they walk home from a robot exhibition in Odaiba. The children are cared for by single mother and motorcycle courier Mari, who drives to her mother and daughter's house.
On their long and arduous journey to reunite with their families, the trio find comfort and support in each other andbecomes a family in its own way.Tokyo size 8.0is a terrifying, moving, and realistic portrayal of the aftermath of a massive natural disaster, seen through the eyes of three beautifully portrayed characters. It's guaranteed to affect everyone.
20/06A Silent Voice (2016)
A 2016 anime filma silence Voiceby Kyoto Animation is not a pleasant experience, but it actually works in your favor. This film doesn't want viewers to feel comfortable. He wants the audience to feel what the characters on screen are feeling, and he does his job.a silent voiceis about a deaf girl named Shouko who was constantly bullied by her peers in elementary school to the point where she had to change schools several times.
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a silenceVoiceIt's also about Shouya, the boy who bullied Shouko and who later became the target of bullying when he turned against his friends. In his third year of high school, Shouya, haunted by his mistakes and regretting his past actions, decides to embark on a journey of redemption. He encounters Shouko again and tries to make amends.a silent voiceit's disturbing and heartbreaking, but it's also heartwarming and hopeful.
20/05angel beats! (2010)
angel beats!It begins with a boy named Otonashi waking up only to find that he is dead. Luckily for him, a gun-wielding girl named Yuri explains to him that he has arrived in the afterlife and that she is the leader of a name-changing front that is rebelling against God and fighting God's henchmen, the President of the Angel student body, who possess supernatural powers.
angel beats!It's actually quite funny, to the point where it's not, and viewers forget what laughter is. As the front lines orchestrate and execute various missions against Angel, Otonashi questions the morality of his actions. Eventually, the true nature of the school after death is revealed and Otonashi begins working with Angel to realize the purpose of this Limbo, to allow people who have experienced trauma and difficulties in life to move on. Watching these characters' story unfold as they struggle to let go of their attachments to their past lives is a real tearjerker.
20/04Your Lie in April (2014)
Your lie in Aprilthe A-1 Picturesfollows a piano prodigy and a famous child musiciannamed Kousei Arima, who lost the ability to hear the sound of his own piano after the death of his mother. Two years later, Kousei meets Kaori Miyazono, a lively violinist, who helps him see that music should be played freely and not in the rigid, structured way his mother taught him.
Your lie in Aprildelves into the story of Kousei's recovery as he learns that there is more to music than playing every note perfectly, and falls in love with Kaori in the process. Unfortunately, much like the anime's vibrant color palette, Kaori's joy only masks the tragedy to come. With a beautiful and touching soundtrack,Your lie in Aprilis a profound and moving story about emotional trauma, overcoming loss and moving forward. It will make everyone cry.
3/20Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (2011)
There are few anime that not only makes the audience cry for eleven episodes in a row, but also gives the audience the opportunity to cry upon hearing the first few notes of a song.Anohana: The flower we saw that dayis an original anime by A-1 Pictures that aired in Spring 2011. This anime tells the story of a group of childhood friends, now teenagers, trying to come to terms with the loss of their friend Menma, who died when they were children. .
Five years after Menma's death, the group of friends has disbanded, but the spirit of their long-lost friend may be enough to bring them back together. The group comes together so Menma can finally grant her wish and move on, while also providing her friends with the closure they need to move on without her. Throughout the story, viewers see how Menma's death affects each of their friends while coming to terms with their own inability to deal with and overcome their guilt.friendlinessIt is an exhilarating and thrilling experience that no one should miss.
Clannadeis the anime adaptation of Key's visual novel of the same name. It's probably the most famous sad anime out there. The anime also has an infinitely more depressing sequel, the 24-episode feature.Clannade by story🇧🇷 While the first part deals with ordinary high school drama, mainly friendships and romantic relationships, the second part is a much more serious and impactful look at the struggles of adult life, with an emphasis on the importance of family.
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Clannadeis a rare anime that allows viewers to see the characters' entire lives instead of ending with the couple graduating from high school or holding hands.Clannadedon't pull punches. It will break viewers' hearts and leave them in tears. Those who enjoy the experience should check out Key's other anime adaptations, such asLittle busters!
1/20Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Tomb of Firefliesis one of the most moving films fans have ever seen. Set in the final days of World War II, the film tells the story of a boy named Seita and his younger sister, Setsuko, whose lives were shattered by the cruel and brutal war that left them without their parents and home.
On your ownin the Japanese countryside, the brothers' youthful optimism blinds them in the face of relentless adversity and gives them the strength to try to withstand an inevitable fate.Tomb of Firefliesis a painfully depressing, deeply beautiful and moving film that leaves no one indifferent.
Next:10 anime that needed a sad ending
What is the No 1 saddest anime? ›
1. Grave of the Fireflies. Grave of the Fireflies might just be the most heartbreaking film ever made, so there was no other choice to top our saddest anime list. Isao Takahata's 1988 masterpiece is an affecting treatise on the horrors of war, told from the perspective of a pair of siblings in Japan during World War II ...What is the top sad ending anime? ›
Some of the most commonly cited anime with sad endings include CLANNAD: After Story, Your Lie In April, Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, Angel Beats, and Cowboy Bebop.What is a sad genre called in anime? ›
The Tragic Anime Genre
A popular anime subgenre is sad or tearjerker anime. These anime make the viewer feel for the characters and even make them cry. With tragic scenarios, emotional scenes, and heartbreaking (even depressing) themes, these stories are powerful.
Really, all you can do is take comfort in the fact that a work of fiction moved you. When an anime makes you cry, it means someone's art resonated with you — the characters and their struggles and deaths were so realistic that you felt they were real, and you felt the loss of a non-existent person.Which anime made u cry? ›
Fullmetal Alchemist, One Piece, Naruto, and Assassination Classroom are responsible for some of the industry's most devastating moments, even if they are not really considered sad anime.What anime has Cry Baby? ›
"Cry Baby" is a song by Japanese band Official Hige Dandism, released as a digital single on May 7, 2021. The song was used as the opening theme song to the first season of the anime adaptation of Tokyo Revengers.What anime makes you feel empty? ›
Akame Ga Kill is the anime which will feel you feeling empty like no other.What is the best completed anime? ›
- The Seven Deadly Sins (2014–2021) TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure. ...
- Another (2012) TV-MA | 300 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy. ...
- Death Parade (2015) TV-MA | 24 min | Animation, Drama, Mystery. ...
- Death Note (2006–2007) ...
- Tokyo Ghoul (2014) ...
- Goblin Slayer (2018– ) ...
- Berserk (1997–1998) ...
- Elfen Lied (2004)
- P.A.Works. Another (2012) ...
- OLM. Berserk (1997) ...
- A-1 Pictures. Black Butler (2008–2009) ...
- Madhouse. Boogiepop Phantom (2000) ...
- Netflix. Castlevania (2017–2021) ...
- Asread. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls (2013) ...
- Manglobe. Deadman Wonderland (2011) ...
- Madhouse. Death Note (2006–2007)
Did you know that there are different types of anime? The five types are shonen, shojo, seinen, josei, and kodomomuke. Each kind of anime is focused on a specific target population of viewers. These kinds of anime are not genres.
Who is the lazy anime? ›
1/14 Shinnosuke Nohara (Crayon Shin-chan)
Shinnosuke Nohara, more commonly known as Shin-chan, is the heart of this series. As is the case with many comedic shows, Shin-chan is extremely lazy and always gets himself into sticky situations. There are times when things work out for him even when he's proactive...
The works of these two latter pioneers include Namakura Gatana ("An Obtuse Sword", 1917) and a 1918 film Urashima Tarō which were believed to have been discovered together at an antique market in 2007.What is the most old anime? ›
Namakura Gatana is the oldest existing anime short film, dating back to 1917. The film was lost until a copy was discovered in 2008. The Dull Sword is one of three works credited as a forerunner of Japanese animation films and is the only one that still exists.What is the longest anime to exist? ›
53 years. Sazae-San is not only the longest-running anime; it's the longest-running animated series ever and one of the longest-running scripted TV series. Sazae-san has never stopped running since it started in 1969, with only a brief pause in production taking place in 2020 due to the Coronavirus.Is crying good for trauma? ›
It won't rid you of PTSD and your fears, but let your tears flow and you'll maybe feel a little better afterwards. 'Crying for long periods of time releases oxytocin and endogenous opioids, otherwise known as endorphins. These feel-good chemicals can help ease both physical and emotional pain.Is it healthy to hold in a cry? ›
In the short term, it can cause pesky problems such as irritability, anxiety, and poor sleep. But over time, repressing your tears can lead to cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension — or even cancer.Is it mentally healthy to cry? ›
Today's psychological thought largely concurs, emphasizing the role of crying as a mechanism that allows us to release stress and emotional pain. Crying is an important safety valve, largely because keeping difficult feelings inside — what psychologists call repressive coping — can be bad for our health.What is the saddest anime on Netflix? ›
- Howl's Moving Castle.
- weathering with you.
- your name.
- Violet Evergarden.
Anime also jumps from third-person to first-person very smoothly so you understand the characters thoughts and actions much more. Deaths in anime are also grieved by other characters as well so the group being depressed influences the viewers. The Japanese are well versed on human emotion.Is Cry Baby inappropriate? ›
There is one use of "f--k" and some other mild profanity. Although the film's parodying of 1950s "juvenile delinquent" movies, societal conformity, and sexual repression will be lost on younger viewers, for older kids and parents.
What age is cry babies for? ›
Cry Babies : Toys for Ages 5-7.What time period is Cry Baby? ›
The movie takes place in 1954, in Baltimore, at the dawn of rock 'n' roll (one is reminded of the opening scenes of "2001," at the dawn of man, an event less remarked at the time). The teenage culture is divided into three camps: the drapes, the squares, and the nerds.Which anime will change your life? ›
- Attack On Titan. Eren Jaeger will never give up. ...
- Dragon Ball Z. ...
- Neon Genesis Evangelion. ...
- Trigun. ...
- Mob Psycho 100.
- WoW: Dragonflight.
- Midnight Suns.
- The Callisto Protocol.
- Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.
- God of War Ragnarok.
- The Devil In Me.
- Sonic Frontiers.
- Gotham Knights.
Choose only one or two shows that really interest you and stick with them; you don't have to watch every single show in order to be an anime fan. Consider taking a break. You can also try to take a break from anime by not watching any anime or reading any manga for a certain period of time.What is the saddest anime love story? ›
Hotarubi no Mori e is a perfect choice for romance anime fans who love the whimsical and supernatural. Like most sad romance anime, Hotarubi no Mori e features a love that will never materialize — Hotaru, a human girl, and a forest spirit named Gin.Who is the most hurt anime character? ›
Guts, also known as the Black Swordsman, is arguably the most tragic character in all of the anime and the one who has suffered the most. Even as a child, Guts was not safe from the horrors of the Physical World. Before he was even born, his mother was murdered and he became an orphan.Who is the saddest villain in anime? ›
- 4/11 Fairy Tail's Zeref Lost His Family And Suffered A Curse.
- 3/11 Tomura Shigaraki Accidentally Killed His Family In My Hero Academia.
- 2/11 The Promised Neverland's Isabella Was A Victim Of The System.
- 1/11 Naruto's Itachi Uchiha Had To Kill His Family And Live In Exile.
|Top 50 Most Viewed|
|1||Fullmetal Alchemist (TV)||8.64|
|2||Death Note (TV)||8.77|
|3||Cowboy Bebop (TV)||8.89|
The Big Three was a term used to describe the three most popular running series during their golden age in Jump - One Piece, Naruto and Bleach. All three series got their common title due to their worldwide popularity and length.
What anime is banned everywhere? ›
Shoujo Tsubaki (Banned Everywhere）
It has a very dark, depressing, and intense storyline and it is considered one of the most controversial anime movies ever.
If you watch Japanese animation (anime), you might realise that they often sexualise children and women. This objectification, however, is not limited to children and women, but men as well. Child fetishes, unrealistic portrayals of kids/women/men, and perverted character tropes have become a norm in anime.What was the 1st anime? ›
The first full-length anime film was Momotaro: Umi no Shinpei (Momotaro, Sacred Sailors), released in 1945. A propaganda film commissioned by the Japanese navy featuring anthropomorphic animals, its underlying message of hope for peace would move a young manga artist named Osamu Tezuka to tears.What is anime called in Japan? ›
In Japanese, anime is written as “アニメ” (literally, “anime”) and is short for the word animation (アニメーション or animeeshon). The rub is how the word is used, both in Japan and abroad.What are the 4 big animes? ›
Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach are known as the “Big Four.” In some fans' eyes, Dragon Ball is seen as the grandfather of Shonen while One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach are known as the “Big Three”. You can find inspiration from each of the “Big Four” in almost all Shonen anime.Who is the weakest anime character in anime? ›
- Tenten (Naruto) ...
- Ciel Phantomhive (Black Butler) ...
- Mr. ...
- Usopp (One Piece) ...
- Minoru Mineta (My Hero Academia) ...
- Hiyori Iki (Noragami) ...
- Tsukune Aono (Rosario + Vampire) ...
- Mumen Rider (One Punch Man) Mumen Rider is, without a doubt, the most heroic person in all of shonen anime.
- 18/20 Your Name (2016)
- 17/20 Banana Fish (2018)
- 16/20 I Want To Eat Your Pancreas (2018)
- 15/20 Plastic Memories (2015)
- 14/20 Violet Evergarden (2018)
- 13/20 Chrono Crusade (2003)
- 12/20 True Tears (2008)
- 11/20 Elfen Lied (2004)
- 8/10 Kyojuro Rengoku (Demon Slayer)
- 7/10 Itachi Uchiha (Naruto)
- 6/10 Escanor (Seven Deadly Sins)
- 5/10 Light Yagami (Death Note)
- 4/10 Setsuko (Grave Of The Fireflies)
- 3/10 Portgas D. Ace (One Piece)
- 2/10 Maes Hughes (Full Metal Alchemist)
- 1/10 Jiraiya (Naruto)