6 Most Tragic and Saddest Anime

6 Most Tragic and Saddest Anime

Anime directors get a kick out of seeing their fans in tears. It seems like a lot of anime are made with the sole intention of making viewers cry. There are countless ways that anime can break a viewer’s heart and make them cry, from touching stories about young love and unrequited feelings to stories about death, war, and illness.

All those looking for stories that will make them shed a few tears have found the right place. Excellent anime exist, some of which deal with the tragic or downbeat subject matter. The audience will feel some sort of emotional connection to these works.

 Most Tragic and Saddest Anime

Most Tragic, Saddest, and Heartbreaking Anime

Although it’s true that laughter can help ease any situation, there are times when nothing can compare to a good cry. There is no shortage of emotional anime, and even the most lighthearted shows can pack a punch every once in a while. Despite not being traditionally classified as sad anime, Fullmetal Alchemist, One Piece, Naruto, and Assassination Classroom are responsible for some of the industry’s heartbreaking moments. However, some media have a reputation for being particularly tear-jerking. But, we are not going to discuss about these, instead, we have some of the real saddest anime shows that will make you cry all day!

1. Grave Of The Fireflies (1988)

If you’re a movie buff, you should know that Grave of the Fireflies is one of the most emotionally draining films you’ll ever watch. The film takes place in the closing stages of World War II, and tells the story of Seita, a young boy, and his younger sister Setsuko, whose lives have been shattered by the loss of their parents and their home due to the brutality of the conflict.

As World War II draws to a close, the American army terrorises the citizens of Kobe. At the age of 14, Seita watches his mother suffer and die from the severe burns she sustained in an accident. There being no one to look after him, he must learn to take care of his younger sister, now 4, and make it through the war on his own.

The siblings, abandoned in the Japanese countryside, are buoyed by their unwavering optimism, which gives them the strength to try to fight off what seems like an inevitable fate. No viewer can remain indifferent to the heartbreaking sadness, stunning beauty, and profound emotion of Grave of the Fireflies.

2. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (2011)

Very few anime can make viewers cry for eleven episodes straight, let alone make them cry at the first notes of a song on cue. Spring of 2011 saw the premiere of Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, an original anime produced by A-1 Pictures. This anime follows a group of friends who were close as kids and are now dealing with the death of one of their own, Menma.

The group of friends had drifted apart in the five years since Menma’s death, but the spectre of their long-dead friend could be the catalyst to bring them back together. Having everyone back together grants Menma’s wish and allows her to move on, while also giving her friends the closure they need to carry on without her. Each of Menma’s friends struggles throughout the story to deal with their grief and overcome their sense of guilt over what happened to Menma. Everyone should see Anohana at least once because it will make them cry.

3. Clannad (2007)

The visual novel Clannad by Key has been adapted into an anime series. Probably more people have seen this sad anime than any other. The anime has a much darker sequel, Clannad: After Story, which consists of twenty-four episodes. Part one focuses on typical high school issues, such as friendship and romantic relationships, while the latter places greater emphasis on the trials of adulthood and the value of family.

Clannad is one of the few anime that doesn’t wrap up with the protagonists graduating high school or the protagonists finally getting together. Clannad does not hold back. It’s guaranteed to leave viewers in tears and unable to look away from the screen. Those who enjoy it may want to check out other Key adaptations adapted into anime, such as Little Busters!

4. A Silent Voice (2016)

The 2016 Kyoto Animation anime film A Silent Voice isn’t a particularly pleasant watch, but that’s to its benefit. The filmmakers of this film don’t want their audience to relax. Its aim is to make viewers experience the same emotions as the on-screen characters, and it succeeds at doing so. The protagonist of A Silent Voice is Shouko, a deaf girl who is bullied so severely by her elementary school classmates that she is forced to change schools several times.

Shouya, the boy who bullied Shouko before turning his friends against her, is also a main character in A SilentVoice. Shouya, in his third year of high school, decides to seek redemption for his sins after being haunted by the consequences of his actions. He tracks down Shouko and makes it his mission to make amends. There is both comfort and hope in A Silent Voice’s ultimately unsettling and heartbreaking story.

5. Your Lie In April (2014)

In the A-1 Pictures anime Your Lie in April, young piano prodigy Kousei Arima becomes a famous musician but loses his ability to hear the sound of his own instrument after his mother passes away. When Kousei is twenty-two, he meets the vivacious violinist Kaori Miyazono, who shows him that music should be played freely rather than in the rigid, structured way that his mother taught him.

Kousei’s story of redemption is told in Your Lie in April as he falls in love with Kaori and realizes that there is more to music than playing every note perfectly. Like the vibrant colors in the anime, Kaori’s optimism is only serving to mask the tragedy that is about to befall her. Your Lie in April has a beautiful, touching score and is a deeply felt and heartbreaking story about surviving emotional trauma, grieving a loss, and finding the strength to move on. Any viewer is guaranteed to cry watching this tragic and one of the saddest anime dramas.

6. Your Name

It’s safe to assume that anyone involved in the anime community is already familiar with this film. Originally, Kimi no Na wa, A high school boy from Tokyo and a high school girl from the Japanese countryside mysteriously start exchanging bodies and leading each other’s lives. Excellent visuals, a memorable score, an intriguing story, and emotional impact—this one has it all. This show also won the best anime movie of the year 2017.

Posted by
Noah Aronofsky

I’m a freelance content writer who (surprise!) kind of has a thing for tech. When I’m not working on guides for Techphr or Make Tech Quick, you can probably find me somewhere in Teyvat, Novigrad, or Whiterun. Unless I’m feeling competitive, in which case you should try Erangel.

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