Not all anime has to be action-packed or thrilling. Sometimes we just want to cry our eyes out or just want to feel something. Whether it’s someone fighting for what they believe in, fighting for survival, or just trying to get through life, there will be an anime story out there that will make you feel emotional.
But that’s what makes anime so great. It’s able to tell these powerful stories that can pull our heartstrings and invoke emotions to the viewer. The stories are either relatable or something we resonate so hard with to the point where we can understand what the characters are going through.
So grab the nearby boxes of tissues as here are the top 10 best sad anime series.
10. The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland is anime about kids fighting for their freedom in a world filled with human-eating demons. While season one is more of a thriller, season two will leave you emotional as our heroes try to survive outside the Grace Field House. The more these kids live their lives outside, the more they face ethical questions about dealing with the demons around them.
9. Assassination Classroom
Just like the previous anime mentioned, Assassination Classroom gets you more emotional as the series progresses. At first, it seems like your usual shonen anime filled with action, but each episode gives background information on each of the students in class 3-E, as well as how they overcome being the joke of the whole school to fulfill their dreams and assassinate their teacher. This anime follows the class’ journey from the start of the year to graduation so you feel that you’re bonding with them as you follow them in their journey.
8. Japan Sinks: 2020
An anime fairly close to home, Japan Sinks: 2020 takes place in 2020 when Japan prepares for the 2020 Olympics, only to be hit by a natural disaster. It’s a tale about a family sticking together as the country begins to sink underwater. Along the way, they meet friends, allies, and those who want to cause harm as everyone fights to survive.
7. Fruits Basket (2019)
Fruits Basket will make you cry as it’s a heartwarming tale about love, friendship, and an eternal bond. Inspired by the tale of the Chinese Zodiacs, the anime follows Tohru Honda as she learns the secrets of the Sohma family and the heartbreak, pain, and hurt they have to go through in order to keep this secret. This anime will make you tear up as you want to root for each member of the Sohma family to be happy but are forever stuck in this bond that was originally once a promise.
6. Plastic Memories
Plastic Memories is an anime where humans and androids co-exist. But unlike other stories where the robots rebel against humanity, the androids have a limited lifespan and need to have their memories removed before that moment. What makes it sad is that it’s a love story between a human and his android and the two have to find a way to save the android before it expires.
5. Searching for the Full Moon
Searching for the Full Moon is a 2002 anime about Mitsuki Koyama, a 12-year-old girl with a tumor on her throat. She befriends two shinigami who help her achieve her dream to become a pop singer. The anime follows a different direction from the manga as it was being produced simultaneously as the manga was coming out. But it’s still heartwarming and sad nevertheless.
4. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Do you like magical girls? Did you grow up with Sailor Moon? Well, this anime flips the genre on its head to the point where you just feel bad and want to cry. Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an anime about Madoka Kaname, who was given the opportunity to become a magical girl for a wish. However, Madoka is so contented in her life that she has no idea what to wish for. Meanwhile, a mysterious magical girl named Homura Akemi is following Madoka and her friends as she prevents the pink-haired girl from becoming a magical girl. At first, it’s all heartwarming and innocent. But later, Madoka and her friends learn the secret price that’s paid once the wish is made.
3. Your Lie in April
This one is for all those musicians out there. Your lie in April is the story of Kosei Arima, a piano prodigy who lost his ability to play and hear the piano due to the loss of his mother. He eventually befriends another musician, and he learns to love music once more, but at the same time, has to deal with his friend being hospitalized. It’s a story of recovery, friendship, and music.
Clannad is an anime based on a Japanese visual novel, as it follows a third-year boy named Tomoya Okazaki who doesn’t like his life. He eventually helps one of his classmates restart the drama club where he meets new people and learns some of the sad stories of his peers, and deals with some struggles of own. Good luck trying to hold back the tears as you watch this anime.
1. Angel Beats!
Angel Beats! is an anime that makes you question how you live your life and provides an interesting twist on living in the afterlife. It follows Yuzuru Otonashi as he arrives in a high school-themed afterlife with amnesia. He is then recruited to join the Afterlife Battlefront, a military organization, against an unseen god. But what starts as a comedic battleground anime slowly becomes a second chance of finishing unfinished business.
Anime has the potential to tell powerful stories. While most anime that’s huge and trending tends to be action-packed with conflict, some are more poignant and thought-provoking.