Anime can evoke a wide variety of emotions in viewers. Although there are many encouraging and uplifting anime out there, a lot of sad anime may pull at our emotions. Even the most emotionally tough person may tear up when watching these anime. There is no shortage of heartbreaking anime that deal with themes such as love, war, calamity, death, and much more, leaving an indelible imprint on us. So, in this post, we’ll take an emotional journey through the most heartbreaking anime that will undoubtedly make you sad and touch your soul.
Top 17 Best Sad Anime That Will Make Your Heart Break
1. Banana Fish
Banana Fish is an excellent choice if you want to watch a different sort of anime. Akimi Yoshida’s manga series Banana Fish was converted into an anime under the same title. The fight between Mafia lord Dino and a young person called Ash Lynx drives the plot of this anime. It’s also one of the best BL anime ever since it delves into the romance between Ash and Eiji Okumura when they’re caught up in the war. The anime includes Mafia groups and drug smugglers, which keeps the story interesting. Consequently, there is a lot of action in addition to the heartbreaking story of the boy’s love. Despite the chaos, Ash and Eiji strive to sort out their relationship, but will they have a happy ending? It would be best if you watched it for yourself to find out. It is a sad anime that will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. Additionally, since this anime is made by MAPPA Studios, which has previously created works such as Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, and others, you can be certain that it will be visually stunning.
2. Grave of the Fireflies
Grave of the Fireflies is undoubtedly the greatest heartbreaking work of art in anime history. Don’t be misled by the prevalent perception that Studio Ghibli movies are famed for their cheerful tales. Grave of the Fireflies is the tragic story of a young boy and his little sister struggling to stay in a war-torn Japan during World War II. This anime is not only highly praised by anime fans worldwide, but it has also gotten the attention of the greatest critics and cinema-goers, earning the title of one of the greatest war anime ever produced. Just when we thought things couldn’t get much worse, this anime is based on a true story and chronicles the author’s early life. This movie may leave you sobbing like a kid for days.
3. Fruits Basket
Fruits Basket is a sad slice-of-life anime that will take you through your life’s most intense emotional highs and lows. As a result, it ascended to the position of MAL’s all-time top-rated anime. When the anime show’s last season aired, it spoke a lot about its quality. It is regarded as the best anime ever made, which is quite an accomplishment. In addition to providing pure love bliss, Fruits Basket teaches you crucial life lessons you will never forget. While romance is often portrayed as a pleasant subject, this anime explores the darker and lighter elements of love. When it reaches that stage, it turns into a sorrowful anime, and every time I watch it, it makes my heart pain. So, before watching this anime, ensure you have a box of tissues or a handkerchief.
4. A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice is a full anime bundle that brings you on an emotional roller coaster. It portrays a child who bullies his classmate, Shouko Nishimiya. She’s a deaf girl who decides to leave after being bullied by this kid. The little kid, Shouya Ishida, is subsequently given the cold shoulder by his classmates as a result of his actions. Later in life, he recognizes his faults and seeks absolution. As previously mentioned, this anime has heartbreaking beauty and excellent animation. It is incredibly emotive and effectively portrays themes such as sadness, bullying, anxiety, and others. Although most of the story portrays heartbreaking situations, it concludes with a wonderful finale that will boost your spirits. A Silent Voice is one of the most popular anime and a must-watch.
5. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
Well, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is a rom-com anime that takes a surprising turn at the conclusion. Many fans, like myself, felt the main character to be sympathetic. Haruki Shiga, the protagonist, is an introvert who lives a private life. He finds a hidden journal of a classmate one day, and it affects both of their lives forever. If we tell anything more about the plot, your movie-watching experience will be better. So, wait to read the plot before seeing this movie. This anime has a stunning couple who captivates you, and the representation of their blossoming connection is superb. It tells a basic story, but the characters and animation elevate this anime movie. I bet you don’t leave this movie with an aching heart, particularly at the conclusion.
6. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
As the title indicates, this animation is about an 8.0-magnitude earthquake that strikes Tokyo, Japan. Mirai Onozawa, 13, is a 13-year-old student accompanying her younger brother Yuuki to a robot show far from home. That’s when the earthquake strikes and it will leave the two children stuck in this ravaged city. Fortunately, they encounter a biker, Mari Kusakabe, who decides to aid these impoverished children. These three must now survive in the chaos while longing to reconnect with their family. Whenever we see a story based on a natural tragedy, it always touches us. That is precisely the case here, as Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 does an excellent job conveying human emotions and authenticity. It doesn’t go beyond and remains grounded, which makes for an emotionally charged and realistic watching experience of an earthquake’s aftermath. It only has 11 episodes and is one of the best sad anime on our list.
Erased has a distinct place on our list of sad anime since it takes place in two separate timelines. Yes, it is an anime based on the notion of time travel. Satoru Fujinuma, a 29-year-old manga artist, has his life turned upside down after a tragedy. Due to a weird phenomenon, he is sent 18 years back in time to prevent the tragedy from occurring. When he travels back in time, he finds that the tragedy in his present is connected to the murder of one of his classmates in the past. To preserve the loved ones in his life, he must solve this mystery. The heartbreaking story, which revolves around the age-old idea of time travel, is compelling to watch and keeps you hooked to the screen. The character development is excellent to keep you connected to the story and feel the intensity of the emotions. However, Erased only has 12 episodes, so you can easily binge-watch this anime show in one sitting.
The Clannad series is one anime that has received positive feedback from viewers and war fans. The first season of Clannad is about high school students attempting to achieve in life by overcoming many obstacles. The second season continues this theme, depicting how the characters struggle to make ends meet. The second season, titled Clannad After Story, focuses on the challenges of maturity. It stresses the obstacles encountered to show the importance of family. The Clannad series is also highly ranked on the anime monitoring website My Anime List, which speaks a lot about the show’s quality. The anime’s plot is rather melancholy in the second half, so prepare to get your heart shattered. If you’re not prepared for a gut-wrenching experience, avoid Clannad, a must-watch sad anime.
9. Plastic Memories
Tsukasa Mizugaki gets a job at Sion AI Corporation thanks to his father. SAI Corporation is an artificial intelligence company best known for developing and maintaining Giftia androids with human-like emotions. Isla is a lovely AI with whom Tsukasa is paired, but he starts to develop feelings for her. This circumstance is comparable to the movie “Her,” in which a human falls in love with an AI. Even though we know this anime would eventually break our hearts, it is still worthwhile. This is not on par with the Clannad series or any other sad anime, but it is worth seeing. It is interesting to see a sci-fi take on the traditional slice-of-life genre. Finally, the series is just 13 episodes long and has beautiful and heartbreaking moments.
10. Violet Evergarden
Violet Evergarden is unlike any other sad anime on our list since each episode tells an emotional story. The anime’s primary plot focuses on the heroine, Violet Evergarden. When the Great War was finally finished, she found a new position as an auto memory doll in the mail service. Now, she’s trying to help others by composing letters encapsulating the client’s thoughts and feelings. Violet’s journey primarily intends to help her understand herself, the world, and her emotions. It is one of the most beautiful anime you will ever watch, with breathtaking and eye-catching graphics and various emotional tales. Violet’s portrayal is excellent, allowing you to relate emotionally with her. This sad anime is thought-provoking and will leave you longing for people you’ve lost. To summarize, Violet Evergarden is a must-watch anime. Furthermore, it contains multiple movies that are as heartbreaking as anime.
Orange is the anime for you if you want an emotional high school drama. In terms of plot, we find Naho Takamiya, a senior in high school, struggling to adapt to her new life. One odd day, she receives an unusual letter from her 26-year-old future self. In that letter, the future Naho expresses tremendous remorse for her earlier mistakes and wishes that her younger self might remedy them. This interesting story pulls you in for a classic slice-of-life anime experience. All young anime fans should watch this series since it teaches important lessons about friendship, life, and other topics. While Orange is a passionate anime that may sometimes leave you melancholy, it eventually uplifts you, making it a rewarding binge-watch. Lastly, it has a sequel movie, Orange: Mirai, which you should watch.
12. Your Name
Your Name is the anime movie that became a hit, propelling Makoto Shinkai to a tremendous audience. It was a global blockbuster, not just in Japan. It has now been re-released as a special screening (including in India). This movie and the newly released Suzume (review) show how much the anime community loves it. This sad anime is noted for its excellent animation and heartfelt music. Taki Tachibana, a high school student who struggles with his part-time job and education, is the subject of the movie’s story. Meanwhile, Mitsuha Miyamizu is a high school girl who lives in the countryside and aspires to go to the big city someday. As is customary in such myths, the souls of these two people are exchanged one day. This weird phenomenon now connects these high-school kids, and they look forward to meeting in war to investigate the mystery. The remainder of the story revolves around what destiny has in store for them. Fans like this incredible love story. As a result, this is yet another heartbreaking anime that you must watch.
13. Made in Abyss
One glance at the poster, and you would believe Made in Abyss is a children’s animation. That is what everyone believes, yet you are completely incorrect. It is an excellent illustration of “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Made in Abyss is another popular sad anime on our list. This sad anime contains all of the characteristics of a good story, including superb worldbuilding, a fantastic visual style, and well-developed characters. Made in Abyss has the appropriate blend of lighthearted moments and brutal content. That is what makes it such a fantastic anime, loved by fans all around the globe. Its last season aired lately, attracting even more fans to the story. You may start viewing this hidden treasure of an anime right now.
14. 5 Centimeters per Second
Makoto Shinkai’s first breakthrough was 5 Centimeters per Second. It was his first full-length feature picture, and he did it brilliantly. This anime explores the harsh reality and tribulations of a long-distance romance through the perspective of its characters, Takaki Toono and Akari Shinohara. They’re trying to work things out and remain together, but life is tearing them apart. Now the issue is: will they be reunited? You’ll need to watch this sad anime to find out. Another anime movie worth viewing is 5 Centimeters per Second, with superb animation and characters.
15. Terror in Resonance
Terror in Resonance is not your ordinary shounen anime; it provides a visceral experience. The anime’s plot focuses on a devastating terrorist assault in Japan, with the only clue left is the word “VON” written red all over the area where the incident took place. After a few months, a bizarre online video emerges as the next clue. In that video, two boys, Nine and Twelve, threaten Tokyo as a whole, threatening to unleash havoc with catastrophic devastation. These two boys are from the Sphinx tribe and have a horrible background. While the anime’s story is believed to be hurried, the emotions remain consistent and will grab you, particularly the ending (which is reportedly incredibly dramatic). This sad anime will keep you engaged but, at the same time, make you sad with its backstory and ending.
16. Your Lie in April
You must have heard of this title since Your Lie in April is often mentioned as the show that will break your heart in the end. It describes the story of Kousei Arima, a piano prodigy who loses his gift due to a horrific occurrence. But everything transforms when he meets Kaori Miyazono, a violinist who helps him find his skills and reenter the limelight. This anime is a tearjerker because it is emotional from the start. As dismal as it is, it uplifts you with lovely emotions and teaches you how to advance in life. It approaches the themes of trauma, sadness, and loss in the greatest conceivable manner. It is an uplifting and heartbreaking anime you should not miss at any cost.
17. Angel Beats
Angel Beats! It may sound like the name of a musical anime, but it isn’t! It tells the story of Otonashi, a little kid who wakes in the afterlife to find himself attending high school. He joins forces with rebellious youngsters to overthrow the scholar council president, Kanade “Angel” Tachibana, God’s henchwoman. Our sad anime list includes just one Isekai anime with a heartbreaking story. Although the anime begins with funny plotlines, it quickly becomes somber. The animation and score are the highlights of the show. The ending of this anime, however, makes it one of the saddest. It’s an immediate tearjerker, according to many fans who say it’s one of the saddest endings they’ve ever watched.
Which Anime Is The Saddest?
Based on the many anime we’ve watched, our favorite has to be The Grave of the Fireflies. That anime is heartbreaking and will break you into pieces.
What Anime Makes You Cry?
All of the anime mentioned above might be hurtful and make you weep. So, if you’re lighthearted, ensure you have your handkerchiefs/tissues handy.
Consider The Following:
From untimely deaths to terrible disclosures, there are several ways to create a sad scene. However, if viewers have never connected with a character in the first place, that character’s death will not evoke any feelings. These series succeeded in delivering some of the most dramatic and unforgettable tales in the medium, not via random sad occurrences, but by constructing worlds that felt genuine and significant to fans. As a result, the saddest anime series seems genuine, evoking an experience that no one will soon forget.