Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime That Make Me Cry

Tuesday's Top 5

I’m sure all anime fans have a favourite series out there that they enjoy just because it hits them hard every time they watch it. That show, and that moment, that has you breaking down into tears. It isn’t a feeling I seek out all that often but every now and then it is exactly what I need. If it was finished, I know that March Comes in Like a Lion would have topped this list, but given it hasn’t, here are some of my other favourite shows that are sure to make me cry every time I watch them.

As always, I’d love to know what would be on your list.

Please Note – There are absolutely spoilers below.

Honourable mentions to Clannad After Story, Your Lie in April and Yuri on Ice.

Number 5: Code Geass

Code.jpg

Code Geass is action filled and exciting. It also has some thought provoking moments and some interesting commentary on the human condition. But what sticks with me long after I’m finished watching the show for the whatever number time I am up to is how many times it felt like the show had grabbed my heart in a fist and squeezed. Shirley’s death, Lelouch accidentally setting Euphemia off on her massacre, the final sequence, so many moments where it just punches you hard in the gut. And yes, Shirley’s death is the one that makes me cry each and every time.

Number 4: Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate

For an apparently mad scientist, Rintaro really takes the events of Steins;Gate hard and what we see is a fairly quick break down as this guy gets hit time and time again by more than he can really deal with. As the weight of his failures start to crush him, we see Kurisu reach out to him unknowing that she’s also part of the weight that he can’t actually deal with. While eventually all is righted, this show can pack a mean emotional punch as you wonder what decision you could make in the situation particularly when it looks like saving Mayuri will lead to someone else’s death.

Number 3: Heaven’s Memo Pad

Heaven's memo pad

Heaven’s Memo Pad starts out fairly innocuously and to be honest there’s a lot of silliness throughout the series. But underlying all of that there are always some fairly dark themes and ideas and the final story arc brings things right to the surface. With the attempted suicide of his friend at school and drugs being sold in the area, Narumi is left feeling utterly helpless and useless and ends up making a fairly rash decision in an effort to do something. I always forget just how serious this show ends up getting because I start it and get kind of fooled by the early episodes which means the ending hits hard every single time.

Number 2: Assassination Classroom

assassination-classroom2

You don’t get a prize for knowing the affect this show had on me when we finally got to that scene. Yes, the one where the students all stand around and say goodbye before Nagisa finally assassinates their teacher. And yes, it is designed to pull at your heart strings and it is overly long and all the other things people might say about it. But that doesn’t stop it from being highly affective and leaving me in a complete mess of tears absolutely every time.

Number 1: Angel Beats

Angel

My go to anime for when I feel like having a cry. Whether it is Otonashi recalling his life, Hinata promising to marry Yui no matter what her condition was, the graduation sequence or the final farewell between Kanade  and Otonashi this show gets me. What I love is that I don’t feel bad while watching it. I laugh, I get excited in the action sequences, roll my eyes at the classroom antics, and get to go through a whole range of emotions before the show tears my heart out and stomps on it a few times. Plus, if you watch after the credits, after you’ve had your release of tears, the show does just enough to put a smile on your face and leave you feeling like the world isn’t such a bad place after all.

So there’s my list. What have you got on yours?


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Karandi James.

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Top 5: Saddest Death Scenes in Anime

Tuesday's Top 5

We all know the scene. It’s usually about two thirds of the way through the story and the nice character, the one we all love, suddenly gets cut down. What makes it even sadder is that usually the only purpose their death serves is to give our protagonist a renewed focus. yep, the guys that killed your friend are evil. Now you need to go get them back.

Okay, not every sad death scene goes like that. But you must admit it’s fairly common in anime. My list below are the deaths that came in isolation (no group deaths), in non-horror/slasher anime, that serve as a critical plot point and really crushed me. As such, it’s an entirely subjective list. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.

Please Note – There are spoilers below. You have been warned.

Honourable mentions this week go to:Shirou Fujimoto (Ao No Exorcist), Nagisa Furukawa (Clannad After Story), Art (Hamatora), Kuro Sensei (Assassination Classroom), and Mikoto Suoh (K).

Number 5: Maes Hughes from Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

Kind of a given going into this list that Maes Hughes would appear. Arguably one of the most well remembered anime deaths of all time. What makes Maes stand out (I feel) is that he is a genuinely sweet character, a family man, and very few of the main cast in Full Metal Alchemist die. They get injured a lot and there are some deaths, but Maes is really the only one that get’s treated as a true death with the funeral and the mourning family.

While Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood plays this for the emotional punch and uses it to drive first the Elric brothers and then Mustang into action, Maes’ death is more than just a cheap plot device. It is a devastating reminder that life and death are at the core of the story. If you look at the timing, it has been a long time since the hit from the death of the Elric Brothers mother, and quite a length of time has passed since Nina’s tragic end. There are many lighter moments in the show but they always come back to the darkness at the centre of the story and Maes’ death is definitely one of those moments.

Number 4: Mikage from 07 Ghost

I was really torn about this one given 07 Ghost really doesn’t end and has no rewatch value. Certainly, I  was really crushed when he died (or rather was horrifically murdered after being forced to try to kill his best friend) but then the show pulls the whole his soul is still with you in the form a really cute animal that follows Teito around for the rest of the run time. It kind of takes some of the impact out of the death.

Clearly though, I decided Mikage’s demise was one of the saddest deaths in an anime. I think it is more that Mikage never did anything to deserve anything that happened to him. Sure he helped his friend escape the military and that certainly deserved some punishment, but having his family threatened, being possessed, and forced to try to kill his friend before choosing to die so that neither his family or his friend would be hurt, just kind of sucked all round. This was definitely a sad death scene. (It doesn’t help that the rest of the anime kind of suffers from Mikage’s lack either).



Number 3: Joker from Black Butler Book of Circus

I started noticing a theme in my choices. Characters who aren’t inherently bad but end up on the wrong side of the protagonist for whatever reason or try to turn over a new leaf and get killed in the process. Book of Circus gives us Joker.

Joker is a pitiful character. He originally comes off as quite strong and together but it becomes quickly apparent that he is desperately trying to hold up his little sand castle of dreams even as the tide is washing it all away. By the time Joker is killed he literally has nothing left to live for. It is sad and tragic and just leaves you feeling empty inside.

Number 2: R from Jormungand

Hard to believe that any death in an anime about an arms dealer travelling with body guards would get to you but R manages it in Jormungand. In the first season he is almost a non-entity, but he is definitely there. After seeing the second season I went back and watched and began to see how they had managed to make a character who seemed so in the background such a major emotional turning point.

R is working against Koko with the American government, but when one of their agents targets Jonah, R throws caution to the wind to save the child soldier, in the process revealing his duplicitous lifestyle to Koko before getting himself very dead. The impact this death has on Koko is enormous and unlike most of the deaths before it, this one causes the show to pause for some quiet reflection which hits the audience hard.

Number 1: Nephrite from Sailor Moon

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that this has made my list of saddest death scenes.

Firstly, what makes a death sad is emotional connection to the characters, and given that Sailor Moon is one of my all time favourite anime, it should be no surprise that I feel an emotional connection to the characters. Secondly, I saw this when I was pretty young and unlike most other cartoons, they just knocked off a fairly major character, on screen, and one who had redeemed himself (kind of), and they didn’t even wait for a season final or something.

This was really different from anything else I was watching at the time and I honestly couldn’t believe what I’d just watched. I remember sitting and staring at the screen completely stunned. I wanted to scream, “But he just saved Molly!”

No matter what anime deaths come after this one,  I will always remember Nephrite. Even though he was a villain, and not a particularly good one, and even though he was barely in a quarter of the series, his death had real impact.

Okay, who do you have on your list?


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
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Karandi James