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 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
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 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
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
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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47 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime That Make Me Cry”
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Well of course this list was fabulous. I haven’t watched Code Geass and Heaven’s memo pad, so I don’t know how sad those might be, but the others? Worth the tears shed.
I have only cried to Clannad: After story and Your lie in April, but there’s a long list of series that were able to push me on to the verge of crying.
For me, there are more anime movies than series that were really depressive; 5 cm per second, Houtarubi no Mori e, Your name and Graveyard of the fireflies being the toppers.
It’s a really great list, thanks for sharing!
Yeah… Angel Beats. Great shouts on Code Geass as well. For me, I’ve never cried harder at an anime than the ending of Wolf’s Rain 😭
Wolf’s Rain definitely deserves at least an honourable mention here. Great choice.
I’ve heard that Angel Beats ends in the middle of things. Is that true or does it have a somewhat satisfying ending?
I think the end is very satisfying (though I guess that depends on what you wanted from the story). I honestly don’t think I’d want the story to go on any longer because everything we need to know has been revealed.
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Even though I didn’t cry for most of them, I think some of the saddest anime I’ve seen would be (in no particular order):
Grave of the Fireflies
Now and Then, Here and There
Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal
Jungle Emperor Leo (1997 movie)
Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
Angel beats got sooo many people. Also clannad for me. Naruto many times I cried. Your lie in April I was balling. Hahah
I would add Ano Hana andGrave of the Fireflies as well. They got me pretty emotional and I needed a tissue box to get through them.
Some excellent choices here, particularly Code Geass which, despite my criticisms of the series in recent years compared to how I initially felt about it, has always given me the feels and hits hard every time I watch it. Particularly the death of a particular character love interest and the final scene of the series. Hopefully this new “season” won’t take away from the finale’s impact too much.
My biggest sad scene? The final scene of episode 135 of Hunter x Hunter for sure. I won’t go in to details, as I believe you haven’t finished the series yet and I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it’s a really depressing scene that really hits hard and concludes a 60+ episode story arc in the most perfect way possible.
Anyhow, great list this time around. I really enjoyed seeing your picks!
I’m only in the 50’s for Hunter x Hunter but I do intend to pick it up again next year and hopefully get a bit further along.
I’m also kind of worried about the third season of Code Geass undermining some of the impact of the original story. I’m also kind of happy it is coming back but there’s always that worry that I’ll have another sequel I’ll have to pretend doesn’t exist.
All these shows sure are hard-hitters!
I never fail to cry when I’m rewatching a particular episode of Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru. The currently airing Washio Sumi no Shou is also really good at making me bawl like a child.
Our tastes are fairly similar for these sorts of things so since I haven’t seen Heaven’s Memo Pad I am now putting that on my watch list.
Hope you enjoy it. It is a bit of an uneven watch but one I think is worth sticking with.
Good to know. Don’t know when I’ll get around to it but I’ll try and remember to let you know my thoughts once I do 🙂
I haven’t seen 4/5 of the anime’s you’ve mentioned, but now I’m really curious! Especially with number 3 (heaven’s memo pad) Do you know where I might be able to find that particular anime?
I wholeheartedly agree with your number 1 choice. I was shocked by how heartfelt that anime ended up being and how much I ended up bawling.
Like Michel, I too would pick Your Lie in April. Ugh, the feels in that..but I’m also a big crybaby and cry at a lot of emotional scenes. I’m not sure how credible I can be in that regard.
Not sure where you would find Heaven’s Memo Pad. I bought it on DVD but I don’t know if it is still available and it isn’t available on any of the services I use in Australia at least. Still, if it was sold on disc in Australia, it must be around somewhere.
I found it online – theres a sale I might pick it up! 😀
Gun Parade March. Saikano. Your Lie In April. Rah Xephon. Honey and Clover season 2.
Definitely Wolf Children, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April), Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, Clannad: After Story, Plastic Memories, A Silent Voice, Hotarubi no Mori e, Beyond the Boundary, and the Mother’s Rosario ARC in Sword Art Online.
For me the Anime that made me cry the most was Nana… That one was a roller-coaster of emotions xD but good picks! all of them are dear to me each one for different reasons xp
Nana’s also a good pick. Definitely gets emotional mileage. Thanks for the response.
I agree with almost every pick on this list here. Very happy to see a mention for Heaven’s Memo Pad, that show is amazing, but not mentioned very much, so i’m glad it’s made this list.
I think a lot of people get turned off early on by Heaven’s Memo Pad because the early stories, while they could be quite serious, are dealt with in a fairly light hearted manner. It isn’t until later that the drama really gets moving in the story.
i think if they treated the stories with the darkness that they maybe deserved, the show would just be too heavy. The comedy and light-heartedness is, in essence, that spoonful of sugar that helps the bitter medicine go down.
it also makes the finale, the climax of the last few episodes, stand out that much more
Agreed. The climax hits really hard because of that sudden turn in tone.
*shivers*. That GIF from Heaven’s Memo Pad….
Yeah, it isn’t the most pleasant. Heaven’s Memo Pad takes a seriously dark and emotional turn in its final stories and it catches me every time.
I’d have to say that I cried the hardest for Anohana and Your Lie in April, because the endings were too depressing (even though we expect it to come). After that comes Koe no Katachi (the mother’s outburst) and AnoNatsu (Nostalgia ending scene).
For some reason I also cried for Inou-Battle’s Hatoko rant and KokoroSake’s insert song.
I’m wondering why I couldn’t immediately point at Angel Beats for being a tear stimulant (maybe I wanted to forget the experience), most likely need to re-watch it again to remember how sore my eyes felt for each parting scene.
I still need to check out Angel Beats, it looks promising. And Clannad is another good choice for this list, for me personally. I definitely bawled at many touching scenes 🙂
The end of Code Geass. Also the end of Steins;Gate’s first half. Both admirable picks for this topic, and obviously you hit the nail straight on the head with Angel Beats. Might I add Ef: A Tale of Melodies, or perhaps scenes from the classic Sailor Moon (because I am so very weak at the face of serenading strings on the Moon Kingdom).
If you want to cry a bunch of times in a single series, check out Battle Athletes Victory.
Although technically I suppose they are OVAs, Grave of the Fireflys and Tokyo Godfathers both are pretty emotional for me. Funny how you can be emotionally invested in a cartoon.
Ahaha. I don’t think I could make a list for this either Karandi-san…
It’s probably easier for me to say anime/manga I didn’t cry to XD
But if we’re talking about cried every time I watched/read it, then Kimi no Nawa, Koe no Katachi and Seiyuu ka!(not a tragedy in case you were wondering, just that the male lead reminds me of myself) are definitely there
Steins;Gate definitely made me cry too. I wasn’t sure I would like it because of the time travel element but I’m glad I decided to watch it anyway.
Also, Shirley and Euphemia’s deaths punched me in the face too. Code Geass definitely ripped me apart.
I would also add Heroic Age. This one gave me a mass of intense feeling the whole way through and then the ending… I thought I was okay and then I was bawling.
I haven’t watched Heroic Age. Might have to check it out.
The first two episodes have different tones but most of the show has the tone of the first episode, I think.
I cry too much so if I ever have to do a top list for emotional moments it would be too long, which was why I had to make it into a whole series, haha.
Nice to see you enjoyed assassination classroom, it’s such an underrated series…
I think Assassination Classroom is more just an odd series. It is really dark subject matter that for most of the first series is covered over with a lot of humour and action with occasional dramatic moments or ‘teaching’ moments. Then the second season goes a few other directions again. I can see how it won’t sit well for a lot of people, but at the same time it is pretty brilliant.
Well on my list are two things. One being the anime series Your lie in april. Don’t think that to date I have ever seen a tv series that made me cry more than this one. The other one is the anime movie Grave of the Fireflies. That last one is truly heartbreaking and one of the most powerful anime movies that I have ever seen. If not the most powerful one 😉
I figure Your Lie in April will be on a few people’s lists. I did cry the first time I watched it, but the second watch didn’t hit me quite as hard. It is still beautiful but doesn’t quite have the repeat impact for me.