Anime television series as well as movies gas presented to us with a wide range of genres. Some like action, whereas some romance, and some just sad-depressing anime. For those people who only feel refreshed only after watching some sad content, a list is mentioned below of the top 22 sad anime of all time.
1. Your Lie in April
Your Lie in April is a tragic story of a boy named Kousei Arima. Kousei used to play piano but loses his hearing ability because of unfortunate events. His life without music is even sadder. He is brought back to the piano by a girl, who has a mysterious background. Kaori Miyazono is a pretty young girl, who excels in playing violinist. Just when Kousei had almost given up on his dreams, and any ray of hope or happiness in his life, he meets Kaori.
With Kaori, he learns to play again. She works like magic for him. Slowly he starts to feel happy and regains his ability to perform again. In 22 episodes the series presents us with a strong storyline combining Drama, Music, and teen romance. You Lie in April is indeed a perfect choice of anime to feel a mix of emotions.
2. I want to Eat Your Pancreas
I want to Eat Your Pancreas might sound strange to be a sad anime, but in reality, is extremely emotional. A book named the Disease Coexistence Journal was found by a teenager in a hospital. It was written by Sakura Yamauchi, who was his classmate. In her journal, she wrote that she was suffering from pancreatic disease, because of which the number of her living days have been limited. Not only this, she faces a lot more trouble than life throws at her.
We can’t help getting attached to the characters. Sakura as destined doesn’t meet a happy end. I want to Eat Your Pancreas hence leaving us heartbreaking as it takes us on the journey of a girl who doesn’t have much to live.
3. Grave of the Fireflies
Grave of the Fireflies is an anime movie that shows the horror effect of war and how it breaks a human. The movie beautifully represents to us the side effects of war. The setting is done in World War 2. As the American air forces raided Japan, by using air rifles, the 14-year-old Seita and four-year-old Setsuko lose their mother. They are suddenly pushed into the harsh realities as their food suppliesare finished and they are left with no funds or any distant or close relatives. Each other is all they have.
The story shows how the two sisters pave their way to survival in such harsh times. It also shows how young lives are destroyed in these unfortunate events.
4. Neon Genesis Evangelion
The anime Neon Genesis Evangelion covers a series of unfortunate events. The first devastating event happened fifteen years ago from the present time. It was popularly referred to as Second Impact. The world recovered from it only to meet another danger in the form of- Angels. Angels were celestial beings, who were evil to humankind, as they kept on attacking Tokyo-3. After using all methods, mankind was unable to defend itself. If there was someone who could help was- NERV- an organization that used humanized robots called “Evangelions” to fight against the Angels. NERV was under the leadership of Gendou Ikari, who had a 14-year-old son named Shinji Ikari.
All his life Shinji suffers from the trauma caused by the loss of his mother, and the ignorance faced by his father. As a massive attack from Angels comes, Shinji takes the lead. He is the only one who can plant the Evangelion Unit-01. Despite his damaged relationship with his father, he does the job and protects Tokyo at the cost of his safety.
5. A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice or Koe no Katachi is an anime movie that left us with trillions of questions. The movie questions the various interactions which people do on a regular basis and their impacts. Nishimiya Shoko is the protagonist, who is an A-grade student. She suffers from hearing problems and has impaired hearing. She is transferred to a new school, because of her hearing disability. In the new school, she gets bullied by Ishida Shouya, who guides others as well to do the same. This made her leave the school and transfer to another school. Shouya, on the other hand, faces the result of his misdoings. He also gets bullied and then decides to say sorry to Nishimiya Shoko for doing her bad.
As they meet the next time, mutual feelings begin to develop and take us on a ride of emotions. The series hereby presents to us an unexpected love story.
Clannad is a 24 episodes anime television series, which has been aired a decade ago. It instills mixed feelings in viewers. The story is about two teenagers who were currently studying in high school. Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa graduated from high school together. They experience adulting together and somehow stand still at the same point- what to do after high school. Tomoya made up his mind and take some work experience. The couple constantly works on their relationship to repair it, meanwhile exploring new things in life.
Clannad, therefore, presents to us the struggle of adulting and figuring out things. It also highlights the importance of relationships in one’s life.
7. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Anohana is an eleven-episode series, which shows how people deal with loss in their everyday life. It has a simple storyline, yet manages to cast a strong impact through its message. The story is about a group of five friends, who face separation, after the death of Meiko Honma, a friend of theirs who would play with them. The kids were too close to them. JintanYadomithe leader of the group abandoned high school and eventually starts to live in a shut-in. There is starts seeing Meiko’s ghost. Surprisingly, no one but Jintan can see the ghost and interact with him. She is there to remind him of the promise which he made as a kid to her.
Anohana hereby presents a lovely story of friendship, and a bunch of friends, who even after the death of their friend remember her, and tries to keep their promise.
8. Hotarubi no Mori
Hotarubi no Mori is an anime movie that narrates the story of a six-year-old kid- Hotaru Takegawa. He goes to spend his summer vacations with his grandparents but ends up getting lost in the forest which was rumored to be possessed by evil spirits. He meets a strange boy named- Gin there, who was kind enough to offer him help. It’s later discovered that Gin has been cursed. If any human being ever touches him, he will vanish forever.
Slowly Hotaru and Gin become closer. Despite knowing his situation, Hotaru is not able to leave him. They become close to each other and eventually, it becomes hard for them to maintain boundaries. The story follows the sad story of how they try to be together, but suffer at the hands of destiny.
The 13 episodes anime is a perfect combination of mystery, psychological thrill, and supernatural elements. The Satoru Fujinuma is a 29-year-old man, who experiences time travel. He is sent back in time to 18 years, with the task assigned to prevent the kidnappings. The kidnapping resulted in his mom’s death and furthermore unfortunate events. The moment he realizes the mystery behind his mother’s death, he becomes adamant to resolve it.
The anime makes us go through a mixed set of emotions. The dynamic characters further make it more interesting.
10. Violet Evergarden
These 13 episodes of anime raise our concern about emotions and how humans keep on learning them and learning through them. The story is about a scientist names Orland and his Auto Memory Dolls. The Prime reason for employing the dolls was to assist his blind wife, Mollie, in her novel writing. He didn’t keep the dolls restricted to his wife only. They helped others as well, who were in need.
The story is of one such girl- Violet Evergarden, who was used in war before. All her life she has been deprived of emotions and only understands the language of weapons. As the war has ended, she is looking for a new purpose in her life. Alongside this she is trying to find the meaning of the last words which her major Gilbert said to her while parting- I love you.
Not a soldier anymore. Violet is trying to find a new role in her life, and at the same time trying to understand her emotions.
11. Angel Beats!
Angel Beats! Is one such anime which leaves its viewers totally heartbreaking with its emotional scenes. The plot cats Otonashi as the main character. Otonashi has been dead. When he wakes up after death, he finds himself in an altogether different world. A set of humans are fighting against their fate, and showing concern for their future. We also see Yuri, who is the leader of the Shinda Sekai Sensen. She is seen protesting against the god, blaming god for presenting her with an unjust life. There is Tenshi, the chairperson of the student council. He seems to protest against the SSS members.
The anime makes us go through different emotions at times. Overall, with its various characters, it is able to win the hearts of its fans, creating a strong impact.
12. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
The anime takes us into a strange world created by the Elrin brothers- Edward and Alphonse, in alchemy experimentation. Their original attempt was to resurrect their mother. The brother’s fate followed an unfortunate end. Edward’s whole body was disintegrated, whereas Alphonse ended up losing a leg. In order to keep his brother’s soul intact, he sacrificed one arm.
Initially, they get saved by their neighbor, who created prosthetic limbs for Alphonse. As the brothers recovered they set their journey again to recover the damage. They set their quest to search for Philosopher’s stone. One event leads to another, and before they realize they have created an altogether new danger for the world to face. How will they deal with the danger? And How much more damage they will have to face?
Nana is an anime that takes your emotions on a roller coaster ride through its wide range of emotions. Through its storyline, we feel different emotions from the characters. The story follows the life events of Nana “Hachi” Komatsu, who is trying to run away from her present love life. She boards for Tokyo, thinking this will give her life a new start. The story cast another character of the same name- Ana Osaki, who is adamant to make her career in the music industry. Both the girls have highly different personalities, but somehow get together. From friends, they become roommates, and hence begins their life full of fun, parties, and endless nights of tears, alongside fashion and never-ending gossip.
This is an anime that highlights the share ofa burden every individual carries behind their smiles and perfect lifestyle.
14. Plastic Memories
Following the theme that nothing lasts forever, Plastic Memories presents us with a heartbreaking memory. The story is set in the near future. The plot cast androids who are human lookalike. Slowly their number starts increasing, leading to their fast spread. Giftia produced by the company SA Corp has the most humane emotions, and the highest understanding. However, every android has a limited life span, and after that, their condition starts deteriorating. Hence SA Crop developed a terminal for their servicing and to retain their condition to normal, as Giftia’s span also expired. A new employee joins the SA Corp team- Tsukasa Mizugaki. He forms an alliance with Giftia and launches his task to retrieve other androids.
As mutual feelings develop, plastic memories leave the watchers in tears. It fits perfectly in the genre of sad anime.
15. Your Name
Your Name is an anime movie that leaves the watchers in a heartbreak. The story follows a strange plot in which the protagonist exchanges their bodies. As they realizewhat’shappening they slowly try to adjust to their lifestyles and start leaving little notes to each other. When one day it stops happening suddenly, they grow anxious to meet each other and hence begin the journey. A meteor hits the earth and shatters their hope. They travel far and wide in order to proclaim their love for each other.
Your Name is one such anime, which leaves you in tears, and explains the pain of separation.
16. Tokyo Magnitude
Released almost a decade ago, Tokyo Magnitude is still recounted for its heartbreaking plot. The story is of two siblings- Mirai and Yuki, who experience an earthquake of 8.0 magnitude. When the earthquake happened, they were visiting a robot exhibition within a 25km radius of Tokyo in Odaiba. They were with a female motorcyclist named- Mari, who was assisting them to reach their parent’s house in Setagaya. Mari was also trying to reach her mother and daughter, who at that time were living in Sangenjaya. Though as the disaster happened, they split up, taking their individual path to meet the people they planned to see.
The show highlights the importance of family and close friends. The effect of the earthquake adds further sadness to the plot.
These 13 episodes of television anime focus on how different emotionshelp us to grow and change for the better. The story is about a young girl Takamiya Naho, who receives a letter from the future, written by herself to her past self. The letter is after 10 years. Surprisingly, the letter doesn’t contain anything new. It was narrating the events of the day which happened with Naho on the same day. It mentioned Naruse Kakeru, a new student who was enrolled on that very day.
The letter warns her about her life decisions. She states that she wants to be aware of the young Naho, regarding the decisions she will be making, especially relating to Kakeru. She also reveals that after ten years, Kakeruwon’tis a part of their lives, and hence she also asks her to observe him closely.
Orange is a series that has strong emotions to melt even cold persons. It’s worth a watch, as it focuses on suicide and stress.
18. Elfen Lied
Elfen Lied is known for its dark humor and sad plot. The story is about the creatures called- “Diclonius”, who are a result of human mutations. They have invisible arms called vectors. Vectors had telekinetic powers, and also these mutations have horns on their head. These are violent creatures. The series becomes more depressing when these are captured in cells and taken to labs where cruel experimentation is conducted on them.
To make the condition more worse, these vectors become infected with a virus. The series is about a human and Kouta who gets too evolved with these creatures. He comes in contact with Nyuu, who is a diclonious. Nyuu is an egoistic killer, who being a child lacks reasoning.
The series presents us with a dark and depressing plot. However, it’s worth a watch, if you are looking for some sad content.
19. Terror of Resonance
Terror of Resonance, or more popularly known as Zankyou no Terror revolves around the destruction caused by a Terrorist attack. The attack has left the government in a blurred state. The local civil servants and the police also are helpless. The public also was left clueless. All attempts to find out the culprits resulted in failure. After six months, a video went viral of two young boys, who called themselves- “Sphinx”, and threatened to cause destruction in Japan.
As soon as the video is out, Detective Kenjirou Shibazaki takes the lead and guides the police to catch the teenage boys. The boys have a mysterious history. They should not exist in the firstplace. In order to hide their real identity, they go on causing destruction. Popularly known as nine and eleven, they become wanted by the government, officials, and the public.
20. The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland is an anime television series that combines science-fiction, mystery, and suspense at its best. The story is about a bunch of orphaned kids and their caretaker or “mama”, called Isabella. The orphanage is surrounded by forests on all sides. It is known as Grace Field House. The kids live happily and in harmony, doing what they like. All they are asked to do is never go too far from the orphanage. After every few months, a kid is adopted. No one hears from the kids after that.
However, there is a set of three siblings who are the eldest in the orphanage. They see the suspicious activities happening in the orphanage. Slowly as they continue to do the same investigation, they discover the unfortunate fate waiting to happen to every kid. Alongside this, they also discover the true intentions of their beloved mama- Isabella. How the siblings respond to the situation is shown in the movie.
21. Looking Up At The Half-Moon
Looking Up At The Half-Moon is an unfortunate story of a young kid- Ezaki Yuichi, who gets infected with Hepatitis A. After the diagnosis, his life gets confined to the walls of the hospital only. He tries to escape the boredom of the hospital by trying to elope. However, he gets caught and receives a beating from the nurse. As he is hospitalized again, he meets a girl about his age- Akiba Rika. They both had highly different personalities. Akiba was very pretty, and her beauty was the reason Ezaki felt intrigued by her. As a person, she was self-centered and liked to control people around her.
However, they got to talk to each other, and slowly develop a healthy friendship. They began to develop mutual feelings for each other, unaware of what tragedy was waiting for them. Rika’s deadly disease doesn’t give her many days to live. The story will cover the fate of two teens in love, who fail to be together.
22. Haibane Renmei
Haibane Renmei follows 13 episodes television series, narrating the story of a Haibane. A Haibane is a human figure with a Halo and small grey wings. She is born from a cocoon, with all her memories erased. It becomes very difficult for Rakka to adjust and understand the concepts of the new world. She slowly finds ways to adapt to the village of Old Home. However, there are different rules for her, which must be followed, at any cost. She is not to leave the village or go to the surrounding walls. Soon mishappening begins to take place. Members begin to disappear, and the other Haibane doesn’t understand the reason.
Though they try to resolve the mystery, it’s very hard to do so without any past memories. Haibane Renmei, therefore, is the story of Rakka and the people who live with her.