Even though people pretend to like dark and action-packed anime shows, they cannot deny the popularity of the ‘sad’ genre of anime. There is a large audience that yearns for shows that can make them cry. And it is invariably relieving to shed a few tears while watching a show. If you, too, are a fan of this genre, then this list is for you. Today we will look at the Most Heartbreaking Anime in no particular order.
From old classics to new additions, this list contains them all. So, without any further ado, here are some of the most heart-rending anime shows that might break your heart.
1. Your Lie In April
The first name on our list is Your Lie in April that aired between 2014 and 2015. The anime is a direct adaptation of the manga of the same name by Naoshi Arakawa. Besides, A-1 Pictures was the production company behind it. Your Lie In April features the story of a pianist Kо̄sei Arima. After the passing away of his mother, Kōsei loses all hope in life and refuses to recognize the sounds of his own piano. After two years of living grimly, Kaori Miyazono enters his life. Kaori is a violinist who helps Kōsei gain back his passion for piano. Your Lie in April is definitely a must-watch!
2. Grave of The Fireflies
The Grave of the Fireflies film is a top name in any list of heartbreaking anime films. This 1988 product was brought to the world by Studio Ghibli. The story of GOFF follows siblings Seita and Setsuko, who lose their mother in an airstrike during the Second World War. Thus, Seita and Setsuko wander from place to place in order to survive in a war-ridden country. The more they try to tackle their survival failures, the more realities hit them. And the result is what everyone expects at the end of any war death.
Grave of the Fireflies has one of the most heartbreaking climactic movie scenes of all time. Thus, we place it on the second spot on our list of the Most Heartbreaking Anime.
Next up is the 2016 series, Orange. The 11-episode story was created by TMS Entertainment based on the manga series by Ichigo Takano. The story of the anime traces the high school life of Naho Takamiya. One sudden day, Naho finds a letter from her future self that tells her to be careful in life. The future Naho tells the present one that she has many regrets in life. Thus, she must not do them in the present to avoid troubles.
The letter also contains a Grave message about the death of a loved one which moves Naho to her core. How she deals with this fact makes up for the plot of Orange.
4. Demon Slayer Mugen Train
There is nothing that has not been already written about Demon Slayer Mugen Train. Now that the film has become the biggest movie of 2020, everyone knows why it deserves to be on this list. Demon Slayer Mugen Train starts off pretty decently. But as the story progresses to its end, the sacrifice that comes is almost unwatchable. You cannot hold back tears while watching the climax of Mugen Train.
Moreover, the courage and strength shown by Tanjiro during his fight with the Twelve Moon demon are applaudable. This one is surely enough to roll tears down your cheeks.
5. Plastic Memories
Anime Plastic Memories is an original show by Doga Kobo Studio that was released back in April 2015. The 13-episode show is based around the themes of romance and science fiction. Plastic Memories tells the story of a humanoid, Tsukasa Mizugaki, who retires other robots as a job. However, it’s now time for his close friend robot Isla to retire. As time approaches, Tsukasa realizes that he is in love with Isla and he cannot dismantle her.
Thus, he hides her from the authorities to give their love another chance. The sad end of their love places this one on the fifth spot on this list of the 13 Most Heartbreaking Anime.
6. A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice is a single-film venture by Kyoto Animation that came out in September 2016. The movie is a redemption story of a young boy who has lost all hope in life. Shoya Ishida believes that the only way he can lift up his self-esteem is by apologizing to Shoko Nishimiya. Shoko is a deaf girl who was his classmate in high school whom he used to bully. Now, Shoya must search for her and become his companion in order to find redemption. The journey of these two parallels makes up for the plot of A Silent Voice.
7. Angel Beats!
Anime Angel Beats is yet another single-season venture by P.A.Works Studios. The anime came out in 2010 with only 13 episodes. The world of Angel Beats is set in the afterlife, where Otonashi loses all memory of his past life. What’s ahead is an afterlife Academy where he must learn to control his new powers and also beat the girl who rules the school as the student council. Angel Beats does have its fair share of funny moments, but the show is still heart-rending to watch.
8. True Tears
Another anime that comes from the production house of P.A.Works is the 2008 show True Tears. The 13-episode series is based around the themes of drama and romance in high school. True Tears is a love triangle between Shinichirou Nakagami, Hiromi Yuasa, and Noe Isurugi. Shinichirou and Hiromi live in the same house. However, Shinichi finds out that Hiromi lives a dual life as she is always grim and depressed in her home after her mother’s demise. Noe is another one of their classmates who is known to be a cursing sorceress.
One day, her curse rebounds upon her, making her lose all her tears. Now, she must find true tears of grief from someone else. Besides, Shinichi has just the right idea to set things right.
On the ninth spot of this list of the 13 Most Heartbreaking Anime is Steins;Gate. In 2011, White Fox brought this psychological thriller to life. The single-season show has twenty-four episodes and one OVA. So, Steins;Gate tells the story of college students who accidentally build a time machine in their warehouse. However, creating such a powerful machine also brings many enemies. Thus, they use time travel itself to defend against the bad guys. Time travel also makes them face many realities of their past.
10. 5 Centimeters Per Second
Another heart-rending hit film that makes it to the list is 5 Centimeters Per Second. The film was produced by CoMix Wave Inc Studio in 2007. So, 5 Centimeters Per Second tells the story of Takaki and Akira, who have been best friends all their childhood. However, Akira is now moving away due to familial circumstances. As the time of their parting increases, their love fades away. Thus, FCPS tells the story of the hardships of distanced relationship. Well, 5 Centimeters Per Second definitely deserves to be on this list.
11. I Want To Eat Your Pancreas
I Want To Eat Your Pancreas is a 2015 movie venture by Studio VOLN. The story follows Haruki, who is sitting in the hospital one day when he finds the “Living with Dying” journal. He finds out that the book belongs to his classmate Sakura who is suffering from an incurable disease. Soon, both of them become good friends. And you can imagine all the course of events much like The Fault in Our Stars. There is no telling as to why this anime is on the list.
12. Your Name
The anime film Your Name is a path-breaking movie that came out in 2016. CoMix Wave Films is behind the production desks of this movie. The story of Your Name follows Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana, who wake up in each other’s bodies one day. Strangely, both of them always wanted to live the opposite life. Thus, they begin to enjoy the small perks of both a free and affluent life. Even though Your Name is a slice of life anime, the climactic scene will roll tears down your cheeks. Thus, Your Name gets the twelfth spot on this list of the Most Heartbreaking Anime.
13. The Garden of Words
The Garden of Words is also a production venture of CoMix Wave Films. It tells the story of Takao, who is a low-class working boy. He earns for his family by making and mending shoes. One day, he comes across a customer, Yukino. Takao instantly falls for the older women without understanding the age baises of society. As it happens, Yukino also develops feelings for this young boy. But the place where they live will not allow them to foster this relationship.
With this, we can conclude our list of the Most Heartbreaking Anime shows of all time. We hope that this list will help you in deciding the contents of your next binge session. Is there any anime that we missed in this list? Let us know in the comments section below. For more such listicles, keep coming back to The Anime Daily.