Cheeky Kid has been watching anime and reading manga for as long as he can remember. Doing so takes him to different worlds.
Anime Top 10 List: Drama
As what “drama” connotes, it’s something that is able to touch hearts and make feelings and emotions flow. Usually, you’ll know it’s a good drama show you’re watching when tears are evidently streaming from your eyes or there’s some feeling of sadness, or a mixture of this and others, pounding deep inside you. Such is what “Drama Anime” also clearly caters! Call them tear-jerkers, feels-trains, rainy shows, onion peelers, or whatever—these anime are ones that will let out surges of unmitigated emotions.
Thus, this list serves its purpose—to recommend to you the Top 10 Best Drama Anime! Agree or not (with the listing and ranking), these are among the best and well-known dramatic series you’ll find out there. Take it or leave it, if you want to feel something remarkably theatrical and let you manifest your pent-up feelings, these are the anime shows to watch!
10 – Mirai Nikki (Future Diary)
While it’s already afflicted with a heavy dose of thrill, psycho content, twists, and action, Mirai Nikki (a.k.a. Future Diary) also doesn’t hold back with the “Drama!” Regarded as one of the most outstanding psychological anime ever, Mirai Nikki only did so with some help from the drama department. And it has become a total boom rather than a bane! This series combines its elements amazingly well that it touches the heart, mind, and soul like any excellent psychological-drama series should.
In a deadly survival game that holds the fate of the world, several chosen ones are blessed with foresight through the aid of “Future Diaries.” With a Future Diary, the holder is able to foretell the future in order to get ahead of the others. Each Future Diary is unique, and the holder must use it to its extent to survive till the end and finally become the new god of space and time.
Future-telling powers, deadly survival game, god of space and time—sounds like a hell of a momentous phenomenon! Who will survive? What means? This is the Future Diary survival game!
9 – Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (Erased)
The power to return to the past—would you use it? Would you mend life’s regrettable moments in order to secure a happy future? Would you use it for yourself or would you help other people also achieve a future full of content? With a scenario such as this, drama and suspense are sure to overflow!
Satoru Fujinuma has a peculiar power—he calls it “Revival!” During critical life-and-death moments for other people, his power activates in order for him to avert the disaster. The duration for this power had always almost been mostly short ranging from seconds to minutes. But when his mother was murdered by an unknown assailant, and with him framed for the murder, his power activates to bring him 18 years into the past!
It’s an enormous mystery! The death of his mother opens up an 18-year-old case. What’s hidden in the past of Satoru Fujinuma? What’s with the gigantic step-back in time? The time-bending story and tragic backstory of Satoru Fujinuma unveils!
8 – Nagi No Asakura (A Lull in the Sea)
Nagi no Asakura (a.k.a. A Lull in the Sea) indeed feels like it’s lulling you to a vast sea of emotions. It’s dramatic as it is melodramatic! A series that is character-driven, has brilliant visuals, and a compelling slice-of-life story that gradually evolves into a highly dramatic one—this is Nagi no Asakura in a nutshell!
Long ago, humans lived under the sea. Humans were governed by the god of the sea and were protected by the blessing called “Ena.” However, some humans chose the surface to dwell upon causing them to unwittingly turn their back against their original homeland. Such is the genesis of the border that separates the denizens of the land and the sea. Contact still exists but the rift of bonds has started to widen and is beginning to split apart!
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Fast-forward to the present, four friends, who grew up in the sea, are forced to attend school on the surface. Much adaptation and conformation are needed, that’s for sure! For they shall soon experience and bear witness to the growing “rift” between the denizens of the sea and the land, as well as the crucial events that are just about to unfold.
7 – Little Busters!
When troubles come and loneliness inevitably dawns upon you, who you gotta call? Yup, friends! Little Busters is all about friendship and forging unbreakable bonds. Because when the world turns its back on you, true friends will always be there for you to back you up.
Riki Naoe had a tragic past—he lost his parents at a very young age. This led to him being depressed and having to shut himself off from the world. Fortunately, a boy named Kyousuke asks him to join the Little Busters. From that moment, his problems slowly withered as new friends brought bright colors to his everyday life.
Even in high school, the group is pretty much still alive. But now, it’s Riki’s turn! It’s Kyousuke’s last year of school and it’s up to Riki now to keep the group alive and kicking. Secret-hunting, treasure-worthy moments, bonding activities and a lot more—nothing’s too dull when the Little Busters are around!
6 – Plastic Memories
Do you think there will ever come a time when robots co-exist with humans, possessing emotions and all kinds of human natures? As if human relationships weren’t complicated enough, here comes the “Giftia”, androids with the likeness of humans but with shorter lifespans. They are creatures who are akin to humans but with plastic memories. Now think about it, contemplate, and let the potential of sadness and tragedy sink into you!
SAI Corporation—it’s the organization responsible for the creation of Giftia. Tsukasa is on his first day of work at the Terminal Service Department. His line of work? Retrieving Giftia who are about to expire (that means death in Giftia terms).
Aided by his female Giftia partner “Isla”, Tsukasa comes term-to-term with his new line of work while dealing with the emotional side of it. Especially when his partner is also one such Giftia, will his relationship with her evolve into something else? Will it work out well somehow in the end? Memories in all forms are precious, and that includes plastic memories!
5 – Angel Beats!
Is there life after death? Does life even end with death in the first place? What does life even mean? These are the questions that will be invoked by watching Angel Beats. As philosophical as these questions may be, Angel Beats will summarize it all and even make tears flow uncontrollably from your eyes.
Out of nowhere, Otonashi wakes up to find himself in the afterlife. The place looks like a school ground and there’s a battle currently happening. The enemy—a lone angelic girl called Tenshi.
Although he was invited to become part of the Afterlife Battlefront to battle Tenshi, Otonashi still does things his own way. His ideals are different and his first move is to talk and negotiate with Tenshi. It’s a suicidal option but he’s dead anyway! Will he succeed? Why’s he even dealing with such problems in the first place even if he’s already dead? Such is life and death, and in this case—afterlife!
4 – Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
Talk about disasters! Such things are the baseline for tragedies and depressing moments! They come at moment’s whim and leave creatures of all kinds at its mercy. It’s the way of the world, it’s the circle of life. As sad and tragic it may be, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is a series that tells of the disheartening and melancholic effects of disasters—in this case, earthquakes!
While relishing their tour of a robot exhibition on Odaiba Island, Mirai and her little brother Yuuki experiences a disaster firsthand! It’s an earthquake, and it has a devastating magnitude of 8.0. Buildings and all sorts of infrastructure begin to crumble—and Mirai and Yuuki are in the middle of it all!
Unfortunately, both of them are far from home. Luckily, a motorcycle delivery woman decides to escort them home. Hence, their long journey to go home amidst the disaster and its demoralizing effect begins!
3 – Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (You Lie in April)
In the history of drama anime shows, what truly inspires the heart to let out emotions as well as let the eyes flow with tears, is matching music and melody. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (a.k.a. You Lie in April) is a musical series that is capable of drawing deep-seated feelings from within you, only to manifest as tears flowing from your eyes. It’s just that heart-wrenching with its brilliant story and all!
Meet one of the most brilliant and talented pianists—Kousei Arima! Despite being young, he has displayed prodigious talent in music, specifically, playing the piano. But, when his mother died, the sound of his piano sunk into the ocean.
Two years later, Kousei is living a normal school life with his friends but devoid of music. Then it happened—a fateful encounter! Kousei meets a violinist girl named Kaori Miyazono. Is this the start of his re-entry in the world of music? Will he finally be able to bring back the sound of his piano from the depths of his tragic past? Is Kaori the missing key to his brilliant music?
2 – Clannad
If you ask around for the best drama anime out there, I’m sure Clannad would almost surely pop out as one of the answers. Well, I can’t argue with that because it truly is! Taking the Top 2 spot on this list is Clannad and its second half Clannad: After Story to give you the dose of feels you highly sought. Now that say I didn’t warn you, not crying or at least getting teary-eyed after watching this masterpiece of a show is practically impossible!
Life is dull, and so is this town—this is what Tomoya Okazaki feels about his life and his hometown. Tomoya is a delinquent who frequently skips class and fools around. One day, he stumbles upon a weird girl who suddenly muttered “Anpan!” on their way to school. The girl's name is Furukawa Nagisa, and from that encounter, Nagisa and Tomoya get closer and closer to each other.
With both of them as well as a few other friends, they shall live life as if there wasn’t a tomorrow. Live life to the fullest, bury problems in the past—a bright future awaits!
1 – Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
At last, we’ve finally reached Top 1! After much thinking and deliberation, let us welcome the drama anime that stands out proud with its forte! It’s the best out there! It can make your heart burst with all kinds of feels and emotions. Watching this show will forcibly make you climb aboard the “FEELS” trains as it gives you one heck of an emotional ride. Without further ado, let us embrace with warmth—Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day!
Summers ago, Jinta and friends lost Menma to an unfortunate accident. Since then, a lot has changed and they’ve all split to live their own lives. But one day, Menma’s ghost suddenly manifested before Jinta. Menma has a wish, but she herself doesn’t have the slightest idea.
But wait, why did Menma’s ghost suddenly decide to show up? Is it about her wish? Or is it about the “Super Peace Busters” group she and her friends created in their childhood days? With the tragic past breaking their bonds, the search begins! The past, the ghost, the wish—the flower we saw that day!
bruh on July 05, 2020:
attack on titan?
Colin on June 30, 2020:
just watched all of Anohana last night. It was absolutely fantastic. Watched all of Your lie in April the night before, also fantastic. I recommend both
jeff on June 22, 2020:
your name is a really good anime i recommend it
meteor1003 on May 21, 2020:
i dont recommend your lie in april
i never became sad any part of it.
callmeback on April 23, 2020:
I really liked Violet Evergarden and cried almost every episode. So where is it?
MD_catlady on January 14, 2020:
i don't know many of these either but black butler is pretty sad and dramatic to, of course everyone should know that. and most yaoi is sub not dub so I'm out of anime options.. heeelp!
Book vs Anime on September 24, 2019:
My Hero Academia and Fairy Tale should both be on here
Brian on January 26, 2019:
clannad is just top notch. from the story, character development to the soundtrack and animation... just a beautiful, unique story.
Avi on October 27, 2018:
i dont know about other anime in the list but make sure you watch YOUR LIE IN APRIL......sure to make you cry!! i guarantee it! Amazing story-telling hand in hand with pretty good music. A MUST TRY!!
rean on September 19, 2018:
clannad must be in top spot.
Calvin on August 29, 2018:
Anohana actually made me cry for 2 days. I am in love with that series
GV on June 26, 2018:
Hi on June 08, 2018:
WHERES KOE NO KATATCHI??!?!?
Aka A Silent voice
Momo Miyazawa on March 30, 2018:
Where is Orange?(´；ω；`) that anime had me crying all night (´༎ຶོρ༎ຶོ`)
Ladyjivara on February 04, 2018:
Don't forget white album 2
romcom is life on January 30, 2018:
clannad is fine, but the best is sigatsu wa kimi no uso. the feels
Just a passerby on October 23, 2017:
I dont know if y're same as me but i think assassination classroom should be here, right ? I mean the feels at the finale . Also just saying lol. Anw no violent reaction bout the list coz all anime on the is darn good
I heart clannad on September 24, 2017:
Clannad is the best on this list I love it and always will
angel on September 14, 2017:
you should have placed Air on list that anime is great
Clannad_sucks on August 19, 2017:
Clannad and Clannad:AS are strongly overrated and boring. The first season was nothing but harem/comedy/romance with elements of forced drama. The second was half-boring and half even good with crappy ending. People pee their pants because AS is emotional and makes everyone cry. Honestly, maybe 3 or 4 episodes of AS are fine but the rest is dull, the characters are super-flat, Nagisa is the worst heroine ever, Tomoya is a typical Gary Sue. I really don't understand why almost all anime fans see this anime as some gift from Heavens.
hi on May 28, 2017:
you should have put the ova of samurai x its so easy to cry for it you know