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The 16 Saddest, Most Tragic Anime Ever Created

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The Tragic Anime Genre

A popular anime subgenre is sad or tearjerker anime. These anime make the viewer feel for the characters and even make them cry. With tragic scenarios, emotional scenes, and heartbreaking (even depressing) themes, these stories are powerful.

They also often follow a similar formula: The first half is funny, the middle is heart-warming and romantic, followed by a tragic separation and finally (though not always) an emotional reunion.

The titles below appear in no special order—each one is a great tearjerker. After the list, you'll find plot summaries for each series. You can also vote for your favorite below!

Take this Poll!

Do you love anime that makes you cry?

  • Yes, I love to watch anime that's super sad!
  • Kind of. I like it but it can't be too sad.
  • No, I prefer funny anime.
See results without voting

The 16 Saddest Anime Ever

Series Name
 
Clannad
One of the most acclaimed animes of the sad subgenre, Clannad follows a motherless boy whose father drinks and gambles.
Clannad After Story
A sequel to Clannad, After Story follows the struggles and heartbreaks of a young married couple.
Angel Beats!
Set in a high school in the afterlife, Angel Beats! follows students as they learn to let go of attachments to their former lives.
Ano Hana: The Flower We Saw That Day
A group of childhood friends drifts apart after one of them dies in an accident.
Grave of the Fireflies
Two siblings try to survive in the final months of World War II.
5 Centimeters Per Second
Told in three separate segments, this story follows two friends who were separated as children but who never lose touch.
Air
After his mother dies, a boy decides to pick up her journey where she left off.
Elfen Lied
A species of mutants is held in captivity, but when one escapes to seek revenge on humans she is injured and undergoes a personality change.
True Tears
A sensitive boy watches the people around him struggle and tries to help, but is unable to help himself.
Kanon
A young man suffering from amnesia returns to the city of his youth and begins to recall his past.
Chrono Crusade
Set in New York City just before the Great Depression, Chrono Crusade follows two exorcists as they fight demons and search for a missing friend.
Myself; Yourself
A boy who had moved with his parents to Tokyo returns to his hometown only to find the town changed for the worse and his best friend withdrawn and gloomy.
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (Rumbling Hearts)
Kiminozo for short, this series follows a boy who moves to Tokyo after a breakup only to become entangled in more romantic drama and heartbreak.
Full Moon wo Sagashite
A talented young girl who dreams of becoming a singer learns she is sick and may never sing again.
Ef: A Tale of Melodies
The romantic journeys and tragic pasts of two couples.
Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora
Also known as Hantsuki, this series follows the budding romance between two sick teenagers.

Clannad

Tomoya Okazaki is a third-year high school student who hates his life. His mother died in a car accident when he was young and his father drinks and gambles. Father and son fight and Tomoya is injured at one point, so he cannot lift one of his arms. Since then, Tomoya and his father are distant and Tomoya becomes more sullen and delinquent. One day while walking to school, he meets a strange girl named Nagisa Furukawa. She is a year older than he is but is repeating the year of school because she had been ill. Nagisa is often alone, as most of her friends have moved on. The two begin hanging out and slowly, as time goes by, Tomoya finds his life shifting in a new direction.

Clannad After Story

A few months have passed since Tomoya confessed his love to Nagisa. Now entering the second semester, he continues to meet new people and expand his circle of friends. His relationship with Nagisa is becoming more intimate and Tomoya begins to understand the meaning and importance of family. Unfortunately, as Tomoya and Nagisa begin their own family together, they are faced with many heart-wrenching hardships and challenges.

Angel Beats!

Otonashi lost his memories when he died. When he awakes he meets Yuri, the leader of the Shinda Sekai Sensen, a group that rebels against God for the cruel fates they have suffered. Their only enemy is Angel, who uses supernatural powers to battle against the SSS. Otonashi eventually regains his memory and befriends Angel, but as students around them prepare to move on from the afterlife, Otonashi and Angel are destined to be apart.

Ano Hana

After the death of their close friend Meiko Honma, five childhood playmates grow apart. The leader of the group, Jinta Yadomi, neglects high school and lives as a recluse. One day he begins seeing the Meiko’s ghost, which can only interact with him and no one else. She has returned to ask Jinta to fulfill the forgotten wish she made as a kid. Trouble is, Meiko can’t remember her wish and Jinta must bring all of the friends together to help. Things get complicated and emotional as each friend reveals that they feel responsible for Meiko’s death.

Take this Poll!

Why do you love sad anime?

  • I love a good cry!
  • They are so romantic!
  • The big eyes are so cute when they're filled with tears.
  • It helps me with my own life problems.
See results without voting

Grave of the Fireflies

Fourteen-year-old Seita and his four-year-old sister Setsuko are orphaned after their mother is killed during an air-raid by American forces in Kobe, Japan. After a falling-out with their aunt, the children move into an abandoned bomb shelter. With no surviving relatives and their emergency funds and rations depleted, Seita and Setsuko struggle to survive their hardships as well as those of their country, which is on the losing end of the war. The story is told in a series of flashbacks.

5 Centimeters Per Second

Tono Takaki and Shinohara Akari were inseparable as children but grow apart when one of them moves away. They exchange letters, but the distance between them increases as time moves on. Years pass and the rift between them grows ever larger, but as an adult Takaki remembers the time he shared with his friend. As life unfolds, he wonders if he will ever see Akari again. He embarks on a journey to find her and the story unfolds, from both friends’ perspective.

Air

A boy, Yukio Kunisaki, goes on a journey to search for the “girl in the sky” that his now-dead mother would sing about when he was a child. He decides he must find the girl in order to finish his mother’s life journey. In order to earn some money, he stops in a town a performs a puppet show. Yukito meets three strange girls named Misuzu Kamio, Kano Kirishima, and Minagi Tohno, and begins to suspect that one of them may in fact be the girl he has been searching for. He quickly becomes friends with Misuzu, who invites him to stay with her. Yukito puts his search on hold, delaying the journey that his mother had left unfinished.

Elfen Lied

The name comes from the German “Elves’ Song.” The Diclonius is a more evolved species that looks like humans. It is said that the Diclonius will eventually become the destruction of mankind. It has two horns and a "sixth sense,” which gives it telekinetic abilities. Because they are dangerous, they are held in captivity in laboratories.

Lucy is a young and psychotic Diclonius. She manages to break free and brutally murders most of the guards in the laboratory, only to be shot in the head as she escapes. Wounded, she makes her way to a beach where two teenagers discover her. Lucy has lost her memory and can barely speak, uttering only the word “Nyuu.” This becomes her name and her personality becomes more child-like as well. The teenagers, Kouta and Yuka, take her home, but the government is pursuing Lucy.

True Tears

Shinichiro is a very artistic student who lives at home with his parents. When Hiromi, a popular girl from school, moves in with his family Shinichiro senses that she is sad inside despite her outwardly cheerful behavior. At school Hiromi is all-smiles but at home she treats Shinichiro coldly. Shinichiro has other problems too: His friend Nobuse teases him and a strange girl has put a curse on him.

Kanon

Yuichi Aizawa returns to the city of his childhood after having left abruptly seven years earlier. Whatever it was that caused him to leave, he has blocked out the memory. On the day after he gets settled in, he tours the city with his cousin who leaves him briefly on a sidewalk. A strange girl carrying a backpack with wings on it bumps into him. Her name is Tsukimiya Ayu and she immediately confesses a minor crime she has just committed. Yuichi meets four other girls, each with their own bizarre story, and begins to piece together the memories he had lost.

Chrono Crusade

The year is 1928 and the place is New York City. The economic prosperity that followed World War I cannot hide the presence of something dark and sinister: a lurking demonic force. As members of the Magdalene Order, exorcist Sister Rosette Christopher and her assistant Chrono fight demons, which will stop at nothing to disrupt the balance of heaven and earth. Rosette and Chronos are not just exorcists, they are also on a quest to find Rosette's missing brother, Joshua. Their relationships, secrets, and fates are revealed throughout the series.

Myself; Yourself

Sana Hidaka returns to his hometown after having lived in Tokyo for five years. As he walks the streets, he feels uneasy. On a detour to his apartment, he notices a girl in a shrine-maiden outfit watching him. He finds out the next day at school that the girl is his childhood friend, Nanaka Yatsushiro, but she has changed. Once sweet and innocent, Nanaka is now depressed and sad. Sana still harbors his old crush on Nanaka but it isn’t clear that she even recognizes him.

Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (Rumbling Hearts)

Takayuki Narumi is set up with a girl but he cannot follow through with it. Later, Takayuki is planning to meet the girl again but he is delayed and she gets into an accident. She slips into a coma that lasts for three years and awakens to tell Takayuki that she wants to see him again.

Full Moon wo Sagashite

Twelve-year-old Kouyama Mitsuki is devastated when she is diagnosed with a malignant tumor of the throat. She had made a promise to the boy she loves that she would one day become a singer, but the illness makes singing impossible. To make matters even worse, two angels of death, Takuto and Meroko, appeared to Mitsuki and informed her that she only had one year left to live. Now Mitsuki is even more motivated to fulfill her dreams, and with a little bit of divine intervention, she begins her quest to become a professional singer.

A Tale of Melodies picks up where the first adaptation, The Tale of Memories leaves off. It tells the tale of two couples, Kuze and Mizuki and Yuuko and Yuu. Alternating between the past and present, as well as between two different twin-cities, the story reveals the connections all of the characters share, as well as their tragic past. When Himura Yuu meets Amamiya Yuuko, she seems to know him but he doesn't know her. But he soon remembers that he knew her long ago and she shares a secret: He was her first love and her first love has not ended yet. The second couple’s story follows Shuuichi Kuze and Hayama Mizuki. They spend a lot of time together, but unknown to Mizuki, Kuze had contracted a fatal illness and has little time left to live. Kuze decides to break all romantic ties, but things get complicated when Mizuki tells him that she loves him.

Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora

During the winter, Yuichi is hospitalized for hepatitis. He tries to escape from the hospital but is beat up by the nurse. One day he meet Rika, another teenager, in the next hospital building. He is fascinated by her beauty, but she is very selfish. When Rika tells him about her illness, a weak heart valve, he understands why she acts the way she does: She doesn't have long to live.

Take this Poll!

Which of these is your favorite?

  • Clannad
  • Clannad After Story
  • Angel Beats!
  • Ano Hana
  • Grave of the Fireflies
  • 5 Centimeters Per Second
  • Air
  • Elfen Lied
  • True Tears
  • Kanon
  • Chrono Crusade
  • Myself; Yourself
  • Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
  • Full Moon wo Sagashite
  • Ef: A Tale of Melodies
  • Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora
See results without voting

This is Where You Get to Have a Say 196 comments

marsha32 5 years ago

my daughters love any kind of anime


VANILLAREY LM profile image

VANILLAREY LM 5 years ago

Thanks for the list. I will check some of the Anime mentioned above.


JoshK47 5 years ago

Great list - I need to get more in tune with anime, I think!


MusicOnTheRoad 5 years ago

I love Clannad :D


cuteordeath profile image

cuteordeath 5 years ago

This is a great list. Now and Then, Here and There is also extremely sad (and good!)


Lironah LM profile image

Lironah LM 5 years ago

My favorite is a bit older than all of these - Wolf's Rain.


mma_rabbit 5 years ago

Clannad is soooo sad....... :'[


clannad 5 years ago

the Clannad series all the way to after After Story is saddest anime EVER..........


Sopedogg 5 years ago

@clannad: Yeah i agree it was sooo sad


wilfredpadilla profile image

wilfredpadilla 5 years ago

I like your lens.


anonymous 4 years ago

you guys should put "Ano hi mita hana no namae wo bokutachi wa mada shiranai" on the list. it's a really sad anime its about a group consisting of 6 chilhood friends who drifted apart after highschool. one of the group members comes back to the leader to have her wish granted, and to unite all friends back. of course i don't want to tell you the spoillers so it makes it seem eh without me telling you why they separated and why that member is still around


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: yes ano hana <3


anonymous 4 years ago

Clannad


Iratesniper 4 years ago

clannad and clannad: afterstory! it will make you cry, you'll fall in love with it.


ChronicTheHempHog 4 years ago

wolf's rain is a sad anime the beautiful music in the background with the sadness will bring tears to your eyes.


daniel125 profile image

daniel125 4 years ago

clannad after story is the first anime that make me cry


anonymous 4 years ago

Wolfs rain is soo sad D:


anonymous 4 years ago

Clannad afterstory FTW


anonymous 4 years ago

i just finish watching angel beats and i lost it. clannad after story was good but angel beats took it.


anonymous 4 years ago

Best anime

1.Elfen Lied

2.Kimi ga nozomu eien (rumbling hearts)

3.Ef a tale of memories/melodies

4.Kanon 2006

5.Air

6.Myself Yourself

7.Lamune


anonymous 4 years ago

Best top anime romance/drama

1.Elfen Lied

2.Kimi ga nozomu eien (rumbling hearts)

3.Ef a tale of memories/melodies

4.Kanon 2006

5.Air

6.Myself Yourself

7.Lamune


anonymous 4 years ago

wheres H2o footprints in the sand


anonymous 4 years ago

One piece is sad story too......i


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: LOL!!

try to watch Angle Beats and then tell me if One Piece is a sad story......


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: Not even close to being as sad as any of these other ones.


kinsy25 4 years ago

My top ones: Elfen Lied followed by Angel Beats - Though i think i'd also include Tokyo Magnitude 8 somewhere in my top 5/10 too.


anonymous 4 years ago

Monkey is right, H2O: footprints in the sand is probably sadder than any of these other ones, except /possibly/ clannad after story.


anonymous 4 years ago

Code Geass have a sad end =\


DesignSpace profile image

DesignSpace 4 years ago

If people like sad anime, they should check out Gunslinger Girl. It's a shot series, maybe 14 episodes long, but the ending makes me cry rivers every time...

Loved this lens, spotted a few on this list I haven't seen yet. :)


anonymous 4 years ago

Clannad, both seasons. My all time favorite anime series, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.


anonymous 4 years ago

Elfen Lied is the saddest story ever told. It is gut-wrenchingly sad and way too misunderstood in terms of its content.


The One Stop Shop profile image

The One Stop Shop 4 years ago

Really nice lens, great job!


hannah-johnson-144181 4 years ago

I still haven't found a good way to get out of that "sad anime funk"

after you watch a sad anime...you all no what I'm talking about right? I have dreams and shit about it...it's horrible.


anonymous 4 years ago

@hannah-johnson-144181: true how it grows on you

once u watch it u can't find anything similar too it


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: every time when i hear lilium it almost brings tears into my eyes

really a masterpiece


anonymous 4 years ago

@anonymous: I couldn't cry too many naked little girls... i felt way too creepy


anonymous 4 years ago

What about Ano Hana? It's a very sad one too.


anonymous 4 years ago

Angel Beats! is my favorite anime of all time. I've watched it at least three times, and I'm going to watch it again soon. It makes me cry every time. It's the perfect blend of comedy, action, tragedy, and suspense/mystery. I absolutely love the art, the story line is well thought out, and I really love the incorporation of music. If you're looking for a really good anime that will make you cry and laugh, definitely go with Angel Beats! :D

Also, Ano Hana is really good! (Just finished watching that)


anonymous 4 years ago

why is angel beats here? it was not even close to samurai x ovas. it was completely confusing not to mention its childish and stupid story line. clannad was way better.


fifinn 4 years ago

nice lense, but I don't really like sad anime


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: its not stupid its sad at the end to me


anonymous 3 years ago

if any of you have watched Ga-Rei:Zero you know its the saddest anime ever


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I was wondering why it wasn't on the list. It was the first time I have ever cried watching an anime or developed an emotional attachment to a main character.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I don't know if you watched the whole story, but in my opinion, it's definitely sad. Especially the last episode, i won't say it's tearjerking, but it definitely leaves you hating the author for a period of time


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: YES! Ano Hana is just such a beautiful anime and of course incredible sad...


Kalafina profile image

Kalafina 3 years ago

I knew Elfen Lied would be here. It's so sad when they kill Lucy's puppy to torment her. Elfen lied reveals how the cruelty of humanity ends in sorrow every time. Code geass is so sad too. Love the lens! Blessed!


onepieceiszebest 3 years ago

I have watched most on this list but one piece is definitely the saddest.


anonymous 3 years ago

I'm surprised witchblade isn't on here. It's the saddest anime I've seen so far


anonymous 3 years ago

Puella Magi Madoka Magica should be up there. It was really emotional and made me cry no matter how many times I'd watch it.


bakuganbakumon 3 years ago

One piece is definitely the winner and everybody who watched it will agree with me.

Clannad after story was sad but there were only 3 scenes !!!

But one piece made me tear up/teary eyed at least 20 times. Guys check it out and you'll agree.


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Agreed


anonymous 3 years ago

Were is the Madoka Magica :P? maybe you haven't watched it.


BenjaminMBrown profile image

BenjaminMBrown 3 years ago

I didn't even realize this was its own category of anime!...but now I do! Thanks...


anonymous 3 years ago

Black Butler / Kuroshitsuji was seriously tear-jerking. I am shocked it isn't on here- sure, there are some comic reliefs, but it is still one of the darkest and saddest animes i have every watched, Elfen Lied excluded.

Summary:

In the 1800's Victorian London, 10-year-old Ciel Phantomhive looses his parents in a fire, and shortly thereafter is taken and abused for a month by a band of cultists. Losing his faith in God, he contracts a demon to serve him until the end - Sebastian Michaelis. Going under the disguise of a butler, Sebastian serves Ciel in his cause to avenge his parents and humiliate the ones responsible, marking Ciel with a pentacle on his right eye as proof of the promise.

Two years later, Ciel is publicly an Earl of some renown, owning a successful toy making company and having the perfect butler. However, he has side job-- The Queen's Guard Dog. It is Ciel's responsibility to rid London of it's criminal underground, solving cases such as Jack The Ripper. Using this job passed down from his father, Ciel makes himself a nuisance to the darker side of Britain, intending to provoke his captors out into the open, and then move Sebastian in for checkmate. Of course, there is a catch for Sebastian's hard work-- Once he grants Ciel his wish of revenge, he will devour his soul.


anonymous 3 years ago

@bakuganbakumon: that's because onepiece has over 500 episodes while clanned has limited


anonymous 3 years ago

i've watched all the anime that tearjerking, i've watched ano hana, angel beats, clannad,elfen lied, it's depend's on your own opinion what is the saddest, i can say i love them and i'll never forget the rest of the story, by the way one piece have to much episodes and i can't watch all of them. i think this is a sadest anime list with 50 episodes or less :/


mysterrio 3 years ago

This lens is pretty cool. I'm not up on all the Anime and this lens helped me a lot. Thank You


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I finished watching the entirety of Kuroshitsuji (in the original Japanese with subs) not more than a week ago, and having watched Angel Beats and now Elfen Lied myself, I can't say I recall ever having been said in Black Butler, except for the rare moments where Elizabeth is in danger or something. Kuroshitsuji in general is a very disjointed show that can't make up its mind what direction it wants to take, and being that it deviates so far from the manga, it probably can't be helped. It was a good show, I guess, but it doesn't deserve to even be called a "sad' anime, just a "dark" or "weird" one.


animelover2925 3 years ago

@bakuganbakumon: I totally agree with you and im still currently watching onepiece


anonymous 3 years ago

I have seen a few on here. Most of them I haven't watched, ano Hana was so sad I was bawling on the last episodes. Also clannad is pretty sad, but I don't particularly love it. Buuut the most tragic anime I have ever seen is elfen lied ( I saw this one on DVD that was hands down the best thing ever and so frickin sad I can't even. Its crappy I forgot the name, though) elfen lied was very dark and disturbing and not something a girl my age should watch. But the story had me crying like a little bitch, and still a good anime considering it was 13 episodes short. I also really enjoy full moon would sagashite I'm watching it right now.


anonymous 3 years ago

Well this is a very helpful list and as soon as I finish my current anime, which is death note I will start watching these animes one by one.


anonymous 3 years ago

Right when i saw clannad i had goosepumps and tragic memories of my past watching this


Naru-kun 3 years ago

Any anime you truly enjoy is always a tear-jerker, for we all know that all good things come to an end...


anonymous 3 years ago

Has no one mentioned 'Uninstall'? That made me cry so much....


Livine 3 years ago

very good anime list =)


Sword Art Online!!! 2 years ago

Hey does no one think of Sword Art Online?! Hands down saddest anime EVER. Funny at times, too. But when Yui dissapears... My heart is a puddle.


joshua 2 years ago

Good list I've seen about half just surprised guilty crowns not on the list


anonymous 2 years ago

@Sword Art Online!!! Have you seen any of the animes on this list? Sword Art Online is good, but it does not belong on the list.


misya 2 years ago

The saddest anime I have ever seen is Kamisama no inai nichiyoubi, I cried so much watching it especially episode 3. I didn't cry watching any of the ones listed on this site though.


noob 2 years ago

Clannad / After story

Angel beats

Air

Anohana

Kanon


Kiro 2 years ago

Aww.. no H2O footprints in the sand..


Churmaru 2 years ago

Kotoura-san Very sad anime from the start!


Oscar 2 years ago

Saikano... You will die in a pool of feels........


tiagodamiao profile image

tiagodamiao 2 years ago from Torres Novas

Like anyone that comment here, I am an anime fan for years. But only this year I saw Clannad. That anime was the best anime "slice of life" type I saw in my intire life! And I search the next days for one like it, but none. Neither Kanon, Golden Time, etc.

I never saw angel beats, air, ef, etc only because I am waiting to see them on the future. Waiting to feel what I feel when I saw clannad. But I know it will not be the same. Good hub.


anon. 2 years ago

O_0

fairy tail, clannad, and magi: kingdom of magic made me cry


xan 23 months ago

what about basilisk


Bluebear-san 23 months ago

And now, SAO II Mother's Rosario is on the list......


anonny 23 months ago

I watched clannad to the first half of after story, where I stopped, because... it was just so god damn boring, also could not find this sad at all tbh o.O

Elfenlied was making me pretty emotional when Kouta forgives Lucy for what she had done to him, and the saddest movie I have seen so far was definitely grave of the fireflies. Makes me cry like a little child every time I watch it


Emotion? 23 months ago

I think Guilty Crown is a sad anime but I didn't cry so much.It's just emotional.And I think the songs are all great.You should listen to the english version or see lyrics translation.


Aidan 23 months ago

I think clannad is the saddest and I'm only a kid


Pikachu 23 months ago

I want to add dat I think

Selector Infected WIXOSS

Selector Spread WIXOSS

Are the most emotional anime series I no(I only watched 5 anime series)


Me 22 months ago

OH MY GOD!!! Somebody who has heard of/seen Hanbun no tsuki ga noboru sora! That was literally my favorite anime of all time and yet nobody who I know has seen it ! Thank you so much for putting it on this list!!!


Shirasu 22 months ago

I think the saddest anime is Donten Ni Warau - Laugh under the clouds.

It's an epic japanese production, Donten Ni Warau is a comedy, tragedy and, first of all, live lesson.

That "cartoon" teaches us we should laught in sadness, laugh when we are happy and always laugh!

It's a story about love, brotherhood and family ties.

Donten Ni Warau deserves respect, but, unfortunately, is underestimated.


JJ 21 months ago

This list is absolutely amazing but I also recommend Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 if you really like sad anime.


:/ 20 months ago

I loved Ellen lied, I cried every time I 'rewatched it


... 20 months ago

clannad afterstory


anonymous 20 months ago

GUILTY CROWN!!! PLEASE watch it. My heart is still wailing.


Mayomi Kurosawa 20 months ago

I havw a few anime that you HAVE to add-

Guilty Crown

Golden Time

Tales of the abyss

Inu x boku ss

Red data girl

Amnesia

Sunday without god

The garden of words

Eden*


MrDatFoxy 20 months ago

Akame Ga Kill has one hell of a sad story. All starting with Tatsumi (a contry boy) joining a n assassination group, after seeing what they really do.


AnonymousFrogMaster 20 months ago

I just finished watching Shigatsu Wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April), and I think that it should be added to this list as well. I don't cry. Period. This one broke through my shell. I'm now finally watching through Angel Beats, as it was recommended by some friends. I might just not be connecting with the characters or something, but it is mild compared to Shigatsu Wa Kimi no Uso. To be fair, I am only on episode 3. From the sounds of it, my opinion will change by the end of the series.


#kell kell 20 months ago

I think Elfen Lied is the saddest anime I have ever seen even though I am an anime freak at the age of twelve I have watched anime longer than all of you have but I think Elfen Lied is the most emotional anime ever!Why wouldn't it be......Lucy like kills his family in front of him.I play the song Lilium on my guitar and I fall into tears as soon as I finish it.....really sad guys.....


Anon 19 months ago

Watch Mirai Nikki / Future Diary


No Bo Dy 19 months ago

Where Is SHIGATSU WA KIMI NO USO??????

I mean , its sadder than true tears ya know .


Victoria 19 months ago

Just watched Grave of the Fireflies. If you're gonna watch it, bring a box of tissues. It's based on a true story :/


JM 19 months ago

Just finished watching Grave of Fireflies. Cried so hard. Never gonna forget it.


Paige 18 months ago

You're Lie In April is by far the most depressing anime I have ever seen, it pulls you in and leaves you ripped apart.


Tadashi 18 months ago

Clannad and Clannad After Story brought the feels. Teared up and cried a few times throughout. To bad one event was spoiled for me. D: Why do people have to spoil things...


Aeoka 18 months ago

Air TV was the first anime that brought tears to my eyes. It's stuck with me since.


¥_¥ 18 months ago

I had to turn Anno Hana off so many times because I couldn't deal with how sad it was. Even thinking about it makes my heart hurt and tears to my eyes. I love it and I'm glad I watched it, but it was definitely tough. The worst part is I thought that it was going to be an upbeat anime. Nope. Don't read about it before watching just watch it.


Alfha 18 months ago

maybe is it just me actually the saddest anime i ever watch is shigatsu wa kimi no uso , myself yourself and full moon wa sagashite but for some reason i didn't felt sad and for some reason i feel boring if i watch air, clannad, ef a tale of memories and melodies, angel beat, ano hana, true tears, grave of the fireflies, chrono crusade and elfen lied


anonymous 18 months ago

my favorite is on the top :')


yuki 18 months ago

Anohana is sad,but in my opinion you should watch your lie in April(shigatsu wa kimi no uso).like someone above said it will tear u apart.I think it is the saddest anime I have seen till now.


Cosmostar Wu 18 months ago

Your lie in April is without doubt the saddest anime I've seen. Afterstory and Angel Beat had me tearing up a little at most but, YLIA had me crying."Was I able to live inside someone’s heart? Was I able to live inside your heart?

"Do you think you’ll remember me at least a little? You’d better not hit "reset!" Don’t forget me, okay? That’s a promise, okay? I'm glad it’s you, after all. Will I reach you? I hope I can reach you."


shya 18 months ago

I LOVE Angel beats I think its what started my love for sad anime's to be honest so that reason alone it will always hold a special place in my heart as best sad anime and I'm gonna argue and say that one persons opinion is work I mean I may not agree but u know if that's what u like and find sad so be it ya know


shya 18 months ago

Sorry meant not gonna argue


Sykat 17 months ago

no matter what GoTF is saddest anime ever.


yt 16 months ago

'Plastic Memories' and 'Your Lie in April' ? :)


kaminoken 16 months ago

Rainbow should be in top 3 !!!!!!! It is really saddest anime i have ever watched.


Otaku Cloud 16 months ago

guys, you all realize that some (tho few) of the ones you've been naming weren't out when this list was made, right?


salad queen 15 months ago

clannad after story and true tears were the saddest for me


Clannad forever 15 months ago

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!! DONT READ THE REST IF YOU HAVENT WATCHED THE CLANNAD SERIES OR DIDNT FINISH THE SERIES!!!!!

Put a crying face if you cried during this:

Ushio: daddy?

Tomoya: yes ushio?

Ushio: I love you

Tomoya: daddy loves you too so much.

Ushio dies

Tomoya: Ushio? Ushio!


Ben 15 months ago

Shigatsu wa kimi no uso (your lie in april) is, hands down, BY FAR the most sad and depressing anime I've ever seen. It's really underrated.


miyazonokaori 14 months ago

where is shigatsu wa kimi no uso?


Da Baman 14 months ago

Berserk.

Berserk is a manga/show/movie trilogy about a man who was born from his mother's corpse, named Guts, raped at the age of 8, and hardened into a war machine.

He was contracted into a mercenary group where he learned how to be human, how to let others be around him, and how he could finally find comfort in the arms of another.

Until a scene so horrific that Game of Thrones wouldn't dare try it, where Guts lost everybody close to him, was branded as a sacrifice to the demons of the Earth, and forced to watch as the only woman who ever loved him was raped violently in from of him by his closest friend, ripping off his let arm in an attempt to save her, only to get pinned down by demons whilst having his right eye gouged out.

When he woke up after his rescue, his lover was completely mentally regressed, even being terrified of Guts.

This drove Guts over the edge and turned him into a brutal sadistic one-man army out to violently kill every demon out there with his 400 pound sword, his cannon arm, arrows, knives, teeth, or his shaking hands.

Essentially, Berserk is about what happens when you take absolutely everything away from a man whose life was starting to look good.


14 months ago

Plastic memories should be on here too! Amazing show!


Ygor 14 months ago

Yes, Plastic Memories was very sad, but i though the end was more beautiful than tragic.

Clannad After Story is in fact a master piece, the only thing i didn't really got into was it's fantasy factor in the very ending so i give it a 9,9 of 10,0

Ano Hana also has that feeling of sad HAPPY ending, which is not bad at all, I wouldn't have made it diferent 10/10 (not better than Clannad though)

Regarding Shigatsu... AMAZING... the only way to describe that. it has not just another sad ending... the way they made it show us how there is no accidental encounter in life: both (the caracters) were destinated to meet each other in order to mutually grow...If you believe in life after death (or life after life ;) it is A TOTALY MUST WATCHING SHOW in my opinion. - If by some reason you decide not to watch, do yourself a favour and listen to the SOUNDTRACK 10/1o

I don't really speak or whrite in english, so i probably made some mistakes - hope to have made myself undestandable.

still have to watch some of the animes in this list

ps: If you guys are starting to get depressed by all this "tragedy consumption" try to refresh with animes like: Kimi ni todoke, Umaru-chan, Gekkan Shoujo or another happy/comedy show xD


iviskei profile image

iviskei 13 months ago from In your computer, stealing your internet.

Great list! I was just thinking to myself that I should find something that gives me the feels. Most anime these days just doesn't do it, but I'm sure that's because I've worn myself out with the typical tropes.

Again, thank you for the great list! It was very concise and exactly what I was looking for.


Reika 11 months ago

There isn't Hotarubi no Mori E in here...


Jade 11 months ago

Anohana is the saddest anime on this list.

If you like fillers and harem anime's, Clannad is for you.


ZacAttackLeader 11 months ago

While Clannad was pretty sad, I can not say I did not expect the ending for the first season.

It really upsets me that Your Lie In April is not apart of this list. This is easily the most beautiful anime and had a wonderful soundtrack to follow that Clannad can not achieve.

I do agree that Anohana was emotional, I still cry just watching that last episode.

I was told that Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 was pretty sad. It had a sad story, but I feel since I was going through a rough patch in life, it did not hit me as hard as the others did.

I hope this list gets updated soon.


Almostotaku 11 months ago

plastic memories super sad... beat out angel beats for me.


Dee 10 months ago

Ef: A Tale of Memories was much sadder than Ef: A Tale of Melodies


kotobukijake profile image

kotobukijake 10 months ago

Very interesting list you have there. Personally I have seen roughly the first half of the list (everything up to Elfen Lied), and the two ef series. ef is a bit TOO artsy to hit me in the old tear ducts the way most of the others do (not quite Air, as it's always struck me as really odd, and Elfen Lied is incredibly sad but not the first anime I think of for a list like this). There is no doubt that, as many would claim, Clannad: After Story and Grave of the Fireflies are such perfect choices for this list that they're almost cheating, while I am also deeply moved by Clannad, Angel Beats!, AnoHana and 5 Centimeters per Second (that last one is actually straight-up depressing). The others you mention are mostly on my radar (I own Chrono Crusade and Rumbling Hearts), but True Tears and Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora are new to me--I'll hopefully give em a look. A couple suggestions for your list. First, the movie The Skycrawlers is incredibly, depressingly sad. Second, two of the most beautifully heartbreaking, tearjerking shows out there are Kino's Journey and Someday's Dreamers II: Sora. If you have not seen these I highly recommend them. There are a lot of other shows that'll bring out the tears too, whether it's from digust and repulsion at the depravity of man (Death Parade and Hell Girl), the warm and fuzzies from deeply moving romance (Maison Ikkoku and Toradora) or a visceral reaction from baldly manipulative Romeo and Juliet-meets-Book of Job-meets shoujo magical girl series (Fushigi Yugi), or even sheer, blinding rage (the 3rd OVA to Fushigi Yugi). Anyway, once again I enjoyed reading about your favorite sad anime.


marky 10 months ago

Plastic Memories anyone?


Steve 9 months ago

Im Extremely sorry but where tf is Shigatsu wa kimi no uso ?? It kind of beats everything on that list (multiplied by each other )


Mappa Joel 9 months ago

Plastic Memories for me the best romance anime but also the saddest.


some_dude 8 months ago

well for me.....i've seen akame ga kill and tokyo magnitude 8.0 and they both were sad by their own way.....but i beleive there are other that i didn't watch bcz i generally read manga more than watching anime


RachaelLefler profile image

RachaelLefler 8 months ago from Illinois

I'm sort of old-school but I would also add NGE and Wolf's Rain :)


ClassyDragon 8 months ago

Shigatsu wa kimi no uso or Your lie in April is definitley the saddest anime EVER

(imo)


Aria 8 months ago

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Is the saddest... I place this above everything else in this list...

Everything else pales in comparison....


Milky Venom 8 months ago

I found Clannad so boring! I'm impressed so many people liked it!

(everyone has different tastes and I have no problem with that :)


anon 8 months ago

Where's Your Lie in April


Samantha 7 months ago

Wolf's Rain is what truly got me. :(


Tristen 7 months ago

Guilty crown should be the saddest anime


Matsusitha 6 months ago

Anohana is the best.. ;)


Uh huh 6 months ago

Cory in the House is the saddest anime.


Hades 6 months ago

Your Lie in April.... I don't remember the last time i cried but this... it just, the ending was awesome with the letter.


Jack 6 months ago

I like toradora but it's not on the list


friend a 6 months ago

Your lie in April should be on this list it makes me cry every time I remember what happened in episode 22


Blank 5 months ago

Charlotte one that has been pushed aside on this list. There is a greater amount of sadness than any other feeling, the whole show is a tearjerker. other than that great list!


AnimeFreak 5 months ago

How is Akame Ga Kill not on the list?


TechnoMasterBoy 5 months ago

This site described Elfen Lied INCORRECTLY...

"A species of mutants is held in captivity, but when one escapes to seek revenge on humans she is injured and undergoes a personality change."

"MUTANTS"

"Personality Change"

Like, seriously...?

You clearly need to rewatch Elfen Lied.

Also, "Elfen Lied" translates to "Elf Song", not “Elves’ Song.”...


Lik-san 5 months ago

every time i think the sad ending of Angel Beats i cryyyy T_T


Ellie 5 months ago

Please don't watch the full moon anime. It sucks compared to the manga. They left out so many important details and plot points and changed things and I was so annoyed by this. The manga is absolutely AMAZING.


Alec 5 months ago

Glad AnoHana was on this list, if it wasn't one of the saddest anime, and I cried that much, I'm not sure I would be willing to watch anything on this list lol


Shoujofanthatsall 5 months ago

Im sad that Your Lie in April' and Hotaru movie, even the girl who leapt through time is not on the list... But what I am most sad about is there's no Ghibli on the list? "The wind Rises" dude


Shadowblade 5 months ago

add Ansatsu Kyoushitsu

i dont care what anime is on this list

replace it with that ending :'(


eh lazy 5 months ago

You need to add Your Lie In April. God that f'd me up. I was crying everytime I saw a piano and violin.


srv 5 months ago

Where in the hell is Shigatsu Wa Ki No Uso(Your Lie In April)?? You cant miss out out that


Anime 5 months ago

I can't believe black butler is not there it made me cry at the end of each ep I'm serious


Dimonic doge 5 months ago

i know 7 sad anime that shuld be up there, they didn't do there home work =/


DaAnimeOwl 5 months ago

I think that Plastic Memories should be on this list, it was soo sad ;-;


Lurima 5 months ago

For those who seek more of these kind of genre, try Boku dake ga inai machi :)


Anonymous 4 months ago

What about "Your lie in April" :(


potato chip 4 months ago

where is tokyo ghoul?


Art 4 months ago

where is orange, Tokyo ghoul, beyond the boundary, the girl who leap through time, Noragami

orange- epi.3

Tokyo Ghoul Root A- last epi. when hide died

Beyond the boundary(w/movie):all!

the girl who leap through time- ending!

Noragami- all!

and there are more!


cloud 4 months ago

Take a look at Re:Zero and see how it goes... I am still looking for a really good one, the above is just not painful enough... I know, it's not based on the latest animes and now is a good time to refresh your list :D


Meetcho 4 months ago

Where is Your Lie in April????


Hiroshi 4 months ago

You should put Your lie in April and Inari kon kon koi iroha. Its the saddest one I've watched tho, mostly YLIA


ju 4 months ago

there is this anime called "shigatsu wa kimi no uso" its about a pianist who falls in love with a sick violinist .watch it and cry ...


wahyu 4 months ago

why these all are about dying girls? Aren't there anime which make people sad bcause the male main character dies? well, i just think that those animes show us the reality : women are always weaker than men.

can anybody tell me romantic animes which the male main character are dying?


[] 3 months ago

No Guilty crown?


Alfie 3 months ago

Plastic memories is an amazing anime.... I'm still sobbing from it and this is the 5th time I've watched it


Vivek 3 months ago

Yes.... Shigatsu WA Kimi no Uso(Your lie in April) comes on top with Clannad/Anohana/Angelbeats/TokyoGhoul/Guiltycrown/, the Factor "Tragic" is what makes these anime Unforgettable and I don't think I will ever Forget till the last moments of my life


Rebellionite 3 months ago

A Lie in April was really sad too Q.Q


Haki shizuku 3 months ago

Plastic memory too it is sad


Unknown_User123 3 months ago

Plastic Memory and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April). Really deserve to be in this list


Agustin 3 months ago

What about Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso? It is really sad


Banzaibob 2 months ago

Zankyo no terror


Hinata 2 months ago

Ipits not on this list but I think one of my saddest anime I have watched was "Your Lie in April " I love the music in it to I cry ed so such to that anime. If your looking for a sad anime I think you should watch it/ try it.


crieveryti3m 2 months ago

Where is Your Lie in April? And why the hell is Angel Beats on here? I didn't even cry when I watched that.


trynot2cry 2 months ago

1. Anohana (sad atmosphere)

2. Your Lie in April (bittersweet)

3. Angel Beats (a couple of feels moment)

4. Plastic Memories (lesser version of #2)

5. Clannad (maybe it was top tier back then, but not anymore. Kinda boring except for some moments in After Story)

Elfen Lied manga was the one that made my tears almost fall out my eyes

Special Mention: Guilty Crown & Mirai Nikki, same reason as #2


Sadrene 2 months ago

Hey, what about Tokyo Magnitude 8.0? I mean, it's sadder than Anohana and Angel Beats. T_T


someone 2 months ago

5 Centimeters Per Second is so boring -.-


dont worry 2 months ago

your lie in April didn't make the list is insane. yes those are some sad ass anime but this is one that got me going every time.


Anon Ymous 2 months ago

your lie in April didn't make the list is insane. yes those are some sad ass anime but this is one that got me going every time.


Nick 2 months ago

why isnt there kaisatsu wa kimi no uso ... it surely belongs to the top 5 rank


Random guy #5564 2 months ago

Puella magi madoka magica. that's all i have to say


Pizzaboy 2 months ago

Ano Hana to me was the best i loved the story so much the last two episodes left me with a room full of tears


flo 8 weeks ago

tokyo ghoul is extrem emotional


Anonymous 7 weeks ago

Zankyou No Terror is the saddest anime I have ever seen just gonna put that out there


anonymous 6 weeks ago

Your Lie in April will definitely bring you to tears. One of the best.


anonymous 6 weeks ago

angel beats is the best so far


Person 5 weeks ago

There should have been dusk maiden of amnesia on the list


anon 5 weeks ago

orange needs to be added now!!!!


i dunno 5 weeks ago

i have only seen one of these but it is still one of my more favourite anime's in the world which is Angel beats, i love date a live which is a little echii but meh. but in all reality of course bleach would be the best it is really sad at times but meh its so good you can make attachments to so many of the people like ermergerd ;)


Nike 4 weeks ago

Yeah sure I think clanned and after story and even Angel beat was very heart touched anime


kiwibreath 4 weeks ago

WHY IS No.6 NOT ON HERE??????


Alen Decker 3 weeks ago

your lie in April should have made the top 10


Tara 3 weeks ago

This list needs to be updated can't believe you lie in April and plastic memories are still not even mentioned


Kevin 2 weeks ago

I can't believe Clannad was on this list, most boring anime I've ever watched


Ishimaru Masaya 2 weeks ago

Top ones are accurate. One's i cried during: Clannad AFTER STORY and Anohara. Not included Plastic Memories and Your Lie in April. Also solid: Air and 5 cents per second. I suggest skipping grave of the fireflies, was absolutely depressingly pointless (if you have seen the boy in the striped pajamas which is not an anime, you understand) and Clannad but you kinda have to do the first season before after story. I hope Elfen proves me wrong, but I am halfway through and have yet to see anything other than violence. I have seen 75% of theses series/movies so you can take what I say with a grain of salt, but I think this is a spectacular drama. I've watched hundreds of animes, and when I get bored I try to watch an emotional one. I look forward to this genres growth


dfg 2 weeks ago

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me 2 weeks ago

Little Busters! should be added to this list. Made by VisualArt's/Key, the same studio that made Clannad, Angel Beats, Air, Kanon, Charlotte, Rewrite and Planetarian. The producers of VisualArt's/Key are known as the "masters of feels." Anything they make is gonna make you cry or at least depress the hell outta you.


meh 13 days ago

You called this best sadest and tragic anime? You forgot Death Note and Code Geass, most tragic anime for all the time, the true hero who died miserebly to protect people, yet people not acknowledge them


FireQueen1 5 days ago

Um, where's Your Lie in April? That's the only anime I ever cried of

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