There are several distressing anime that will make you cry. Such depressing series often leave a mark on one’s life. There are series where viewers find the story and characters relatable and sometimes the character’s suffering makes their heart bleed. Viewers usually develop some sort of emotional attachment with the characters or the series. This series touches a person’s soul and often changes their views and outlook on life.
Here’s a list of the best sad and depressing anime that will make you cry.
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Anohana is one of the most famous anime that will make you cry for a reason. It’s a short anime by A-1 pictures based on just 11 episodes that will leave you in tears by far the most emotional anime.
The story of the anime shows how a group of six friends comes to an end after the death of one of their friends “Menma”, Meiko Honma in an accident. It shows how her death affects the other friends and their lives. Jintan, the group leader had become a recluse. He withdraws himself from society and doesn’t attend school. He had developed mental health issues and blamed himself for the incident that happened five years ago.
One day, Menma appears in her grown form and tells him to fulfill her wish as she can’t go to the afterlife without her wish being fulfilled. Even though Menma doesn’t remember her wish, Jintan tries to help her. At first, he feels he’s hallucinating but then he starts gathering his childhood friends.
Things become complicated as the other friends can’t see Menma, so they accuse Jintan of not getting over her death. Menma eventually shows her presence in front of everyone to prove she’s real. The story progresses as the group helps Menma to move on to helping each other move on and grow closer again.
Anohana is a must-watch. It’s ranked as one of the best sad anime. This show, without any doubt, will leave you in tears.
A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice is an anime movie produced by the studio Kyoto Animation. The series originally was a manga written and drawn by Yoshitoki Ōima, later on, adapted as an anime movie in 2016. If you are looking for an anime that will make you cry then this is one of those anime movies that you must watch.
As an elementary school student, ‘Shouya Ishida’ chooses to beat his boredom in the cruelest ways possible. When a deaf transfer student ‘Shouko Nishimiya’ joins the school, Shouya along with his friends and classmates thoughtlessly bully her for fun.
But when Shouko’s mother gets to know about the bullying, she informs the school, and Shouya gets all the blame and eventually signed out. With this, Shouko transfers out of the school.
Shouya was then ostracized throughout his elementary and middle school. He was left alone with guilt and even tries to commit suicide. In his third year of high school, he finally decides to set out on a journey of redemption and looks for Shouko. The movie shows us how they finally reunite and how he makes honest attempts to redeem himself while continually being haunted by the burden of his past wrongdoings.
Banana Fish, originally a manga series written and illustrated by Akimi Yoshida, was adapted into an anime by MAPPA in 2018. It’s a tragic story that displays the sufferings of the past and present of the characters. This anime will make you cry and set you sad for the journey stated in it.
Aslan Jade Callenrees or Ash Lynx, was a runaway picked off the streets of New York City and raised by the infamous godfather of the mafia, Dino Golzine. At the age of 17, Ash had his gang and gets his hands on a mysterious drug called “Banana Fish”-the same two words his older brother, Griffin, had muttered since his return from the Iraq War.
However, his investigation was hindered when Dino sends his men to retrieve the drug from Ash at an underground bar he uses as a hideout.
At the bar, Skip, Ash’s friend, introduces him to Shunichi Ibe and his assistant, Eiji Okumura, who are Japanese photographers reporting on American street gangs. However, their conversation gets interrupted when Shorter Wong, one of Ash’s allies, calls to warn him about Dino. Soon, Dino’s men storm the bar, and in the ensuing chaos kidnap Skip and Eiji.
The Story progresses as Ash tries to find a way to rescue them and continue his investigation into Banana Fish. But the future holds something else for him. The history he had with the mafia, would it let him succeed?
Tokyo Revengers is a new Action Sci-fi trending anime by Studio Puyukai, that has made its name into the top list of the best anime. It was the best-selling manga in 2021 and even crossed the sales of One Piece. The manga, written and illustrated by Ken Wakui, is currently ongoing and season 2 is also information.
The opening song of the show also earned many views and love from the audience. The first season consists of only 24 episodes. The deaths of major characters are what make the anime even sadder for most of the viewers.
The main character Takeichi Hanagaki was living an empty and unsatisfying life. He was then sent back to the past, twelve years back where he tries to fix things in his life. The story shows how he reckons with the eventual fate of his friends and tries to prevent an unfortunate future.
Takemichi’s girlfriend and her brother were killed by the Tokyo Manji gang. When he learns he can alter the flow of time, he goes back in time to prevent her girlfriend’s tragic fate but in doing so, unknown and harsh turns of events take place.
Tokyo Revengers is considered the best new-gen anime and is a must-watch.
Grave of Fireflies
Grave of the Fireflies is a 1988 Japanese animated war tragedy film based on the 1967 semi-autobiographical short story of the same name by Akiyuki Nosaka. It was written and directed by Isao Takahata, and animated by Studio Ghibli.
The film shows a young boy and his little sister struggling to survive in Japan during World War II. The film shows the heart-wrenching and harsh realities of survival in a war.
As World War II reaches its conclusion in 1945, Japan faces widespread destruction in the form of American bombings, devastating city after city. Hotaru no Haka, also known as Grave of the Fireflies, is the story of Seita and his sister Setsuko, two Japanese children whose lives are ravaged by the brutal war. They have lost their mother, their father, their home, and the prospect of bright future-all tragic consequences of the war.
Now orphaned and homeless, Seita and Setsuko have no choice but to drift across the countryside, beset by starvation and disease. Met with the apathy of adults along the way, they find that desperate circumstances can turn even the kindest of people cruel yet their youthful hope shines brightly in the face of unrelenting hardship, preventing the siblings from swiftly succumbing to an inevitable fate.
Movies by Studio Ghibli are considered to be the best. This movie indeed is a masterpiece and may change the audience’s view on life. It is anime that will make you cry tones of tears.
The Great War finally came to an end after four long years of conflict; fractured in two, the continent of Telesis slowly began to flourish once again. Caught up in the bloodshed was Violet Evergarden, a young girl raised for the sole purpose of decimating enemy lines.
Hospitalized and maimed in a bloody skirmish during the War’s final leg, she was left with only words from the person she held dearest, but with no understanding of their meaning.
Recovering from her wounds, Violet starts a new life working at CH Postal Services after a falling out with her new intended guardian family. There, she witnesses by pure chance the work of an “Auto Memory Doll”, amanuenses that transcribe people’s thoughts and feelings into words on paper. Moved by the notion, Violet begins work as an Auto Memory Doll, a trade that will take her on an adventure, one that will reshape the lives of her clients and hopefully lead to self-discovery.
Violet Evergarden, originally a light novel series by Kana Akatsuki and illustrated by Akiko Takase, was adapted into an anime series by Kyoto Animation in 2018. The series consists of 13 episodes along with a movie (Violet Evergarden: The Movie) released in 2020.
Along with the story, the animation of the series is godly, which made it a top-tier anime that will make you cry.
Neon Genesis: Evangelion
Neon Genesis: Evangelion falls under the category of a mecha anime. The series is bleak depressing and disturbing to some extent.
Written by Hideaki Anno, Neon Genesis Evangelion is a heroic tale of a young boy who will become a legend. But as this psychological drama unfolds, ancient secrets beneath the big picture begin to bubble to the surface.
Evangelion is set fifteen years after a worldwide cataclysm, particularly in the futuristic fortified city of Tokyo-3. The protagonist is Shinji Ikari, a teenage boy who was recruited by his father Gendo to the shadowy organization Nerv to pilot a giant bio-machine mecha named “Evangelion” into combat against beings known as “Angels”.
The series explores the experiences and emotions of Evangelion pilots and members of Nerv as they try to prevent Angels from causing more cataclysms. In the process, they are called upon to understand the ultimate causes of events and the motives for human action.
Neon Genesis displays complex philosophies and is even claimed to be very controversial by critics. It has set a bar in the existential crisis anime. The more you understand the problems of each character, the more distressing it becomes. It’s one of the saddest anime that will make you cry
Though the series ending is said to be abstract and confusing, it never lost viewers’ interest and remains one of the best shows to ever exist.
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