There are times in life when you just need to let your emotions run free, and let the tears stream down your face. To feel the triumph, victory, sadness, defeat of your favorite characters can be heartbreaking, but can also be a great lesson in the way that the world works and feels. When most people think of anime, they think of happy-go-lucky teenagers, but these Top 5 Anime That Will Make You Cry will make you realize that the art of animation is also the art of great storytelling.
5. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
IMDb Rating: 9.1/10
The heartbreaking story of the Elric brothers unfolds over a total of 65 episodes, but tragedy strikes early. After losing their mother to a horrible disease, Edward and Alphonse Elric decide to try to bring her back to life. After their attempt goes southward quickly, Edward loses his leg, while Alphonse loses his entire body. Edward makes the sacrifice of his right arm to bring his brother back to life in the soul of a body of armor, and they continue their adventure together.
The feeling of loss is felt directly in the first episode, and while this anime does have its humorous moments, there are quite a few episodes that will bring the viewer to tears. A personal recommendation is the episode “An Alchemists Distress”, which shows how far someone is willing to go to try to save the life of someone that they love.
4. Plastic Memories
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
When starting up Plastic Memories, you’re expecting something pretty standard: cute girl, handsome man, love interest, so on and so forth. However, you soon begin to realize the true meaning of the show and what it has meant the whole time; the unfortunate reality that nothing lasts forever.
After creating androids that are just about impossible to tell apart from a standard human being, you watch the protagonist of Plastic Memories, Tsukasa Mizugaki, fall in love with one of the newly created androids. However, what he doesn’t know is that while he may live to be in his 80’s or 90’s, if all things go as planned, his new love interest only has a life span of about 9 years. You can see the highs and lows of their love fluctuate as the harsh reality of life begins to hit him, and you’ll soon be bawling alongside him.
3. 5 Centimeters Per Second
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
As our author Noah Nelson mentioned in his related article; 5 Best Romance Anime You Can Watch Right Now, Makoto Shinkai knows the craft of mixing romance and sadness into the art form in a master class. Two friends since elementary school, Takai and Akari decide to visit each other one last time after watching and feeling their friendship be pushed by the strains of time, space, and miles. A film that is told through a set of short stories, you’ll soon be finding yourself rooting for both of them to find a way to make things work, while also wondering when the last time you got in touch with an old friend was.
A slow-burning passion, 5 Centimeters Per Second is a must-watch if you’re missing that special someone, and a great way to remind yourself to keep them close.
2. Neon Genesis Evangelion
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
While the theme song of Neon Genesis Evangelion may be bright and cheery, the subject matter contained within is nothing of the sort. Psychoanalytic, Religion, Philosophy, Mental health, and much more are covered within the overarching themes of Evangelion that is should be viewed multiple times. Once, to experience everything that it has to offer; the thrill of the fights, the sadness that Shinji and crew experience through the Eva Project, and everything in between.
Then, on a second viewing, place yourself into the shoes of Shinji, experience life through his eyes, and admire this masterpiece in its full glory.
1. Grave of the Fireflies
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
“Now, let’s see a firefly show!” When thinking of Studio Ghibli, we are brought happiness with films such as Spirited Away & My Neighbor Totoro, filled with creative characters, witty and fun dialog, beautiful colors, and everything else we feel when we think of joy.
None of that is found here. The only thing you will find in Grave of the Fireflies is yourself, curled up on the floor, emotionally wrecked after viewing this powerful film. Meant to show the horrors of World War 2, we follow a brother and sister through the final days of World War 2 in Japan. We see their struggles, we see their triumphs, and most importantly, we see some of the most realistic depictions of human life through the form of animation. If you’re ever in need of a film to humble you over the harsh truths of the world, please do yourself a favor and view this film. However, please be prepared to feel some of the rawest emotions you have ever felt in your life.
We now come to a close on the Top 5 Saddest Anime you can watch right now. If you’re looking for something to help you remember the good times with an old friend or an old flame, to helping cope with the loss of someone you love, you’ll find yourself feeling the rawest of emotions after viewing any of these on the list. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to find something to bring me back up, and some tissue paper to blow my nose.
If you need recommendations of great sites to stream anime or 5 of the best romantic anime you can watch right now as a palate cleanser, please give those pages a view!
- This article was updated on May 11th, 2022