Creativity of any kind, when it stirs the world's soul, hits the hardest when it is relatable and heartbreaking. Animes have had a history of shattering their readers and viewers with their heartbreakingly melancholic content that rings deep into their hearts, wreaking emotional turmoil and bonding with the characters in the crestfallen narration of their journey.
Here is a list o the all-time heartbreaking animes that are known to plunge the viewers into their own pit of emotional hell:
Even though it may seem like a mystery anime, it is filled with the saddest theme of friendship, death, separation, and bonding. Naho Takamiya is the protagonist who receives a letter from her future self stating the tragic events that are about to follow her.
The letters are cryptic which she has to decode within a set time frame otherwise she would lose her friend Kakeru to death. Grief is alarmingly visible in every episode that puts a sad undertone through the tragedy of the characters.
2. Banana Fish
Apart from the deep social commentaries that the anime imparts the themes of incomplete friendships, separation and grief are predominantly set in the episodes.
Eiji and Ash’s love for each other and its realistic portrayal makes it all the more melancholic for the viewers as it does not have the fictional sugarcoating of the usual Disney's ‘happily-ever-after’.
Their strikingly different backgrounds from where they emerge are the main factor in their separation from one another, which contributes heavily to their separation, and also results in the death of one of them, which is a terribly tragic emotional turmoil to go through.
3. Plastic Memories
As the name suggests, the anime is a remnant reminder of the futility of existence and the futility of the word ‘forever’. The basic plot is that humans made real-life androids who are impossible to distinguish from humans. The main difference is their lifespan, in which case, android has a shorter lifespan.
The protagonist falls in love with one such android, who only has nine years, as is the maximum span of such, they realize the futility of her span and the theme of separation and melancholy persists.
4. Elfen Lied
This is rendered as one of the most heartwrenching heavy anime that has themes of gore and sadness baked right into it, starting with animal abuse, torture, killing, the existentialism of scientific experiments done on humans, human ruthlessness, and greed. Animal cruelty is another trigger warning theme that the anime showcases.
5. Steins Gate
Although this anime is not known as one of the saddest anime, the emotional turmoil of the character Rintarou Okabe is enough to become a tear-jerking marathon while watching this.
His constant failures in trying to save two people of significance, the torn character is enough to make anyone break down and cry while watching the anime.
6. Your Lie in April
Who does not remember crying endlessly throughout the progressive ending of the anime? The heartbreaking, as well as heartwarming memories that viewers share with this anime, created their traumatic bonding with this.
With strong and mature themes like parental abuse, parental neglect, losing parents at a young age, lifelong grief and longing, falling in love, and facing the same consequences as losing the person you love to death, these themes centrally create the baseline for Your Lie in April.
Apart from these well-known tear-jerkers, there are many other animes to watch if you want a cathartic session of releasing your pent-up emotions, like Anohana: the flower we saw that day, Clannad, and the most famous Studio Ghibli masterpiece - Grave of the Fireflies.