Top 10 Drama Anime [Updated Best Recommendations]

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Welcome guys to another one of our updated lists. Today we’ll be dealing with those anime that take you through a journey of emotions while keeping your butt glued to your seat. We’re talking about drama anime.

These shows are often times the most memorable of all because of the things they make you feel. Sometimes they make you laugh, other times they hit you right in the feels making you cry like a baby, and every now and then these shows may inspire you or even scare the crap out of you. Drama anime come in all shapes and sizes (and by that we mean in all genres), and on this opportunity we’ll explore some of the best and most popular dramas of each kind.

This is our Updated Top 10 Drama Anime! For the original list, just scroll down a bit more. ?

10. Kokoro Connect

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Jul 2012 – Sep 2012

Kokoro Connect is a wonderful school themed show with elements of comedy, romance and a lot of drama. This show is about five students attending Yamaboshi Academy who don’t quite fit in any school club, so they decide to form their own club, the Student Cultural Society. Things get a bit freaky and twisted when these kids mysteriously start to switch with each other’s bodies, bringing about a whole lot of drama.

Kokoro Connect is all about plot twists and character development. This is a show in which you never know what can happen next, and every little change of events brings these kids close together, although not always in a good way. Kokoro Connect provides a strong insight into being in someone else’s shoes, with all the drama that implies.


9. Nana

  • Episodes: 47
  • Aired: Apr 2006 – Mar 2007

Of course, we can’t talk about dramatic and not mention Nana. This is the story of Nana Osaki, a strong independent punk rock girl with dreams of becoming a rock-star, and Nana Komatsu, a naïve and dependent 20-year old girl who has the ability of falling in love with the wrong men. The two Nanas board the same train to Tokyo hoping to fulfill their dreams and end up becoming roommates and friends.

Nana is a beautiful shoujo with a lot of music and style. Watch these two girls grow up as they dive into the big city to fulfill their destinies. Of course, their paths are not easy and they have to face envy, betrayal and the ugly side of fame before they can triumph in the concrete jungle.


8. Another

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jan 2012 – Mar 2012

Another is a classic among horror and mystery dramas. The story revolves around young Sakakibara who is transferred into class 3-3 of Yomiyama North Academy, where everyone behaves rather mysteriously. In this class, Sakakibara meets a girl with an eye-patch named Misaki Mei, who is ignored by everyone else for some unknown reason. After Sakakibara and Misaki begin to interact, strange and unfortunate things start to occur around class 3-3.

Just reading what Another is about is enough to give you goosebumps. After all, dramas are not only meant to make you cry, they may also take you through different emotions. Another is an intricate story with several twists of events that will keep you biting your toenails and dying to know what’s really happening. You’ll feel an icy chill running down your spine as you unsuccessfully try to guess who’s alive and who’s dead.


7. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar / Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jan 2016 – Mar 2016

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is the story of six young boys and girls who suddenly find themselves in a world of fantasy with no memory of how they got there or where they come from. The world of Grimgar is now their reality and they have to train as knights, magicians, hunters and thieves, among others. Sadly for them, their new world may be a bit more realistic and harsh than the usual fantasy RPG games we are used to.

Even though this show shares a somewhat similar premise to fantasy shows like SAO, Grimgar focuses much more on character development and on the peripeteias or misfortunes the main characters have to go through. The scenery also plays a big role in conveying a dramatic and melancholic atmosphere. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is a very artistic anime featuring beautiful backgrounds and a brilliant soundtrack that really help to develop the relationships between the characters and their dramatic everyday life.


6. Higashi no Eden / Eden of the East

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: Apr 2009 – Jun 2009

In Higashi no Eden we’ll meet college student Saki Morimi, who’s on a trip to Washington. She gets in trouble with the police for trying to get inside the White House Garden but is saved by a young naked man with a gun, a cellphone and no memory. This is how she meets Akira Takizawa and they start a dangerous adventure to find out the connection between Akira’s real identity, a mysterious succession of events and a terrorist attack on Tokyo.

Higashi no Eden is a really cool and original story that has a bit of everything. This dramatic thriller has elements of romance, comedy, sci-fi, mystery and action, so it’s really no surprise how this show can take us through a roller coaster of emotions. As if the tension arising from a terrorist attack were not dramatic enough, the unexpected twists of events and Akira’s mysterious identity will provide you with the adrenaline and the edginess you were looking for.


5. Plastic Memories

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Apr 2015 – Jun 2015

Plastic Memories follows the story of Tsukasa Mizugaki, who gets a job at SAI Corp, a company known for producing androids known as Giftias. These Giftias are very similar to actual human beings, with the only detail that their lifespans are of 81,920 hours (around nine years and four months). Tsukasa’s work consists of retrieving Giftias who reach their expiration date, and to do so he counts on Isla’s assistance, who is a Giftia and an expert on retrievals. To make the story a bit more complicated, Tsukasa realizes he has feelings for Isla, but this love has an expiration date.

Plastic Memories is a romantic science fiction anime which reminds us a lot of another epic drama featuring charming androids, Chobits. Judging from both shows’ huge success, this type of romantic dramas has proved to be a winning formula. Plastic Memories is a story to feel in love but also to learn to let go. Oh yeah, it’s also a story to cry like a little girl.


4. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso / Your Lie in April

  • Episodes: 22
  • Aired: Oct 2014 – Mar 2015

Your Lie in April tells the story of prodigious piano player Kousei Arima, who falls into a depression after the death of his mother and he quits playing. For a couple of years, Kousei carries a dull and music free life. Of course, that is only until he meets Kaori Miyazono, a gorgeous violinist girl who rocks his world and makes him want to play and live music again.

Your Lie in April is a lovely romantic school drama filled with music, optimism and second opportunities. This is the kind of show to believe in second chances and starting over again. Still, Your Lie in April is not all about rainbows and butterflies. In fact, you are bound to experience many different emotions while watching this inspiring yet heart-breaking drama.


3. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai / AnoHana: The Flower We Saw That Day

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: Apr 2011 – Jun 2011

AnoHana (for short) presents a group of childhood friends who have grown apart after the tragic death of one of the group’s members, Menma. Years later, Menma’s spirit appears in front of Jinta, one of the boys, which brings the whole group together again to try to help Menma’s soul find her rest. These boys and girls will have to re-live their childhood stories in order to help Menma’s spirit and to get rid of the ghosts of their past (see what we did there?).

AnoHana is a magnificent supernatural slice of life show that will make us cry our eyes out by teaching us some beautiful and valuable life lessons. This dramatic production is all about cherishing what we have, not taking things for granted, learning to let go and appreciating our friends. AnoHana is definitely a ride of emotions.


2. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: Jul 2009 – Sep 2009

Probably no other anime screams out DRAMA as much as Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. This is the story of Middle School student Mirai Onozawa, who takes his 8-year old brother, Yuuki Onozawa, to a robot exhibition on the same day a devastating earthquake hits the city. The siblings find themselves in the middle of the destruction and they set off on a journey through the horror of a collapsing metropolis as they attempt to get back home safe to their parents.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 will get you immersed in a world of hopelessness, fear and misery with occasional glimpses of hope and optimism that serve as relief. It’s the kind of production that makes you suffer for the main characters and pray for them to get out of that awful situation (just like in The Pursuit of Happyness or in The Impossible, to name a few insufferable movies). Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 will give you a lot to think about the importance of family and the ephemerality of life. If that’s not dramatic then nothing is.


1. Clannad: After Story

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Oct 2008 – Mar 2009

And then of course we have Clannad: After Story, because no drama list would ever be complete without Clannad. If you are really into drama anime then chances are you’ve already heard about this anime. Clannad: After Story has a reputation for being the anime that causes the greatest amount of crying. You seriously need to have an ice cold heart to watch Clannad: After Story and not shed a single tear.

Clannad: After Story follows the everyday life of Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa after they graduate from high school. As they enter adulthood, these two will face the struggles of growing up and getting into the real world. Join them along their dramatic journey to learn about the importance of family and how to endure the trials and tribulations of life.


Conclusion

This is the end of our updated list of anime dramas. Just in case you still want to check out some other drama titles, then feel free to take a look at the original drama anime list right below this one.

Now it’s your turn to tell us which are some of your favorite drama anime. Do you prefer those stories that make you cry? Or are you into some other kind of deep emotions? We want to know, so share your thoughts with us! ˆ_ˆ

Chanty

Translator/Writer

Author: Chanty

My name is Santiago and I'm an aspiring writer and full-time dreamer. I am currently studying English at college to become a teacher. I like playing Heavy Metal on my guitar as much as I like dancing to Trance music, and I love playing Basketball with my friends as much as I love staying home alone watching Anime. Opposite forces are complementary and interdependent; that is the Yin Yang.

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Top 5 Anime by Chanty


Original Article Below


Filled with emotions, plot twists and suspense - Drama anime are one of the most popular and intriguing shows out there. No other genre manages to touch its viewers like this one and good dramas are almost always a big success.

Today we want to highlight our personal Top 10 Drama shows, starting with more lighthearted ones and slowly moving our way up to those anime that have left us behind filled with emotions. Of course, there are many shows displaying emotions and drama but we tried to pick those that really took the term emotional rollercoaster to a new level.

So lean back and enjoy our compilation while we present to you our Top 10 Drama anime.

10. Hakuouki

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2010 - June 2010

Let us start with a show that was a big surprise for me personally. When I first started watching Hakuouki, I expected a nice story set in Edo Japan with lots of action and maybe a little bit of romance. What I wasn’t prepared for was that I would be crying my tears out by the end of this show.

Hakuouki tells the historically correct story of the Shinsengumi in ancient Japan, mixed with some supernatural elements. Together with female lead Yukimura Chizuru you get to know the members of this samurai organization and slowly but surely you will grow a liking on them. The storytelling of Hakuouki is really outstanding and the narration of historical events allows you to get drawn deeper into the story. I don’t want to spoiler the further development of the story for those of you that haven’t watched it yet, but let me tell you one thing - the future of the Shinsengumi looks rather dark.


9. Ao Haru Ride (Blue Spring Ride)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2014 - September 2014

Ao Haru Ride was a highly anticipated show that soon captured the hearts of its viewers with lovable characters and a cute story. This might be the least traumatizing and dark anime of this list, so if you are looking for a more relaxing story Ao Haru Ride might be the one for you.

Teenager Yoshioka Futaba manages to completely turn her life around and take on a new identity once she enters high school. What she didn’t expect was that Mabuchi Kou, the only connection to her former self would reappear in her life and turn it upside down. It’s a nice Shoujo anime, but what makes it part of our top Drama anime list is the fact that it makes you wonder about the struggles and the pain of growing up as well as the question of who you want to be. Definitely check Ao Haru Ride out if you haven’t already.


8. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April)

  • Episodes: 22
  • Aired: October 2014 - March 2015

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso will touch you - not because it’s an unbelievable tragedy but because it tells a story that could happen to any of us.

Former child prodigy Arima Kosei quits playing the piano after having a mental breakdown and swears to abandon the world of music forever. Everything changes once Miyazono Kaori steps into his life and brings his old self back with her violin music. Besides its obvious music-related themes, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso primarily focuses on the complicated life stage teenagers are in and how easily it can be affected by the people around us. This anime might not be the most popular one out there but it will certainly stay in your mind.


7. Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2013 - December 2013

Next on our list is another show that turned out to be more moving than the first episodes might suggest. It’s a show that revolves around the connection between the human and the spirit world as well as the people that are torn between the two sides.

The relationship between the protagonists Akihito and Kuriyama feels unique since it’s not a generic love story but real sympathy between the two of them. What makes this show a good Drama anime in my eyes is the fact that it focuses on the strengths and flaws of the main characters. Both of them have troubling pasts and insecurities buried deep inside them. Despite their strength they struggle in their lives and have to find ways to overcome their fears. A really touching story.


6. Guilty Crown

  • Episodes: 22
  • Aired: October 2011 - March 2012

Guilty Crown isn’t only a tip for drama fans but also for those of you that enjoy good action shows. In a fictive dystopian universe Ouma Shu and Yuzuriha Inori have to work together in order to survive and fight for what they believe in.

Guilty Crown shows a lot of emotional development of the main characters especially in connection with the relationship that they form. Most of the suspense is created through the fight between the government and the resistance that Shu and Inori belong to. It raises age-old questions regarding the responsibilities of an individual and whether one should keep on fighting for what one believes in. Guilty Crown is especially outstanding when it comes to its design and soundtrack so definitely check it out.


5. Elfen Lied

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 2004 - October 2004

Elfen Lied, the one show that I am not able to forget no matter how hard I try. For all of you that haven’t seen it yet here’s a big disclaimer: Do not watch this show if you are not able to see huge amounts of blood or gruesome fights.

However, it’s not the amount of gore that made Elfen Lied so successful. Besides all the cruelty and brutality it shows a lot of emotions, pain and tragic pasts. It takes a few episodes until the storyline introduces the backstories of the main characters, but it is definitely worth the wait. Especially the finale puts the whole story into a new perspective and brings the show to a good ending. The mixture of gore and emotional scarring elements makes Elfen Lied an anime legend as well as an outstanding drama show.


4. Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance)

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: July 2014 - September 2014

Next up is one of my personal favorites of the past seasons, Zankyou no Terror. It’s a rather quick show that you could finish in one weekend, but the story is as moving and thought-provoking as many others on this list.

It starts out as an interesting thriller with the two main protagonists Nine and Twelve performing terrorist acts around Tokyo. It’s not until later on in this show that their backgrounds as well as their real motif are revealed. From that point on Zankyou no Terror really shines with its great plot and also good storytelling. The main characters will make you feel their pain as if it were your own and keep you on your toes until the big and tearjerking finale of this show.


3. Angel Beats!

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: April 2010 - June 2010

I have said it multiple times and I will say it again: Angel Beats! is one of the most moving anime out there. If anyone ever asked me for the definition of a good drama anime I would just show them this show.

The story follows Otonashi on his adventure through life after death. Together with other teenagers his age he joins an ongoing battle with God for their right to leave their pasts behind and to move on to the afterlife. Angel Beats! shows how cruel reality can be and that life isn’t always fair. To this day I am still able to remember the backstories of every single character and this should be proof enough of how touching this show really is.


2. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

  • Episodes: 64
  • Aired: April 2009 - July 2010

When it comes to characters with bad childhoods, the story of the Elric brothers really takes the cake. Imagine losing both of your parents and having to resort to alchemy to bring them back to life. But not only does this plan not work out, it also costs one brother an arm and a leg and the other one his whole body. That’s how the backstory of Fullmetal Alchemist could be summed up.

But that’s only the beginning of the story. As the two brothers set out on an adventure to undo the damage they get into even bigger struggles and dangers. What makes this show so dramatic and emotionally moving is the relationship between the two brothers. You can really feel their love for each other and having to see them struggle through life really gets to you, especially if you have siblings yourself. Again, I don’t want to spoiler the further content of the show, but trust me: No eyes will stay dry after finishing this show.


1. Clannad After Story

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: October 2008 - March 2009

Once again we just had to include Clannad in a Top 10 list. When it comes to drama anime Clannad just needs to be named. The infamous love story of Tomoya and Nagisa is still as moving and heartwarming as it was the day the first episode aired.

Clannad shows that the most pain can be found in the simplest of scenarios. You don’t need a story set in a different universe or filled with despair and rage. Sometimes, the best stories are set in an everyday life scenario and show problems that many people can relate to. This might be the reason behind Clannad’s big success and its huge popularity.


This concludes our list for this time. Tell us what you think of our choices and the drama genre itself. Drama anime are actually some of the best shows to get into if you are new to the world of anime. They are easy to relate to and show how moving and touching anime can really be, so if you have any friends you want to introduce to your hobby you might want to pick a show from this list.

In our modern days where many people are desensitized by all the deaths and tragedies shown on screen it is hard to find a good show that evokes real emotions. Which show moved you to tears and is unforgettable in your eyes? Let us know in the comment section below.

Cornelia Wagner

Writer

Author: Cornelia Wagner

Coffee enthusiast, world traveler and writer at heart. Left Europe to live and study in the insanity called Tokyo.

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