Top 10 Sad Anime [Best Recommendations]

Anime can make us feel a whole range of emotions. From being happy, to shocked, to being hyped, anime can even make us feel sad. For today, we will check out sad anime. There are many reasons why we feel sad when we watch certain anime. In the anime industry, there exist a few animes that are extremely sorrowful such that they remain popular till this day. Join us, as we count the top 10 sad anime!
Beware of possible spoilers!

10. Kokoro Connect

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Jul 8, 2012 to Sep 30, 2012

When you are part of a common after school club, the first impression would be of a normal slice of life anime on club activities and their daily interactions. However Kokoro Connect is not just a simple slice of life anime. This is a story of a group of 5 friends who find themselves in various supernatural phenomenons that will test their friendship to the limits. Whether if it is a body switch or the temporary ability to read a random person's mind, the secrets that friends keep to themselves ought to be hidden for a reason. Through this trial, the true dispositions of each individual are revealed for all to see.

Even amongst friends, the privacy of one's mind is the only thing that is kept away. We find ourselves unable to say certain things at times but we choose to keep them to ourselves. In this sad anime however, all barriers are broken down and the friendship that that is shared is threatened. What makes it particularly sad are the hidden secrets that one will, for the greater good, be turned against them. With no other outlet to explain themselves, some of the characters in this series will have us sympathizing with them.


9. Golden Time

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Oct 4, 2013 to Mar 28, 2014

Banri Tada is a newly enrolled student into law school. Due to an accident however, he had lost his memories prior to entering high school. Upon entering the school gate, Banri ran into another freshman, Mitsuo Yanagisawa who was having a hard time dealing with his overly attached girlfriend Koko. They soon became quick friends. Banri soon meets one of his childhood friends, Linda but unfortunately, due to his memory loss, he was unable to recall the relationship of him and Linda. The developing relationship between him and Koko soon conflict with the forgotten memories of Linda.

When Banri lost his memories, he'd forgotten about that one eventful event that might have potentially changed his life. Now, as Banri enters high school, he begins another relationship. All this while, not knowing the past relationship he had with the childhood friend he met - Linda. As the story and revelations slowly comes to light, the current relationship he has could also be potentially threatened.


8. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: Jul 10, 2009 to Sep 18, 2009

Japan - a country that lies on the edges of the Ring of Fire. Earthquakes are not uncommon in this country and this anime depicts a situation of what will be if an 8.0 earthquake hits Japan. Mirai and her brother must travel from the other end of Tokyo back to their home without the aid of transportation. Along the way, they will only be greeted with the sights of death and panic. Not all is bleak however; as they will meet other survivors who are still striving to survive. Follow the siblings as they start their long and arduous journey home.

This sad anime is quite realistic and that is why it is quite hard to take in. For people that have gone through a severe earthquake, it can also be quite distressing to watch. This anime paints an authentic scenario in an earthquake such as the despair the people faced, encountering death and the constant worry for their loved ones. Throughout the anime, you will be cheering for the siblings as they travel back home while at the same time empathize with them in their dire situation.


7. Byousoku 5 Centimetre (5 Centimeters per Second)

  • Episodes: 3 part - Movie
  • Aired: Feb 16, 2007 to Mar 3, 2007

Takari Toono and Akari Shinohara were two very close friends. While their relationship can't seem to get any sweeter, a transfer of Akari's family to another region forced them apart. Choosing to maintain a long distance relationship, they continued to communicate via mail. As the years passed, they grew more distant from each other. While still maintaining fragments of memories of each other and yearning to meet each other for one last time.

Everyone knows that maintaining a long distance relationship is hard. Byousoku 5 Centimetre portrays not just how hard it is to maintain such a relationship, but also the anguish and frustration that comes with it. This sad anime also emphasizes highly on emotions. The sequence where both parties remembered each other was especially heartbreaking to watch. You are forced to see them yearning for each other but know that it never happened.


6. Steins; Gate

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Apr 6, 2011 to Sep 14, 2011

Self proclaimed mad scientist Okabe Rintarou is interested in the research of future gadgets. Alongside his assistants, Mayuri Shiina and Hashida Itaru they begin their creation of a new machine called the Phone Microwave. After a series of tests, they soon realise that the device has the capability of sending emails back to the past. Time however, is not a toy. They will soon realise that altering the past will have drastic effects on the future. Together with a newly joined team member, Makise Kurisu they seek to reverse the effects of manipulating time and put it back on its original path.

How does it feel to continue living in reality alone despite being surrounded by the same friends and acquaintance that you have? In Steins; Gate, due to the tampering of time, Okabe is forced to alter time back to its original state. If he should fail, his friends' lives are at risk. Along the way, the developing relationship between Okabe and his lab assistant does not help as the whole timeline is not stable and he risks losing everything.


5. Plastic Memories

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Apr 5, 2015 to Jun 28, 2015

In the distant future, human-like androids known as Giftias were developed to serve society. They serve a variety of functions to society ranging from work to even human companions. Giftias act and function just like any human being such that it may even be hard to discern them apart. The only downside to this - Giftias are programmed with an expiry date and they last about 9 years before their memories and personality are completely wiped out from existence with no way to ever recover them. Coming from the viewpoint of one such Giftias, Isla have accepted her position and her short time in this world. Even though there is one person who actually loves her, Mizugaki Tsukasa.

Memories and remembrance are the reminders of the events that have passed. Although they are no longer in the physical world, they still live on as impressions in our mind and are the last connection we have with them. That is why this anime is incredibly sorrowful to watch. It is already known that all Giftias has an expiry date and though it is unavoidable, it becomes extremely painful to watch as they continue their relationship while trying to ignore the inevitable..


4. Angel Beats

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Apr 3, 2010 to Jun 26, 2010

When Otonashi woke up and found out that he was in an unfamiliar environment, he was confused. What mattered was not that fact that Otonashi has no bearings of his location but the fact that he was dead! Meeting the eccentric Yuri does not help him in this supposed afterlife as he was still clueless of the situation he was in. Agreeing to join SSS, Otonashi becomes part of a group that is intent on taking down the one being in this world that is equivalent to God - Tenshi. Strangely enough, he is oddly drawn to this enigmatic character. Whilst regaining his memories, he will soon learn the true nature of Tenshi and this mysterious high school that he is stuck in.

While finding out his the meaning of his existence in this new world, Otonashi becomes quite attached to this new group of strangers that he may now call his friends and comrades in battle. The reason why they fight is not entirely clear. Their only objective is to rebel against the supposed God in the new world. Yet however, it was Otonashi who eventually realise that Tenshi was just about in the same position as them - lost and unsure. Watch until the end to find out the special woeful relationship between the two of them


3. AnoHana

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: Apr 15, 2011 to Jun 24, 2011

Due to a tragic event that caused the demise of one of their friends, Jinta, Hisakwa, Tsurumi, Anjou and Atsumu have strayed apart since their childhood. Now living separate lives independently from each other, they soon enter high school. Due to an appearance of a ghost of the distant past, Jinta embarks to reconnect with his peers in an effort to bring everyone together again. The journey is not easy however as the conflicts that was buried in the past have surfaced again. The feelings of each other and the root cause of the accident are some of the hurdles the group have to overcome before they are able to reconcile.

Despite being a short anime of only 11 episodes, this sad anime has managed to grip and tug at the heartstrings of many. Short and sweet is the best way to describe this anime. The overarching theme of this anime is friendship. This anime depicts how the bonds of friends can be so strong that they can even reach out from beyond the living to reconcile old differences.


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

  • Episodes: 22
  • Aired: Oct 10, 2014 to Mar 20, 2015

Child prodigy Arima Kousei is renowned as an extremely gifted pianist. He holds a reputation for playing on point to any musical piece has earned him the title, the human metronome. Unfortunately, the passing of his mother has made him fear music such that Arima can longer hear the sounds he plays. Even as he enters high school, Arima cannot bear to touch another piano. Just as all hopes of him playing the piano again is extinguished, he met the carefree Kaori Miyazono, whose personality is reflective of her free spirited style of playing the violin. And it was then he decides to step into the world of music again.

What makes Shigatsu particularly poignant is the use of music to express emotions. How the characters play their instruments is reflected by the mood such that it becomes easy to understand them. Since the theme of the anime is music, it shows how music carries the potential to alter someone's viewpoint of the world. The conclusion of the anime sums up the story very well and remains as the most emotional scene in the anime. Shigatsu is a very expressive anime and is able to convey the emotions of the anime directly to the viewers.


1. Clannad/ After Stories

  • Episodes: 23
  • Aired: Oct 5, 2007 to Mar 28, 2008

Tomoya Okazaki is an individual that had lost his drive to excel in anything. Preferring to be labelled as a delinquent and waste his life away, Tomoya meets the sickly and frail Nagisa Furukawa. A short exchange between the both of them ensured their eventual friendship. Tomoya learnt that her sickness is the reason why she did not attend school nor have friends. Reviving the drama club, he recruits other girls with their own share of problems. By listening to their problems and trying his best to aid them, Tomoya starts to realise that life was not as boring as he originally thought it was. At the same time, the relation between Tomoya and Nagisa continues to develop.

After Stories is simply the continuation of Clannad - Season 2 if you will. In After Stories, it takes after the visual novel of the Nagisa's route. Here, the relationship of Tomoya and Nagisa is expanded. The drastic event that occurs during this series is the reason why Clannad is known as the anime of true love and romance. Clannad itself does not fall too short of expectation as well! It contains the arcs of the different heroines with each ending in a bittersweet fashion. All in all, Clannad remains as one of the saddest anime and it is a MUST watch if you're an anime lover.


Conclusion

Hence, we conclude this article. There are a variety of reasons why we feel sad when we watch a certain anime. The experiences that we face are individual and unique. However, these anime appeal to a general understanding such that we are able to feel for the anime and the characters. Which of these anime made you tear up? Do you have another anime that appealed to you personally? Share with us the saddest anime you've ever watched in the comments below and we will see you next time!

Araragi

Writer

Author: Araragi

Writing from a little island known as Singapore. It is through my articles that I want to show that the world of anime reaches out beyond the boundaries of Japan. From different age groups to individuals coming from different walks of life, everyone and anyone can be a lover of anime. To quote from Kingdom Hearts, 'There are many worlds out there, but they share the same sky.'

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