While some people tend to try to avoid being sad at all costs, some want to purposely make themselves cry just to feel something. So in order for them to do that, they either listen to a sad song or watch a sad movie. In the case of the diverse plots and settings in the world of anime, there’s something in there that’s for sure going to flood you with lots of feels.
Grave of the Fireflies
Studio Ghibli brought us Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro—which are both pretty feel-good films—but this one seems a bit out of place. Set during the time of post-World War II, Grave of the Fireflies or Hotaru no Haka tells us the story of Seita and Setsuko, siblings who must now navigate through the consequences of a post-war Japan.
Honestly, this movie is so sad that you’re probably not gonna want to watch it the second time. (Unless you’re a masochist, then feel free to by all means.)
Generally speaking, shōnen anime isn’t supposed to make you cry. Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu) would be one of the exceptions.
This anime adaptation of Yūsei Matsui’s manga of the same name puts a twist on the usual school setting—one middle school class has been promised a large sum of money by the government to assassinate someone. The target? Their octopus-looking teacher—who’s also the one teaching them how to assassinate him.
Prepare the tissues, because two seasons is more than enough for you to fall in love with this weird yellow creature of a teacher and the lovely misfits of class 3-E.
This 13-episode anime is short but will nevertheless bring you to tears. In this story, humans live with androids called Giftia that resemble humans, even possessing emotions and memories. However—they only have a lifespan of roughly nine years and four months.
Tsukasa Mizugaki lands a job at Terminal Service One of Sion Artificial Intelligence (SAI) Corporation, which is in charge of collecting Giftias that are close to their expiration date. He gets partnered up with a Giftia named Isla. Eventually, they develop feelings for each other, and now we have to suffer as we watch them interact knowing Isla’s limited lifespan.
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai sounds like a weird title, but imagine something like Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk to Remember in anime form. The protagonist (they’ll eventually say his name, promise) is an aloof guy who doesn’t really show any interest in other people and would rather be with books. By chance, he picks up his popular and bubbly classmate Sakura’s diary. It’s revealed that she’s suffering from a pancreatic disease that only her family knows about, so he has to keep the secret.
The two eventually become friends, even crossing out activities off Sakura’s bucket list. Opposites do attract as the friendship between these two will change the protagonist’s life for good.
Your Lie in April
Fair warning, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso’s opening theme is kind of a trap. Don’t be fooled by how happy it sounds!
Pianist Kousei Arima looked at the world in monochrome after the passing of his mother. A violinist named Kaori Miyazono crashes into his life, disrupting it in a good way. Life’s hard for these two but it’s through each other that they learn how to live a bit better. While this is categorized as a slice of life, a tragic event in the story will eventually take out the happy portion of the series.
No matter what you decide to watch, don’t forget to set a box of tissues and probably a glass of water aside for the feels. At least one of these anime will leave you bawling in tears.