As fun as comedy anime and manga are, there’s something almost therapeutic about a good cry. If this is the mood you’re going for, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered a list of 15 manga guaranteed to make you cry!
My Girl is the seinen story of Masamune Kazama, a 23-year-old man who spends his days in a mundane office job, reminiscing about his ex-girlfriend who made a huge impact on his life.
One day, he finds out that his past love has died, leaving him with a young daughter whom she raised in secret overseas. A grieving Masamune decides to raise his daughter on his own.
My Girl has beautiful art and a memorable, moving story that explores the joys and challenges of fatherhood.Advertisement
To Your Eternity
To Your Eternity is a unique shonen manga that takes the trope of a typically male hero’s journey for strength and self-improvement to heart-breaking levels due to the original premise.
The story follows Fushi, an immortal shapeshifter who is sent to earth as an orb. Through interaction with living beings, Fushi takes the form of a wolf, then that of a young boy.
From there on, Fushi travels the world, experiencing love, friendship, and belonging, only to lose them again because everyone he loves is mortal, while he is not.
Some of the characters Fushi encounters are endearing and relatable, with tragic stories that are more than likely to make you cry.
Your Lie in April
Your Lie in April is one of the most bittersweet manga and anime you can find out there.
It tells the story of a musical prodigy, Kousei Arima, who triumphs in every competition, until his mother, who guided his music career, passes away.
A traumatized Kousei becomes unable to keep playing the piano, until he meets Kaori, an eccentric violinist who gets him back into music – and into a purposeful, exciting life.
This hopeful story becomes tragic later on, so bring in tissues, but there’s still inspiration and color, even in the darkest times
Oddly marketed as a shoujo manga, Banana Fish is a thriller anime with elements based on classic literature, creating a modernist tragedy that you’ll think about for a long time after you finish reading.
Ash Lynx is a teenage gang leader who has just escaped the clatches of the abiusive mafia overlord who raised him. He now takes care of his older brother, Griffin, who is shell-shocked and only utters the words ‘Banana Fish’.
When Eiji, a Japanese photography student arrives in America for a project on New York gangs, he and Ash cross paths and form a bond that will give you all the feels.
But a complicated plot concerning the drug that might be related to Griffin’s condition is going to threaten their happiness – and their very lives.
Related: 12 Anime Based on Classic LiteratureAdvertisement
Tohru Honda, a high school girl, is left homeless following the death of her beloved mother. When a storm destroys her tend, her classmate, Yuki Sohma, and his cousin, Shigure, offer to take her in.
Unbeknownst to Honda, her new housemates are cursed, taking the form of an animal from the Chinese zodiac cycle when hugged or unwell. But behind this funny premise, lie around a dozen tragic stories, which all lead back to Akito, the abusive head of the Sohma family, leading Tohru to try and break the curse.
A Silent Voice
For anyone who has witnessed, experienced, or even participated in bullying at school, A Silent Voice will hit close to home.
As mischievous primary school students, Shouya Ishida and his friends had mercilessly taunted his classmate, Shouko, who was deaf, leading in her decision to transfer to another school.
Years later, Shouya, who has by then been a victim of bullying himself, meets Shouko again and tries to make up for his past actions, despite the obstacles he must face.
Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms
If you’d like something short and bittersweet, give Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms a chance!
With simple artwork and a humane, moving tone, this manga tells the story in two parts. Both stories involve the aftereffects of the atomic bombs in Japan during WWII, first focusing on a young survivor and then on her niece.Advertisement
Orange is a romance manga following Naho Takamiya, who receives a letter from his future self, urging her to make different decisions to avoid regrets.
The letter particularly advises her to pay attention to a new transfer student, Kakeru. Since this is a manga about possible regrets, don’t be surprised if you find a few moving moments.
Half and Half
Every story that involves imminent death has the potential to be sad, and Half and Half is a particularly tragic example.
When Shinichi Nagakawa and Yuuki Sanada die together in an accident, they are given the chance to live again for 7 days, sharing every moment and every feeling.
By the end of the week, one of the two will have to die again. But who will it be, and what will happen during these 7 shared days?
The Promised Neverland
If you want your heart-wrenching manga to be more on the dystopian side, The Promised Neverland is for you.
The dystopian anime and manga follow Emma and her friends, who have all grown up in an orphanage, the only home they remember.
All children end up adopted before hitting puberty, and, to Emma’s dismay, they never write to her. When she and her best friend, Norman, witness something they aren’t supposed to, they uncover sinister truths about their orphanage and beloved foster mother.
The children’s struggle to survive and stay together as a family is heart-warming, but some twist and turns come so unexpectedly that they feel like a punch, and they will most likely make you cry!Advertisement
Another short and sweet drama, Solanin needs no more than two volumes to be impactful. This story follows a young couple who live aimlessly until they decide to leave their jobs and achieve their dreams.
In this slice-of-life anime by Yoshi, which is reportedly based on a true story, Rina is a troubled 18-year-old high school student who believes in using people and doesn’t think true friendship is necessary.
This attitude shifts when she becomes sick with cancer. In the hospital, she meets her primary school friend, Maki, who suggests that they continue the friendship they once had, before Rina became convinced that relationships are only worthwhile if there’s something to gain.
Koizora is a romantic drama about the love story of Mika with a delinquent-like boy, Hiro.
Despite the many obstacles that they encounter, Mika is her happiest when with Hiro and is determined to stay with him. As tragedy after tragedy strikes, however, she struggles to keep control of her life.
Koizora also has a live-action adaptation, if you’re interested.
If you want a tearjerker with sci-fi elements, Ai-Ren has both. While, in many ways, it feels like a typical romance, it’s decidedly different, as both parties are doomed from the beginning.
Main character Ikuru Yoshizumi was given organ transplants after being involved in an accident. However, these organs are now killing him.
In his last days, he orders an AGH-RMS, a genetically engineered human with a short lifespan, designed to comfort dying humans before death.
Ikuru is given Ai, an AGH-RMS that gives him a reason to live. As a global conflict threatens humanity, Ikuru and Ai cling to each other for love and comfort.Advertisement
Goodnight Punpun is an award-winning manga about Punpun Onodera, a young boy who is represented as a roughly sketched bird.
This heart-wrenching manga follows Punpun in different stages of life as he undergoes both mundane and traumatic experiences that mark his gritty, dark upbringing.
Bitter Virgin is a seinen manga that doesn’t have an adaptation yet, though many fans feel that it would deserve it.
This slice of life story treads difficult topics such as sexual abuse and teenage pregnancy, which you might want to be aware of going into the manga.
Daisuke Suwa is a high schooler who ends up hiding in a church in his attempt to escape a conflict. His classmate, Hinako, walks into the church right then and, mistaking his voice for the priest’s, asks him to hear her confession. Not daring to reveal the truth, Daisuke hears her tragic story.