12 Saddest Romance Anime to Watch in 2023

12 Saddest Romance Anime to Watch in 2023 Violet Evergarden

12 Saddest Romance Anime to Watch in 2023 Violet Evergarden

Anime as a creative medium has the ability to showcase a wide variety of emotions. Time and time again, anime creators have come up with some real romantic tearjerkers. So, here is a list of the saddest romance anime you can watch in 2023.

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  1. Your Name

    The anime movie Your Name revolves around two characters and their journey while they rediscover themselves.

    Your Name may appear happy but in its underlying subplot, which is romance, there is a feeling of longingness.

    Now, yearning for a loved one is an emotion that can be compared to a small heartache that never ends.

    Coming back to the anime movie, Taki is a teenage boy from Tokyo, while Mitsuha is a young girl from rural Japan.

    One day, they wake up to find out that their bodies have switched with each other.

    As time passes, they sometimes wake up in their own bodies or switch bodies.

    Due to these instances, they are able to communicate with each other. They become great friends and the friendship blooms into a romance between the pair.

    The movie is filled with emotional scenes as Taki and Mitsuha long to see and hold each other.

  2. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas

    This heart-wrenching anime movie introduces an aloof and dull protagonist who has nothing to do with the world.

    However, he loves books and never misses a chance to read one. One day, in the hospital waiting room, he comes across a book titled Living with Dying.

    He soon finds out that it is the diary of his cheerful and popular classmate named Sakura Yamauchi.

    Through her diary, she tells him that she is secretly suffering from a terminal illness.

    The illness is affecting her pancreas and she only has a limited time left in this world.

    As he learns about her condition, he becomes the only person to know her secret.

    Sakura vows to lead a normal life as much as possible. She wishes to live her life to the fullest until the day she passes away.

    Sakura’s free spirit throws him off and his heart starts to change. The protagonist decides to be by her side during her final days.

    I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is a bittersweet romantic anime that shows love from a new perspective.

    The ending is surely going to make you cry, so keep that tissue box ready.

  3. A Silent Voice

    Elementary school student Shoya Ishida is a wild boy and finds the meanest ways to fight boredom.

    After the deaf Shoko Nishimiya transfers into Shoya’s class, he and the rest of his classmates mindlessly bully her.

    However, when Shoko’s mother informs the school, Shoya is blamed for everything she is going through.

    Shoko is transferred to another school, while Shoya is all alone facing his peers and teacher who have abandoned him.

    Later, Shoya, who is in his third year of high school, is still struggling with his past wrongdoings. He regrets his past actions and wishes to meet Shoko once again.

    A Silent Voice is an emotional story of Shoya and Shoko’s reunion. The anime also showcases Shoya’s earnest attempt to redeem himself.

    This poignant drama addresses bullying, depression, and redemption with honesty and utmost care.

  4. Plastic Memories

    After failing the college entrance exams, Tsukasa Mizugaki is able to find a job at the Sion Artificial Intelligence Corporation (SAI Corp.).

    The organization creates highly advanced androids named Giftias. These androids look quite similar to regular humans.

    Unfortunately, they have a maximum lifespan of nine years and four months.

    Tsukasa is assigned to Terminal Service One station that deals with Giftias that reached their expiry date.

    As soon as he joins Terminal Service One, he is paired with a gorgeous Giftia called Isla. She is considered the finest in Giftia retrievals.

    However, the clock is ticking and Tsukasa needs to address his feelings for Isla. He knows that his time with Isla will not last forever.

    Plastic Memories is a mixture of romance and sci-fi with several emotional scenes that will tingle your heart.

  5. Your Lie in April

    Your Lie in April explores themes like music, romance, and drama. It revolves around a piano prodigy named Kosei Arima.

    Playing the piano came naturally to Kosei as he was celebrated by those around him. However, he completely gave up on music after his mother passed away when he was 11.

    He lost all interest in piano and his life became monotonous. Later, when he turns 14, his childhood friend Tsubaki introduces him to Kaori, a free-spirited and cheerful violin player.

    After becoming friends with Kaori, Kosei rediscovers his love for playing the piano. Moreover, he starts viewing life from a different perspective.

    Your Lie in April caters to your emotional side with Kosei’s heartbreaking backstory of losing a parent.

    The flashback scenes before an important event make things even more emotional for viewers.

  6. The Wind Rises

    This Studio Ghibli masterpiece is set around World War II. The story of The Wind Rises revolves around Jiro Horikoshi who loves airplanes.

    Due to his nearsightedness, he could not become a pilot, but he went on to become an aeronautical engineer.

    However, as soon as he arrives in the capital, Japan is hit by the Great Kanto Earthquake. He ends up saving a maid who is serving Naoko Satomi’s family.

    Meanwhile, on the professional front, Jirou gives his all to build the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter airplane.

    During this journey, he is made aware of the horrors of war and what his creation would do.

    As time passes, Jiro comes to terms with the harsh realities of life and how brutal the war can be.

    The Wind Rises is a historical anime with an underlying romantic theme. The anime may appear slow and a tad bit boring due to its pacing, but it scores high on emotions.

    The Wind Rises is sad but it also fills the viewer’s heart with hope. The characters are meaningful and showcase depth as the story progresses.

  7. Rumbling Hearts

    High school student Haruka Suzumiya gathers courage and confesses her feelings to Takayuki Narumi.

    In Rumbling Hearts, Takayuki accepts her confession and they become lovers.

    Meanwhile, their mutual friends named Shinji Taira and Mitsuki Hayase wholeheartedly support the couple.

    As the relationship moves forward, they get closer to each other. However, Mitsuki and Takayuki realize they are harboring feelings for each other.

    Suddenly, a tragedy hits home and things completely change for these four friends.

    Rumbling Hearts is an engaging school romance anime with clouds of sadness hovering over the main characters.

  8. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

    Jinta Yadomi is a shut-in and is peacefully living his life playing video games. Suddenly, Meiko Honma appears before him.

    She reminds him of a forgotten wish. However, he ignores her because he knows Meiko died several years ago.

    In the beginning, Jinta thought he was hallucinating because of the heat, but he later learns that what he is seeing is Meiko’s ghost.

    Jinta and his childhood friends lost contact after Meiko’s untimely death. However, when Jinta starts seeing her ghost, he reunites with his friends.

    Together, they attempt to lay her spirit to rest. During this process, they have to relive the past trauma.

    Can they hold on to each other while confronting the painful past and the guilt of forgetting each other?

    Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day gorgeously weaves a story about unrequited love, friendship, jealousy, and death.

    The storyline is incredibly impactful and quite emotional.

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  9. 5 Centimeters per Second

    5 Centimeters per Second is a coming-of-age romantic drama revolving around Tono Takaki and Shinohara Akari.

    Tono and Shinohara were tight friends but eventually grew apart with time. Despite getting separated from each other because of their families, they kept exchanging letters.

    However, as time passes, they forget each other and letters couldn’t stand the test of time. With each year passing, the rift between Tono and Shinohara only becomes larger.

    Meanwhile, Tono recalls the times they were together. He wonders if he would ever get a chance to meet Shinohara again.

    A sudden realization leads Tono to embark on a journey of self-realization as he views people around him differently.

    The anime focuses on the inevitability of life and the importance of loved ones. It is a tale of two friends breaking apart and growing up.

  10. ef: A Tale of Melodies

    ef: A Tale of Melodies showcases two stories. The first tale set several years in the past follows Himura Yuu who is a studious young man.

    Himura studies hard to maintain his academic grades and position at Otowa Academy. One day, he comes across a mysterious girl named Amamiya Yuuko, who knows him.

    Meeting Amamiya will allow Himura to face the trauma of their collective pasts as well as the present.

    Meanwhile, in the present timeline, Kuze Shuichi, is mistaken for a womanizer, but in reality, he wants to stay away from others.

    Hayama Mizuki is awestruck by Kuze’s mesmerizing violin performance. She wants to be closer to Kuze and hear him play all day long.

    She tries to form a bond with him, but Kuze pushes her away. In the meantime, their blossoming relationship is plagued by a tragedy.

    ef: A Tale of Melodies is all about memories and deep emotions between the characters in both stories.

  11. Full Moon o Sagashite

    Eichi Sakurai moved out of Japan but she could not confess her feelings to her friend Mitsuki Koyama.

    However, they made a promise to each other that they will work on their respective dreams. Mitsuki aims to become a professional singer while Eichi dreams to be an astronomer.

    She hopes that one day Eichi would hear her music that will shine like the full moon. However, Mitsuki is suffering from throat cancer and that puts her singing dream on the back burner.

    Her grandmother, who dislikes music, wants Mitsuki to get the operation done and remove the tumor. However, Mitsuki fears that she might lose her voice forever.

    In the meantime, two Shinigami named Takuto Kira and Meroko Yui appear before Mitsuki. They inform her that she has only one year to live.

    Suddenly, Mitsuki gets the drive to catapult her singing career. With Takuto and Mereko’s help, she determines to become a pro-level singer before she dies.

    Full Moon o Sagashite is a heartwarming tale of following your dreams and passions.

    The anime also explores themes such as losing a dear one, hopelessness, and the struggles to face the grim realities of life.

  12. Violet Evergarden

    After four years, the Great War finally comes to an end. The continent of Telesis is slowly starting to regain its glory.

    The main protagonist of the series, Violet Evergarden, is a young girl who was raised to destroy her enemies.

    During the final phase of the war, Violet is badly wounded and finds herself in the hospital. She is only left with the words from the person she held dear.

    However, she doesn’t know what they mean. As she recovers, she gets a chance to work at CH Postal Services.

    There, she learns about Auto Memory Dolls who transcribe other people’s thoughts and emotions and pen them into words.

    Violet starts working as an Auto Memory Doll and she sets out on a new kind of adventure that will lead to self-discovery.

    Violet Evergarden is beautifully crafted, and the protagonist’s emotional rollercoaster ride appears sincere and heartbreaking.

    The series delicately deals with themes like romance, depression, and the different ways to articulate emotions.

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