A sure sign of the quality of a dramatic anime is its ability to bring its audience to tears, or at least leave them emotionally devastated. However, some anime make people cry too well for viewers to refuse to watch them again.
Just because these emotionally charged cartoons don’t inspire repeat viewings doesn’t mean they’re bad. On the contrary, it is one of the highest praises they can receive. Being able to generate an emotional response in the audience is always a sign of good writing, especially in animation. That said, not everyone is ready to revisit these titles to check for adulation.
ten Your lie in April was always going to end in death
From the first episodes, Your lie in April seemed like an emotionally charged but otherwise typical romantic anime. An emotionally troubled Kousei slowly comes out of his shell when he meets Kaori, an eccentric girl who has literally brought color back into his life. The problem is that Kaori is dying of a rare disease and she doesn’t have much time left.
Knowing this, Kousei gives his friendship and potential romance with Kaori everything he has, only for her to die in the end. That doesn’t mean Kousei’s life is over, but his death still weighs heavily on him. Your lie in April is a sweet love story of young love, but its heartbreaking ending makes it hard for even its most nostalgic fans to come back.
9 The sad end of Plastic Memories was inevitable
Romantic tragedies are actually quite common in anime, but few (if any) are as memorably sad as Plastic memories. In this robotic future, Tsukasa falls in love with the android Isla. However, the androids are short-lived, and Isla is nearing her doomed demise. Knowing this, Tsukasa and Isla pursue love at all costs.
The most of Plastic memories was dedicated to showing Tsukasa and Isla’s love and their attempts to find a way to avoid her fate, only for all of their efforts to be in vain. In the end, the lovers can do nothing but wait for the inevitable end. The open ending may be a nice ray of hope, but it doesn’t lessen the pain of their last date.
8 Every once in a while, here and there, there’s nothing but an Isekai Fantasy escapee
From time to time, here and there stands out for being one of the darkest and saddest isekai ever made. Although it starts off as an isekai spin-off anime with Shu transported to another world, the show is anything but escapist fun. The new world Shu has landed on is a dying desert planet, and his life turns into a living hell the moment he wakes up.
The anime doesn’t shy away from the darkness of its world, whether it’s being a child soldier or enduring sex slavery. Although Shu and a few others survived and retained their morals, getting to this point in From time to time, here and there can be an endurance test. There’s a reason even the most dedicated isekai fans refuse to revisit Hellywood.
seven Gundam 0080: War In The Pocket shows the horrors of war through the eyes of a child
With very few exceptions, the Mobile Suit Gundam The franchise has always been a harsh and relentless reflection of war. That being said, war in the pocket stands out because it’s arguably the most realistic depiction of what a young mecha pilot would be like. In short, it’s a terrifying experience, and winning the fight does not guarantee peace.
Instead of mecha action, this OVA showed how traumatic a mecha skirmish would be and how insignificant all the suffering is when the big picture is acknowledged. It’s easy to find a gritty Gundam series that shows how gruesome war is, but few are as painfully human and emotionally devastating as War in the pocket.
6 Gungrave’s Gangland Tale Was Never Meant To Have A Happy Ending
Although it’s a far cry from the pulpy games it was based on, fans revere Gungrave to be one of the best (albeit badly overlooked) crime tragedies of the 2000s. Gungrave is the story of Brandon and Harry: two street urchins whose childhood friendship ends in betrayal and tragedy thanks to Brandon’s loyalty and Harry’s ambitions.
Gungrave spent its first half building its characters and relationships, only for it all to fall apart halfway through when Brandon returned from the grave to put old wounds to rest. Despite the unforgettable cast and hard-hitting action, reviewing Gungrave can be taxing due to how inevitable the pain and misery of anime is.
5 Devilman Crybaby’s Apocalyptic Ending Isn’t Its Saddest Part
crybaby devilman is best known for its surreal animation and intense gore, but at the end of the day, this ultraviolent anime is a tragedy at heart. Although it begins by focusing on the titular Devilman, Akira Fudo, the anime is really the story of how Ryo Asuka (or an amnesiac Satan) killed his chance for a second life in the name of the pride and revenge.
Everything starts to go downhill the moment Ryo remembers who he really was. Characters viewers have become invested in suffer horrific fates they never deserved, and best friends Akira and Ryo are left with no choice but to fight to the death. However crybaby devilman benefits greatly from a rewatch, that’s much easier said than done.
4 Berserk (1997) Guts drowned in blood and tragedy
The most painful thing about the original Berserk anime is that it adapts the manga’s most heartwarming arcs, but it ends at the story’s lowest emotional point. After spending 23 episodes showing Guts achieving his best the longer he stays with the Band of the Hawk, the anime killed all of those relationships in the most brutal way possible.
from Berserk the last two episodes covered The Eclipse, where Griffith (the only man Guts loved) sacrificed characters viewers grew to love for power. Guts and Casca survived, but Casca went mad while Guts was left alone. Berserk has many adaptations, but the 1997 anime is both the best of the bunch and the hardest to come back to.
3 Bokurano only got sadder with each passing episode.
Whether said jokingly or with sincerity, bokurano has often been referred to as “Neon Genesis Evangelion, but sadder.” This grim deconstruction of the giant robot anime has earned that reputation in spades since, in short, each of its young heroes is destined to die regardless of their heroic deeds and regardless of the noble causes they serve. ‘They hold.
It’s no exaggeration to say that at least one main character dies in every bokurano episode, and each death hits harder than the last. As of the final episode, only two of the original fifteen children remain, and they are as shocked as expected. bokurano was famous for breaking viewers in 2007, and that claim to fame still holds true today.
2 Saikano fans warned viewers of the final
Saikano follows living super-weapon Chise and her love interest Shuji, as they attempt to find the bright side of life while living in a world caught in a constant state of war. In other anime, this premise would lead to a difficult but worthwhile fight for humanity and peace. In place, Saikano ends in the end of the world, and that’s the best possible outcome.
But even before the heartbreaking finale, watching Chise deteriorate while Shuji helplessly watches is a test of emotional endurance like no other. Because of this, Saikano was considered for some time by anime fans to be the saddest anime ever made. In fact, early fansubs recommended stopping at episode 10 of 13 to give Chise and Shuji a happy ending.
1 Shiki May Make Viewers Lose Faith In Humanity
At first glance, shiki felt like a pretty typical horror anime about a village holding the line against the titular bloodsucking monsters. But halfway through, the anime flipped the perspectives and showed the same events from Shikis’ eyes. The ensuing slaughter of the Shikis at the hands of the villagers isn’t just hard to watch; it’s sad too.
shiki immersed in the darkness of humanity, showing how monstrous people can become when they give themselves the right excuses to kill and torture. No matter who was right or wrong, shiki ended with nearly everyone dead, the survivors shattered, and the village burnt down. Revisiting this harrowing title after a watch is, understandably, nigh on impossible.