17 Emotional Anime Series That Always Make Fans Cry

17 Emotional Anime Series That Always Make Fans Cry

Anime is home to a wealth of genres – romance, comedies, and slice of life are just a few! They are also home to some emotional tales. While not a genre, emotional anime can strike at the feelings of fans. They tend to fall within the romance and drama genres, and can be a challenge for people who cry easily.

Here are some fans should check out.


1. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Episodes: 11 + 1 Movie

Quick pitch: Jinta Yadomi lives life as a shut-in. One hot summer day, Jinta sees Meiko Honma, who is an old childhood friend. She spends the day pestering Jinta about a wish, but ignores her since she died several years ago. Thinking this was a hallucination, Jinta is convinced that he has been seeing Meiko’s ghost. He must reunite their old friends so that Meiko’s soul can be put to rest.


2. Clannad After Story

Studio: Kyoto Animation

Episodes: 47

Quick pitch: Tomoya and Nagisa get married and have a daughter named Ushio. But when tragedy strikes, Tomoya enters a deep depression which leads to a strained relationship with his family.


3. Your Lie in April

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Episode count: 22

Quick pitch: Kousei was a child prodigy pianist, but his mother’s death took away his passion. His life changes after meeting a violinist named Kaori.


4. Plastic Memories

Studio: Doga Kobo

Episode count: 13

Quick pitch: Tsukasa takes a job at the SAI Corporation, which develops androids (Giftia) capable of human emotions. Tsukasa’s job is to help retrieve expiring Giftia before their personalities degrade, but what happens when he falls in love with one?


5. Grave of the Fireflies

Studio: Studio Ghibli

Episode count: 1 movie

Quick pitch: World War II is winding down, but life is hell for siblings Seita and Setsuko. Everything is taken away from them after an air raid, forcing the siblings to live around disease and starvation.


6. 5 Centimeter Per Second

Studio: CoMix Wave Inc.

Episode count: 1 movie

Quick pitch: Takaki Toono and Akari Shinohara were close friends, but they were pulled away after Akari’s family moved to a different region. They stay in touch through mail, but the years see them go their separate paths.


7. Wolf’s Rain

Studio: Bones

Episodes: 26 + 4 OVAs

Quick pitch: A legend exists stating that when the world ends, the gates to paradise will open. Only wolves can find the way to the gate, but they are thought to have gone extinct long ago. Wolves still exist, and with the use of illusions, they live among humans.


8. Steins;Gate

Studio: White Fox

Episodes: 24 + 1 OVA

Quick pitch: A self-proclaimed mad scientist has the hobby of creating “future gadgets.” The hobby stops being fun when he and his squad accidentally discover time travel.


9. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Studio: Bones / Kinema Citrus

Episode count: 11

Quick pitch: A devastating earthquakes tears through the Kanto region. Three survivors cope with the aftermath, not knowing if their families are safe while navigating the aftermath.


10. Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin

Studio: Madhouse

Episodes: 26

Quick pitch: Six delinquents are sent to the Shounen Special Reform School due to committing serious crimes. They meet a former boxer named Rokurouta Sakuragi, who offers them survival guidance.


11. Welcome to the NHK

Studio: Gonzo

Episodes: 24

Quick pitch: Tatsuhiro Satou has been a hikikomori for almost four years and believes that there is an organization called the NHK that is forcing him to live as a shut-in.


12. Angel Beats!

Studio: P.A. Works

Episode count: 13

Quick pitch: Otonashi wakes up dead. The crazy thing is that there are a group of teens stuck in the afterlife, with no memory on how they got there. Can they find a way to crossover?


13. ef: A Tale of Memories

Studio: Shaft

Episodes: 12

Quick pitch: On Christmas Eve, Hiro Hirono runs into Miyako Miyamura, who takes Hiro’s bike so she can catch a purse thief. After finding his bike wrecked and Miyako unconscious, Hiro spends Christmas Eve with Miyako as she recovers.


14. Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade

Studio: Production I.G.

Episodes: 1 movie

Quick pitch: Constable Kazuki Fuse fails to follow an order to execute a frightened young girl moments before she commits a suicide bombing. Scarred from the event, Fuse is ordered to go to training camp for re-evaluation. During some down time, he visits the grave of the girl and meets Kei, who is the deceased’s sister. Over time, they form a peculiar bond.


15. Hotarubi no Mori e

Studio: Brain’s Base

Episode count: 1 movie

Quick pitch: Hotaru was six when she met the forest spirit Gin. It was forwarned that if Gin makes physical contact with anyone, he will disappear. As time goes on, the two start to form a strong bond.


16. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

Studio: Kyoto Animation

Episodes: 1 Movie

Quick pitch: On Christmas Day, Kyon heads over to school to celebrate the holiday with members of the SOS Brigade. However, strange things seem to be happening. Haruhi is nowhere to be found, and his friends don’t remember being a part of the SOS Brigade.


17. Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team

Studio: Sunrise

Episodes: 12 OVAs

Quick pitch: The events take place during The One Year War. Zeon and the Earth Federation are engaged in guerrilla warfare in Southeast Asia. The series focuses on two star crossed lovers; Zeon pilot Aina Sahalin and Earth Federation pilot Shiro Amada.

What are your favorite emotional anime?

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