In this brief guide, we will look at 11 sad anime shows to watch when you are feeling low and could use a good cry.
A list of Sad Anime to Watch
Here is a list of some sad anime shows and movies:
- Now and Then, Here and There
- Nagi-Asu: A lull in the sea
- Haibane Renmei
- Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
- Angel Beats!
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica
- Steins Gate
- Plastic Memories
- Guilty Crown
- Code Geass
Sad anime movies and shows can be a great way to get some catharsis when you are feeling low but can’t get the tears out or feel like you don’t know what to do.
If you are looking for a sad anime because you need some release of your own, or want some characters to relate to, we have you covered, check out the detailed list of 11 sad anime shows and movies below.
Sad Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Fullmetal Alchemist is known as a rather adventurous anime show, but the undercurrents of this show actually make it a really sad anime.
This sad anime is about two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who are raised by their mother Trisha Elric, and their father Hohenheim is a noted and very gifted alchemist who abandoned the family while the boys were still young.
The boys, like their father, have a gift for alchemy and become curious about its secrets and when their mother dies of a lingering illness, they go under a friend’s care, and spend a lot of time trying to learn the art of alchemy.
The story starts gathering momentum after they try to bring their mother back and things go horrifically wrong, and they have to deal with yet another problem that life has suddenly thrown at them.
The entire story of the movie is essentially about that, how hard life becomes for the two brothers and their constant struggle to get back to the idyllic life they once had.
Sad Anime: Puella Magi Madoka Magica
While it may not initially seem like a sad anime to many people, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is actually quite sad in many places.
This sad anime is about a group of middle school girls, where the protagonist is Madoka Kaname, and how they make supernatural contracts to become magical girls, or mahō shōjo.
After they make these contracts, they start battling surreal enemies known as “witches”, and in doing so they learn of the anguish and peril associated with their new roles.
This entire show is based on the premise of the simple idea that sometimes what you desperately wish for is not something that will necessarily make you happy, and sometimes when you receive what you had been chasing it is not all it seemed earlier.
The girls becoming magical and achieving whatever they wanted is stripped of all the happiness when they realise that they have just invited stress and sadness into their lives, and there are many events in their life as magical girls that proves just this over and over again.
This show is immensely watchable both for the adventure and magic as well as the fact that it is a good sad anime to watch when you are feeling particularly sad and low.
Sad Anime: Code Geass
This sad anime is about a man who is given the power to influence people and how he uses it as the means to lead a rebellion.
In Code Geass, the Empire of Britannia has invaded Japan using giant robot weapons called Knightmare Frames and therefore Japan is now referred to as Area 11, and its people the 11’s.
Lelouch was a Britannian who was living in Japan at the time of the invasion, and he vowed to his Japanese friend Suzaku that he’d destroy Britannia and years after that when he was in high school, he would skip school to go play chess and gamble on himself. One day, he stumbles on terrorists 11’s who’ve stolen a military secret and are caught by a member of the Britannian task force sent after them, and when the rest of the squad arrives, Suzaku is shot for disobeying orders.
However, the military secret he was trying to steal away, a young immortal witch, gives Lelouch the power of Geass, which makes anyone obey any order.
Lelouch becomes the masked Zero to lead the rebellion to destroy Britannia once and for all, and throughout this entire show the ups and downs that lead to this rebellion and other things that take place in achieving the independence that Lelouch needs.
There are various things that make this show one of the saddest ever, and you should check it out if you want something with magic, politics and emotion.
Sad Anime: Guilty Crown
This sad anime is all about the adventure and anguish that goes into saving your community and rebelling against the status quo.
The plot of this sad anime is based on the outbreak of the unidentified virus “Lost Christmas” (Which may seem a bit more touchy in 2020 in particular)in 2029, and this causes Japan to be under the control of a multi-nation organization called GHQ.
Ohma Shu is a 17 year old boy who has a psychic power in his right hand, known as the power “Ability of King” and he can use the ability to extract tools or weapons from his friends.
He has been avoiding making trouble for others but his life changes when he meets a girl Yuzuriha Inori, a member of a resistance guerrilla group called “Funeral Parlor”, whose members pilot mecha weapons to fight against the government
The entire story then revolves around getting the country out from troubling times and bringing back the better days.
Sad Anime: Plastic Memories
Plastic Memories another sad anime that seems to rest the sadness in the fact that nothing lasts forever and reality seeps into things sooner or later.
The story of Plastic memories revolves around the premise of the creation of androids that are almost impossible to discern from real human beings, but also the fact that they have a very short, finite lifespan and herein lies all the emotion and sentiment of the story.
However, the main difference is that they have a very short finite lifespan.
All the androids in this sad anime can only live for a maximum of about nine years approximately, or maybe a little bit more, and the story gets extremely sad when the protagonist of the show falls in love with one of them and realises that he will soon lose his love.
Sad Anime: Steins Gate
Most people know Steins;Gate as a science fiction or action type anime, but the undertones or this show can be extremely sad, and some of the most heartbreaking arcs can be found in this sad anime.
Steins;Gate is about a guy called Okabe Rintarou who is a college student and self-proclaimed mad scientist who realizes that he has a way to change past events, and he does so by sending out mails known as D-mails.
However, as every single time related movie or show will teach you, changing time in any way or playing around with it never ends well, and Rintarou discovers this pretty quickly.
Once he starts engaging with this process, he finds himself in a position to race against time to save his childhood friend Mayuri, but he just has to watch her die again and again and at some point he must even choose between Mayuri and the girl he fell in love with.
This sad anime is heartbreaking in the themes it touches upon and the desperation Okabe feels so often, which makes for a great watch.
Sad Anime: Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
There are eleven episodes in Anohana, and we can guarantee you will cry in every single one, so much so that you might start to associate the songs in the anime with the sadness you feel and cry when you hear the very first notes itself.
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day is a sad anime from A-1 Pictures that aired in the spring of 2011and it is the story of a group of childhood friends, now teenagers, attempting to cope with the loss of their friend Menma, who died when they were kids.
In the story, it has been 5 years after Menma’s death, and the group of friends has drifted apart but they are brought together by the ghost of their long-lost friend.
The group reunites so that Menma can finally make her wish and move on, while at the same time providing her friends the closure they need to move on without her and the real sad points throughout the story explore how Menma’s death affected each of her friends.
The themes of death and loss are sad enough on their own, but when you add that to the feelings of guilt and difficulty moving on, it makes for a particularly difficult to watch experience.
Sad Anime: Grave of the Fireflies
Grave of the Fireflies is basically one of the saddest anime there is by all accounts, and just about anyone who has seen it will tell you is one of the most heartbreaking movies you’ll ever see, just look at this review:
“Grave of The Fireflies is heartachingly pure and possibly the second most depressing movie I’ve ever seen. It always makes me cry”
The movie is set in the final days of World War II, and tells the story of a boy named Seita and his younger sister Setsuko, whose lives have been devastated by the cruel and brutal war that’s left them without their parents and their home.
They fend for themselves in the Japanese countryside, and despite the remnants of the war raging around them their youthful optimism is wonderful to watch in the face of the unyielding adversity they have been faced with.
Even as you know where the story heads it is impossible to look away and you just need to keep watching and find out what happens to the two lovely and pure siblings you suddenly find yourself devoted to.
Sad Anime: Your Lie in April
Another great and sad anime is Your lie in April, which came out in Fall 2014 and tells the story of a piano prodigy and famous child musician named Kousei Arima, who lost the ability to hear the sound of his own piano after his mother’s death.
When Kousei meets Kaori Miyazono who is a lively violinist who helps him see that music should be played freely, and not in the strict, structured manner his mother taught him, the story becomes something else altogether, and it explores how much someone can open up with some affection and encouragement.
This sad anime tugs at you with the portrayal of Kousei’s recovery and how he figures out that music is not just hitting note perfectly, and also how he falls in love with Kaori.
Themes of emotional trauma, overcoming loss, and moving forward speckle this sad anime, and you will find out how much music can make you weep.
Sad Anime: Clannad
Clannad is a sad anime based on Key’s visual novel of the same name and there are two seasons of this anime.
The first part of this show is all about the run-of-the-mill high school drama, and deals with themes of friendships and romantic relationships, but in the second part you will find more serious and impactful themes like the struggles of adulthood and especially an emphasis on the importance of family.
When you get to see how every character’s whole lives play out, it is wonderful to be able to draw parallels to your life and see what changed for you and how it did, and in doing so you might find yourself shedding more than a few tears.
Sad Anime: Angel Beats!
Angel beats is not a typical sad anime but given that it deals with the themes of death and loss, it can make you cry some big fat tears.
Angel Beats! Is about a boy called Otonosahi who wakes up and realises that he is dead but a rifle-carrying girl named Yuri explains that he’s arrived in the afterlife and that she is the leader of a name-changing battlefront that rebels against God and fights God’s henchwoman.
The show can be pretty funny but as the story progresses and the battle rages on, you see the characters question the morality of their actions, and themes like letting go of attachments and loss start to make an appearance, leading to some emotional moments.
In this brief guide, we looked at 11 sad anime shows to watch when you are feeling low and could use a good cry.
Anime shows are great when you want to feel a lot of emotions and also see characters in a dramatic and fun context, and they portray emotions amazingly well even though it is animation.
If you have any more sad anime shows to tell us about, or any questions about the ones discussed here, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Sad Anime
What are some sad anime on Netflix?
Some sad anime on Netflix are as follows:
A.I.C.O Incarnation (2018-)
In This Corner of the World (2016)
Violet Evergarden (2018)
A Silent Voice (2016)
Flavors of Youth (2018)
What are some of the most emotional anime?
Here is a list of some of the most emotional anime:
A Silent Voice
The Garden of Words
Grave of the Fireflies
The Wind Rises
The Girl who Leapt Through Time
When Marnie was There
Howl’s Moving Castle
What are some sad romance anime movies?
Some sad romance anime movies are as follows:
Children Who Chase Lost Voices.
Hotarubi no Mori.
The Princess and the Pilot.
Garden of Words.
5 Centimeters Per Second.
Air (2004 Movie)
Clannad (Motion Picture)