Top 10 Saddest Anime Series

Anime series have been divided into several categories - comedic, romantic, mystery, science-fiction... but what has caught my attention are tragedies, or animes that are not necessarily tragedies but are emotional ones that have caused people's eyes to water.

The saddest anime series should be dependent on the content of the anime, the character backgrounds, and just anything that has made them such emotional masterpieces sending people to tears.
The Top Ten
1 Angel Beats! Angel Beats! is a 13-episode Japanese anime television series produced by P.A.Works and Aniplex and directed by Seiji Kishi.

Angel Beats is the saddest anime I've watched so far. It's beautiful, sad, hilarious, heartbreaking and the music and emotions are amazing. You just get so attached to the characters and the last episode just left me there absolutely crushed. The way he screamed Kanade in the end literally broke my heart. And I just had to watch it to the very last second to see if he disappears too. It left me in such a sad awe that I didn't even think of watching another series for a couple of days. I felt that it would ruin the moment. It leaves you sad and crush but at the same time your happy and feel kinda free and fulfilled. If you haven't seen this then you should type it in right now. It's just breathtaking. Must see!

Yes this anime was the most saddest anime I've ever watched. It was sad at the end when the characters I loved the most disappeared one by one. During the ending credits, they usually make all the Angel Beats characters appear together in one big picture but on the last episode, it started off as all of the characters being there then they all disappeared. And after the ending credits they showed a clip where when they get their 2nd lives, it shows Yuzuru passes by a girl (Tachibana) with a hoodie over her head and he passes by her, the girl starts humming a song that was from a band when they were dead that she and Yuzuru liked. Yuzuru hears, pauses, the turns around and sees the girl start to walks the opposite way that he was going. So then Yuzuru runs to the girl and reaches his hand out and the whole series ended with his hand an inch away from her shoulder.

Well deserving of the top spot. It makes you laugh, makes you cry, and everything in between. The premise is amazing and unlike anything I've ever seen anywhere else. The creator really knew what they were doing. Even while mostly developing the main core of characters they make you care about every other character. That's no small feat.

I watched every second of every show, from the opening to the ending themes. They even make the smallest of scenes emotional. Watching every character go from appearing in the ending credits to disappearing one by one in the final episode is absolutely amazing.

It remains to this day the only anime I've ever watched a second time. I can't say enough about how wonderfully this anime is and how well they deal with emotion.

This has the saddest ending. I don't cry. There is one thing that has ever truly made me sob and I haven't ever gotten over that. But the way this ended left me wanting to curl up and hide away forever, it's so sad. Right at the end he finds the person he donated his heart too and loves her but it's literally seconds away from the moment when he loses her. This left me crying so badly. Then the final end scene where all the characters slowly vanish and disappear till there's no one left... But if you were strong enough to watch to the end you could see how Takashi and Kanade find each other in their next life. I love this anime so much, well worth it.

2 Clannad After Story Clannad is based off a visual novel. It follows the story of a high school senior named Tomoya Okazaki, a delinquent who floats through life caring about very little. He hates the town he lives in and his alcoholic father.

He and his friend Yohei Sunohara spend most of their time skipping school and pranking other students.

Things change however when he meets a girl, Nagisa Furukawa. He ends up taking an interest in her and decides to help her revive the school's dying drama club.

Along the way he meets a number of other girls that he befriends and helps in their various goals around the school. As he helps the girls, Tomoya grows in turn and begins to care about the town. more.

Let me just say for the record that I have a stone heart, and NONE of the other anime on this list following this one have EVER gotten me to cry (in fact, no other anime EVER). And in Clannad AS, I was bawling like a little child. No other show, book, movie, video, or ANYTHING has ever gotten me to cry so hard (except for maybe a couple of Thai Life Insurance's videos haha). It is so deeply grounded in family values and it really shows you what emotions feel like. You never will truly connect with any other character/anime than you will with Clannad AS. If you don't mind the rough ride, Clannad AS is one of the most- no, THE most- beautiful, heart-meltingly sweet anime I have ever seen, and I urge you to watch it.


Although I was extremely saddened by Nagisa's death I didn't cry. It was to calm for it to be sad. The parts that did make me cry however, were all of the scenes where Tomoya remembers Nagisa, the scenes when he tells Ushio about it and after a while the simple mention of her name would bring me to tears.

Ushio dying was also extremely depressing as well as she was so much like her mother.

I also think this show did very well with what I like to call 'Crying Triggers'. This is when the studio making the anime does something that makes you cry. For instance, Nagisa's theme was played through out the first series and was used whenever she was happy. In season 2 though after her death, they used it when ever she was talked about. This would bring back all of the happy memories with her and I would cry. This also happens if I am not watching the show.

It probably didn't help that I watched the whole of After Story in just over 24 hours though.

Clannad After Story is in fact the saddest anime I have ever seen. In the beginning it builds the relationship of the main character Tomoya and Nagisa, where it is filled with a lot of happiness and a little sadness. But then again that just makes Nagisa's death more of a heart breaking event. And because of that event Tomoya goes into a long depression for about five years Nagisa's parents set up Tomoya to go and make up with his daughter Ushio. He then wants to try his hardest to take care of Ushio, the story then shows their relationship build. And the story decides to give Ushio a sad death. Thus making this anime the saddest anime I have ever seen.

If you feel like going on a feels trip *Toot toot*, this is the perfect anime for you! This anime will take you on an emotional roller coaster. I have never felt feeling this strong. Ever. However, you do have to watch the first series to really get a connection with the characters for the full effect. When I was watching this anime, I was depressed for two weeks. All of my friends were wondering what was wrong with me So, 10/10, A+ for this anime. It truly is a beautiful and emotional story. If you haven't watched the series, I highly recommend it.

P.S. Don't trash the anime just because of its art style. You'll get used to it. Just keep watching it, or else you'll be throwing a beautiful story out the window. Just like Fruits Basket ;-;

3 Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Alchemist is an anime series adapted from the manga of the same name by Hiromu Arakawa. It is about two brothers, Edward Elric and Alphonse Elric, trying to restore their bodies after failing at bringing their mother back to life. It aired in 2003 and was remade as Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood in 2009.

This show is amazingly sad. "SPOILERS" Two brothers who just wanted things to be the way it was before. When they were toddlers their father left them. When they were 8 and 7 their mother dies. They take you a teacher who has lost her only child and then lost the ability to give life. After a year of training they go on to try and resurrect their mother at the ages of 11 and 10. It fails and as a result the older brother lost his leg, and the younger lost his whole body. The older brother then sacrificed his arm to tie his brothers soul to a suit of armor. The older brother gets prosthetics to set out with his brother to find a way to get their bodies back. This happens in the first 6 episodes. There's 51 eps and a movie. Imagine what happened after that."Spoiler ends"

I'm happy this is here. I'm probably a little late in commenting on this, but I feel like this anime gets overlooked. I have a roommate, who watches a lot of anime, who doesn't like this show, yet he suggested elfen leid, and that sucked. I forget specifically why, but I think it was because he found it childish. I've watched enough anime to know what's childish. And the reality is, if you see it on T.V. it isn't reality. But this anime has hit home in so many ways that much more commercial anime hasn't. Interestingly, this show can provoke so much emotion without death in the first episodes. Then, more happens. (Spoiler later) I've never been religious, and I'm not after this show, but what I love about this show is that it deals with a corrupt government, criminals, and general philosphy about life, and also immortals. What would you do if you knew your destiny was to fight someone people considered immortal. What do immortals want? Why would they want to live/die? Why do you want ...more

Most of the time, people praise FMA Brotherhood for better plot, character development and faithfulness to the manga. But one thing was and always will be better in these old series - and those are THE FEELS.
Brotherhood surely had its moments - but these were mostly deaths of beloved characters. Old FMA is sad in general. It has way darker atmosphere, since brothers end up killing people and that is something they avoided in manga and Brotherhood. Ed suffers pain and depsair when he learns his opponent is dead and he is the killer. Not mentioning the existence of homunculi is in these old series utterly depresing. And ending, oh boy, the ending.

Like it's not enough that I cried practically every two episodes, the end (last few episodes actually) had me sobbing on the carpet in a fetus position. Just thinking about fma (especially 2003 series) or listening to the openings makes me feel so sad because I remember everything that happened to Ed and Al and all the wonderful characters that ended up dead (not gonna name them because I don't wanna spoil it to anyone who hasn't watched it yet). However, this is, and always will be, my favourite anime ever. It's both funny and sad (even scary sometimes), has an amazing plot and I feel like you can empathize with every one of the characters including the "bad" ones (except Shou Tucker, seriously what is wrong with that guy).

4 Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

This is one of my favorite anime's, such a masterfully developed story that shows lot's of meaning and tugs quite a bit at the heart strings. The protagonist's are all quite admirable and all have a strong, but sad background story of how they could've changed Menma's life that day showing how many regrets you can have. Emotions of characters are really shown strongly and the Opening and Ending are amazing songs! The final scene will have you crying like a little girl so be forewarned! :Make sure to bring some buckets and have tissues at the ready. Overall, this is an anime that is quite unique and amazing, can't wait for the movie this august!

This is the best anime I've ever watched. I feel that Anohana is in a sense more 'real' and all of us can better connect with it. The entire anime is focused on depicting the importance of friends and the different types of conflicts among them. It intends to make people feel sad and empathize. Well... It did a good job It is respectable that the places in the anime are crafted based on real life locations. It's really amazing. Plus, the music makes the show really beautiful. Anohana is beautiful. I can feel as if I am really in that world. I feel this strong attraction that I can relate to. I can really understand what it's like. The story, it's just so real.

It shows the impact of one life on so many people. All of the characters are genuine and deal with their issues in different ways. The progression of the charcters is amazing, you see them struggle with all the issues that come to light and they really do change throughout the story. Menma is impossible to dislike and her interactions with the main characters feels genuine and never forced. Unlike some great anime like Angel Beats the story is focused and always the right pace. The ending is perfect in every way, a tearjerker for sure. Not to mention it has the best art and music of any other anime at the top of this list.

This anime...there are no words to describe it. Emotional, touching, with some aspects of truth, it made me completely break down upon watching it. What saddened me the most was that it only had 11 really deserved more! Anohana deals with death and the pain of losing a loved one, and how friendships can never truly end. I cried in practically 6/11 episodes. Although it might seem boring at first, Do. Not. Give. Up. You will truly feel for the characters and relate to them. The ending will leave you sobbing your eyes out, no matter how 'tough' you are. Have tissues ready!

5 Death Note Death Note is a Japanese television drama anime series based on the manga series of the same name by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. The show is centered around Light Yagami - a promising highschooler and aspiring detective with a strong sense of "justice".

I started to watch Death Note one day after I heard it was complete. I watched every episode before 26. The 25 episode was very sad (spoiler) as L died. I was discouraged and didn't watch it anymore. Later I decided to complete it to see what will happen in the end. But, I couldn't help myself to not to see the spoiler of (spoiler) Light's death. I was scarred for life. I was so traumatized that I didn't even think of it anymore. The's writer's obsession with the alphabet "L" was scary itself, (If you know what I mean. ) The opening was sad and the tunes in the background scary. This was truly a masterpiece which even now, I cannot bring myself to watch.

Death note (which is great by the way) gives you extremely likable characters and then rips them all away with emotional deaths. L is killed right after it seems like he and Light could be friends. As Light dies, he has memories of his life before "Kira" and when he's dead, he seems like an innocent young man again making his death hard to watch. The year after Light dies, Misa commits suicide on valentines day, most likely because of her lost love.

Sinister, but brilliantly so. In the end none of it even mattered - most of the characters were dead, and those who weren't had to bear a heavy, heavy burden for the rest of their lives. I think that is what makes Death Note such a powerful anime to me L and Light's intense game of cat and mouse led to nothing. And you could see it in their eyes as they died.

All three main characters and other supporting characters have really sad deaths. L is killed by Rem to protect Misa (Rem dies as a result of this. ) Light's dreams are shattered and then he's killed. Misa commits suicide (although not shown) because Light is dead..

6 Elfen Lied Elfen Lied is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Lynn Okamoto. It was originally serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Young Jump from June 2002 to August 2005, with the 107 chapters collected into twelve tankōbon volumes.

The anime and the manga were both really sad. There was a game that I was addicted to playing. I would spend a lot of time on it everyday. After elfen lied, well, I stopped playing for weeks. I just sat on my bed and thought about the unfairness of the world. Later, I tried filling in the void it left behind by watching other anime like Fullmetal Alchemist and Angel Beats. Fullmetal Alchemist was interesting, but no where as sad as elfen lied. Angel Beats was actually very sad, mostly because of the ending and the incredible soundtrack. But, the lack of character progression made it so that the ending wasn't as depressing as Elfen Lied.

Elfen lied is one of the most depressing animes I've watched. I loved both the anime and the manga but the manga was more deep in the story. By far the manga's ending was much more depressing than anime. It took me forever to get over the ending and I'm still so sad when ever I think about that ending. After I just finished the manga I was crying so much that the next few days I was so depressed. Everything was so unfair in the manga and the anime. Even though I finished the manga and the anime a long time a go I still get depressed when I think about it. Elfen lied's manga is one of my favorites and the one I read the most. But whenever I read it I skip the ending because it was too sad for me to handle another time. When I finished the manga I really wanted to watch the anime. After Elfen lied I started loving the tragedy genre. It's what made me watch all those other sad anime that I love. This is one my favorites and I miss it a lot.

Anime is not really good, since it's adaptation, but manga actually got me on the edge. And I loved it. But then the mangaka decides it was probably just too much and magically brings nearly everyone back, just as if realizing it was just over the top, that it crossed the line and people could get really mad - to prevent that from happening, we just get a happy ending with so many resurrected characters, I can hardly count them. I loved how dark it all actually was, but then it slides down to all the naive fantasy animes where no one really dies no matter the situation. Sad story indeed.

When I finished watching the anime I thought it was the saddest thing I have ever seen. I just sat there tried to comprehend what I had just watched and try to find more things about Elfen Lied, that's when I found the manga and started to read it. When I had finished reading it and had read the note at the end I just couldn't hold back the tears and was crying like never before, after that I was depressed for like weeks and nothing else mattered. Elfen lied is truly one of the saddest animes out there.

7 Naruto Naruto is an anime and manga franchise Naruto, created by Masashi Kishimoto. The manga was later adapted into a television anime, which was produced by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex. It premiered across Japan on the terrestrial TV Tokyo and other TX Network stations on October 3, 2002. The first series lasted 220 episodes, while Naruto: Shippuden, a sequel to the original series, has been airing since February 15, 2007. In addition to the anime series, Studio Pierrot has developed eleven movies and several original video animations. Other types of merchandise include light novels, video games, and trading cards developed by several companies.

Naruto was neglected, hated, despised, isolated, and feared his whole life, for something he didn't ask for and something he couldn't control - Yet he always smiled, saying he would be Hokage, and hoping for a better day tomorrow. He meets Iruka, Kakashi, Team 7, the Rookie 9, Jiraiya, and so many people who finally acknowledge him as a shinobi; as someone who means something. And he's so happy that they saved him from his own depression and sadness, heck, who wouldn't be? As if they're not already stuffing enough feels into our faces, Naruto is forced to endure even more, suffering deaths of close ones, and the loss of his best friend and rival Sasuke. He continues on through life, affecting so many people, changing the hearts of his enemies, friends, and teachers alike. He strains so hard to save what helped him so much, to keep his friends safe like they helped him. It's heart-wrenching to see the sad but close bond he shares with people like Gaara, Sasuke, Killer B, and anyone who ...more

The series as a whole, is about overcoming loneliness, hatred, being from nothing to something and never giving up on your goals, shows monsters like Gaara to being a Hero of his people, Naruto from being lonely to making friends and to becoming a Hero as well. People like Sasuke who have dealt with depression over the ENTIRE family of his putting him in the state of seeking mad revenge. Many characters with many stories to explain with their many personalities. Many characters have depressing lives with War, Famine and Death, many emotional damaging stories. Naruto is my favorite.

The pain of being's unbearable isn't it? But now I have people I love and I have to protect them...Even if I have to kill you! Spoken like a true one. Naruto, the one to endure. Always in the dark but also in the light. In the dark of lonliness but in the light of loved ones...some die, some go, some stay, some live. Naruto lived, he didn't just live though. He endured, worked hard, worked to cover up his past as if it never happened by being the happy go lucky person he is. Been happy, been sad. Never sad, never angry. Always light will trickle through your dark window. Because you won't be always sad. Naruto has taught you that. Many characters taught you. Your not a failure. You have a purpose in life and it's your job to find it!

I have only watched what Naruto I can on Youtube because I don't have Netflix, but I know it's a real tear-jerker. But the weird thing with me is...well...let's start off with 2 examples: Gaara and Rock Lee's back stories. I cried for Lee's and I didn't cry for Gaara' does that make sense? Oh...I know. I can relate to Lee's childhood, because many times, I've felt like a loser and thought that I always will be a loser. I know how it feels. I don't know how it feels to have a dad who hates you, no mom, assassins trying to kill you, a village that scorns you...I don't even know how it feels like to have a big sister (I have a big brother). I can't relate to him. But I can with Lee. That's why Naruto is one of the saddest animes, because no matter your childhood, you probaly felt at least ONE characters pain, from Lee to Gaara, to Kakashi to Naruto, from Sasuke to Itachi. But it can give you hope too. Lee became a father and one of the Konoha 11. Gaara became Kazekage. Kakashi ...more

8 Code Geass R2

The moment I saw Lelouch die, after everything that he has been through. How could this not be the saddest thing ever?! His sacrifice for the greater god of humanity is such a huge burden for him to bear. And to think that everyone else shunned him without knowing what he had give them.. It is so cruel. In another way, it was a poetic and beautiful ending, even if it ended with his death.

In fact, Lelouch's sacrifice reminded me of Romeo and Juliet's love story, with how they can never be together as long as they are alive.. Just like Lelouch, they died so that their wish would come true. If this isn't a tragedy, then I don't know what is.

Code Geass will always be my favourite anime and one of the best anime of all time. You see the main character Lelouch go through so so much, he's not doing it for himself but for his sisters wish of a gentle world. You witness him succeed and drastically fail. This anime changes your life and makes you want to change the world. Lelouch's character is so well developed and complex, there are times when you wonder if you're supporting the right side anymore. At the end of the day he was still just a boy, a boy who lost his home, betrayed by his mother, father, best friend, the company which he built from the ground and most importantly his little sister. CC also has to be one the best written characters I've ever come across who's story is also tragic.

But the thing that hit me the most was that Lelouch did and sacrificed so much but got absolutely nothing back. Only a few were on his side at the end and only a few actually realised the demons master plan for world ...more

How isn't this in the top 10? This anime's ending is so sad. Lelouch Vi Britannia sacrificed his life for the nation, the country, the world, for his sister. He had planned the entire thing, including Zero Requiem. He was betrayed by the entire world and had no one left, the Black Knights betrayed him, his parents dead, his sister hating him, yet he rises out of the dust to... die. The worst part was how only Nunnally, his younger sister, only mourned for hi death, while everyone rejoiced and celebrated his death, without the hint that he had just... reborned the world.

As I finished the last episode, I started crying like I lost someone very dear to me. I tried to fall asleep since it was night, but as soon as it became silent, Lelouch came back in my head. I could not forget how Lelouch was killed to make a new peaceful world, how his sister cried when she saw into his memories. I rewatch the last episode every now and then and start crying every time. I cried when Shirley Fenette dies and even for Rolo's death. I am not usually moved by someone's death, but for some reason, this anime got me crying for nights.
I will never forget Lelouch's sacrifice.

9 Your Lie In April Your Lie in April, known in Japan as Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso or just simply Kimiuso, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Naoshi Arakawa.

The story is something beautiful as is the music. It is the expressiveness of Romantic Classical music in anime form! At the end, I essentially curled into the fetal position and gave a meek "ow" as I clenched my heart. I then thanked it as it leaves you feeling sad, but also shows the beauty of sorrow itself and how it can create something beautiful. It's poetry! Some characters could've used more development, but the characters who were developed were developed WELL. The animation is astounding. I also like how it makes you cry, but doesn't go out of its way to emotionally hurt you and leave it at that. Rather, it shows you that pain is a part of life and that human beings have a knack for getting through it with softer hearts and gentler smiles.

I began to be annoyed with this series around half way through and was going to write it off as a Clannad knockoff with an emphasis on music. Some things were eerily similar such as the male protagonist having an abusive parent and the female protagonist having some sort of mysterious health issues and parents working in a bakery. I'm really glad I stuck with it though. The payoff in the end was extremely satisfying. Not only was it as emotional as you would hope for a series like this, but it didn't feel the need to have some sort of strange deus ex machina supernatural bail out in the end like Clannad did. It was a bit more grounded in reality. I think Clannad Afterstory will always be my personal favorite, but this deserves more credit than it has in this list.

Oh my goodness, this show. I'm not the type of person to cry, but it has brought me closer to tears more times than I'd like to admit. The characters, the visuals, the music, all blend into what I consider to be an absolute masterpiece. It demands you feel something, and you can do nothing but comply. Definitely not an experience I'll forget any time soon, likely due to this emptiness that I can't seem to fill after watching. Hilariously enough, I'd still recommend it to anybody without hesitation. You leave with something, perhaps a new appreciation for the smaller things in life, the motivation to push past your fears, sorrow for things lost, whatever it may be. I don't really know how to feel, other than amazed.

I met the girl under full-bloomed cherry blossoms and my fate has begun to change. I've been touched by a purely beautiful story that I wouldn't have expected possible from an anime, and I don't regret a second of it.

The ending, while not completely unexpected before the end, gave you a sense like watching a train that you were standing in front of slowly creep closer to you. I was hooked the moment Kaori was introduced and the hints that were dropped along the way leading up to her breakdown made me feel broken with her. But the ending was so full of bittersweet emotions, like Kousei not being able to actually say how he felt, you also feel robbed. Despite that feeling the letter wraps up the entire story and you feel doubly robbed as you don't get the satisfaction of breaking down completely. She came, she stirred the waters, she left, and then she calmed the tide of the aftermath. It was a beautiful story and even now I am fighting tears to write this. This deserves to be one of the top ten, not Claymore or Full Metal Alchemist. The sadness this anime offers is in the fact that you know something is wrong, you see it coming, but like watching a train coming at you and being unable to move you ...more

10 Attack on Titan Attack on Titan, also known as Shingeki no Kyojin in Japanese, created by Hajime Isayama, is one of the most popular Japanese anime series to be released. It was first watched in Japan during 2013 and was dubbed in English to be watched in America in 2014. It is best known for its emotional moments, apocalyptic setting, and its dramatic story line, and action packed scenes.

I just finished season 3, and I don't cry. But some episodes nearly tore me apart and even made me shed a tear. The end of season 3... I'm not gonna spoil, but you'll know what I'm talking about if you've seen it. To be honest, this isn't an anime that struck me as "sad". I saw it more as an action/gore. But the author created these characters beautifully! Even the smallest ones have emotional depth and personality. And if the smallest characters have it, imagine the feels for the largest characters! The scariest art of this anime is that no character is safe. Absolutely NO ONE. Word of advice: don't get emotionally attached to any character because they most likely will be gobbled up by a naked humanoid. As silly as that sounds, it just adds to the horror that something that is seemingly inferior based on intellect and attractiveness has so much power over humans, in the end making US unworthy. But if you look at the real story behind the titans, your opinion WILL change on them. You ...more

I find it sad how Annie only did the things she did because of her father. Everyone seems to hate her, but I kinda pity her. Annie was only really used by her father as a simple pawn to carry out the things he could never do himself. Life can be unfair sometimes. Poor Annie, and the people who were killed trying to defend humanity. Poor Levi too. A part of him was lost when his squad was destroyed, and Petra was all he had left. Until she was killed.
Poor people!

Honestly, I'm afraid of this anime. It's not the horror of titans eating humans that scares me rather it's the fear of losing someone very precious at any time, it's scary. It is so like reality, anything can happen. According to Levi, the outcome is always a complete mystery, and that's just the way life is. I don't know what's in store for the characters but Levi armin mikasa eren hange should not even think of dieing.

This anime is so depressing at times. Especially when they show the reactions of the characters after witnessing each of their loved ones or friends getting eaten. This anime leaves you thinking of how easy your life is and how your hardships are nothing compared to the hardships these characters have been through...

The Contenders
11 Clannad Clannad is the anime adaptation of the visual novel developed by KEY for Windows PCs in 2004, which was later ported to PlayStation consoles and the Xbox 360. The game was the best-selling PC game in 2004 and charted in national top 50 rankings several more times afterwards. Clannad has been adapted into four manga adaptations, an animated film, two anime series, two OVAs, comic anthologies, light novels and art books. The anime series and OVAs were licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks in 2009. The first season of the animated series received positive to mixed reviews, while the second season Clannad After Story received wide critical acclaim.

It is a shame that Clannad and Clannad Afterstory get separated when it comes to anime discussions because they function as part 1 and part 2 of a incredible story. That being said clannad hits a rock bottom in terms of saddest around halfway through with the arc, while the Afterstory is able to take the foundations of the story and end hit a more memorable heart-wrecker near finish of the story.

A lot of people seem to forget about the original Clannad because the after story was so sad. But the original Clannad had a lot of tearjerking moments in it and is easily one of the greatest anime for storyline and likable characters. Also is a must see if you plan on watching Clannad Afterstory

It's not that depressing and sad compared to the after story. If you barely managed to handle this then the harder it is to handle Clannad after story. This is just the start of the feels so those who plan on watching it, prepare for the feels!

The oringinal clannad was good, but after story was way better, but I'm here to say to stop hating on clannad for being a bad beging, because in my opinion its not, and its fine if you have yours, I'm okay with that, but it wouldn't make sense if the begging didn't happen. You wouldn't shed a tear in after story. Just saying. All in all, amazing anime

12 Puella Magi Madoka Magica Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a 2011 Japanese anime television series produced by Shaft and Aniplex, directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, written by Gen Urobuchi, music by Yuki Kajiura, opening sang by ClariS, ending by Kalafina (sometimes by the seiyuus) and original characters by Ume Aoki.

Everyone should watch this series. I showed it to my mom and she loves it. I showed it to my friend and we stayed up all night watching it.

I have some advice for anyone who wants to watch this anime. First piece of advice-never judge a character based off of first impression. So many characters do not show who they really are at first. I don't want to give any examples, as they would be spoilers, and I hate to spoil for people

Next piece of advice: take some tissues with you. Even I cried, and that means something. Enough said. You will cry, even if you're me.

Anyways, let me get to the review.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how many words is a series worth? Especially one like this. There are not enough words to describe this anime. Beautiful, sad, almost even heartbreaking series like this are the kind of things I enjoy no matter what. I can't seem to find any other anime like this. Perfectly executed, everything fits together. It combines ...more

The dynamic between Homura and Madoka in this series is staggering. It is quite essentially the signature highlight of the anime and one of the major reasons why it is so depressing.

It is first revealed that Homura is much akin to an ice queen with seemingly no desire to make any sort of friends at her new school (being a transfer student) but looks can be deceiving, but when it is revealed that she is a time traveler with a hardened desire to protect Madoka, her seemingly calm disposition is torn apart instantly and outlines her true nature as a once shy and frail girl.

Her previous failures to protect Madoka in alternate timelines proved costly for her once soft-spoken demeanor. Many times she had failed to protect Madoka from becoming a magical girl, and every time has she had to see her friend suffer the deadly fate that comes with her bestowed power. Being pitted endlessly against time, only because she had no other choice but to fight, for if she were to give up ...more

When I fist watched this anime I was like oh great another stupid magical girl anime. Still thought I continued to watch it, and was about to give up. then came episode 3, I mean really I liked Mami. I continued and let me tell you this has got to be the saddest anime I've ever watched. First, it was Mami, then came Sayaka, then Kyoko, then Homura, and finally Madoka all their pain was like a stab in the heart. I loved them all and love this show, and suggest you watch it if you haven't. But beware the feels will get to you.

Just about every scene made me cry. The way that characters are built up over time, then killed so suddenly, makes you scream for more. I almost died watching episode 12. The fact that everyone fight for their own cause, only for it to be for nothing in the end, is a real tearjerker. Sayaka practically gave up her life for someone who would fall in love with her best friend, making her depressed and 'worthless'.
Homura begins the series as a heartless killer, but later on it is revealed that she can only stay strong in that way, so she has no choice but to feel no emotion. Endless timelines go into saving Madoka, and every timeline fails her. It just goes to prove that no matter how hard you try, no one can change another individuals fate.
Kyoko wished for her father to get followers. She thought that if she did, she could make him happy. But this led to his suicide and family's murder, shortly after finding out about Kyoko being a magical girl.
Mami was the only character I ...more

13 Akame ga Kill! Akame ga Kill! (アカメが斬る!, Akame ga Kiru! is a manga published in Gangan Joker authored by Takahiro and Tashiro Tetsuya. It received an anime adaptation that premiered on July 6, 2014 and ended on December 14, 2014.

This is like action + sad, it would be perfect for a person who likes action and very sad things. I would rate 5 star for this.(SPOILERS AHEAD) it was so sad when like everyone died! Included Tatsumi and Mine. For me, I couldn't believe it, Tatsumi and Mine never got together in the end. And everyone died a heroic death, but only Akame stayed alive. I would rate this like a 5 star for being sad and having action. And it's like the opposite, the kingdom is bad and Night Raid is good. (SPOILERS END) This show can make you cry, but you have to find out yourself!

Akame ga kill, a perfect anime. Funny, it can be gory but I get grossed out easily and I wasn't scared, heartwarming, and heartbreaking. The characters you'll fall in love with. You'll have an awful lot of ships, probably with the main protagonist, Tatsumi! There's some bittersweet twists along the way. Definitely one of the best animes of all time. It would rank probably in my top 5 at least. A great anime, get ready to be addicted

How this isn't in the top 10 is unbelievable. Without a doubt one of the saddest anime ever. At least half the episodes had me tearing up or crying.


This anime tells an amazing story and does an incredible job at getting you to connect to and care about each character just for them to be killed off.

Here's how the creators of this anime seems to thing.
"Hey guys so you need to see how this character is... yeah, they're a straight up jerk aren't they? But look at this, they actually have a really hard backstory and just need something to help them, and they're finally getting it! Oh? What's that? You love the character now? Oh.. well that's too bad, you can't enjoy yourself here" and then they're brutally murdered.

14 Steins;Gate Steins;Gate is a 2011 anime television series created by the animation studio White Fox based on 5pb. and Nitroplus's 2009 video game of the same name, and is part of the Science Adventure franchise.

(SPOILERS) The scene when Mayuri gets killed by the car and Okabe has to relive her death for yet another time just killed me. And it especially hurt when he traveled back to when they were running the hack and he was just hanging his head unable to do anything. That scene really hit me hard.

Also, after Mr. Braun killed himself and the scene played of his daughter sitting alone at a table set for 2 just broke my heart. Best anime I have ever watched. Powerful emotions and an incredible story.

There is nothing that will compare to the second half of this show. Episode 22 is the most incredible climax to any anime in existence.

(SPOILERS) This is the only anime on this entire list that made me cry. I cried for a solid 5 minutes when Mayuri was hit by the car and train, Suzuha's damn letter, and when Mr. Braun kills himself and it cuts to the shot of his kid waiting at the table for a father who will never return, when Okabe kills Kurisu and dies in his arms, and in the movie when Okabe throws himself in front of the truck to save Kurisu. Best show in existence.

Probably the absolute biggest shock I ever got out of an anime, ever. (SPOILERS AHEAD! ) at first it's a sorta happy-go-lucky series, with memes and 4chan references, but still some creepy parts. But there are no words in this world to describe how dead serious this series got about halfway through. It goes directly from soul-eater happy to Nina-Tucker's-death serious- and keeps hitting you with emotional bombshells the rest of the series before having an absolutely amazing ending.

You must watch the movie as well that's where it gets really good. Trust me, if you watch the movie as well your mind will not only be blown but forever scarred from how good it is. (P.S. you need to take note of the small details from the series to fully get the experience that I got; it's simply awesome) but I would rate this 2nd saddest next to the Clannad series because that is first media of any sorts that made me actually cry :')

15 Fairy Tail Fairy Tail is a manga franchise created by Hiro Mashima. The manga has been adapted into an anime series produced by A-1 Pictures and Satelight, which began broadcasting in Japan on October 12, 2009. Additionally, A-1 Pictures and Satelight have developed seven original video animations and an animated feature film, Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess. The series ended its initial run on March 30, 2013. A new series premiered on TV Tokyo on April 5, 2014.

I love Fairy Tail as much as the next guy but this series isn't as depressing either. Lisanna's return is more like a very emotional reunion. No one in Fairy Tail dies either, the only confirmed death is Mavis, who died generations before the series. They never kill anyone off from Fairy Tail despite having 15+ members to sacrifice. Hell, Makarov almost died 3 times, hard to believe he'll die the next time when he's knocking on death's door again.

Other than that, Lucy's dad dying and sending her gifts on her birthday every year for 7 years (even though she wasn't present in the timeline) was very depressing, only because Lucy finally felt loved by her father.

Fairy tail has thought many people about facing the hard consequences of life, despite being emotional it relates to the spirit of living for your comrades.
I nearly cried in each one of the arc especially when Lucy lost one of her most trusted spirit Aquarius and also when Igneel died, I felt intense grief during the arc with Erza and Jellal and simply couldn't stop my tears during the Galuna island arc. Moreover everyone's feelings for the guild and support for each other truly makes fairy tail one of the best anime that can be related to our real life. Fairy Tail has thought me a lot it deserves to be at top.

Fairy tail is such a beautiful anime. It makes you laugh and cry. It teaches you that you don't die for the ones you love, you live for them. Absolutely beautiful. Contains many emotional parts like Gray's past, Loki truth, Gray's teacher death, Lucy and her father, natsu and igneel, erza and jellal and when my favorite character ever in fairy tail levy Mcgarden cried I was on the verge of tears.

Not only is this an emotional anime, this is by far one of the best animes I have ever had the pleasure of watching. It teaches you great lessons on friendship, determination, moving on from your past, and so much more. Fairy Tail makes me feel at home, even though it doesn't exist. You can't go wrong with this anime. It definitely made me a better person

16 Guilty Crown Guilty Crown is a 2011 Japanese anime television series produced by Production I.G which aired on Fuji TV's noitamina program block from October 2011. The story revolves around Shu Ouma, a high school boy who inadvertently obtains an ability called "Power of the King" that enables him to draw out items called "Voids" from other people.

Guilty crown is sadder than most of the above animes. Starting from Shu stabbing Gai through Mana, everything becomes so melancholic. Hare Menjou's death transforms Shu to become a harsh leader and implement the void ranking system. At last when Shu determines to save Inori, he finds her already resurrected to Mana and she starts the fourth apocalypse. Later he defeats Gai with Inori's void, which Inori's soul gives to him through a flower. And moreover at the end Inori dies and Shu becomes blind (due to absorbing the apocalypse affected people's cancer).

It took my feels are ripped them to shreds. Afterwards it tried to glue them back together a little and said "F it! " and decided to set them on fire and stab them simultaneously. I have never been so destroyed after an anime as this.

On a side note, how in the heck is this #17?!?!?

Dragon Ball Z is higher up and I was literally never sad in that anime. This anime made me CRY! Whatever. Oh, and AOT (as well as a number of others above this at the moment) wasn't that sad really. It's just super popular so everyone up-voted it from what I've seen. Sorry to bash on it Titaniacs!

This is so far the saddest anime I have ever watched... Guilty crown is about a boy named Shu Ouma who one day meets a girl named Inori Yuzuriha a vocalist from an Internet group called Egoist... She is also a member of a resistance group called Funeral Parlor whose goal is to defeat a government funded organization called the GHQ who prior to the story contained a deadly virus at the cost of Japans Independence... And from Inori, Shu obtains an ability called "The Power of the Kings"... Which he uses to draw out weapons called voids by touching other peoples hearts... Shu later falls in love Inori... The leader of the funeral parlor Gai Tsutsugami soon turns against his friends to help the girl he loves who just so happens to be Shu's forgotten older sister Manna who just so happens to be the person to spread the virus during a time called the lost christmas... Because of finding the virus manna goes insane and believes that she is to wipe out the entire human race and with Gai start ...more

(Spoilers) (A rough description with spoilers) It has its epic moments and the episodes were you think it's just so cool. However, later in the story, things start to go wrong. People get infected, then Shu, the main character, goes corrupt, but it is for the good of all the people. Later on, he loses his friends and his followers leaving him with nothing. His arm gets cut off because of some complicated stuff with Gai (I won't explain who they are exactly.) Then Gai takes Shu's power, but in doing that, Shu loses his arm. At the episodes before the end, he regains his arm because of his special power he has then redeems himself in the most heroic way possible, death.

(NonSpoilers) Guilty Crown is a great anime in my opinion. It has action, romance, and most importantly, it's sad. I'd say it's worth watching every episode. The first few or several episodes really drag you in and make you interested. Just remember this, the feels are strong. I'd recommend listening to the music ...more

17 Future Diary Future Diary is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Sakae Esuno. The plot surrounds a battle royale in which each combatant has a diary with entries from the future. The manga was serialized in the Kadokawa Shoten's Shōnen Ace between January 2006 and December 2010.

Future Diary or Mirai Nikki, is one of the saddest anime out there fr viewers to cry over. It's not just the ending that brings out the emotions in this one, but the entire series. It's much like Angel Beats in that way. The story follows a devoted (and somewhat psychopathic) girl Yuno, and her boyfriend Yuki. Throughout the anime, you get to see tragic family events unfold. You become attached to these characters, so this isn't "Oh. Someone died...", this is crying material. These events help to build the love Yuno and Yuki eventually share for each other. Overall, the only flaw with this show, is that it made everyone really, really sad.

- Yes, that's a joke, not an actual flaw...

This anime is SO depressing. Every single death scene in this one makes you want to cry, and that is a lot of death scenes, considering the Hunger Games type of situation this story revolves around. This anime does a great job of making you love characters despite the things they have done in the past, and mourn for them in their final moments. I personally couldn't hold my tears on any longer by the infamous last few episodes. If you want a real tearjerker of an anime, watch Future Diary.

I will agree that this is one of the saddest anime EVER! If not the saddest, then at least in the top 5. My anime watched list is over a hundred, so when I say in the top five, I mean REALLY SAD! Though this is just my opinion, I've learned to respect the opinion of others through the watching of anime. All in all, very SAD anime. I would not suggest watching if you have a weak heart :P. Also that these particular anime, in my opinion, are better watched alone in a dark room.

I've watched everything else in this list except for angel beats and so far none of them have touched me as much as mirai nikki has.

It may not deserve the top spot butit definitely deserved to be way way higher up. The entire thing is depressing and tragic from the start, and many characters are just as tragic as well (7th.)

I wont spoil but the relationship between Yuki and Yuno is one of the saddest I've seen in a while and I couldn't help but relate.

This is so far my all time favorite anime for a reason. Though it does have a LOT of valid criticism plot and development-wise, the emotional core and Yuno and Yuki's relationship just resonate with me more than the others there.

18 Sword Art Online Sword Art Online is a series of Japanese light novels written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. In 2012, it received an anime adaptation produced by A-1 Pictures and the SAO Project, and is directed by Tomohiko Ito . The first season is divided into two arcs known as "Aincrad" and "Fairy Dance". It has also received a second season, titled Sword Art Online II.

I don't see how people think this is a sad anime. I just don't. It isn't sad at all. Want a sad anime? Watch Tokyo Ghoul, You're Lie in April, Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, Anohana, Future Diary. Any of those would be sad, but SAO? I don't see it. Don't get me wrong, I loved the anime and it's one of my favorite romance ones, but it just wasn't sad. Sure there was character death but it means nothing at all, I didn't care about Sachi because I knew almost nothing about her. If I was a little more connected to the characters other than Kirito, Asuna, Yui and Sinon maybe I would care. Or maybe I'm just a cruel, heartless person. Yeah, I have an opinion too. Sue me.

I rarely cry. RARELY. This may be the first time Iv'e ever cried at an anime, or a show for that matter! Also, side note: I've never seen such a beautiful story line before! And don't get me started on the graphics! Honestly, I've searched the ends of Netflix trying to find an anime that could just be as beautiful to look at as this! Other anime's I used to watch, before I learned about SAO, I used to think they were amazing, but looking back, they just didn't have that FEEL, you know? Definitely the best and saddest animes I've seen.

I don't think that this anime was really one of the saddest anime series of all time but there was one scene that had me crying. Yuuki's death. I will never get over that poor girl's death. It was so surprising to me and broke my heart. Yuuki was my favorite Sword Arts online character and I just loved her happy 'I wanna make the best about life while I can' attitude. I know that many animes typically use characters like her but I just got particularly attached to her persona. She had a positive look at life even though she was really sick and could barely wake up every day. She joined SAO to escape from her reality and do all the simple things she could never do with her condition. She was so strong and sweet in the game while in reality she was really weak and frail... I would give my heart for her, she really was one of the reasons I watched SAO even if she was only on the screen for a short time. I could never write enough about her

For me, this was not sad at all. I can't emotionally connect with a character when I have nothing to connect to. The scenes which maybe are supposed to be sad, like when Sachi died, Yui died, and Asuna didn't come back, weren't sad at all for me because for the first two deaths (Yui and Sachi) didn't have time to build on the character enough, they were both very two dimensional. In the scene when Kirito logged out of SAO without Asuna, I didn't feel a thing. Frankly, SAO isn't really serious about the 'die in game die irl' thing. When Yui died, Kirito didn't even flinch to 'pull something out of his ass' and hack the extremely complex system of Sword Art Online to remind the viewers that Yui wasn't actually gone. Since it has already been established that the writers won't let anyone extremely close to Kirito die, and the unspoken rule in anime (which applies to the majority of all the shows produced, and only has a few exceptions) that main characters never die, the emotion in the ...more

19 Kanon

Kanon is far, far better than Clannad/After Story. Clannad sucked. Most of the "sad" moments were just shoved in and manipulative. It was completely unnecessary. Whilst in Kanon, the whole story was evolved around sadness so it made a lot more sense. Kanon's story is far superior to Clannad's. The characters are better developed and more fleshed out as well. And don't get me started on the ending of Clannad After Story. If there's one thing I hate, it's massive cop-outs. Kanon's ending didn't feel like a cop-out. so it was acceptable. I'm not saying Kanon is perfect, it has flaws too, but it is so much better than Clannad, yet it doesn't even get half the credit that Clannad does. Kanon deserves it far more than Clannad.

Not much makes me cry especially while watching anime or T.V. in general but the story sucked me right in I became attached to all the characters and at when I finished every episode in the end I was an emotional mess. I mean while writing this right now I am tearing up everything is blurry I have to re-type a few things just because the story is coming into my mind. It is incredibly underrated and deserves much more credit, I hope that one day the show will continue and bask in the glory it deserves! I hope my opinion was useful! PS it's a MUSTT WWAATTCCH!

This has got to be the most underrated show of all time. Of over 60 anime shows I've watched, this is my number one pick. I personally think Clannad and Clannad After Story is sadder, but Kanon overall has a much MUCH better story.

I'm not sure what it is about Kanon, but it's become my favorite anime when I watched it a couple of times to appreciate the plot details hinted at throughout the story. Sure, it doesn't have as many sad moments like Clannad, but this hidden gem needs some love

20 Air

It's the saddest anime I have seen so far. Clannad or Angel Beats are not even in half as sad as this one. Besides I love the main story of this series, the special summer energy. You can FEEL it. I'm sick of people who say that Misuzu is crybaby and immature - honestly, she has been having very harsh time, unloved and all alone, yet she tried to keep smile on her face, and definitely - after many fails - again tried her best. Never gave up. maybe she acted in immature way but inside she was very strong. People complain that they don't understand this anime - yes, you may get lost if you don't follow it carefully or don't read the subs well. "Air" is not a simple story. Anyway, ya. I was depressed for a week after watching this.

This anime is quite underrated compare to others Key anime. The only problem I found about this anime is that the plot is hard to keep up. You can get lost if you don't pay atention to details in the anime. But beside that, everything was good. The music, the plot, and the characters were great. The anime is quite similar to Clannad on the plot and the music. The anime itself was sad throughout the story. Not like Angel Beats that it's only sad moment was the end. I encourage you to watch it and I'm not gonna spoil you.

Whenever I think about re-watching this, or when I see scenes from it, I still feel a twinge of sadness. Air was one of the first animes I watched and it holds a special place in my heart for it's beauty. There's some plot holes, but they really don't matter. The emotion in the series is there and that's all that matters.

I found this Kanon level depressing... I cried several times during this and the story line is so sad! I found it was a lot like Clannad with the arcs, but it was shorter and took a lot less time to get through. I would recommend it to people that can keep track as it is a lot of story in 12 episodes.

21 Assassination Classroom

This anime is heartbreaking with allot of twists and turns exploring different characters. OMG Koro sensei is the sweetest ever! I'm not going to say too much I just wanted to say I'm not a teen who cries watching something and this actually made me cry!

Saddest anime ever! This should be first place (I've watched angel beats but for some reason this is the saddest) Angel beats is the second saddest anime in my opinion. Wait, the silent voice is not in this list. :-O

It is absolutely the saddest and the most heartbreaking anime of all times. SPOILER ALERT!
I was just so absorbed with Koro sensei's character and couldn't just let him wash away like that. The best character in the entire series had to go away!

It is true, there was nothing particularly sad in the start of this anime but anyone who watched it through the end could probably tell you this was one of the saddest anime series they had watched. Koro-sensei's death really broke my heart. Very few animes have made me cry but I cried at his death. A lot. I really loved Koro-sensei and how he was able to bond with all of his students. So much that they didn't want to kill him even if he could end the world if he wasn't killed. The backstory behind why he decided to teach them really struck hard... He was a truly dedicated teacher... He really made an impact on each of his students and he will forever be my favorite teacher even if he is fictional.

22 Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom

This one has the most impacting unexpected ending ever. Add the ED song to it and you need to buy a megapack of tissues, and I don't cry easily. Only two animes have had a great impact to me that it took me over a week with dreams and my brain was completely out of focus for a few days. This is the second one and Chrono Crusade was the first.

This anime made me think about the ending for weeks after finishing it! I've watched almost over 80 animes but this comes in at least my top 15. The ending was one of the most unexpected, considering how the story flows throughout.

Epic, depressive and sad yet beatiful story. Nice character development. One of the most beatifully symbolyc endings that I've seen. Phantom Requiem is a story about the dark side of human heart, the manipulation to a person, loneliness, despair, guilt and the meaningless of life. A must watchable Urobuchi anime if you like dark stories, character development, nihilistic themes and action.

This anime was one of the most tragic I have ever seen.. The characters were beautifully presented and you could really become attached to them. The ending was so unexpected that I couldn't even cry from the shock..

23 Berserk Berserk, also known as Sword-Wind Chronicle Berserk, is a Japanese anime television series that aired from 1997 to 1998. An adaptation of the manga Berserk, it comprises 25 half-hour episodes produced by Oriental Light and Magic and first aired on Nippon TV.

Berserk is just pain and suffering. The manga is 100000x better in my opinion but this show is just the definition of pain and suffering.

This is the first anime I've ever watched, I don't know why I started with it but, it's by far the saddest anime I've seen. Guts went from hating everyone, to having friends that he could call his family, just for him to get shoved right back into the Abyss of loneliness again. His life is just so messed up in every way, he will forever be cursed.

A tragedy based off of Shakespeare's Macbeth.
The anime/manga contains the most heartbreaking betrayal in the history of fiction period, and the abuse and hell the main character suffers through genuinely made me tear up.

This anime is the definition of Tragedy. The crushing feeling of seeing Griffith withered away and the betrayal at the end leaves you speechless.

24 My-HiME

One of the only anime that actually made me cry. Even though the first half of the show is comedic and happy, while the second half is dark and depressing, that is mainly what makes a good drama anime. Anime that build up ask the happy moments enough that the sad stuff hits hard arewhat really make me cry. What really kept this from beating CLANNAD was the ending. The first half worked great with all the happy and comedic moments. Then when the sad stuff hit, it was depressing as ****, and it went on for so long. Then the last episode came, which was basically like waking up from a really awesome dream where you're like king of the world or something except in a sad way. But the sad stuff itself I think was more depressing than CLANNAD. It was just that ending that brought it down.

I remember watching this show at first just for the simple fact that it had big bouncing boobs but as I progressed through the show it became filled with all types of emotions and betrayal. one of my favorites

25 Arrietty

Cute. Funny but it will tickle your heart in the end. A great story of love and friendship.

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