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Top 18 Best Sad Anime [2024]

Top 18 Best Sad Anime [2024]

Sometimes we need a good cry. So grab your tissue box for these anime shows.

This series can make anyone cry waterfalls through their characters and their situations that you can’t help but sympathize with and bring tears to your eyes and a twist in your heart.

From the heartbreak of first love to a death of a beloved mentor to an innocent victim of war, these series below are nothing short of tragic and eye bawling.

Best Sad Anime

18. Anohana


Anohana is an older anime, as it originally aired in 2011, but it still captures and tugs at many heartstrings.

The story follows six childhood friends, one of which died when they were young, and the other five grew out of touch because of this tragedy.

Over the course of eleven episodes, we see just how the death of their friend changed their lives forever and how death can still bring people together.

Knowing that an innocent accident caused the characters so much pain, this show is no mystery and is even more saddening.

17. Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden

Produced by the famous Kyoto Animation, Violet Evergarden follows the journey of Violet, a recovering soldier who has just come home from war and is trying to build a life for herself.

However, this show captures the brutality of war and many other tragedies and difficulties of life along the way.

We meet many people and shed many tears with each new story, all the while learning more about Violet’s great loss.

You will definitely need tissues every other episode with this anime, as it is known to be one of the most heart-breaking in recent years.

16. Clannad


If you have not heard of this anime, then be sure to grab tissues before you start watching. Clannad is an adaptation of a visual novel, and the anime focuses on one main couple’s story from the novel.

This show features two seasons, and the second season will not hold anything back, especially when it comes to struggles as an adult.

The first season is 23 episodes long, with the second being 24 episodes, and called Clannad: After Story.

Without giving too much away, as there is much to experience with Clannad, be ready for love, loss, grief, friendship, and miracles in this tragic love story.

15. Orange


On her first day back to school, 16-year-old Naho Takamiya gets a letter from herself 10 years in the future!

At first, Naho thinks it’s a joke, but when Kakeru Naruse walks through the classroom door as the new transfer student as the letter detailed, she starts to believe.

The letter tells Naho about her future life and to become close friends with Kakeru and help him through his struggles and inner demons.

Using the letter’s warning, Naho and her close-knit group of friends get closer to Kakeru, but Naho is scared for him because, according to her future self, Kakeru isn’t alive in the future.

14. Plastic Memories

Plastic Memories

Despite failing his college exams, 18-year-old Tsukasa Mizugaki manages to get a job at SAI Corp: the Sion Artificial Intelligence Corporation. They create androids with synthetic souls called “Giftias” with a lifespan of 81,920 hours (9 years and 4 months).

It is Tsukasa’s job as a Spotter to retrieve Giftias that are going to expire before they become Wanderers, no personality, no memory, and can become extremely violent.

Tsukasa isn’t alone. He is partnered up with a Marksman, a Giftia with pale purple pigtails, red eyes, and short stature. Isla is a long-time veteran of SAI Corp, 4 months away from expiring.

It doesn’t matter to Tsukasa or Isla, they are going to make the best of their short time together, but will Tsukasa’s heart be able to survive the heartbreak when it’s time to say goodbye?

13. Naruto


When Naruto Uzumaki was born, he became a Jinchuriki, someone who has a tailed beast sealed away inside them. The beast inside of him is the Nine-Tailed Fox, the demon that attacked his home, the Hidden Leaf Village.

It killed many ninjas that tried to protect their village, including Naruto’s parents and the Fourth Hokage, the leader of the village.

Throughout his life, Naruto is treated like a monster because of the demon inside of him. At 12-years-old, Naruto becomes a ninja and is determined to become the next Hokage and earn the respect of everyone in the village.

Naruto will soon learn that the path of a ninja will give his the greatest of allies and the darkest of enemies.

12. Wonder Egg Priority

Wonder Egg Priority

14-year-old Ai Ohto has always been relentlessly bullied for her heterochromia eyes—one amber, one blue.

When her best friend commits suicide, Ai decides she doesn’t want to live either. Instead, she finds herself obtaining an egg called a Wonder Egg.

When Ai goes to sleep, she ends up in another world where the egg breaks, gifting her the power to protect other tormented people like her from their hardships and misfortunes in life.

It’s here that Ai believes she can save her best friend, and her new allies will be there for her to face there and her inner demons.

11. Angel Beats! 8.12

Angel Beats!

All high schooler Yuzuru Otonashi knows is his name and that he’s dead. Well, he should be dead.

Instead, he’s lying on the ground in the afterlife high school with a girl named Yuri Nakamura pointing a rifle at another girl with long white hair called Angel.

Yuri is the leader of Shinda Sekai Sensen (Afterlife Battlefront), who is at war with Angel, who wants them to be obliterated.

Otonashi doesn’t want to fight Angel, but to regain his memory and learn more about the afterlife he’s trapped in, he joins the SSS and begins to uncover the truth of this afterlife school.

10. Fruits Basket (2019)

Fruits Basket (2019)

After her mother’s death, 16-year-old Tohru Honda finds herself without a home and living in a tent. Without her knowing, Tohru is on the private property of the highly respected Souma Family, and, of course, the member of the Souma’s that finds her tent is Yuki, her school’s prince.

Living with his older cousin, Shigure, him and Yuki offer Tohru a place to stay in their house, and she happily accepts as long as she helps out around the house, cooking, and cleaning.

It isn’t long until Tohru gets caught in the crosshairs of Yuki and his orange-haired cousin, Kyo, who’s picking for a fight.

She gets in between the two of them, and Kyo transforms…into a cat? The Souma Family is cursed, a longstanding curse that causes the members to turn into the Chinese Zodiac animals if they hug a person of the opposite gender.

9. Hotarubi No Mori E 8.35

Hotarubi No Mori E 8.35

6-year-old Hotaru Takegawa finds herself lost in an ancient forest. She finally finds someone to help her, but not a human being.

Gin is a forest spirit who hides his face behind a kitsune mask. Hotaru quickly learns that if she touches Gin, he’ll disappear. Gin leads Hotaru out of the forest and warns her never to return.

Hotaru doesn’t care and keeps coming back to see Gin. They begin to enjoy each other’s company and form a strong bond. Hotaru comes back every summer to see Gin. She keeps getting older, and he stays the same.

Will their friendship be able to withstand the boundary between human and spirit—or will Hotaru cross the line and cause Gin to disappear forever?

8. Grave of Fireflies

Grave Of Fireflies

Siblings Seita and Setsuko are victims of World War II in Japan. They lost their home and their parents. All they have is each other and their desperation to survive the aftermath of the war and the bombings.

Fighting starvation and illness, Seita and Setsuko walk across their destroyed country, scrounge for food, a place to rest, and the kindness of others.

Can Seita and Setsuko live through the tragedy of war, or will they become just another number lost to the war of 1945?

7. One Piece

One Piece

At his execution, Go D. Roger, the Pirate King, reveals that his greatest treasure is out there in the ocean of the Grand Line—One Piece.

Those who desired the boundless riches, fame, and title of the new Pirate King took to the sea and began the Grand Age of Pirates.

One of these wannabe pirates chasing this dream is 17-year-old Monkey D. Luffy. Seeking pure adventure and treasures, Luffy sails out into the ocean, looking for crewmates along the way to fight alongside him against other pirates and the World Government and all their wicked mysterious.

6. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba

Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba

Tanjiro Kamado lives up in the snowy mountains with his family. Together, they live a simple and peaceful life. But times where happiness is broken there, is always the scent of blood.

Tanjiro comes home from the local village to his entire family massacred by a demon.

The only survivor is his sister Nezuko who turns into a demon craving human flesh. Tanjiro vows revenge on the demon who murdered his family and joins the Demon Slayer Corps to find a way to turn Nezuko back into a human.

5. To Your Eternity

To Your Eternity

An immortal being called “It” is sent to Earth to observe the world. It is emotionless and lacks a sense of identity. Only capable of changing forms, It turns into a rock, moss, and then a dying wolf.

After turning into a wolf, It begins to gain consciousness as It meets the late-wolf’s master, a young boy who hopes to reunite with his tribe who traveled south to a paradise and hasn’t come back.

After the boy dies, It takes his form. Now, the immortal being goes south and begins to experience humanity in the land and people he meets.

4. Wolf Children 8.62

Wolf Children 8.62

In college, Hana falls in love with a man who tells her that he is secretly the last werewolf alive. She loves him regardless, and the two of them start a family. They have two kids, the oldest Yuki and the youngest Ame. From their father, both are able to transform into wolves at will.

One horrible raining night, their father is hit by a car in his wolf form and dies. On her own, Hana goes through the hardship of losing her love and having to raise her kids alone and their animalistic tendencies.

Hana decides to move her family out of the clustered city and into the open countryside to keep their secret hidden. It’s here that Hana hopes Yuki and Ame can decide who they want to grow up to be and the freedom to choose their lives.

What will Yuki and Ame be—humans or wolves?

3. Your Lie in April

Your Lie In April

Kousei Arima was once a pianist prodigy, but after his mother died, he stopped hearing the sound of the piano and stopped seeing the bright colors of the world.

2-years-later, Kousei still hasn’t touched a piano but is satisfied with his monotone life beside his two best friends, Tsubaki Sawabe and Ryouta Watari.

All it takes is a free-spirited blonde for everything to change.

Kaori Miyazono, a violinist who a huge crush on his friend Ryouta who drags Kousei back into the world of music, reignites his passion and the dark past he tried to hideaway.

2. Your Name.

Your Name.

Mitsuha Miyamizu is a high school girl working at her family’s shrine in her small rural town. She dreams of living in the big city and get more out of life. Taki Tachibana is a city boy and part-time waiter who is pursuing a future in architecture.

One day, Mitsuha wakes up as Taki, and Taki wakes up as Mitsuha. They’re swapping bodies! Neither knows what’s going on but is determined not to let the other mess up their life.

As they inhabit each other’s lives, they begin to try to look for each other, but the answer could tear them apart forever.

1. A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice

In elementary school, Shouya Ishida and his class get a new classmate. Shouko Nishimiya is deaf and becomes Shouya and his class’s target for bullying.

When the class gets caught, the rest of the kids turn on Shouya, and he takes all the blame. Shouko transfer to a new school, and Shouya gets a taste of his own medicine when he becomes the new target for bullying.

Now, in his last year of high school, Shouya is socially crippled and is still haunted by his cruelty. All he wants is to find Shouko and apologize to her.

But will take be enough for Shouya and Shouko to move on from the past or be consumed by their inner demons?