You’re seated at home, bored, in your feelings and there aren’t many ways you’ve got to keep yourself entertained. Why not watch some sad anime movies to keep you company?
Today, we’ve compiled some of the most eye-watering anime films that have come out over the years, giving you an ultimate list of the stories that have left anime fans in a state of awe and emotions. Once you’ve seen any of these anime movies, you’ll be sure to leave with some waterworks, but also a deeply impactful life-changing message attached.
So tag along and check out the sad anime movies we’ve compiled!
Your Name (2016)
Your Name follows the lives of Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana. These two are in a type of romance that is rare and unique to the story. Without offering any spoilers, we have a synopsis to get you engaged. Mitsuha is a girl that lives in Japan’s countryside as a high schooler, but she longs for a life in the bustling Tokyo city. She often dreams of a boy in a busy town experiencing the lifestyle of the city.
Meanwhile, Taki is a boy living in the hectic city of Tokyo juggling his studies and a part-time job. He’s a good-hearted guy, but also quite short-tempered and impatient.
One day, Mitsuha wakes up to find herself in the body of a boy in Tokyo city. Her dreams seem to have come true overnight. Meanwhile, Taki wakes up in the body of a countryside girl he has never met. Both decide to investigate the mysterious phenomenon while searching for one another. Their journeys make for a heartfelt delight that provides some tear-jerking moments.
With a beautiful soundtrack and iconic visuals, Your Name is one of the sad anime movies you’ll never regret seeing!
Perfect Blue (1997)
This adaptation of a novel by author Yoshikazu Takeuchi is a critically acclaimed movie for a reason. It covers a deep plot with strong adult themes and issues covered. Perfect Blue follows a famous pop singer, Mira Kirigoe who is a member of CHAM!, a J-pop idol group. She has a desire to become an actress, so she decides to leave her band. Unfortunately, though, her acting received mixed reviews. She never really found the success she had hoped for with acting.
Meanwhile, an obsessive fan begins stalking Mira and every little moment in her life is also detailed anonymously online. Even her former pop group is doing well without her. Eventually, everything weighs a toll on Mira, causing her to begin to lose her sanity. The film will leave you an emotional wreck, but you’ll be happy you hopped on the ship to sail with Mira.
Erased is a mystery tale that will keep you hooked as you attempt to deduce the reality of its events. It is told in a cryptic style and follows the story of Satoru Fujinima, a 29-year-old comic artist and part-time pizza delivery guy that learns he has an ability to travel backwards in time. He hasn’t perfected the ability, but he’s able to make good use of his talent. Eventually, he’s transported 18 years into his past minutes before his mother’s death.
The story has you rooting for Satoru to succeed in saving his mother and other people he encounters in the past. It’s one of the sad anime movies that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the loved ones you’ve got around you. Yes, it’s that deep. Be sure to check it out!
A Silent Voice (2016)
When Shoyo encounters Shouko Nishimiya, a deaf girl he bullied in his youth, he’s ashamed and makes attempts to seek her out and make amends. What follows is a tale of redemption and forgiveness that will have you completely drenched in tears. As a viewer, you’ll be able to relate to Shoyo as he’s made to feel like a real person in this story. Likewise, Shouko is a powerful character that is able to rise above the oppression she suffered in her childhood.
Both characters along with the strong supporting cast make for an interesting and unique dynamic that plays out in a fulfilling and heartfelt way. The events that unfold are unforgettable, and most fans will be satisfied by the end of it. It’s an emotional journey that is worth experiencing.
Colorful is a supernatural drama movie that serves as an inevitable way to move an audience to tears. In this story, you’ll feel a lot of emotions as you watch a tale that uses a dramatic perspective to portray the inner workings of the world. In the film, you’ll be recounted with a story of self-actualization, redemption and depression. It is centred on a sad soul that reaches the train station of death. In there, the sad soul is told that it has won a type of lottery that will allow it to gain another shot at life. Unfortunately, our protagonist has no desire to relive his life. Even with his reservations, he has to comply.
Eventually, he’s reborn in the body of a 14-year old suicide victim named Makoto. The soul is then tasked with figuring out the sins he committed and the reason for taking his life. With only six months to do this, he embarks on a journey that emphasizes the importance of second chances in life.
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
This is perhaps one of the most heart wrenching sad anime movies ever made. The story takes us all the way back to 1945 after Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II. This movie is unravelled through a flashback, leading back to the beginning where Seita dies alone at a train station. The movie follows Seita and Setsuko, two siblings whose mother is killed by the burns she suffers during an American bombing. Their father is a navy worker struggling to make ends meet.
As the story unfolds, you’ll be presented with a tragedy that covers a time when compassion and empathy are scarce emotions. Ultimately, Grave of the Fireflies shows how war can be a horrific occurrence that is never a good thing for the citizens of a country. The movie is well directed and sure to leave you in tears not just for its sad moments, but for the beauty in how the storytelling is presented.
To the Forest of Firefly Lights (2011)
This romantic anime movie is one that recounts the story of a six-year-old girl that gets lost in a forest that is inhabited by yokai and a mountain spirit. She’s found by a mask-wearing entity named Gin that warns Hotaru that he will disappear forever if he’s ever touched by a human. Gin leads her out of the forest and eventually, Hotaru returns to visit him in the forest over the next few days, developing a newfound friendship.
At the end of the summer, she leaves Gin and promises to return to visit him every summer holiday. The story follows the growing love between Gin and Hotaru as the years pass. While watching this movie, you’ll be satisfied with the number of emotional moments it brings along. It holds a truly deserving spot among the sad anime movies worth seeing.
This is one of the best sad anime movies released. Although it is sure to make you cry, it’s also a movie that tells a memorable and impactful tale.
Clannad follows the story of Tomoya Okazaki, a young third-year high school student that distanced himself from his father who works a night shift. Tomoya’s mother died when he was very young, so he lives his life in a way that is uninspired.
This all changes when he one day meets Nagisa Furukawa who is repeating her third year due to her sickness from the previous year. She befriends him and follows him to school every day. With Nagisa getting closer to him, the two develop a relationship and he finally begins to enjoy his life.
The story still continues from there, but without offering any spoilers, it is easily one that we recommend you check out. This is one of the sad anime movies that keeps you on your toes for what comes next.
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (2011)
Jinta Yadomi is an introverted teen that lives a solitary lifestyle. His day usually consists of playing video games till nighttime. However, things take an unexpected turn when he sees his childhood friend Meiko “Menma” Honma suddenly come into his house asking him to grant a forgotten wish. Jinta is confused and believes himself to be hallucinating because Menma had died several years prior. Soon, it becomes evident that it’s her ghost he’s seeing.
Jinta decides to contact their childhood friend group and they reunite to work towards fulfilling Menma’s final wish. In this collaboration, the friends will also confront their pain and guilt of the past in the process. This gut-wrenching tale makes it a part of the sad anime movies that have deeply impacted a generation of anime fans.