Join us as we take a journey through the most emotionally impactful anime of all time.
From heart-wrenching dramas to tear-jerking love stories, these anime have left a lasting impression on viewers and continue to be beloved by fans. Get ready to feel all the feels as we explore the best emotional anime of all time.
So without further ado, here are my top 15 most favorite anime series that will make you emotional: (ranked based on my personal preference)
- Clannad After Story
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride
- Assassination Classroom
- Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
- Angel Beats!
- Your Lie In April
- Violet Evergarden
- Plastic Memories
- I Want To Eat Your Pancreas
- Akame Ga Kill
- Rascal Doesn’t Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai
- A Silent Voice
- Banana Fish
- 3 Gatsu no Lion
1/16. Clannad After Story
The anime “Clannad After Story” picks up where its predecessor “Clannad” left off.
Following the story of Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa, the sequel delves into the couple’s journey as they navigate the challenges of adulthood.
It is recommended to watch “Clannad” first to fully appreciate the emotional impact of the continuation of their story.
In “Clannad,” Okazaki forms a connection with Furukawa, who struggles with loneliness due to a recurring illness.
As he helps her integrate with her classmates, he falls in love with her.
In “Clannad After Story,” the couple graduates high school and marries, but they soon realize that adulthood is not as easy as they thought it would be.
Despite the difficulties they encounter, they rely on the strength of their bond to push forward and overcome their personal struggles.
This anime explores themes of family, support, and the difficulties of transitioning into adulthood.
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“Steins Gate” is a thrilling sci-fi anime that explores the concept of time travel.
The story centers around Rintaro Okabe, a self-proclaimed mad scientist, who leads a team of researchers in creating the world’s first time-leaping machine.
However, their invention draws the attention of the powerful scientific organization known as SERN, and the team becomes the target of their pursuit.
With their lives in danger and being hunted by mercenaries, Okabe and his team must fight to survive.
The unique ability of “reading steiner” allows Okabe to retain his memories across different timelines, giving him the power to prevent the deaths of his lab members.
As he leaps through time, Okabe’s ultimate goal is to reach the ideal world known as “Steins Gate,” while also desperately trying to save the life of his dear friend Mayuri.
The emotional depth of the story lies in Okabe’s relentless efforts to change the past and the sacrifices he makes in the name of friendship.
3/16. The Ancient Magus’ Bride
“The Ancient Magus’ Bride” is an emotionally uplifting anime that offers a refreshing change of pace from the typical tear-jerking stories.
The story follows Chise Hatori, a 15-year-old Japanese girl who has been sold at auction for 5 million pounds.
After a difficult life marked by abandonment, Chise is resigned to her fate and agrees to be sold to the highest bidder.
The buyer turns out to be a mysterious gentleman named Elias Ainsworth, who brings Chise to a magical land filled with fairies, dragons, and other mystical creatures.
As the magus’ apprentice and his bride-to-be, Chise’s life takes a new turn as she explores this magical realm.
The anime provides a sense of serenity and tranquility, making it a unique addition to the emotional anime genre.
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4/16. Assassination Classroom
“Assassination Classroom” is an anime about a group of students labeled as “losers” in a school.
The government assigns them the task of killing their new teacher before he destroys the world.
To prepare, the students undergo rigorous training to hone their assassination skills.
The anime explores the bonds and camaraderie that develop among the students.
Despite the serious premise, it presents an entertaining and emotional experience with notable character development.
5/16. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
“Anohana” is an anime about Jinta Yadomi, a reclusive individual who skips school to play video games.
One summer day, Jinta is visited by the ghost of his childhood friend Menma, who had passed away.
At first, Jinta is unsure if he is hallucinating or if the ghost is real. However, as he learns that Menma’s spirit is indeed present, he sets out to fulfill her forgotten wish.
To uncover the wish, Jinta gathers his childhood friends together and they work diligently to find out Menma’s true desire.
The anime presents a heart-warming tale of friendship and the power of memories.
6/16. Angel Beats!
“Angel Beats!” is an anime about Otonashi, a young man who wakes up dead. He is greeted by a rifle-toting girl, Yuri, who explains he’s in the afterlife.
Otonashi can’t remember anything about himself or past life. Yuri invites him to join the Afterlife Battlefront, a group that aims to defeat an angel.
Otonashi joins the SSS but decides to understand the angel instead. This sets off an afterlife adventure as Otonashi seeks the truth about his past and the afterlife.
7/16. Your Lie In April
“Your Lie in April” is an emotional anime about a pianist, Kousei Arima.
Kousei becomes tone-deaf after his mother’s death, and abandons music. Two years later, he meets violinist Kaori Miyazono who brings color back to his life.
With her support, Kousei walks the path of a musician again but struggles to hear his own music.
The anime explores themes of overcoming grief, rediscovering passion and the power of friendship.
Can Kousei play like he used to? Can he overcome the trauma and hear the music again?
8/16. Violet Evergarden
“Violet Evergarden” is an anime set after a devastating war. Our main character, Violet is a young girl, raised as a weapon of war and now an “Auto Memory Doll”.
These dolls transcribe clients’ emotions and thoughts into letters. Violet, raised as a soldier, lacks understanding of human emotions.
In an effort to understand the meaning of “I love you”, spoken by her commander who went missing after the war, Violet embarks on a journey of self-discovery.
As she takes small steps to understand herself and others, she becomes the most sought-after Auto Memory Doll in the country. The anime explores themes of self-discovery, emotional understanding and the power of words.
9/16. Plastic Memories
“Plastic Memories” is an anime that explores love and memories in a near-future world.
Tsukasa Mizugaki, a new recruit at Terminal Service, works with Isla, a Giftia nearing end of her lifespan.
They form a deep bond and learn about the fragility and importance of memories.
This anime is a heartwarming and emotional story that will leave a lasting impression.
10/16. I Want To Eat Your Pancreas
“I Want to Eat Your Pancreas” is an anime that explores life, death, and friendship.
The story follows Haruki, an introverted high school student who discovers a diary of a terminally ill girl, Sakura.
Haruki decides to keep Sakura’s illness a secret and the two become close friends.
The anime takes the viewer on an emotional journey, showing the fragility of life, the power of friendship and the beauty of everyday.
It’s a heartwarming and poignant anime that leaves a lasting impression.
11/16. Akame Ga Kill
“Akame ga Kill” is an emotional anime that delves into themes of justice, revenge and sacrifice.
The story follows Tatsumi, a young villager caught up in a dangerous conflict between corrupt government and group of assassins, Night Raid.
As Tatsumi faces battles and political machinations, he must confront his own beliefs about justice and morality.
The anime is a brutal, action-packed and emotionally charged journey that will keep viewers on the edge of their seat.
12/16. Bunny Girl Senpai
“Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai” is an anime that explores the supernatural and everyday struggles of growing up.
Sakuta Azusagawa, a high school student, finds himself entangled in bizarre occurrences involving a bunny girl costume-wearing girl named Mai Sakurajima.
The anime delves into the complexities of reality, mental health, and the supernatural as Sakuta and Mai navigate adolescence.
It presents a unique blend of fantasy, science fiction and slice-of-life elements that will keep you hooked till the end.
13/16. Silent Voice
“A Silent Voice” is an emotional anime that deals with bullying and redemption.
The story follows Shouya Ishida, a schoolboy who bullied a deaf classmate, Shouko Nishimiya.
As he grows older, he reflects on his actions and seeks to make amends. The anime explores complex emotions and struggles of the characters as they seek redemption.
It’s a powerful anime that encourages reflection on the impact of actions, empathy and understanding.
14/16. Banana Fish
“Banana Fish” is an anime that explores violence, power struggles, and boys love.
Ash Lynx, a teenage gang leader, uncovers the truth about mysterious substance, Banana Fish.
Ash’s quest leads him to cross paths with journalist Eiji Okumura, who becomes his closest ally.
The anime is thrilling, action-packed and emotional journey that explores the dark side of New York City and the bonds of brotherhood.
It’s a compelling and intense anime that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
15/16. 3 Gatsu no Lion
“3-gatsu no Lion” is an indoor sports anime that follows the story of Rei Kiriyama, a prodigy in the Japanese chess game of Shogi.
Despite the difficulties he faces in his personal life, Rei is determined to succeed in the professional Shogi world with the help and support of his kind-hearted neighbors.
The anime skillfully balances the themes of sports and personal life, creating an emotional journey for the audience.
Viewers will experience a range of emotions including happiness, sadness, amusement, and excitement as they follow Rei’s journey.
This anime is a perfect blend of sports and personal emotions which will warm the hearts of the viewers.
“Orange” is an emotionally charged anime about second chances in life. The story centers around Naho, a high school student who receives a letter from her future self.
The letter delivers a clear message: save Kakeru, her classmate who has killed himself in an alternate timeline from where the letter comes. She has to make sure that never happens in her timeline.
As she navigates high school, she must make difficult decisions that affect her future and her friends.
This anime is a heart-wrenching and uplifting story that will leave a lasting impact on viewers.
17/17. Elfen Lied
“Elfen Lied” is an emotional anime. It explores themes of prejudice, discrimination, and humanity.
The story follows Lucy, a mutant with powerful psychic abilities, held captive in a research facility.
After escaping, she finds help from a kind-hearted man. The anime is a dark and graphic story that will leave you questioning morality of humanity.
It is not for the faint-hearted with deep exploration of characters and intense violence.
FAQs About Watching Emotional Anime Series
Here are some of the most common questions that people have about watching emotional anime series. Please note that the below answers are true to me, but it does not have to be true to you. They are my personal preference and opinion, and is not backed by any facts or studies.
Can anime make you depressed?
Yes, anime can make you depressed. I can still remember how I felt broken and depressed after watching Clannad After Story. I was literally sad and emotionally devastated for an entire week.
Does emotional anime have negative effects?
No, emotional anime series does not have any negative effects on you. Sure, you might feel sad, but that will go away with time. At the end, you are going to learn some valuable lessons from these anime about how to treat people you love. So I’d rather say, it will have a positive effect on you when everything is said and done.
Which is the saddest anime of all time?
Clannad After Story is the saddest anime of all time that shattered my heart to a thousand pieces.
It shows the mysery and suffering of two newly weds who’s life take the worst turn possible.
What anime has the most sad ending?
Personally, I think the anime that has the most sad ending is Assassination Classroom. It starts really light hearted, and we fall in love with the characters. This is exactly why the ending hurt as much as it did to me.
That’s it for this article. These were my top 15 most favorite emotional anime series and movies that are close to my heart. Hope you found something new and interesting to watch!
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