I couldn’t cut it down to 5. That’s How much of a crybaby I am!

I guess I should preface this by letting you all know that I don’t necessarily cry when most people would. In general I am much more likely to cry at sappy or even happy moments then at sad ones. I’m a happy crier which I guess is a good thing considering how often I get all teary and stuff.

I sound like such a delicate flower. I like it! By the way these are in no particular order.

To Be A Heroine 3-7 (155)

6. To be Hero(ine)

Both seasons of this weird series…Calling them seasons is actually very misleading, they don’t have much at all to do with each other. The second season is more like a spiritual successor than a continuation. In any case, these shows are weird, inappropriate in some ways and full of very crass schoolyard humour and both just sneak up with the feels and serious themes on their audience.

It worked on my big time. The touching and deeply moving ode to father daughter relationships in the first and the desperate ultimately doomed struggle to keep friendships forever in a specific state in the second, had me weeping in my living room. Both series are ultimately hopeful in that way that tells you sometimes life is sad and that’s o.k.

Kyousougiga ep9 (17)

5. Kyousougiga

Where do I even begin with Kyousougiga. That might be how I started my review as well. I feel like every conversation I ever have about this show will start this way. I can,t quite explain why Kyousougiga left me in tears. And it really left me in tears. I didn’t start sniffling until after the closing credits of the final episode and I still don’t know why.

I think it might have been a built up of so many intense yet ineffable emotions. I called Kyousougiga a show about the disappointment of love. Not as in unrequited love but as in the fact that love is actually very much limited and flawed and sometimes not that fun. Not just romantic love at that. And for some reason I found the sentiment sort of beautiful. I warned you I couldn’t explain it but I did cry so it’s on the list.

Kamina crying

4. Gurren Lagann

Man I love Gurren Lagann. The more time passes the more fondly I remember it. To be honest, I love all the shows on this list. I guess I have a thing for anime that make me cry..

Whereas the previous entries made me cry out of vague general concepts and truths of existence, Gurren Lagann was much more personal in it’s visceral impact on me. I cried for the characters. I cried directly for those lost in combat as one would but I also cried for Yuko’s pain and loss and growth. I cried for the fact that she found peace. I cried for Simon’s discovery of himself and gentle acceptance of how unfair the world can be. I cried for the workers under ground and those whose city was under siege. I cried along with Viral’s frustration at his ultimate helplessness and I cried for Rossiu’s misguided honour and diligence.

I cried because I made lots of friends in that show and I saw them grow up. It was pretty.

Penguindrum ep 5-6 (16)

3. Penguindrum

Full disclosure, I am currently watching Penguindrum and I haven’t finished it yet. I almost never speak of anime I haven’t finished unless it’s to do episode reviews. It’s a very dense show so I’m not even sure I’ll finish it before this post gets published like a month from now.

This said, I can safely say it belongs on this list. Penguindrum has already made me cry a few times over these difficult to explain situations. Basically it sort of embraces and almost tenderly focuses on a lot of very painful themes in a colourful, hopeful way. I’m pretty sure many more tears will be shed before the series is over.

My Roommate is a Cat a Tail of Grief and Love - I drink and watch anime

2. My Roommate is a Cat

My Roommate is a Cat trades on easy sentiment. It takes a likeable guy and puts him in a super sad situation then adds in a very likeable kitten with a tragic past and makes them both help each other get past their respective traumas through understanding and love.

Well duh I’m gonna cry at that. I’m not made of stone! I was going to make a joke about having great abs and ruin the moment but I managed to refrain myself. That was a close one! This one falls squarely in the sappy category but what can I say, it was such sweet sap, I just had to cry.



1. Natsume’s Book of Friends

I reviewed all 6 seasons of this show and I mention coming to tears in each of these reviews. Without exaggeration. I also read the manga in the bus and often got all sniffly in front of a whole bunch of strangers.

Natsume is an anime that makes me cry every time. It’s sort of a mix of relief and care and love that comes out of my eyes. It’s a show that simultaneously instills in me a deep gratefulness for how wonderful and magical the world is and how precious life can be while stirring me up at how ruthless and unkind faith is. I know the series is specifically designed to do that so my reaction isn’t special or anything. Still it has definitely earned a spot on this page and the top spot at that.

Well these are 6 series that have made me cry. There are in fact more. A lot more cause you know…I’m a crybaby… But these are the 6 that first come to my mind. Do you have a show that always gets the waterworks going? And why?

rini 2 scared

45 thoughts

  1. Ive only cried for 2 animes, Violet Evergarden and Anohana. Anohana, i only shed a few tears but when i watched a specific episode, the tears were running down my face and i couldnt stop.

  2. I can count the number of anime that made me cry on one hand… because I can’t say I remember ever actually shedding them, but having them moisten up in my eyelids in a sort of pre-cry. Does that count? I don’t know.

    In any case, Hanasaku Iroha did upon my first viewing in 2012, Katanagatari did during my first rewatch, and most recently, A Place Further than the Universe.

    And how you described your reasoning for Gurren Lagann was beautiful. Loved that.

  3. Elfen Lied , the episode in Re:zero where Rem gets tortured in front of Subaru , and parts of Erased . But I also I sort of teared up in a few parts of the Monogatari series too.

  4. I’ve never legit cried in from an anime unfortunatly, I’m actually searching for something that could move me so much.

    To a lesser degree, I get watery eyes when the opening plays in the middle of an epic moment (Gurren Lagaan definitely did that for me^^)

    I also nearly cried on Sakurasou No Pet No Kanoujou, Tsuki ga Kirei and Toradora. Have you seen them by any chance ?

  5. I DNFed “Afterstory” because I knew it would make me cry!

    The usual suspects here… “Your Lie In April” being most prominent. All the Hiroshima based anime… “I Want to Eat Your Pancreas”… “Angel Beats” came close but not quite. “Roommate is a Cat” just didn’t feel real enough. The cat was anthropomorphized too much. I cannot see anything in “Natsume” that would bring out tears. It is way too optimistic. Agam. “Akame ga Kill!” had a kind of sadness to the ending.

    Did anyone else feel tears coming on when Norman sacrificed himself in “Promised Neverland?” How about Mitty in “Made in Abyss?”

    One that is peculiar to me is, “Kimi ni Todoke.” Sawako is a textbook case of high functioning autism. She got the friends and happy ending I did not. All those painful memories of high school came flooding back. I understand that most people would not feel sad after watching it because she kept making progress and ultimately found a place for herself in the world. It is the dissonance between her story and my reality that killed me.

    Another one that doesn’t show up on many lists is “H2O: Footprints in the Sand.” I know the plot has inconsistencies and there’s ham-handed fan service but that final episode destroyed me.

    There is a trope where you kill off someone in the most heartbreaking way possible only to bring them back in a kind of divine intervention. Unless you’ve laid the groundwork in the story that resurrection is a real thing (Re: Zero even has it as the central plot device) it doesn’t work for me. Dead is dead and resurrection is a lie compounded to protect children from the truth of the world. It pisses me off that the anime won’t allow me my grief.

    1. I seem to see a trend where a lot of people get weepy at romances. I tend to get teary over happy moments. I’m more of a tears of joy sort of person not much for sad crying.

  6. I have to say I’m a bit surprised. I expected more Clannad. I haven’t seen it myself either, but it usually is a popular choice for a list like this. Kind of nice to see some other series though!

  7. Tengen Toppa was the worst for me. I never had to stop watching an anime before and I did not think I was that hooked, I was only half a dozen episodes in when I cried so hard that people asked me days later what happend. I could not watch on without crying again.

    Then we had one of the side characters that caused me to cry. I soldiered on and watched all the way to the end! I went from Who the hell do you think we are! ( I yelled alomg) to cursing thr show saying who the hell do you think you are while skipping dinner! I felt so much pain for some characters.

    School Live also made me cry a lot of tears of loss.
    The funeral in Full Metal Alchemist as well.. I was fine..but when he started crying.. that strong man I broke a bit.. the Edu…oar….do scene hurt…but was fine.. but that kill Envy made…

    Angel Beats is another one, but would not cry over it again unlike the other three

      1. Ah I have no idea how different that is but I bet the experience will be different! Yesterday That Time I got reincarnated as a Slime made me cry a lot! So it would have been list in Angel Beats stead if I read it yesterday

  8. My Roommate is a Cat and Natsume also made me cry. Natsume makes me cry all the time, even when I’m not watching it and just thinking about it.

    1. It makes me smile most of the time when I think about it. I tend to remember the happy parts most. Ok some of those happy parts make me cry too….

  9. In no particular order, mine are Natsume’s Yuujinchou, Angel Beats, Usagi Drop, and maybe 3-gatsu no Lion. I tend to cry when watching anime that very accurately depict loneliness or the physical loss of family.

  10. Well…then it’s a good thing I haven’t seen any of these (yet) because I would do the same….I know I would 😢
    So which animes made me cry then? Let’s see: Your Lie in April. Seriously…how can you not cry at that one. A Silent Voice…because well, the subject matter just had too much of an overlap with my own history for me, Violet Evergarden….several episodes, but then with the dying mother really had me in tears😢😢, and of course Grave of the Fireflies…one of the most emotional films I’ve ever seen period.

    1. I’m a cry baby you might do better. All my picks are much less sad than the shows you named. Actually aside from Natsume, they’re all comedies.

  11. Wish I could comment on your picks, but I’m afraid I haven’t seen any of those.

    Anime that made me cry at least once: Anohana, Kanon, Yuki Yuna, K-On, Non Non Biyori Repeat, She and Her Cat (mentioning My Roommate is a Cat reminded me of that one), Gamers (if crying from laughter counts), Angelic Layer, and probably several more I’m not thinking of right now. What’s kinda funny is that I’ve seen most of the top ten anime on Ranker’s “Saddest anime” list, and except for Anohana I don’t especially remember crying too much over any of them. I think for me I’m more prone to crying when it’s that one especially emotional or cathartic scene that just hits me in the right place. Like with K-On it’s 99% light-hearted comedy, but there’s this one specific scene in season 2 that’s so powerfully emotional (and resonant to me) that I can never watch it without breaking down. If something’s mostly just sad and depressing from start to finish like Grave of the Fireflies or Now and Then Here and There, those will make me sad but they don’t often make me feel like actually crying, probably because I’m already too wrung out to begin with.

    BTW, an amazingly good anime that nobody in the community ever talks about is La Maison en Petits Cubes – a ten minute short film that was the “other” anime to win an Academy award, and that thing had me bawling.

    1. La Maison en Petits Cubes was an incredibly touching piece. Very similar to French animation in both visuals, pacing and subject matter that I was sure it was a co-production when I first watched it. It made me cry. Good call

  12. 6) Myself; Yourself (the twins)
    5) Black Lagoon (the twins)
    4) Arpeggio of Blue Steel (ep 6–HaruHaru & Makie each willing to die to protect the other
    3) Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (that ending ripped out my heart like I was an Aztec sacrifice!)
    2) Non Non Biyori (ep 10, Kadae and Ren’s closeness–finally, a good cry!!!)
    1) Usagi Drop (ep 1–watching a newly orphaned child made outcast by her remaining

  13. OMG the ending of Gurren Lagann. That was a feels trip I did not sign up for. One minute I’m getting my mind blown by bombastic action and the next I’m stupid high crying eating ice cream like I just got dumped in a chick flick. 😂

  14. I couldn’t make a list like that. Not because I don’t cry at anime, but because if I cry it tends to have more to do with my current mood than the anime. It’s not always like that, but it’s a strong enough factor, so that it interferes. For example, Natsume is one of the most emotionally effective series out there, but I can’t remember crying to it. On the other hand, I’ve cried during throwaway series, where the anime itself was just an excuse.

    Out of those series, I wasn’t emotionally involved at all with Penguindrum. I still don’t know why; Ikuhara usually gets me. On the other hand, Kyousogiga was extremely effective, because the show never seemed to forget that joy and sadness are really close together. All the most effective shows seem to know this intimately; Natsume, too.

      1. It’s fine, most of the series you mentioned are some of the anime I haven’t watched yet, so I guess I’d better take a look at it since your opinion about them was great😄.

  15. Out of everything on this list, I’ve only seen Gurren Lagan. In recent memory the 2 that really got to me were A Silent Voice, Your Name, and Violet Evergarden.

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