Top 10 Tearjerker Anime

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Japanese anime fans forced to admit which anime reduced them to tears supply an intensely tragic ranking sure to wet the eyes of even the sternest anime aficionado.

The ranking can sensibly be divided into late-night anime (i.e. what most non-Japanese regard as the “anime” genre) and mainstream Japanese animation (i.e. animated films and cartoons) – first the late-night anime:

1. CLANNAD

2. AIR

3. Evangelion

4. Gurren Lagann

5. Eureka Seven

6. Fruits Basket

7. Saikano

8. Kanon

9. Twin Spica

10. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha

Other high placements in this genre are Nadia, Toradora! and Utawarerumono; pure mecha anime also did well with high placements from Gundam, Macross and Code Geass.

The mainstream anime ranking is predictably dominated by Ghibli and childhood classics:

1. Grave of the Fireflies

2. A Dog of Flanders

3. Crayon Shin-chan: The Adult Empire

4. Laputa – Castle in the Sky

5. Doraemon: Nobita’s Dinosaur

6. 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother

7. Heidi

8. One Piece

9. Crayon Shin-chan: Appare

10. Toki o Kakeru Shōjo

See also the top 10 anime movies, or for a late-night selection the top 10 unmissable anime.


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    492 Comments
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    Comment by Anonymous
    10:59 26/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Kanon is the 3th for me...

    1 - Clannad
    2 - AIR
    3 - Kanon

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:47 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I agree, Kanon should've at least taken the #3 slot, how in the hell is Gurren Laggan and Evangelion "tearjerking"? Explain this to me.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:22 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Gurren Lagann is supposed to be a tear-jerker because towards the end several no-name characters make manly sacrifices that cause the twelve year old fanbase to shed "manly tears."

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:01 27/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Idiot- its a tear jerker because of the Great Kamina's Sacrifice. WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!?!

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:21 27/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's hardly enough to considered a "tearjerker" in the least. Yeah, ONE TRAGIC SCENE. Big whoop, dumbass fanboy.

    Avatar of Tremere
    Comment by Tremere
    20:55 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Gurren Lagann is not tear-jerking?

    You are not a man, or even a boy...

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:17 26/06/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    80% of the characters die in the last 2 episodes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:04 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I agree....if you don't cry during those 3 animes, you are NOT human!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:43 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    what about 2 out of 3?

    Avatar of Falk5T
    Comment by Falk5T
    22:05 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well Clannad: After Story hit me really bad.

    Comment by Anonymous

    While I think Clannad was sax, it overtly dramatic c overtone maid it predictable to impending tragedy.

    The one that got me worst, not even mentioned anyone here, when Wolfwood died in Trigun. Followed by Samuria X (all three OVAs) and even the end of Bebop to an extent. Yes I am showing my age.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:49 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where is NHK?

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:38 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Kanon...

    MAKOTO! TT__TT

    Avatar of MARl0
    Comment by MARl0
    09:07 26/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    Definitely agreed on CLANNAD. That one reduced me to tears on several occasions. Especially After Story.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:10 26/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    CLANNAD AND GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES, HANDS DOWN!

    Avatar of Lacus-Sama
    Comment by Lacus-Sama
    00:12 27/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nooo.... I don't see it, where is Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal in list!?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:07 29/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ehh, True Tears and School Days weren't tear jerkers at all, but I'll admit that I cried a little watching Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien.

    What I'm wondering is... how is Evangelion on the list? Was the ending really so bad that it made people cry?

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:50 27/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where is Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien?...

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:24 27/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    yea I agree, how about true tears and and school days before it took the darkest turn of any anime ? There's tons more... I am weak. I at least tear up to anime almost once every 3 days. I watch at least 3/4 eps of something a day.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:15 27/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Agree there, for me the nr. 1 is KGNE.

    Avatar of TheBeast
    Comment by TheBeast
    09:13 26/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    didn't see berserk or claymore. i thought one or the other would be on there. the berserk manga is bringing me to tears, cause it's taking so long to come out.

    Avatar of Runciter
    Comment by Runciter
    09:20 26/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    CLANNAD is life!

    Avatar of Darkrockslizer
    Comment by Darkrockslizer
    10:20 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Huh, where's Nausicaa Valley of the Wind!?

    Avatar of Dia
    Comment by Dia
    16:18 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    No Wolf's rain because you can't cry if you fell asleep.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:34 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm looking for Kimi Ga Nozumu Eien. That anime wasn't a tearjerker, there were bloody (almost litterally) floods of tears from my eyes when I got to the last episode.
    Really a "Love conquers all, NOT!"-episode.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:53 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    What, no Wolf's rain?

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:09 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Why the fuck is One Piece there!!??

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:10 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Chopper arc is the most tearjerking moment in anime ever. I cried to it 3 times - in anime, movie and manga.

    Comment by Anonymous

    who is chopper? :o

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:49 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    when nami begged for help in her hometown it made my cry T_T

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:18 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Probably when Ace died.

    Avatar of Darkrockslizer
    Comment by Darkrockslizer
    16:23 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Somebody hasn't read(watched) One Piece apparently.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:22 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    i cried when they burned going merry

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:49 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I tried...

    It suck'd...

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:26 28/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yep just like bambi

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:00 27/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    nico robin :O

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:07 27/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The boat was much more significant than Ace could ever be. I didn't feel a thing watching Ace. I blame bad directing to not give it the impact it should've deserved.

    Avatar of Kamao
    Comment by Kamao
    00:29 28/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Regarding Dr. Hirlurk death I guess..that one really mean me sad..plus it's my favorite story

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:30 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It made me cry over a boat.It's also the only manga or anime to ever make me full out sob. It has some surprisingly dark moments

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:42 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That scene was the only time while reading a manga that made me cry full out. =(

    Avatar of †Ŋ€Ø»Ðarŧħ†Ẅøkgraŋ X
    09:50 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.1)

    Then i shall raise a rebellion!!!

    I, probably because i'm brasilian and are oversaturated with novels and over dramatic stuff, didn't like clannad or though of it as tearjacking.

    I though of it as a simple, predictable anime, that even forced the alternative life, and stuff.

    I would say, that i don't cry watching anime, but, if i have to rank the most close situation, Toradora, and the episode 12 (i think [the one that konata mother showed up]), of lucky star were way more closer than all the episodes of clannad.

    Toradora (as i see FMA) got a equilibrated ratio of drama and comedy. That's what makes it less predictable to "when" you are going to get a sad scene, and makes it closer to life itself also. But, honestly, i don't like the things made up from the clannad's Author for the over dramatic stuff that i saw all my life in Television's Mexican and Brazilian Novels. That's it.

    Rebellion for cofee price done o>

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:40 26/04/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    wat. go away lol. I refuse toradora as tearjerking anime. that anime just stand to me as drama. no more no less

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:53 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Clannad made me cry so much, especially the theatrical version. but evangelion and gurren lagann? seriously?

    I love both series' EVA is the whole reason I got into anime, but I never saw it as a tear jerker. same with lagann, if anything else I always got a woodie with yoko.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:32 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Gurren Lagann obviously made the list, because it was so manly and gar that it made viewers shed tears of manly toughness!

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:20 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Gurren lagan most sad scene IMO is when Simmon finaly maried, and he lost his wife 180 second later

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:07 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yoko's whorish outfit was glorious.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:37 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Manly tears!

    What kind of heart do you have? Kamina's last moment, when Simon gets out of his depression and when Simon talks with Kamina one more (and last) time reduced me to tears. Evangelion has a lot of moments where you just wanna hang yourself it's so depressing (I cried when Shinji kills Kaworu because it was so fucked up)

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:04 27/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Manly tears are even better than girly tears. I remember only Hokuto no Ken, TTGL, Slam Dunk and Hajime no Ippo given me those.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Gurren Lagann!!!

    NO MAN didn't cry after watching this. The sheer epicness sometimes makes you realize how small you are.

    Avatar of Kingwel
    Comment by Kingwel
    15:32 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Hey Kougra, stop trolling on my Sankakuu Compurexu.

    You know that being a brazilian doesn't have anything to do with this, cuz you know a lot of brazilian people cried with Clannad.

    Darii is dying for your sins!

    Avatar of Elcachetondelpuro
    Comment by Elcachetondelpuro
    06:57 28/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    opinions are like asses, everyone has one.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:51 28/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's your own opinion.

    Avatar of †Ŋ€Ø»Ðarŧħ†Ẅøkgraŋ X
    09:40 27/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Portugal and Japanese Pseudo-BR's can't say anything :C

    BR novels are as much boresome as clannad. Lot's of ppl like'em but what? Jump got many fans, and most of'em are brainless too.

    I was comparing Brazilian novels to clannad. If your contry like to act "dramatic" all the "dramatic" acts might get you bored. It's not a matter of "which country cry less or more".

    Clannad made me though: "ah... that again?" "You choosed this path, and yet though it would be easy? lol."

    Example. Fuko. (More or less spoiler)
    If you know that she would dissapear when you acknowledge the truth behind her, don't cry because you went for it.

    Nagisa.
    If she's the weakest girl of the anime, and she's going to give birth. It's a uber-cliché that she will die. And that was even said before it happened. And the child will get the problem too, of course, since the anime went for the drama as many times as it could.

    and many other points.

    Different from a "balanced" anime, that get you when you are not expecting it. So tends to "tearjerk" more. At least the normal people, but i guess only the ones that cry normally watch clannad.

    That's it³
    (and fuck the english errors.)

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:18 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Does simply being a Brasilian make you harder to cry?
    Does that mean I being Finnish, I will never cry, instead commit suicide after a show?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:20 27/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    he has no point, just forgive him. maybe he drunk too much in the last carnival and is still during a hangover...

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:24 27/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I cried...

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:32 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm a brazilian too but for me clannad is the best one ;p

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:09 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is a list of TEARJERKER, not balanced anime. Go back to the carnaval, you lucky fellow.

    Comment by Anonymous

    FUCK U!!! CLANNAD IS THE BEST TEARJERKER ANIME!! I watched all anime listed and listed on comment.

    all is tearjerker-ing but CLANNAD+After Story is no 1.

    Comment by Anonymous

    CLANNAD is definitely the most tear-jerking anime not to mention it has an INCREDIBLE plot and each and every characters are elaborated beautifully. No anime has ever taken a romance, slice of life story to a stage where they got married and process it till they have a child in a way that's so beautiful that it's tear jerking. Toradora n FMA are both not tear jerking AT ALL . Clannad is not PREDICTABLE, it is called a "plot building". It slowly brings us through all the problems of each characters, solves it thoroughly and blends comedy, slice of life, romance really well, deserving the title of one of the best.

    Avatar of Glublock
    Comment by Glublock
    10:35 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Same thing here.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    10:12 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree with u Mari0, i even rage quit calland: after story at some point (if u seen it u might know when) after reading some article i was quickly back to watch the whole show

    deffo make me drown in my own tears

    Avatar of Shuckie Junkins
    Comment by Shuckie Junkins
    10:12 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    FUKO... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:45 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I still feel that Kanon should be higher on the list.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I agree that clannad is sad. But to me #1 had to go to Kanon06... I cried allot when watching the sad moments. But that's just me.. Atleast Both of them are on the list

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:43 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I cried three times with Kanon 2006.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:54 26/04/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    the last few episodes crammed Mai, Makoto, and Ayu's arc all together T_T













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