Top 20 Anime You Wept Over

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Anime fans reveal which titles have lately been exercising their tear ducts, providing plenty of titles of no small emotional intensity – although presumably in the case of the surprisingly highly ranked K-ON! they were tears of moe-induced joy…

The ranking:

1. Ano Hana

2. Clannad After Story

3. Angel Beats!

4. K-ON!!

5. Toradora!

6. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

7. Clannad

8. Code Geass 2

9. One Piece

10. Crayon Shin-chan: The Storm Called: The Battle of the Warring States

11. Natsume’s Book of Friends

12. Air

13. Fullmetal Alchemist

14. Fruits Basket

15. Guilty Crown

16. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A’s

17. Gurren Lagann

18. Ano Natsu de Matteru

19. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha

20. Pokémon


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    357 Comments
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    Comment by Anonymous
    14:55 26/05/2012 # ! Good (+0.5)

    An "anime that made you cry" list without Kanon is invalid

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:04 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Air is more tearjerking than Kanon. Kanon only get 28th place.
    And where the hell is Madoka !!??

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:21 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Elfen Lied beats both of those.

    Avatar of Dan Hibiki
    Comment by Dan Hibiki
    12:41 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    elfen lied was kinda lame though. it was brutal, no doubt, but i think it tried too hard to shock you with tits and violence to really tug at your heart too much.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:17 02/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Annoyed me when the stopped making it, I wanted to at least see a second series just because I want to know if it was her at the enterance ringing the bell to which Koda then goes and answer's it...not exactly satisfied that Nana stay's with them and Nyu/Lucy is either dead or alive...

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:07 03/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Read the manga. The anime cuts out an awful lot.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:48 03/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I was more pissed with AIr than sad. I'm not gonna spoil the ending, but the way everything turned out is what mad me mad.

    Avatar of Dan Hibiki
    Comment by Dan Hibiki
    02:11 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    kanon is the same as clannad, only uglier.

    Avatar of vega427
    Comment by vega427
    09:55 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I always think of fetal alcohol syndrome when I watch Kanon for some reason......

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:11 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm more suprised the shin chan-movie was even mentioned, Great Film btw.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:17 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    How about Initial D? The street racing made me weep.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:56 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    You have no Kanon but you have K-on. Change the "-" for "an"

    Comment by Anonymous

    Top anime lists are always invalid. Too much otaku short term memory, bias, and not a large enough sample. Website based polls will only list anime from a certain year(s). To some degree the general otaku populace would consider themselves an anime professional. The average anime viewer only prefers a specific genre with specific themes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:14 26/05/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    You, sir, are invalid.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:42 26/05/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    i'm sure kanon was all right, but the quality of modern anime has made watching visual novel anime a chore.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:49 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thinking before speaking? Egads, what a concept!

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:51 29/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thus making it invalid!

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:37 26/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    And you, sir, are an idiot because he is right! Kanon was great!

    Comment by Anonymous

    No, sir, you are the idiot. Kanon is great, but it just didn't make the list. Get over it. Although the Sankaku lists may not reflect our own personal thoughts on the matter, it does not mean those lists were not made without its own reasons. Try thinking before you speak.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:05 26/05/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    So one can't be considered an otaku unless he/she watched old anime?

    You hafta watch old anime to be someone who truly likes anime?

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:40 26/05/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    just ignore gaelstrom. he's what happens when you let someone with an avatar from an american game and american television show watch anime.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:45 26/05/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    That's bull because I'm betting you're only willing to go back those 20 years which you decided by yourself. If someone doesn't want to, that's fine with them. But older people will tell you the same thing about '70s, '60s and even 50's anime. Have you seen Touch, Astroboy, Lupin III or Doraemon (the originals)?
    Generations changed and to people who grew up with modern anime, the quality of older anime is just too distractingly bad to make how good it was at the time relevant.

    You might call some "classics" and some "must-watch anime" but it's almost impossible to watch every anime and maybe some people don't feel like they *have* to watch something just because it is/was popular.
    Almost all otaku at one point decided not to fit in with most people around them and now have no reason to fall into line just because there are other otaku who feel like they have more valid opinions than them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:05 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @19:45
    "the quality of older anime is just too distractingly bad to make how good it was at the time relevant"

    Watch the Macross movie Do You Remember Love (1984) and say that again.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpnXSPaRyu4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbRWMgh5FXc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wckZcVFLU24
    (those clips don't really do the movie justice, you'll have to see a HQ DVD-Rip to truly appreciate the immense detail and fluidity of animation)

    Also, especially the latter half of the 80s and early 90s had movies and OVAs that blow away and wipe the floor with pretty much everything (minus a handful exceptions) of today in terms of animation quality.

    You might have a point about the pre-80s, but no otaku worth their money can refuse to watch those on the grounds of visual quality.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:19 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    19:45 here. I watched the clips. They're OK to me, but you're only quoting half my sentence. I'm not that young, but people who've only been old enough to watch anime for the last 6 years or less will have only watched 8 years or less old anime. And to those people, the quality of that show IS distractingly bad.
    It's too dark, the backgrounds/expressions/face/hair is too cheesy, the voice acting is difficult to understand and all that is distracting.

    I, personally, could watch it (it's not my type of show so I wont. Another problem with old anime *for me* is that a lot are like American comic books, plot-wise and character-wise) but I'm sure most fresh anime fans couldn't.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:44 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @04:19
    I probably didn't help my case by posting crappy youtube clips. Especially the first one suffered extremely hard from detail loss and lack of brightness. The actual film material is much better.

    The argument that the visual quality of the movie is "bad" to the point of being distracting for young viewers used to today's animation is invalid. Visual quality is not a matter of opinion. It can be quantified by looking at the details, relative occurrence of drops in art quality, and average frame rate. This movie (and in fact a good number of later 80s and early 90s features and shows) score higher than most of todays shows in all these points. You could also evaluate the conformance to modern aesthetic expectations if you want to bring in a subjective component, but this movie is pretty good even in that department. Mikimoto's character designs for Macross were arguably the first to feature particularly modern design traits, namely in terms of hairstyles and colors, and the shape of the eyes. I wish I had a way to post screens of certain shots of some of the female characters in the movie to illustrate this (quite a few would easily be considered "moe" by todays standards). Same in the mecha department. Gun turrets on space ships are depicted today just like those on the Macross, the 360° HUD projection in the Valkyrie fighters is now in every real/giant robot, and the flashy launch clearance indicators on the ARMD carriers in Macross have become a major coolness factor in every self-respecting mecha anime.
    It should also be mentioned that the mecha combat choreography pioneered here (the "Itano-Circus", named after the animation director who invented it for the Macross franchise) revolutionized the depiction of animated battles, and is still being employed in the exact same way today, most recent examples would be Gundam Unicorn and Eureka 7 AO.

    I could go on endlessly, but the point here is, epoch-making gems like this are so good visually, that rejecting them on those grounds simply doesn't make sense. Especially if the stylistic traits of those works are used in today's anime in exactly the same way as they were used back then. Don't let the youtube clips fool you here.

    By extension, ~25 years into the past isn't a subjective choice made by a particularly notorious group of aged western otaku. It's simply the the point in time where anime design aesthetics matured and became similar enough to what they are today, and high-budget productions visually intricate enough to become timeless.

    By the way, I'm 24 and I started watching anime 9 years ago. CGI was already commonplace then. It didn't prevent me from recognizing the great art and animation of some old titles, not least because many do feature enough visually appealing bishoujo characters to satisfy even the modern weaboo. There really is no excuse for staying ignorant of them. Except maybe being an ignorant Narutard. But then design/animation quality clearly isn't the issue.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:12 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Haibane Renmei is now ten years ago, but, stands alone in what it achieved.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:11 28/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @19:45 26/05/2012 Just stop watching anime. Seriously. If you're going to have that kind of attitude over older shows, you don't deserve to watch anime. How anyone can even claim that shit like Upotte is better than Do You Remember Love is beyond me.

    Avatar of gutsy frog
    Comment by gutsy frog
    16:26 28/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    "A turd in high-definition is still a turd. And unfortunately a lot of recent anime are just high definition turds. I'd rather watch a good anime in B&W... the distraction of the visual quality goes away once you get into the characters and plot."

    WHAT!? This comment makes no sense. What does "high definition" have to do with animation quality? You can show off fucking Musashi Gundoh in high definition and it'll still look like garbage, and you can watch old Looney Tunes shorts on freaking Youtube and they will still clearly be well animated.

    Avatar of gutsy frog
    Comment by gutsy frog
    16:29 28/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Visual quality is not a matter of opinion. It can be quantified by looking at the details, relative occurrence of drops in art quality, and average frame rate. This movie (and in fact a good number of later 80s and early 90s features and shows) score higher than most of todays shows in all these points" - Oh god there's so many misconceptions here, and your self-assured wording just makes it worse because people will actually take it as a knowledgeable post.

    Good drawing isn't about 'detail'; it's about expressiveness and technical skill. You can show off technical skill quite easily with simple designs and no shading. Certain Shin Chan movies are full of solid drawing and good art and the art style is specifically meant to evoke the simplistic feel of a child's drawing. There's so much to cartoon art from composition to color use to posing... and yet people focus on "detail" above all else.

    And good movement isn't about framerates. Obviously if your framerate is too small it'll just look choppy and shitty, but as long as you have enough to get across the motion you want in the style you want, getting the best animation is NOT a race to achieve the highest framerate. In fact, one of the most impressive and influential animation styles that requires plenty of skill to pull off is the Kanada style, which is ALL ABOUT doing crazy, frantic animation at lower framerates http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aEmATUt2SY

    This isn't 'lazy'; it's a perfectly valid style that offers a vastly different feel from super-fluid animation.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:13 28/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Visual quality is not a matter of opinion. It can be quantified by looking at the details, relative occurrence of drops in art quality, and average frame rate. This movie (and in fact a good number of later 80s and early 90s features and shows) score higher than most of todays shows in all these points" - Oh god there's so many misconceptions here, and your self-assured wording just makes it worse because people will actually take it as a knowledgeable post.

    Good drawing isn't about 'detail'; it's about expressiveness and technical skill. You can show off technical skill quite easily with simple designs and no shading. Certain Shin Chan movies are full of solid drawing and good art and the art style is specifically meant to evoke the simplistic feel of a child's drawing. There's so much to cartoon art from composition to color use to posing... and yet people focus on "detail" above all else.

    And good movement isn't about framerates. Obviously if your framerate is too small it'll just look choppy and shitty, but as long as you have enough to get across the motion you want in the style you want, getting the best animation is NOT a race to achieve the highest framerate. In fact, one of the most impressive and influential animation styles that requires plenty of skill to pull off is the Kanada style, which is ALL ABOUT doing crazy, frantic animation at lower framerates http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aEmATUt2SY

    This isn't 'lazy'; it's a perfectly valid style that offers a vastly different feel from super-fluid animation.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:56 28/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @gutsyfrog

    What, are you trying to prove my point or what? Kanada style evolved out of necessity. The budget given to Japanese studios for domestic shows is a fraction of that in the west. It was even worse in the late 70s / early 80s. Given that, it's almost natural to tackle the problem by giving action scenes crazy movement (it lessens the impact of lower framerates) and allocating high framerates to those parts in a sequence where it has the most impact. It very much is a race for fluid movements. I'm not trying to play down Kanada's achievements, mind you. He IS the one who had the greatest share developing the style.

    If you read my post again, you'll notice that I wasn't talking about artistic merit though. It was about hard, measurable quality. Even in your vid there are significant differences in framerate and animated detail between the sequences from different shows. A direct consequence of budgetary differences. No matter what you say, it is harder to animate more movement of more objects that are more detailed at higher framerates. Of course it all varies depending on the artistic style, which can be easier or harder to animate (see Shin-chan), but that is besides the point. All the animators deserve praise for what they managed to squeeze out of the frames and the time they were given, but if you're trying to argue with the old-anime-look-so-bad crowd, you'll have to point at titles that made the distinct achievement of presenting nicely drawn anime characters in detailed, fluidly animated sequences; i.e. score high in the hard quality measure that I outlined.

    The fact that Kanada style has been largely replaced by CGI is the main reason why anime has lost much of its visual edge over western animation.

    Also, have you taken a good look at the vid you posted? They're almost all 80s shows. With this, I rest my case.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    04:48 31/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Anonymous 21:40

    Yes, got forbid someone have perspective and variety in order to give credit where credit is due. Otherwise I won't be a sub-human whiner about everything wrong with anything like certain pathetic individuals who obviously know nothing about creation or the work going into it; or how to even enjoy something for what it is anymore for that matter.

    I can't believe you'd actually try make the fact that I like anime, great western shows, and great western games as well be somehow a negative. And the unbelievably pathetic thing is that you were up voted for it. Watch other things, people. Only children and morons would have the gall to denounce something without watching it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:27 12/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @gutsyfrog

    anon 21:56 28/05/2012 here.

    "and I don't think level of detail and amount of frames equals 'measurable quality'. the dance/concert scene in Symphogear episode 1 is animated on 1s and quite detailed, but it looks like shit because the art is trash and the movement is amateurish-looking."

    You're quite right about that. Realistic, or depending on the art direction simply "accomplished" movements should be part of the measure, but I'm unsure how to quantify that, although intuitively I'd say it should be possible to do.

    "maybe I'm misunderstanding your point but by your definition of 'measurable quality', DRYL is inherently of higher quality than Mind Game because it's more detailed and (likely) has more frames."

    You're understanding correctly. And Mind Game would indeed not be perceived as a display of breathtaking animation by modern and/or young anime otaku, at least I don't think it would. Another recent production that would score higher than DYRL would be Redline for example. What I was trying to do is present hard evidence to the old-anime-look-bad bunch that they are ignorant.

    Avatar of gutsy frog
    Comment by gutsy frog
    09:43 04/06/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    "If you read my post again, you'll notice that I wasn't talking about artistic merit though. It was about hard, measurable quality."

    and I don't think level of detail and amount of frames equals 'measurable quality'. the dance/concert scene in Symphogear episode 1 is animated on 1s and quite detailed, but it looks like shit because the art is trash and the movement is amateurish-looking.

    maybe I'm misunderstanding your point but by your definition of 'measurable quality', DRYL is inherently of higher quality than Mind Game because it's more detailed and (likely) has more frames.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:03 26/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @22:15 Lol stop trying harding on showing your intelligence. It's a popularity contest with those things, always is and always will be. If an older anime (that was good) makes in then good for them; here's a cookie. And also, "My Opinion > Yours!"...

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:15 26/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Anonymous "the quality of older anime is just too distractingly bad to make how good it was at the time relevant."

    A turd in high-definition is still a turd. And unfortunately a lot of recent anime are just high definition turds. I'd rather watch a good anime in B&W... the distraction of the visual quality goes away once you get into the characters and plot.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:17 26/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @CivicSoldier, you sir are a man among pussies

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:25 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    FFS people. It's "top 20 anime YOU wept over" not "top 20 tear jerker anime of all time".

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    17:16 26/05/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Umm... actually yes. To a large degree, yes you do. It's like defining all movies by the last five years if you only see recent anime and refusing to go any earlier because it's 'older.' So yes, in order to have any perspective that is worthwhile in any conversation on the subject of Otakudom or anime, you must have at least seen or be willing to see some of the truly great anime of the past that have generated the anime of today to respect it.

    Even if you don't like black and white movies or believe the acting isn't that great in them, as I do, I still highly respect older movies and what was accomplished with them, and because of that still have perspective on movies today. Citizen Kane was and is still great, for example. But anime is different, as many shows 20 years old are still great if not better and more cohesive than many of today's. The same idea exists for movies of course, but anime has less of a technological gap going for it than modern movies.

    Granted there are many anime fans of today who have been brought in by recent shows, that's just time passing, and inevitable, but it still doesn't change that those who have seen fewer shows have less to offer in discussions. It doesn't mean they are not allowed to be in them of course, but they have less to offer on the overall discussion of anime as an art form.

    Avatar of CivicSoldier
    Comment by CivicSoldier

    Am I the only one that looks forward to what houselife has to say? or is it just me.....

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:25 26/05/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Pokemon? Really? WTF?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:02 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Bye Bye Butterfree. Nuff said.

    Comment by Tenno Seremel
    01:54 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Satoshi/Kasumi/Takeshi parting episode. Assuming anyone remembers that, that is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:31 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Have you never watched "Mewtwo Strikes Back"? Pikachu's weeping scene. If you shed not even a single tear, you aren't human.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:21 27/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    i cried over "pikachu's goodbye" when i was little :'(

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:46 28/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The Rise of Darkrai
    Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
    The Origin of Mewtwo

    And Pokémon Special is full of tear-jerking moments.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Pokemon is in because there's some backstory and Poketards claiming there IS much deeper meaning.

    What shouldn't have entered the list is Crayon Shin-chan.

    Avatar of Assassinister
    Comment by Assassinister
    15:40 26/05/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    How about FATE STAY NIGHT and CHRONO CRUSADE?

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:23 26/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sure for Chronos Crusade... but fate? no...

    Avatar of TC-man
    Comment by TC-man
    18:11 26/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why not Fate Stay Night, the ending with Saber is pretty sad.

    Avatar of nanuchan
    Comment by nanuchan
    21:49 26/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Agree with sad, yet not enough to made me cry

    Anyways I can't understand why "Grave of fireflies" is not in the list, I cry every time I see the fucking film, It's just amazingly good

    Comment by Anonymous

    How about...no.










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