Sad Romantic Anime. As the name suggests, such anime revolves around romantic relationships, accompanied by tragedy, heartbreak and a LOT of emotional disbalance.
So why watch such an anime which will definitely not give you the ending you prefer? Being able to relate oneself to the character you’re watching is a satisfying feeling. In particular, sad romance anime can provide a real emotional ride and keep viewers engaged right to the end.
Such an anime gives a much-needed break from typical shounen or rom-com anime which we generally watch, which get really monotonous at times. It also provides an opportunity for viewers to connect with deep emotions and be able to reflect on the complexities of their day-to-day lives.
If you’re into exploring various emotions, connecting with characters’ struggles, and experiencing a range of feelings, this genre might be suited for you!
Sad romance anime movies:
Now that we’re ready, here are 10 of the best sad romance anime movies that might throw you in a pool of melancholy.
HAL is a sad romance anime movie, which revolves around the story of Kurumi and Hal, a couple deeply in love with each other. Tragedy strikes when Hal suddenly dies in a plane crash.
In order to cope with her loss, her grandfather designs an AI known as Q01, which replicates her deceased boyfriend, allowing Kurumi to interact with an imperfect HAL.
The anime delves into themes of grief, tragedy and implications of AI human emotions. Even though Q01’s replications aren’t perfect, lacking the emotions that HAL had, Kurumi finds her forming a unique bond with it, allowing her to cope with her loss.
But is this what really happened? Do you see any plot holes? Not yet? Alright, I won’t spoil it anymore. You’ll have to watch it for yourself. But let me warn you, it will be tough, Really Tough.
9. Her Blue Sky
The story of Her Blue Sky, also known as Sora no Aosa wo Shiru Hito yo, mainly focuses on 3 characters, Aoi Aioi, an aspiring musician, Akane Aioi, Aoi’s older sister and a talented musician and Sinno Naruse, a boy who can see and interact with spirits.
This anime didn’t focus as much on romantic love, but rather on family love, and having more adult characters gave it an additional layer of maturity. As Aoi and Shinno spend time together, they uncover secrets about themselves and Akane’s spirit.
Her Blue Sky, or Sora no Aosa wo Shiru Hito yo‘s emotional storytelling, with elements of supernatural and fantasy is what makes it unique earns it a place in out list of best sad romantic anime movies. So definitely check it out! The music won’t disappoint you as well.
8. The Garden of Words
The Garden of Words, is a 2013 anime film directed by Makoto Shinkai (The One and Only). Even though people misinterpret this anime, it is not something you would want to miss.
This film gets a lot of criticism due to the fact that people see the ‘love’ in this movie from a modern viewpoint, rather than the Japanese traditional meaning of ‘lonely sadness’, which Makoto Shinkai was trying to represent.
The 2 main characters, Takao Akizuki and Yukari Yukino aren’t in love in a romantic sense but come to love each other by filling in the void of true companionship that they didn’t even know was missing.
They meet on rainy mornings in a garden shed within a park, where Takao often skips school to design and create shoes.
Despite their age differences, Takao and Yukari form a unique bond among themselves as they spend time together in the park. The film in itself has breathtaking visuals and animations beautifully portraying the rain, nature and their emotions.
Also, once you start liking the anime, you’ll realize that Yukari is the MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN there is!
7. The Girl Who Lept Through Time
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, is a 2006 anime film directed by Mamoru Hosoda. The story follows Makoto Konno, a normal high school student who discovers she can leap through time using an interesting device.
In the beginning, she would mostly use her powers for tiny reasons, like stopping herself from getting embarrassed (even you would if you had the chance), until she understood the consequences of doing so.
Apart from the relationships which forms between Makoto, Chiaki and Kosuke, which also plays a significant role in the plot, the film mostly focuses on its time travel aspect.
As the story progresses, Makoto goes through significant character development as she understands the dangers of interfering with time itself. Let’s not forget the fact that she would’ve died had her device not been activated in time.
Having an engaging storyline and relatable characters, this film depicts time travel in such a way that would definitely make it really distinctive.
6. A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice, tells about Ishida Shoya, a 17-year-old boy, who is tormented by his past self’s actions. When Nishimiya Shoko, a girl with a hearing disability is transferred to his class, he decides to make fun of her and starts actively bullying her, to the point where Shoko is forced to transfer schools.
Shoya and Shoko reconnect after 5 years, Shoya seeks forgiveness from Shoko, becoming her friend and trying to understand her better. Was he successful in doing so? That’s something you’ll have to find out for yourself! (It’s going to hit hard)
When it comes to it’s visual elements, A Silent Voice‘s animation captures the characters’ emotions perfectly, thus further enhancing the depth of human nature.
If you’re looking for an anime with immersive storytelling and intense depth on human emotions, this film might be your go to option!
5. The Wind Rises
In The Wind Rises, our main character Jiro Horikoshi dreams of aviation and being able to design beautiful planes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni. Being nearsighted from a young age, Jiro is unable to become and pilot and therefore, joins an engineering company, becoming an aeronautical engineer.
The story has a historical setting as it’s set during World War II. The film also depicts key historical events, such as the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, which is when he meets and falls in love with Nahoko, the tuberculosis epidemic, The Great Depression and Japan’s involvement in the war.
Rather than being your everyday typical romance anime, it portrays a more mature relationship where those involved end up making sacrifices for the person they love. This is definitely one of the saddest romance anime there is.
Thanks to Studio Ghibli, the visuals are spot on, and the ending is BOUND to make you shed tears (trust me). This film will provoke your thoughts as it makes the audience reflect on technology and human nature in the atmosphere of historical change.
4. Anthem of the Heart
From the Author of Anohana and Hanasaku Iroha, Mari Okada really lives up to her name when it comes to this genre. Unlike a lot of high school anime, most of the elements and characters of Anthem of the Heart are astonishingly believable.
It does not feel a particular need to blindly follow tropes and pander to audience expectations just to try and achieve popularity and shows a deep understanding of mental illness and regrets. Despite the heavy subject matter, Anthem of the Heart achieves something remarkable: it manages to handle these topics without ever becoming too dark or depressing to watch.
The story follows Jun, a young girl, who was a Chatterbox. As a girl, Jun carries the burden of breaking up her family due to her careless words. One day she meets a fairy egg who SOMEWHAT helps her (You’ll have to find what that is for yourself!).
The soundtrack of the movie was already great without them, but throughout the course of the runtime, the songs really kick it to the next level. (Listen to Watashi no Koe. You will feel actual bliss!)
3. Hotarubi no Mori E
Based on Yuki Midorikawa‘s manga of the same name, Hotarubi no Mori E is a tale of friendship and compromise of two people who should never have crossed paths, as their lives become hopelessly intertwined.
Hotarubi no Mori E gives the impression that the natural and supernatural can and will interact with one another and coexist , but that it will always come with caveats, and so all should venture carefully in their contact with one another.
Intrigued by the tale of a mountain god, six-year-old Hotaru Takegawa loses her way in the ancient forest while visiting her uncle. Exhausted and desperate for help, Hotaru is thrilled to find a masked forest spirit named Gin. Considering the time it was published, Hotarubi feels fairly unique.
Midorikawa explores the idea of love and friendship between a yokai and a human, and it instantly stirs the imagination as to how such a world would operate, and how such a relationship would even work out.
It seemed very natural for the yokai and humans to coexist and interact with one another, but Hotarubi made it clear that there are impossible barriers that impede that interaction.
Even though there were many happy moments, it still wasn’t able to stop the tragedy that was about to befall.
This anime will definitely make you cry, being one of the best in its genre of sad romantic films.
2. I Want To Eat Your Pancreas
The story starts with Haruki Shiga, an introverted student, discovering a diary of Sakura Yamauchi, which states that she has a terminal pancreatic illness and only has a limited time to live.
Haruki befriends Sakura, spending time and opening up to each other. A simple plot when viewed from the top, but is it really?
“As they spend time with each other, Sakura’s illness slowly disappears and they live happily after”. That’s what you hope will happen (even if I did). In fact, the film already shows you what to expect, yet you’ll be grabbing on, hoping reality will change.
A clear message that I think the movie has is “You can NEVER be sure about the future, so make every day count. Don’t just sit there and slowly waste your time every day because that time will never come back“. Definitely one of the saddest romance anime of all time!
When watching the film myself, the only thing I think was, “CAN I CRY NOW??“. The scene where Sakura’s mother lets Haruki read her diary was way too overwhelming for me as an audience. Give this anime a watch. It’ll be worth it! *sobs*
1. 5 Centimeters Per Second
You must have been living under a rock if you have never heard about this movie. A movie Directed by the all-time ROM-COM goat Sir Makoto Shinkai.
5 Centimeters per second is explained in 3 parts. The movie shows us the emotions our protagonists Takaki and Akari go through during their time separated as Akari had to move out of their hometown. Were they only just friends, or more than that?
The Animation is awestruckingly beautiful. Just like any other anime film, the movie has breathtaking visuals. The cinematographer has done a beautiful job of portraying the landscapes and cherry blossoms.
The movie has overall one of the best narrations as, well as the inner dialogues which really hit different It deals with one of the most important aspects in a youths life nowadays, which is “Moving on”.
The movie isn’t like a stereotypical Rom-Com anime, where 2 people fall in love with each other and through hardships they get together and live happily ever after. IT’S MUCH DEEPER and somewhat Mature.
The movie shows us a perspective that you have probably never seen before, which is so elegant, that it makes falling apart less painful. Enough said. It is really sometimes better to just “Move On” and watch the Movie…
And here we are, in the depths of hell… I mean at the end of the series.
Make sure to sit with a dozen boxes of tissue papers, or a towel, or just use your clothes (we all do) when watching either of the anime suggested in the list.
Let me know in the comment section the number of tears you shed (in litres by the way)!!