Online streaming of 20 of the saddest anime films ever made includes Wolf children, Grave of the Fireflies, and many more.

Here is a list of the 20 saddest anime movies ever, so get ready to cry. These deeply moving movies offer poignant tales that delve into the depths of human emotion and touch with themes of resilience, love, and loss. These films will make an impression on you whether you’re an avid anime lover or brand-new to the medium.

“Grave of the Fireflies,” a moving story set during World War II that depicts the struggle of two siblings to survive amidst the destruction, is one of the heartbreaking titles. Viewers are taken on a moving journey in “Wolf Children” as a mother raises her half-wolf, half-human offspring while dealing with many difficulties. These only hint to the emotional whirlwind that lies ahead. The saddest anime films of all time, both classics and undiscovered gems, will be discussed in this post.

As you examine these works of art that have moved people all across the world, get ready to feel a spectrum of emotions. Get ready for a riveting voyage via the persuasiveness of narrative and the deep influence of animated film.

Online streaming of 20 of the saddest anime films ever made includes Wolf children, Grave of the Fireflies, and many more.

Top 20 Saddest Anime Films Ever

Movie Name IMDb Rating
The Dog of Flanders7.7
I desire to devour your pancreas.8.0
Giovanni’s island7.3
The anthem of the heart7.3
To the Forest of Firefly Lights7.8
Angel’s Egg7.6
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time7.7
1/5 of a centimeter per second7.5
The garden of words7.4
Weathering With You 7.5
There is no sound. 8.1
Marnie was present when7.7
The wind rises7.7
Wolf children8.1
Barefoot gen8.0
Perfect blue8.0
Your name8.4
In This Corner of the World7.8
Whisper of the heart7.9
Grave of the fireflies8.5

The Dog of Flanders

Dog of Flanders, a work by Yoshio Kuroda, tells the heartbreaking story of a young kid named Nello and his dog Patrasche. This well-known anime is based on the renowned children’s book Ouida, which was published in 1872 by a British-French author under a pen name. Although the narrative is set in a village in 19th-century Antwerp, Belgium, it became quite well-known in Japan in the early 20th century. In 1975, Nello and Patrasche were the stars of their own Japanese animated series. The 1997 adaptation stays true to the storyline from the book. Despite using a straightforward animation approach, Kuroda does an excellent job of telling the story. The anime’s best scenes are when Nello and Patrasche are showing affection for one another. The movie deftly handles emotions, and these are its best moments. These passages’ simplicity and sweetness depress the already depressing conclusion. 

Makoto Tsumura, Sakura Tange, Shinobu Adachi, Brady Bluhm, Brianne Brozey, Richard Cansino, Christopher Carroll, Lara Cody, Louise Chamis, Debi Derryberry, Mari Devon, Jessica Evans, Yuriko Fuchizaki, Dylan Hart, Hikaru Ijûin, Yoshiko Kamei, and Sophie Lechken are among the cast and crew.

1 hour and 33 minutes

Yoshio Kuroda is the director.

Kazuyoshi Okuyama, producer

YouTube is a place to watch online.

Also read: 20th Century Girl, Decision to Leave, Broker, and More Top Korean Films

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I Want To Eat Your Pancreas

Children with cancer are frequently shown in depressing tales. The storyline is quite typical. Shinichiro Ushijima, the anime’s creator, has produced a gorgeously animated work that does a respectable job of delving into the themes of loss, friendship, and death. This anime is based on Yoru Sumino’s same-titled 2015 novel, which was later made into a two-part manga series. In this tale, we are introduced to an unpopular high school student who, by chance, discovers a diary entry written by Sakura, a popular classmate. He learns that she has been hiding her pancreatic cancer from everyone at school and that it is deadly. Slowly, a relationship forms between Sakura and our young son. The anime is incredibly depressing and can be difficult to watch at times. 

Cast and crew members include Kira Buckland, Mahiro Takasugi, Lynn, Khoi Dao, Yukiyo Fujii, Yuma Uchida, Jun Fukushima, Amar Kumar Dang, Robbie Daymond, Erika Harlacher, Xanthe Huynh, Erica Mendez, Kyle McCarley, Shin’ichirô Miki, Laura Megan Stahl, and Patrick Seitz.

1 hour and 49 minutes

Shin’ichirô Ushijima, director

Shin’ichirô Kashiwada, producer

YouTube is a place to watch online.

Giovanni’s Island

This post-war survival tale by Mizuho Nishikubo portrays the tale of kids caught in a horrific battle they don’t fully comprehend. The Russian conquest of Shikotan in northern Japan serves as the central theme of the anime. In spite of the depressing surroundings, Kanta and Junpei, two energetic little boys, try to live satisfying lives. The boys quickly form a bond with Tanya, a lovely Russian girl who lives next door. Adult disagreements, however, pose a threat to destroy cross-cultural connection. The tone of the narrative is established through the animation. As things become worse, the colors become less vibrant and switch to greys and whites. Even though the anime might be pretty depressing at times, the characters are quite hopeful. 

Yûsuke Santamaria, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yukei Nakama, Tatyana Sharko, Kota Yokoyama, Junya Taniai, Kaoru Yachigusa, Ho Han Yoo, Austin Nash Chase, Lauren Conn, Grant George, Aleksandr Golovchanskiy, Kannon Gowen, Masachika Ichimura, Natalie Hoover, Polina Ilyushenko, Hiroshi

One hour and 42 minutes

Mizuho Nishikubo is the director.

Yoshiki Sakurai and Tomoyuki Miyagawa are the producers.

Online streaming services: Apple TV

The Anthem of the Heart

The animation in this film is reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki’s artwork. A young Jun Naruse is introduced to us in the narrative. She once saw her father leaving a hotel with a woman. She informs her mother without fully comprehending the nuances, which causes the parents to separate and the father to accuse Jun. Infuriated, June makes a deal with a prince in the shape of an egg never to speak again. She withdraws from her peers and subsequently meets and befriends an attractive classmate from high school. The importance of overcoming past pain is emphasized in this engrossing coming-of-age tale. The difficulties we have in coping with our emotions and the sorrows of growing up are delicately captured. 

Rie Takahashi, Shizuka Ishigami, Takanori Ohyama, Makoto Furukawa, Keiji Fujiwara, Yo Yoshida, Eizô Tsuda, Kiyoko Miyazawa, Hirofumi Nojima, Kengo Kawanishi, Junichi Yanagita, Ayaka Suwa, and Hiromichi Tezuka are among the cast and crew.

1 hour and 59 minutes

Tatsuyuki Nagai is the director.

Shunsuke Saito, producer

Streaming services include Amazon Prime Video.

Also read: Dog Gone, True Spirit, Your Place or Mine, and More New Movies Arriving on Netflix in 2023

To the Forest of Firefly Lights

This anime is based on a Yuki Midorikawa manga. It is a stand-alone novel about a young girl named Hotaru, 6, who gets lost in the eerie forests near her uncle’s house and forms an odd acquaintance with a ghostly spirit. She encounters Gin, a masked spirit who aids her in returning home. Gin cannot touch people, despite being a lovely, gentle being that resembles a human. Hotaru visits Gin in the forest over time in order to establish a friendship built on trust. The issue of long-distance friendships is explored in this 45 minute anime. Incredibly detailed backgrounds displayed genuine, passionate emotions. The conclusion is heartbreaking and has a profound effect. 

Amar Kumar Dang, Izumi Sawada, Hayato Taya, Kanehira Yamamoto, Masanori Machida, Hiroki Goto, Asami Imai, Mami Uchida, and Koki Uchiyama are among the cast and crew. 

forty-five minutes

Takahiro Mori is the director 

Creator – NA

Online streaming locations: NA

1985’s Angel’s Egg

This contemplative anime by Mamoru Oshii has a sketchy premise and scant dialogue. He developed the post-apocalyptic setting for Angel’s Egg in collaboration with visual artist Yoshitaka Amano. In this anime, we are introduced to the mysterious and allegorical world of a little girl and the egg she defends against a world overrun with cyborgs. She encounters a soldier who appears rather interested in this egg. The viewer is free to interpret most of the story. A gloomy atmosphere can be created by the abandoned girl and the deteriorating gothic city. The film’s unimpressive score and eerie sound effects add to the depressing atmosphere. Impressive arthouse animation that explores the human condition is this anime. 

Mako Hydô, Jinpachi Nezu, and Keiichi Noda are among the cast and crew.

Time: 1 hour, 11 minutes

Manager: Mamoru Oshii

Hiroshi Hasegawa, Masao Kobayashi, Kiki Miura, and Yutaka Wada served as producers.

Where to watch Zoro online

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

This fantasy-themed animation, which deals with deep emotions, is based on a 1967 Yasutaka Tsutsui novel. The tale explores the duties that come with authority and what happens when it is abused. The power in question is time travel, and Makoto, a high school student, possesses it. The selfish time leaps in this anime at first look like tame entertainment. Her attempts to use time leaps to control every aspect of her friend’s and her own lives, however, have tragic results. Despite the disappointing conclusion, Hosoda accurately captures the character of a spoiled youngster. Because the characters display such strong emotions, this anime is a must-see. 

Cast and Crew – Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Sonoka Matsuoka, Takayuki Handa, Maho Kurashima, Taeko Hase, Keiko Aizawa, Kiyomi Tanigawa, Atsuko Yuya, Mitsutaka Itakura, Ayami Kakiuchi, Mitsuki Tanimura, Yuki Sekido, Utawaka Katsura, Midori Ando, Fumihiko Tachiki, Keiko Yamamoto, Shiori Yokohari

Duration – 1h 38 min

Director – Mamoru Hosoda

Producer – Shin’ichirô Inoue

Where to watch online – Zoro 

5 Centimetres Per Second

Takaki Tono and his companion Akari are the main characters in this three-part tale of love and grief. Each of the three episodes analyzes their relationship from various angles and stages. This anime features gorgeous visuals, a calming music, stunning backdrops, and an immersive atmosphere. This story of nascent love has numerous facets. Despite the anime exploring the darker reality of its characters, the way the story concludes is comforting. This animation shatters a number of stereotypes about young relationships and digs right to the heart of people’s bitterness. This artistic achievement contains some moving scenes. 

Akira Nakagawa, Suguru Inoue, Rika Nakamura, Rion Kako, Miki Suga, and Mika Sakenobe are among the cast and crew. Yoshimi Kondou, Satomi Hanamura, Ayaka Onoue, Risa Mizuno, Yuka Terazaki, and Yûko Nakamura are also members. 

Duration – 1h 3 min

Director – Makoto Shinkai

Producer – Makoto Shinkai

Where to watch online – Netflix

The Garden of Words

The main themes of this 46-minute anime are around loneliness and longing. a broad range of emotions are evoked in two young people on a rainy day. Takao, a high school student, and Yukino Yukari, a 27-year-old, are the two individuals. In a neighborhood park, they both look for safety. They engage in awkward discussion that is comparable to that of two self-aware strangers. Every time it rains, the young lad meets the ethereal Yukino in the lush garden since he has fallen in love with her. The odd relationship is handled delicately in the anime so that you can examine each character’s inner thoughts. These two delicate people find the conclusion to be bittersweet. 

Yuka Terasaki, Takanori Hoshino, Suguru Inoue, Megumi Han, Mikako Komatsu, Yûki Hayashi, Wataru Sekine, Hiroshi Shimozaki, Risa Mizuno, Kuniko Ishijima, Taishi Murata, Azusa Tadokoro, and Crash Buist are among the cast and crew.

Duration – 46 mins

Director – Makoto Shinkai

Producer – Noritaka Kawaguchi

Where to watch online – Netflix

Weathering With You

There are many intriguing and sophisticated concepts in this anime. The animated locales are mostly based on actual locations in and around Tokyo, with great attention to detail. There is some truly lovely images. Hodaka, a high school student who has gone away, is the focus of the narrative. He is trying to learn more about the rumored “Sunshine Girl” while working for a magazine on the occult. Hina is the inquisitive girl in question, and as Hodaka learns, she has the power to alter the weather whenever she pleases. Each character in this romantic fantasy anime experiences the inevitable passing of time and hardship, which emphasizes the transience of existence. However, Hodaka and Hina continue to appreciate the beauty of their surroundings. 

Cast and Crew – Kotarô Daigo, Nana Mori, Kana Hanazawa, Kana Ichinose, Ryo Narita, Ayane Sakura, Masako Nozawa, Hidekatsu Shibata, Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Aoi Yuki,Sakura Kiryu, Tsubasa Honda, Sei Hiraizumi, Yuki Kaji, Sumi Shimamoto, Moe Katsuragi, Ryohei Kimura,

Duration – 1h 52 min

Director – Makoto Shinkai

Producer – Genki Kawamura

Where to watch online – Amazon Prime Video

A Silent Voice

The popular manga series by Yoshitoki Oima served as the inspiration for this animation. Though the plot seems straightforward, the emotions it conveys are nuanced, highlighting touchy subjects like bullying and social anxiety. In this narrative, we meet Shoya, a social pariah who dies by suicide at the age of 17. He regrets his time as a bully in primary school. He brutally abused Shoko Nishimiya, a deaf girl, six years ago to the point where she was forced to change schools. After expressing regret for his acts to the girl, Shoya and the girl develop an unusual bond. This anime focuses on complex emotions and examines teen sadness and anxiety. 

The following actors and actresses are part of the cast and crew: Miyu Irino, Saori Hayami, Aoi Yuki, Kenshô Ono, Yuki Kaneko,, Fuminori Komatsu, Ikuko Tani, Erena Kamata, Ayano,Yui Ishikawa, Megumi Han, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Mayu Matsuoka, Sachiko Kojima, Hana Takeda

Duration-2h 10 min

Director – Naoko Yamada

Producer-Eharu Ōhashi, Shinichi Nakamura ,Mikio Uetsuki ,Toshio Iizuka, Kensuke Tateishi

Where to watch online – Netflix

When Marnie Was There

Based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Joan G. Robinson, this show’s melancholy is intolerable. The protagonist of the novel is Anna, a 12-year-old orphan who experiences stress-related asthma episodes. Her guardian sends Anna to the countryside out of concern for her health and seeming inability to interact with people. There, Anna is lured to a large, vacant mansion and befriends Marnie, a mystery girl with blond hair and blue eyes. This anime explores the themes of trauma, grief, and loneliness. It also contains several stunning images as well as a lot of subtly disturbing stuff. You’ll cry for sure as you try to solve Marnie’s secret. 

Cast and Crew -Sara Takatsuki,, Hitomi Kuroki, Yuko Kaida, Hiroyuki Morisaki, Takuma Otoo, Hana Sugisaki, Shigeyuki Totsugi, Ken Yasuda, Yô Ôizumi, Hailee Steinfeld, Kasumi Arimura, Nanako Matsushima, Susumu Terajima, Toshie Negishi, Ryôko Moriyama, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Kiernan Shipka, Grey Griffin. 

Duration-1h 43 min

Director-Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Producer-Yoshiaki Nishimura

Where to watch online – Netflix

The Wind Rises

This anime is partially based on the biography of Horikoshi, a well-known Japanese engineer who invented the fighter planes used in World War 2. The founder’s father established an aviation business that produced fighter plane parts. A man who has amazing dreams about airplanes is the subject of this television program. However, he is haunted by his creations because they cause harm and death to humans. The core of the story is how he responds to this. 

Cast and Crew -Hideaki Anno, Mirai Shida, Shinobu Ôtake, Morio Kazama, Keiko Takeshita, John Krasinski, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Martin Short, Emily Blunt, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Stephen Alpert, Masahiko Nishimura, Mansai Nomura, Jun Kunimura, Mandy Patinkin, Mae Whitman, Stanley Tucci. 

Duration-2h 6 min

Director – Hayao Miyazaki

Producer – Toshio Suzuki

Where to watch online – Netflix

Wolf Children

Werewolves are often associated with the horror subgenre. However, a young girl named Hana falls in love with a hospitable werewolf in this sweet story of single parenting. He hunts pheasants at night because of his wild personality. He does, however, lead a peaceful domestic life with Hana. One night after his hunting excursion, he doesn’t come home. The remainder of the narrative centers on Hana’s resolve to care for their two werewolf children on her alone. Werewolves have been employed as a fantastical element to emphasize issues of racism and discrimination faced by single female parents. This intricate family saga is not afraid to show fear, uncertainty, or despair. 

Cast and Crew-Aoi Miyazaki, Takao Osawa, ,Tadashi Nakamura, Tomie Kataoka, Takashi Kobayashi, Hajime Inoue, Shôta Sometani, Taichi Masu, Masahiro Usui,  Aoi Miyazaki, Yukito Nishii, Momoka Ono, Amon Kabe, Takuma Hiraoka, Megumi Hayashibara, Tamio Oki, Kae Okumura, Ichirô Hashimoto

Duration-1h 57 min

Director-Mamoru Hosoda


Where to watch – Amazon Prime Video

Barefoot Gen

The same-titled manga series by Keiji Nakazawa from 1972 served as the inspiration for this animation. based loosely on Nakazawa’s actual account of the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack at the age of seven. A striking dramatization by Mori Masaki shows the bombing’s inhumanity from the perspective of its helpless victims’ agony. The narrative centers on Gen, a little boy who resides with his parents, older sister, and younger brother. His mom is expecting. The horrific effects of the atomic bomb and their aftereffects are depicted in gory detail. This anime is depressing, especially when Gen gives in to hopelessness. This animation also makes fun of Japanese society, particularly the treatment of survivors of the atom bomb. This is an important and engrossing story about the bleak reality of war.

Cast and Crew -Issei Miyazaki,, Wendee Lee, Seiko Nakano, Takeshi Aono, Takeshi Aono, Katsuji Mori, Taeko Nakanishi, Dan Woren, Junji Nishimura, Catherine Battistone, Yoshie Shimamura, Iona Morris, Masaki Kôda, Brianne Brozey, Barbara Goodson, Kirk Thornton, Takao Inoue, Ardwight Chamberlain

Duration-1h 23 min

Director-Mori Masaki


Perfect Blue (1997)

This anime was Satoshi Kon’s first feature film and contains a complicated narrative. This anime investigates harmful fan culture. The protagonist of the tale is a young pop sensation who decides to switch from singing to acting. She experiences an identity dilemma and is being followed by an evil, devoted fan. This anime discusses problems including despair and sadness, as well as fandom and celebrity culture. We sense the protagonist’s melancholy and alienation thanks to the non-linear plot and inventive animation. 

Cast and Crew- Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Kiyoyuki Yanada, Tôru Furusawa, Shiho Niiyama, Emiko Furukawa, Aya Hara, Shin’ichirô Miki, Jin Yamanoi, Megumi Tano, Shinpachi Tsuji, Masaaki Ôkura, Yôsuke Akimoto, Yoku Shioya, Yôsuke Akimoto, Emi Shinohara, Masashi Ebara, Takashi Nagasako

Duration-1h 21 min

Director-Satoshi Kon

Producer-Hitomi Nakagaki,Yoshihisa Ishihara, Yutaka Tōgō, Masao Maruyama, Hiroaki Inoue

Where to watch – Amazon Prime Video

Your Name (2016)

The plot of this anime classic centers on two teens named Mitsuha and Taki, who one day unexpectedly awaken in one other’s bodies. The gender transition aspects in the early half provide for good laughs. As the story progresses, unexpectedly painful scenes such as flashbacks and an examination of the social constructions of gender and femininity are introduced. This anime makes a significant point about connections and memories. After watching this, you’ll be overcome with both hope and profound despair. 

Cast and Crew- Sayaka Ohara, Kazuhiko Inoue, Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Aoi Yuki, Ryo Narita, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Kaito Ishikawa, Kanon Tani, Masaki Terasoma, Chafurin, Kana Hanazawa, Yuka Terasaki, Miyu Tsuji, Shin’ya Hamazoe, Kanami Sato. , Takashi Onozuka, Yôhei Namekawa

Duration-1h 46 min

Director – Makoto Shinkai

Producer-CoMix Wave Films

Where to watch – Netflix

In This Corner of the World (2016)

This anime, an homage to humanity’s resiliency, was motivated by a Fumiya Kono manga series. The narrative transports us to World War II, where a young woman by the name of Suzu moves to a port city after being married in the midst of the conflict. Suzu doesn’t do well with household tasks, but she excels at drawing and creating fantastical stories from her depressing reality. This anime offers a close-up, in-depth look at how vulnerable people can be in the face of hardship, conflict, and fear. It tells the tale of a woman who is trapped in the arduous daily grind with no hope of escape. There is no melodrama in this sorrowful anime. 

Cast and Crew -Non, Ava Pickard, Cherami Leigh, Christopher Corey Smith, Cristina Valenzuela, Cindy Robinson, Dane Price, Dorothy Elias-Fahn, Kenna Pickard, Karen Strassman, Melodee Spevack, Michael Sorich, Tony Azzolino, Anne Yatco, Bailey Bucher, Bryce Papenbrook, Joe Ochman, Julie Ann Taylor

Duration-2h 9 min

Director-Sunao Katabuchi

Producer – Masao Maruyama

Where to watch – Netflix

Whisper of the Heart (1995)

The author of this anime did a fantastic job of capturing the ebb and flow of joy and sorrow in life. The screenplay for this film, which is based on Aoi Hiiragi’s manga, was written by Hayao Miyazaki. Shizuku Tsukishima, a young and restless character, is the focus of the narrative. There is more to the narrative than first appears, and Seiji Amasawa, a fellow book lover who borrows heavily from the library, piques my interest. This realistic story of first love is filled with surprises, humor, intrigue, and true emotions. 

Cast and Crew -Yoko Honna, Issey Takahashi, Takashi Tachibana, Yoshimi Nakajima, Minami Takayama, Mayumi Izuka, Mai Chiba, Satoru Takahashi, Shigeru Muroi, Shigeru Tsuyuguchi, Keiju Kobayashi, Yorie Yamashita, Maiko Kayama, Akiko Sakaguchi, Hiromi Yasuda, Tatsuya Okada, Yoshihiro Imai, Naohisa Inoue

Duration-1h 51 min

Director-Yoshifumi Kondô

Producer-Toshio Suzuki

Where to watch – Netflix 

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

The anti-war message in this 1988 masterwork is presented poetically and with a fair amount of restraint. This anime is based on a 1967 short tale by Akiyuki Nosaka that is semi-autobiographical. The narrative centers on young Seita and Setsuko, his younger sister, who just about makes it out alive after their village is firebombed by Allied forces. As their nation implodes as the conflict draws to a close, the story chronicles their survival efforts. A narrative of unwavering love and profound loss, this anime features children as its main characters and deals with complex emotions in a very hard-hitting way. It is the most depressing anime film ever. 

Cast and Crew – Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi,, Kiyoshi Yanagawa, Hajime Maki, Atsuo Omote, Teruhisa Harita, Hiroshi Tanaka, Michio Denpô, Yoshiko Shinohara, Kôzô Hashida, Masayo Sakai, Kazumi Nozaki, Yoshio Matsuoka, Masahiro Kanetake, Shirô Tamaki, Tadashi Nakamura, Mika Sekita

Duration –1h 29 min 

Director – Isao Takahata

Producer-Studio Ghibli

Where to watch – Zoro

These are the last 20 Japanese anime films that are the saddest. Which one are you going to watch first?

जीवन में छोटी - छोटी चीजें का आनंद लेना चाहिए। एक दिन के लिए, आप पीछे मुड़कर देख सकते हैं और महसूस कर सकते हैं कि वे बड़ी चीजें थीं।


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