15 Depressing Anime to Watch

15 Depressing Anime to Watch

The anime world is filled with emotional dramas and shows that have been keeping us entertained for a while now. Some of the crazy fans only watch anime and love the plots and the characters that are being shown.

Anime has the ability to evoke wide emotions in the audience. In this list of depressing anime to watch, we have numerous suggestions that are inspiring and will uplift your mood, but at the same time, this list has sad and depressing anime that will make your heart light.

The fans who have been following the Japanese anime culture are already aware the existence of these anime has been around forever. If you are new to the genre or need a re-watch, this list is curated just for you.

An emotionally strong-minded person can break down after watching some of the anime on this list. There are many depressing anime that have themes like death, war, illness, love, struggle and catastrophe, and other human emotions that have lasting impressions on the audience. Each new season brings a new tragic tale which adds up to the emotions. 

Let’s take a passionate look at the best sad and depressing anime that will tug at your heartstrings, and the list is in no particular order. Just look for your favorite anime, grab a tissue box, and go for it. 

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Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies is one of the most heartbreaking and depressing anime on this list or even in the history of anime production.

It comes from Studio Ghibli, and we already know their movies are famous for their heartwarming stories, but don’t get it confused with a common narrative, at least here. It is a tragically sad story of a boy and his sister who are finding it difficult to make it daily in Japan amidst world war 2 in Japan.

Grave of the Fireflies
Grave of the Fireflies (Credits: Apple TV)

The anime is applauded by core fans worldwide. Even the top critics and chain cinemagoers loved the movie, and it earned the title of the greatest war anime to ever exist.

It may feel like fiction, but the writer of the play has experienced it all, which makes it more emotional and sympathetic. The movie is heavy on hard emotions, making you thoughtful and cry for a few days.

The animation is also equivalent to what you can expect a world to look like in a world war, and overall it is a good emotional watch. Stream it on Apple TV. If you’re too sensitive, then avoid this anime.

  • Title: Hotaru no haka
  • Release Year: 1988
  • Author: Nosaka Akiyuki
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, War
  • Duration: 1 hour 29 minutes
  • Cast: Ayano Shiraishi, Tsutomu Tatsumi, Crispin Freeman, Shannon Conley, J. Robert Spencer, Veronica Taylor, Dan Green, George Leaver, Corinne Orr, Akemi Yamaguchi, Adam Gibbs, Emily Neves, Shelley Calene-Black
  • IMDB: 8.5

A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice is a complete package that takes you on an emotional journey. The plot focuses on Shouko Nishimiya, who gets bullied by a youngster who is Shouko’s classmate.

Shouko is fed up with boys bullying her and decides to leave. Shouya Ishida, the one who is bullied, gets cold treatment from the class for his bad behavior. As life happens to him, he realizes his mistakes and decides to seek absolution.

A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice (Credits: netflix)

What happens after is a beautiful journey of the main characters. As stated above, this anime is filled with heartbreak which is shown by splendid colorful animation. The anime rides on emotional themes alongside anxiety, depression, and bullying.

Although the anime on this list is depressing and breaks my heart, this has an apt climax that lifts up the mood as it concludes. A Silent Watch is a must-watch, in my opinion, because of its high ratings, animation, and classic plotline. Watch it on netflix.

  • Title: Koe no katachi
  • Release Year: 2016
  • Author: Yoshitoki Ōima
  • Genre: Animation and Drama
  • Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Cast: Shouko Nishimiya, Saori Hayami, Robbie Daymond, Kira Buckland, Amber Lee Connors, Michael Sinterniklaas, Sara Cravens, Graham Halstead, Melissa Schoenberg, Max Mittelman, Barbara Goodson, Chris Jai Alex, Sachiko Kojima, Takuya Masumoto
  • IMDB/: 8.1

Fruits Basket

Just like other anime on this list, Fruit Basket is also a sadly depressing anime based on daily life that shows you the intense ups and downs emotionally involving life choices and decisions.

It is so good that it became MAL’s top-rated anime of all time, and this says a lot about the quality of the anime that they deliver. Subsequently, it is also on the list of top anime shows ever made, which is, again, huge.

It gives as many important, valuable life lessons that are hard to forget. Everything the show teaches has a blend of romantic gestures backed with powerful messages.

Fruits Basket
Fruits Basket (Credits: netflix)

Usually, romance is a cheerful subject, but this anime also shows more somber aspects and positive aspects of it, which is always good to see. We are usually told the positive aspects of romance, but here we see the negatives too, which is a new teaching for everyone.

It is one of those anime that can be revisited again and again, and it will teach you something new every time you watch it. Again it is heavy with emotional scenes and dialogues, so get a tissue box if you are extra emotional. You can check it out on netflix.

  • Title: Fruits Basket
  • Release Year: 2019
  • Author: Natsuki Takaya
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, Romance, Comedy, Fantasy
  • Episodes: 63
  • Cast: Manaka Iwami, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Yuma Uchida, Laura Bailey, Jerry Jewell, Yuichi Nakamura, Kazuyuki Okitsu, Megumi Han, Maaya Sakamoto, Makoto Furukawa, Kengo Kawanishi, Eric Vale, Atsumi Tanezaki, Yuka Imai
  • IMDB: 8.6

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is a romantic comedy that has a huge twist at the end. You will find the characters in the anime relatable, just like most of the fans have.

Haruki Shiga is our hero who is an introvert who resides in private life. One fine day he gets a secret diary of her classmate, and both of their life changes for good.

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (Credits: Google Play Movies)

I am not going to reveal anything much about the plot; otherwise, it’ll reveal the store and take away the excitement. Do not check anything further about the movie, and go for it.

The duo of the characters enchants you, and the chemistry which is growing between them in every scene is exciting to watch. The story is very simple, but the beauty resides in the screenplay and animation, which takes it to another level.

But you must be wondering then, what is this doing on this list? We’ll watch for you on Google Play Movies to find out.

  • Title: Kimi no suizô o tabetai
  • Release Year: 2018
  • Author: Yoru Sumino
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, Family
  • Duration: 1 hour 49 minutes
  • Cast: Erika Harlacher, Mahiro Takasugi, Jun Fukushima, Yuma Uchida, Laura Stahl, Atsuko Tanaka, Shin-ichiro Miki, Yukiyo Fujii, Robbie Daymond, Erica Mendez, Dorah Fine, Khoi Dao, Kira Buckland, Ryan Bartley, Xanthe Huynh
  • IMDB: 8.0


Erased holds a unique position among all the suggestions in this list as the story of the show is happening in two timelines. Yes, you guessed it right, it is set up in a time travel premises.

29-year-old Satoru Fujinuma is a manga artist, but his life completely turns opposite when it gets stuck by a tragedy. Due to a phenomenon, he is sent 18 years in time to prevent certain things from occurring.

Erased (Credits: Crunchyroll)

When he goes back in time and understands the situation, he discovers that the murder of his classmate in the past is somehow linked with a tragedy in the present. No, he must solve this mysterious situation to save the ones he loves.

I know all this sounds very confusing, but trust me, when you will watch it, everything is laid out in a very simple manner. This heartbreaking story, built around old-time traveling concepts and technology, is exciting to watch.

The manner in which character development occurs is good. It always gives you a sense of connection and constantly punches us with the emotions it wants to share. The anime only has 12 episodes on Crunchyroll, which is an easy watch for binge-watchers.

  • Title: Boku dake ga inai machi
  • Release Year: 2016
  • Author: Kei Sanbe
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy
  • Episodes: 12
  • Cast: Shinnosuke Mitsushima, Yukitoshi Kikuchi, Mitsuru Miyamoto, Reo Uchikawa, Chinatsu Akasaki, Tao Tsuchiya, Ayaka Nanase, Yō Taichi, Takahiro Mizushima, Minami Takayama, Yûki Furukawa, Mio Yūki, Aoi Yūki, Akari Kitō,
  • IMDB: 8.5

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

By the name, it is pretty clear that this anime is based on the mayhem cases caused by an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 in Japan. The main character is a 13-year-old student, Mirai Onozawa, who is traveling with Yukki, her younger brother, to a robot exhibition that is very far from home.

The earthquake hits and leaves both of the kids stranded in the whole city. Luckily they meet Mari Kusakabe, a motorcyclist who decides to help them. Now the three of them must help each other and survive the chaotic situation to see their families back home.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (Credits: Crunchyroll)

It is undeniable to not get affected while watching or listening to a story related to a natural disaster, and the same happens with the anime, the screenplay, and the animation Amd the aura it creates feels authentic and keeps giving the vibe of an earthquake.

But at the same time, it doesn’t exaggerate, which makes it more pleasing and heartbreaking at the same time. All these emotions add up to a more immersive watching experience. It has 11 episodes which again can be watched in one go; stream it on Crunchyroll.

  • Title: Tôkyô magunichûdo 8.0
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Author: Natsuko Takahashi Kazuya Murata
  • Genre: Animation and Drama
  • Episodes: 11
  • Cast: Hanamura, Yūko Kaida, Yumiko Kobayashi, Narumi Takahira, Hiroshi Naka, Takeshi Aono, Kikuko Inoue, Ai Nonaka, Christel Takigawa, Megumi Yamaguchi, Eri Kitamura, Miyuki Sawashiro, Aki Toyosaki, Saki Ogasawara, Yukiko Mizuochi, Kei Kobayashi, Keisuke Fujii, Ayumi Takeishi,
  • IMDB: 7.8


Clannad series has been received by reviewers and fans with open arms. The first season of the show is based on a bunch of high schoolers who are working hard to succeed in their life by overcoming obstacles thrown at them.

The seconds follow after the first season, but here we see the characters finding it difficult to meet the end. The second focuses mostly on the hardships and problems an adult faces in daily life.

Clannad (Credits: amazon Prime Videos)

It mostly highlights the problems faced to make sure the family is at the top. The Clannad series is rated highly on many rating websites, which proves the quality of the show.

The plot of the anime gets very depressing in the second leg, so be prepared to face heartbreak. It is one of those anime on the list that is a must-watch, in my opinion, but yes, if you are a light-hearted fellow, then avoid it. Stream it on amazon Prime Videos.

  • Title: Clannad
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Author: Jun Maeda
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, Comedy
  • Episodes: 49
  • Cast: Chris Hutchison, Rob Mungle, Greg Ayres, Yuichi Nakamura, Elizabeth Bunch, Blake Shepard, Mai Nakahara, Shelley Calene-Black, Brittney Karbowski, Ryō Hirohashi, Kikuko Inoue, Mamiko Noto, Ryōtarō Okiayu, Daisuke Sakaguchi
  • IMDB: 8.0

Violet Evergarden

Violet Ergarden gives you an emotional bullet episode after episode and chips away a pet of your emotion, which is unlike any other show on this list. The plot of the anime focuses on the main character, Violet Evergarden. 

After the end of the great war, she got the designation of an auto memory doll in the postal area. No, she aids others in writing letters that store the writer’s feelings and ideas. Her primary goal is to understand herself and the people around her, the world, and all her emotions.

Violet Evergarden
Violet Evergarden (Credits: netflix)

Violet Evergarden is one of the most beautiful and colorful anime out there; it offers the viewers with eye-pleasing scenes and various emotional colors, all in a very soothing manner. The writing for the main character is colorful, which helps you to get connected with her seamlessly.

This anime is sad. Do not forget that it is thought-provoking and will leave your heart filled with sorrow for everyone that you’ve lost.

If you end up watching the anime, do not miss out on several movies, the movie also plays with the depressing theme ideally. You can check it out on netflix.

  • Title: Violet Evergarden
  • Release Year: 2018
  • Author: Kana Akatsuki
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy
  • Episodes: 14
  • Cast: Yui Ishikawa, Minori Chihara, Takehito Koyasu, Daisuke Namikawa, Aya Endo, Koki Uchiyama, Haruka Tomatsu, Hidenobu Kiuchi, Erika Harlacher, Reba Buhr, Kyle McCarley, Tony Azzolino, Ben Pronsky, Cherami Leigh, Christine Marie Cabanos, Aya Saito, Keith Silverstein, Mari Doi,
  • IMDB: 8.4

Plastic Memories

Tsukasa Mizugaki gets hired by Sion AI Corporation with the help of his father. The SAI corporation handles the AI business and is famous for managing and creating Androids with human emotions, and they have termed those androids, Giftia.

Taukasa Is partnered with Isla, a stunning AI, but then he starts to develop feelings for her. If you watched the movie ‘Her,’ then you will find it relatable to it. In both cases, a human falls for a robot.

Plastic Memories
Plastic Memories (Credits: Crunchyroll)

We know this anime is heavy and will break our hearts it still deserves a watch. Don’t get me wrong, it is nowhere close to other mighty names on this list, but it is a decent watch.

A unique perspective in the anime space, a usual life involving an AI, is refreshing to look at. It is a short series with 13 episodes on Crunchyroll, so it will be a quick watch which is an additional advantage.

  • Title: Purasutikku Memorîzu
  • Release Year: 2015
  • Author: Naotaka Hayashi
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, Romance
  • Episodes: 13
  • Cast: Tsukasa Mizugaki, Sora Amamiya, Kenjiro Tsuda, Sumire Uesaka, Chinatsu Akasaki, Megumi Toyoguchi, Satoshi Hino, Aimi, Nobuo Tobita, Sayuri Yahagi, Hiroshi Naka, Mamiko Noto, Haruno Inoue, Misaki Kuno, Misato Fukuen, Ayahi Takagaki, Mitsuaki Hoshino, Kan Tanaka, Shinnosuke Ogami, Juri Kimura, Lynn
  • IMDB: 7.3


Orange is a perfect anime for someone who wants an emotional high school anime filled with emotions and drama. We see Naho Takamiya, who is a high schooler and is adjusting to senior year.

One fine day she receives a letter from her future self, who is 26 years old. The future Naho tells about that she is in deep regret about the choices that she made and now wants her younger self to correct those errors.

Orange (Credits: Crunchyroll)

The plot is engaging and pulls you into basic human development, followed by decisions and choices. All the young fans should definitely watch this once. It tells you about real life, people around you, your friends, and life in general.

Orange is moreover an occasional anime, but it will leave you depressed and emotional as the story progresses. It uplifts you with light comedy and teaching. If you end up watching Orange, then definitely check out Orange: Mirai, which is a sequel to the original anime.

  • Title: Orange
  • Release Year: 2016
  • Author: Ichigo Takano
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, Romance
  • Episodes: 13
  • Cast: Naho Takamiya, Seiichiro Yamashita, Kazuyuki Okitsu, Natsumi Takamori, Makoto Furukawa, Rika Kinugawa
  • IMDB: 7.6

Made in Abyss

If you look at the official poster, you may feel it’s a kid’s anime, but that’s not the case. It’s an ideal example of not judging a book by its cover. Made In Abyss is also a top-rated anime.

This depressing anime has every anime that needs a plot with tier-on-tier building, and we’ll write and portray characters in an enchanting art style and animation. Made in Abyss is blended with gruesome gore content and light-hearted fillers.

Made in Abyss
Made in Abyss (Credits: amazon Prime Videos)

This is what makes this anime appreciable across the massive fandom it has. The last season of the anime was aired recently and has gained many new followers. It’s a hidden gem that deserves the attention of mainstream viewers.

From the animation to the sound to the voice characters and, of course, the main story, everything is in place and feels natural and exciting.

  • Title: Made in Abyss
  • Release Year: 2017
  • Author: Akihito Tsukushi
  • Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
  • Episodes: 25
  • Cast: Miyu Tomita, Shiori Izawa, Mariya Ise, Daniel Regojo, Mutsumi Tamura,Maaya Sakamoto, Manami Hanawa, Manami Numakura, Eri Kitamura, Misaki Kuno, Taishi Murata, Yuka Terasaki, Kana Ichinose, Hiroaki Hirata, Natsuko Hara
  • IMDB: 8.4

Your Name

Your Name was a huge hit among the fans, and the director and writer Makoto Shinkai became an instant hit when the movie gained popularity. Not only in Japan, but this movie has a worldwide base.

It has also been released in some parts of the world (India), which says a lot about the quality of the movie. The movie is famous for its soundtrack and stellar animation. The plot of the movie focuses on Taki Tachibana, a high schooler who is struggling with his studies and part-time job.

Your Name
Your Name (Credits: amazon Prime Videos)

On the other hand, Mitshua Miyamizu is also a high schooler, just like Taki, but he resides in the countryside and dreams of migrating to a big city.

One day surprisingly, the souls of these two characters get switched. Now both of them are connected with each other with this unusual happening and are looking to meet each other to take control of the situation and solve this mystery.

What fate has for them is shown in the movie, which is unpredictable and exciting. Its animation and screenplay are what the fans of the show talk about, another top recommendation, available on amazon Prime Videos.

  • Title: Kimi no na wa
  • Release Year: 2016
  • Creator: Makoto Shinkai
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy
  • Duration: 1 hour 46 minutes
  • Cast: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Masami Nagasawa, Etsuko Ichihara, Ryo Narita, Mone Kamishiraishi, Kana Hanazawa, Aoi Yūki, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Kaito Ishikawa, Michael Sinterniklaas, Ji Chang-wook, Masaki Terasoma, Sayaka Ohara, Kanon Tani
  • IMDB: 8.4

5 Centimetres Per Second

Makoto Shinkai’s career got a breakthrough because of 5 Centimetres Per Second. It’s a full-feature movie, and he did an amazing job delivering it. The anime perfectly shows the perks and realities of a long-distance relationship.

The protagonist duo Akari Shinohara and Takaki Toono showed the struggles and suffering one feels while in a long-distance relationship. Just like a good couple, both of them are trying to handle the situation, but life is tearing them apart slowly.

5 Centimetres Per Second
5 Centimetres Per Second (Credits: amazon Prime Videos)

Now the main question is will they handle the situation, or they’ll end up? Just watch this sad anime to know what happens with them.

5 Centimetres Per Second is a good watch with thoughtful writing, an apt screenplay, and a powerful story, and everything is balanced by the characters.

  • Title: Byousoku 5 Centimeter
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Creator: Makoto Shinkai
  • Genre: Animation, Drama, Family
  • Duration: 1 hour 3 minutes
  • Cast: Yoshimi Kondou, Kenji Mizuhashi, Rei Kondo, Tara Platt, Hilary Haag, David Matranga, Serena Varghese, Johnny Yong Bosch, Satomi Hanamura, Risa Mizuno, Kira Buckland, Erika Lenhart, Ayaka Onoue, Jennifer Alyx
  • IMDB: 7.5

Your Lie in April

If you’re here searching for sad anime, then you must have already heard about this anime. Your Lie in April is always stated as an anime that will break your heart as it concludes.

The plot focuses on Kousei Arima, who has a natural gift for playing piano, but a tragic incident takes away his talent.

Your Lie in April
Your Lie in April (Credits: Crunchyroll)

But everything changes for him when he meets Kaori Miyazono, who is also a pianist, and helps him gain his confidence back by making him rediscover his skill and start being in charge again.

The anime will fill your heart on so many levels. It is very depressing in the end, but at the same time, it will inspire and uplift you with beautiful emotions and teaches you about looking ahead in life no matter what. It has themes of depression, loss, and trauma, all of them in profound ways. One of the must-watch.

  • Title: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Author: Naoshi Arakawa
  • Genre: Animation, Comedy, Drama
  • Episodes: 22
  • Cast: Kento Yamazaki, Patrick Seitz, Natsuki Hanae, Risa Taneda, Saori Hayami, Ayane Sakura, Shizuka Ishigami, Mie Sonozaki, Ryōta Ōsaka, Landon McDonald, Yuki Kaji, Suzu Hirose, Ai Kayano, Naomi Shindō
  • IMDB: 8.6

Terror in Resonance

Terror in Resonance is not your casual shounen anime, and it gives an experience that touches you deeply. The plot of the anime is placed in Japan, where a fatal terrorist attack happens. The only word or clue is the word “VON,” which is painted red on the walls where the attack took place.

Sometimes later, a new strange video circulated the internet as a next clue. In that video, we see nine and Twelve two boys threaten Tokyo that they will wreak an abyss with mass outages and destruction.

Terror in Resonance
Terror in Resonance (Credits: netflix)

The two boys are from a clan called Sphinx, and each of them has a tragic story. For some, the story and screenplay of the anime feel rushed, but the emotions it delivers are the same and will you shocked and heavy as it is incredibly emotional.

This anime has backstories of all the major characters that act as needed fillers. The animation music and voice artists all blend with the vision of the director to deliver a beautiful anime.

The ending will leave you hopeful and satisfied, and it doesn’t leave any loose strings about anything else. Other elements like ambiance, camerawork, and lighting all give it a very authentic watching experience. 

  • Title: Zankyou no Terror
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Author: Shinichirō Watanabe
  • Genre: Animation, Crime, Drama
  • Episodes: 11
  • Cast: Soma Saito, Robert McCollum, Kaito Ishikawa, Shunsuke Sakuya, Atsumi Tanezaki, Christopher Bevins, Aaron Dismuke, Ian Sinclair, Sean Hennigan, Anthony Bowling, Phil Parsons, J. Michael Tatum, Keisuke Aigasa, Jamie Marchi, Jad Saxton
  • IMDB: 7.8

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