If you cry when watching a sad anime, it really acts like you are “hugging” yourself. This process is good for our overall mental well-being, because crying releases hormones that can be very effective anti-stress agents. All those tears that slide down your face while watching a sad anime you like have an effect that can be compared to a mild massage, so that the whole body produces endorphins that cause a feeling of relief. So, go ahead, and dig into binging all of these lesser-known sad anime series. And if you feel the need to cry, it will do you only good.


This anime series, aired in fall 2006, is a story of restoring long forgotten childhood memories of a boy named Aizawa Yuuichi. But the history of this story starts a long before this year, since the fans of Kanon have already heard of visual novels, video games, manga series, radio shows, drama CD’s and one previous anime series dealing with the same ordeals from the main character’s past.


The plot itself is heartbreaking and moving. After spending seven years outside the city, Aizawa Yuuichi returns as a 17-year old high school boy. He is not aware of the fact that his life was spinning around five different girls that he gets to know again. Similar to Sailor Moon characters, this group of young people need to fight evil forces, united and emotional, as all the high school students are. So, if Kanon is your choice, please prepare a box of tissues and be ready to explore different types of media, just to spend some more time with these terrific guys and girls.


How would you feel if you had a chance to receive the letters from your future self, which will help you correct your own mistakes, but also deeply disturb you with their content? That’s exactly what had happened to Orange’s main character - sophomore girl Naho Takamiya. She felt that she was giving herself the right advice and tried to stick to it, as she felt that her future self is full of sadness and grief. 


This interesting anime started as a novel and manga series, which turned into a live action movie and finally an anime in 2016. English version of the graphic novel was even on New York Times’ Bestseller list. Aimed towards young adult audiences of both genders, it became very popular among heartbreaking stories fans who like true emotions and beautifully crafted characters with strong feelings.

H2O: Footprints in the sand

“H2O: Footprints in the sand” is a classical story of illness and miraculous recovery of a boy named Takuma Hirose. As he hates going to his highschool, after his mother’s death, his uncle and him decide to move to the countryside and have a fresh start. The group of the girls he meets there will change his life forever. Hayami, Hinata and Otoha are unique and completely different characters, but they complement each other really well and help Takuma recover and start seeing again.


As with the previous series described in this article, there is plenty of material to explore if you get to like “H2O: Footprints in the sand”. Video games, novels, mangas - everything is at your disposal. Audience reception of the series was phenomenal and its cathartic effect left many fans in tears many times after reading a novel or watching an episode of the series.

Fruits Basket

One may think that this is just another story of an orphaned girl student living in an unsupportive family and leaving it only to find out that other families have dark hidden secrets, too. But “Fruits Basket” is far more than that. It is a story of emotions, secrets, acceptance, understanding and battle against supernatural powers to remove a curse. 


These lively characters are protagonists of two different anime series released with a 15 year gap - Season One in 2002 and Season 2 in 2018. A manga series and live action series are also a part of this franchise that touched the hearts of many fans worldwide. 

O Maidens in Your Savage Season

This is the newest and the most “adult” anime on this list. “O Maidens in Your Savage Season” is a shonen anime that can be described as deeply touching, very emotional and profound. Throughout the series, you can see a group of friends growing up, learning about emotions and true love and exploring the meaning of relationships. A real tear-jerker for almost everyone who sees it, especially if the coming-of-age subject is among your favorites.


This anime series was aired in 2019 and a live-action television series adaptation was announced in 2020. For manga lovers, there is also a print and electronic version, published in 2016. 


At least once in our lifetimes, we’ve all sat down and deliberately picked out some sad movie to watch, spent a mountain of handkerchiefs to finally feel - better. So, if you are an anime fan, there is no easier feel-better way than watching a tear-jerking series and spending time with new characters you get to like like they are a part of your family. So, grab yourself whatever you need and dig into these wonderful titles. The feeling afterwards is remarkable!