Some of the best anime series benefit from ongoing serialized stories. However, animated features continue to break box office records, setting new benchmarks and underscoring how emotional stories can thrive in this format.
Some of the most popular anime films are those that specifically touch the hearts of audiences and deliver devastating melodrama. These cathartic stories often reach unprecedented emotional heights. However, some stories are so touching that it’s hard to justify repeat viewings of these sad experiences.
ten The Tomb of the Fireflies accentuates the losses of war and the pride of humanity
Isao Takahata, the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, created one of the most respected animated films of all time, the Grave of the Fireflies. Takahata’s emotional epic is nearly 35 years old and it still hits hard.
The touching story of unity and the horrors of selfish fears is set in the setting of World War II as two young siblings struggle to stay together against seemingly impossible odds. the Grave of the Fireflies worth seeing, and what it showcases can never be forgotten, but it is a haunting experience.
9 I want to eat your pancreas highlights the unpredictable nature of reality
Despite its unconventional name, I want to eat your pancreas presents one of the most moving animated features of the past decade. The film wallows in depressing territory, and it presents its dark turn as a natural part of life and not as a major twist. I want to eat your pancreas is an illuminating look at how people deal with tragedy differently and how bad things can sometimes happen to the best of us. I want to eat your pancreas don’t cheat to get out of the ominous and inevitable ending. It’s an important and uplifting story, but one that’s even more poignant on a rewatch.
8 A silent voice celebrates the differences of humanity
A silent voice tells an absolutely beautiful story about human connection, forgiveness and remorse that everyone should watch once and is a must watch for anyone who has ever been bullied or bullied.
A silent voice turns a negligent former bully into a remorseful ally after he gets to grow up a bit and gain perspective on his past. A silent voice preaches important ideals and tells a heartwarming story, but it’s a story full of those brutal, callous lows that bring the horrors of bullying to the fore.
seven Josée, the tiger and the fish is an emotional powder keg
Josée, the tiger and the fish is one of the most recent anime movies, which just released in 2021, but it is already proving to be an emotional journey. Josée, the tiger and the fish delves into familiar storytelling tropes when it comes to Josee’s tragic fate in life and the ambivalence Tsuneo feels about her future.
In that sense, some of the film’s beats are predictable, but that doesn’t diminish their deep emotional impact. Josée, the tiger and the fish ends in a relatively happy and upbeat place, but the raw relationship between Josee and Tsuneo is still likely to spark a lot of emotions in the audience.
6 Mirai is a powerful generational journey through time and space
Mamoru Hosoda is a top name in the anime industry and each of his new movies is a must-watch event experience. Hosoda enjoys exploring questions of identity, often through the use of virtual and fantasy worlds, but his characters are the most raw and vulnerable in 2018. Mirai.
Mirai comfortably embraces the usual Hosoda themes, but tackles poignant themes that resonate as young Kun gets to walk a mile in the shoes of his mother and new baby sister. Kun’s feelings of loneliness are a natural part of the brotherly experience, but Mirai unpacks it in a unique way that is simultaneously emotionally grounded, incredibly rich, and deeply personal.
5 Colorful is a tough and sad story about death, purpose and the great afterlife
Colored is a devastating feature that is ultimately uplifting and inspiring, but it’s a story that is inextricably linked not only to death, but also to suicide and feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. It turns inherently Colored in an emotionally tense and sensitive experience, where a single trip through this tale is more than enough for most.
A soul reincarnates into the body of a suicide victim and is left with the mysteries of what he did in the past to reincarnate as well as the trauma afflicting his current body. The answers to these questions are not easy, but they are important.
4 The Wind Rises is a delicate and depressing look at misused power
Hayao Miyazaki is a fundamental and unparalleled voice in the animation industry. Miyazaki’s stories are emboldened by strong themes and convictions, but there’s also a strong burst of fantasy to make the heavy subject matter more palatable to younger audiences. The wind picks up is a more mature exception who doesn’t feel the need to have an anthropomorphic animal in mind.
In place, The wind picks up is the heartbreaking story of an aeronautical engineer who is forced to watch his passion and his craft turn into a destructive force. He struggles with adult ideas that only become more heartbreaking during a new watch. It’s the perfect litmus test of Miyazaki’s motivations as an artist.
3 Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day – The film is a touching take on grief and loss
There are many moving anime series that highlight how the power of friendship and community can heal even the greatest of tragedies. Anohana: the flower we saw that day looks at a group of friends who are reunited after years apart after one of their closest friends dies in an accident.
This tragic circumstance opens the eyes of the individuals in the group, and the series morphs into a gentle, understanding meditation on grief, forgiveness, and how to move on. The 11-episode series culminates with a movie set a year after the events of the animated series. The feature is just as cathartic as the series, but it packs those intense emotions into a more condensed runtime.
2 Ride Your Wave is a magical story about love, loss and life
Masaaki Yuasa is a breakthrough name in animation who is responsible for countless critical darlings in film and television. Yuasa’s filmography tends to focus on colorful and unpredictable visuals that can connect with a younger demographic. Ride your wave is arguably the most melancholy of his cinematic endeavors.
There’s a playful mix of fantasy and romance at the heart of the film, where the recently deceased Minato continues to communicate with Hinako, but his existence is confined to water. There are plenty of lighter, more adorable moments between Hinako and Minato, but their fate is inherently tragic, and the film doesn’t shy away from a bittersweet conclusion rather than a purely positive ending.
1 Your name unites two souls lost in supernatural circumstances
Makoto Shinkai’s feature films are all deeply moving tales, and the director has earned a reputation for creating moving stories meant to bring audiences to tears. grow old with you and The garden of words are both high-profile offerings that are emotionally draining, but Shinkai’s coronation is often seen as Your name.
The fantasy coming-of-age tale perfectly poses Shinkai’s standard identity questions with a strong supernatural twist. your name ends in a happy place, but the journey is still so raw it’s hard to revisit.