As an exemplar of masculinity, I cry all the damn time. Sad dog movies? Watery eyes. Wholesome meme? Tears. The end of the Iron Giant? You might as well buy me extra Klenix boxes, because I will be a mess for the rest of the day. So here is a list of the top 5 anime scenes that make me cry every single time. Spoilers Ahead.
Kushina and Minato’s Life Advice for Naruto
I once told a friend that Naturo is the best B- story in history. The reason is squeaks just above average is because of moments like these. Say what you want about Kushimoto, but the man knows how to build up to an emotional climax. Throughout the story, Naruto’s character was almost entirely influenced by him being an orphan. His attitude, his dream of being a Hokage, his lack of skills, all these stemmed from his loneliness. It’s only after Naruto develops a strong support network of friends, mentors, and parental figures, that we finally learn how Naruto’s parents died. Turns out Naruto’s parents loved him, but couldn’t keep him. Circumstances beyond their control forced them to make a decision, and they chose their son’s life over their own. Kushina and Minato’s first and final speech to their newborn is a great moment, a real tear jerker.
The Straw Hats Say Goodbye
Man, all this salt water isn’t good for my laptop. Speaking of salt water, One Piece isn’t the first anime I think of when I think of sad anime. Which is surprising, because that this is full of amazing tragedies. For example, in One Piece, the Straw Hat crew’s first ship was the Going Merry, which carried them into the new world. But after a lot of adventures, the ship breaks down. It’s too late to fix it, so they have to replace it. This actually causes a brief falling out between Usopp and Luffy. After one final adventure, Merry is laid to rest, thankful for being able to help the Straw Hats one last time. Throughout our lives, we develop memories around our surroundings. The objects themselves aren’t important, but the memories they represent are. Your family car, your stuffed animal, your high school band trophy. Letting them go means letting part of yourself go. But sometimes you have to in order to grow. The object may be gone, but the memories stay with you forever.
Graduations in Angel Beats
On the topic of growing, the end of Angel Beats is so sad. But in a good way. Angel Beats is all about solving your regrets and moving on. In the anime, various individuals are stuck in a fake high school until feel at peace. Then they get to “graduate” to the afterlife. The show itself grows as well, from a comedy, to an action show, to a horror show, and finally an uplifting drama. We grow to love the characters, which is what makes it so joyfully sad when they finally move on. Learning about each character’s life, why they hand on, and what finally gets them to let go was really emotional. We see the characters heal themselves through their interactions with others, and that just him me right where I live, ya know?
Tomoya Forgives His Father
OK, so this is kinda cheating because Clannad will make you cry no matter what you do. But I chose this moment because it was set-up well and speaks to those of use that grew up in single-parent households. In the story, the protagonist Tomoya’s story line revolves around his relationship with his father. Tomoya and his father had a rough relationship after his mother died, which resulted in Tomoya getting a bad shoulder and his father becoming an alcoholic out of guilt. Tomoya grew up resenting his father for his neglect and weakness, but later understood his father after having a child and losing his own wife. This all culminated in Tomoya taking his daughter to meet the old man and finally acknowledging the sacrifices he made for Tomoya. And that final head pat, it gets me every time.
Byakuya’s Message to Senku
Speaking of fathers and sons, Dr. Stone was the last anime I thought would make be burst into tears. But here we are. In this story, the protagonist Senku is one of the last survivors in the post apocalypse. Earth has reverted back to the stone age, and Senku must use his vast scientific skills to rebuild civilization. In other stories, Senku could have easily been the crazy mad scientist who only sees humans as lab rats. But in Dr. Stone, Senku is more of an idealistic humanist, who believes in the power of science to better mankind. A lot of this philosophy comes from his adoptive father Byakuya, who enthusiastically encouraged his son to follow his passions. Byakuya’s optimism and devotion to his son transcended time itself through a final message. A recording to his son, who he was 1000% sure would survive the apocalypse, and a gift to the future of humanity. They say that wise men plant seeds for tress they will never live to see. Well, Byakuya plant a whole forest because he knew his son would make it flourish.
Bonus: Great Anime That Will Make You Cry
Clannad: After Story
Your Lie in April