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25 Sad Anime Movies on Netflix that Will Make You Cry (2023) | Updated

Last updated on June 3rd, 2023 at 08:19 pm

Sometimes we come across some movies that not only make us cry with their moving storyline but leave a deep impression on our souls. Hence, today we recommend 25 sad anime movies on Netflix that will make you cry (2023).

These films are all critically acclaimed and are guaranteed to make you cry tears of joy as well as misery. We have ranked these movies according to their IMDb ratings.

So without wasting any more time, go ahead and read our list of 25 sad anime movies on Netflix that will make you cry.

25 Sad Anime Movies on Netflix that Will Make You Cry

25) NiNoKuni


IMDb Rating6.1
GenreAction, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
Duration1 hr 46 min

Yuu, Kotona and Haru are best friends enjoying their life until Kotona is stabbed by a mysterious perpetrator. As Yuu and Haru try to get her to the hospital, they are almost hit by a truck. But in a typical isekai fashion, they end up in a new world rather than dying.

In this new world the wheelchair-bound Yuu can now walk and their missing friend Kotona resembles the Princess Asha of the country. The movie shows two parallel worlds that are connected by a thread and is as adventurous as it is  sad.

24) Flavors of Youth

Flavors of Youth

IMDb Rating6.6
GenreDrama, Romance
StudioCoMix Wave Films
Duration1 hr 14 min

Set in the cities of China, Flavors of Youth is an introspective piece pondering over the fleetingness of youth and the inevitable changes that come with adulthood. It’s broken into three separate pieces, each one focusing on a certain aspect of youth that we all lose with time. Each story has its own theme to offer, and the whole ride is poignant in its relatability.

23) A Whisker Away

A Whisker Away

IMDb Rating6.7
GenreAdventure, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
StudioStudio Colorido
Duration1 hr 44 min

Miyo Sasaki is a lively high school girl who has a crush on her classmate, Kento Hinoda. But Kento doesn’t notice her presence and her feelings. So, she turns into a cat to be close to him. As a cat, she becomes his cherished companion, learning of his life.

Now Miyo must make a choice: to turn back to human or live as a cat forever. What will she do when the option makes her close to Kento but takes away her humanity forever?

22) Words Bubble Up Like Pop Soda

Words Bubble Up Like Pop Soda

IMDb Rating6.8
GenreDrama, Music, Romance
StudioSignal.MD, Sublimation
Duration1 hr 27 min

Words Bubble Up Like Pop Soda follows Yui Sakura aka Cherry who expresses himself through the haiku he posts on the internet, and Yuki Hoshina aka Smile, a cheerful social media influencer who urges everyone to smile but hates her own braces-covered smile.

When they begin working together at a welfare facility, they meet Fujiyama, an old man looking for an old vinyl record, they set out to help the man find it.

21) Ride Your Wave

Ride Your Wave

IMDb Rating6.8
GenreComedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
StudioScience SARU
Duration1 hr 35 min

This is another sad anime that fans can watch on Netflix. The story is about Hinako, who loves surfing and lives in a coastal city. One day, when due to an accident, her apartment catches fire, Minato, the young firefighter, saves her.

They instantly form a connection and become intrigued about each other’s interests. Hinako starts to teach surfing to Minato, and in doing so, they both fall in love.

20) Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

IMDb Rating7.4
GenreAdventure, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
StudioP.A. Works
Duration1 hr 55 min

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms is one of the sad anime movies on Netflix. This fantasy anime movie on Netflix talks about Maquia, who hails from a mystical race called Iroph. They are immortals who live separately from the outside world and do not venture out of their abode.

Their life changes for the worst when a power-hungry king invades their homeland and kills most of their people. In this commotion, Maquia finds a little boy and decides to raise him herself.

19) The Garden of Words

The Garden of Words

IMDb Rating7.4
GenreDrama, Romance
StudioCoMix Wave Films
Duration46 min

This is another very important and sad movie with gorgeous visuals. Here, we notice the life of Takao, who wishes to be a shoemaker.

One day he skips his classes to go into a garden and sketch some designs. There, he meets a woman called Yukari for the first time.

18) Weathering with You

Weathering with You

IMDb Rating7.5
GenreDrama, Fantasy, Romance
StudioCoMix Wave Films
Duration1 hr 52 min

This is renowned director Makoto Shinkai’s latest project that went on to become the sixth highest-grossing anime film of all time. The story focuses on a young boy called Hodaka who comes to Tokyo to escape his past. Here, he meets Hina, an exceptional girl who has the power to control the weather.

As Tokyo is recently suffering from unusual rains, they decide to use her powers to clear out the sky. But this power comes with a price, and they must decide whether they are willing to pay it or not.

17) 5 Centimeters Per Second

5 Centimeters Per Second

IMDb Rating7.5
GenreDrama, Romance
StudioCoMix Wave Films
Duration1 hr 3 min

This is one of the first movies of Makoto Shinkai that got international fame. The movie is about love and loss and it shows us the reality of life.

Here we see two individuals meeting each other in an elementary school in Tokyo. As Takaki and Akari are both very similar to each other, they quickly become close and fall in love. But fate has different plans for them as they soon drift apart while promising to stay in touch.

16) Ponyo


IMDb Rating7.6
GenreAdventure, Comedy, Fantasy
StudioStudio Ghibli
Duration1 hr 41 min

The Studio Ghibli version of the Little Mermaid, Ponyo follows a little goldfish who sneaks away from home to explore the world. She meets Sosuke, a little boy living in a house by the sea with his parents. After Ponyo heals his wound by licking it, he affectionately names her Ponyo.

After being caught by her father, Ponyo rejects her identity and wishes to live on the land with Sosuke. Thanks to Sosuke’s blood, she gains arms and legs, and finally reunites with her friend. But her decision comes at a cost that will destroy the very balance of nature.

15) Only Yesterday

Only Yesterday

IMDb Rating7.6
GenreDrama, Romance
StudioStudio Ghibli
Duration1 hr 59 min

Another one of the beautiful and sad anime movies on Netflix that ponders over the differences between a person in youth and adulthood, Only Yesterday starts with a young independent woman Taeko Okajima visiting her family in the countryside as a reprieve from her city life.

On her journey, she wonders over her time as an awkward teenager, and the dreams and aspirations she had. In her village, she bonds with her family and friends, and has a joyful time while farming, a direct contrast to the fast-paced world she now resides in.

14) The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises

IMDb Rating7.7
GenreDrama, Romance
StudioStudio Ghibli
Duration2 hr 6 min

This is another Ghibli movie that is very dear to our hearts. It might not start as a sad movie, but it definitely ends on a tragic note.

Here we witness the life of Jirou, a young man who always wanted to become a pilot. But due to his poor eyesight, he decides to become an aeronautical engineer instead.

He goes on to produce the infamous Mitsubishi A6M0 aircraft, and it is his journey that we witness.

13) When Marnie Was There

When Marnie Was There

IMDb Rating7.7
GenreDrama, Mystery
StudioStudio Ghibli
Duration1 hr 43 min

This Studio Ghibli film is a heartwarming and sad movie that talks about two friends. Anna, who has frequent asthma attacks, moves to the countryside, to get better.

Here, she meets Marnie, a mysterious girl in an abandoned house. They soon become friends and start to spend time together.

12) The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

IMDb Rating7.7
GenreAdventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi
Duration1 hr 38 min

The science fiction romance movie has unique themes and likable characters. Makoto is an upbeat and lively girl, who one day suddenly gets the power to time leap.

After discovering this power, she uses it on various things like avoiding any mishaps or singing karaoke to her heart’s content. But she soon realizes that her time leap can affect others, and she can only leap for a limited number of times.

11) In This Corner (and Other Corners) of the World

In This Corner (and Other Corners) of the World

IMDb Rating7.8
Duration2 hr 9 min

This anime movie is a sad but powerful tale of a girl who faces the dreadful consequences of the Second World War. Suzu is an airheaded and pure girl who lives in Hiroshima.

After she matures, she leaves her house to move into her husband’s home. She tries to adjust to her new home while Japan becomes an integral part of the war.

Her life completely changes when she becomes a victim of the bombings in Hiroshima.

10) Whisper of the Heart

Whisper of the Heart

IMDb Rating7.9
GenreDrama, Romance
StudioStudio Ghibli
Duration1 hr 51 min

In this beautiful tale by Studio Ghibli, we see Shizuku Tsukishima, a 14-years-old girl who loves reading and writing poetry. After finding out that a boy named Seiji Amasawa also checked out all the library books she checked out, she wishes to meet him.

On a train, Shizuku meets a strange cat who leads her to an antique store. There she finds a cat statue named The Baron and meets a boy who turns out to be Seiji. After befriending him, Shizuku begins to think of her own talents as she learns of Seiji’s passionate dream.

9) The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

IMDb Rating8.0
GenreDrama, Fantasy
StudioStudio Ghibli
Duration2 hr 17 min

Studio Ghibli’s version of old tales are beautiful and haunting all at once. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is no exception. It is indeed one of the best sad anime movies on Netflix that tug on our heartstrings.

The story starts with Okina, a bamboo cutter finding a tiny child inside a glowing bamboo shoot. He takes the child home, believing her to be a gift from the celestial beings, and his wife and he raise the child, naming her Kaguya.

8) Perfect BluePerfect Blue

IMDb Rating8.0
GenreDrama, Mystery, Thriller
Duration1 hr 21 min

This psychological thriller movie is a masterpiece by the renowned director Satoshi Kon. It focuses on Mima, a member of the Japanese pop group CHAM!.

After being a part of the group, she decides to move on to pursue an acting career. But, things are not as easy for her as she had hoped.

The acting takes a toll on her mental and physical well-being. Plus, the unwanted attention of an obsessive fan makes her life worse than it ever was.

7) I Want to Eat Your Pancreas

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas

IMDb Rating8.0
GenreDrama, Romance
StudioStudio VOLN
Duration1 hr 49 min

This romantic drama movie is another sad film that fans can watch on Netflix. The movie focuses on Haruki Shiga, who is an aloof bookworm. He is very apathetic as well as disinterested in everything.

He too is very sure that no one is interested in him. His life changes when he finds a book called living with dying. This book is actually the diary of the popular Sakura Yamauchi of his class.

6) Castle in the Sky

Castle in the Sky

IMDb Rating8.0
GenreAdventure, Fantasy
StudioStudio Ghibli
Duration2 hr 5 min

In a world where airplanes and airships are common transportations, government agents kidnap a little girl named Sheeta to get to her crystal amulet. But when pirates raid their ship, Sheeta flees amid the chaos, and meets a boy named Paz who dreams of seeing Laputa, the flying castle.

Befriending each other, the duo set out on an adventure to go see Laputa, all the while trying to get away from the agents who have their own agenda of getting to Laputa.

5) Wolf Children

Wolf Children

IMDb Rating8.3
GenreDrama, Fantasy
StudioStudio Chizu
Duration1 hr 57 min

This movie is another heartwarmingly sad film that is available on Netflix. The story is about Hana, a very hard-working college student who falls in love with a man who attends college with her.

But it is revealed that he is not actually a student there, and he is a werewolf who turns into a wolf on a full moon night. They both marry each other, and Hana gives birth to two werewolf children.

Tragedy strikes when Hana’s husband suddenly passes away and leaves her to take care of the children all alone.

4) A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice

IMDb Rating8.1
StudioKyoto Animation
Duration2 hr 10 min

A Silent Voice is one of the best sad anime movies on Netflix. The film deals with themes like bullying, depression, etc.

The movie starts with Shouya Ishida being a rowdy elementary school kid who tries to escape boredom in many ways. When Shouko, a deaf girl, moves into his class, tormenting her becomes a new habit for him. But when his wrongdoings get more attention, his friends turn into his bullies and antagonize him.

As a changed man in high school, he wishes nothing but to seek forgiveness for his misdeeds from Shouko, and it is his journey to redemption that we witness.

3) Violet Evergarden: The Movie

Violet Evergarden: The Movie

IMDb Rating8.3
GenreDrama, Fantasy, Romance
StudioKyoto Animation
Duration2 hr 20 min

Violet Evergarden: The Movie is bewitching to witness and is one of the best sad anime movies on Netflix that make us ugly-cry. It follows Violet, a former child soldier turned Auto Memory Doll who writes letters for others while trying to understand emotions.

Still held by the tender confession of “I love you” that she yearns to understand, Violet’s world tilts when she finds out that Gilbert Bougainvillea, the man who said those words to her, still might be alive.

2) Your Name.

Your Name.

IMDb Rating8.4
GenreDrama, Fantasy, Romance
StudioCoMix Wave Films
Duration1 hr 46 min

Your Name. is one of the most famous anime movies ever. Fans appreciate it for its emotional storyline and breathtaking visuals. The story is about two individuals who live in very different places and swap souls with each other.

Mitsuha wishes to live in a city while Taki is a boy from the city who lives a busy life. Then one day, Mitsuha wakes up to find herself in Taki’s body and realizes how things are not normal anymore. Now they must work together to solve this problem.

1) Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies

IMDb Rating8.5
StudioStudio Ghibli
Duration1 hr 29 min

Grave of the Fireflies is certainly one of the best sad anime movies on Netflix. It deals with World War Two, and we see how innocent people suffered due to the war.

The story showcases the life of two siblings, Seita, the older brother, and Setsuko, the younger sister. Due to the war, they not only lose their house and a chance to have a bright future but also their parents.

After being homeless, they must survive by themselves, by traveling from place to place and feeding on whatever they can find.

On that note, we conclude our article on 25 sad anime movies on Netflix that will make you cry (2023). We hope this list will ramp up your watch list and give you a taste of the sadness that fans of these anime have felt. Stay tuned to get more updates on your favorite topics.

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