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Top 15 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll (2023)

Last updated on April 25th, 2023 at 07:47 pm

Since its creation, anime has covered a vast genre of emotions, including the most basic one of sadness. Many anime have gotten critical acclaim for being sad enough to make the people watching sob a river inside and out.

Crunchyroll has added many of the most well-known sad anime, and without further ado, let us talk about the Top 20 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll.

Top 20 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll (2023)

20) True Tears

True Tears

Anime NameTrue Tears
MAL Rating7.29
Number of Episodes13
Genre(s)Drama, Romance

True Tears stars three love triangles with two guys and three girls across three seasons that are in a small town. Shinichiro, Miyokichi, Noe, Hiromi, Jun, and Aiko, together, through misunderstandings and miscommunications, deliver a love story like no other.

True Tears showcased great OSTs and scene direction, and animation. That, coupled with the complicated yet simple plot progression, put it in twentieth place in our list of Top 20 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll.

19) 5 Centimeters per Second

5 Centimeters Per Seconds

Anime NameByousoku 5 Centimeter
MAL Rating7.58
Number of Episodes3 movies
Genre(s)Drama, Romance
StudioCoMix Wave Films

Makoto Shinkai has proven again and again what a genius he is in telling a heartfelt story with jaw-dropping aesthetics. 5 Centimeters Per Seconds is one of his earlier works and is quite underrated.

The story is about Takaki and Akari, two kids who find close friends in each other. But when Akari has to move away with his family, their friendship suffers from a distance, but their feelings for each other are stronger than ever.

But as they grow up separately, through childhood and adolescence and adulthood, the feelings they have clung to for so long dissipate in a natural progression. This anime is bittersweet in a realistic yet poetic way and touches our hearts with its sincerity.

18) The Princess and the Pilot

The Princess and the Pilot

Anime NameToaru Hikuushi e no Tsuioku
MAL Rating7.61
Number of Episodes1 movie
Genre(s)Adventure, Romance

On the 18th, the Princess and the Pilot is a very bittersweet addition to this list. It stars Charles Karino as a gun for hire who is also a very skilled pilot. Along with Juana del Moral, a gorgeous princess and the best fighter pilot in her Kingdom.

The romance in this anime was greatly appreciated, and it had one of the rarest endings in the genre. Will the pilot be able to do the job his Kingdom wants him to do? Watch it on Crunchyroll for the answer to that question.

17) Orange


Anime NameOrange
MAL Rating7.62
Number of Episodes13
Genre(s)Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
StudioTelecom Animation Films

Orange is another teenage drama showing the pain of loneliness and depression that is relatable to many people worldwide. It’s also one of the saddest anime on Crunchyroll.

The anime starts with a group of friends receiving letters from their future selves, informing their younger selves of a suicide soon to be committed by their classmate, Kakeru.

Orange is painful in its relatability, diving into topics like grief, depression and self-harm. During its 13 episodes runtime, it’ll have you reaching for the tissues plenty of time.

16) WorldEnd: What Do You Do at the End of the World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us?

Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka?

Anime NameShuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka?
MAL Rating7.67
Number of Episodes12
Genre(s)Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi
StudioStatelight, C2C

WorldEnd: What Do You Do at the End of the World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us? is one of the underdogs on this list. Although it is not for everyone, it leaves a lasting impact on the viewers with its heartbreaking plot.

The plot reveals that Humans have driven themselves to extinction, with only select races being able to live on the sky islands.

Our two main protagonists are Wiliem (the last human) and the beloved blue-haired girl Chtholly Nota Seniors. The dynamic between them truly makes this anime one of the saddest and most unique ones on this list.

Being second only to the original source material put it in sixteenth place on this list of Top Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll.

15) Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade

Jin Roh

Anime NameJin-Rou
MAL Rating7.78
Number of Episodes1 movie
Genre(s)Drama, Romance
StudioProduction I.G.

On the fifteenth place in our list of Top 20 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll is Jin-Roh. It is one of the classic jewels of old Japanese anime.

It highlighted a plot based on the Alternate history of Japan in the 1950s following the atomic bombing. Jin-Roh focuses on Kazuki Fuse, who is a member of the Kerberos, i.e., a lethal metropolitan counter-terrorism unit.

The gore in Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, coupled with the gravity of the plot, got it critical acclaim and won it many awards. Be sure to check it out on Crunchyroll.

14) Wolf’s Rain

Wolfs Rain

Anime NameWolf’s Rain
MAL Rating7.80
Number of Episodes26
Genre(s)Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Wolf’s Rain features a post-apocalyptic future dystopian land governed by nobles. It stars a wolf pack with the ability to transform, and as they do, they find someone special with the same goal as them.

Together in their search for Paradise, this anime gave the viewers a very sad onset with about every aspect of the world they tried to show.

This fact, coupled with the emotional progressions and marvelous voice acting, put Wolf’s Rain in the fourteenth position on our list of Top 20 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll.

13) 91 Days

91 Days

Anime Name91 Days
MAL Rating7.83
Number of Episodes12
Genre(s)Action, Drama

The tragic hero of 91 Days, Angelo, has gotten his vengeance, but the price is too high for him to bear. 91 Days was the brainchild of Taku Kishimoto. With brilliant direction and incredibly well-directed scenes, it is based on America during the time of Prohibition.

The dynamic which Nero and Angelo have is more than special. The voice acting in 91 Days, along with visual demonstrations, gave it critical acclaim and put it in thirteenth place on our list of Top Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll.

12) Plastic Memories

Plastic Memories

Anime NamePlastic Memories
MAL Rating7.91
Number of Episodes13
Genre(s)Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
StudioDoga Kobo

Directed by Yoshiyuki Fujiwara, Plastic Memories is simultaneously one of the most frustrating yet engrossing anime on this list. Based in a futuristic world, it shows the journey of a human and an android in a slice-of-life fashion seasoned with romance comedy.

Tsukasa Mizugaki and Isla are beautifully portrayed in the anime. Along with the general plot settings, it managed to offer a lot in the thirteen episodes putting it in twelfth place in our list of Top 20 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll.

11) Angel Beats!

Angel Beats

Anime NameAngel Beats!
MAL Rating8.06
Number of Episodes13
Genre(s)Drama, Supernatural

Angel Beats! is a truly dark anime starring Otanashi, who awakens in a different dimension without his memory. The story unfolds from there, making the viewers deal with a lot of emotionally heavy to deal with material.

If you like Slice of Life and Sci-Fi on the border of Fantasy, Angel Beats! will not disappoint you. Its perfectly balanced yet insanely heavy plot progressions landed it in eleventh place in our list of Top 20 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll.

10) Kaiba


Anime NameKaiba
MAL Rating8.14
Number of Episodes12
Genre(s)Adventure, Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi

Kaiba is one of the most critically acclaimed anime on this list of Top 20 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll. With its science fiction world-building but, most importantly, the surreal art forms and compelling themes of love and tragedy, Kaiba stood out in excellence.

Kaiba dwells on a lot of deep topics and leaves us with a feeling of unease and sadness.

It has a very futuristic universal setting, and concepts such as memory transfer which, although they have incredibly good potential, are misused to great lengths. It is a true jewel and definitely worth watching.

9) Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket

Anime NameFruits Basket
MAL Rating8.22
Number of Episodes53 (3 seasons) + 1 movie
Genre(s)Comedy, Drama, Romance, Supernatural
StudioTMS Entertainment
Aired2019 – 2021

Fruits Basket is the brainchild of Natsuki Takaya and is the saddest anime on Crunchyroll. It stars Tohru Honda and a supernatural family of twelve with the ability to transform into the twelve zodiac animals.

The supernatural rom-com combined with Slice of Life twists caused this anime to hurt the viewers with its plot and manage to truly wound someone emotionally.

Since its addition to Crunchyroll, viewers have shown great appreciation for it, and you should watch it whenever you can. Natsuki and the Sohma family bring you a rollercoaster ride with a lot of ups and downs, so be sure to check it out.

8) Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Anime NameSeishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
MAL Rating8.25
Number of Episodes13 + 1 movie
Genre(s)Drama, Romance, Supernatural
Aired2018 – 2019

With its weird name and loner protagonist, we would consider Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai as an ordinary rom-com.

But since the very first episode, it proves to be a different experience as it introduces the fictional Puberty Syndrome, a supernatural occurrence that is caused by the angst and difficulties suffered by teenagers.

From someone becoming invisible and forgotten by everyone, both metaphorically and literally, to harsh words and trolling physically manifesting as wounds, the anime shows its brilliance by giving these a supernatural twist.

7) Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day


Anime NameSeishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
MAL Rating8.31
Number of Episodes13 + 1 movie
Genre(s)Drama, Romance, Supernatural
Aired2018 – 2019

The language of flowers is a prominent theme in Anohana. It revolves around a group of 5 friends trying to cope with the death of the 6th. Anohana is a great anime showcasing that moral time will heal all if you want it to.

As the five friends try to cope with the death of Menma, they change an aspect of their lives for the worse and struggle in their personal lives whilst still being there for each other.

Anohana has given a lot of people teary eyes and sniffy noses, but with good reason, putting it in fourth place in our list of Top 20 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll.

6) Given


Anime NameGiven
MAL Rating8.33
Number of Episodes11 + 1 movie
Genre(s)Boys Love, Drama, Romance
Aired2019 – 2020

Boys Love genre comes with a bit of prejudice with having stereotypical leads and provocative romance. Given, however, proves itself a class apart with a heartbreaking story of loss and healing and new beginnings. Mafuyu is an introverted teenager struggling with the suicide of his boyfriend and childhood friend, Yuki.

But when he meets Uenoyama, a boy at his school who restrings Yuki’s old guitar, Mafuyu slowly and painfully heals the wounds within himself, all the while falling in love with music and Uenoyama himself.

5) Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Madoka Magica

Anime NameMahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica
MAL Rating8.36
Number of Episodes12
Genre(s)Drama, Suspense

Puella Magi Madoka Magica is one of the darkest and most horrifying anime on this list. It all begins when Madoka and her friend Sayaka agree to become Magical Girls and fight witches.

At first, it doesn’t seem very hard to be able to grant any wish after killing a witch, but the further they go down the rabbit hole, things keep taking a turn for the worse.

The papermache animation fused with the classic 2D anime characters and the unexpected plot twists, give this anime a unique feel and put it in fifth place in our list of Top 20 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll.

4) March Comes in Like a Lion

March Comes in Like a Lion

Anime Name3-gatsu no Lion
MAL Rating8.38
Number of Episodes44 (2 seasons)
Genre(s)Drama, Slice of Life
Aired2016 – 2018

March Comes in Like a Lion is a heartbreakingly beautiful coming-of-age story that stays with you long after the screen goes dark. It follows Rei Kiriyama, a prodigious shogi player who became professional at a young age.

After losing his family, he’s struggling with grief, loneliness and the pressure he feels from his profession.

It’s when he meets the Kawamoto sisters: Akari, Hinata and Momo, that he feels a familial bond. As these damaged youngsters find solace in one another, we dry our eyes for the inevitable tears.

3) A Place Further Than the Universe

A place further than the universe

Anime NameSora yori mo Tooi Basho
MAL Rating8.53
Number of Episodes13
Genre(s)Adventure, Comedy, Drama

On the third place in our list of Top 20 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll, we have A Place Further Than the Universe. It is an absolute triumph of writing sound design and direction to create some truly breathtaking scenes. It stars a group of four girls traveling together, overcoming obstacles, learning, and growing along the way.

When life gives lemons to all four of the group, they decide to go to Antarctica in the hopes of filling the void they have in their lives.

At its heart, A place further than the universe focuses on friendship and leaves the viewer in tears. Mari, Shirazi, Hinata, and Yuzuki complete each other in one aspect or the other, making their dynamic very precious and fun to watch.

2) Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju

Rakugo Shinju

Anime NameShouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
MAL Rating8.57
Number of Episodes25 (2 seasons)
StudioStudio Deen
Aired2016 – 2017

Yakumo Yurakutei gained immense popularity after his release from prison as a Rakugo (traditional storyteller) performer. The plot of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju focuses on Yakumo, his rise to popularity, his struggles, and his relationship with his peers.

The anime of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju did a great job highlighting certain aspects of the original source material and giving it justice with both the plot and the animation.

Wanna know more about it? Watch it on Crunchyroll to find out the truly devastating end. The way the anime portrayed Yakumo and the generations put it in second place in our list of Top 20 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll.

1) Your Lie in April

Your Lie in April

Anime NameShigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
MAL Rating8.65
Number of Episodes22
Genre(s)Drama, Romance
StudioA-1 Pictures
Aired2014 – 2015

On the first place in our list, we have, Your Lie in April, which is a critically acclaimed, well-received, heartbreaking anime with multiple love angles and devastating plot progressions.

It stars Kousei Arima and Kaori Miyazono, along with multiple characters providing a perspective from all sides, making it all the more interesting to binge.

The second reason Your Lie in April was so popular was the music. The effort that Naoshi Arakawa took to make this anime is indescribable and definitely worth watching. Shoujo fans must watch this only on Crunchyroll.

With this, we shall conclude this article by discussing the Top 20 Saddest Anime on Crunchyroll. If you liked these recommendations, share them with your friends and amongst the community, and stay tuned for more anime content.

Image Source | Crunchyroll

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