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20 Anime Like Anohana That Will Make You Cry

The anime, Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.), is both heart-wrenching and hopeful. This series tackles the topic of death beautifully with love as its fuel. The emotional scenes leave viewers feeling like they need to make every second count before time runs out on their lives too.

Content Navigation (TL:DR)

    • Synopsis
  • Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa.)
  • Erased
  • Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
  • Your Lie in April
  • Little buster
  • Celestial Method
  • Natsuyuki Rendezvous
  • Angel Beats
  • Clannad: After Story
  • Orange
  • A Lull in The Sea
  • Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
  • Plastic Memories
  • Kokoro Connect
  • Hotarubi No Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light)
  • A Silent Voice
  • Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!
  • Waiting in The Summer
  • Honey and Clover
  • Seven Senses of the Re’Union

Synopsis

Jinta Yadomi lives quietly as a recluse, avoiding school and instead of spending his days at home playing video games. Meiko “Menma” Honma, his childhood friend, arrives one hot summer day and begs him to grant a forgotten request. It irritates her that he ignores her, but he doesn’t care. After all, Menma died many years ago.

Jinta initially believes he is hallucinating owing to the heat of the summer, but he is gradually convinced that what he sees is the ghost of Menma. Jinta and his childhood pals grew apart following Menma’s untimely death, but they are brought back together as they try to put Menma’s spirit to peace. 

Anime is often regarded as a medium to escape from reality with its bright colors and fantastical characters, but sometimes it can be just the opposite. There are many anime that feature sad yet beautiful story lines or depressing scenes that will leave you reaching for the tissue box within minutes of starting an episode. If you’re in need of some good crying material, here are 20 sad anime recommendations like AnoHana: The Flower We Saw That Day! 

Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa.)

mitsuha miyamizu and taki tachibana your name

The plot of this anime movie centers around Mitsuha and Taki’s activities, which begin to have a major impact on each other’s lives, knitting them together into a tapestry held together by fate and circumstance.

A high school girl, Mitsuha Miyamizu, wishes to live the life of a male in Tokyo, a fantasy that contrasts with her current life in the countryside. 

Taki Tachibana, a high school boy juggling a part-time job and dreams of a career in architecture, lives a busy existence in the city.

Mitsuha awakens one day and finds herself enjoying the dream life in Tokyo—but in Taki’s flesh! Taki, on the other hand, is living Mitsuha’s life in the impoverished countryside. In search of an explanation for this bizarre occurrence, they begin to look for one another.

Check Out: A Top 20 List of The Best Drama Anime for Your Viewing Pleasure

Erased

Boku Dake ga ni Inai Machi’s emotional story follows Satoru on his quest to learn the truth about what happened 18 years ago and avert the death of a classmate while also safeguarding those he loves about in the present.

Satoru Fujinuma is sent back a few minutes before an accident occurs when catastrophe is about to strike. The estranged 29-year-old manga artist has used this strong yet inexplicable phenomenon, dubbed “Revival,” to rescue numerous lives.

However, when he is wrongly accused of murdering someone important to him, Satoru is thrown back in time, this time to 1988, 18 years ago. Soon, he discovers that the murder may be connected to the kidnapping and killing of one of his classmates, the isolated and mysterious Kayo Hinazuki, that took place when he was a child. This is his opportunity to put things right.

Check Out: 13 Anime Like Erased: Must Watch Anime If You Are Addicted To Erased

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

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Tasogare Otome x Amnesia is a one-of-a-kind story about students banding together to shed light on their school’s mysterious happenings, all while getting closer to the truth behind Yuuko’s death.

Seikyou Private Academy, built on the mystique of traditional occult beliefs, has a grim past—for 60 years, it has been haunted by Yuuko, a young woman who inexplicably died in the basement of the old school facility. Yuuko, who has no memory of her life or death, finds and leads the Paranormal Investigations Club in pursuit of answers.

Yuuko clings to industrious school boy Teiichi Niiya, that can see the odd ghost, after a fortuitous meeting; they rapidly become close, and he decides to aid her. They go deep into the notorious Seven Mysteries of the historical institution with Kirie Kanoe, Yuuko’s kin, and the naïve second-year Momoe Okonogi.

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Your Lie in April

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Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, based on the manga series of the same name, tells the poignant story of Kousei’s recovery as he realizes that music is more than just playing each note flawlessly and that a single tune may bring in the fresh spring air of April. And, as with Anohana, expect a lot of emotional situations.

The career of the human metronome, the brilliant musician Kousei Arima, is accompanied by music. However, with the death of his mother, Saki Arima, Kousei enters a downward spiral, deeming him unable to listen to the song of his own piano.

Years later, Kousei still avoids the piano, casting away his admirers and adversaries, and lives a bland existence with his buddies Tsubaki Sawabe and Ryouta Watari. Everything changes, however, when he meets Kaori Miyazono, a lovely violinist who shakes him up and sends him on the journey to face music again.

Check Out: 30 Most Popular Anime of All Time, According to My AnimeList Members

Little buster

little busters refrain

Riki Naoe isolated himself from the World as a child due to a diagnosis of narcolepsy following his parents’ terrible deaths. Riki is spared, though, when a child named Kyousuke joins him into a team known as the Little Busters one fateful day. These misfits spend their childhood combating evil and having fun, accompanied by Masato, Kengo, and Rin.

Years pass and the close-knit teammates remain together even in high school. Kyousuke intends to resurrect the Little Busters by establishing a baseball club for his final school year with them. They do, however, have a problem: there aren’t enough members! The tables have turned, and it is now Riki’s turn to reach out to new acquaintances and enlist them into the Little Busters, just as Kyousuke had done for him.

Then an omen appears: Rin discovers a weird letter connected to her cat, tasked with revealing the “secret of this world” by fulfilling particular chores. What exactly is this secret, and why is it being kept hidden? It’s up to the Little Busters to figure out what’s going on!

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Celestial Method

Celestial Method - Anime like Anohana

Nonoka Komiya, Koharu Shiihara, Shione Togawa, and twins Yuzuki and Souta Mizusaka once tried to call a flying saucer to grant their wishes. They called it quits after concluding that they had failed. Nonoka, on the other hand, abruptly left Kiriya City, breaking the circle’s tie. The group had no idea they were successful, and the saucer has been hovering in the skies ever since, waiting to accomplish its mission.

Nonoka returns to Kiriya seven years later, having forgotten almost everything about her time there. Nonoka encounters Noel, a small girl dressed strangely, and through her, she begins to recollect her past and the friends she left behind. From there, she tries to mend her broken relationship with the others by unraveling the secrets that link Noel, the saucer, and the wishes they once shared.

Natsuyuki Rendezvous

natsuyuki rendezvous anime like anohana

Ryousuke Hazuki is a young guy whose heart has been stolen, and he visits the local floral shop on a daily basis to catch a glimpse of the business’s owner, the lovely Rokka Shimao. In order to get closer to her, he decides to take part-time work at the shop, but before he can make his move, he encounters a big stumbling block: in her apartment lives a ghost who claims to be Rokka’s murdered husband.

Since his death three years ago, Atsushi Shimao has silently kept an eye on his widowed wife. However, Hazuki is the first one to notice him, and the two rapidly clash: the envious Shimao tries to obstruct the suitor’s advances and control his body, while Hazuki merely wants the ghost to pass away, permitting Rokka to move forward from the past and him to be with one he loves. As both men refuse to give up their wishes, an odd interaction develops between a disturbed lady, an unrelenting ghost, and a tenacious man in love.

Angel Beats

angel beats a top 20 list of the best drama anime for your viewing pleasure

Otonashi awakens to discover he is no longer alive. Otonashi finds the only thing he remembers about himself is his name after a rifle-toting girl named Yuri reveals that they are in the afterlife. Yuri informs him that she is the leader of the Shinda Sekai Sensen (Afterlife Battlefront) and is at war with a girl named Tenshi. Unbelieving Yuri’s allegations that Tenshi is evil, Otonashi seeks to meet with her, but the encounter does not go as planned. Otonashi decides to join the SSS and fight Tenshi, but he is strangely captivated by her. He gradually unravels the mysteries of the afterlife while attempting to retrieve his memories and understand Tenshi.

Check Out: 41 Of The Best Shoujo Anime Of All Time: From The 70’s To The Present

Clannad: After Story

clannad a top 20 list of the best drama anime for your viewing pleasure

Clannad: After Story is an impressive drama based on Key’s visual novel and created by Kyoto Animation. It emphasizes the significance of family and the challenges of maturity.

Clannad: After story begins after Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa finish high school in the sequel to the lovely story of Clannad. They go through the emotional rollercoaster of growing up together. Unsure about his future path, Tomoya realizes the significance of a strong work ethic and the power of Nagisa’s support. They push forward to address their personal challenges, develop their existing relationships, and form new bonds because of the couple’s dedication and unity of purpose.

Time passes in the Illusionary World as well. As winter approaches, the Illusionary Girl and the Garbage Doll are confronted with a terrible circumstance that reveals the World’s actual purpose.

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Orange

kakeru naho orange

Naho Takamiya gets a letter one morning that claims to be from herself ten years in the future. The letter describes a series of events that are scheduled to occur that day. Naho initially believes it is a hoax, but when the letter references a transfer student called Kakeru Naruse, who actually transfers into her class later that day, she is obliged to believe its contents.

As Naho reads on, her future self expresses various regrets, imploring Naho to make the right decisions now. Somehow, all of these regrets seem to be related to Kakeru, and with the burden of knowing that the youngster would not be with her and her friends in the future, would Naho be able to make the ideal decisions that will change what appears to be fate?

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A Lull in The Sea

a lull in the sea anime like anohana

Hikari Sakishima and Manaka Mukaido, together with their childhood pals Chisaki Hiradaira and Kaname Isaki, are compelled to abandon the sea and attend a school on the surface in Nagi no Asu kara. Tsumugu Kihara, a fellow student and fisherman who adores the sea, also meet the group there.

All humans used to live beneath the sea. However, some people enjoyed the surface and chose not to live permanently underwater. As a result, they lost their god-given protection known as “Ena,” which enabled them to breathe underwater. The chasm between the inhabitants of the water and those of the surface increased throughout time, while contact between the two peoples remained.

Hikari and his friends’ lives are destined to alter as they struggle with deep-seated hostility and discrimination between the people of the sea and the people of the surface, storms in their personal lives, and an impending tempest that may signal catastrophe for everyone who dwells on the surface.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

tokyo magnitude 8.0 a top 20 list of the best drama anime for your viewing pleasure

Mirai Onozawa, a middle school girl, is dissatisfied with her family’s situation and, in a fit of rage, wishes to rip everything apart. Unfortunately, these destructive intentions appear to come true a few moments later in the shape of a magnitude 8.0 earthquake.

When summer vacation begins, Mirai begrudgingly brings her younger brother Yuuki to Odaiba to see a robot show that he has been wanting to see. However, while they are in the exhibition center, a tremendous earthquake rocks the Kanto region; helpless, both children witness the destructive force of this natural disaster as it drags the city to its knees.

In the aftermath, they come upon Mari Kusakabe, a motorcycle and single mother who resolves to assist the young siblings. The party set off on a long and arduous trek through the devastated city, hoping to return home and reconcile with their family.

Check Out: 30 of The Saddest Anime of All Time Guaranteed to Make You Cry

Plastic Memories

plastic memories saddest anime of all time

Tsukasa Mizugaki, eighteen, has failed his college admission examinations, but after manipulating some strings, he lands employment at the Sion Artificial Intelligence Corporation responsible for the development of “Giftias,” which are highly advanced androids that are almost indistinguishable from normal people. Giftias, on the other hand, have a maximum lifespan of 81,920 hours, or almost nine years and four months. Tsukasa’s station is in charge of collecting Giftias that have gone beyond their expiration date before they lose their memories and turn hostile.

Tsukasa is quickly coupled with a lovely Giftia named Isla after joining Terminal Service One. Despite her tiny stature and calm demeanor, she is a Terminal Service veteran and regarded the greatest in Giftia retrievals. However, time is of the essence, and Tsukasa must confront his feelings for Isla before her time runs out.

Kokoro Connect

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When five Yamaboshi Academy students realize there are no groups where they can fit in, they start the Student Cultural Society or “StuCS” for short. Taichi Yaegashi, a die-hard wrestling lover; Iori Nagase, an unsure optimist; Himeko Inaba, a cool computer prodigy; Yui Kiriyama, a small karate practitioner; and Yoshifumi Aoki, the class comedian, make up the club.

Aoki and Yui have a weird encounter one day when, without notice, they switch bodies for a brief amount of time. As this strange occurrence continues to occur at random among the five buddies, they understand it is more than simply a game. They eventually learn one another’s dark secrets and psychological pain, which could eventually wind up ripping the StuCS and their camaraderie apart.

Hotarubi No Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light)

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Hotarubi no Mori e, a.k.a. Into the Forest of Fireflies’ light, based on Yuki Midorikawa’s manga, is a beautiful story of friendship and compromise between two people who would have never crossed paths, as their lives become hopelessly entangled.

Six-year-old Hotaru Takegawa, enthralled by the legend of a mountain god, gets lost inside the ancient forest after going to visit her uncle. Hotaru is exhausted and desperate for assistance when she discovers a veiled forest ghost named Gin. She discovers the hard way that she must not touch the boy or he would vanish. Regardless, Gin walks Hotaru out of the woodland and cautions her never to come back when she pledges to return with a present.

Hotaru and Gin become close friends when she visits him every summer, despite the fact that they are separated by both distance and realms of existence. However, when romantic feelings clash with the one and only rule, their relationship and determination are put to the test.

A Silent Voice

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The best romances can sometimes emerge from the most unexpected settings. A plot involving childhood bonds and possible love interests isn’t uncommon in anime series, but Anohana and A Silent Voice take it to the next level!

Koe no Katachi portrays the heartwarming story of Shouya’s reunion with Shouko and his genuine attempts to redeem himself, all while being haunted by the ghosts of his past.

Shouya Ishida, an elementary school student, strove to beat monotony in the cruelest manner as a wild adolescent. Shouko Nishimiya, a deaf girl, transfers into his class, and Shouya and the members of his class bully her for fun. When her mother informs the school, he is singled out and condemned for everything that has happened to her. Shouya is at the mercy of his peers now that Shouko has transferred out of the school. Throughout elementary and middle school, he is heartlessly shunned while teachers look the other way.

Shouya, now in his third year of high school, is still haunted by his youthful transgressions. He sets out on a mission of redemption, hoping to encounter Shouko again and make apologies for his sins in the past.

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!

love, chunibyo & other delusions!

Everyone had gone through a period in their lives when they believed they were unique and distinguished from the crowds of regular people. They may even believe they are capable of wielding mystical powers or that they are descended from a mythical land. This “sickness” is known as “chuunibyou,” and it is frequently the root of some of a person’s most embarrassing situations.

The scars left by his chuunibyou are still raw for Yuuta Togashi. He looks back on his middle school years as the “Dark Flame Master” with immense embarrassment, so much so that he plans to attend a high school far away from where no one will recognize him. He longs to put his terrible past behind him and live a typical high school life.

Unfortunately, he hasn’t fully moved on from his past: enter Rikka Takanashi, Yuuta’s new classmate and self-proclaimed vessel of the “Wicked Eye.” As this unusual young lady enters Yuuta’s life, his goal of a normal, chuunibyou-free existence crumbles. In this amusing and sweet story about a youngster who just wants to forget his unpleasant experiences, old delusions are far from extinct.

Waiting in The Summer

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Kaito Kirishima witnesses a blue light speeding across the sky while testing his camera on a bridge one summer night, only to be blown from the railing seconds later. Just as he is about to pass out, a hand reaches down to get a hold of his own. Kaito wakes up the next morning dazed and puzzled, wondering how he got up back in his own room with no visible injuries or recall of the night before. As Kaito goes about his daily school routine, he and his pals discuss what to do with his camera, eventually choosing to make a film with it during their forthcoming summer vacation. Noticing Kaito’s interest in new upperclassmen Ichika Takatsuki, his friend Tetsurou Ishigaki invites her and her companion Remon Yamano to join them in their film project.

In what turns out to be one of the most fascinating and thrilling summers of their life, Kaito and his pals discover that their time spent together is about much more than making a film and will compel them to confront their genuine feelings and each other.

Honey and Clover

honey and clover a top 20 list of the best drama anime for your viewing pleasure

Yuuta Takemoto, a sophomore at an arts college, lives in a modest apartment with two seniors: the quirky Shinobu Morita, who continually failed to graduate due to his absences, and the sensible Takumi Mayama, who acts as Takemoto’s legitimate senior, frequently watching out for him.

Takemoto had given little attention to his future till one fine spring day when he meets the adorable Hagumi Hanamoto and falls in love at first sight. Hagumi, who is exceptionally gifted in the arts, enrolls at Takemoto’s university and quickly befriends popular ceramics student Ayumi Yamada. Ayumi is already familiar with the three flatmates and has a strong affection for one of them.

Hachimitsu to Clover is a wonderful story of youth, love, soul-searching, and self-discovery that is intricately woven through the complicated relationships of five close friends.

Seven Senses of the Re’Union

seven senses of the re'union

In truth, Asahi’s life ended at the same time she died while playing Union, a world-renowned online RPG. When Union closed down owing to Asahi’s death, the Subaru members split off. Six years later, Haruto logs onto a relaunched version of Re’Union and re-encounters Asahi, who has now died. Is she truly there, or is it simply an electronic ghost? To find out, the former team members rejoin and enter the enigmatic and lethal online game. 

There you have it, anime fans! These are 20 wonderful anime recommendations like Anohana: the flowers we saw that day. Did we miss your favorite sad anime? Let us know in the comments what we missed. We hope this list helped you find some great new shows to binge on when there’s nothing else on TV or if you just need a good cry.

Written by Charlie

I've watched a lot of anime in my days, but that doesn't stop me from watching more. Whether it be new or old, I'll give it a run-through and tell you what I think about it. We're currently living in the golden age of anime with so many great shows out there to watch.

Some are better than others for sure, but they're all worth checking out at least once. My beautiful daughters also love watching animes...well not as much as their dad does!

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