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The 14 Best Anime About Illness

Updated 14 Jun 2019 2.6k votes 709 voters 32.5k views14 items

List RulesVote up the anime that most poignantly depicts the struggle of illness.

Illness, from minor colds to chronic diseases, creeps into people's lives whether they expect it or not. Many anime characters go through their entire story without ever so much as a sniffle, but anime series about illness offer engaging storylines that focus on one of life's universal struggles.

Anime in which a character is sick can create drama by introducing high stakes. In Full Moon o Sagashite, Mitsuki Koyama could die if she doesn't treat her throat cancer, but if she does address it, she risks losing her voice and her dreams of singing. It can also create an opportunity for characters to come together - consider Looking Up at the Half-Moon, in which Yuuichi Ezaki and Rika Akiba meet and fall in love while confined to a hospital.

Not every anime that includes illness centers entirely around the disease. Sometimes, anime series with an ill character use disease to tell a much larger story. Dragon Ball Z is an action-oriented fighting anime, but there's a point where a character nearly dies of a heart virus, only to be saved by medication from the future. Brace yourself, because some of these extremely sad anime do not hold back.

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