Anime Underground The 14 Most Tragic Romance Anime  

Anna Lindwasser
10.2k votes 3.3k voters 64.5k views 14 items

List Rules Vote up the romance anime that ripped out your heart and stomped on it.

Anime is one of the best artistic mediums for romance stories. Between the dramatic storytelling, beautiful art, thematic music, and compelling characters, romance anime can give viewers even more than they bargained for. This is especially true when the anime has parts (or an ending) so sad, you want to crawl into your bed and stay there, crying yourself to sleep in the fetal position forever.

Despite the emotional commitment, few fans regret indulging in tragic romance anime. After all, who would want to miss out on the opportunity to take in a richly romantic story, even if the lovers are destined for tragedy?

1 1,926 VOTES
Your Lie in April is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 14 Most Tragic Romance Anime
Photo:  Your Lie In April/A-1 Pictures

Kousei Arima of Your Lie in April is a piano prodigy who stops being able to hear music after his abusive mother dies. One day, he meets the free-spirited Kaori Miyazono, who pulls him back into music and helps him genuinely engage with the world around him. 

As time passes, Kaori and Kousei develop feelings for each other, but neither can admit it. Before they manage to close the gap, Kaori dies of an unidentified illness. What could have been a beautiful relationship never comes to fruition, leaving viewers wondering what might have been.

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#51 on The Best Anime Series of All Time

#89 on The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time

#23 on The Best Anime on Crunchyroll

#1 on The Saddest Anime Series of All Time

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2 1,112 VOTES
Hotarubi no Mori e is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 14 Most Tragic Romance Anime
Photo:  Hotarubi no Mori e/Brain's Base

Hotarubi no Mori e is a lovely, atmospheric film about the relationship between a human named Hotaru and a forest spirit named Gin. Due to the fragility of the magic tying Gin to the mortal realm, he can't touch human skin or he will disappear. Nevertheless, Hotaru and Gin start growing closer, and when romantic feelings develop, their inability to caress one another causes them great pain.

Eventually, Gin accidentally touches another human, and as he's fading away, the lovers touch for the first and last time.

Also Ranked

#22 on The Saddest Anime Series of All Time

#22 on The Best Anime Like Bunny Drop

#1 on The Best Anime Like Wolf Children

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Anohana: The Flower We Saw Tha... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 14 Most Tragic Romance Anime
Photo:  Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day/A-1 Pictures

Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day centers on a group of friends struggling to cope with the premature death of their companion Menma. Her demise stirs up different feelings in every character, but Jinta takes it particularly hard, as he had fallen in love with Menma but never worked up the courage to tell her.

Menma sticks around in ghost form, guiding her friends through the stages of grief, helping Jinta come to terms with his love for her, and accepting her own lack of a future.

Also Ranked

#4 on The Saddest Anime Series of All Time

#91 on The 100+ Best Anime Intros of All Time

#86 on The Best Supernatural Anime

#20 on The 25+ Best Anime With Only One Season

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Plastic Memories is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 14 Most Tragic Romance Anime
Photo:  Plastic Memories/Doga Kobo

Despite lacking qualifications, Tsukasa Mizugaki of Plastic Memories lands a job at the Sion Artificial Intelligence Corporation, AKA SAI Corp. SAI Corp develops and produces Giftias, wildly advanced artificial beings who look and act just like ordinary humans. The biggest difference is Giftias can only live for 81,920 hours, or around nine years and four months. When that time elapses, they need to be eliminated, or they lose their memory and become violent.

When Tsukasa partners with a particularly beautiful Giftias named Isla, they end up falling in love, but the end of Isla's life is fast approaching. You can probably imagine the devastating finale to this story.

Also Ranked

#5 on The Saddest Anime Series of All Time

#7 on The Best Anime Like Tsukigakirei

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