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The 17 Most Tragic Romance Anime

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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?

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  • I Want To Eat Your Pancreas
    Photo: I Want To Eat Your Pancreas / Studio VOLN

    Don't let this film's peculiar title keep you from watching it. I Want To Eat Your Pancreas is a beautiful yet tragic story that will stay with you even after the credits roll. A withdrawn and antisocial high schooler accidentally discovers that his popular, bubbly classmate, Sakura, suffers from a terminal pancreatic disease. Because he's the only one who knows her secret, Sakura befriends him and the two grow closer over time. While the premise sounds predictable, the film will surprise you with the direction it takes towards the end. Both the characters discover that their bond runs even deeper than romantic love, and they change each other for the better.

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    • 2
      9,035 VOTES

      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.

      • Category: TV Program
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    • Every Clannad fan knows Clannad: After Story is a tear-jerker. The franchise follows the stories of many different characters, including Nagisa. In Clannad: After Story, the young woman tragically dies after giving birth, leaving her new family behind. This scene is impossible to watch with dry eyes.

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    • 4
      4,438 VOTES

      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.

      • Category: TV Program
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