Anime Underground

The 14 Most Tragic Romance Anime 

Anna Lindwasser
Updated November 13, 2018 17.8k votes 6.1k voters 133k 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?

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.

Does this romance make you cry?

More Your Lie in April 

#58 of 863 The Best Anime Series of All Time #16 of 118 The Best Anime Streaming on Netflix #19 of 122 The Best Anime on Crunchyroll

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.

Does this romance make you cry?

More Hotarubi no Mori e 

#685 of 862 The Best Anime Series of All Time #90 of 278 The Best Romance Anime Ever Made #16 of 207 The Saddest Anime Series of All Time

Anohana: The Flower We S... 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.

Does this romance make you cry?

More Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day 

#119 of 862 The Best Anime Series of All Time #52 of 118 The Best Anime Streaming on Netflix #28 of 278 The Best Romance Anime Ever Made

Clannad After Story is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 14 Most Tragic Romance Anime
Photo:  Clannad: After Story/Kyoto Animation

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.

Does this romance make you cry?

More Clannad After Story 

#691 of 728 The Best Cartoons of All Time #79 of 862 The Best Anime Series of All Time #85 of 132 The Best Fantasy Anime of All Time