18 Best Emotional Anime on Netflix Right Now

There are some anime shows that can literally make you cry your eyes out and then there are others that leave you with this grim feeling of emptiness inside. Even some of the most mainstream shows like ‘Naruto‘ can give you chills with their sad, heart-touching moments. So if you’ve been into anime for a while, you might know that this medium boasts of several haunting pieces that stay with you for a very long time.

When it comes to the woeful deaths of our favorite characters, we’ve already covered that in a different list and we’ve also got one of the best sad anime shows of all time. But now that Netflix is showing some serious commitment towards adding more anime, we decided to come up with a new, special compilation. Here’s the list of the most emotional anime on Netflix:

18. My Daemon (2023)

‘My Daemon’ is a fantasy fiction series that is directed by Nat Yoswatananont. The show is produced by Thailand-based Igloo Studio and is set in the near future. After a massive explosion, Earth collides with hell marking a dramatic shift in people’s lives. Kento is an ordinary elementary school student who accidentally comes across Anna, a small daemon creature in the aftermath of the disaster. But when tragedy strikes, Kento and Anna together embark on a long journey to find the former’s mother. The anime revolves around the unbreakable bond of the two friends and the emotional loss that Kento has to come to terms with. You can watch the anime here.

17. Stand By Me Doraemon (2014)

Nobita is an ordinary boy who is average at everything and has no drive to do anything about it. Unfortunately, his carefree and uncaring attitude towards his future impacts the lives of his descendants as well. Therefore, his great-great-grandchild, Sewashi decides to do something about it. He travels from the 22nd century to the 20th century to meet Nobita. Sewashi brings a blue robotic cat named Doraemon with him so that he can help Nobita find happiness. Over time Nobita and Doraemon become inseparable friends while the former tries to become a better person. The anime is accessible for streaming here.

16. My Happy Marriage (2023)

‘Watashi no Shiawase na Kekkon’ or ‘My Happy Marriage’ explores a complicated story of romance and pain that is quite frequently very emotional to watch. Based on Akumi Agitogi’s Japanese light novel series of the same name the anime recounts a heartwarming story of overcoming childhood trauma, love and acceptance, and finding happiness. It follows Miyo Saimori, who loses her mother soon after her birth, and her life is hit with one tragedy after another following that. When her father remarries, he has another daughter named Kaya with his new wife. While this is good news for the family, Miyo is unfortunately pushed to the role of a mere lowly servant after that and is ignored by her family. Slowly, she loses all hope of ever finding happiness and accepts her fate.

One day she is informed that she will be married to Kiyoka Kudou, the leader of the prominent Kudou family in the near future. Before she meets him, Miyo expects to get treated badly by him as well but she is pleasantly surprised when everything goes well. After a long time, she finally sees hope of finding happiness and peace after being mistreated by her neglectful family for years. Feel free to watch the show here.

15. Kotaro Lives Alone (2022 -)

Kotarou Satou is a 4-year-old kid who lives alone for some mysterious reason. So when his neighbor and manga author Shin Karino meets him for the first time, he is naturally curious to find out more about him. Soon the other residents of the apartment complex also meet Kotarou and start to look after him while being completely in the dark about his family or relatives. ‘Kotaro Lives Alone’ is a fun series to watch most of the time, however, there are moments where the dark truth about Satou’s past is finally discussed revealing the emotional baggage he is carrying despite his young age. It becomes quite obvious that he has suffered from neglect by at least one of his parents and the psychological trauma of family conflicts has been quite tragic for him. You can watch the anime here.

14. Vampire in the Garden (2022)

Netflix’s ‘Vampire in the Garden‘ introduces viewers to a fantastical world where vampires and humans have been at each other’s throats for centuries. The far has naturally been tragic for both sides and has fueled hatred to the point that peaceful coexistence seems impossible. In such a chaotic time, a young survivor named Momo meets the vampire queen Fiine and realizes that they share a common desire for peace. As they get to know each other more, the duo sets out on a dangerous journey to find a place where vampires and humans can live side-by-side without fear of tragic consequences. While the conflict that the show revolves around is itself quite painful, it is Fiine and Momo’s relationship that makes the series a moving experience. The anime is accessible for streaming here.

13. A Whisker Away (2020)

Studio Colorido’s ‘Nakitai Watashi wa Neko wo Kaburu’ or ‘A Whisker Away’ revolves around a high schooler named Miyo Sasaki who deals with her personal family problems through her unorthodox demonstrations of love for her crush, Kento Hinode. Instead of having a normal dialogue, she resorts to listening to his insecurities in her cat form which eventually puts her in a dilemma where she has to choose whether to continue remaining anonymous or reveal her true human self. Miyo’s story and her romantic relationship deal with a number of complex teenage issues and are often moving at times. The film is a must-watch for anime fans who like romantic stories that are not conventional. You can watch the anime here.

12. Bubble (2022)

When gravity-defying bubbles descend on Earth, Tokyo becomes ground-zero for the strange phenomena and starts getting used for dangerous parkour team battles. Hibiki, who is experienced in the sport is curious about the mystery behind the strange bubbles and tries to uncover the truth. In his pursuit, he almost falls to his death but is luckily saved by a mysterious girl named Uta. As Hibiki gets to know her more, a romance blossoms between the duo and they are quite enamored with each other. But will their love have a meaningful end? You can watch the  film here.

11. Vinland Saga (2019 -)

̌Thorfinn has always been fascinated by the stories of a dreamy land far-far away that promises peace and warmth, unlike the cold and unforgiving Icelandic village where he is born. He is surrounded by violence and bloodshed from a young age and as the war between the Danes and English gets more intense, things continue to get worse. While dealing with the tragic realities of his life, Thorfinn must take his revenge and kill Askeladd for killing his father. ‘Vinland Saga’ follows Thorfinn as he grows up with his immense hatred but slowly realizes that his mindless pursuit of revenge is poisoning him. The emotional story of redemption with its iconic message of pacifism has moved millions of fans around the world and is therefore a must-watch for people looking for anime that could potentially change their lives. The anime is accessible here.

10. Japan Sinks: 2020 (2020)

‘Japan Sinks: 2020’ is a drama film directed by Pyeon-Gang Ho and Masaaki Yuasa. The film follows the peaceful Mutou family whose life changes for the worse when an earthquake strikes the entire Japanese archipelago, and people are left to fend for themselves. As society falls apart, Japanese men, women, and children have to go to desperate lengths to ensure their survival. You can see this emotional and memorable story of survival here.

9. Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (2021)

Yui “Cherry” Sakura is an introverted teenager who prefers to express himself through haiku. He was at a welfare facility where he eventually met a girl named Yuki “Smile” Hoshino. She is a budding influencer who likes to spread positivity wherever she goes. Despite their conflicting personalities, the two teenagers immediately hit it off and start developing feelings for each other. Their romance is solidified in the context of their shared goals at work, but can the two ever confess what they truly feel? You can stream the movie here.

8. Blue Period (2021 -)

̌Yatora Yaguchi is a high schooler who maintains a carefree persona in front of his friends and is motivated to find his true calling in life. But one day, a beautiful view of the vibrant landscape of Shibuya motivates him to express his feelings on a canvas. This experience changes Yatora’s life as he is inspired to become an artist. ‘Blue Period’ follows Yaguchi as he follows his dreams and is met with many challenges and the anime beautifully captures his emotional journey. You can watch the show here.

7. Violet Evergarden (2018)

Violet Evergarden‘ is another slice-of-life anime that is produced by Kyoto Animation. It tells the story of a young teenage girl named Violet who was once caught up in the bloodshed of the Great War. All this while, she was only raised for the purpose of destroying enemies and somewhere around the final leg of the war, she finds herself in the hospital with nothing but a few unknown words from her only loved one. Feeling lost in the post-war world, she started working at the CH Postal Services. At her workplace, she finds an “Auto Memory Doll” which acts as an assistant that translates the thoughts of a person into words on paper. Deeply amused by the idea, she decides to work as one herself and this is when her adventure begins, which not only helps her reshape the lives of the people she works for but also helps her discover the true purpose of her own life.

Kyoto Animation is often known for taking on some deeply moving slice-of-life projects. But despite that, ‘Violet Evergarden’ just feels very different from all of their other works. Overall, the anime is a lot more than an effective tear-jerker and might even teach you a lesson or two about your own life’s true calling. You can stream the anime here.

6. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2019 -)

After Tanjirou Kamado’s family is brutally murdered by a powerful demon, only her sister, who is turned into a demon, survives. Now, the hardworking and compassionate young adult has only two goals in life: to turn her sister back into a human being and avenge the death of his loved ones. As he joins the Demon Slayer Corps, Tanjirou is constantly faced with new challenges, which beautifully capture his philosophy on friendship and brotherhood. However, what truly stands out about ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’ is that it humanizes even the antagonists, some of whom have painful and eye-watering backstories. The anime is accessible for streaming here.

5. Toradora (2009)

Unlike other shows on this list, ‘Toradora‘ is more of a rom-com that involves your typical character archetypes. The female protagonist, Taiga Aisaka, is a tsundere who always carries a wooden Katana with her. On the other hand, we’ve got a kind-hearted male protagonist, Ryuuji Takasu, whose intimidating face often gets him labeled as a delinquent. Initially, the two get together with the purpose of helping each other out to get the attention of their respective crushes. But with time, things take an unexpected turn and what started off as an odd friendship, soon turns into an unlikely alliance.

Overall, ‘Toradora‘ is a typical high school comedy that is supposed to make you laugh and swoon over its cute characters. But it’s the bittersweet ending of this anime that will leave you with an inexplicably sad feeling. Now I wouldn’t give too many spoilers here, so if you want to know more about it, you’ll have to watch it yourself. Just don’t be surprised if this rom-com leaves you with a dark void in your heart. The anime is accessible for streaming here.

4. Lost Song (2018)

Produced by Liden Films, ‘Lost Song’ is a musical anime that revolves around two girls named Rin and Finish. Despite their contrasting social reality, the two girls are bestowed with the power of song that can magically heal wounds and control nature in unique ways. But when the dangerous war threatens peace and unleashes brutalities, these two girls are face an ardous task to change the cruel reality. As loved ones fall victim to the tragic situation, time appears to be slipping away from Rin and Finish’s hands while they struggle to use their special powers for greater good. In case you feel the shows sounds interesting and plan to watch it, then you can find all the episodes here.

Read More: Best Adult Anime on Amazon Prime

3. A.I.C.O Incarnation (2018-)

A.I.C.O Incarnation‘ is quite different from all the anime on this list. It’s a thrilling sci-fi romp that is one of the newest additions to Netflix’s growing list of anime originals. Set in the year 2035, it revolves around an incident known as the “Burst” that deeply affects the lives of several people. Two years after this, Aiko Tachibana still grieves the death of her family from the incident and is now wheelchair-bound. But everything she knew about herself and the incident starts to change when a transfer named Yuuya tells her the truth about what actually happened. What follows is a thrilling adventurous quest of the two “teens” who might now even bear the future of humanity in their hands.

The prime focus of ‘A.I.C.O Incarnation‘ goes on its action scenes and exhilarating sci-fi mysteries. But it’s the backstories of the characters that create a sad and depressing tone to the anime. Even the whole dark color palette that represents the semi-utopian appearance of the affected city adds a very somber vibe to the anime. If you’ve been thinking about watching this show, just ignore all of its negative reviews and give it a shot. You’ll most likely have a good time watching it. The anime is accessible here.

Read More: Best Adult Anime on Hulu

2. Flavors of Youth (2018)

Flavors of Youth’ is an anime movie that is divided into three different chapters. Each chapter unfolds its story with a whole new city that explores the simple joys of one’s life through timeless tales of love and sensual memories. This anthology brings in several elements of Chinese culture with strong visuals that will mostly be appealing to Chinese viewers. But despite that, its themes about the transient nature of life will be relatable for anyone in the world. If you’re not in the mood to commit to something long, ‘Flavors of Youth’ is the perfect anime that will take you on a nostalgic journey. You can stream the anime here.

Read More: Best Romantic Anime on Netflix

1. Naruto (2002 – 2007)

Born in the hidden-leaf village, Naruto Uzumaki is used by the Fourth Hokage to protect innocent people by sealing the dangerous Nine-Tailed Fox in the young boy. Unfortunately, this does not protect him from years of isolation and bullying that follow. Despite having suffered many misfortunes, all Naruto desires is to become the next Hokage so that he can lead the village that he has always loved. ‘Naruto’ needs no introduction since it is probably one of the best anime ever made. The show follows the emotional journey of the titular protagonist who sees many ups and downs in his life but remains dedicated to the promotion of the greater good. The anime is accessible here.

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