10 animated series that are sadder as an adult


Some of the best, critically acclaimed cartoons leave viewers sobbing at the end of the story. In some cases, the hallmark of an anime is its ability to bring out emotions; shows as Your lie in April and Anohana: the flower we saw that day rely on audience grief to collect fans. These anime evoke painful feelings at any point in life that viewers watch them, as the main focus of their stories is make the fans cry.

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That being said, the “sad” factor in an anime can also be related to the experiences that audiences have. Even anime that works across a wide range of genres can have underlying themes of pain and coping that may not be as prominent until the viewer revisits the series at a later age. It might sound jaded, but it’s remarkable how the anime can age with its audience and spark different, darker emotions in older fans with the same content that can be less upsetting to younger ones.

ten Yuri !!! On Ice shows how fleeting a chance for success can be

Yuri !!! on the ice is an extremely inspiring story with a happy ending. However, the rule of thumb is a bit overwhelming for viewers entering adulthood – Yuri is twenty-three and is said to be missing out on his “last chance” to make his dreams come true.

The world of competitive ice skating may not meet universal age standards, but there are many areas that turn their backs on individuals once they enter their mid-twenties. This makes Yuri comparable, but it’s also a cruel reminder of how fleeting success can be particularly age-related.

9 Samurai Champloo ends with unlikely friends breaking up

Mugen keeps his distance from Jin in Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo never claims to be anything less than realistic in terms of character dynamics, but most young audiences are used to having families who stick together once the adventure is over. This anime, on the other hand, takes the much more pragmatic route and sees Mugen, Jin, and Fuu go their separate ways in the final episode.

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For adults, it’s bittersweet; heroes have their adventure and bond, but it’s common in life for people to leave others behind and go their separate ways. There is something therapeutic about seeing the three main characters “come on”, given that this is a reality that many people face. It is inevitable that some trips will end.

8 Sword Art Online tragedies become more realistic as viewers enter 2022

While Sword art online is a fantastic anime above all, it has its sad moments. After all, Kirito is a teenager with the weight of many lives on his shoulders. What’s unique about this anime is that anyone who watched it as a teenager is now an adult in 2022, which is the same year this story takes place.

Technology is growing exponentially in the real world, which makes this anime more and more possible over time. While the stakes once seemed far-fetched, anyone who grew up with the series can now begin to understand the stress Kirito went through and how terrifying it must be to face actual death in a match.

seven Hunter x Hunter fans realize how young the characters are

The 4 main characters of HxH

Gon’s young age as the protagonist of shonen in Hunter x hunter is emphasized by his older allies. Killua is also twelve, but characters like Kurapika, Leorio, and even Hisoka make Gon look even younger for a hunter enduring the hardships he endures.

Watching this show at an age closer to Gon’s age, fans may feel like he and Killua are anomalies in a realm filled with adults. However, after viewers get past Kurapika and Leorio’s age and look back on the series, they realize how scary it is that all of these young heroes are forced to fight each other in such cruel circumstances. Gon’s upbeat demeanor adds a layer of optimism to the series, but over time even the happiest parts of the plot seem to be engulfed in tragedy.

6 Oban Star-Racers is much darker if you look at it chronologically

Seeing as Oban Star-Racers is a show most kids watched while surfing the channels in the mid-2000s, it makes sense that its overall storyline and darker themes would be lost on fans when they could only catch a few episodes here and there. in non-chronological order.

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Revisiting the show in the intended order as an adult, however, proves just how dark this anime can get. Between the death of characters, a realistic and tense family dynamic and the realization that winning has a price, this show is a different experience today than in the mid-2000s.

5 The Promised Neverland humanizes the initial antagonist by revealing his past

Isabella, The Promised Never Land

The promised imaginary land is sad regardless of the age of the audience, and it’s not quite old enough for audience members to experience watching it as children and adults. Despite this, age has a lot to do with the anime, so it makes sense that the age of the audience affects their perspective of the characters and the story. Fans see the story from a children’s perspective, but it’s easier to project it onto the heroes if the viewer is also young.

However, adults watching are also obligated to relate to Isabella’s age. As fans learn more about her origin and how this world works, her actions, while still cruel, make audiences wonder what they would do if given the limited options that she was.

4 Erased focuses on how age changes perspective (and that’s a bittersweet conclusion)


Erased is another anime that’s perpetually shot down, but it’s even more brutal to watch as an adult. Satoru is an adult himself, but he never really recovered from the death of his classmate, Kayo. Seeing how he clings to that regret for years to come is painful to watch, especially given the anime’s ending.

Satoru steps in and brings the killer to justice by reliving the period of his youth when the murders take place, but he ends up in a coma and misses most of his life. It’s technically a win, but this anime ending is far from happy forever.

3 Chihiro can be interpreted in several ways

As if by magic, like most of Hayao Miyazaki’s works, it is a story that draws different emotions from each viewer. The actual story of Chihiro reuniting with his parents is ultimately uplifting, but there are a few details throughout the film that point to harsher realities. Chihiro’s parents eat food that is not theirs, but their punishment seems excessive for their mistake. From now on, Chihiro begins to move further away from her reality, even forgetting her name.

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Kids who watch this movie tend to focus on adventure (which makes it a perfect movie on its own). The adults watching tend to focus on the cruel circumstances that Chihiro, and even Haku, endure for no justifiable reason. Regardless of the age of the viewer, this film is a timeless masterpiece, but the experience is different for everyone.

2 Orange demonstrates that closure does not solve everything and that people separate

Azusa orange

Orange is an anime with the main intention of making its fans cry. While other shows have their sad moments, Orange tells the heartbreaking story of a group of high school friends who go their separate ways after the tragic death of their friend. What sets this anime apart from other classic tearfuls is that it follows the characters’ futures as they write letters to the past in an attempt to save Kakeru.

Although this show is parallel Anohana, the latter focuses on closing rather than regret. Both are worthy of sobbing, but Orange shows how people break up and even hurt each other with closing. Not everything can be fixed. Even if the conclusion of the story is relatively happy, the future does not rewrite itself as long as it is diverted (it gets tricky). Their future selves always live with their regrets, and it’s a regret that most adult viewers can relate to.

1 Pokémon (especially Mewtwo Strikes Back) uses nostalgia to create a new experience

Pikachu and a stone ash

It can be a bold statement to call Pokemon sad due to its simple premise and the fact that most of its media is in the form of games, but the original Pokemon anime can burst any veteran fan into tears. Viewers watch Pokemon for the first time as an adult may have no emotional response, but considering Pokemonconstant worldwide popularity, most people have a nostalgic connection with the series.

Take, for example, the iconic scene of Pokémon the first movie: Mewtwo strikes back where Ash “dies” and Pikachu temporarily mourns him. Fans have a nostalgic and therefore emotional connection to this timeless property. It doesn’t hurt that the film received a 2019 remake that rekindles the same feelings fans had as children.

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