I am a cry baby. No, really. I’m one of those people that still cry over the ending of Titanic, no matter how many times I watch it. That doesn’t mean that any old story can move me, of course. And more often than not, I don’t really cry at stuff like movies or non-anime shows in general. But the one thing you can count on me to do is to silently sob every time an anime goes extremely deep. When an anime hits a nerve, it’s all waterworks here folks!
It’s completely okay to cry over anime. There are some magnificent stories out there, plots that you can’t help but get emotional over. You don’t need a show to be some 7-season epic with high stakes and higher critic reviews for it to reduce you to sobbing. Sometimes, anime is just so beautifully made that it takes a 7-minute video and you’re inconsolable. I mean, have you ever watched the animated video for Shelter by Porter Robinson that was animated by Studio A-1? It’s a masterpiece!
And that’s what anime, and other forms of art, are meant to do. They are made to invoke emotion, whether that’s a smile or tears. And sometimes, those emotions are so cathartic that you can’t help but keep returning back to them, even if it’s painful. Anime has been an outlet for me, even when I was a kid and that hasn’t changed. It’s become an escape for me to process my emotions and, yeah, sometimes those emotions involve sobbing.
But that’s exactly why sets good anime from bad anime. Don’t get me wrong. The art and animation matter, but if a story is badly executed and doesn’t get its intent across? It loses meaning. I’m not saying an anime has to make you cry for it to be good, but some of my favorite anime have been real tear jerkers. And if you’re interested in why that’s okay, then let’s continue.
A Story that You Can’t Help Crying Over:
As stated before, crying over anime is something most Otakus have done at least once in their life. And a lot of them will claim that the anime that made them cry and bawl their hearts out is probably the best story out there. And, hey, they wouldn’t be wrong.
For me, the first anime story to truly make me just silently sob at the screen was Your Name, directed by Makoto Shinkai. And look, I won’t be the only person out there who cried over Your Name nor is Your Name the only Shinkai movie to evoke that emotion from people. Fans of his works have pointed out how the stories are always so poignant, and heartfelt that you can’t help but be moved by them.
Your Name was so impactful to me, with its gorgeous story about the fate that defies death and a love that transcends time. I remember watching it once, and then rewatching it three times in the same week and crying every time the two main characters had to say goodbye.
Plots that aren’t just tragic for tragedy’s sake are really hard to nail down, even with big-budget live-action movies. And yet, an animated work like Your Name did it so perfectly, that it went on to become a cult classic for even non-anime fans.
Animation So Beautiful, It Hurts:
And sometimes, it’s the environment in which the story takes place that adds to the feel and enunciates the emotions it is tackling. A great example of this is the Violet Evergarden anime by Kyoto Animation.
Ironically, Violet Evergarden was the very first anime I picked up after at least 3 years of being on an anime burnout. And I can’t tell you whether that was a good decision on my part considering how amazing it was, or a bad one when you realize how much it hurt to watch.
I remember just collapsing after a particular episode, where Violet emulates something about a father who had just lost his daughter to an illness. It was just so raw and powerful, the art at that moment almost felt ethereal.
With Violet Evergarden, KyoAni proved that animation alone can exude so much feeling, even without words being said.
Are Anime Relatable
A story doesn’t have to involve grand-scale fantasy or magical elements for it to be extremely touching. Sometimes, it’s the character arcs that take center stage.
Given isn’t a particularly convoluted anime. It is a story about a teenager, who loses someone they love in a tragic way and then uses music as an outlet to express themselves again. Depression and feeling numb after a tragedy is some of the most common issues people are struggling with out there. And I can’t pretend that music hasn’t helped me out of my own slumps.
Some characters in anime don’t have an impact because they are super cool or amazing. Sometimes, it’s their weaknesses and struggles that we end up reflecting and relating to.
So, having to cry over anime? It’s probably healthier than you think.