20 Best Wholesome Anime to Make You Cry (Maybe)

20 Best Wholesome Anime to Make You Cry (Maybe)

The world of anime has offered us a lot of beautiful stories over the years, a lot of wholesome stories. Some of these stories were told in cinematic, some in television format, but what they all had in common is a shared aesthetical value and a deep emotional aspect that kept lingering for some time after watching the work. Now, these emotions can be different, but in this article, we are going to focus on those anime series and films that have made you cry (for different reasons), and we are going to list them for you. Here is a list of the 20 best wholesome anime!

1. Grave of the Fireflies

Number of Episodes: April 16, 1988
Running Time: 89 minutes

The story is told in the summer of 1945, in World War II Japan. Seita is a fourteen-year-old teenager. His younger sister Setsuko has four. Their father is a senior Imperial Japanese Navy officer enlisted in the naval forces for several years, so they live with their mother in the city of Kobe.

However, the American armed forces carried out at the time a heavy bombardment with the incendiary bomb of this port city. The mother could not escape in time from the gigantic fire that will occur in the city. She was very badly burned and then died of her injuries.

Where to watch: N/A

2. A Silent Voice

Original Release: September 17, 2016
Running Time: 130 minutes

Nishimiya is a sweet and caring student. Every day, however, she is harassed by Ishida because she is hard of hearing. Denounced for his behavior, the boy is in turn ostracized and finds himself alone. Five years later, he learns sign language and goes in search of the young girl.

Where to watch: Netflix

3. Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna

Original Release: February 21, 2020
Running Time: 94 minutes

Announced as the last installment in the saga of the original DigiDestined, Kizuna was a feature-length anime movie that delivered an emotional farewell to the series that inspired generations. With improved animation, a remixed soundtrack, and a strong, emotional story, Kizuna was a heartbreaking, yet fitting end to a 20-year-long saga. The DigiDestined had to unite with their partners once more to stop the mysterious Eosmon, a Digimon who seemed to kidnap the souls of DigiDestined around the world, only to discover that their time with their partner Digimon is coming to an end due to their growing up.

Where to watch: AppleTV+

4. Erased

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Original Run: January 8, 2016 – March 25, 2016
Number of Episodes: 12

The 29-year-old manga writer Satoru Fujinuma has the ability to travel back in time. If a life-threatening situation for a person arises in his environment, he is suddenly some time earlier and has the opportunity to avert the danger. However, he cannot consciously use the ability. When his mother, Sachiko Fujinuma, recognizes a serial killer and tries to call in the police, she is murdered and found by her son.

RELATED: 20 Best Anime Like Erased You Can’t Skip

He is suspected and suddenly Satoru is 18 years back in the past – in the body of himself as a 10-year-old. He remembers that a series of murders happened back then and suspects that he must find the perpetrator in order to save his mother.

Where to watch: CrunchyrollFunimationNetflix

5. From the New World

Original Run: October 3, 2012 – March 27, 2013
Number of Episodes: 25

Set in a thousand-year-old Japan, Shinsekai yori tells the story of Saki, a girl from the 66th district of Kamisu. In this age, all humans possess powerful telekinesis abilities and idyllically live in agrarian villages. Despite her parents’ fear that she could not awaken the power within her, Saki gains her powers at the age of twelve and joins her friends Satoru, Maria, Mamoru, Shun, and Reiko at the academy to develop her powers. But the kids are unaware that the city council monitors and influences the kids through teaching.

According to some evaluation criteria, some students are removed from society, such as those who cannot master the powers, such as Reiko, or those who violate the rules. The removed students are soon forgotten by all the other children; Saki and her friends have no recollection of Reiko.

Later, during a camp unsupervised by the professors, Saki and her friends come across a False White Nudibook, a legendary creature that turns out to be an ancient device containing a library. The False Nudibianco reveals to the boys the heinous crimes of their ancestors and what lies behind their powers.

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

6. Violet Evergarden

Original Run: January 11, 2018 – April 5, 2018
Number of Episodes:
13 + OVA

The story is set around a young girl who performs the trade of “automatic memory dolls”: dolls initially created by Professor Orland to help his blind wife Mollie write her novels, and later rented out to others. people who needed their services.

The term refers to people who perform the function of a public writer, whose purpose is to transcribe the words and feelings of people. After four years of bitter warfare, this young girl with a heavy past tries not without difficulty to rebuild her future, starting with the exercise of this profession. However, among all the wounds inflicted on him during the war, there is one that seems unwilling to heal.

The words of a loved one still echo in her heart, without the young girl knowing the real reason. She wants to know, to understand their meaning. Thus begins the quest of Violet Evergarden, learning mixed with letters, encounters, and various emotions.

Where to watch: Netflix

7. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

Original Run: April 14, 2011 – June 23, 2011
Number of Episodes: 11

A group of six childhood friends split up after one of them, Meiko “Menma” Honma, died in an accident. Ten years after this tragedy, the leader of the group, Jinta Yadomi, isolates himself from society and lives in seclusion.

One summer day, however, Menma appears to Jinta, looking older, asking him for help in fulfilling her wish. She believes she needs to accomplish it to fulfill her destiny. But Menma doesn’t remember what her wish was, causing Jinta to reunite her childhood friends again, as she believes they are the key to solving this problem.

However, the hidden feelings, internal conflicts and the persistence of feelings of sadness by Menma’s parents result in complications for the group as they struggle not only to help Menma but themselves.

Where to watch: CrunchyrollFunimationNetflix

8. Plastic Memories

Original Run: April 5, 2015 – June 28, 2015
Number of Episodes: 13

The anime deals with the themes of meeting and separation. In a futuristic world, androids look more and more like humans. One day, the robotic company SAI Corp produced the Giftia model, capable of understanding and feeling human emotions, but this kind of robot has a limited lifespan.

This animated will focus on the daily life of Tsukasa Mizugaki who integrates the Terminal service of SAI Corp responsible for recovering Giftia at the end of their life, then will team up with Isla who is herself a Giftia.

Where to watch: CrunchyrollFunimation

9. Your Name.

Original Release: July 3, 2016
Running Time: 107 minutes

The film is about Mitsuha and Taki who undergo a transformation at night. They live two completely different lives. Mitsuha is a high school girl in a rural mountain village where her father is the mayor. Mitsuha finds the countryside boring, her biggest dream is a life in the big city. Taki, also a high school student, lives in central Tokyo and is deeply involved in architecture.

One day, the two find out that a metamorphosis took place overnight, and they are now in another body. Taki and Mitsuha communicate with each other through notes and notes in their cell phones, helping each other with relationships and popularity at school. After Taki is back in his own body, he decides to visit Mitsuha.

A restaurant owner recognizes Taki’s sketch of the village of Itomori, and says it was destroyed by a comet impact. Taki learns that Mitsuha’s life happened three years ago, and she didn’t survive. Taki tries to contact Mitsuha to warn her of the comet impact. This succeeds and she tries to evacuate the village with her friends Tessie and Sayaka.

Eventually the comet hits, and destroys the entire village. Taki wakes up the next morning, remembering nothing of the events. Five years later, Taki learns that the people of Itomori survived the disaster thanks to the mayor. One day, Taki and Mitsuha recognize each other when their trains pass. They both get off at the next stop and ask for each other’s names.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

10. Belle 

Original Release: July 15, 2021
Running Time: 124 minutes

The story follows that of a teenager, Suzu Naito, who lives between modern Japan and a virtual world called “U”. In this world, Suzu becomes Belle, a musical icon followed by more than 5 billion followers. This difficult double life for shy Suzu takes an unexpected turn when she meets the Beast. She then decides to unmask this fascinating and frightening creature.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, AppleTV+

11. Terror in Resonance

Original Release: July 10, 2014 – September 25, 2014
Number of Episodes: 11

In an alternate world, Tokyo is hit by a terrorist attack that leaves the entire city in shock. The only element of investigation is a video that the culprits posted on the Internet. The terrorists are actually a duo calling themselves “Sphinx”, two teenagers called Nine and Twelve. They have survived an unknown incident, and decide to “wake up the world” with terrorist attacks.

Where to watch: Funimation

12. Your Lie in April

Original Run: October 9, 2014 – March 19, 2015
Number of Episodes: 22

Kōsei Arima, a piano child prodigy, dominated various music competitions in Japan and became famous among children’s musicians, but also controversial. After his mother Saki dies, he has a nervous breakdown at a piano competition, which leads to the fact that he can no longer hear the notes of his piano even though he can hear everything else normally.

Two years have passed since then, in which Kōsei has not touched the piano and only perceives the world in black and white, without atmosphere or color. His best friends, the softball player Tsubaki Sawabe and the soccer player Ryōta Watari, try to cheer him up and arrange a kind of “double date” in which Kōsei meets a girl who brightens up his colorless world again: Kaori Miyazono.

The free-spirited 14-year-old violinist, whose playing style reflects her manic personality, helps Kōsei return to the music world by pushing him back to play the piano. By playing the violin, she also shows him that, in contrast to the structured and rigid style that Kōsei plays, she appears free and lively.

Where to watch: CrunchyrollFunimation

13. Wolf Children

Original Release: June 25, 2012  
Running Time: 117 minutes 

Hana is a nineteen-year-old student who meets a boy she falls in love with at university. He reveals to her that he is a wolfwere, the last descendant of the now-extinct Japanese wolf. Nonetheless, the two get together, and when she finds out she is pregnant, she does not visit for fear of the baby being born a wolf.

Nine months later Yuki (“snow”) is born on a snowy day, and a year later her little brother Ame (“rain”) is born on a rainy day. Shortly after the birth of her son, the father disappears: in search of her, Hana discovers her accidental death during a hunt to procure prey for the young. Despite her pain, the girl decides to raise the children alone, a task that is far from easy for a single woman, especially considering that these children can turn into wolves.

After the owner of the condominium where they live threatens to evict them because she suspects the presence of animals (prohibited by the condominium regulations) and that social workers come to ask questions about the children who have not been subjected to scheduled vaccinations, Hana decides to move to the countryside to allow children to grow up without problems and to decide whether to live as humans or as wolves.

Where to watch: Funimation

14. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Release: January 7, 2011 – April 21, 2011
Number of Episodes: 12

There are creatures with the power to grant a young girl’s wish, in exchange for which she will become a Puella Magi (or Mahou Shoujo) to fight demonic creatures, witches. A schoolgirl named Madoka Kaname, as well as her friend Sayaka Miki, are approached by one of these creatures, Kyubey, who offers them to become Magical Girls in turn. The new student in their class, Homura Akemi, however, mysteriously seeks to prevent Madoka from making this contract.

Where to watch: Hulu, HBO Max, Funimation, Crunchyroll

15. Death Parade

Release: January 9, 2015 – March 27, 2015
Number of Episodes: 12

The story consists of a succession of two people who wake up in a bar with a dark atmosphere. Unsuspecting, they do not yet know that they have entered a deadly game. Indeed, they don’t know how they landed here. Decim, the bartender, and his assistant then explain to them that they will have to play a bar game (darts, bowling, billiards, etc.) and put their lives in game in order to perhaps understand what happened to them.

Where to watch: Hulu, Funimation, AppleTV+, Amazon Prime

16. Yuri!!! on ICE

Original Release: October 6, 2016 – December 21, 2016
Number of Episodes: 12 + OVA

After coming in last place during his first participation in the Grand Prix, the young Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki continues to lose and begins to doubt his career. Months later, Yuri returns to his hometown of Hasetsu in Kyūshū, which he had left five years earlier, and there perfectly reproduces a choreography by the famous Russian skater Victor Nikiforov.

When a video of his performance filmed without his knowledge goes viral and catches Victor’s attention, the latter decides to become Yuri’s coach and train him with one of his prodigy students, Yuri Plisetsky.

Where to watch: Funimation, Crunchyroll, AppleTV+, Amazon Prime

17. Orange

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Original Run: July 3, 2016 – September 25, 2016
Episodes: 13

Naho is a sixteen-year-old high school student living in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. His daily life is turned upside down by receiving a letter from the future. It would have been written by Naho herself, ten years later. This Naho is now twenty-six years old and consumed with remorse.

Through this letter, she intends to prevent Naho from reproducing the same mistakes. Thus, the letter contains material on the events of the coming months and instructions mainly concerning the arrival of a new student in the class, Kakeru.

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

18. Akame ga Kill!

Original Run: July 7, 2014 – December 15, 2014
Number of Episodes: 24

Tatsumi is a fighter who leaves for the capital in search of a way to earn money to help his poor village. After being robbed by a woman and losing all of her money, Tatsumi is taken in by an aristocrat named Aria.

RELATED: Akame ga Kill!: 15 Main Characters Ranked

The following night, Aria’s mansion is attacked by a group of assassins known as the Night Raid. As Tatsumi attempts to defend Aria from assassin Akame, another member of the group ends the fight.

Where to watch: CrunchyrollHidive

19. Bleach: Memories of Nobody

Original Release: December 16, 2006
Running Time: 93 minutes

After returning from Soul Society and being in the human world, specifically, Karakura Town, Ichigo Kurosaki, and Rukia Kuchiki are attacked by a large number of unknown souls. While Ichigo and Rukia were surrounded by these spirits, a shinigami named Senna appears, a girl with purple hair and orange eyes, who easily destroys the spirits with her shikai.

As Senna denies answering any questions from Ichigo, the latter is forced to follow her. Meanwhile, in Soul Society a mysterious incident occurs: the stage of the human world will be projected in the sky of Soul Society. An official first-class readiness alert is sent to Gotei 13. Tōshirō Hitsugaya, captain of the 10th Division, and Rangiku Matsumoto, Lieutenant of the 10th Division, arrive in the human world to investigate the matter and meet Ichigo.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Apple TV+

20. 5 Centimeters per Second

Original Release: March 3, 2007
Running Time: 65 minutes

A tale of two people, Tono Takaki and Shinohara Akari, who were close friends but gradually grow farther and farther apart as time moves on. They become separated because of their families yet continue to exchange contact in the form of letters. Yet as time continues to trudge on, their contact with one another begins to cease. Years pass and the rift between them grows ever larger.

However, Takaki remembers the times they have shared together, but as life continues to unfold for him, he wonders if he would be given the chance to meet Akari again as the tale embarks on Takaki’s realization of the world and people around him.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Apple TV+

  • Arthur S. Poe has been fascinated by fiction ever since he saw Digimon and read Harry Potter as a child. Since then, he has seen several thousand movies and anime, read several hundred books and comics, and played several hundred games of all genres.