If you are a fan of anime, then these sad anime movies on Netflix will make for a perfect viewing experience for you.
Netflix is home to a wide range of anime movies and shows. Anime as a genre has been garnering a lot of attention from viewers all over the world. If you also like to watch anime movies, then you will definitely tear up watching these sad movies on Netflix.
Let’s take a look at these 20 sorrowful and sad anime movies on Netflix, that are available to stream on the platform right now.
20 Tear Jerker Sad Anime Movies On Netflix For Anime Lovers!
Anime movies are not just plain storylines, the movies are very popular among viewers because they explore human emotions through amazing imagery and very simple plotlines. Anime movies are known to present heart-touching storylines and usually express emotional depth through music while focussing less on the dialogues.
Without further ado, let’s dive deep into the world of these emotional and sad anime movies on Netflix, that will for sure make you tear up with motion.
#1 Spirited Away (2001)
Spirited Away (2001) presents the weird journey of a young girl and her family when they get lost on their way while moving to a small town. As the girl and her parents wander into a town with no residents, her parents get turned into pigs because they ate food from a restaurant. The movie follows the girl’s quest as she tries to save her parents from the evil clutches of a witch named Yubaba.
Spirited Away is one of the most appreciated anime movies, as it presents a bittersweet journey. The story not only revolves around the girl Chihiro and her parents but also focuses on the life of a captured river spirit named Haku who helps her in freeing her parents.
|Runtime||2 hours 5 minutes|
|Cast||Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki|
|Original Title||Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi|
|Release Date||July 20, 2001|
|Production(s)||Tokuma Shoten, Studio Ghibli, Nippon Television Network|
#2 Grave Of The Fireflies (1988)
Grave Of The Fireflies (1988) is a sorrowful journey of two siblings, who try to survive the aftermath of the war. The story is quite heart-wrenching as a pre-teen boy tries to live near a pond with his sister after their parents die during the war. The plot presents the sad reality of war in a gloomy and harsh manner.
Grave Of The Fireflies is depressing, sorrowful, and almost gut-wrenching in its portrayal of the siblings’ journey. The movie is one of the cult anime movies and is very heavily cherished among viewers globally for its compelling storyline.
|Runtime||1 hour 29 minutes|
|Writer(s)||Akiyuki Nosaka, Isao Takahata|
|Cast||Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shirahashi, Akemi Yamaguchi|
|Original Title||Hitaru no haka|
|Release Date||April 16, 1988|
|Production(s)||Shinchosha Company, Studio Ghibli|
#3 Your Name (2016)
Your Name (2016) is a romantic drama that features two teens who end up changing their bodies on alternate days. The movie is quite fun and amusing initially, however it gets depressing as we get to know that the teen has been living in different timelines. As the boy tries to find the girl he doesn’t remember but very strongly wants to, he discovers about her death.
Your Name is a beautiful and nuanced storyline that presents the journey of a young man as he tries to save the life of his lover, a woman he has never met. The plot is quite bittersweet, and even though the movie ends on a happy note, the overall tone is quite gloomy.
|Runtime||1 hour 46 minutes|
|Cast||Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryo Narita|
|Original Title||Kimi no na wa|
|Release Date||August 26, 2016|
|Production(s)||Amuse, CoMix Wave Films, East Japan Marketing & Communications Inc.|
#4 Violet Evergarden: The Movie (2020)
Violet Evergarden: The Movie (2020) focuses on the life of a young woman named Violet, who has been used as a pawn during the war. As the war ends, the young woman ponders on the events of her life while exploring her emotions with respect to a Major. The movie primarily revolves around the journey of the woman with said Major, who has expressed his feelings for her.
Violet Evergarden: The Movie is the story of the dilemma and love between two people. The plot explores the varied emotions between the duo and the extent one goes to for mere love sometimes. The movie is a must-watch for people who like to enjoy gloomy romance.
|Runtime||2 hours 20 minutes|
|Writer(s)||Kana Akatsuki, Reiko Yoshida|
|Cast||Yui Ishikawa, Daisuke Namikawa, Takehito Koyasu|
|Original Title||Gekijouban Violet Evergarden|
|Release Date||September 18, 2020|
|Production(s)||ABC Animation, Animation DO, Bandai Namco Arts|
#5 Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) showcases the story of Sophie who has been cursed to be an old woman. The girl ends up leaving her war-ridden hometown and meets Howl who is a magician. The story explores their evolving romance, as the girl ends up staying within Howl’s moving home. The plot presents an unconventional love story while the cities around them are being burned to ashes due to war.
Howl’s Moving Castle is an exquisite plot, that explores various aspects of war, while primarily focusing on the blooming love between Sophie and Howl. Howl as a character is problematic, and is suffering due to a curse himself. The emotionally complex protagonists and their apparent hatred for themselves due to their curses are quite compelling to watch.
|Runtime||1 hour 59 minutes|
|Writer(s)||Hayao Miyazaki, Diana Wynne Jones|
|Cast||Chieko Baisho, Takuys Kimura, Tatsuya Gashuin|
|Original Title||Hauru no ugoku shiro|
|Release Date||November 20, 2004|
|Production(s)||Buena Vista Home Entertainment, DENTSU Music & Entertainment, Mitsubishi|
#6 My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
My Neighbor Totoro (1988) features the lives of two sisters, who are staying with their father because their mother is sick. The two sisters end up moving to the countryside and during one of their explorations end up finding a Totoro. The plot features the unusual friendship between these magical beings and the girls, as they try to cope with the absence of their mother due to her illness.
My Neighbor Totoro is not at its core a sad or depressing movie, however, at times the atmosphere seems gloomy as the young children feel the absence of their mother. The movie is heart-warming as the Totoros try to cheer the girls with their weird antics. The totoros also help them find a sense of happiness while they wait for their mother to recover.
|Runtime||1 hour 26 minutes|
|Cast||Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chuka Sakamoto|
|Original Title||Tonari no Totoro|
|Release Date||April 16, 1988|
|Production(s)||Tokuma Japan Communications, Studio Ghibli, Nibariki|
#7 A Silent Voice: The Movie (2016)
A Silent Voice: The Movie (2016) portrays the life of a young teen who is bullied in high school because she has defective hearing. As the girl silently suffers through this, she eventually ends up transferring. However, as a result of this, her main bully is isolated from the students of the whole school because they felt guilty and sorry for the girl. The story presents the man’s journey as he is provided the chance to redeem himself years later.
A Silent Voice: The Movie features a compelling and heart-touching storyline that features the journey of bullied students. The plot is at times extremely gripping and almost brings tears to the viewers’ eyes. The movie is a definite must-watch for people who like shocking plotlines, with amazing music.
|Runtime||2 hours 10 minutes|
|Writer(s)||Yoshitoki Oima, Reiko Yoshida, Kiyoshi Shigematsu|
|Cast||Miyu Irino, Saori Hayami, Aoi Yuki|
|Original Title||Koe no katachi|
|Release Date||September 17, 2016|
|Production(s)||ABC Animation, Kodansha, Kyoto Animation|
#8 The Tale Of Princess Kaguya (2013)
The Tale Of Princess Kaguya (2013) presents the life of a girl named Kaguya who was born from a bamboo tree. The girl was a finger-sized entity and referred to herself as a princess before being born as a human. As she is brought up in a strict and noble household, she grows up to be an extremely beautiful woman. The plot features the emptiness within the woman as she tries to seek answers regarding life.
The Tale Of Princess Kaguya is a story presentation of Japanese folklore. The plot focuses on the loneliness that starts to reside in the young princess when she moves from her small village to the city. The story is quite bleak and dreary as it pulls the viewer’s attention towards the void residing in themselves through the protagonists’ story.
|Runtime||2 hours 17 minutes|
|Writer(s)||Isao Takahata, Ruko Sakaguchi|
|Cast||Aki Akasura, Kengo Kora, Takeo Chii|
|Original Title||Kaguya-hime no monogatari|
|Release Date||November 23, 2013|
|Production(s)||Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Dentsu, Studies Ghibli|
#9 Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) features the journey of a 13-year-old witch named Kiki, who has to move out of her home for one year of apprenticeship. The young girl is tasked to find a field of expertise, and help the town members as a resident witch. Kiki ends up starting a delivery service but suffers from a sudden loss of magic due to a mental block.
Kiki’s Delivery Service is more or less one of the best anime movies by Studio Ghibli. The story explores the concept of a creative block as well as the journey of a young teen as she fights with herself to get better at being a witch. The movie is not depressing but definitely forces the audience into viewing complex things from a simpler and unique perspective.
|Runtime||1 hour 43 minutes|
|Writer(s)||Hayao Miyazaki, Eiko Kadono|
|Cast||Minaki Takayama, Rei Sakuma, Kappei Yamaguchi|
|Original Title||Majo no takkyubin|
|Release Date||July 29, 1988|
|Production(s)||Kiki’s Delivery Service Production Committee, Nibariki, Nippon Television Network|
#10 Whisper Of The Heart (1995)
Whisper Of The Heart (1995) showcases the frustrating journey of a girl who loves to read and is shocked to find that all the books have been checked by someone before her. She eventually ends up meeting the extremely annoying boy, who has checked these books out. The story focuses on the blooming friendship between the duo, as they both explore their dreams and aspirations.
Whisper Of The Heart explores the journey of teens who wish to achieve something unconventional. The story aptly presents the gloomy atmosphere as the boy desperately wishes to be a violin maker but is fearful of his father. The movie is quite interesting and light-hearted and will make for an exceptional watch for anime lovers.
|Runtime||1 hour 51 minutes|
|Writer(s)||Hayao Miyazaki, Aoi Hiiragi|
|Cast||Yoko Honna, Issey Takahashi, Takahashi Tachibana|
|Original Title||Mimi wo sumaseba|
|Release Date||July 15, 1995|
|Production(s)||Tokuma Shoten, Hakuhodo, Nippon Television Network|
#11 When Marnie Was There (2014)
When Marnie Was There (2014) encompasses the emotional turmoil of a young girl who has been sent to stay with her relatives because of health reasons. The girl is adopted and recently comes to know that her guardians are being paid to take care of her. The story explores the girl’s emotional journey as she finds solace in a friend named, Marnie. However, things turn weird for her when she realizes that there has been no one named Marnie, and she goes on a quest to find whether Marnie existed or not.
When Marnie Was There is a sorrowful movie, that leaves the viewers on a bittersweet note. The plot is quite slow-paces and complex at times, as the young girl explores things about Marnie’s tumultuous life. The story is nuanced and extremely sad at times and will make for a somber yet exceptional viewing experience.
|Runtime||1 hour 43 minutes|
|Writer(s)||Joan G. Robinson, Keiko Niwa, Masashi Ando|
|Cast||Sara Takatsuki, Kasumi Arimura, Nanako Matsushima|
|Original Title||Omoide no Mani|
|Release Date||July 19, 2014|
|Production(s)||KDDI Corporation, Hakuhodo DY Media Pictures, Dentsu|
#12 The Wind Rises (2013)
The Wind Rises (2013) is a biographical drama that features the life of a young boy named Jiro who wishes to be an exquisite aircraft designer. The movie features the young man’s journey as he becomes an aircraft designer as well as finds love. However, things become complex for the young man when his wife’s health starts to deteriorate while she tries to support him with his dreams.
The Wind Rises presents the difficult times of war and Jiro’s skills as an aircraft designer. However, the plot does not only explore the man’s life as a dreamer and an expert in his field. The movie is quite heart-touching and gloomy, despite the inspiring setup because it explores the events of the war and the heartbreaking aftermath.
|Runtime||2 hours 6 minutes|
|Cast||Hideaki Anno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Miori Takimoto|
|Original Title||Kaze tachinu|
|Release Date||July 20, 2013|
|Production(s)||Touchstone Pictures, Wild Bunch, Studio Ghibli|
#13 Only Yesterday (1991)
Only Yesterday (1991) is an explorative journey of a woman in her late twenties as she travels for work. The story features the journey of an office worker, who is going through the memories of her childhood, as she is reminded of her life in the countryside. The movie presents the sense of nostalgia that the protagonist feels from a personal perspective.
Only Yesterday is an exquisite and amazing film that features the life of a woman who has had a normal childhood. The movie was quite emotional as it leaves a bittersweet taste for the viewers. The plot of the story is not complicated or confusing at all and is just a simple retelling of a person’s memories.
|Runtime||1 hour 58 minutes|
|Writer(s)||Hotaru Okamoto, Yuuko Tone|
|Cast||Miki Imai, Toshiro Yanagiba, Yoko Honna|
|Original Title||Omohide poro poro|
|Release Date||July 20, 1991|
|Production(s)||Studiopolis, Nippon Television Network, Studio Ghibli|
#14 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)
5 Centimeters Per Second (2007) is a journey of two childhood friends, who end up separating because one of them ends up moving to another city. As the duo tries to keep their dying friendship intact somehow, their friendship is tested once again when the other person has to move once again. The plot explores the duo’s last goodbyes, as they realize they won’t be able to stay in constant touch anymore.
5 Centimeters Per Second feels like a simple plotline. However, the story is layered with many complex emotions as the two friends try to keep their bond alive. The movie was quite heart-warming and nostalgic because it explored a quite realistic scenario. It is a perfect movie to watch if you do not want to watch something extremely complex.
|Runtime||1 hour 3 minutes|
|Cast||Kenji Mizuhashi, Yoshimi Kondou, Satomi Hanamura|
|Original Title||Byosoku 5 senchimetoru|
|Release Date||March 3, 2007|
#15 The Garden Of Words (2013)
The Garden Of Words (2013) presents the conflicting life of a young teen named Takao. The boy wishes to become a shoemaker, and eventually decides to skip school one day. As the young boy sketches shoes while sitting in a park, he ends up meeting Yukino an older mysterious woman. The duo gradually starts to meet at the same place on rainy days without any prior discussion on their part.
The Garden Of Words features a visually pleasing and extremely simple plotline. The duo is suffering from their own issues, and have different lives outside that park. However, the comfort they seek in each other’s company is quite touching to see. The movie is exquisite and must be watched by everyone at least once.
|Cast||Miyu Irino, Kana Hanazawa, Fumi Hirano|
|Original Title||Koto no ha no niwa|
|Release Date||May 31, 2013|
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#16 From Up On Poppy Hill (2011)
From Up On Poppy Hill (2011) features the blooming love of two teens, who end up fighting together against their school authorities to stop the demolition of their school’s clubhouse. The movie presents the life of the duo, as they are trying to fight their own demons while living a normal teen life. Their increasing closeness is eventually questioned by the guy, as he comes face to face with a fact related to his birth.
From Up On Poppy Hill initially seems like a simple movie, that is portraying the tumultuous lives of two young teens. One who is unable to let go of her father’s memory and another who wishes to know of his birth parents. The budding love between the couple and how they try to fight their feelings because of a misunderstanding is painful to watch. The movie is a must-watch for people who like to watch teen love stories.
|Runtime||1 hour 31 minutes|
|Writer(s)||Tetsuro Sayama, Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa|
|Cast||Masami Nagasawa, Junichi Okada, Keiko Takeshita|
|Original Title||Kokuriki-zaka kara|
|Release Date||July 16, 2011|
|Production(s)||Studio Ghibli, Dentsu, Nippon Television Network|
#17 Violet Evergarden: Eternity And The Auto Memories Doll (2019)
Violet Evergarden: Eternity And The Auto Memories Doll (2019) is the journey of Violet, who is suffering from the aftermath of war. The woman has undergone a tumultuous life and eventually, she decides to teach in a women’s school. The movie presents the traumatized woman’s life, as she tries to positively influence a young girl’s life.
Violet Evergarden: Eternity And The Auto Memories Doll features a complex protagonist who is unable to run from the grievances of her past. As the woman takes on the role of a teacher, she gradually tries to seek solace by spending her time with a young girl who is suffering from something of her own. The movie presents the connection between the duo, as they relate to each other because of pain. The story is very extremely heartwarming and features an exquisite soundtrack.
|Runtime||1 hour 30 minutes|
|Director(s)||Haruka Fujita, Taichu Ishidate|
|Writer(s)||Kana Akatsuki, Reiko Yoshida, Takaaki Suzuki|
|Cast||Yui Ishikawa, Minako Kotobuki, Aoi Yuki|
|Original Title||Vaioretto evagaden gauden: Eien to jidou shuki ningyou|
|Release Date||September 6, 2019|
|Production(s)||ABC Animation, Animation DO, Bandai Namco Arts|
#18 Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011)
Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011) is a deep and emotional storyline that presents a young girl’s journey as she ends up traveling a strange world. The movie presents the exploration of a young girl who is entranced by the music of a radio left by her father. As the girl gets sucked into a strange world because of the radio, she gradually realizes that this might be her father’s goodbye to her.
Children Who Chase Lost Voices is a gripping plotline that touches on the themes of parent-child love. The movie features a beautiful and magical world, that dives deep into human emotion. The story is not just an exploration of the father’s feelings for the girl, but the love she ends up feeling for someone as well. The movie will make for an entertaining watch for anime lovers for sure.
|Runtime||1 hour 56 minutes|
|Cast||Hisaki Kanemoto, Miyu Irino, Kazuhiko Inoue|
|Original Title||Hoshi o ou kodomo|
|Release Date||May 7, 2011|
|Production(s)||MediaFactory, CoMix Wave|
#19 Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (2020)
Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (2020) features a cute and fun romance story between two unique teens. The plot features the budding love between two unconventional people, who find it hard to communicate with each other. The storyline features a young boy who talks in poems and always wears headphones, while the girl never speaks until she has to make a video for her followers.
Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop presents the comfortable friendship between the duo, as they like to enjoy each other’s presence. However, things gradually become frustrating and gloomy because of their inability and unwillingness to communicate with each other. The movie makes for a bittersweet and exciting watching experience as the duo explores their feelings for each other.
|Runtime||1 hour 27 minutes|
|Cast||Somegoro Ichikawa, Hana Sugisaki, Kimberley Wong|
|Original Title||Cider no yo ni kotoba ga wakiagaru|
|Release Date||November 3, 2020|
|Production(s)||Signal MD, Sublimation|
#20 Flavors Of Youth (2018)
Flavors Of Youth (2018) is an explorative storyline that features various stories of young people as they try to find something positive in their lives. The movie is an anthology that encompasses the lives of three different cities based in China. The plotline explores various things that young teens face as they are growing, and creates a sense of nostalgia among the viewers.
Flavors Of Youth is in a way a collection of three different short stories each revolving around a different theme related to the younger generations. The plot primarily focuses on the tiny little details that brighten up someone’s day. The movie is quite gloomy and makes for an engaging watch if you wish to explore a sorrowful and bittersweet movie.
|Runtime||1 hour 14 minutes|
|Director(s)||Haoling Li, Yoshitaka Takeuch, Xiaoxing Yi|
|Writer(s)||Jiaoshu Yi Xiaoxing, Hiroki Yasumoto, Minako Kotobuki|
|Cast||Taito Ban, Ikumi Hasegawa, Mariya Ise|
|Original Title||Si shi Qing chun|
|Release Date||August 4, 2018|
|Production(s)||CoMix Wave Films, Haoliners Animation, Netflix|
These were 20 gloomy and sad anime movies on Netflix that will make you cry your hearts out. We hope you liked our collection of these tear-jerker sad anime movies on Netflix.
Do let us know which of these 20 sad movies on Netflix made you cry the most. Stay tuned with us for more of such engaging and informative reads.