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Has an Anime Ever Made You CRY? -- BURNING QUESTIONS

Gather all your feels into a cathartic spirit bomb! From BERSERK to Studio Ghibli, Sam dares test your emotional awareness of animated pictures.

In Burning Questions, Sam Weller pontificates on, ruminates upon or investigates into any and all anime and manga topics.

PREVIOUS QUESTIONS: Do Power Levels Even MATTER in anime?

I am a pretty emotionally-available guy. If I see or hear something remotely sanguine or intense, I tend to feel it a little more than the average male. And I’m terrible at hiding it, even when I want to - - social norms be damned! For me, the act of crying is just me being honest with myself.

Now, I’m asking the Anime Vice community to be honest with itself: Has an anime ever made you cry?

I mean, we’ve talked before on the Vice Pit about sad anime heroes, and we've broached this topic lightly, but we haven't gotten deep enough! I'm talking about what it takes to get a real, honest, cry out of us. And when I mean cry I mean welling of tears, choke back the upper lip, “something in my eye” cry. Don’t be afraid, you can let it out.

And this gets at a deeper question than a simple "Yes" or "No." For some reason, most of the populace agrees that movies, television, music and books can make you cry; but newer forms of art like video games and anime seem to have a variety of angles where it is not black and white. I’m puzzled by this, considering that the narrative aspects of a book or song - - really anything that makes you feel something - - are also used in manga and anime. So I’m assuming of course, for this question, that anime can make you cry. And if that's the case... then why?

For me, I've got two examples that couldn’t be more different from each other: ONLY YESTERDAY and BERSERK.

ONLY YESTERDAY by Studio Ghibli and director Isao Takahata (who also directed the devasting GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES) is a slow-moving, slice-of-life film about a young woman reminiscing as she returns to the village of her youth.

BOOO! What a snooze fest, right?

Wrong. This film is both a coming-of-age story and a mature take on what people do in their late 20‘s. At my current age, these themes hit me pretty hard.

The sequence in question that always gets me (referenced at 0:58 in the trailer) is where the young girl walking home is intercepted by a boy with a not-so-secret crush on her. The looks on their faces are handled with such subtlety and restraint that the scene really takes my breath away every time I watch it. After the boy communicates his message and runs away, we stay with the young girl as she runs with elation right into the realm of magical realism - - her feet actually leaving the ground as she begins running into the sky in a completely unexpected moment.

The surprise of her sudden flight into fancy combined with the universal experience of a first love is too much for my proud man tears to handle. My next example, however, is all about the man tears! (Minor SPOILERS in the video below...)

BERSERK is one of those anime - - like BATTLE ROYALE (mentioned in another Vice Pit) - - that I feel is sometimes misunderstood by its audience. Yes, while it does feature buckets of blood, demons, and a main character on steroids... it also portrays the horrors of sexual violence and the abuse of power, and it is a deeply tragic and moving story. This isn’t just a dude-bro anime, it is one of the most saddening and personal love stories I’ve seen in any format. Cheesiness of the above video aside, it was one of the only ones to showcase this other side of BERSERK.

Following the path of Guts in the show is a moving affair. He begins life under a hanging tree with dozens of bodies and then receives continued abuse by his surrogate father. As an adult, he learns how to fall in love and operate in a mercenary group that becomes surrogate family (see a pattern?). But then the story turns on Guts and, without spoiling anything, it ends in one of the most disturbing and disgusting two-part episodes I’ve ever seen.

After spending and investing so much time with a character, to see him be put through the ringer was too much for me to handle. I had to have a little cry. As a result, BERSERK remains a show I cannot re-watch - - and that's the highest compliment to its emotional power!

Ready to man up and admit when you’ve cried because of anime? Or are you inhuman and incapable of shedding any tears. If so, why?

Sam Weller is a writer and actor who's scribed for shows like FIRST EDITION, GEEK THERAPY, and most recently BATGIRL: SPOILED. He also really likes anime. To know what is going to happen next, follow@cravesam

Marshal Victoryon Feb. 18, 2013 at 5:23 p.m.

Hmm did a anime make me cry.. maybe..well no pictures were took so you cant prove a thing!

samweller999 staff on Feb. 18, 2013 at 5:48 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: Can I inquire as to the title, Marshall?

sickVisionz moderator on Feb. 18, 2013 at 5:55 p.m.

No. I could feel myself tearing up during a particular scene in Nana but I stopped myself. That's the closest I've come to crying. Other stuff has bummed me out for the remainder of the day though.

YotaruVegetaon Feb. 18, 2013 at 6:12 p.m.

No, Berserk is not misunderstood. It's audience knows quite clearly that it's the story of a big sweaty man's love for a thin, beautiful man, and some icky girl who gets in the way. ;)

Now and Then, Here and There was a bad one. Really harsh on my feels. Rainbow also made me well up, but those were manly droplets! If One Piece wasn't so darn colorful, there are certain moments in the show that would get to me.

cynically_happyon Feb. 18, 2013 at 6:14 p.m.

Not really, I'm not especially an emotional person. I kinda teared up a little when Envy died in FMA: Brotherhood (and no, I'm not misspelling Hughes. Didn't really care that he died, guess I just never warmed up to him.) but I would blame that on it being like 3-something in the morning and I was incredibly tired when I was trying to marathon all of Brotherhood.

buhssuhton Feb. 18, 2013 at 6:22 p.m.

got my eyes teary, but that was about it. never cried like a baby and went all "BWAAAHHHH"

Donwunon Feb. 18, 2013 at 7:14 p.m.

Anohana at the end made me shed some manly sobs i guess

Marshal Victoryon Feb. 18, 2013 at 8:37 p.m.

@samweller999: Eh well thing is any good anime ( or form of entertainment ) that can move ones emotions such as anger can also cause the tears ta start a squirting .Tears of anger count! They may also cause run on senteces to! But i "could see" Gosick or Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade maybe even Katanagatari could make some one shed a lone salty tear shaped liquid pools of shame.

Then again shallow pools of thought never shed tears because they cant aford to lose any water.

FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 18, 2013 at 8:39 p.m.

Watch enough ONE PIECE, and it will make you weep at one point or another. If not. You have a heart of ice. You can find clips on YouTube. You could look up "Going Merry Funeral" (<--- This one always gets me) or "Robin I Want To Live".

Sonata moderator on Feb. 18, 2013 at 9:34 p.m.
The ending to Basilisk always gets me abit. So sad yet so beautiful at the same time.
Marshal Victoryon Feb. 18, 2013 at 9:45 p.m.

@FoxxFireArt: I was gona mention Shōnen as it mostly tries a heavy handed tear jerk method. A a general thing i belive One Piece would be the exception to that rule.At least for the most part.

computerandy9on Feb. 18, 2013 at 10:11 p.m.

clannad and anohana. I'm too scared to go back and rewatch those fantastic shows because of the effect they had on me. Everytime I go into a new series I am now always fearfull of super sad moments.

divinejimmyon Feb. 18, 2013 at 10:45 p.m.

I cried at the end of cowboy bebop and at the end of dragon ball z.

SamJazon Feb. 19, 2013 at 1:56 a.m.

Grave of fireflies had me gushing. FMA:B had me going, as did a couple of others.

jj_jacksonon Feb. 19, 2013 at 3:13 a.m.

Let's see. One piece's brook story and choppers. Oh and if anyone remembers robin'sback story when she finally meets her mom aftter having such a hard life and her mom has to reject her to protect her from the marines. I havent cried but these moments brought me super close.

Agel beats as well. Bleach ulqiurrra's ddeath. The end of the original FMA. Oh yes and Naruto shippuden's itachi's death those wordsand music "sorry sasuke..but this is it" got me pretty good.

ComicMan24on Feb. 19, 2013 at 3:46 a.m.

Some sure have made me teary. Certain episodes from Casshern Sins, Wolf's Rain and even Witchblade were just heartbreaking. And one scene in Claymore too.

sotyfan16on Feb. 19, 2013 at 4:12 a.m.

Summer Wars and Angel Beats! give me tears everytime. Some very touching moments.

@YotaruVegeta: Rainbow only made me feel sad at times. A great and underrated show.

pisc99on Feb. 19, 2013 at 4:17 a.m.

Just shaded a few tears on the ending of Gun Grave. Although just started watching some of more obscure series.

Even tough you can say I'm not the type that will show his emotions easily, on some series I can tear up like some girl, hehehe.

I wouldn't say I cried but at some point I wept manly, heheh.

Donwunon Feb. 19, 2013 at 4:53 a.m.

yeah i did also forgot to mention One Piece has some worthy Sob moments as well. Definitely

Halberdierv2on Feb. 19, 2013 at 6:33 a.m.

I don;t think I've cried about anime, but It brought me pretty close at the ending of Gosick, and Steins;Gate.

Dig Deeper into Berserk

A medieval themes dark fantasy epic which follows the path of the Black Swordsman Guts on his quest for revenge against an army of enigmatic monsters bent on recreating the world around their own psychotic desires.

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