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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

NickyCharismaon Feb. 19, 2013 at 7:42 a.m.
I'm lucky if all the anime makes me do is cry. When I finished "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time", I didn't leave my bed for three days. Heck, after a particularly traumatizing marathon of "Toradora!", my body was so upset that I physically got sick. You read that right, a romance anime about teens in high school made me sad-puke.
Elfenlied1012on Feb. 19, 2013 at 7:55 a.m.

Not often, but I got to say Anohana made me cry so hard I'm more ashamed of myself then impressed with the anime. XD Though Anime can get me emotional, like Fate Zero where I've wanted to end someones life so hard and I'm so filled with furry, or a scene from psycho-pass where It's just so uncomfortable for the character that I was personally shocked at how much it translated over to me. I prefer animes that can give me a resonant emotion.

hinatasboobieson Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:22 a.m.

UHHH Hell

Yes Did You ever watch Grave of the fireflys you will cry like you never cryed before

CapeBarneson Feb. 19, 2013 at 2:21 p.m.

Recently, I cried at the end of Fancy Lala. Sad and touching at the same time, one way that I like my endings.

GokaiRedon Feb. 19, 2013 at 3:39 p.m.

Wolf's Rain is the only anime to put a tear in my eye it was a kind of beautiful sadness.

Barserk mortified me I was almost pissed but definitely upset. I know what happens at the end of Wichblade but haven't brought myself to finish watching it. I keep forgetting Claymour was a bit sad too.

GunGrave through out the anime i always felt the heaviness of it but the final 2 episodes was really well done watching Brendo and COs world just fell apart i really like the credits to it.

Grave of the Fireflies made me uncomfortable but not in a bad way, it never made me cry though. usually the emotionally exploitative stuff like this doesn't work on me.

I need to watch Jin-Roh.

Darokion Feb. 19, 2013 at 6:13 p.m.

I might be an easy mark, but seeing the "Unseen Horizon" in Chu2 got me.

samweller999 staff on Feb. 19, 2013 at 11:25 p.m.

Jin-Roh is excellent! Yeah, that one was very emotional, but another one I have to put on here would probably be METROPOLIS, I choked up a little when "I Can't Stop Loving You" kicked in out of nowhere.

Instead of jump scares, I think we should invent the term: jump cries

ShadowKnight508 moderator on Feb. 19, 2013 at 11:43 p.m.

Angel Beats! still manages to make me tear up every time I watch the last episode. Several ONE PIECE episodes have also managed to bring a manly tear to my eye when watching.

MooseNuggeton Feb. 20, 2013 at 12:56 a.m.

I let a few tears out at the ending of War In The Pocket when Alfred is crying over Bernie's death. His friends telling him that they'll be another war and more people will die didn't help either.

takashichea moderator on Feb. 26, 2013 at 12:47 a.m.

Rave Master's Tower of Din arc made me cry twice: back in middle school and college in summer of 2012 (Rave Master wiki project)

@ShadowKnight508 said:

Angel Beats! still manages to make me tear up every time I watch the last episode. Several ONE PIECE episodes have also managed to bring a manly tear to my eye when watching.

I watched Angel Beats for the first time back in January of 2013 based on Sotyfan16's recommendation. The anime is so crazy. One moment, it makes you laugh and then, you're crying in the next scene.

Hmm, I haven't tried Summer Wars or Rainbow. I'll add those to the watch list.

@Elfenlied1012:

I admit I cried during Fate Zero during Kiritsugu's origin stories especially for Natalia Kaminski.

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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