Anime Songs That Can Get Me To Shed Tears

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You can thank Winamp and it’s non-random random shuffling for this post.

I have a super condensed anime music playlist that I like to listen to; it’s only 230 songs long and there’s a handful of songs on this list that when I’m in the right mood will get me to shed a tear. Last night I wasn’t much in the mood but out-of-the-blue Winamp starts playing every sad song on the list in a row and even repeating some more than once so now I’m in that mood.

It’s probably not a good idea to marathon a Key series right now so instead I’ll write this post. :)

Oh, and there’s some spoilers so read at your own risk.

Natsukage – from AIR

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Let’s start off with an obvious show that could generate a tear inducing song – AIR. This anime holds the personal record for the most tears shed while watching it (Clannad is a close second). See, I was a relatively new anime watcher at the time, mainly subsisting on a diet of shounen shows and wasn’t aware of the emotional depths that could be found in anime. It also didn’t help that I had absolutely no knowledge of what to expect and was lulled into a false sense of security by it’s light-hearted start. Therefore, when the story turned tragic, I wasn’t ready for it and ended up crying for just about every remaining episode.

Natsukage is the name of the instrumental track that KyoAni used for many of the emotional scenes during AIR and thus when I hear it, I’m reminded of those scenes.

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Koikogarete Mita Yume – from Cross Game

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The show’s first closing is another song that can bring me to tears and was able to from the very first time I heard it, which was in episode 1.

That episode completely blew me away. I wasn’t expecting to see enough character building and tragedy to fill most series all within those 24 minutes and by playing this song at the saddest scene meant that I’d always link this song to that first episode. Nor has that episode and that song lost it’s power to move the viewer, recently the animators essentially reshowed the first episode in it’s entirety for the episode 30 recap.

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Kanon by Pachebel – from Kanon

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The wedding standard got repurposed for another of Key’s works – Kanon. This time, the characters actually referenced the song in the show and provided a strong means for the viewers to attach the often tragic nature of Kanon to the song. At least when I hear this song in public it’ll probably be at a wedding and it’ll be more socially acceptable to cry to it.

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“Libera me” From Hell – from Gurren Lagann

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I’m convinced that Gurren Lagann is one of the greatest anime ever made and should be required watching for, not only those who profess to be an anime fan, but also for every single kid that grows up watching the insipid tv shows that pass for kid’s shows these days.

This song was used in many places throughout the show, primarily when it was time for the good guys to kick butt which makes it a strange song to cry over. And it would be but for it’s use during one of the best scenes to Gurren Lagann which happened in episode 26. The hero of the show, Simon, was given the choice between the easy way out and the harder path that true heroism calls for. He chooses the path of heroism and as a result is able to break himself and his comrades out of a devious trap laid by the enemy. The whole scene is very emotional, a testament to Gainax’s stellar character development and story telling ability, and having this track play during the entire scene meant that those emotions come back whenever hear it.

And within the entire scene there’s a small part that absolutely gets to me every single time I see it. The trap that Simon breaks everyone out of gives each person the ability to live in whatever dream world they wish for. One of the people trapped is Viral; he’s a beastman which means he looks human but was created sterile and he has a tough-as-nails personality so one would expect his dream world to be some sort Valhalla battlefield but it’s not – it’s living in a little cottage in a country meadow with a wife and a daughter that calls him “Papa”.

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Dango Daikazoku – from Clannad

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Yes, another song from a Key/KyoAni anime, this time it’s from Clannad. This was used as the first season ending but it wasn’t until the second season that this became tear inducing. Though in the case of Dango Daikazoku (or “Big Dango Family”), the song brings tears from being linked to the tragic parts to Clannad and also from the happy parts.

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Love is a Flower, You are a Seed – from Only Yesterday

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In many ways Only Yesterday is my favorite Studio Ghibli work so I find it an absolute travesty that it’s the only Studio Ghibli movie not released in America.

This is the only song that exclusively makes me shed tears from happiness alone. It’s the end song to Only Yesterday and the animators had it playing while the movie had it’s climatic scene before going to credits. So, like the others, those emotions got transferred to the song and hearing this song gets to me every time.

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Anyone else want to share? Or is everyone too busy getting in the Halloween mood today?

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13 thoughts on “Anime Songs That Can Get Me To Shed Tears”

  1. Oh man, Pachelbel’s Canon in D is one of those songs that have really grated on my nerves. It belongs on that list of good classical pieces that are overplayed, rubbing me the wrong way. List includes stuff like Moonlight Sonata >.>

    But otherwise, a very good list. Natsukage’s really simplistic, but man, does it hit the right vibes so damn well. Dango Daikazoku is also really fitting because of how much we are reminded of Nagisa’s simple, but endearing nature. That it takes its main melody from “Nagisa” on the soundtrack never hurts either. A shame they scrapped that for “Torch” in the After Story, a song that more or less ruined the mood at times.

  2. Only Yesterday (also my favorite Ghibli) and Cross Game songs are definitely up there. Some others that get to me:

    Cyborg Mermaid from Battle Angel
    Niji-iro no Takaramono from Brigadoon
    Hana no Katachi from Chikyuu Bouei Kazoku
    “Futari” ni Kaerou from H2
    Komoriuta from Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku
    Sweet Home Song from Asatte no Houkou
    Utatane from Potemayo

    Nice to see some folks not scoff at the idea of shedding some tears to a piece of song, and sharing about it to boot.

  3. There are different kinds of tears, as the examples from Cross Game, Gurren Lagann, and Clannad show. They were just the right songs at the right time.

    Here’s some of my favorites:
    Buster Machine 7 gou – DieBuster
    Thrust through the heavens with your XXX! – Gurren Lagann
    Blue – Cowboy Bebop
    Nirvash typeZERO – Eureka Seven
    Lumis Eterne – Aria the Origination

    Great pieces of music on their own, but it was what passed in the moment that makes them amazing, unforgettable tunes.

  4. Interesting list, though I have not watched Cross Game. By the way, there are two other songs that come to mind; Home Sweet Home from Grave of the Fireflies and Country Road from Whisper of the Heart(this one is tear of joy).

  5. Hmm… It will take me a while to think about all the anime I’ve seen and the songs that were especially memorable…

    Another issue is the song itself or the song used in particular context. Sometimes a song by itself may not be very good, but, if used with appropriate visuals, can have a profound effect.

    The ending of Only Yesterday is one of the best of all time :)

  6. I totally agree with Dango Daikazoku, but I also get a bit teary over Chiisana Te No Hira, from After Story.

    “Lacrimosa”, the second ending from Kuroshitsuji didn’t really make me emotional until the last episode. Then I just bawled my eyes out.

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