5 Centimeters Per Second
Genre: Drama / Romance / Slice of Life
Studio: CoMix Wave Films
Quick Pitch: Takaki and Akari were close childhood friends, but Akari moved away due to her family’s job. The two make a promise to write letters, but Takaki also moves, adding distance between them. As their lives go on, their contact slowly fades, but they wonder if they will ever meet again.
Tomoya Okazaki is a third-year high school student who hates his life. His mother died in a car accident when he was young and his father drinks and gambles. Father and son fight and Tomoya is injured at one point, so he cannot lift one of his arms. Since then, Tomoya and his father are distant and Tomoya becomes more sullen and delinquent. One day while walking to school, he meets a strange girl named Nagisa Furukawa. She is a year older than he is but is repeating the year of school because she had been ill. Nagisa is often alone, as most of her friends have moved on. The two begin hanging out and slowly, as time goes by, Tomoya finds his life shifting in a new direction.
Clannad After Story
A few months have passed since Tomoya confessed his love to Nagisa. Now entering the second semester, he continues to meet new people and expand his circle of friends. His relationship with Nagisa is becoming more intimate and Tomoya begins to understand the meaning and importance of family. Unfortunately, as Tomoya and Nagisa begin their own family together, they are faced with many heart-wrenching hardships and challenges.
Otonashi lost his memories when he died. When he awakes he meets Yuri, the leader of the Shinda Sekai Sensen, a group that rebels against God for the cruel fates they have suffered. Their only enemy is Angel, who uses supernatural powers to battle against the SSS. Otonashi eventually regains his memory and befriends Angel, but as students around them prepare to move on from the afterlife, Otonashi and Angel are destined to be apart.
After the death of their close friend Meiko Honma, five childhood playmates grow apart. The leader of the group, Jinta Yadomi, neglects high school and lives as a recluse. One day he begins seeing the Meiko’s ghost, which can only interact with him and no one else. She has returned to ask Jinta to fulfill the forgotten wish she made as a kid. Trouble is, Meiko can’t remember her wish and Jinta must bring all of the friends together to help. Things get complicated and emotional as each friend reveals that they feel responsible for Meiko’s death.
A Silent Voice (Koe no Katachi)
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Quick Pitch: Shouya Ishida is a boy who is always getting into trouble. When a deaf transfer student named Shouko Nishimiya is introduced to Ishida’s class, he deems her as the perfect target for bullying. Ishida bullies Nishimiya to kill boredom and doesn’t think about the effects of his actions until he starts to become ostracized by his own classmates.
Genre: Fantasy / Slice of Life
Studio: Studio Chizu
Quick Pitch: Hana is a college student who falls in love with a mysterious man. On a full moon, it is revealed that he is the last werewolf, but that doesn’t weaken their bond. Shortly after giving birth to two babies, Hana’s lover dies in an accident. Now, she is left alone to raise two babies who can turn into werewolves.
The Light of a Firefly Forest (Hotarubi no Mori e)
Genre: Drama / Romance / Supernatural
Studio: Brain’s Base
Quick pitch: Six-year-old Hotaru Takegawa loses her way in an ancient forest while visiting her uncle. Alone and desperate for help, Hotaru meets a masked spirit named Gin. While Gin is willing to help Hotaru, he warns her not to touch him, or else he will disappear forever.
Despite this, the two become close friends over the years as Hotaru visits Gin every summer. When romantic feelings form, their resolve is put to the test.
A Dog of Flanders (Flanders no Inu)
Genre: Drama / Historical
Studio: Nippon Animation
Quick Pitch: Nello is a poor orphan who is taken in by his grandfather. One day, he finds a half-beaten dog and names him Patrasche. The two work together and deliver milk to Nello’s grandfather’s clients in hopes of raising money so he can spend time with Aloise.
Genre: Drama / Slice of Life / Supernatural
Studio: Sunrise / Ascension
Quick Pitch: Upon reaching the train station to death, a soul is notified that they have won a lottery and will have a second chance at life. The soul is to possess the body of Makoto, a boy who committed suicide by overdosing on pills. Watched over by a neutral spirit named Purapura, the soul has six-months figure out the greatest sin it committed in its former life while trying to discover why Makoto committed suicide.
What are your favorite tearjerking anime movies?