15 Most Heartbreaking Anime Deaths Of All Time Update 02/2024

Dead Anime Characters

The death of a character can have a profound effect on anime fans. Here are some of the most heartbreaking anime deaths ever.

Here are the ten most heartbreaking, soul-crushing, tear-draining anime deaths of all time, so get your tissues and dakimakuras ready. Lists like this one aren’t all about sad characters dying, but rather the death of a specific character that affected fans in a unique way.

There are many more heartbreaking anime deaths that didn’t make the cut. You should check out the link if you’ve already viewed all the series mentioned. The backstory of the character, storyline development, and the series’ timing all play a role in choosing the saddest anime deaths. There will be spoilers on this list because of its nature.

Louis Kemner’s latest update, dated June 23rd of 2020: Aspects of anime, in general, are noted for their fast-paced plots and bright, glitzy artwork. As tempting as it may be to think of anime as nothing more than a series of cartoons, it includes a wide range of genres, some of which are serious and emotional. Even if you don’t enjoy anime, some of its sequences are among the most sad you’ll ever see. Anime character deaths will be hard to deal with for at least five more viewings.

1. Koro-Sensei – Assassination Classroom

Koro-Sensei – Assassination Classroom

You’ve all had that one teacher who had a profound effect on your life. Class 3-E of Assassination Classroom has a more difficult task ahead of them: they must kill their teacher. Fortunately, we don’t have to do that.

Before Nagisa stabs Koro-sensei in the heart with the final words of goodbye, a heartfelt flashback of their time together is presented. Taibadachi No Uta, a song that evokes memories of Koro-sensei and enhances the scenario, is the soundtrack for this scene.

2. Setsuko – Grave Of The Fireflies

Setsuko’s death in Grave of the Fireflies, an anime film by Studio Ghibli, is one of the saddest moments in the company’s history. Four-year-old Setsuko discovers that the world may be a nasty place. In spite of the fact that she adores her 14-year-old brother and appreciates the effort he makes to look after her, it wasn’t enough for her.

Seita is on the prowl for more food after giving Setsuko a nibble of watermelon. Although Setsuko would die peacefully in her sleep, this would be her final meal. This scene is made all the more heartbreaking by the fact that Grave of the Fireflies is based on a true story.

3. Jonathan Joestar – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Jonathan Joestar - JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

There are a number of memorable statements and sequences in this cartoon series, including “It was me, Dio!” and “Golden Wind’s Boat Dancing.” However, even this strange and wacky anime has its moments of heartbreak.

Jonathan Joestar, the initial protagonist, is a guy without animosity or hatred. As he lay dying, he cradled Dio in his arms like a cherished brother in order to ensure Erina’s safety and to put an end to Dio’s rampage once more. Astonishment engulfed Dio.

4. Otonashi – Angel Beats

While the majority of Angel Beats’ cast perishes, the death of Otonashi is the only one worthy of mention. Otonashi has no recollection of how he died, hence the most of the story is narrated in the afterlife while the characters are still in the grave. It’s by making friends and learning about their deaths that he comes to understand how he came there in the afterlife.

Yuri hypnotizes Otonashi into remembering that he had a sick younger sister in order to reclaim his memories. Otonashi studies to become a doctor after the death of his sister, but his train collides with an earthquake on the way to his exam. Otonashi, who had been trapped in a tunnel for seven days, helped the survivors because of his studies, but died just before the rescue team arrived.

5. Nina Tucker – Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

Nina Tucker – Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

The astonishment at Nina’s death is one of the show’s most memorable scenes. An alchemist in danger of losing his qualification is Shou Tucker. That’s what got him certified in the first place: turning his wife into some kind of creature of the night.

It is Nina and Alexander, Nina’s dog, who fall victim to him for the second time. Scar, the alchemist, kills Nina to put an end to her agony. After the prayer, Scar gives a short recitation.

6. Ushio – Clannad: After Story

With the death of Ushio, the second season of Clannad makes it onto the list. Tomoya and Nagisa have a daughter, Ushio, who was born recently as a result of their union. One winter, Ushio is unwell and is diagnosed with an unexplained illness. When Ushio requests, Tomoya gives up everything to look after her and even takes her on a trip. Ushio’s illness takes hold of her as she makes her way through the snow. She falls to her knees in the snow, her final words to her father being “I love you”. Tomoya weeps as he cradles his dead daughter’s body in his arms.

7. Byakuya Ishigami – Dr. Stone

It’s hard not to be optimistic about Dr. Stone’s story, but there are certainly some heart-wrenching moments. It is Senki Ishigami, a brilliant scientist, who takes center stage in the plot, with his adoptive father Byakuya looming large in the background.

A rudimentary recording left by Byakuya and the other survivors of the ISS convinced Senku that he would miss him. Astonishingly, Senku was more affected by Byakuya’s death 3,700 years ago than anyone thought.

8. Menma – Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

Menma – Anohana The Flower We Saw That Day

Meiko Honma, also known as Menma, is already deceased, just like Otonashi from Angel Beats. The death of Menma occurred a long time ago in the anime. Jinta fulfills Menma’s goal of reconciling her friends. Jinta is the only one who sees Menma’s ghost. She makes her presence known by carrying items and keeping a notebook.

So, when she becomes invisible, Menma makes an attempt to fool Jinta and his buddies into thinking she’s playing hide and seek. Her final farewell to her pals are written in her diary as everyone departs the hidden base to search for her. “I love you,” Jinta’s note reads.

9. Masaki Kurosaki –  Bleach

In Bleach, this is the mother of Ichigo Kurosaki, and she died before the show’s major events even began. Isshin Shiba, the Soul Reaper who saved her life, was formerly a Quincy before losing his powers and settling down with her (now Kurosaki).

A loving mother like Masaki would do anything for her kid, but the hollow known as Grand Fisher took her life one rainy afternoon, right in front of Ichigo’s eyes. Ichigo was heartbroken when he learned that Masaki had passed away. Since that day, Ichigo hasn’t been able to crack a smile.

10. Isla – Plastic Memories

When Isla passed away, we all knew it was inevitable and it made it more difficult. Tsukasa, an 18-year-old employee of the Sion Artificial Intelligence Corporation, is the focus of Plastic Memories. Giftias, which are androids that resemble human beings, are created by the SIA. It is Isla who will be Tsukasa’s companion, and she has just returned to the field following a traumatic encounter with her last partner. Isla’s life expectancy is announced at the end of episode two.

Tsukasa and Isla fall in love as they become more and more close. The last day of school for Isla and Tsukasa is spent on a Ferris Wheel, where they share a kiss and reflect on their time together. Isla and Tsukasa’s last recollection together is at the bottom of the Ferris Wheel.

11. Portgas D. Ace – One Piece

Ace, the fire-wielding Whitebeard pirate known as Whitebeard, was everything to a young Monkey D. Luffy. The two of them had grown up together as foster siblings, and Luffy looked up to him greatly.

Luffy made a promise to save Ace from death, but he didn’t keep it. Even so, Ace was able to hug his foster brother and say, “Thank you… for loving me!” with tears in his eyes. Even though he was allowed to die peacefully, it took Luffy some time to come to terms with his loss.

12. Itachi Uchiha – Naruto

There’s no rule stating that minor characters can’t die with significance. Even though you wouldn’t anticipate a show like Naruto to include heart-breaking moments, the death ofItachi Uchiha is at the top. Itachi was in the final stages of a life-threatening illness. It was his altercation with his younger brother Sasuke that finally snapped him out of it. However, it was only through the deaths of those he cared about that Itachi could preserve his home.

This, in and of itself, enraged fans of the series. By preventing a rebellion, Itachi saved the world from war. During the battle between Itachi and Sasuke, music from Itachi’s time with Sasuke plays. Itachi falls to his knees in front of his brothers, content in the knowledge that he did everything he could to help his younger brother.

13. Kaori – Your Lie In April

Kaori – Your Lie In April

As a violinist, Kaori is well-versed in the art form. She knew she wanted Kousei to play for her after hearing him play the piano. With some persuasion, Kousei agrees to accompany Kaori, but he soon begins to fall in love with her. As the show progresses, Kaori’s health continues to decline.

During his performance, Kousei imagines Kaori accompanying him on stage for one final time and playing with him. On stage, Kaori fades away leaving Kousei in tears at the end of the song. For the first time, Kaori confesses her affections for Kousei in a letter she leaves behind.

14. Kyoko Honda – Fruit’s Basket

Kyoko Honda was the doting mother of Tohru Honda, and she is a prime contender for Best Mom in all of anime. Kyoko grew raised in a difficult neighborhood and was previously a member of a girl gang before deciding to leave the underworld for good.

She had a daughter with her savior Katsuya, whom she married. When Kyoko died soon before Tohru started high school, Katsuya had already passed away. Tohru’s mother’s death was a devastating blow, but she handled it gracefully and maturely, and she’s making the most of her remaining years. That’s for sure. Kyoko raised a great daughter.

15. Maes Hughes – Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

Maes Hughes From Fullmetal Alchemist

This is the saddest anime death of all time if you can still see the screen through the tears. She was Maes Hughes. The #1 spot on the list has been reclaimed by Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. Lieutenant Hughes is a character you can’t help but love. He teaches us valuable lessons about being a good friend, husband, and father.

Sadly, when he learns of Father’s plans, he is slain by Envy. Lieutenant Hughes dies from his wounds in a phone booth after being fatally shot. As he dies, he tells his daughter he is sorry and that he loves her.