Forget year of the dog. 2018 was, for me, year of the tears – as in there were multiple times when anime reduced me to a blubbering mess this year! I couldn’t tell you why this was more the case this year than in previous years, but I can’t help but think that, like a rock on a beach whose edges have been gradually softened by the surf over time, I’ve grown softer and more in touch with my sensitive side as I’ve grown older. Even just a few years ago I was the very embodiment of a stiff upper lipped Brit, but now even the right combination of musical notes can have me reaching for the tissues! I’m a hot mess – as you’ll soon see. Below are several of the times when anime made me cry this year.
Spoilers ahead for Inuyashiki, Made in Abyss, Assassination Classroom 2nd Season, Haikyuu!! 2nd Season, and Naruto Shippuuden.
Inuyashiki – My Hero
The final few moments of Inuyashiki, where Mr. Inuyashiki self-destructed in order to destroy a massive meteor on collision course to Earth, were pretty upsetting. What devastated me was the fact that he died all alone in the vast emptiness of space for a species who, save for his family, never knew that he even existed and would never know of his sacrifice. It’s pretty bleak until you consider that living and dying a hero made Mr. Inuyashiki feel as though there were some deeper meaning to his life and that in his final moments he felt no fear, just peace and acceptance. It was a bittersweet ending that prompted bittersweet tears.
Made in Abyss – Goodbye, My Treasure
Made in Abyss is full to the brim with tear-jerking moments, but the most potent of the lot is the one where Nanachi, with Reg’s help, put poor Mitty out of her misery. There’s something so profoundly upsetting about having to watch children make the impossible (and very adult) decision to put down their friend – or else condemn her to eternal suffering. Equally upsetting was not knowing if Mitty even realised just how much Nanachi loved her, seeing her being utterly obliterated, and watching Nanachi (who hadn’t shown much emotion up until that point) bawl their little heart out.
Assassination Classroom 2nd Season – Graduation Time
Watching 12 long, anguish-filled minutes of the young adults of the E-class say their heartfelt, teary goodbyes to their beloved teacher, Koro-sensei, as he called their names out one by one would make even the most hardened of viewers well up! Watching this scene I couldn’t help but reflect on just how much the students had grown, in drive, knowledge, and confidence, under his tutelage, and of the huge, positive impact that a mentor can have on the trajectory of your life, which made me bawl all the harder!
Haikyu!! 2nd Season – Aoba Johsai vs. Karasuno. The Final Point
If I’m honest, the entirety of Haikyu!! was an emotional rollercoaster! But the scene that moved me the most was during Karasuno’s match with Aoba Johsai when they scored that final, winning point. It was so touching seeing just how much winning that match meant to all of the players involved. Every single one of them put every fiber of their being into that match, to the extent that they injured themselves, diving into benches, taking shots straight to the face, and so on. So I didn’t really want either side to lose (especially since I’m a sucker for Great King Oikawa)! Saying that, watching Karasuno win and achieve redemption for themselves after their devastating loss to Aoba Johsai months prior was immensely moving.
Naruto Shippuuden – the Final Battle
I’d had 10 whole years to emotionally invest in the Naruto franchise, so you bet that the final fight between Naruto and Sasuke made me cry! Not only was it the culmination of years worth of Naruto, against all odds, and despite the best efforts of literally every single other character to deter him, trying to win Sasuke back over, it was also a highly successful attempt to tap into my nostalgia, to show just how far Naruto, the character, had come, and to remind me of the redemptive power of love. All in all, this battle was a suckerpunch right to the heart!
So what, if any, anime moved you to tears this year? Was it an anime that aired this year or a golden oldie? And were they happy tears? Or sad ones? Be sure to let me know!