Today I have less picks than previous posts in this anime challenge, and also less to say about each of them. Not because I don’t appreciate sad scenes in anime as much as I appreciate the voice acting talent behind characters or a certain artwork or soundtrack, but rather because I find it so difficult to explain just how much they meant to me when it’s been so long since I’ve experienced those feelings. Though, the ones I have listed are the most memorable and I’d like to believe they still resonate with me.
Spoilers for Angel Beats!, Code Geass, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
Angel Beats contains not one, but two of the saddest scenes I’ve seen in anime. Iwasawa Masami’s last song and disappearance, and Kanade’s goodbye and departure. While I may not be able to look back on the series as a whole with love and fondness, I don’t think I’ll ever forget these moments that brought tears to my eyes. I mean I think I had kind of a crush on Iwasawa when I watched this, so her disappearance early in the series was one heck of an emotional wallop. I felt cheated having such a lovely character taken away from me so early, but the ending cranked the FEELS all the way up to eleven AND EVEN FURTHER BEYOND with Kanade’s teary eyed farewell.
Code Geass gave me the (planned) demise of Lelouch vi Britannia. I didn’t ask for this, though I was expecting it. He knew he was on an irredeemable path and that there was no turning back. And I rooted for him. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but I did. I wanted him to make the world a better place using his own twisted methods and tragically sadistic charm. Though he started with an arguably selfishly selfless goal wanting to change the world just to make it a safer place for his sister to live in, Lelouch’s change to become deliberately transform himself into the villain for the world to pin all the blame on and secretly devise a plan to have his best friend (Suzaku) kill him while he acts up the tyrannical overlord persona makes him one of the most interesting characters in anime to me. But to take it a step further and have him die next to his sister, Nunnally and show her the truth behind his actions via geass powers was such a cathartic scene and I shared in Nunnally’s tragic sorrow.
Among the many sad and tragic moments in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood the one that got to me the most was Greed’s sacrifice during the climactic battle of FMAB. Everything about this scene, from Greed analyzing the situation to him reflecting on what he wants most out of life and then finally coming to the realization it’s these beautiful friends of his, AND THEN going against his VERY NATURE makes the decision to give his life to save Ling and the others. This hit me SO HARD. The whole series is one emotionally riveting ride after another, and the development of the dynamic between Ling and Greed and Greed’s character toward the end was so awesome and cool and HOW DARE YOU BROTHERHOOD FOR TAKING THAT AWAY FROM ME! GAH!!!
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is filled to the brim with great, awesome and memorable moments, and among them are plenty heartfelt, tragic, and sad ones. However, I don’t think anything will top the flood of emotions I felt watching the end and witnessing Nia disappear right before my eyes. At the time I was young and head over heels for her, so seeing Simon just accept it made me feel more hurt, because I thought we were on the same wavelength, that Simon and I were one and the same and we both loved Nia from the bottom of our hearts. I don’t think I had the mental or emotional capacity to be angry with him, but I understand his reaction a lot better now, though that doesn’t make it that much easier to let go. I mean they JUST GOT MARRIED. WHY TTGL!? WHY YOU MAKE ME FEEL THIS WAY!?
I never expected to get any of this out of anime, but am thankful for these miraculous experiences. Even though I may not always shed tears during these times, I am still able to feel the impact of them, and for that I am grateful.