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The Top 10 Saddest Seinen Anime Of All Time, Ranked

Many seinen anime have overwhelming sad storylines.

When it comes to stories of bombastic action and thrilling battles, nothing compares to shonen anime. But when a fan moves beyond that desire and seeks out something more profound and emotionally complex, they’re more likely to find satisfaction in a seinen anime. Seinen anime is targeted toward adults and is able to deal with subject matter and thematic topics that can better relate to that demographic.

RELATED: The Best Written Seinen Anime Of All Time

Some of the greatest anime and some of the most tragic, heart-wrenching stories were written for seinen audiences. They might not be for everyone, but if a viewer is looking for sadness, they should look no further than a seinen anime list.

One Punch Man may not seem like a sad anime on the surface. The show presents itself as a comedy series all about a superhero so overpowered it becomes a joke.

But the anime’s true purpose unravels slowly throughout the first season, as it becomes clear that One Punch Man can occasionally be the harrowing story of a man who lacks purpose in life. Doomed to never find an opponent his equal, Saitama coasts through life with a sense of gloom and longing.

Many storytellers say that tragedy and comedy stand side by side and are similar in many ways. It only tracks then that many comedic anime are able to delve into heartfelt tragedy with ease.

RELATED: 10 Harsh Realities Of Being A Fan Of Seinen Anime

Such is the case with Kaguya Sama: Love is War, which is just a comedy for most of its runtime, yet it delivers the most devastating scenes once or twice a season. The show finds the perfect balance of gags and tears, keeping readers and viewers at the edge of their seats for every episode.

Kotaro Lives Alone is a Netflix Original anime that follows the life of a young toddler who is forced to move into his own apartment by himself. While Kotaro is insanely mature for his age, the nature of his predicament is one that terrifies adults.

Anyone watching the anime can recognize how sad the concept is, especially parents. Kotaro’s situation is heart-wrenching. The thought of a child being forced to fend for themselves in a dangerous world is hard to bear.

Ghost in the Shell is a cyberpunk manga written by Masamune Shirow, following a cybernetically enhanced agent known as Major Kusanagi as she struggles to find a killer known as The Puppet Master.

The series would go on to receive multiple adaptations across film, television, and video games, establishing itself as one of the most complex and philosophical stories in the world. Ghost in the Shell is a story about humanity, or a lack thereof. Major Kusanagi’s struggle to understand her place in the world is harrowing for many viewers.

Many sports anime thrive in creating a sense of exhilaration. Popular sports shonen stories are all about the thrill of athletics and the intensity of competition. While Ping Pong dabbles in these topics and themes, the anime largely carries this overwhelmingly somber instead.

RELATED: 20 Heartbreaking Anime That Will Make You Cry

By and large, the cast of characters in Ping Pong all carry these deep and complex feelings towards the game, with some outright hating it. It’s a unique take on the genre and stands out for its artistic vision.

Vinland Saga premiered in 2019 and quickly earned the status of a modern classic. Written by Makoto Yukimura, the manga has been acclaimed for its entire run as a grimdark tale on classic Viking mythology.

Following Thorfinn, a young boy who set out on a journey to avenge his father and take down the man who killed him, Vinland Saga is a dark fantasy that rivals some of the genre’s best work. The anime is almost ubiquitously recognized as one of the best series to have premiered in 2019 and continues to have one of the most awaited second seasons in anime history.

At the height of its popularity, Erased was a cultural phenomenon that dominated the conversation in anime fandom. The short series amassed an immense fan base that fell deeply in love with the characters and their respective dynamics.

At the core of the series was a man desperate to go back in life and correct the mistakes he made. It’s a fantasy that many people can relate to. The feeling of guilt or sorrow over one’s past life can be haunting to think about and seeing that brought to life was as cathartic as it was heartbreaking.

Tokyo Ghoul is an anime that has defined the modern era. With its brutal premise and sympathetic characters, the series is devastating to viewers as they watch a kind and shy boy turn more and more calloused, cynical, and sinister.

RELATED: 10 Anime Series That Are Too Sad To Watch Twice

As Ken Kaneki slowly becomes a powerful monster, fans are forced to witness him do unthinkable acts and push himself to limits that no person should approach. Tokyo Ghoul is a massively popular anime that has gained acclaim for its well-written take on a disturbing tragedy.

While many deem it unfair, anime is regarded by general audiences as a juvenile medium mostly reserved for children. A select few anime of each decade seek to refute this reputation and showcase the maturity that anime offers, but almost none have done so as well as the acclaimed series Monster.

Monster has defied the odds and garnered a reputation as one of the most complex and beautiful anime of all time. It’s a haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that can shock just about anyone, even a veteran anime watcher.

As a dark fantasy manga, Berserk is incredibly violent and grotesque, with some of the most disturbing scenes in anime and manga history. In spite of a number of failed adaptations, Berserk has managed to maintain its relevancy in the cultural landscape due to its impressive storytelling skills.

While some may think of it as just blood and gore, fans know that Berserk is more complex and emotional than its reputation may imply. It’s a deeply mature story that can devastate even the most cynical viewers.

10 One Punch Man Is About Lacking Purpose

9 Kaguya Sama: Love Is War Balances Heartfelt Comedy

8 Kotaro Lives Alone Is Tragic For Everyone, Especially Parents

7 Ghost In The Shell Launched An Iconic Franchise

6 Ping Pong Made Sports Anime Feel Somber

5 Vinland Saga Is A Dark And Tragic Fantasy

4 Erased Is About Trying To Fix Mistakes

3 Tokyo Ghoul Has Countless Character Deaths

2 Monster Is Hauntingly Beautiful

1 Berserk Is A Cruel And Twisted Story

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