Ah, the refreshing world of anime. It stores every emotion from the entire spectral range. Most of the moments in any anime series make us smile but seldom there moments which make us shed tears and question everything else. Anime deaths are probably what hits us anime fans harder than anything else. So, here are our top picks for the 8 Saddest Anime deaths of all time.
Saddest Anime Deaths
08. Koro Sensei from Assassination Classroom
“The tentacles asked me what I wanted to be.
I want to be WEAK.”
This is the story of the octopus man. The man who taught a class of 28 children how to kill. Out of context, it sounds ridiculous, but we loved him, as much as every student in that class did. We knew his demise was certain, but there was hope, as there is in all things human. But at last, when Koro Sensei refused to die from the unknown laser and wanted his students to complete what they had trained for an entire year, viewers knew the time had come.
As viewers, we couldn’t hold back our tears as the final roll call was taken. Our hearts felt heavy when Koro Sensei calmed the aggravated Nagisa and told him to kill with a smile, for the last time. The smile of gratitude, of love, and of undying respect towards the man who helped them to rise from the depths of despair in class 3-E to the very top, both physically and mentally.
The class looked on, as Nagisa poured all his emotions into that knife, giving Koro Sensei a final moment of satisfaction. And they cried. And we cried. His final moments were as sad as Anime deaths can get.
07. Rolo from Code Geass
“For my entire life, someone has always been using me. I was used by the Order. Then I was used by you, big brother. Yeah… Maybe you have been using me all this time… But only the time I spent with you was real… Thanks to those memories, they have finally made me… human!”
Rolo was always a ball of mixed emotions for any viewer. After he killed Shirley, every viewer had written him off to a painful death as vengeance. No one expected it to take place. Seeing him slowly die using his Geass, for the sake of a brother who was toying with his emotions for personal benefit. It evoked a sense of sadness in the hearts of the viewers, for the very character they wished death upon
He was selfish, he was a cold-blooded killer, he was the cause of the unnecessary death of Shirley… but he was a child at the end of the day, the younger brother of a caring Lelouch for a year. The moments Rolo spent with Lelouch, they were so important in defining the change that he saw and made him a different character. And it was these moments because of which his name has to be on any list of saddest Anime deaths.
Rolo did what he did to protect his brother. After he changed sides, every move was for Lelouch’s benefit only, or at least from his view. He did his best in a world where he desperately wanted human compassion but simply received hate. And even with his dying breath, he perpetuated the lie that Lelouch loved him, just to feel the touch of a brother in his final moments. Sounds like reverse Sasuke and Itachi.
06. The legendary L from Death Note
“Kira is childish and he hates losing… I’m also childish and hate to lose. That’s how I know.”
‘L’ or “Lawliet” from Death Note is a character that every anime viewer, newbie or otaku, knows very well. He’s the perfect detective and his every habit, all the way from loving cake to his famous sitting position made us fall in love with this twisted genius. But none of us can forget how Kira’s plans were put in motion, how L and the policemen were afraid seeing the data deleted by Watari and how L realized that one of them was going to be killed. Just as he began uttering the words, Light struck his final blow, through the hands of the shinigami Rem.
The spoon slipped through his fingers, assisted by gravity, as he slowly toppled from the chair. Light looked on, realization dawning, that he had finally succeeded. His dying body lay in the arms of the mastermind who planned his execution. And as he looked up, his eyes locked with Light’s, and he realized at that moment that he lost. He had lost, like he never had before, in the face of the supernatural. Light’s eyes glinted with pure manic pleasure and evil, as his mouth twisted into the slightest of sneers. L closed his eyes for the last time. And all was silent.
L died in the face of shinigami and death notes, and powers unfathomable in the world they were living. Despite L trying his hardest and reaching as close to Kira as he could, in the end, the one with knowledge proved to be stronger. L’s end was what made us viewers see that Kira had crossed the line. Out of all saddest Anime deaths, this could easily be the most shocking one, simply because secretly everyone was rooting for L. I think it’s safe to conclude that this was the moment where Kira could be dubbed as the antagonist.
05. Chelsea from Akame Ga Kill
“I wanted to be praised when I got back”
We get to know Chelsea only for a short time but her small appearance left most viewers shocked. She was the overly joyful girl who kept trash talking and this was enough to make us dislike her from the very beginning. Especially when she went overboard with calling out Bulat and Sheele’s deaths.
Chelsea could be described as a highly narcissistic character and this is what changes about her towards the end. She feels a sense of responsibility and takes on the risky mission of chasing Kurome alone! It wasn’t her style to take on risky jobs and this one was certainly a suicidal one, but she sees an opportunity to do something for her peers.
At the climax, we almost see Kurome die at her hands but to our misfortune, she recovers quickly. Now that Kurome was up again, we knew what followed. Natala brings down a running Chelsea and as she falls, our hearts fell heavy. We see her asking if she did a good job. We see her asking Tatsumi for recognition with her final breath.
That’s all Chelsea ever wanted. Recognition for her work from someone who was even narrowly close to her so that her neglected past self could finally move on. Our tears start rolling when we see a small flashback of her neglected past. Tatsumi finding her head impaled on a spear is what gave us goosebumps. In the end, Chelsea was the soft love interest that had the most dramatic changes of all. Who knew Anime deaths could be so realistically shocking.
04. Otonashi from Angel Beats
“She was my reason to live and I died trying to fulfill my dream”
Otonashi’s backstory is one of the saddest backstories. When he loses his baby sister, who is his last living family member, he spirals down in despair. Anyone would’ve expected him to lose all hope and continue with what was left of his permanently scarred life. But, instead, his desperation to help others makes him work hard to attain a medical degree so that anyone else who is in a dire situation like his sister survives to stay with their families.
All was well until there was a train accident that forces the survivors to take shelter in a blocked cave. Otonashi himself was severely wounded. Despite that, he gives it everything and manages to help everybody until his body doesn’t allow him to.
The Organ Donor
Now, being unable to move, he lies down for death to come but his sister’s final moments flash before his eyes. The moment where she wishes that she had a donor, and this is when he decides on signing his organ donor card. He realizes that his dream to save lives as a doctor might never come true but even in the face of death, he wants to make sure that somehow people benefit from anything he has and so he asks one of the survivors for a pen. Others who were trapped followed suit after seeing this tear-jerking act of sacrifice. At the same time, rescuers are making their way through the cave to save the survivors.
Even though most people stay alive. Otonashi didn’t make it. He was a true hero and his unfortunate end made most viewers cry. Who knew that a show based on deaths would still manage to surprise us and claim a spot on a list about saddest Anime deaths.
03. Nina Tucker from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
“Don’t worry daddy, it’s okay.”
Although we only get to know little Nina for a single episode, the tragedy that she faced made our skins crawl. Shou Tucker was her father who was a state alchemist expertizing in chimera experiments. Shou had to produce results to keep his license. When he explains his story to the Elric brothers exclaiming that life would be very rough for him if he can’t keep is license, it is Nina who jumps in and boosts his morale for his due assessment. Both the Elric brothers, who considered Nina like a little sister, gently laugh at the courageous girl. It was clear that 4-year-old Nina was the lifeline of the house as her mother had already abandoned them.
Mr. Tucker, and what he claims to be his experiment greet the Elric brothers when they visit their house the next day. He eerily states that he has created a chimera that understands human speech and he begins to demonstrate the chimera’s intelligence by introducing it to Edward. The dog-like chimera radiated a horrifying aura that both, the viewers and the characters could feel.
Slowly, the chimera repeats after Shou and says the word” Ed-Edward”. This astonishing miracle took Edward by surprise and his excitement was visible on his face but just then the grim chimera looks up at him again and says,” Big Brother Ed?” The tension increases and Ed understands what Mr. Tucker has done. Shou had fused his dog and his daughter to produce a talking chimera.
The horrifying tense feeling reaches its limit and we as viewers cover our mouths in disgust and anger. The poor little girl became a slave to her own father’s experiment. In a few moments, we find out that Nina’s mom didn’t abandon her family but had met the same fate as her daughter. Seeing Nina go from the happy little kid she was to a grim-looking chimera utterly shocked anyone who saw that episode. I think it’s safe to say that Nina’s death is the most enraging and is easily the saddest anime death out of all light-hearted animes.
02. Kaori from Your Lie in April
“Don’t you forget me that’s a promise okay?”
The entire Anime was such a beautiful lie. Even though the inevitable is clearly in front of us the whole time. Kaori was the most energetic and optimistic character in the Anime, and we could say she was the opposite of Arima. The only way we can describe the overly joyful Kaori is by comparing her to a flower I full blossom. She never held back with her wishes or her music and painted anyone that came her way with her colors.
As time progresses, we fall in love with her. Slowly but steadily we can see how she became the spark of the show and how her presence was starting to affect others around her, especially Arima. It felt like being sledgehammered in the face when we come to know about her terrible disease and the fact that she only has a small amount of time to live. Even in her last days, she does what she loves most, playing the violin and she does it so gracefully that we as viewers keep begging throughout to see more of her.
Even when she had passed away and our tears were already rolling, it still wasn’t the last bit of her that we get to hear. The letter that she left for Arima, which had all her emotions that she hid so long wrapped up, blew up like an atomic bomb. As Arima reads it alone, we see Kaori’s backstory and love for Arima, it was impossible to hold back your tears. Kaori’s narration and her final words just bring out the true depth this slice of life anime had. Tears came out with full force when the viewers finally see the magic this anime had been hiding in plain sight. Kaori had to be on a list about saddest Anime deaths.
01. The Pervy sage Jiraiya Sensei from Naruto
“Knowing what it feels to be in pain, is exactly why we try to be kind to others.”
A list about saddest Anime deaths would be incomplete without mentioning Jiraiya sensei. Ah! the pervy sage was the ultimate father figure for the hero of our childhood. Their bond goes way beyond just teacher and student, he is the one who gave Naruto his true philosophy, but it wasn’t just this that made us love him. Jiraiya had us hooked by his brash attitude and battle prowess from the very start.
To bring an end to the Ninja war, someone had to go into the Akatsuki territory to gain intel about the true identity of Pain, and while discussing this with Tsunade, he takes it upon himself. Tsunade didn’t want Jiraiya to go but he convinces her that he’d be the only one fit for this job. So, he sets on his journey to the rain village, where he gathers intel about Pain. Knowing the gravity of the situation, he summons Naruto’s seal opening scroll and sends it back home as he understands that he might not return from this mission. Jiraiya moves on after interrogating the rain ninjas and is abruptly stopped by Konan. Later, Pain confronts Jiraiya and the final battle begins.
Shocked Jiraiya. As the battle ensues, we see all the six pain going against one Sage Mode Jiraiya. Even though he had the toad sages by his side, he couldn’t handle all six of them. In his dying moments, he encodes the secret of Pain’s identity in a message. And then we see our beloved Jiraiya sensei drown, killed by his students. When the news reaches Konohagakure, everyone is in utter shock, but it takes the biggest toll on Naruto who simply can’t accept the fact that his master is now dead and in this moment we all shared Naruto’s grief, tears, and anger. Jiraiya’s moments with Naruto will always be some of the best ones in the entire Naruto Shippuden series.
Deaths across anime bring out emotions we never expected from those characters. They’re painful but they make us more connected to the anime we already loved. The characters we cherish become a memory that always is a part of any anime-related discussion. I think of it as a way of truly embedding the characters in our hearts forever. These were our pics for the Top 8 Saddest anime deaths of all time, comment below if you agree with our picks.