There are tons of great anime around with different genres to choose from. For sure, you are familiar with the classics like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, Astro Boy, One Piece, Ghost Fighter, and others. Besides the aesthetically pleasing animation styles, intriguing plots, not to mention the opening and closing soundtracks that kids and the kids at hearts sing along to, anime can leave a long-lasting impression. Some anime series also teach people life lessons and even make viewers reflect on their own lives.
Of course, besides just developing their themes, what makes particular anime shows so memorable is how they make viewers feel different emotions as they go through each episode. From tear-jerking moments to the most suspenseful scenes to even laughing off of your seat, an anime’s bound to get you to feel at least one of these. But why not get the best of each and go through a rollercoaster of emotions? If that sounds good to you, here’s a list of heartwarming anime shows that will keep you laughing and crying at the same time:
Just a little disclaimer before you continue reading: while this won’t be a deep dive into each show’s episodes, some references to episodes (including finales) will be included. However, these will also be kept as vague as possible to avoid major spoilers!
Let’s get into it!
- Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai)
If you’ve ever been interested in going through lists and watching anime shows or films that will undoubtedly make you cry, chances are this anime’s title is pretty familiar to you. In this anime series created by the Super Peace Busters, you’ll witness the story of a group of childhood friends who drifted apart when one of them (Menma) passed away. The story mainly centers on what happens years after when Menma’s ghost appears to Jinta and asks him to get her wish granted so that she can move on to the afterlife. However, since this wish is unclear, Jinta attempts to gather the estranged friends in hopes as this would fulfill their friend’s said wish. As they gather to help her move on, their secrets and hidden emotions about their friend’s death and their personal struggles come out as they go through this process of moving on and growing.
Just by the plot itself, it already sounds like an anime you’d want to watch with a box of tissues beside you. So, you might be wondering, where does the “funny” fit in such an emotional storyline? Well, almost as if to calm you down as you’re bawling your eyes out, the creators incorporate tidbits of funny moments between the friends as well. For instance, you’d find yourself watching a peak dramatic scene, only to be shown false eyelashes falling off because of extreme emotions. These scattered lighthearted parts will make you wonder if the tears on your cheeks are the results of laughing too much, actually crying, or potentially both.
- Angel Beats!
Continuing with shows that deal with the difficult aspects of passing away and moving on, this critically-acclaimed anime series created by Jun Maeda follows the story of Otonashi and the people he meets in the afterlife. In the setting for this anime, individuals who face hardships or have regrets are sent to an afterlife high school, a kind of “limbo” where those who have suddenly passed away try to overcome these and pass on or become reincarnated. Otonashi, who does not remember anything from his past life, awakens in the afterlife and is asked by a girl named Yuri to join the Afterlife Battlefront or SSS, a group that the latter founded to rise against God for the seemingly unfair circumstances they faced in life. The group goes against Angel, the student council president who has unique abilities and is assumed to be God’s helper. Once Otonashi joins SSS, several aspects of the afterlife, the members, and even Angel’s identity are uncovered.
This anime is jampacked with fighting action and hilarious scenes involving the main characters. The comedic element is not just found in the show’s scene itself but the way they are presented to the audience. For instance, a character attempting and failing to create a distraction is funny in its own way. Still, the creators incorporate additional scenes (for example, a gag of being blasted to the ceiling) and show it through a reality show video format with matching background music and replays for an additional touch of humor. In the middle of the funny parts, you’ll still feel for each character as they accomplish their wishes or reach acceptance and move on. Perhaps the most tear-jerking moment occurs in the episode finale itself, where you’ll gain a better understanding of the anime and its title while attempting to hold back your tears.
- Haven’t you heard? I’m Sakamoto (Sakamoto Desu ga?)
As most fans have pointed out, this is a favorite among comedy genre anime lovers. This series follows the story of high school student Sakamoto, an absolutely incredible and perfect student, adored by almost all of his classmates (and teachers). His intelligence and ability to do everything so perfectly, not only allow him to accomplish great things or overcome problems for himself, but also somehow impact the other students in school.
Just by witnessing the exaggerated (and almost absurd) ways Sakamoto does everything so perfectly and charmingly is sure to get you laughing in each episode. As an example, a group of delinquents, including a character named Atsushi, tries to prank him multiple times, only for their pranks to fail because, again, Sakamoto is always prepared, always so fast in responding to situations. By the way, while watching this anime, if you’ve somehow found yourself laughing and wanting to pass off this fun to others in Atsushi and his friends’ fashion, you can also try pranking others yourself! If you keep it harmless, through simple phone pranks or using a funny soundboard, you can certainly play a fun trick against your family and friends (just hope that they’re not as skilled as Sakamoto for your plan to push through).
Going back, the comedic elements and fun parts of the series are evident, but what makes this anime heartwarming is that you get to witness his classmates’ character developments because of how Sakamoto touches their lives. Sadder fan theories about what really happens to the main protagonist aside, the finale touches the viewer’s heart to the point where some fans have admitted to shedding a few tears.
- Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu)
This next anime also focuses on a school setting – only for this one, instead of just working on regular classwork, the students of Class 3-E (consisting of delinquent students or those who have the lowest grades and poor study habits) are tasked to assassinate their teacher. The teacher here is an octopoid creature with unearthly abilities (like moving at Mach 20, flying, and changing colors). The teacher (called Korosensei by his students) explains that he wants to destroy the Earth in a year but first wishes to teach a Kunugigaoka Junior High School class. The government leaves the task to the students to try and assassinate this teacher to save the world and earn 10 billion yen. Along the way, an unlikely bond is formed between the students, other teachers, and Korosensei himself. Yes, while the students try to kill Korosensei and Koresensei teaches them to be effective assassins, the teacher goes above and beyond for his beloved students.
As much as the plot seems too serious or dramatic, the series is actually pretty hilarious. Korosensei’s antics and oddness can make not only the students but also the viewers laugh. You’ll find yourself in awe when watching the students’ assassination plans but also laugh at the very same things. In the midst of that, the show is very heartwarming as the creators take their time to flesh out the primary characters’ individual growth. Much like the others in this list, perhaps the most tear-jerking scene in the entire series can be found towards the end, where you get to witness one of the most bittersweet show resolutions ever.
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Finally, we have another action-packed anime series that will make you laugh while feeling something tug at your heartstrings. In Demon Slayer, Tanjiro Kamado’s family is attacked by demons. Only he and his sister Nezuko, who was turned into a demon but still somehow retained some human qualities and emotions, survive. Tanjiro is recruited to join the Demon Slayer Corps and train to become a demon slayer, and he starts his journey to avenge his family and find a way to cure his sister.
The plot gets pretty serious and intense for the most part, but the show also contains several humorous scenes that will certainly make you laugh out loud. If Tanjiro and Nezuko’s funny interactions and magnified expressions aren’t enough, you’ll find the hilarity in Zenitsu’s and Inosuke’s (also demon slayers) prominent and strikingly different personalities. Just the same, finding out about the characters’ background stories and sacrifices are enough to move you – perhaps giving you the chills or even crying a little bit. It also doesn’t stop there since, for some instances, you might find yourself crying over the slain demons themselves.
That’s about it! If you’re looking for the next anime to watch, it’s recommended that you go through this list and have a good laugh and cry – just prepare your snacks and grab a box of tissues while you’re at it.