Tech Scorpion Top 5 – 5 Saddest Moments in Anime
Welcome to a new feature where we act like we have OCD and compulsively sort everything in pop culture into nice, organised lists. First up – the saddest moments in anime. I defy you not to cry like, well, someone who’s about twenty minutes into Up, at these. I did, and I’m well ‘ard.
Because I don’t want to talk in some vague code along the lines of ‘You know, that bit in episode four when there’s that whole thing? Where that guy has done the thing to the girl and the other thing? And it’s like, ‘play with me Edward’?’, there will be spoilers in this list.
1 That Thing I Was Just Talking About – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
You knew when you saw the title that this was going to be on the list so let’s just get it over with.
In episode 4 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Shou Tucker creates a chimera out of his daughter and her dog in order to keep his state alchemist license (and it transpires, he had already done the same thing to his wife to get his license in the first place, and the only words this first talking chimera ever spoke were ‘please kill me’). This episode had a huge impact on just about everyone who saw it, evidenced by the fact that on Anime Planet’s list of most hated characters as voted for by fans, Shou Tucker is the third most hated character in anime of all time (behind Sasuke and Sakura from Naruto, though if you subtract the likes those two fairly divisive characters got from the dislikes, Shou Tucker actually has the highest net amount of hate of every character ever). He’s only in one episode, he isn’t a major antagonist, he poses no threat at all to the main characters and their quest, but people just hate him that much for, I guess, making them cry manly, Roy-Mustang-in-the-‘rain’ style tears.
This storyline also features in the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime, but I haven’t seen that. One version of this horror is enough.
You can see the scene here (sadly it’s a dubbed clip but it’s still sad in English)
2 The Death of Wolfwood – Trigun
I basically put Nina Tucker at the top of the list of sadness because I have a feeling that is the general consensus of most anime fans, but for me personally, Nicholas D. Wolfwood’s death in Trigun would be the thing I’d think about if I was an actress and needed to be able to conjure up tears on demand.
What makes this death, in a medium full of deaths, so very sad, is that Wolfwood really, really doesn’t want to die. They give him that whole monologue in the church and he’s dying and he’s all full of regret and he hates that he’ll never get the future he wanted. While the actions leading to his death are fairly heroic, he doesn’t die like a badass. He dies like David Tennant’s Doctor – he may as well have literally said the line ‘I don’t want to go.’
Here it is, if you want to relive it:
Also, since Vash the Stampede refuses to kill anyone, a philosophy Wolfwood (the reverend) did not hold to, you knew once he was dead that getting rid of any enemies was going to get a whole lot more complicated.
3 The Death of Migi (Sort Of) – Parasyte
Parasyte (or Parasyte: The Maxim to give it its full name) is only about a year old, so to compete in sadness terms with classics like Trigun and FMA:B they had to pull off something quite monumentally sad. So what was it? Well, it doesn’t sound sad at all if you explain it to someone who hasn’t seen the show. Basically they kill off this emotionless parasitic alien that belongs to a species that takes over human bodies and then hunts other humans for food. It could morph into all sorts of blades and gross wacky eyes and stuff and kill in quite delightfully violent ways. And then it sort of came back to life anyway in the next episode. See, it doesn’t sound sad at all.
But if you watched Parasyte, I guarantee you felt differently. They really developed the character of Migi and frankly, he was ridiculously cute for what was essentially a morphing teenage boy’s hand with an eye and a mouth. I loved him, and I’m still not sure why. Maybe it was his voice.
And here it is:
4 Switch’s Back Story – SKET Dance
SKET Dance is, in my opinion, a very underrated comedy anime, which always gets overshadowed by Gintama. Both series’ actually have crossover episodes with each other, so if you haven’t seen SKET Dance it is basically Gintama set in a high school. It is very funny and has a pretty extensive cast of likable characters that complement the three main stars, Bossun, Switch and Himeko. However, there are some episodes where the writers of SKET Dance troll the hell out of you, by showing you the alarmingly tragic back stories of these characters you’ve been laughing at. Himeko’s is a bit sad, Bossun’s is extremely sad, but Switch’s dials it up to 11.
Bet you thought the fact Switch never speaks and talks using voice software on a laptop he carries everywhere was just a fun, nerdy quirk, right? Oh, my sweet summer child.
The real reason he does that, and dresses the way he does and calls himself Switch, is that he is trying to live the life of the real Switch, his brother who was murdered by a jealous girl who liked him. The voice software was made by his brother and uses a combination of both of their voices. I’m not putting a video up of this because you kinda need to see the whole episode to get it.
Why don’t Switch’s parents do anything about this?
As a bonus sad thing from SKET Dance, Bossun’s parents both died in separate accidents the day he was born. Because you can’t have anime without orphans.
Let me just reiterate, this is a comedy anime.
5 Eren’s Mother Getting Eaten – Attack on Titan
And, moving from a comedy anime to an anime where nobody sees a single happy moment – Attack on Titan. This anime is beyond bleak, and makes George RR Martin look reticent when it comes to killing off characters. However, it does not lie to you about what it is, making it very clear from episode one where protagonist Eren and his pseudo-sister Mikasa, still children in this scene setting episode, get to watch Eren’s mother have her back broken by a titan and then be unceremoniously eaten.
You can watch it again here – don’t say we’re not good to you…
Normally when any kind of chomping is involved I take the opportunity to make a Luis Suarez joke, but I can’t about this, it’s too bloody sad. Apparently though, at Universal Studios they now have a full size model of the head of the titan that eats her pre-chomp, and you can position yourself in its hand and recreate the drama with you being eaten instead of Eren’s mother. Because yes.
And here’s a fun fact – the Japanese voice actress who played Eren’s mother also did the voice of Trisha Elric – Edward and Alphonse’s mother in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, who sets off that whole story by – yup – dying. Is she like the Japanese Sean Bean?
So, that’s my list of the five saddest things I’ve seen in an anime. Obviously this sort of thing is pretty subjective – so we’d love to hear which anime moments gave you a bad case of the feels in the comments, or as always, on our Twitter and Facebook pages!
Featured image from Amazon