**Disclaimer: Please remember this blog is spoiler city...we don't care. You have eyes so look away if you're concerned.**
I couldn't decide. I know, that's somehow cheating, right? But, both of these animes left me sobbing and wrecked for a week. They may have given me post-traumatic stress disorder for a short period of time.
First up, what may officially be not only the saddest anime I've ever seen, but the saddest film I've ever seen. And yes, this takes into account some fairly high-ranking live-action tear jerkers, like The Lover, Schindler's List or anything with James Dean in it (I have a problem, and admitting it is the first step).
This US Trailer for Grave of the Fireflies is highly misleading.
Oh, happy pretty right? NO! This film is an epically sad tale of two orphaned Japanese children who attempt (ATTEMPT) to survive on their own during World War II. A few scenes in this beautifully animated film are so intensely horrifying and heartbreaking that it causes physical pain. If you are a person who cries easily you CANNOT watch this film. I publically forbid you from seeing it. If, however, you feel you can watch the exceedingly slow and tragic demise of young children without wanting to cry yourself into a coma...by all means, watch away. It is worth the view, but I cannot bring myself to watch this film more than once every 5 years.
Likewise, this episode from one of our (Ms. Shakespeare and my) favorite series Loveless is intensely sad for very different reasons.
Most Fighters and Sacrifices in Loveless are paired, Soubi and Ritsuka are the exception (something that hinders their ability to fight, ut not their ability to bond. Fighters and Sacrifices usually share a name, a fate, a destiny, all that jazz. And these two high school girls, Kouya and Yamato, who share the name Zero love one another deeply as a result of their bond.
The problem is that they are not a unique pair, their bond was artifically created by a group called the Seven Moons, and their "partners" can be interchanged should one of the pair fail. This is the fate of these defeated Zeros...they will be separated. The sacrifice in this scene takes her role very literally, she says she would rather die than be a burden to the one she loves. Should they forfit the battle, they are as good as dead; the group who sent them to battle and kill Loveless (Ritsuka) and Beloved (Soubi) will either separate them or destroy them entierly. and yet the fighter forfits out of love for her partner. At the end of the scene they crouch in the graveyard alone, the battle forfitted and with it their bond. They make a pact to die for one another rather than be separated. Surprisingly, "dying" is not what we think it is...they break their bonds with the organization, killing themselves metaphorically so that they can finally live on their own. To do this, they take a risk; they thwart their destiny and create a new one based not on the artificiality of their "names" but their very real love. Their symbolic death allows them to be reborn. So sweet.