Anime doesn’t always have to be about heads exploding and evil preps writing the names of people they want dead into a black notebook. Sometimes, they can actually… move you. A few of the moments listed below are from series all about love and friendship. And a few come from shows you would’ve never expected to tug at the ol’ feels. Peruse our picks below, and try not to choke up.
Hearing Kamina talk is what we’d imagine getting truly insightful in the vernacular of a Jersey Shore cast member would be like. Hell, the guy even identifies as a “bro.” So, when he gives young Simon a pep talk in this madcap mecha masterpiece, it sounds a bit insipid, at first. But then… it starts making a whole lot of sense the more you think about it. Such poetry about the support of friends, which comes to hold even deeper significance as Simon faces the universe on his own later.
More than 50 episodes of romantic tension, putting these two crazy kids at such a distance as to make them seem like literal star-crossed lovers. Then, at almost the last moment, Eureka and Renton lock hands in freefall, and Nirgilis’ rhapsodic “Sakura” kicks in on the soundtrack, and butterfly wings flutter… and… and… love conquers all! For a series that was replete with grim twists, gray morality and massacres by giant microbes, there could never have been a more cathartic finale.
Those who’ve seen the whole movie may raise an eyebrow at this scene’s inclusion here. True, it does take a sudden and very intense turn. However, we’d argue that twist actually makes the moments preceding it all the more endearing. This entire movie is a kind of extended prologue to a monster movie. Could a dangerous werewolf have had a happy childhood? If he or she did, it could only be happy for so long. And this spontaneous moment of play in the snow wonderfully distills that fleeting happiness. Tragedy is bound to strike, sooner or later, so this little family enjoys a laugh while they can.
HUNTER x HUNTER
Gon and Killua have one of the strongest friendships in all of anime. But strength is meaningless if it’s never tested, and these young “hunters” both endure some serious challengess in this micro arc. After the two earn their certifications, Killua is thrown into a dark, torturous dungeon by his relatives. Why? Let’s just say the Zoldycks are sort of like the Addams Family (if the Addams were deadly assassins), and their ways are… eccentric. Even though Gon barely knows this silver-haired killer, he still braves all these obstacles to rescue him. Why? Because Killua is his friend. It’s that simple. And by the end, that friendship even leaves the Zoldyck elders dumbstruck.
And then there are the ever-so-rare friendships that transcend space, time, and even a few parallel universes. What makes Homura and Madoka’s relationship so endearing is that’s basically a metaphysical Gift of the Magi. Homura wants to save Madoka from the curse of the Magical Girls. However, her repeated failed attempts only make Madoka more important to that curse. So, what does Madoka do? She uses all her added power as leverage to sacrifice herself and free Homura from this cycle of suffering. Selflessness begets greater selflessness. That’s a true bond.
Have any other moments in anime warmed your heart more? Drop your picks in the talkback! Maybe we’ll feature them in a future list!
Featured Image Credit: FUNimation
Image Credits: FUNimation, Aniplex of America