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10 Drama Filled Animes

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

Trigger Warning: The following anime contain suicide, depression, bullying, illness, and death

Have you ever had an anime that evokes strong emotions from you? From sadness to anger to laughter you felt as watching the show. This blog post explores a variety of dramas that evoked different emotions as you watch the series and long after you have finished the series. First, let’s take a look at the four different types of drama: comedy, tragedy, tragicomedy, and melodrama. Some of these genres are self-explanatory, such as comedy and tragedy. However, tragicomedy and melodrama are a bit more complex. Tragicomedy is when comedy used to make a scene or series less serious and dark when talking about heavy subjects. Melodrama is when emotions are very extreme or exaggerated almost making it cheesy. However, all these components help make a drama. The following animes contain different versions of drama.

10. Orange

  • 1 Season, 13 Episodes, 1 Movie

  • Genres: Sci-Fi, Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo

If you could go back in time to save someone you cared about, would you. Knowing it would change your future. Would the uncertainty of how your future would change stop you? Or will you take the plunge? Naho Takamiya's first day of her sophomore year of high school is off to an uneasy start. After waking up late, she receives a strange letter addressed to her. However, the letter is from herself—10 years in the future! At first, Naho is skeptical of the note; yet, after witnessing several events described to take place. Will Naho change her future?

Now Orange can be a hit or miss anime for some people. This was interesting series to watch. We watch a group of teens try to rewrite their future by changing their present. This “time-travel” anime can be a bit confusing and slow in a few parts of the series. The viewer can get frustrated with the development of characters and the actions. You must remember this is drama but more specifically a melodrama with hints of tragedy. The romance and drama in the series makes it entertaining, but it doesn’t capture you like some other dramas. However, Orange is a unique anime in regard to its time travel element. By no means is this a bad anime. The characters are compelling as they try understand the situation they are in and use their own abilities to change everything. We watch them struggle with themselves and how it impacts the friendship dynamic. Watch it and create your own opinion from it.

9. Your Lie in April

  • 1 Season, 22 Episodes

  • Genres: Drama, Music, Romance, School, Shounen

Kousei Arima is a prodigious pianist who has left the musical world after his mother passing. However, everything changes when he meets a beautiful violinist, Kaori Miyazono, who stirs up his world and sets him on a journey to face music again.

When watching Your Lie in April the series appears to be a light-hearted and colorful anime. With its usage of soft pastels creating the illusion of romantic comedy. Yet the moment we fall for the illusion we have been thrown into a tragedy that plays with our emotions. As we come to love the character and their interactions, we begin to get insight on the series. The series demonstrates the characters struggle of healing in more ways than one. Ultimately, Your Lie in April is a solid story of youth and how tragedies can be overcome. It’s not without a few setbacks, but in the end, Your Lie in April is a beautiful tale.

8. True Tears

  • 1 Season, 13 Episodes, 1 Epilogue, 2 Specials

  • Genres: Drama, Romance, School-life

Shinichirou Nakagami was living the life other boys from his grade could only dream of—staying under the same roof as his crush, Hiromi Yuasa. However, the bright and cheerful Hiromi has been depressed and cold at home ever since her mother died. Shinichirou meets Noe Isurugi—a girl known for cursing classmates, curses which always end up becoming reality. How will their relationship change?

This anime is a great anime in regards to evoking a variety of emotions from me and its viewers. I originally started this series because someone said it was a tragedy and being the masochistic I am, I live for tragic animes. However, for me personally I did not cry nor feel sad watching this anime. I did feel unquestionable amount of anger towards the Main Character. I could not wrap my brain around his actions. Although, it did make me binge the entire series in a day. Even though, it was not the tragedy i wanted but a melodrama instead. This series had me hooked by episode 2. I needed to know what would happen next. Moreover, after watching the series I can definitely say that the animation is the most outstanding aspect of this anime series. The usage of the environments, well-drawn characters and well placed but CG effects/models made some scenes unappealing. The most noticeable feature is the backgrounds, which looks like it was painted using soft water colours and it seamlessly blends well with the fluid foreground animations. This is a fantastic anime to watch if you are in the mood for some melodrama romance.

7. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

  • 1 Season, 11 Episodes

  • Genres: Drama

Middle school student Mirai Onozawa is dissatisfied with her family circumstances and, in a moment of frustration, wishes to tear everything apart. When summer vacation begins, Mirai reluctantly takes her younger brother Yuuki to Odaiba, where a robot exhibition that he wanted to go to is being held. However, while they are in the exhibition center, the fury of a major earthquake shakes the Kanto region; helpless, both kids witness the devastating power of this natural disaster as it brings the city to its knees.

This is a compelling anime of overcoming hardships. Our protagonist are young children who are caught in a natural disaster forcing them to depend on each other to survive. This anime does not shy away from pulling at heart strings. Unlike other anime where we are taken to a different world, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is a realistic anime with realistic consequences of a natural disaster. The story is gripping, but the art style can take away from the overall enjoyment of the series. However, this is a fun anime to watch because it had its silly moments amidst the serious environment, balancing out the anime well. Overall, this anime with strong realism and charismatic story is a must watch.

6. March Comes In Like A Lion

  • 2 Seasons, 22 Episodes

  • Genres: Drama, Game, Seinen, Slice of Life

Having reached professional status in middle school, Rei Kiriyama is one of the few elite in the world of shogi. Due to this, he faces an enormous amount of pressure, both from the shogi community and his adoptive family. Seeking independence moves out however, Rei tends to take poor care of himself, and his reclusive personality ostracizes him from his peers in school and at the shogi hall. Until he meets Akari, Hinata, and Momo Kawamoto, a trio of sisters. Forming a unique family bond and helping each other out.

Now this anime hit a little close to home for me. Our protagonist, Rei Kiriyama has lost all meaning to live. He listlessly goes through his mundane life as if in shades of grey. For anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness. Then you know what it is like to lose hope and run on autopilot becoming detached from reality. This anime is a very compelling series of Rei’s growth as a person. This is a character where you learn of his struggles and you cheer him on. We are all aware of how taxing a mental illness can be, but it is even more difficult when you are alone. The people that surround Rei, especially the Kawamoto sisters help Rei become a better person. This series isn’t for everyone. It can be difficult to watch for how slow the series progresses, but I take it as part of a foggy mind relearning to live again. Yet in the end, this anime is able to breathe life with its powerful direction and a story of compelling melodrama.

5. One Week Friends

  • 1 Season, 12 Episodes

  • Genres: Drama, Slice of Life, Comedy, School Life, Shounen

Sixteen-year-old Yuuki Hase finally finds the courage to speak to his crush and ask her if she wants to become friends. The object of his affection, Kaori Fujimiya, is a quiet and reserved girl who cuts herself off from everyone and does not spare him the same blunt rejection she gives everybody else. Kaori has a secret that keeps her from making friends. When Yuuki finds out about her secret. Will he be able to help Kaori?

This is a beautiful tale of true friendship. This is a heartwarming and innocent series of young love and friendship. This anime is a simple, down to earth anime with its melodrama of two young adolescents fumbling their way into friendship. Moreover, the artwork is soft color illustrating the innocence and encompassing the bittersweet moments of the series. The entire story was just relaxing, touching, and feel-good to watch. One Week Friends is a good anime to watch when you're feeling bored, sad, and tired.

4. Penguindrum

  • 1 Season, 24 Episodes, 1 Movie

  • Genres: Mystery, Drama, Comedy, Dementia, Psychological

Destiny is an ever-spinning wheel. For the Takakura family, fate has not always been on their side. Twin brothers Kanba and Shouma live alone with their beloved little sister Himari, whose poor health cannot decline any further. Fate may have offered Kanba and Shouma a chance to save Himari. But at what price?

This anime is a trip to watch. If you have seen Paprika or Inception, then you will enjoy this anime. This anime can be confusing and difficult to follow along but it becomes more intriguing and exciting as you continue to watch it. This anime is bewitching making it difficult for you to stop until you know what happens next. This anime truly made me experience happiness, sadness, anger, suspense and even madness. Penguindrum is not like any normal anime. It's a work of art that forces you to focus. This anime is not for those you mindlessly watch a series but this anime makes you work for an answer. However, this anime is not for everyone, it is easy to get lost or confused in the series and even feel like there is no plot. I personally enjoyed the mind fuck it gave me. But, once again this anime is not for everyone. Give it a try and see if you can follow along.

3. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

  • 1 Season, 12 Episodes, 3 Movies

  • Genres: Psychological, Drama, Magic, Thriller

Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki are regular middle school girls with regular lives, but all that changes when they encounter Kyuubey, a cat-like magical familiar, and Homura Akemi, the new transfer student. Thrown into a magical world Madoka and Sayaka lives are forever changed

This is another anime that pulls you in with light-hearted and colorful appearance but throws you into an abyss of darkness and tragedy. When watching this anime, you must set aside your preconceptions of a magical girl anime. You will be led down a rabbit hole of darkness shrouded in pink and cute girls. Each character grows and changes throughout the series in ways you wouldn't expect. We learn of their past, the reasons behind their actions, and their feelings, making each character feel unique. Once you feel that you have found your footing it is jerked away making you feel helpless. Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a dark tragedy you must brace yourself for. Enter only if you are strong hearted.

2. Made in the Abyss

  • 1 Season, 13 Episodes, 3 Movies

  • Genres: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Mystery, Drama, Fantasy

The Abyss—a gaping chasm stretching down into the depths of the earth, filled with mysterious creatures and relics from a time long past. How did it come to be? What lies at the bottom? Countless brave individuals, known as Divers, have sought to solve these mysteries of the Abyss, fearlessly descending into its darkest realms. The best and bravest of the Divers, the White Whistles, are hailed as legends by those who remain on the surface.

Made into the Abyss is a riveting tale of Riko and Reg’s journey into the Abyss. Although, this anime looks sweet and charming but we spiral down into the darkness of the abyss alongside our protagonist. Where every turn we are forced into life and death situations. If you stare long enough into the abyss it will stare back at you. This is a dark anime were all sense of hope, security and happiness is quickly snuffed out. If you choose to watch this anime, you have been warned!

1. Violet Evergarden

  • 1 Season, 10 Episodes + 1 Special, 1 Movie

  • Genre: Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy

Violet Evergarden was abandoned as a child and raised as a soldier. After a ten-year long war comes to an end, Violet must reenter and readjust to civilian life. Follow Violet on this heartwarming journey of self-discovery.

Violet Evergarden is one of my favorite animes. This anime encompasses the idea of beauty in tragedy. Every episode is beautifully drawn, and each story is compelling. As I watched each episode, I couldn’t help but ugly cry. Violet Evergarden presented a story with heavy emotions as we watch our protagonist navigate life through her clients. Trying to find a sense of self as she helps relay their emotions. Each episodes shows a different challenge and how we as humans must persevere. This is a gorgeous anime that will have you crying each episode. 10 out of 10 for me!

Honorable Mentions

  • A Silent Voice

  • Grave of the Fireflies

  • Air

  • Clannad

  • Angle Beats

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