This month I’d like to clean your eyes for you. Everyone needs a good cry from time to time… whether they be happy tears or tears of sorrow, crying is refreshing. It helps to rejuvenate your emotions, even as it leaves your eyes itchy and unpleasant.
So, my recommendations for this month are going to focus on bringing out the tears to give you a good cry.
Ano Hana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Okay guys, this one’s a bit obvious… but if you’re looking to cry, watching Ano Hana. The ending episode of that show is so sad that it has led people to create ‘reaction videos’ – and I mean grown men – of them crying to the ending. Watching as it builds up to the inevitable and then reaches that breakpoint is an intense emotional experience, and is one of the most heartwrenching scenes I’ve ever seen.
This game isn’t a tearjerker throughout, but it certainly had its moments, regardless of which path you pick. Both endings will make you cry, but in different ways… one of them gives you that sense of heroic tragedy. You’ll shed tears for the sacrifice made. On the other side, there’s an unpleasant act you have to commit that will leave you tearing up at the brutal necessity of it. The death of a character that is not only hard to like, but also hard to lose…
Let’s change pace here… we’ve had a couple of depressing recommendations… ones where you’ll let out tragic tears of sorrow. This week I want to go a bit more hopeful. Celestial Method is this week’s anime recommendation. It’s a slice of life show about a group of childhood friends who have become estranged coming together as they interact with a strange girl known as Noel.
While the show does have its sad moments, and you may well cry during them… it is the finale that will have the tears streaming down the most, and in the end it is essentially a happy scene. The tears you’ll be seeing will be tears of relief and joy.
A game with no concrete story is a strange recommendation for an emotional subject like this, I know. But the depth of this game’s emotional impact is hard to describe. If you need to cry, Journey will make you cry.
There’s a strange sort of therapeutic quality to this game. I’ve had times where Journey has had me practically giddy… and other times where I’ve been left in tears. And it’s always been exactly what I needed. Since the game is so self-guided, and the emotion is mostly a projection of your own current state onto the desert landscape… it can fill many emotions.
And that is only part of what makes it so special…
This week’s entries in our monthly tearjerkers recommendations are going back towards sadness… well, they’re taking a step in that direction anyways. Each of the following entries will feature sadness, but sadness tinted with hope.
Plastic Memories is a strange romance show about a couple bonding at work doing a tragic job. They come to appreciate the nuances of their work and each other over the course of this charming show. The show has several tragic moments, but the end has this hopeful spin that just makes the tears all the more intense. It’s greatest accomplishment is making that hope so present despite the inevitable ending, and incorporating the amazing music in such a way to make the emotions all the more potent.
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X features one of my favourite love stories in the Final Fantasy series. As annoying as Tidus is as a character, the romance that builds between him and Yuna is very genuine and makes his ignorance of the world all the more painful to watch. What makes it so genuine are the troubles they go through… and what makes it fit here is the ending. That tragic twist, predictable though it was, right as everything was looking good… hit so hard. I tear up even hearing the song that was playing during the scene, regardless of the timing. And then, the speech afterwards… so heart-wrenching.
And thus week 3 of our Tearfilled Recommendations begins… next week we’ll be moving in some different directions so check back next Monday!
One of the best shows I’ve ever watched, HaNaYaMaTa does character development right. And with good development comes strong emotional attachments. While, in general, you’ll be celebrating for these girls… there are some pretty painful scenes to watch. And that’s the sign of a good character-driven show, alternating highs and lows. And with HaNaYaMaTa, both sides will leave you in tears.
When things are good, you’ll be laughing along with the music and tearing up at the beauty of the imagery. But not everything goes well for them, and there are a few scenes that will leave you balling with such intensity that you’ll simply have to keep watching – you won’t have the heart to stop… and fortunately for you guys, that’s an option now! I watched while it was still airing, and having to wait a week to find out what was going to happen killed me a little inside.
Mass Effect 3
The Mass Effect series is one of the best Western RPGs I’ve ever played. While the ending gets criticized a lot, the third game featured some fantastic character moments and some of the most well written character deaths I’ve ever seen.
While some of them are tragic and others glorious… it is the death of one particular character that had me weeping for him. He wasn’t even a character that I had special affinity for… but Thane’s death is one of the few unavoidable ones(unless he died in the previous game) and it is one of the most moving scenes I’ve ever seen. For his death is peaceful. Amid all the chaos, amid all the tragedy, Thane passes away contented that he has accomplished something and he even offers Shepard his pity. This scene is accompanied by his son reading a traditional prayer of his people. It is just incredible.
The final week of this month’s recommendations are sure to clear your tear ducts. I saved some of the best for last here, with two favourites of mine that feature some heavy duty emotions.
Ahh… Angel Beats. Very few shows feature the level of emotional rollercoaster that Angel Beats does. Every character’s backstory is tragic, yet the way they execute the story – both in terms of the hilarity of the present and the development towards the future – ensures it never feels too heavy. You’ll find yourself alternating between laughing so hard your eyes tear and then bawling over a new development about one of the characters…
And the music, oh the music. This show has songs that are able to make me tear up just listening to them again, even without context. It makes sense for a show called Angel Beats would have good music, but man this show… there’s a reason it was #1 on my Shadow’s Six list of Best Anime Soundtracks. The songs are amazing, and so utterly perfect for the shows.
Tales of Xillia 2
Xillia 2 is one of the best JRPGs I’ve played in a long time, possibly one of the best ever made. What makes it so special is Elle. And the story elements surround her are a combination of sadness and growth, which makes such a young character so relatable. Watching her cope and rage like a real child is so endearing, and so traumatizing.
But she’s not the only important factor, not by a long shot. The relationship between Ludger and his brother, the circumstances surrounding Milla, poor misguided Muzet, and even Nova… you’ll never be short of moments to make you cry – both in happiness and in sorrow. And the endings… such a strange combination of tragedy and joy that you may not even be sure why you’re crying at parts.