Anime has a knack for bringing about the most intense emotions in human expression through excellent storytelling. Audiences like to be gripped by a narrative and tend to enjoy shows that can elicit strong emotional responses the most.
The ability of these series to capture a viewer’s feelings is nothing short of impressive, although some do better than others. From anime that plays the emotional long game to those that grab the senses from the very first episode, there’s no shortage of emotionally manipulative anime series.
ten Fans just weren’t into Korra’s legend
Like the characters of The Legend of Korra were a little older than the original Gaang, it made sense that the romantic elements would be more present than in the original series. Unfortunately, the strength of the dating element left fans feeling emotionally drained.
Fans felt that the cast’s date in the romantic lives seemed to override the plot for too much of the series, simultaneously feeling obligated to take care of the love triangles at play. The show’s romantic elements felt inorganic among the audience and was one of the show’s main critics. It seemed like The Legend of Korrarelied too heavily on its leverage with avatar the last airbender to sway viewers’ reactions, but the emotional manipulation actually failed.
9 Ouran High School Host Club is dripping with beauty and laughter
This slice-of-life anime goes all out to make fans feel good all at once. Ouran High School Host Club is light, silly and endearing. The series centers on Haruhi, a poor kid who lands a scholarship to an elite school for the privileged.
The resident Host Club president, Tamaki Suo, develops a fondness for Haruhi’s underdog story and brings Haruhi into the Host Club to pay off a debt. All it takes is one episode to please viewers with the six Host Club members. The same episode blinds viewers, however, when Haruhi (who is seen as a young man the entire episode) is revealed as a woman at the end. For a quick series to put a smile on your face, look no further.
8 Twilight develops a daddy’s heart in Spy x Family
Spy x Family makes the audience feel good, and quick. It’s what you’d expect from a story centered around one of the universe’s most powerful unions – a father and young daughter. Although Twilight only adopts Anya because her mission requires it, viewers can see Anya quickly expand Twilight’s emotional landscape. He does not know how to behave with a young child, but quickly develops natural fatherly and protective instincts.
As he stresses the emotional distance from Anya, Twilight reveals that his motivations for becoming a spy actually stem from his desire to make the world a safer place for generations of children after him. Children are the root of why he does what he does. At the end of the first episode, Twilight lets her guard down around her enough to fall asleep in front of her (which is unacceptable and out of place for him). Spy x Family hooks viewers with fast-paced yet well-paced emotional material.
seven A manly friendship blossoms in My Hero Academia
my hero academia gives viewers the best kind of emotional boost. Fans are quite captivated by the early episodes. With a large cast, each season takes viewers deeper into the lives and motivations of main and supporting characters. A particularly gripping moment occurs when Bakugo is kidnapped by the League Of Villains in Season 3.
Kirishima takes center stage during this episode. Prior to this moment, Kirishima experienced fairly minimal screen time, and the depth and solidity of his relationship with Bakugo had not been seen before. Even so, in just one episode, fans are thrust into an instant fondness for their friendship and a whole new side to both characters is opened up.
6 Satoru Winds Up The Clock In Erased
Deleted is hot as a murder-mystery style anime, but there is no viewer preparation for the first on-screen murder in Episode 1. Deleted introduces us to Satoru and his mundane, mediocre life (apart from the fact that he’s often pushed seconds into the past to intervene in tragedy before it happens).
During one of these events, Satoru is injured, so his mother, Sachiko, comes to stay with him. Sachiko is a quickly likable character, but it’s not long before the series’ antagonist enters the house and stabs her in the side. The close-up of the weapon entering Sachiko’s body is visually harsh. The audience doesn’t know that something so horrible is about to happen and they are quite shocked by the event.
5 Fans weren’t ready to lose Junpei in Jujustu Kaisen
Jujutsu Kaisen regularly draws emotions from fans, and one of the most notable examples of this is Junpei Yoshino’s short arc. Although a minor character in the series, Junpei’s story is enduring. His death and significance are widely discussed among fans – many of them initially in disbelief at his quick passing.
Not only is the nature of his death shocking, but fans are caught off guard after being led to believe that his arc on the show could be much longer. Junpei is well-written with significant character potential, and he appears in the series’ opening title sequence, implying that Junpei might have a larger role in the series.. The weight of his death is powerful for Yuji and his fans as his story comes to an end.
4 Things take a turn for the worst again in Tokyo Revengers
Tokyo avengers holds a special place for its ability to put audiences in emotional turmoil over a character not just once, but multiple times due to the show’s altered timeline. Takemichi is determined to save as many of his loved ones as possible with his time-jumping ability.
Unfortunately, this sometimes results in their demise materializing at a different time, in a different way. This means viewers don’t see Takemichi’s best friend betray him and then kill himself once, but twice. Viewers are choked the first time this happens, but watching Takemichi’s heart rip out of his chest is even worse the second time around.
Fullmetal Alchemist There’s no shortage of emotional landmines, but perhaps none quite compare to the quick introduction and departure of four-year-old Nina Tucker and her dog, Alexander. Audiences meet Nina in episode 5 and quickly take ownership of the healthy relationship she develops with the Elric brothers. They sympathize with Nina’s loneliness and prioritize playing with her during their study breaks.
The following episode reveals Nina’s father’s experimentation on her and Alexander, merging them to create a malformed creature. At the end of the episode, the transmuted Nina/Alexander is deconstructed and killed. The discovery leaves the Elric brothers and members of the public distraught and appalled. Nina’s death is widely considered a collective memory among the Fullmetal Alchemist Fans.
2 A family is torn apart in Demon Slayer
demon slayer rocks viewers with the introduction of a sweet Tanjiro Kamado, the eldest of six siblings. He is a hardworking and humble boy who supports and loves his family. Unfortunately for Tanjiro and unsuspecting viewers, Tanjiro returns home after a trip to find his entire family slaughtered in the first episode.
This brutal attack happens off-screen, saving audiences the horror of watching the killings in real time. However, the bloody discovery and resulting grief for Tanjiro is deeply shocking and quickly sets the tone for the series.
1 There is endless terror in Attack On Titan
The attack of the Titans takes first place for the sudden emotional diversion. From the first episode, titanic, naked, human-like giants grossly consume any human being in sight. Viewers see the main character, a young boy named Eren, watch helplessly as a Titan maims his mother before devouring her, and all of this violence happens onscreen.
In the first twenty minutes, Eren loses his entire family and his town. The portrayal of how the Titans kill and consume human beings is violent and macabre. Before the viewer has a chance to familiarize themselves with any of the characters, they are immersed in a plot that epitomizes shock value.
NEXT: 10 Most Shocking Anime Betrayals Of All Time