There are many anime titles available to watch throughout various streaming websites and platforms currently. There are many of note among them, but to single them out would be quite the endeavor and so I’ll settle on picking a handful from one such site. I have chosen Netflix as my site of choice for today, but if this is received well, I may do more posts like this and feature anime found on other streaming sites too. Without further ado, let’s briefly cover six anime titles available on Netflix, that are emotional powerhouses worth your attention.
Usually the best is saved for last, but I’m switching things up and making it the first. This series is one of my, if not my most favorite anime of all time. However, just because it’s my best, that doesn’t mean it is for someone else. So rather than rank them, you can just go along with each title as an independent feature.
A Silent Voice is generally a movie about the consequences of one’s actions, and how they shape the lives of all affected for many years following them. More specifically, it follows a boy who relentlessly bullied a hearing impaired girl in grade school to the point she transferred and his efforts to make amends years later as a high school student. Through the movie, we can observe many themes that are relatable to the youth of today and serve as painful reminders for the youth of the past as well. What makes this movie so good is that no one is necessarily painted as good or bad, situations aren’t right or wrong, but rather; everyone has their own struggle that they must face, resolve and/or make peace with; making it realistic.
However, what gives it a charm as well as makes it worthy of being considered an emotional powerhouse, is the character driven subplot. The main characters specifically and their path to friendship and potential romance; it’s rather endearing to see, but the journey is not an easy one. They both must resolve the demons of their past, and confront those that played a part if they are to look towards the future. There are moments that will make you laugh, make you cry and even enrage you. In simple terms, it packs an emotional punch to those who can relate, as well as those who can’t. The direction and production of the film is so masterfully executed, it will definitely pull on the heartstrings of all who have the pleasure of viewing this masterpiece.
Violet Evergarden is a series that follows Violet; a young girl who was raised to be a weapon of war. She was treated as nothing more than a tool for years, until she was saved by the man that would give her life more meaning. He would take her in and teach her how to acclimate to the world as a living soul and how to find the beauty in life. However, Violet one day finds herself without him, and she must now make it on her own. This leads her to an associate of the man, and starts her journey as an Auto Memory Doll. Through her work, she will learn about life and it’s beauty, pain and the sadness it can bring, and most importantly of all, she will attempt to find an answer to the question, “what is love?”.
The series is filled to the brim with heartfelt moments, emotional encounters and fleeting memories. The side story movie keeps up with this trend and is as welcome an addition to the main series as the eventual sequel will be. Being a KyoAni work, the animation is beautiful and adds to the overall aesthetic that the series creates. This is an anime that is a must watch for anyone who likes to experience the emotions that living life can bring.
Your Lie in April or Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso is a musical drama that is best compared to a sucker punch of emotion. That is to say, the emotional buildup is gradual and light, but finishes in a rather abrupt manner. However, it is this unexpected event that gives the series its greatest emotional payoff. This is one that you must experience for yourself for the full effect, but I promise you it’s worth your time and investment. It’s also among my favorites of all time.
Carole and Tuesday is another musical anime, however it’s less focused on the drama, and more on the music. It quite literally is a musical phenomenon and is one of the best anime to release in the last year. It follows Carole and Tuesday, a musical duo who found each other as if by fate, and their journey to become the best musicians. Set in the sci-fi, futuristic world of Mars, the pair must work their way up from the bottom and navigate the harsh music industry one hurdle at a time. They are met with hardships, opposition and many roadblocks along the way, but they can somehow make it through it all, because they have each other. Their relationship is the emotional tether the viewers have to the story, and the music they create through their close bond is what offers a peaceful resolution for our troubled souls. Featuring the talents of many real-world musicians and producers, Carole and Tuesday is a really special work that everyone should see and is one one of Wantanabe’s finest works.
Last, but certainly not least, is an anime movie of Historical Fiction. It follows a young girl who’s forced to marry a man she barely knows and follows her daily life and struggle of living in Japan during World War II. It follows them as they come to find love together, against all odds and at the risk of losing that love just as suddenly as it came.
I watched this title most recently and it’s still resonating with me even now, days later. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it, but I like historical works and so that was what encouraged me to give it a watch. What I experienced was something of an emotional roller coaster and left me with the impression that this is a silent killer. It’s a bit slow-paced and not exactly filled with action, but it’s still effective in planting its seeds of emotional turmoil and anguish. However, they don’t bear fruit until the last quarter of the movie. It’s there that this movie makes it mark and takes its place among these other series worthy of being called emotional powerhouses. While the climax is to be expected considering it is based on historical events, the bittersweet emotion bomb it sets off within you is not.
As I said before, there are many great anime titles on Netflix and beyond to watch, especially during this crazy and uncertain time. However, these five are my personal selection of emotional powerhouses that I feel deserve particular recognition. I hope that even just one of these titles will bring some joy or at least a little relief during this time. If you enjoyed this content, please let me know. Feel free to share your thoughts as well. Depending on the reception, I may do more of these. For now, thanks for reading and be well.