Top 20 Sad Manga That You Can’t Ignore

Top 20 Sad Manga - Recommendation

If you are here in search of sad manga, then you have visited the right place. We have created a list of the 20 Best sad Manga that you should definitely read and feel the pain of the manga story. Make sure to read the story before going to start reading.

List of 20 Sad Manga to Read for Manga Readers 

You can start exploring the sad manga mentioned below, but keep in mind that ranking has nothing to do with storyline, so find suitable one for yourself.

20. Blank Canvas: My So-Called Artist’s Journey

Blank Canvas manga preview

Akiko Hayashi starts to worry about her career when she was in her third year of high school. Since then, she has been praised by other for her good drawing skills, and Higashimura-san wants to go to an art university. She goes to a painting class to learn painting in earnest. In painting class, she met her teacher, Hidaka-sensei.

The personality of the two main characters, Mr. Hidaka and Akiko Hayashi is strong. Mr. Hidaka is a painting teacher, but he basically holds a bamboo sword while teaching. He makes ugly comments such as “badass” and “stupid” for the pictures drawn by his students.

He is a strict teacher by all appearances. On the other hand, Hayashi’s character is also unbeatable. Kakukaku Shikajika is centered around relationship with Professor Hidaka. It is a topical work that won the “Manga Award 2015”, and all 5 volumes have been completed. A heart-touching and painful ending that cannot be seen without tears.

19. Voice of a Distant Star

Voice of a Distant Star - Emotional and sad manga

Noboru and Mikako were junior high school classmates, but one day Mikako got a special mission and goes away from the Earth to space. Even after they get separated, their love for each other never changes, and continue to communicate with each other via e-mail, but as the distance between Mikako and the Earth increases, it takes more time for e-mails to reach them gets longer and longer.

A sci-fi love story represents the painful love between two people. In the plain story, the heart becomes hot and breaking. One of the masterpieces of one-volume complete manga.

18. The Anthem of the Heart

The Anthem of the Heart Manga Manga is not available in English but I will recommend watching movie, if interested 

Naruse Jun is a young girl who can no longer speak properly after being traumatized because of her parent’s divorce in the past. She always thought that “I can’t speak and I will never get along with people and became a high school student”.

Takumi Sakagami and Natsuki Nito dated in the past. It was a secret relationship between them except close friends, but the relationship was discovered by the classmates. Since then, both of them stopped talking to each other, and it’s been several years since then.

In addition to these three, Tasaki Daiki, the ace of the baseball club who got his elbow dirty, became a high school student and was assigned to the same class. After the disposition of the homeroom teacher, Tasaki Daiki is nominated as a “local contact exchange meeting executive committee” and will make soup stock. Music was chosen as the soup stock.

Moreover, Jun Naruse, who can’t speak, was the main character. While working as a member of this executive committee, the true feelings hidden in the hearts of these four students come out.

A youth-organized drama in which four people who keep their true feelings behind performing music with a girl who can’t speak as the main character, in which they “cry out” their true feeling.

17. Gunslinger girl

Gunslinger girl - Sad story manga

The girls nearly died once. Girls with serious injuries and physical disabilities because of various incidents and accidents, were given a body by the government and were given a second life as a fighting “weapon”.

Because of this terrible circumstance that made them commit suicide, they were robbed of their memories and continued to work as murderers, but as they lead their second lives, they seem a little happier.

The organization that gave the girls mechanical bodies is the Corporation of Social Welfare Public. It was an organization created by the Prime Minister’s Office to support people with disabilities, but in reality, it is an intelligence agency that secretly eliminates forces hostile to the government.

They were doing various jobs here. The girls have no doubts about their job of picking up guns and killing people.

Each girl has one Ex-military and one police, who use the girls to take on difficult missions. Some officers treat girls like their real little sisters, while others treat them like objects. The way the “girls” and the “officers” interact with each other and how their hearts move is a fascinating work.

That’s why I introduced “GUNSLINGER GIRL”, a manga about fighting girls. At the end of the manga, I was filled with sorrow and various other emotions, and I read while repeating tears of sadness and tears of gratitude.

16. Shape of voice

Shape of voice - Emotional story

Elementary school student Masaya Ishida is a lovely boy who is always running around with his friends. He was a so-called “brat general” boy who lead everyone and took leadership.

He hated being bored and he was always seeking for something stimulating, but a certain transfer student appeared before Ishida. Shoko Nishimiya was the girl name who tranfered.

She couldn’t hear well. At first, everyone in the class tried to support her with a handicap, but she gradually became isolated, as she was dragged down from the class.

Then, Ishida took the lead and started to bully her. In this way, when they were in elementary school, they broke up irreversible.
Now Ishida, who became a high school student, regretted his elementary school days.

The story is really made for sad manga and you should consider giving it a try.

15. Your lie in April

Your lie in April - saddest manga / anime

Kosei Arima was a genius boy who was famous for playing piano. After the death of his mother, he began to avoid the piano. However, he could not completely break away from the piano.

The violinist Kaori Miyazono appears in front of Kosei. She was also a talented performer, though she had a bad temper and gets violent quickly. Kaori does her best with everything she has. Such a figure and her music hit the heart of the fair.

There are four main characters in Your Lie in April. Tsubaki Sawabe, who is a childhood friend of Kosei and wants the two musicians to play the piano again.

Ryota Watari, who is also Kosei and Tsubaki’s childhood friend and is extremely popular with girls. He is the boy who loves Kaori.

It is a recommended manga for those who want to read a youth romance that touches the heart with music as the theme. Even the great Eichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece was obsessed with the manga.

14. Spirit Circle

Spirit Circle manga preview

There is a world where souls are reincarnated with the “Spirit Circle” It is a weapon that allows anyone to relive one’s many past lives. Touching this weapon will allow you to relive the past lives that your soul has experienced.

Futa and Minako each of them own one of these “Spirit Circles”. They have lived seven lives and died seven times. Futa and Minako always had contact with each other in their seven lives.

If Minako ever killed Futa, then vice versa the two are at odds with each other on a soul level. Both the scar on Minako’s forehead and the bruise on Futa’s cheek are caused by this fate.

After many battles, they two met in this world as junior high school students. It is not just the two of them who are experiencing reincarnation but there are many more people.

In this manga, the same characters appear many times in different forms in this world and live seven times, and they both are involved in their lives. What will happen to these two opposing souls in this world? 

13. Shiki

Shiki manga

Sotoba Village is a depopulated village with a population of only 1,300. There was a boy, Yuki Natsuno, who just moved to this Sotoba village last year. He hates the village and wants to leave it as soon as possible. In Sotoba Village, where he lives, a major incident occurs that threatens the survival of the villagers.

A new resident, the Kirishiki family, has moved into Sotoba Village. They build a large Western-style building that is completely unfamiliar to a rural village, and they are thought to be strange people in the village. They are gorgeous people, and they are seen only at night when the sun sets down.

At the same time,when they move, incidents begin to occur in Sotoba Village. In Sotoba village, three dead bodies of unknown have been found. Only old people died, and at first, it was thought to be a natural death. However, Megumi Shimizu, a high school girl who is Natsuno Yuki’s classmate, goes missing and dies. Something strange is happening in the village.

Suspicious, Natsuno Yuki, Toshio Ozaki, a doctor from Sotoba Village, and Shizunobu Muroi, the heir of the temple, begin to investigate.
From the series of suspicious deaths that occur in the village. The “maliciousness” of a cornered human being is a terrible horror work. Shiki is a recommended work for those who want to read a horror manga that will send chills down your spine.

12. Solanine


The story begins when Meiko quits the company and becomes a freelancer. Taneda’s words triggered Meiko’s decision to quit the company. Taneda is Meiko’s lover, and Meiko calls her “Taneda” with her surname intact, a freelancer who works part-time in a newspaper subcontractor company.

They have been dating for six years and living together for a year. They are close enough to know each other’s physical condition by the atmosphere of the room. The fact that they were in the same university, this was the reason that they started dating.

They two belonged to the light sound circle, and Taneda formed a band and continued his activities even after graduation. He continues to work as a part-timer with the dream of making his debut with this band. Taneda’s band is a trio, all from the same university and the same club.

Taneda is in charge of guitar and vocals. Kato is incharge of bass. He is known as “Fat”. He is a 6th-year college student who has not yet graduated from college. Yamada is in charge of the drums. His nickname is “Billy”. He works at his family’s pharmacy.

In addition to this band member, Meiko and Kato’s lover, Kotani Ai, who graduated from the same university, is a five-member group who often hang out after graduation.

The relationship between Meiko and Taneda and the lives of these five people are the main themes of Solanin.

Meiko has quit working as an office worker. Taneda, her lover and bandman. The story progresses around the members of Taneda’s band. It depicts the struggles of young people who inevitably pursue their dreams. It is a work that makes you feel sweetness and sadness.

11. Another

Another manga

Twenty-six years ago, there was a student named “Misaki” at Yamiyamakita Junior High School. He was good at both studies and sports and was popular with everyone, but he died in an accident soon after he changed classes and entered Class 3 in the 3rd year.

The whole class was shocked and very sad. After that, the whole class continued to perform with the cooperation of the teacher.

One year after that, “Misaki”, who shouldn’t have been in the graduation photo, appeared. Since then, there has been an increase in the number of classmates who should not exist in Class 3-3. When this phenomenon occurs, more than one person dies each month among classmates and their families.

Another person who shouldn’t have joined the class. So who is the other person? Can the phenomenon be stopped once it has started? Is “Misaki Mei” who is ignored by all classmates other than Sakakibara the other one? The two wrestle against the curse and death. The manga version of “Another” is completed in all four volumes.

10. Into the forest of fireflies 

Into the forest of fireflies 

“There is a beautiful but unfinished love story” in the manga, and only regret for anyone reading this manga.

The story is about Takegawa Hotaru, a 6-year-old girl who was lost in the forest of the gods, and Hotaru was crying because of fear. Gin – the spirit of a masked teenager helped her in forest.

Since then, Gin and Hotaru became good friends, they spent all summer together. Hotara never touched Gin because if humans touched him, Gin would disappear.

Gin was saved by the gods, Hotara and Gin only met when summer came. They have a pure and true love for each other. Although both of them longed to touch each other and they couldn’t hug each other.

The moment of parting came when Gin let Hotaru hug him once like other lovers and then he disappeared in Hotaru’s arms.

I have read the manga personally and cried in the end.

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9. Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies

This manga is based on a true story about two orphans Seita and Setsuko.
As world war 2 was going on, two split children lost their mother in the fierce bombing of the US Air Force and their father was fighting for the Japanese Navy.

Seita and Setsuko depend on each other to live. They struggled for food because at that time food shortage immersed in Japan. They lived with their relatives but their relatives are careless.

Setsuko fell sick from malnutrition. Seita started to steal food and money for his sister but In the end, the younger sister Setsuko died of starvation in an abandoned cellar before the older brother Seita found food back.

Most recommended sad manga for readers, with real-life story.

8. Clannad

Clannad manga ch1 preview

An individual high school boy named Tomoya who is often late, neglecting to study. Their difficult family situation made him become indifferent to everything around him.

Tomoya’s life was quite simple until he met Nagisa, a girl 1 year older than him who had to re-study because of her illness, a few years ago. While helping Nagisa, Tomoya made a lot of friends in the school and began to get along with everyone.

“After Story” is the next part of the Clannad series, still talking about the lives of two characters Nagasi and Tomoya but now both are grown up. Toward the end of the manga, the reader’s tears are taken away.

7. Anohana

This is a heart-touching manga about a group of 6 childhood friends who lost their contact with each other after one of their friends, Menma, died in an accident.

Ten years after Menma’s death, Yadomi Jinta, the leader of the group, has given up social connections and leads a retiring life. One summer, Menma’s spirit suddenly appeared in front of Jinta and asked to grant her wish so that she could go to the afterlife.

But she couldn’t remember what that wish was. Jinta decided to gather all the members of the group and decode Menma’s wish to help her reincarnate.

The ending was very sad, and no one wants to part with the person they love. But the manga “the flower that We looked at Together” brings the sacred feelings of friendship that are really meaningful.

6. Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki

Wolf Children Manga - with sad story

There is a wonderful fairy tale which has a divine love and motherhood. The story begins when the 19-year-old student Hana falls in love with a cold, lonely werewolf.

Their love blossomed and two little angels Yuki and Ame were born. How peaceful and perfect life would be if Hana’s husband hadn’t passed away.

Hana has to quickly overcome the pain because of the two young children she needs to take care of. Things become more complicated when the young mother has to raise two werewolf children alone.

She stubbornly raised Ame and Yuki, helping them find their true selves with divine motherly love.

5. Fruit Basket 

Fruit Basket Manga Tohru Honda is an orphaned high school girl who lives in a tent. Tohru was discovered by Yuki Sohma, a popular boy in his class, who lives nearby. One day due to a landslide her tent was buried, Yuki ask her to live in her house, and instead of rent, She has to do housekeeping.

One day, Cousin Kyo Shoma burst in to fight his rival, Yuki.

While staying with them, Tohru learns about the Sohma family Curse: when they are hugged by the opposite gender, they turn into animal from Chinese zodiac.

Tohru was not afraid but she was the one to come up with a plan to break the curse. She was also the one who comfort them to overcome the trauma he has suffered.

Tohru even learned about her own past and family history. Her mother, Kyoko Honda was also a Shoma and while curing the curse, she died in the process.

Tohru is determined to break the generational curse of Shoma, but can she do something her mother failed? Read manga to know the answer.

4. 5 Centimeters per second

5 Centimeters per secondThe following manga is three parts of the story about the relationship between Takaki Toona and Akira Shinohara. Their story is from childhood to adulthood.

The First part – “Cherry Blossom”
It is about their childhood.

The Second part – “Cosmonaut”
It is about their high school life.

The Third part “Five Centimeters per Second”
The final storyline is about their love life.

This specific is really the best sad manga and I will recommend you to read it without any context of the story or it might spoil the ending and plot line.

The manga 5 Centimeters per Second is a beautiful but heartbreaking manga that will stay in your mind for a long. Personally recommended sad manga which follows the love story of childhood friends and their fate.

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3. No Longer Human 

Saddest Manga - No Longer Human

No longer human is about a man name Oba Yozo, who thinks he is not worthy to live and feels like a failure as a human.

Oba Yozo remembers his childhood to adulthood, which was filled with abuse. He was bullied by his classmates, his teacher, and even his parents treated her badly. He develops a sense of inferiority and worthlessness.

Even in his university, he was feeling like an outsider, and he develop the habit of drinking and gambling. He even tried to commit suicide many times.

Later Oba meets a woman named Yoshiko, who was kind towards him and also understands her feelings. She started to heal her, but Oba was unable to fight his demon living inside and he eventually committed suicide.

The manga itself is very hard to read, but the story is very important to understand the pain of loneliness and worthlessness. After reading the manga you will understand the struggle and pain of other people.

2. UzumakiUzumaki Manga Preview

The manga is about Superstition and Curses with a disturbing storyline.

Our story is about a girl name Kirie Goshima, who lives in a town called Kurouzu Cho, Which is cursed by a spiral. The curse has the power to control the body, mind, and soul.

The manga has 12 different stories in 12 different chapters, two of which are mentioned below for context.

The Scar: A woman who has a scar becomes a spiral monster.

The Spiral Lover: Two people interested in Spiral fall in love with each other but their relationship was destroyed by Spiral.

The manga ends with Kirie and Shuichi escaping the town, but they understand that the curse o spiral will never disappear. You will definitely gonna see true horror and sadness in story.

1. Vagabond

Vegabond - Sad Manga

Vagabond is a story about a legendary Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, who lived in the 17th century.

The manga starts with a young boy named Mushahi, who lives in a small village in Japan. He used to suffer from being bullied by other kids. 

His father takes him to a sword fight and he easily gets defeated, but he is now determined to become the greatest swordsman.

Always remember “Succes Begin with Failure”. He started training daily and when he reaches adulthood he leaves his village to travel the country and challenge other swordsmen.

I will definitely recommend all of You to read the manga which holds the title of “Masterpiece”.

Q. Where to Read all the mentioned manga 

Most of you already have their source to find and read the manga but for those new readers, I will suggest some legal manga reading sites which you can use to read.

Viz Manga, Manga Plus, and Crunchyroll Manga are some well know sites for manga reading. You can visit and check anyone of them. check comment section for more info.

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