July 9 is the day of “Naku (lit. Cry)”.

It is the anniversary established after the Japanese wordplay “7(Na) 9(Ku)” to think twice about crying.

Among the anime fans, there certainly will be those who could not help crying while watching anime. I believe that you are sometimes moved by a happy end, shocked by an unnatural death of a favorite character, or getting emotional when a protagonist’s longtime dream has been fulfilled.

Therefore, Anime!Anime! conducted an annual reader survey titled ‘When you think of a tearjerker, which anime comes to your mind first?’. During the survey period from June 22 to 29, a total of 262 responses were received. For the gender ratio, the females were the majority with about 75% while the males were about 25%. For the age distribution, we received the majority of responses from the young readers: about 50% were from teens, and 25% were from those in their 20s.

■1st place was shared between the two titles, whose TV anime were broadcast in 2018.
1st place
1st place went to “Violet Evergarden” and “Banana Fish”. The support rating was about 12% for both.
“Violet Evergarden” remained the top from last year, and the comments received were, “I was moved by the protagonist, who is expressionless, gradually getting to be able to understand human feelings through working as a ghostwriter, and the episodes of the people who she encounters”, “I was deeply moved by the process where the protagonist is getting to be able to recognize ‘love’. This work delicately and faithfully depicts the emotions and feelings of the characters, so I can imagine their feelings, and the story seems more and more impressive”. The readers said that they sympathized with the protagonist, Violet.

The movie released last year was especially highly rated, and many readers said that they had watched it several times. Other comments include, “I have watched the movie three times, and I already know the end of the story, however, I cannot help crying.”

“Banana Fish” moved up from 3rd place last year. The readers seem to be attracted by the characters’ friendship and destiny, saying “I cannot watch the bond between Ash and Eiji, which is beyond friendship, without tears. This work keeps me feel calm for a while after watching it”, “Ash takes actions to pursue freedom, and Eiji tries to protect his heart. I was moved by the ending between them”, and “I cannot see the characters, who keep going against any adversity and despair”。

Also, some readers commented, “There are many moving stories, but ‘Banana Fish’ is the only one, which still comes to mind once in a while and makes me into tears, even three years after the anime broadcast was ended.”

3rd place
3rd place went to “Detective Conan”. The support rating was about 6%, and it moved all the way up from 19th place last year.

This is a mysterious anime, however, the readers commented “There are many moving episodes” about the main and guest characters. The comments received include, “This anime makes me cry for many reasons; the feeling of Ran-chan when she cannot see Shinichi, Ai-chan is getting friendly even though she used to have a melancholic personality, tragic fate that leads a criminal to commit a crime…”

■Let’s introduce other comments!!
“Your Lie in April”
“This work depicts encounter, growth, and separation with beautiful music. Imagining the characters’ feelings makes me keep crying. Whenever I watch it again from episode1, I recognize various foreshadowing, which also makes me cry.”
“Ojamajo Doremi”
“The elementary school girls, who are training to become witches, often face the problems that they cannot or must not use magic to solve. The story delicately depicts how to deal with such a situation. I can relate myself to the episode about school absenteeism, so it was especially moving.”

“Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms”
“This is a fantasy featuring a special race who can live for hundreds of years as protagonists. Although they understand that a human being can live for a limited period of time, but they determine to raise up a human baby. It’s a beautiful story.”
“Fruits Basket”
“Each episode is filled with gladness and sadness, which arouses my emotion.”
“This work gave me the bravery to move on.”
This is a popular series, whose final season was broadcast in the spring of 2021, and got some votes.

In the survey of 2021, various titles, including comedy, mystery, action, sports, etc., have been ranked. The result shows how a drama between the characters draws the tears of the fans.

■Ranking Top20
[When you think of a tearjerker, which anime comes to your mind first?]
1. “Violet Evergarden”
1. “Banana Fish”
3. “Detective Conan”
4. “Gintama”
5. “Assassination Classroom”
7. “Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day”
8. “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba”
9. “Fruits Basket”
10. “Your Lie in April”
11. “Attack on Titan”
11. “Naruto”
11. “Love Live!”
14. “Tokyo Magnitude 8.0”
14. “Natsume’s Book of Friends”
14. “One Piece”
17. “Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai”
17. “Haikyu!!”
19. “AIR”
19. “Angel Beats!”
19. “The Day I Became a God”
19. “Junjo Romantica: Pure Romance”
19. “A Place Further than the Universe”
19. “Hug! Pretty Cure”
19. “Hunter × Hunter”
19. “Mo Dao Zu Shi”
19. “Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World”

(Survey Period: June 22 – 29, 2021)

*This survey is intended to research the readers’ “interest in anime and characters today”. It is not intended to discuss the relative merits of each character nor work. I would be glad if this article can help you develop an understanding and interest in the anime and characters.