10 Anime Relationships That Ended In Heartbreak

While anime builds heartwarming romantic relationships, it also dismantles beautiful couples in the most devastating ways.

Not all relationships have a happy ending and while anime loves to create a bit of romance, it’s not afraid to break hearts too. Fans may hate it when it happens, but tragedy is just as important when it comes to creating realistic stories for audiences to enjoy.

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“What could have been” is an incredibly relatable concept that often plays a huge role in relationships in anime. While many characters get their happy ending, there are dozens more who are forced to agonize over their past and wonder what their life would be like if they could have made their relationships work.

10 Kurenai and Asuma never became a family together (Naruto Shippuden)

Kurenai from naruto crying for asuma

Although their relationship was kept in the background, it was incredibly obvious that Asuma and Kurenai had feelings for each other. These two were probably one of the only couples that fans didn’t fight over and actually loved. Unfortunately, they never saw a happy ending since Asuma was killed by two Akatsuki members. The worst part was that Kurenai was pregnant when she died and Asuma never got to meet her child.

9 Kaori left a hole in Kosei’s heart (Your lie in April)

While most fans saw the end of this relationship coming, it still hit hard when it happened. Dealing with an illness can often be worse than a tragic accident, especially when the affected person is deteriorating rapidly. It’s thanks to Kaori that Kosei was able to fall in love with music again and it’s terrible that she didn’t get to see her final performance. It’s clear that she was there for him in spirit, but that will never fill the void he left in her and the audience’s hearts.

8 Tomoya is not allowed to be happy (Clannad)

For many fans Clannad is one of the saddest anime of all time, which makes sense considering the story. While the anime is presented as a cute harem, the characters never seem to get a break.

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Tomoya and Nagisa try to have a life together and even have a child. Unfortunately, Nagisa dies of an unknown illness shortly after the birth of her daughter. To make matters worse, her daughter contracts the same disease and also dies. Apparently no one is meant to be happy in this anime, especially Tomoya.

7 Julia and Spike’s relationship was doomed from the start (Cowboy Bebop)

Julia dies in Spike's arms - Cowboy Bebop

As comrades in the Red Dragon Syndicate, Julia and Spike’s relationship was doomed from the start. Especially since Julia was still in a relationship with Vicious when she and Spike met. Regardless of the risks, they tried to make it work and they both nearly died from it. Years later they tried to run away together, but once again fate turned out to be against them. Not only did Julia die tragically, but Spike died shortly after.

6 Tsunade cries for what could have been (Naruto Shippuden)

tsunade from naruto crying

Tsunade and Jiraiya’s relationship is a perfect example of what could have been. Although Tsunade always seemed to be annoyed with Jiraiya, it’s clear that she cared deeply for him and he felt the same way. Unfortunately, they always seemed to dance around each other, which is why their relationship never got past the flirting stage. Of course, just when it seemed that they were about to confess their feelings, Jiraiya died in battle. It’s clear that when Tsunade cried for Jiraiya, she wasn’t just mourning his death, but what they both lost.

5 They Were Separated By The End Of The World (Darling In The Franxx)

Hiro and Zero Two were always a bit of an odd couple, but despite their differences, they seemed to understand each other on a primal level. No matter how aloof Zero Two seemed to be, Hiro was always there for her and proved to be the perfect partner to her in every way.

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However, it seems that the universe was not ready for a couple like them because no matter what they did, they could never really be together. All they could do was die together and they even managed to save the universe while doing it.

4 They met through death (I want to eat your pancreas)

Haruki and Sakura’s relationship was doomed from the moment they met. Sakura’s days were numbered. However, her terminal illness is the reason they started spending time together in the first place. They may have had plans to spend the rest of their lives together, but a tragic accident ended Sakura’s life sooner than expected. Only after her death does Haruki realize how much he loved her and it’s a shame he never got to tell her how much he felt.

3 Menma never got to live with Jinta (Anohana)

Menma from Anohana crying

Menma tragically died as a child and her death haunted Jinta and his friends for years. In Jinta’s case, her death literally haunted him as her ghost started following him after her death. It’s unfortunate that her presence seemed to make him fall even more in love with her because her death meant they could never be together. While Jinta and his friends were able to accept Menma’s death, it’s tragic that she was never able to have a life with them.

two It’s an ending that made fans cry and anger (Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection)

Kaoru and Kenshin lying together

While the main series had a much happier ending, the OVA Rurouni Kenshin: Reflections took a much darker route. Not only was it difficult to see the once strong Kenshin deteriorate due to illness, but Kaoru also suffered from the same condition. Their need to be together killed them in the end. They were never able to have a life together. This take on the series is so sad that it’s no wonder fans were furious when they saw it.

1 Rangiku loved gin unconditionally (lye)

Rangiku from Bleach crying

Considering how slimy and manipulative Gin used to be, it’s hard to believe anyone liked him. As Rangiku grew up with him, she was able to see the real person underneath all of Gin’s lies. In fact, she was probably the only one willing to cry for him and the only one who understood the sacrifice she was making. The fact that Gin never saw Rangiku again before he died is what makes their relationship truly tragic.

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Griffith (left);  Joseph Joestar (center);  effort (right)

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