The journeys anime characters embark on lead to some of the most treasured and unforgettable encounters. Yet, not all good things can last forever, and there comes a time for even the closest friends to part ways. Saying goodbye to the people they love is one of the most devastating things one can experience.
Be it a bittersweet parting with a promise of a future reunion or a final farewell that may never result in another meeting, pulling away hurts, all the same, leaving both the characters and the viewers heartbroken. With all the heartache they cause, tender goodbyes are an acknowledgment of life's impermanent blessings. Nevertheless, the heart-rending farewells these anime characters had to say to the ones they loved impacted the audience the most.
10/10 Vivi Chose Her Kingdom Over Sailing The Seas With The Straw Hats
Vivi and Karoo bid the Straw Hats farewell in One Piece.
From the start of their journey through the Grand Line, the Straw Hats treated Alabasta's princess Vivi as an integral part of their crew. While the entire point of their quest was to return Vivi to her kingdom and save Alabasta from Crocodile's schemes, the pirates grew to treasure the princess as a dear friend, even offering her a forever home on board the Going Merry.
Vivi's love for her kingdom took priority over her yearning for adventures. The bittersweet farewell they share as the ship departs from Alabasta's shore was heartbreaking yet unforgettable, commemorating the lifelong friendship between Vivi and the Straw Hats.
9/10 Ame's Purpose Lies Away From Civilization And His Mother
Wolf children Ame's goodbye
Parting ways with parents is an integral part of growing up. The protagonist of Wolf Children, single mother Hana, always knew that her children would eventually have to choose between living as humans or embracing the beast within. However, when her son Ame decides to rule the forest as a wolf, his howling farewell still leaves both Hana and the audience devastated.
For Ame, embracing his wild side meant parting ways with the woman that raised him. Still, even if his choice hurt Hana, she accepted her son's decision with a bittersweet smile.
Read more: 10 Perfect Anime To Suit Every Mood
8/10 Shinsengumi Had To Flee Edo And Part Ways With Yorozuya
Gintama Farewell Shinsengumi ep 316
Despite being a gag comedy series that hardly takes itself seriously, Gintama packs some devastating emotional punches. The finale of the Farewell Shinsengumi arc had every fan in tears as Edo's infamous police force said their goodbyes to the city and their unlikely allies turned friends, Yorozuya.
Leaving Edo in the Odd Jobs' protection, Hijikata, Okita, and Kondou salute Gintoki, Kagura, and the Shimura siblings. They declare that this heart-rending farewell is not the end of Shinsengumi's story, as they will undoubtedly see each other again on the streets of their favorite city.
7/10 Riko Will Never See Her Friends From The Surface Again
(Made In Abyss)
Made in Abyss' protagonist Riko always had a dream of descending into the unexplored depths of the Abyss to find her mother. She planned this despite knowing that her last dive would separate her from the surface forever.
The realization that Riko'll never see her friends from the orphanage again makes her final farewell to Nat and Shiggy much more devastating. Even though the dive is only the first step of Riko and Reg's journey, it already causes heartache, as the kids leave behind everything they grew to love on the surface in search of greater adventures.
6/10 Takemoto And Hagumi Never Ended Up Becoming Lovers
(Honey And Clover)
Takemoto crying Honey and Clover
Honey and Clover is a beautiful and touching story of a group of art school students finding love, friendship, and their true purpose while maturing along the way. However, like all good things in life, Takemoto's student days among his friends could not last forever.
After graduation, the boy is about to leave Tokyo, sharing goodbyes with his friends and Hagumi, his unrequited love of many years. While bittersweet, it's a delightfully heartwarming farewell, signifying a new beginning for Takemoto, Hagumi, and their art school companions.
5/10 Simon Passed The Torch To Future Generations
(Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)
simon goes away gurren lagann
Simon's hectic journey in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann took him from escaping his underground village alongside Kamina to saving the entire universe from the Anti-Spiral. Restoring the peace, Simon and Nia marry, surrounded by their dear friends, sharing one final happy moment before Nia dissolves into nothingness.
Simon refuses to bring her back to life, stating that reviving the dead would get in the way of the next generation. He reminds his friends that he is just Simon the Digger, and now that his mission is complete, he leaves the world's fate in their hands, parting ways with his beloved companions in the series' final bittersweet farewell.
4/10 Jiang Cheng Learned About His Brother's Sacrifice Too Late
(Mo Dao Zu Shi)
Jiang Cheng Mo Dao Zu Shi
Even in the aftermath of Jin Guangyao's death, which cleared the name of Mo Dao Zu Shi's protagonist Wei Wuxian, Jiang Cheng couldn't forgive his sworn brother, blaming Wei Wuxian for the death of his family. Catching his brother and Lan Wangji at his family temple, Jiang Cheng lashes out at the two.
In the process, it's revealed that Wei Wuxian sacrificed his Golden Core, the source of his cultivation abilities, to save Jiang Cheng, making the man shake with grief. After Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji leave, Jiang Cheng breaks down crying, realizing his mistakes and regretting the horrible way he parted with his sworn brother.
3/10 Takaki And Akari Grew Apart With Age
(5 Centimeters Per Second)
Centimeters Per Second anime.
5 Centimeters per Second is a tragic subversion of romance tropes, showing the outcome of a doomed relationship shattered by time and distance. Takaki and Akari were childhood sweethearts, yet, their romance never got a chance to bloom as the girl moved to Iwafune.
Takaki and Akari managed to meet for one last time a year later, reminiscing on the past and even sharing their first and last bittersweet goodbye kiss under the snow. Despite the kids' promise to keep in contact, they eventually drifted apart, forever grieving over the unspoken emotions they failed to communicate during their final farewell.
2/10 Gon And Killua Had To Turn Their Backs To Each Other
(Hunter X Hunter)
Gon And Killua Hunter x Hunter
The entirety of Hunter X Hunter's adventure focused on Gon and Killua fighting together to grow stronger. Their loyal friendship was the foundation of the series, pushing both kids towards Gon's goal of finding his father. Yet, once Gon's mission was completed, Killua obtained a purpose of his own - to protect his little sister Alluka.
Despite everything the two boys have been through together, their paths had to part for Killua to overcome his weaknesses and complete his quest. While their farewell was painful, it held a promise of a future reunion.
1/10 Kenshin's Cause Called Him Away From The People He Loved
Kaoru and Kenshin say goodbye in Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin's story is one filled with grief and regrets, yet the wandering swordsman continues to fight for things he holds dear, even if it means parting ways with the people he loves most. Kaoru Kamiya is a woman of great significance to Kenshin.
When the samurai's quest to stop Shishio calls him to Kyoto, the place of Kenshin's bloody past, he must leave Kaoru behind. As the man she loves disappears into the night, Kaoru lets out a pain-stricken cry, ripping Kenshin's heart in half.