* The death of [[spoiler: Yamagata]]. Damn... he thought he had the upper hand against Tetsuo.
* There's the death of poor [[spoiler: Takashi]], which happens right when it ''seems'' things may start getting better and as he happily goes towards [[spoiler: Akira]], calling out to him and asking if he remembers him from the past. And right when he's extending his hands to touch the kid he's so happy to see again... [[spoiler: [[PrettyLittleHeadshots BANG]], courtesy of [[SmugSnake Nezu]]. Made worse in the fact that he wasn't even aiming for Takashi, but in fact, Akira.]] No wonder [[spoiler: Akira has a terrible HeroicBSOD as he sees Takashi die, completely loses control of his powers, pretty much ''blows up the whole of Tokyo by himself'']].
* Then there is the [[spoiler: death of Kaori]]. She had absolutely nothing to do with Tetsuo's condition. On the contrary, she loves him and genuinely cares for him, despite him being a royal prick. [[spoiler: Yet, she pays the ultimate price.]]
** And you wanna know what makes it sadder? [[spoiler: The fact that Tetsuo couldn't control his growing mutation even if he wanted to, resulting him accidentally crushing her to death, and almost crushing Kaneda. You can tell how he was begging both of them for help as he was suffering. He was even telling his friend of how he was feeling his now dead girlfriend's pain, and telling him to get out.]]
** Made even worse in the manga, where [[spoiler: she's shot to death by Tetsuo's aide and dies in Tetsuo's arms.]]
* When the Colonel is reintroduced in the second half of the story, one of his former soldiers recognizes him and tearfully salutes him. The Colonel dismisses him, as he cannot help anymore. Later on, when the Colonel is battling Tetsuo's troops, one of them recognizes the Colonel as his former superior. When the other Empire soldier tells him to shoot the injured Colonel, he shoots him instead. As he's helping the Colonel escape, the latter asks him why he stayed after the disaster, instead of fleeing. The soldier's answer? Because his wife died in Neo-Tokyo. Right after that, he is shot and killed from afar by more Empire troops.
* The death of [[spoiler: Sakaki]]; Lady Miyako spends the rest of the manga grieving for her death.
** Specially because [[spoiler: the mortally injured Sakaki dies calling out for the woman she saw as a mother figure, and has a vision of Miyako welcoming her to Heaven. Then the manga cuts to Miyako sensing her "daughter"'s death and screaming her name.]]
* The moment [[spoiler: Kei and Kaneda see each other again after the latter is presumed dead]]. The whole thing is eventually foiled by Kaisuke.
* The moment when Kei [[YouDontWantToDieAVirginDoYou offers herself to Kaneda]], which [[OutOfCharacterMoment he finds very odd]] considering the situation; Kaneda [[WhatTheHellHero furiously lashes out at Kei]] after learning that [[spoiler: Kei would act as a medium for the Espers and Miyako to combat Tetsuo, and that Kei was offering herself to him in an expression of farewell.]] Kaneda intends to leave Miyako's temple to raise battle against Tetsuo to keep Kei from doing so; Kei is about to be left completely heartbroken, given that her offering was actually sincere and utterly rejected, [[spoiler:when Kaneda suddenly rushes back to lovingly kiss her goodbye]].
** Not including that Kei's expression of joy after he leaves... it speaks volumes of how much he has come to love her; she was about to be left thinking that her love was one-sided. If there were such things as thought bubbles in the manga, she would be thinking "Gee, what d'you know... that's ''MY MAN'' going to battle for me!"
** Exacerbated by the fact that she thought [[spoiler: Kaneda was about to leave under the impression that Kei thought so little of him, given that she didn't consider his feelings in making the decision (an additional reason why he might have reacted so angrily towards her)]]. [[spoiler: Even when it doesn't keep her from fighting.]].
* Kaneda's [[spoiler: confession of friendly love towards Tetsuo at the climax, revealing that Tetsuo's impression of him was disastrously skewed]]. [[http://www.mangahere.com/manga/akira/v06/c005/49.html "I just wanted to be your friend" ]]
** [[http://www.mangahere.com/manga/akira/v06/c005/51.html Kaneda's reaction to Tetsuo's response: ]]
* When the Espers reveal to Kaneda why they allowed themselves to be subjected to such horrid experimentation, it reaaaaaly makes you wonder whether you have friends that love you like ''that''.
** Not mentioning that they look so happy that ''it literally hurts''.
* When Kaneda [[spoiler: reestablishes the Tokyo Empire at the end of the manga, the gang rides to the horizon with Kaneda on front and center with Kei embracing him on his back; to his left, the spirit of Yamagata rides his chopper; to his right, the spirit of Tetsuo rides as well... and then the ruins of the city start reconstructing themselves. These young people might have a future after all]]. ''It doesn't get better than that!''
* On a more subtle note: [[spoiler: when Tetsuo transforms into another universe, we hear him proclaim his own name in a worried and reluctant manner. There's something quite sad about this.]]
* When Takashi's minder dies in the film. Not only does he die trying to protect Takashi, but once the military stop firing when they realize he has a kid with him, the minder orders Takashi to flee, and he distances himself but sticks around long enough for the soldiers to approach him and viciously open fire when he pulls out his gun. Takashi just looks ''crushed''.