Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope. Examples can go on the work's YMMV tab.
Tear Jerker: Gun Grave
During the last few episodes of Gungrave, Grave is in the safe house with Mika, and he is preparing his guns for the final battles with Bunji and Harry. Mika is trying to ask him why he has to leave. Grave naturally doesn't respond, but Mika hugs him from behind. To her shock and horror, she has discovered that Grave's body is literally falling apart (the lack of blood transfusions has caused Grave's body to become fragile and literally cracking) as he only has about ten days' worth of blood in his system, donated by Dr. T. before his death. Grave turns around and tries to console her, and Mika throws herself in his arms, crying her heart out and begging him to not leave her alone, because she doesn't want to lose anyone else. She confesses how much she loves him, how she just wants them to be together always, and pleads with him to just forget about his vendetta and go far, far away from the city and the Millenion in order to live together in peace. She even offers to study the technology Dr. T. used to maintain Grave's body and find a way to save him. But Grave must turn her down, as he knew he was living on borrowed time and his time will end soon, and despite being a silent, tactiturn man for almost the entire series actually says something that's more than two words, in the most heartbreaking way:
Grave: * kneels down and puts his hands on Mika's shoulders* Mika. I'm sorry. I don't have a future, not anymore. My future is dead, just like me.
Grave: You're the strongest person I know. You can make it on your own.
Grave goes on to tell her that she's a strong and brave girl, and that she'll lead a great life, today, tomorrow, and ever after. Mika by now is completely hysterical and Grave has to knock her unconscious, doing so with a punch to the solar plexus. When Mika comes to, Grave has already left and it is the last time that she will see Grave "alive". This troper was sobbing heavily when she saw that scene, and is tearing up right now as she's typing this.
Gungrave in its entirety. The whole story's set up to have the watcher care about the characters in it, and one by one all of them are broken to pieces. Every character has a tearjerker towards their end, even those set up as enemies. And the final scene, as Brandon and Harry finally resolve their differences, and once forgiven shoot each other having resolved to 'go home' to all the friends and lovers they had lost in their ultimately futile struggle on the way to their golgotha, had this troper inconsolable and in tears for an age. Even remembering it now brings tears, a true masterpiece, without one single happy ending.
The ending credits, which scroll over fond greetings from the dearly departed, not to mention the meeting between two little boys that started it all.
"My name's Harry, Harry MacDowell! What's your name?"
There was a sinking feeling as soon as they panned across the abandoned diner - a lot of the series was kind of emotionally-draining - but the final scene really did it.
"Let's go home... Harry... MacDowell."
"Let's do that... Brandon Heat.
The montage after Bear Walken's execution at Grave's hands. He realy loved his daughter...The background music (I think it's called "Pieta" on one of the OSTs) just adds to it. * sob*
I had played both of the video games first before watching the anime (the games follow a different continuity) but it didn't make the anime any less heartbreaking. This line gets me every time:
"Brandon! Brandon! ...I know now...that we're a family...and we always will be. Forever...and ever."
Was very teary-eyed watching poor Brandon/Grave visibly and slowly decomposing in the final episodes. His arm falling off and crumbling to pieces cinched it.
Big Daddy's death did it for me.
It's debatably worse in the game: Big Daddy's health fell into rapid decline, so Harry used him as one of the first test subjects for the Necro-Rise/Seed Project. While Big Daddy was still alive. In the present day (when the game starts), he's a twisted, mindless monster locked at the very top of the tower. He's also the final boss of the game—Grave (and you, the player) MUST fight him and there is no way around it.
In the second game, Grave is comatose for a period of time, and Mika refuses to leave his side but is unsure of how to treat his wounds (the Centerhead attack is nasty). She has a dream of the night prior to the original game when she had to leave her mother.
Maria: (looking sad and holding a gun) Mika. Go to see Dr. Tokioka. You must survive, Mika.
(Maria kisses her on the cheek, and lets go of her hands)
(fade to black)
Maria: ...Never give up...
The last scenes of Cannon Vulcan and Blood War, which really drove home the fact that our antiheroes aren't the only ones with a dream, going about it in similar ways. Theirs really is a Crapsack World.
The death of Dr. Tokioka, in either version.
Dr. Tokioka: When this is all over...let's go far away...You would like that...wouldn't you...Brandon...?
Brandon's death before his transformation, pointing a gun at Harry and having to choose between the Code of Iron and his best friend, and ultimately choosing his friend. And what does it get him? Harry immediately jams a gun into his eye and shoots him out of the glass elevator they're in.
Can a music track be a tearjerker? Because "Divine Decision" is soul-crushing.
The last episode is a thing to behold. Grave and Harry spend most of it in a diner, just talking, arguing, lamenting their choices. As they do so, they keep flickering between points in their lives, as old man and necrolizer, two young mafioso, and teenagers. All of their decisions and grievances are finally aired out. In the background, all those who died in the series stand silent in witness.
At the end of the series, when Harry admits that he killed his best friend, with a true sense of regret.