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Tear Jerker: Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer
This troper doesn't see how anyone could watch Angelic Layer's last few episodes without crying. The way Misaki and Shuuko meet and talk and just communicate after such a long, awkward time of no communication whatsoever just leaves me a wreck.
That scene in the rain is just utterly heartbreaking.
What about Misaki wheeling her mom to her place before the final fight. I was actually able to keep it together for the most part, during this episode although it wasn't easy. But I lost it when I saw that.
The fact that the above moment was accompanied by Ame Agari which to me instantly went from an annoyingly sappy ballad ruining an awesome battle series to one of the most moving songs I ever heard.
And let's not forget the explosion of roses in their battle. That was just beautifully well done.
I just want to say, as the one who had to edit, subtitle and time the whole series, the last three were hard for me to do, because I couldn't READ the subtitles from crying so much.
Angelic Layer's 25th episode is a tearjerker the entire way through when Misaki realizes her mom, who she hasn't seen in years, is Athena's deuce. She then spirals into a depressed state thinking that her mom didn't want to see her and she regrets saying that it's alright all these years. Even more saddening is how her mother Shuuko tries to find Misaki but then she starts crying when she realizes she doesn't know her own daughter. Finally when they meet, Misaki begins to cry in the middle of a crowded walkway.The episode ends on a happy note and then makes you cry for joy. The show has a few other sad moments, but that episode takes the cake.
Beyond that, there was episode 16, which featured an absolutely straight use of Ill Girl in the form of Sai Jounouchi's younger sister Rin. I've never felt sadder to see one of Misaki's opponents lose, particularly the final flashback where we hear Rin, in whose memory Sai has been fighting for, say "I'll always be with you, Big Sister!" To top it all off, we learn at the end of the episode that the secret to withstanding adversity is "To cry as much as you want to, when you need to cry."