Many, many parts of Bokurano qualify as Tear Jerkers. Here are but a few...
- The penultimate chapter, 64, is possibly the saddest chapter in the whole manga. We see a shot of all of the children that have died so far, walking in a line against a white background, chatting and laughing with one another. The scene goes over several double pages, and right at the back we see Ushiro running to catch up at the rear, with his sister Kana, his friend Kanji and Machi, the girl who loved him, turning and smiling as he arrives. They continue to walk out of sight, and the next double page is completely blank. They were gone. They'd moved on.
- It's hard to pinpoint a sure heartwarming moment in such a sad series, but Daiichi's chapter sure is a peak. He's so compelled in being the nicest person as possible to everyone around him, especially his brother and sisters after his father ran away from home that it's just depressing to see him try his best to hurt as few people as possible and not damage the theme park he was going to take his siblings to on that same day the battle occurred. His fight ends in awesome, but the chapter itself ends in even more tears as he chooses not to have his corpse brought back to his family, so they'd think he just "disappeared".
- And if you follow the anime, there's a sort-of epilogue: Kana, the Sole Survivor of the game, is starting middle school and living her life as much as she can after Ushiro and the other kids's deaths. Then she finds an embittered young boy killing some little insects in frustration and sadness because his brother left him, mirroring Kodama's actions in the first episode... Yes, he's Santa, Daiichi's little brother. Futaba (his sister) tries to explain what happened, but then Kana stops her, and starts telling the siblings what truly went on with Daiichi.
- In the manga, it's worse. That father of theirs? The one that supposedly abandoned them? He was helping a friend who ran into some trouble and returned home shortly after Daichi's fight. Daichi never got to know the truth.
- While Kako's a Dirty Coward who tries to rape Chizu, he's still a fairly pitiable person in spite of his many flaws. His father abandoned the family, his sister's constantly harsh to him, and his mother, while caring, is ultimately somewhat ineffectual. He's bullied at school, rejected by the girl he likes and his self-esteem is so terrible that his only coping method is to pride himself on his apparent superiority over Kirie, the one kid who seems even more pathetic than Kako. When he says in the anime that there's no one he cares about on the planet, that says as much about the people in his life as it does about him.
- And then there's Maki's fight... Not only we see the kids forced to watch the destruction of the universe the defeated pilot comes from, but then we have Maki breaking down... then she manages to see her baby brother's birth through Zearth and even gets to briefly hold the baby in her arms, before she passes away almost in peace.
- No mention of Chizu's backstory (or heck, her story full stop) in the manga? It's especially distressing to see her pounding on the door of the hotel room she's been locked in and screaming at Hatagai-sensei to let her out, just after he's revealed his true colours and set her up to be gang raped by his friends. Then there's her final words just after her battle, where she regrets that the baby she's carrying, which is doomed to die along with her, couldn't have been born to her older sister instead.
- In the manga, after killing Kako, she briefly reflects on how the pilots are growing used to their members dying, which is a fairly depressing thought considering that her turn just came up and she's going to die at the end of the battle. Worse, still, while she had been willing to forgo taking revenge against Hatagai or committing suicide for the sake of her baby, now she realizes that her baby will die as well, and she has nothing left but revenge against those who raped her.
- In the anime, there's a flashback to her as a highly cheerful young girl, who'd wanted to one day attend her older sister's middle school(something she'd said she didn't want in the flashback to the end of elementary school). It's a heartbreaking look at how far she's fallen and how much she's been broken.
- "I learned to talk like you... by watching you on the TV..." Oh, Anko, you poor baby...
- Speaking of Anko, her fight in the manga brings out further tears of an almost uplifting kind. As footage from inside Zearth is broadcast of her bravely fighting on even after both her legs have been burned off by acid, the public comes to see her as a heroine. She may never have gotten to be an idol like she'd wanted, but in a way, she's gotten to be something even better.
- And then there's Komo's pre-death "World of Cardboard" Speech in the manga, in which she plays the piano as a part of the trap for the other pilot, thinking about how she has come to notice the world around her... and after the Batman Gambit works, she smiles and falls dead on the floor while her father calls out to her. Made even worse when Admiral Komoda quietly asks if he's even worthy of holding his daughter's body in his arms, and his assistant tells him that he is, because Komo passed away happily.
- For repeat viewers, the first battle qualifies, as Kokopelli looks up at all those empty chairs...
- There's also the scene where Kana tells Jun "I want to die too!" Kana may have survived, but she'll also have to live with the loss of all her friends from nature school.
- Jun's has a similar situation in the manga. By the end of the manga, he's lost his best friend, his adoptive sister, his mother and the girl who had a crush on him, and wonders whether it's even worth fighting and dying for a world like his. Tanaka pointed out that losing his mother on top of losing his sister would probably drive him over the Despair Event Horizon, and result in him volunteering for Zearth, so all these tragedies probably turned him into a Death Seeker.
- The "Kana's coffin was so small" bit.
- Especially sad, if you've watched the anime first where she survives. And then there's the previous scenes where various characters tell Jun to take care of Kana. *sniff*
- There's also the leadup to the scene in question. Mr. Ushiro is horrified to hear that his daughter's going to die, and insists on taking her place, only for Tanaka to say that isn't possible.
- The part where Machi and Jun visit the other pilots' families. Especially the part where they go to Nakama's mom(hospitalized during a desperate and futile attempt to find her daughter), and they tell her that they gave each other nicknames to get to better know each other. The sheer look on her face when she hears that they nicknamed her Nakama... GAAAHHHHHHHH.
Sen'ichi Honda: "My daughter's character isn't what caused those men to harm her, but it did cause her to harm others. As a family, we're partially responsible for that. How did I drive her to this?"
- Special note should be given to the Honda family, who are essentially working to atone for the collateral damage Chizu did in hunting down the people who raped her, and Chizu's father doesn't believe that he can force Hatagai to take responsibility for his actions after what Chizu did. It's quite sad to see their reaction to not only what was done to Chizu, but also what she did herself.
Kako's sister: Even my brother, if he'd lived, would've probably led a normal life, gotten a normal job, gotten married... He would've made some mistakes, some bad choices, but he still could've had a happy life as an ordinary member of society.
- While Kako was one of the less sympathetic pilots, his family ends up feeling bad for him. His sister's reaction sells how tragic the pilots' deaths are.
- Machi's death, especially in the manga, in which Koyemshi of all people has an emotional breakdown after she is shot. Koyemshi's final words to Machi are especially depressing."Hey. I guess this is the best support I can offer you. I'm sorry you wound up with such a lame brother Yoko."
- Around the time that Kana is chosen as the pilot, Mr. Ushiro confesses to Tanaka that he hasn't done a very good job of raising his adoptive son, since he stayed distant all those years, and knows that he unconsciously favors Kana over Jun, judging from his reaction to Kana's impending death. Jun and his father's conversations involve them trading apologies for being a bad son and a bad father, respectively, and Jun being warped to his battle in the middle of the conversation.
- When the pilots get settled in at the base where they're staying, Anko remarks that everyone staying together is a bit like nature school, before correcting herself and saying that not everyone's there- since they're down to five people, they've lost a lot of members since the start of the series. She then notes that it's a "lonely" place, and muses that "It's all too fitting a place to die alone, hated and forgotten."
- When the 23 soldiers who'd volunteered for the Suicide Mission arrive and meet with Kanji, you can see how full of despair and guilt he is, knowing that the soldiers will have to sacrifice themselves so that he can win his battle. One of the soldiers then reveals that he isn't doing this for the world, but so that he won't have to lose any more of the people he loved, since he and all the other volunteers had lost family in Zearth's battles. The soldier laments that he'd never realized that tragedy could strike his family until it was too late.
- Each volume has a list of all the plilots, including those that are dead, and the dead ones' boxes are shaded and stamped with "DECEASED". You see more and more characters marked as "DECEASED" with every passing volume, until the last volume, in which everyone besides Ushiro and Koyemshi is marked as deceased.