Usually overlaps with or leads to a Heartwarming Moment. It can also overlap with The Woobie.
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Football Frontier/Season 1
- Gouenji's reason to quit playing soccer in the first episodes. When Endou followed him at the hospital, he discovers that his sister has been in a coma for a year after becoming the victim of a car accident while going to see him play one of his games and believes the accident wouldn't have happened if he hadn't played soccer.
- It's later revealed that Kageyama ran over her with a truck so that Gouenji will run away from the match, which would result in an automatical win for the team he coaches. Everything should be expected from the man who tried to kill Raimon for the same reason.
- In episode 12, Kageyama reveals Kidou's backstory: when him and Haruna were young, they lost their parents in a plane crash and grew up in an orphanage until they were adopted by different families. In order to bring his sister back, Kidou made a deal with his father to win three consecutive national tournaments; they wouldn't be able to live together if he loses. Kageyama being the Manipulative Bastard he is, he tries to toy with Endou's emotions to lose on purpose so that Teikoku will win.
- The worst part, however, is that Haruna doesn't know anything about Kidou's problems due to him not contacting her for six years, which leads her to believe she's in his way. It's really hard to listen to.
Haruna:Ever since you've entered the Kidou family, you've changed. Ever since we were separated, you've never tried contacting me even once. Why? Because you're planning these bad things or is it because I'm in your way? It's because I'm in your way, right? That's why you've never tried contacting me. You're not the kind Oni-chan I used to have anymore, you're a stranger!
- One notable moment includes anything involving Ichinose.
- For starters, after seeing some kids playing soccer, Aki and Domon remember the times when they were young and used to play with Ichinose, who was a profficient kid when it comes to soccer. After making a promise to always play soccer together, Ichinose jumps on the road to save a puppy that was going to be crushed by a car, but gets crushed himself in the process. The fact that Aki confirmed he died afterwards doesn't help.
- Except he actually didn't die, but his reason for Faking the Dead is still pretty sad itself. After said accident, he had to move away for medical treatment and the doctors told him that he wouldn't be able to play football ever again, which weren't good news at all for soccer freak like him and didn't want his friends to see him like that, so he requested his father to tell them that he had died. Fortunately, his medical treatment, love for soccer and the promise he made with his friends help him overcome this problem and he visits Aki in Japan to tell her the good news. He decides to stay there for a while and become part of Endou's team. It looks like he earned his happy ending, right?
- Not really. In the FFI arc, he discovers that the injuries from his accident didn't heal completely and he needs another operation, with little chance that he'd be able to play football ever again. It looks like the game he loves is going to be taken away from him again and this time for real and he's visibly upset about it. He didn't even talk to Aki anymore because he didn't want her to worry about him and before Inazuma Japan was going to have a match against Unicorn, he tried to tell her about his condition, but he just couldn't. During the match, he tried to hide his sadness from everyone and do his best, inspite of his medical condition. Fortunately, the operation is a success and he doesn't lose the game he loves in the end. Now, that's when he earns his happy ending.
Aliea Academy/Season 2
- Kogure's backstory. When he was a kid his mother abandoned him, and Kogure was left waiting for her for hours. For all the dirty stunts he's pulled, you can't help but feel bad for him.
- Sakuma and Genda's jealousy on Kidou causing them to accept the power of the aliea meteorite. Episode 38 ends with them badly injured (mostly Sakuma) from using Teikoku's forbidden techniques and unable to move for a while.
- Episode 45, full stop. Not only does Raimon lose horribly to Genesis with a score of 20-0, but Fubuki gets badly injured in the match and Hitomiko reveals his entire backstory and mental condition. And at the end of the episode, Kazemaru loses his will and leaves the team because he can't take the dangerous situation with the aliens anymore. The episode is easily one of the most shocking ones.
- On that subject Fubuki's whole backstory must be one of the most depressing one in the entire series. After the Fubuki brothers won a soccer tournament, an avalanche killed Shirou's entire family except him. Because of that, he developed a Split Personality of his twin and spends the entire arc struggling to get over it, making almost every moment he is on screen tear-jerking.
- Raimon first met Fubuki on Northern Ridge. How is this relevant? Furukabu implies that many avalanches takes place there. Doubles as Harsher in Hindsight because even after years, Fubuki still can't let go of the death of his parents.
- Episode 46 is no better, with Endou having a massive Heroic BSoD over Kazemaru leaving the team, blaming himself for it and Fubuki's injuries and unstability, spending almost the entirety of the episode on the rooftop to the point he stops eating and won't move even if it's raining. And then Kurimatsu leaves, too, as he can't take the situation any longer. The fact that the episode is called "The Captain's Trial" should've clued you in.
- The first half of episode 63 is an emotional rollercoaster and overlaps a lot with Heartwarming. While Raimon were celebrating their long-earned victory over The Genesis and Aliea Gakuen as a whole, Seijirou joins them down on the football pitch and comments that "The Genesis project" was a mistake, which makes Ulvida angry due to misunderstanding they're a mistake and kicks a soccer ball at him, but Hiroto jumps in front of his father to take the hit instead and when Ulvida asks him why would he save the man who believes they're a mistake, Hiroto answers that Seijirou was still his father and he still loved him no matter what.
- Hiroto then reveals that Seijirou was not his real father, and that he's actually an orphan who took the name Hiroto after Seijirou's real son, who died several years ago. He then has flashbacks about his childhood, which show The Genesis team as kids in the orphanage, revealing that the whole team are orphans. He was shown to be half the time, lonely and was always smiling when Seijirou visited them at the orphanage. Seijirou is touched by Hiroto's speech, but says he cannot be called their father anymore and throws the soccer ball back at Ulvida, prompting her to kick it at him again. She begins to, but starts to break down and cry, saying that she couldn't in the end because he was the only father she ever had.
- Then there's the reason why Seijirou made The Genesis project in the first place. After his son's death, he was heartbroken, but had his heart revived after Hitomiko's offer to start the Sun Garden orphanage. At first he only started it to please Hitomiko, but the smiling faces of the orphans made him actually enjoy it. But then, when the Aliea meteorite had crashed on to Earth, Seijirou's company began to take analysis on the meteorite and that's when he got the idea about his project. Seeing how the meteorite turned such a nice man into a monster is rather heartbreaking.
- When Aliea's structure starts to collapse, everybody is trying to evacuate the building, except Seijirou, who wants to be crushed by the building to atone for his mistakes. Basically, he tries to commit suicide. But Endou and Hiroto save him, saying that he has to live for the orphans.
- In episode 64, the current Raimon members discover that even after defeating all the Aliea Gakuen teams and after everyone from Aliea pulls a HeelFace Turn, they still have one more team and their final opponents, The Dark Emperors, are none other than their old friends, their former teammates who left the team throughout the season and who are now evil after being given the remaining fragments of the Aliea Meteorite!
- Endou is clearly reluctant to fight against them and attempts to change their minds and shake hands with their captain Kazemaru, but he refuses and Endou is forced to accept. Their radically different personalities and the fact that they forgot or don't to care that they're his friends don't make it any less sad, but he doesn't give up in trying to bring them back.
- Fubuki is also visibly upset that Someoka, who promised him last time they met that they'll "be like the wind one day" and who made him feel better during his Heroic BSoD, is now a Dark Emperor who doesn't see him as anything more than an enemy and denies what he has promised earlier.
- In the next episode, Endou asks Kazemaru why he became a Dark Emperor, to which he replies that he wanted to become stronger. Hearing this, Endou remembers the scene right before Kazemaru left the team and blames himself for being the one who pushed him to become stronger.
Football Frontier International/Season 3
- After Endou and Fuyuka witness a car accident, he brings her to the hospital after she faints. There, Coach Kudou reveals that he isn't her real father and that her real parents died in an accident similar to the one she has witnessed before. After the death of her parents, she refused to eat and was in the danger of dying, so the doctors decided to erase all her previous memories through hypnptherapy. Coach Kudou adopted Fuyuka as his daughter, but even after all these years, he still wonders if erasing her memories was the right thing to do.
- Then comes episode 102, in which Fuyuka regains her childhood memories, including the traumatic accident, which shocks her so much she falls unconscious. Endou desperately trying to bring her back and Coach Kudou deciding that hypnotherapy is the only way to save her are rather heartbreaking to watch. But a Heartwarming Moment occurs when Fuyuka wakes up and decides to keep all her memories, because she doesn't want to forget her friends.
- Kageyama's death. Made especially heartwrenching due to the fact we see him finally come to terms with the fact that he was chasing his father's soccer all along and that despite everything that happened, he still loved his father and soccer itself.
- After Kageyama's death we are also treated to a scene where Rushe, the little girl Kageyama saved, opens a present from him that was a reward for completing her surgery. After she opens it she wonders when she will get to see Kageyama again and hopes that he will get to teach her lots of things about soccer. Poor thing doesn't know that the man she admires most is dead.
- Episode 24: Hitomiko explains Kariyas backstory. He was eleven and was brought to Sun Garden after his father was tricked and pressured into bankruptcy. Seeing that caused him to stop trusting anyone, and only soccer became his passion.
- Endou meets with Gouenji, aka Ishido Shuiji, pissed that his best friend is the Big Bad and changing the definition of soccer. Natsumi has to be the one to cheer him up afterwards.
- Episode 25 is just tragic for Fubuki. He became the trainer for Hakuren, taught his protege Yukimura his special hisstasu move Eternal Blizzard and he eventually succeeded. Then Fifth Sector arrived, kicked him out of Hakuren despite not being involved in the rebellion and in the present, he finds out his team became infected with Seeds, Yukimura became a Seed and now believes that Fubuki betrayed him. Even though he has hope that Raimon can beat Hakuren, the whole situation brings Fubuki back into hell after his troubled childhood.
- Episode 33: Amagi's best friend from childhood, Mahoro is now his opponent from Genei Academy. in the present, Mahoro dismisses him and flat out accuses him of deserving his bullying. Combined with the self-doubt he faced because of being demoted as a regular and being kicked out of pratice for his failures, Amagi's day keeps getting terrible. Thankfully, Hikaru comes to his rescue, but not before his backstory about losing friends for being a Yes-Man to everyone left him alienated for a while. The end of the episode implies there's a good reason why he and their female friend are keeping things a secret.
- Episode 39: Taiyou ends the battle still sick, but Tenma reassures him that everything will be okay. Unfortunately, Shindou collapses from his injuries and won't be able to play in the finals.
- Chrono Stone in general is filled with bleakness and sorrow, most notably from the very beginning.
- In episode one, Alpha rewrites Tenma's past by redirecting the soccer ball that saved him when he attempted to save Sasuke, resulting in the parallel world where he's injured for a month. He's able to fight back the changes but puts himself in excuritating pain in order to stop his own temporal anomaly.
- Episode 4 results in Alternative Yuuichi's death: he desperately wants to save the original Tsurugi's love for soccer even though fixing Protocol Omega's manipulations will eliminate him. Thanks to Tenma, he's able to win and bring back the original Tsurugi, but vanishes from existence as he gives a final goodbye and thanks to Tenma and Fei for helping him.
- Episode 5 shows the ramifications of Protocol Omega 2.0.'s manipulations: the government banning soccer. As ridiculous as it sounds, the heartcrying pleas of the little boy who has his soccer ball burned is sad to watch in-universe.
- Episode 6's Downer Ending. Endou sacrifices himself to save the rest of the team, but is captured and removed from the timestream, explained that he died in a car accident similar to his grandfather. Worse, every member of the team but the Avatar wielders and managers have been brainwashed into losing their love and willpower for soccer.
- Chrono Stone's final cutscene certainly qualifies. On his way back to the future, Fey visits Kinako, who is pregnant with himself, knowing already that Kinako will die giving birth to him. However, Kinako tells him that history can always change, and is optimistic that maybe she'll survive to see him grow up. The music just adds to the feels in that cutscene.
Ares No Tenbin
Orion no Kokuin
- The entire second half of episode 13, where Ichihoshi resolves his split personality and finds himself again. Realizing that even if Mitsuru is dead, they will always be together connected through their soccer. The other IJ members helping Ichihoshi through his crisis counts as a Heartwarming Moment while the awakened Ichihoshi Hikaru immediately shows off his dribbling and analytical skills in a Moment of Awesome by bypassing all the opponents in his way.