Who would believe that a Cosmic Horror tale like Dear Children would have sad themes in between the evil cults, dark conspiracies, and humanoid abominations? Yet it does!
Your heart may be wrenched at the following moments:
- The obvious fact, to which Cailin may or may not be oblivious, that almost no one in Hearthbrook High School save the Journalism Club actually approves of her. Look at the reactions of many background characters whenever she acts particularly exuberant. Even sadder, because Cailin has so little malice toward anyone who isn't outright cruel to her friends.
- The sequence, starting around here, in which Cailin becomes home all innocently happy after getting Gabe into the club, to tell her mother how her day went. Mrs. Carver, who is obviously riding fairly close to the edge of madness from some as-yet undetermined stress, totally shuts Cailin down, leading Cailin to go to her room and be alone.
- The tale of how Aaron and Devin's close friendship was sundered. Devin was newly pubescent and just starting to come to terms with his homosexuality, and his affections were naturally drawn to his best friend Aaron. But before he could even say anything to Aaron about it, Aaron's other best friend Candace, probably motivated by jealousy, pointed out the signs of this to Aaron, who rejected even Devin's friendship the moment Devin failed to deny this.
- Ironically reprised more recently with Candace's rejection of Aaron's love, which was also sad — but at least Candace still wanted to be his best friend. Aaron neither seems to see the similarities between Candace's rejection of him and his own rejection of Devin, nor that Candace was nicer to him than he was to Devin.
- Wesley's descent into madness before his Transformation Horror monstrous transformation. His obsession with snuff porn may have been part of this, but the saddest part of it is how his image of his beloved twin sister Whitney is corrupted, to the point where he's referring to her as a "slut" in his Madness Journal dream diary T
- Along those lines, the emotional torture inflicted by the plot on Whitney. First offher beloved twin brother Wesley unexpectedly dies, robbing her of her closest friend. Then, his body unexpectedly disappears, leaving her unsure of what just happened. Then, Cailin and the Journalism Club inform her that they've seen Wesley alive, giving her renewed hope. And then they find Wesley's Dream Diary and laptop, in which they discover that Wesley was going insane for a while causing him to resent her, and even worse collected and may have been distributing or even making incredibly perverted snuff porn videos (to the point that everyone who views even part of them is utterly horrified by the experience. Poor, poor Whitney.