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Tearjerker / Yuki Yuna is a Hero

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The pain when your sister loses her voice and dreams to sing.

This seemingly cheerful Magical Girl show has become well-known for having several brutal tearjerking moments.

Unmarked spoilers are approaching. Proceed at your own risk!

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     Yuki Yuna is a Hero 
  • Episode 8: Those who read the Washio Sumi Light Novel will tear up at what became of Sonoko, and how Togo cannot remember her dear friend or her past life as Washio Sumi. Sonoko tearing up while describing how she wishes she had more time with her friends while one of them is right in front of her while this track plays is likely to elicit some tears as well.
    • Sonoko telling Togo that her ribbon looks good on her becomes heartbreaking when you know that Sonoko originally gave her that ribbon as Sumi, and Sumi told her to praise it if it looked good on her.
  • Episode 9: Itsuki wanted to become a singer to be able to stand beside her sister instead of always cowering behind her, but the Sange taking her voice meant that she had to give it up. When Fu learns about her sister's dream and how her Sange affected her a lot more than she let on, she completely breaks down and tries to destroy the Taisha out of grief and anger in perhaps the most heartbreaking scene in the series.
    • Also, Itsuki telling Fu that even despite losing her voice, she's still glad that she joined the Hero Club while the chorus of Inori no Uta kicks in, and Fu's only response is to break down in a sobbing heap.
  • Episode 11: Karin's battle against five Vertex and thousands of Stardust, using Mankai again and again to protect her friends despite knowing exactly what it's going to cost her and shaking off her fears by shouting the Hero Club's Five Tenets at the top of her lungs. By the end of it, she's gone blind and deaf, and can't move her right arm or leg, but she only thanks Yuna for giving her a chance to be happy.
    Did you see my awesome fight?
    • When her first Mankai breaks, she loses the use of her right arm. She stops just long enough to look at it and whimper, before getting right back into the fight.
    • Before going into the fight, she realises that she isn't going to get out unharmed and looks at the photo of her with the Hero Club that was taken on her birthday.
    • Earlier, Fu watching Itsuki continue to fight despite it being hopeless and realising that her sister's not just achieved her dream of standing alongside Fu, but that Fu's now the one standing behind her little sister.
  • Episode 12: Togo breaking down crying while reading a book about a knight to a comatose Yuna. The following scene where Yuna wakes up and the two of them lovingly clasp hands is likely to be a different kind of Tearjerker.

     Washio Sumi is a Hero 
  • Gin's death in Chapter 4, after heroically battling back three Vertex alone to protect her friends, and Sumi and Sonoko finding her blood-drenched body after the battle, still standing up.
    Staring intensely at the wall, as if to make sure no enemy would attempt to come back.
    Her crimson outfit, now painted bright red with her own blood.
    The girl stood still.
    • Perhaps even more depressing is that one of her final thoughts is wondering if her baby brother would be proud of her.
    • You think the original novel's scene of the above was depressing enough? The adaptation actually made it even sadder than it originally was by giving Sonoko and Sumi more tearjerky lines when they approach Gin's still-standing corpse, slowly realizing but denying what happened, while still hoping in vain that she was still alive as they got closer, only for them to fall on their knees and break down when they got to her]]. The happy and funny scenes the trio had in the 2nd movie before this event happened also made this hurt a lot more.
  • In Chapter 5, Sonoko telling her teacher not to forget Gin, and that they'll always be three Heroes together before bursting into tears.]]
  • Some of the Slice of Life events in the Vita game involving the Washio Sumi gang can become this in retrospect when you realize that it's Sonoko traveling inside of her own dreams to envision what a happy life for her and her friends could've been like had Gin not died, Sumi lost her memories, nor had she herself lost much of her body to the Sange.
  • The mobage Hanayui no Kirameki shows that despite having moved on from Gin's death a long time ago, Sonoko and Sumi/Togou]] still clearly miss their dear friend in the present, as seen when Hinata summons their original team from Wasuyu two years ago, including the now-deceased Gin. Present!Sonoko and Togou could barely hold back their tears when they saw the same Gin alive in front of them again. Pass the tissues please.
  • Gin's funeral in the adaptation. Sonoko and Sumi pass by the room where the Minowa family has gathered for the funeral. While Gin's relatives talk about how her parents should be proud and how they're going to receive more aid now, Gin's parents are absolutely crushed about her death and do not speak or look at anyone. Tetsuo, Gin's 5-year old brother, is in complete shock until the actual funeral ceremony. There, he finally snaps and tearfully calls out the Shinju for not protecting his sister.
  • The entire ending:
    • When Sonoko realizes that Sumi's memories of her and Gin have been sacrificed. The normally-unflappable Sonoko loses her composure for a moment upon realizing that she had lost her only remaining friend and screams out Wasshi's name, and one can practically see her heart breaking into pieces before regaining her composure and telling her friend that it'll all be okay.
      Sonoko: I'm Sonoko Nogi. You're Sumi Washio. And that girl is Minowa Gin. The three of us are friends. Always.
    • Sonoko flying off into battle once more and resigning herself to sacrificing her body, all while this song plays. Then seeing Sonoko carted off after the battle into what would be the hospital room where she is enshrined in Yuki Yuna, and their teacher Aki-sensei, distraught at what has happened, puts on her Taisha priestess mask likely signalling her choosing to detach herself from others from now on.

     Yuki Yuna - Hero Chapter 
  • The first episode quickly plunges straight into this territory when the Hero Club and Sonoko realize that Togo is missing and they don't know why. Worse, they have spent half the episode not even remembering that she existed at all. Yuna recalling her vows to never forget her best friend adds fuel to the fire.
  • In episode 2, Sonoko tells Karin to be careful to not get too far ahead, much to Karin's confusion, but Sonoko's expression is heartbreaking. She remembers what happened to Gin, whose terminal was passed down to Karin, and what happened when she ran too far ahead of the rest of the group.
  • In episode 3, Yuna discovers that she can't tell anyone about the mark on her chest. Skirting around the issue with the Hero club causes bad everday things to happen (like losing house keys), while her attempt to tell Fu directly causes Fu to be hit by a truck. Yuna decides to cooperate with the curse and continue to live every day normally, but she has a breakdown at the end of the episode as she overhears Fu telling Itsuki that all the girls deserve happiness.
  • Episode 4 has this in spades:
    • Karin notices that there's something wrong with Yuna and desperately tries to get her to open up about her problems. She even talks about how much she's learned to be honest with her feelings since she first joined the Hero Club and about how glad she is to have Yuna and the other girls as friends, but Yuna has no choice but to pretend that everything's fine. Karin takes it as Yuna not trusting her and angrily running off, which is especially heartbreaking with how much she changed for Yuna's sake in Season 1 and how she's implied to have a crush on her.
    • Yuna's Hero Record is filled with heartbreaking descriptions of Yuna's body slowly deteriorating. She's fainting and having dizzy spells, throwing up her food, and is in constant physical pain. She's become afraid of the dark and the Taisha have told her that it won't go away and she's probably not going to make it to spring, but she's still determined to put on a brave face for her friends and to enjoy the time she has left.
      Yuna: I love hearing the words "See you tomorrow" lately. I feel like tomorrow will come if we make that promise. I'd like to stay here forever if I could.
    • The Hero Club's reactions to reading Yuna's diary are also tearjerking; Togo is livid and immediately tries to rush off to do something, but Sonoko restrains her and tells her that even if she tried to sacrifice herself again, Yuna's body would still be cursed. Karin breaks down in tears, sobbing about how angrily she had spoke to Yuna the last time they had met when she was in so much pain. Even the club's decision to read the diary can be considered this, considering how the memetic nature of the curse meaning that they might all incur the wrath of the heavenly gods just by reading it but they still unanimously decide to open it to try and help their friend.
  • In episode 5, the plot goes From Bad to Worse.
    • Not only is Yuna dying, but the Shinju is fading as well. Yuna chooses to marry the Shinju in a ceremony that requires her to be sacrificed in order to help it. Telling the Hero Club about it starts an argument that really shows how broken the once idealistic Yuna has become.

     Nogi Wakaba is a Hero 
  • The prologue, in which the stoic Wakaba (who at this point is a fifth-grader) manages to make friends in her class only to see them reduced to "unspeakable remains" when the Vertex first attack, is brutal and immediately sends the message that this is going to be a lot crueler than Yuki Yuna and Washio Sumi.
  • Chikage's backstory. As a shy introvert she was always a bit of an outcast, but when her mother had an affair and ran off with her lover, word spread quickly around her small rural village and she was the victim of merciless bullying from fellow students and adults alike. At one point a couple of girls tried to cut her hair but ended up slashing her ear instead, leaving a scar that she's still sensitive about. Even worse is that the same people who bullied her turned right around and praised her when she was selected as Hero. It's no wonder that she has serious self-worth issues and doesn't trust anybody but Yuna.
  • Chapter 11, when the Heroes find a former underground survivor holdout and the diary of one of the survivors, a student that took shelter with her little sister, whose contents are enough to make Wakaba shake in anger. As supplies began to run low, people began to argue that the sick and elderly should be killed in order to preserve the healthy. This lead to factional violence, in which the author's little sister (who had fallen ill) is murdered. Eventually, one group decides to break the barricade to search aboveground for supplies, only for the Vertex to come in and kill everyone. The last entry ends with the author standing atop the pile of corpses made from the sacrificed survivors, wanting to be with her sister until the end.
  • The entire Shiratori Utano is a Hero chapter, knowing that despite Shiratori's best efforts, and having managed to singlehandedly inspire Suwa's population (and her miko, Mito) to have hope for the future while singlehandedly protecting the entire Nagano region, Nagano is doomed to fall in Chapter 2. What's worse is that Shiratori knows this, and the revelation that Suwa was being used as bait to buy time for Shikoku to gather its defenses manages to break even Shiratori for a moment. The chapter ends with Shiratori heading out to battle an enormous Vertex army that she knows she has no hope of defeating, with Mito forever watching her final battle.
  • Chapter 13 hits even harder with Tamako and Anzu's deaths, having been impaled by the Scorpio Vertex. What's worse is that this came not only after a cruel Hope Spot with Tamako and Anzu realizing the purpose of their weapons (the brash Tamako being given a shield to protect Anzu, and the shy Anzu being given a destructive crossbow to be strong like Tamako), but that unlike other tragic fights in the series, Tamako and Anzu died having failed to leave a single scratch on Scorpio.]] It also reveals that the NoWaYu Heroes were always much weaker and more vulnerable than the YuYuYu Heroes.
    • Tamako's thoughts after her and Anzu are impaled]] are absolutely heartbreaking:
      Tamako:: I need to remove the needle or IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS Anzu will die she wasn't pierced in the heart so she might still survive everything will be fine IT HURTS I can't think the scorpion poison's in Tama's tummy get the needle out my innards are done for it's a fatal wound crap gotta save Anzu gotta get the needle out of her lung—
    • Moreover, Tamako's thoughts, even while dying, were of her desperately trying to find a way to possibly save Anzu. Their shared thoughts, while not put into words, were also the same: that they could be together in the next life, as true sisters. It becomes more bittersweet if you subscribe to the popular fan-theory that Fu and Itsuki are the reincarnations of Tamako and Anzu.
  • Chikage's death and Heroic Sacrifice to prevent Wakaba from being killed is both this and Heartwarming Moments in Chapter 16.]]
    • For context, in Chapter 16, thanks to her Fairy's negative influence on her as well as her growing hateful jealousy towards Wakaba and her successes, Chikage outright attempts to murder Wakaba while she was busy fending off the invading Vertexes while inside the Jukai. Before Chikage could go through with the killing blow however, the Shinju depowers her, and she is left powerless and unable to transform. Once a Vertex homes in on her and she accepts her fate, Wakaba, in Chikage's disbelief, still saves her and protects her from the Vertexes despite Chikage's attempt to kill her not too long ago. Chikage, after having a My God, What Have I Done? moment and realizing how much Wakaba cared for her, saves Wakaba from an approaching Vertex about to munch on her by Taking the Bullet for her and getting horribly mangled in the process. Her last words to Wakaba, before dying in her arms was that despite hating Wakaba, she also loved her just as much.
    • The aftermath to this event was also equally, if not more, heartrending. The Taisha decide to erase all records of Chikage being a Hero in the annals of history after her attack and attempted murder of Wakaba inside the Jukai in spite of both Wakaba's and Hinata's pleas for them to forgive and condone Chikage's previous actions. Chikage was even denied the honor of being given a Hero's burial like Anzu and Tamako because of what she did prior to her death, with her funeral being kept secret from her remaining friends, preventing Wakaba, Hinata, and especially Yuna, from saying their final goodbyes to their fallen friend.]]
    • Knowing what happens to Chikage in Chapter 16 onwards where the Taisha deliberately remove her existence as a Hero from all records makes her Hero Record from Chapter 15 (which was entirely censored by the Taisha, right down to her name), where she details who she is and how much she wanted to never be forgotten, very tragic.

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