Saikano

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"This is perhaps one of the most emotionally flaying anime series I have ever seen."

"Every time I watch the last episode of Saikano, I feel like I'll never be happy ever again. The world could end, and I wouldn't notice because I'd be too busy feeling the after effects..."

a.k.a. Saishuu Heiki Kanojo; She, the Ultimate Weapon; My Girlfriend, the Ultimate Weapon. In the French translation, Larme Ultime, a pun on "the ultimate weapon" (l'arme ultime) and "ultimate tear".

The tentative budding relationship between petite Chise and bitter, emotionally distant Shuji becomes a little more complicated when Shuji discovers that Chise has been converted into a living weapon of mass destruction by the JSDF.

Sound like the setup for many an anime featuring a troubled young man and his extraordinarily empowered girlfriend? Brace yourself, because despite the trappings of the genre, this isn't your creepy bachelor uncle's Magical Girlfriend series. The series is subtitled "The Last Love Song On This Little Planet" and they don't pull any punches in delivering on the bittersweet tone implied by that line.

This is a love story where the love is complex and unidealized; it's a war story where the war is distant and, if portrayed at all, done so in brief, brutal vignettes. If you are at all emotional, be prepared to be gobsmacked repeatedly by the savagings inflicted on the protagonists by the world and by each other.

You'll likely need a box of tissues for this series... though again, not in the same way your creepy uncle might.

Originally a manga series by Shin Takahashi, it was adapted into a 13-episode anime in 2002. An OAV side-story was released in 2005, Saikano: Another Love Song, as well as a live-action movie in 2006. All of these, apart from the live-action film, are licensed by Viz Media.

Tropes used in Saikano include: