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Old 2011-06-03, 09:40   Link #1
Random32
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Tearjerking Scenes: Heartwarming vs. Depressing

I have noticed that there are two types of tearjerking scenes. The heartwarming type (Think CLANNAD~AS~ ep18), and the depressing type (Think ep16).

What type more emotionally moves you?

For me, its the heartwarming type. It takes a lot more sadness to make me cry than it takes heartwarming.

Does the more effective type say anything about you?

Is my life worse than average, thus making depressing scenes have less effect since my normal state is depressed anyways and I'm used to it? Or is my life better than average due to the lack of ability to relate well to more depressing scenes?
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Old 2011-06-03, 09:50   Link #2
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Heartwarming:

Spoiler for Yosuga no Sora:


Tearjearking(in good way):

Spoiler for Yosuga no Sora(again):
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Old 2011-06-03, 09:51   Link #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
I have noticed that there are two types of tearjerking scenes. The heartwarming type (Think CLANNAD~AS~ ep18), and the depressing type (Think ep16).

What type more emotionally moves you?
Heartwarming.

Very good question, and very good examples to demonstrate what you mean by heartwarming vs. depressing.


Explaining why a person is moved more by one than the other can be difficult, though. I have some vague ideas of why "heartwarming" resonates with me more than "depressing" does, but it is difficult to put into words.
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Old 2011-06-03, 10:01   Link #4
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Does bittersweet centre more to heartwarming or depressing? Because those are my personal favourite type of scenes.
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Old 2011-06-03, 10:37   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acejem View Post
Does bittersweet centre more to heartwarming or depressing? Because those are my personal favourite type of scenes.
It probably depends on how much bitter or how much sweet there is in a scene. Secondly it depends a lot on personal views, as usual.

As for the original question, I prefer heartwarming. I've seen several of both, heartwarming and depressing, and a big difference I find in the two is that the former gives you something, while the latter takes something from you.

Heartwarming: it's a kind of pay off (especially if it comes after a long ride) and it's generically satisfying for the audience. In addition, they will keep that good feeling they've received for a while. Depending from the person, from a few hours to weeks.

Depressing: this kind tends to take away something from the audience. Not necessarily in a material way (tears), but inside. Extremely depressing scenes leave you with a sense of void lasting, like in the other case, in a range varying from a short time to a long time.

Also, really a personal impression here, depressing scenes are more difficult to erase from your brain once seen. This applies for "non legendary" scenes in particular (since the two examples mentioned in the OP are something I'll never forget), if you weren't really attached to a story or its characters, you'll definitely tend to remember depressing scenes over heartwarming scenes, no matter what.
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Old 2011-06-03, 10:55   Link #6
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Somehow I never was moved to the point of tears by heart warming scenes... It is nice to see someone reunite or something and it is a happy moment but I can't comprehend the idea of crying because of happiness... it seems weird.

So I say depressing.
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Old 2011-06-03, 12:08   Link #7
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I will avoid the question and claim it's actually a heartwarming scene after a depressing one. So they kinda need to work together.

Ex: Clannad AS 16 vs 18, Madoka Magica 10 vs 12, Higurashi vs Higurashi Kai, or Kanon 2006 14 vs 15.

Or just Fate Testarossa's life in the first season of Nanoha, lol.

I think it becomes extremely obvious when one links these to my favorite characters; I'm quite the sucker for these things.,

Overall, I'm not a fan of tragedy "trains" with a few notable exceptions such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, but even that carries some semblance of hope, no matter how remote it may be.
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Old 2011-06-03, 12:17   Link #8
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For some reason, I can only remember two tear-jerking scenes from animes I've seen, and no especially heartwarming ones.

Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya - Kyon giving the club sign-up sheet back to Yuki. I literally don't watch that scene anymore when I'm watching the movie.
Elfen Lied - Lucy crying and apologizing to Kohta at the end of the series. I've only watched it once, but I do remember being deeply moved by the scene.

Now, there is a part in the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga that left me with a beaming smile; it's a scene that's absent in the anime. Rei is talking to Shinji, and begins recalling all the times they've touched throughout the story. Finally, she says something like, "The last time we touched, it felt warm, knowing that you were looking out for me." Then she turns to Shinji, smiles, and asks, "Can I hold your hand again?" Shinji hesitates, then simply says, "Okay."

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I assume I can only think of three examples because either extreme almost always comes across as contrived and artificial. Not only do I really, really have to care about the character in question (something that's rare for me), but it also needs to represent a rather momentous moment for them: something striking, something that completely assaults or up-ends their character.

In the first example, Kyon made Yuki cry. HE MADE HER CRY. YUKI. That just doesn't happen! It's the last emotion you ever expect from her. For Lucy, it was the culmination of her realizing that no matter how deeply she cared for Kohta, he could never forgive her or return the feelings. It was the realization that all the things she thought she did to help him instead hurt and damaged him irreparably, and she could never change or fix that. And with Rei, we have a situation similar to Yuki's, but on the opposite end of the spectrum. We've been led to believe that she's a cold, unfeeling robot, and seeing her open up and want care and affection from others (and ask for it so candidly) is very moving.

As for which extreme affects me more, I'd have to say the depressing ones do. The reason is simply that they're a much more severe disruption to my personality and feelings than heartwarming ones are. I might not be able to empathize with the depressing scenes, but I have no shortage of sympathy with them. Happy and heartwarming scenes, on the other hand, are so common in media and so common in my life that they lose their punch. If you come in from sledding and someone touches you with an ice cube, you'll barely notice. If you come in from sunbathing, the ice cube is going to feel a lot colder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Overall, I'm not a fan of tragedy "trains" with a few notable exceptions such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, but even that carries some semblance of hope, no matter how remote it may be.
Actually, one of the things that's appealing to me about NGE is just how brutally it shatters whatever hope you think you can find solace in. That scene I mentioned above from the manga? It's followed up by that Rei being killed in battle and replaced by a clone that has none of the development or feelings that she had. Shinji never really recovers from the shock.
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Old 2011-06-03, 12:21   Link #9
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Generally speaking I often find myself more immersed in fictional plight than an uplifting story. However, I've never actually cried from a depressing scene if only because they tend to forewarn or advertise themselves so well that I know what to expect. It's also not too much of a surprise that my reaction to unfortunate revelations is mitigated by the media's tendency to over-saturate people with this and ultimately desensitizes what I feel.

The reason I find a greater "high-end" (Read: b'aaaaaaaaawww) impact from heartwarming scenes is precisely because they're the antithesis of the loss of innocence. Whatever truly gratifying narratives you've ever seen, I can wager that the dominant part of it was something simple. Perhaps that lack of complexity would remind someone of less troublesome days?

To quote a brilliant comment I found on Youtube:
Quote:
If everyone watched Clannad the world would be a better place
tl;dr: IMO, tear jerking heartwarming > depressing in general > the usual heartwarming. And Clannad causes world peace.
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Old 2011-06-03, 12:23   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
I will avoid the question and claim it's actually a heartwarming scene after a depressing one. So they kinda need to work together
I think you hit the nail on the head with what I personally I like the best. A heartwarming moment (something gained) after a depressing moment (something lost). Hence, bittersweet.

I tend to dislike pure depressing anime though, because after a while it becomes desensitized. A good drama needs light-hearted moments alongside serious ones imo. But, not too light-hearted in that it derails the series into a comedy.
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Old 2011-06-03, 12:38   Link #11
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5 cm per second was the first anime I cried at. That ending music montage, and realising he's never going to get back with her, and he's still thinking about her while she's moved on and getting married...

Killed me.
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Old 2011-06-03, 13:02   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
I will avoid the question and claim it's actually a heartwarming scene after a depressing one. So they kinda need to work together.
This. It moves me a lot to see characters that have suffered be happy. I don't think it necessarily has to be heartwarming after depressing though I have to admit it works better on me that way, just the contrast.
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Old 2011-06-03, 13:33   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamer_2k4 View Post
Actually, one of the things that's appealing to me about NGE is just how brutally it shatters whatever hope you think you can find solace in. That scene I mentioned above from the manga? It's followed up by that Rei being killed in battle and replaced by a clone that has none of the development or feelings that she had. Shinji never really recovers from the shock.
Yea, that's why I would list it as an exception. And the manga sounds somewhat more fucked up then TV.

But hey...

Spoiler for EoE:
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Old 2011-06-03, 13:39   Link #14
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I would have to say it is the heartwarming scenes that tend to move me the most, though I certainly cry at "sad" scenes as well. (Aria and Clannad are two classic examples for me of heartwarming inspired tears....)

But I do not know if I would necessarily call them "depressing". There are some things that are legitimately sad imo, and there is nothing wrong with feeling sad about them. Like in Clannad when Kyou and Ryou finally "realize" that Tomoya sincerely loves Nagisa (during the tennis match), or in Grave of the Fireflies - now THAT is a truly sad movie.

Maybe it is just a distinction of my own, but I do not think all things sad are depressing, and delineate the two in my mind. Depressing carries an overtone of hopelessness for me, whereas sadness does not necessarily involve that element, even if the situation itself may be or may seem "hopeless".

Hmm ... don't know if I am making sense here....
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Old 2011-06-03, 14:19   Link #15
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ep 7 of Ano Hana was a tearjerker
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Old 2011-06-03, 14:29   Link #16
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As I get older I do find myself moved more by heartwarming, expression of love scenes rather than sad,death scenes. Scenes such as when Sawako finally tells Shouto her feelings in Kimi ni Todoke, while I'm not totally bawling, I do get a lump in the throat and the eyes get a bit misty with a happy feeling of "that's awesome!" I get the same feeling with Chobits when Hideki finally expresses his feelings about Chii as she is shutting down.

Maybe I'm just becoming more sentimental in my old age.
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Old 2011-06-03, 14:48   Link #17
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I'm more for manly tears and epic tears.

Depressing never gets to me, but bittersweet can be nice.
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Old 2011-06-03, 22:10   Link #18
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I would say both types of scenes move me equally. My favorite episodes of CLANNAD After Story are episodes 16 and 18, both of which moved me to tears for different reasons; the former out of sadness, the latter out of joy; it was definitely one of the most heartwarming things I've seen.
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Old 2011-06-03, 22:59   Link #19
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I'm unable to rewatch the climactic end sequence in the series AIR (on the way to the beach). I had a younger brother die of cystic fibrosis when I was a teenager and that scene and its dialog just stabs all that emotion back into my brain. Crap, I have trouble just constructing this post.

On the other hand, romance for the win scenes are heartwarming (Toradora, Otome Youkai Zakuro, Love*Com, Kimi ni Todoke, etc).
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Old 2011-06-04, 00:12   Link #20
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Heartwarming. From what I can recall from the three times I ever cried from watching anime, heartwarming consisted of two or them and depressing only one (that particular one took 80 episodes of masterful development too).

And that's one of the things that puts "depressing" tearjerkers at a bit of a disadvantage, I think. This also relates to what Akito_Kinomoto kind of touched upon. What is considered "depressing" is usually in the form of the death of a character, or a seperation in general. It's something that the audience expects, or has seen quite a bit of in other animes. This naturally mitigates the impact.

In contrast, "heartwarming" can encompass quite alot of different situations and still work.
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