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Saikano main image more screenshots
3.542 out of 5 from 5,840 votes
Rank #1,580


In the not-so-distant future, mankind is at war with itself. The lives of Chise and Shuu are torn apart when Chise is chosen to become the ultimate weapon to fight for Japan against their enemies. Death, sadness, and the hardships of love accompany Sai Kano in its grim look at war and its consequences.

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related anime

Anime Name Type Year Relation More Info
Saikano: Another Love Song OVA 2005 TBD

related manga

Manga Name Year Relation More Info
Saikano 2000 TBD
Saikano: Love Story, Killed 2002 TBD
Name Role
Hisashi KAGAWA Character Design
Mitsuko KASE Director
Takeo MIRATSU Music
Shin TAKAHASHI Original Manga Creator
Masashi TSUKINO Producer

Official Editorial Reviews

Title Author Score Date
Saikano Ultima 8.7/10 Nov 11, 2004

Community Reviews

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Title Author Score Date
Saikano KingArthur13th 6.7/10 Jul 28, 2013
Saikano charvisioku 3.5/10 Dec 12, 2012
Saikano roriconfan 5.5/10 Sep 15, 2012
List Title Username Entries Date
Explus yasar 447 Apr 17, 2014
vida-anime Slendi 156 Apr 9, 2014
guilty pleasure top 10 blead 10 Mar 23, 2014
Cioccopan removed the Saikano anime from their anime list
soltys wants to watch Saikano
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veida rated the Saikano anime 2.5/5 stars
veida watched Saikano at 13 of 13 episodes

Recommendations if you like Saikano

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Elfen Lied

Elfen Lied

For Kouta and Yuka, finding the bloody naked young girl on the beach would change their lives forever, for better or for worse. Unable to speak or function as a normal human being, she is named Nyu by the duo, and taken into their home in an effort to save her. But what neither teenager knows is that this innocent young girl is actually a killing machine -- an experiment gone terribly wrong -- and it is only a matter of time before the murderer in her awakens again...

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While the tone of these two series is not very similar they both feature extremely violent situations in which apparently fragile female characters are revealed to have a potential for being highly destructive. Little girls as weapons form the main premise of these series, although it is carried out differently; EL opts for a more graphic approach that maximizes the use of colour, while Saikano is more subdued, using a mostly grey palette to convey a feeling of hopelessness. In both cases romance blooms and is put to a ferocious test. These two series may differ in a lot of aspects - the ecchi factor that is predominant in EL is absent in Saikano, and the apocalyptic impact of the latter is non-existent in the former - but they are similar enough to warrant this recommendation.


Both Elfen Lied and Saikano give you a similar feeling. They both have two main characters that are in love but it's a hard relationship to maintain, seeing that the guys are both normal and the girls are not completely human. They also have other women that are in love with them but don't confess it. Each anime has amazing character development and a great love story. They also have action, but Elfen Lied has more violence. If you liked/loved one you'd love the other.


Elfen Lied and Saikano are similar anime, and are two of my personal favorites. Both will give you goosebumps, will make you uncontrollably shake, and will likely make you cry before the end.

Saikano features a slightly more obvious love story (when compared to the Nyu-Kouta affair) and it takes place in a world war environment.

Both anime are really intense, well-paced and have well-written stories; but what makes these two on top of a lot of Top 10s is the fact that you REALLY feel for the characters. You feel like crying every time you see them shed a tear. Trust me, if you liked Elfen Lied, you'll love Saikano and vice versa.


Both series will give you pretty much the same feelings. They're both heart-wrenching to watch.

They also have a few common points: both have a principal non-human female character with destructive powers and both have a common nice guy who fall in love with them.

If you love one, you definitly won't be disappointed with the other.


If you enjoy girls who wield unnatural and devasting powers then both Elfen Lied and She: The Ultimate Weapon fulfill this with ease. Add in the main character romance with the weapon means that liking either one will result in you enjoying the other.


Both shows feature girls as weapons, but the real connection to me is tragedy and death. Elfen Lied has more gore, but Saikano is just brutally sad because it mixes tragic death and a complex romantic relationships together and its just... extreme depression.

If you're into that type of show and you enjoyed that element of Elfen Lied, you will love Saikano.


I don't know why no one stuck EL and Saikano together yet. The sad fate of the female characters, that was brought upon them against their will, and also the male protagonist dealing with the problems that arise because of their girlfriends are things that connect those two anime. There are other similarities, e.g. a love triangle.

If you liked either Saikano or Elfen Lied, you'll definitely like the other one!


Both series are about a girl who has a close relation to a boy :) but they have other part (a secret), that they do not want to tell him, but it is a secret that will come out eventually. Elfen Lied is a strange evolution of mankind into dicolnius, and Saikano is a man-made womam-to-ultimate-weapon-transformation. Both girls are dangerous and used for other purposes, but they do not want to obey others but themselves. With the vision of peace in the hands of a boy - EL Kouta, S- Shuiji, they go they own path, but still followed by "the Boss."

Both hearth-touching, full of love and death, worth watching.

Elfen Lied has a happy ending, if it coud be calld that, but saikano has a sad ending, so prepare your handkerchiefs, they might come in handy for saikano.:)


If you liked this for its main characters' fight for thier love, then you sure like the other, plus, the female character is a weapon for the military force in both stories. At the times when they act as a weapon, their behaviour changes into a laconic, determined style.


both Saikano and Elfen Lied feature female protagonists used as weapons in wars or in military force, both of them are very romantic dramas, featuring female protagonists fighting for the beloved one, changing their mood and personality battle after battle until their love seems to become agony. If you liked the bloody Elfen Lied then for sure you will enjoy the melancholic Saikano and vice-versa.


Each of these series are rather sad stories revolving around a girl that is also a weapon. Furthermore, they both delve into the question of "what is a human?" If you enjoyed Saikano, you would probably enjoy Elfen Lied because it does a better job of fleshing out the parts of the story that Saikano abandoned for the romance.


Both Animes have a striking and sad storyline and determined characters. Both show the hardships of relationships during hard times, be it a war against the rest of the world (Saikano) or a battle against scientists attempting to reclaim an "Experiment gone incredibly violent" (Elfen Lied).

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Voices of a Distant Star

Voices of a Distant Star

Nagamine is a young high school student who lives a fairly typical teenage life: hanging out with friends, attending class, and falling in love with a wonderful boy. But when she enlists in the galactic army, who is desperate for candidates to fight an alien war, she finds herself drifting farther away from her first love, Noboru. In the depths of space, where a simple email takes eight years to be delivered, will their love truly flourish, or simply fade away?

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Another tragic love-story, beautiful animation, captivating story. Hoshi no Koe is only 1 episode long, as well, so it is an easy, short watch.

If you liked how depressing Sai Kano was, or maybe just the desperation felt in it, you'll also like Hoshi no Koe for the same reasons. 

To be with the one you love... so near but yet so far.... The distance between the girl Nagamine and the guy Noboru is alot bigger than in Saikano but it truly got the same effects.... To long for someone can hurt alot even if it's close or near. This is another sad love story filled with toutching moments.... truly something for you if you liked Saikano
Love conquers all, it is said. But sometimes, the sad truth is that love is not enough. When the events of life become so overwhelming that everything falls apart, love (however deep) becomes agony. In "Hoshi no Koe", the lovers are separated in a way that no lost loves have ever before been. In "SaiKano", the horror of war puts love into a ghastly perspective. Both these anime, although very different in format, are heart-rending explorations of love under extreme pressure.

Both Saikano and Voices are true tearjerkers. The endings of both are just too beautiful to ingore. If you cried after the end of one, prepare to do the same after watching the other.


When I first saw Hoshi no Koe, I thought it was going to have a much lighter feel to it. After watching it, I found that the tone was much more similar to the dark and tragic feelings brought on by Saikano. Two sad romance stories that don't exactly have the Hollywood ending.


Hoshi No Koe and Saikano are both unique from a typcal war love story because the boy is the one who stays home while their girlfriends enlist. If you like this twist and are prepared to cry again, watch this anime!


Love despite all obsticles. That is the main theme of Hoshi no Koe and Saikano. Both are stories of lovers seperated by the consequenses of war, and what they must do to cope with it all. Deep love stories with less than happy endings. But a must watch.


Hoshi no Koe and Saikano are pretty similar, both of them feature a forbiden love relationship between, the proof that love in overwhelming and sad events becomes like an agony. Both of the female protagonists are used as weapons in wars, and are separated from their beloved ones, by distance (in Hoshi no Koe) by fate and war (in Saikano). If you are looking for melancholic, dramatic shows then look no further, this two are the perfect choices.


Both are tragic love stories that have a war theme to them. Both have beautiful graphics as well. Voices of a Distant Star is very short but gives the same feelings as Saikano does with 13 episodes. I liked Voices of a Distant Star better as well. Check either or these out if you like tragic love stories.


Each series focuses on a girl that is pulled into the military, and, therefor, away from her lover. Through this stress, each couple has their relationship tested.

Gunslinger Girl

Gunslinger Girl

Henrietta is a young girl who works for a "welfare group" that does the government's dirty work. Cybernetically-enhanced and specially-trained, she is one of a group of elite hit-girls, remorseless killers with no memories of their past. Jose, her partner, has taken care of her since she was brought into the organization following the murder of her family, and struggles between his affection for her, and his opposing duty to his employer. But, time is running out.. for with each bullet they fire, Henrietta and the other girls lose a little more of their humanity.

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Even though Saikano and GunslingerGirl have very different approaches, they both have the "lolitas who kill" theme. Always a reason to watch.
2 sides of the same story. In Gunslinger Girl they accepted that they were adapted to killing machines, while in SaiKano Chise has trouble with it. It's a great chance to see how the same story can go two different ways.

Saikano and Gunslinger Girl are both about little girls who have had their body's altered to become great weapons. If you like great violence and cute girls watch these series.


Both have young girls enhanced as weapons against their will and used as tools with shortened lifespans. GSG approaches this much more reasonably and explores ethical/moral dilemmas. Saikano uses this as a backdrop for a love story.


Both series manage to pull of beautiful, heartbreaking tenderness and cruelty without ever feeling false or gimmicky.


They are both sad storys about girls used for the military basicly. both were used to be assassins, both have a pretty dark story, but they grow on you both are very well done.


Girls that are made (literally) to kill. Both series approach the subject and we are shown how they and others deal with the prospect.


Both ruminate heavily on human augmentation and the question of human relationships and humanity itself in its' wake. It's qutie a natural fit. I'd almost consider Gunslinger Girl a serious look at the satirical themes of Saikano.

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Now and Then, Here and There

Now and Then, Here and There

Amidst a beautiful sunset, Shu is violently whisked away to a grim future devoid of water, and empty of hope; a place where children are forced to become soldiers, and kill countless others in the name of King Hamdo. Shu's companion is a mysterious girl named La La Ru, who may hold the key to survival. Now, he must concentrate on the only things that matter: escaping Hellywood, and finding a way home.

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If you like depressing stories/endings, you'll like NTHT. Both series touch on the subject of children being involved with the hardships of war.

Now and Then is very similar to Sai Kano in its themes and feeling. It's another depressing story about what happens to a world engulfed in war and tragedy. If you liked one of these anime, give the other a try. 

The one you hold dear is she a secret weapon? Just like Chise turns out to be a mighty weapon the girl in this series is too. The story is really similiar but I think Saikano is abit more serious than NATHAT just beacuse it's dealing with older people. But it truly is a twin to saikano.

Saikano and Now and Then, Here and There are about war and its effect on fighters and civilians alike. While the placing is considerably different, Saikano having a dose of slice of life moments that are almost absent from NTHT and while the first has a strong element of romance that does not feauture in the second there is enough drama and tragedy in both. Saikano is an exercise in sheer depression, NTHT retains some amount of hope amidst the chaos but they akin in that they portray the horrors of war in a believable manner.


Now and Then feels alot like Saikano in many respects - superficial similarities aside, the mood created by the two shows is distinctly familiar to each orther. Both are at times emotional, disturbing, and also strangely uplifting, with a very personal bent. If you're in that kind of mood, I highly recommend these to respective new-comers to either work who want something worth their while.


Both shows feature children used by adults to commit violence, and the toll it takes on everyone involved, in part by twisting the love the teenagers feel for others.


Each of these series center around war, the hardships kids face in war, and a love story. Each series has the female lead being a center piece to a country's war effort, despite hating violence, and a boy fighting for what he believes in throughout the series (mostly the girl he believes in). Finally, each series has a very similar, sorrowful tone throughout.


Both are about a girl that is a secret weapon, and the boy/man try everything to stay together and make a future or a better future.Saikano is the best anime in my opnion, the story is just perfect, the drama is melancholic and still really beauty, if you still didn't watch saikano, START NOW!.NATHAT is really good too, has really good adult-talk and during the anime it brings more and more adult themes.

So watch both, and enjoy the best of animes!.

Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies
  • Movie (1 ep x 88 min)
  • 1988

With their father serving overseas in the Navy towards the end of the World War 2, Seita and his younger sister Setsuko are living as normally as they can. One day during a firebomb raid on the city their mother suffers fatal wounds and the two siblings' lives are turned upside down as they go to live with a relative. After suffering the cruel treatment of their aunt, who makes it clear that their very presence is a nuisance, Seita and Setsuko decide to leave and go to live in an abandoned bomb shelter. With no one else to rely on, Seita and Setsuko try their hardest to live from day to day. Though when food becomes ever more scarce and no one is willing to sell what little provisions they have, life for the pair is increasingly difficult. Then when Setsuko falls ill, Seita begins to realize just how fragile life is...

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Both increadibly sad and moving stories of the tales that happen behind the scenes of war.
For those of you who like tear jerkers like Saikano, you migth also love Grave of the Fireflies. Although it is more down to earth then Saikano, those who look for the fiction in anime and the teen angst will be disapointed.

While the overlying story is different, both Saikano and Grave of the Fireflies try to show how a war can damage the people around it. A seriously sad mood is used in both.


Grave of the Fireflies and Saikano have stories that are about two things: war and pain. These anime are the kind that can make you cry, even if you are cold-hearted. If you liked one, you'd like the other too.


Saikano and Grave of the Fireflies are both heartbreaking tales of love and war.

Saikano deals with a boy and his girlfriend being broken apart by a fictional modern war.

Grave of the Fireflies is about a boy and his sister losing their family and homes to the a very real representation of World War Two.

Both of these great anime made my cry the entire time I was watching them. If you're interested in the horrors of war on young people, watch these anime!


Both anime titles are emotional roller coaster rides where the people involved try to maintain normalcy in their lives despite the war taking place in front of them. The painful realities of war are seen throughout both titles as people die, suffer, and maintain their dignity despite the losses piling up in front of them.


Both shows show you the painful struggle of the main character to protect the person he cares for. They both display the ugliness of war and the actual pain it brings to the people involved. You might not (want to) believe this after just watching one of these, but they are about equally heartwrenching, you have been warned.