Anime Underground 20 Anime Series That Went Off the Deep End Partway Through  

Laura Allan
5.1k votes 1.5k voters 107k views 20 items Follow Embed

List Rules Vote up the anime series that most suffered around the halfway point, seriously going off the deep end in terms of quality and tone.

There's a ton of anime out there that suffers from sudden tone switches,or unexpected decisions about halfway through. We've all been there. You're watching some awesome anime, enjoying yourself when bam! Suddenly those things you thought were giant robots are actually protohumans, that love interest you thought was nice is trying to kill you, and that cute little girl has just been killed by her daddy for science. Some anime shows recover from it, some even get better. But most end up irreparably damaged, scarring viewers everywhere. 

Now, before you start rattling off the long list you probably have of anime that suffered halfway through and pissed you off, know that you're not alone. Some of the anime shows that really stick with you are either the series that went bad or ones that threw a wicked curveball. In fact, these unexpected left turns are often what make an anime famous!

So, why don't you help decide which is the most guilty of this? Check out the shows on this list and vote up the ones you think are anime series that jumped the shark or otherwise went off the rails. And if you're still angry after reading, remember to take a deep breath.

Also, be aware, there are serious spoilers ahead.
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Sword Art Online


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Video: YouTube
Okay, so let's talk about Sword Art Online. This story has an amazing beginning, a premise that pulls you in right away, and a quest that you're absolutely ready to embark on. You fall in love with characters, you get totally invested. And then that second half happens. Asuna, one of the greatest fighters anywhere, is suddenly locked in a cage, and there's a random love triangle. This may be the most complained about second half of a show in anime history. 

Also Ranked

#1 on The Best Fantasy Anime of All Time

#7 on The Best Anime Series of All Time

#3 on The Best Anime Streaming on Netflix

#9 on The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time

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Death Note


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Video: YouTube
This anime spends a whole lot of time carefully creating tension between L and Light. L hunts for Light, Light tries to find a way to get at L. The game of cat and mouse is incredibly tense, if not a little overly dramatic sometimes. And then, halfway through, Light kills L. Done deal. Sure, the plot continues to a resolution and Light does get his comeuppance, but who made the call to break that delicious tension so abruptly? 

Also Ranked

#38 on The Best Fantasy Anime of All Time

#36 on The Best TV Shows Streaming On Hulu

#43 on The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

#2 on The Best Anime Streaming on Netflix

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Deadman Wonderland


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Video: YouTube
If you're a fan of Superjail, you might also be a fan of Deadman Wonderland. Prisoners in a rather wacky prison are forced to face off against each other in strange trials and fights that result in death and dismemberment. Sounds fascinating, right? Well, when it's revealed that a resistance movement is brewing, the focus stops being on the fights, the prison, and the mystery. Instead, the story is all about the resistance. Everyone teams up to destroy the powers that be, creating a perfect plan and then... they all die. Pretty much everyone perishes in the attempt. And that's it. Fans are left with a cliffhanger for which a resolution is very, very unlikely.

Also Ranked

#56 on The Best Anime Series of All Time

#17 on The Best Adult Anime of All Time

#38 on The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time

#19 on The Best Action Anime of All Time

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School Days


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Video: YouTube
Did you think you were watching a nice little slice of life anime involving school drama, a love triangle, and an earnest coming of age? Think again, sucker. The series might start that way, but halfway through, the deplorable main character starts sleeping with just about every girl in the school even though he has a girlfriend. Then there's rape, unexpected pregnancy, and, eventually, a grisly murder. If you don't hate at least one character by the end of this, you're doing something wrong.

Also Ranked

#11 on Anime With The Darkest Endings

#13 on Anime Guaranteed To Make You Physically Nauseous

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