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

Laura Allan
11.1k votes 3.1k voters 149k views 20 items

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.

1 1,325 VOTES

Death Note


Ranker Video
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

#35 on The Best TV Shows Streaming On Hulu

#38 on The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

#2 on The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time

#2 on The 25+ Best First Anime to Watch for New Fans

1,034 291
Did this fall apart halfway through?
see more on Death Note
2 1,804 VOTES

Sword Art Online


Ranker Video
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

#8 on The Best Anime Series of All Time

#9 on The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time

#13 on The 25+ Best First Anime to Watch for New Fans

#21 on 25+ Anime With Great Rewatch Value

1,368 436
Did this fall apart halfway through?
see more on Sword Art Online
3 797 VOTES

Deadman Wonderland


Ranker Video
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

#57 on The Best Anime Series of All Time

#46 on The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time

#19 on The Best Action Anime of All Time

#11 on The Best Supernatural Anime

631 166
Did this fall apart halfway through?
see more on Deadman Wonderland

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube
There's no way anyone could see this plot twist coming. What starts as a fairly run of the mill mech anime starts to get religious and weird in a hurry. One of the characters is mind-raped, there's death, and what you think are robots aren't actually robots. Of course, things get really gory too. And the ending completes the special delivery of strangeness, with everyone clapping and inexplicably saying, "Congratulations Shinji!" And if you think the subsequent movies will shed some extra light on the plot of all this, you might be surprised and confused. Mostly confused. 

Also Ranked

#9 on Anime You Wish Was Streaming on Netflix

#42 on The Best Anime Series of All Time

#37 on 25+ Anime With Great Rewatch Value

#3 on Anime With The Darkest Endings

645 176
Did this fall apart halfway through?
see more on Neon Genesis Evangelion