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20 Anime Series That Went Off the Deep End Partway Through

Updated February 22, 2021 20.5k votes 6.2k voters 256.5k views20 items

List RulesVote 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.

  • Photo: Madhouse
    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? 
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    Did this fall apart halfway through?

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  • Photo: Production I.G
    This is a love it or hate it kind of anime to begin with, but even fans of the show recognize that it takes a pretty sharp left turn about midway through. The politics get all wonky, there's a bit of a time jump that is pretty jarring, and a lot of people start dying pretty senselessly. Characters you might have liked change personality out of nowhere  and characters you might not have liked start to get a whole lot of screen time. Speaking of which, a whole lot of people really, really hate Shu. Considering how much amazing art and music is in this, it lets a lot of fans down in the second half.
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  • Photo: Kyoto Animation
    Let's be clear, the first season has its act together. Intriguing plot lines, unusual characters, a strange sense of humor, and an overarching tension all define this quirky anime. no wonder fans were so eagerly awaiting the second season. Imagine their disappointment to discover episode after episode of the same thing. Literally. In a Groundhog Day kind of way, "The Endless 8" has the characters repeating the same day over and over from slightly different angles with slight changes as the season progresses. Honestly, you kind of have to feel bad for the animators. Anyone would get bored creating these scenes seven or eight times.
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  • Photo: Planet
    What's not to love about finding an adorable little star creature that's going to be your new friend? Well, at first, this anime is all about that kind of weird fun. But then kids start getting abused and emotionally destroyed. Suddenly the whole thing isn't so fun and fluffy anymore. By the end, the whole anime is really pushing you to hate humanity, and in general, it's succeeding. This feels like the show forgot it was for kids somewhere along the line, but is still weirdly similar to Pokemon in style. Oh, and the plot leaves off on a major cliffhanger.
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