14 Beloved Anime With Terrible Finales

Voting Rules
Vote up the amazing shows that deserve more gratifying finales.

Few things are more frustrating than getting to the end of a particularly gripping series, only to realize the finale you so hotly anticipated is utter garbage. Whether a promising anime jumps the shark midway through, or a fantastic series wraps with a WTF anime ending that even the most perceptive viewers couldn't see coming, bad conclusions can make you want to tear your hair out. Good anime with bad endings can leave you feeling burned long after the final credits roll, and in the worst case scenario, an awful anime ending can ruin a whole series.

Photo: Digimon Adventure 02 / Toei Animation

  • The first season of The Promised Neverland was fantastic, which is what makes the lackluster second season so disappointing. While the first season features a clear-cut narrative about a group of children attempting to escape from an orphanage that they discovered is actually a farm that raises meat for demons, the second season suffers from trying to cram way too much information into twelve episodes.

    As the children attempt to survive in the outside world, they learn what demons are like and how they live. They also learn that the world has been split in two, and that there's a human realm that they can escape to. Meanwhile, one of the children, Norman, believes that the only solution to end their suffering is to destroy every demon in existence. There's also a group of humans fighting to maintain the status quo. 

    All of this could have been extremely interesting, but it's crammed into a tight space and barely explored. The final episode, which involves their final escape, is so rushed that it's almost incomprehensible. Events that could have spanned a 24-episode season are depicted as a brief montage. Most of these events weren't properly built up to either, because so much content that could have explained the ending was cut from the manga.

    Overall, it was a huge disappointment for manga readers, and a convoluted mess for anime-onlys. Can this series please get a reboot?

    506 votes
  • 2
    3,710 VOTES

    The ending of Soul Eater came as a surprise to a lot of viewers, and not in a good way. Soul Eater usually emphasizes the importance of teamwork, so when Maka defeats the final villain on her own (while her compatriots sit and watch), it feels like the show's theme is at risk of becoming invalidated.

    On top of that, it's bizarre to watch Maka defeat the son of Death by punching him in the face with the nebulous "power of courage," since creative weapons and battle techniques are another one of the show's trademarks. 

    3,710 votes
  • 3
    3,540 VOTES

    Tokyo Ghoul √A could have been amazing; after all, it had plenty of heart-stoppingly exciting source material to pull from. While the second bout does an interesting job of showcasing Ken Kaneki's new bloodthirsty personality, it really falls apart when it comes time to wrap things up.

    Instead of directly adapting the story from the manga, the series cuts out the most interesting details, and ends with Ken carrying the body of his friend Hide towards Kishou Arima. There's no epic battle, and no stirring conversation, just a lot of wasted time and unanswered questions.

    3,540 votes
  • 4
    1,381 VOTES

    Even if everyone doesn't love Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, many people hold fond memories of at least one Yu-Gi-Oh! series. Most installments actually wrap up reasonably well — who didn't cry when Yugi and Yami Yugi say goodbye in the original series? Then there's the ending of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, which is almost offensively bad. 

    The series's happy-go-lucky tone is totally destroyed in Season 3 when protagonist Yuki Judai (known as Jaden Yuki in the dub) drags all of his friends into a hellish underworld. There, Yubel — his villainous girlfriend from a past life — takes over his body and forces him to murder thousands of card spirits and most of his friends. While they eventually come back to life, that might actually be worse, since they have to live with the memories of their own murders. 

    Despite this onslaught of trauma, nearly everyone goes back to normal, except for Judai, who accepts the murderous Yubel living in his body as a new fact of life. They then head off on a vague journey, along with the ghost of Judai's teacher who once tried to murder him, and a cat. What a great way to wrap up a show about children's card games. 

    1,381 votes
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion actually has multiple endings, but the original is by far the most disappointing. Moments before the series concludes, Shinji Ikari stands in the middle of a circle while everyone he knows claps for him and congratulates him on realizing he isn't entirely worthless.

    Up until this point, the show has served up complex philosophical revelations and high-drama robot fights in every single episode, so Shinji's personal victory is far from thrilling by comparison. Also, just before the circle of approval, Shinji realizes his organization's true goal is to merge all of humanity into a soup of consciousness. Next to all that, Shinji's self-confidence sits low on the list of resolvable conflicts. 

    2,369 votes
  • For a while, the second Digimon Adventure series seems like it's going to end on a high note, but the epilogue is a total trainwreck. The final moments reveal everything about the DigiDestineds' futures, including who they marry, what their kids are like, and what they do for a living. Unfortunately, most of it plays like poorly-written fanfiction. 

    Every single character has at least one child. The kids are basically clones of their parents, down to the wild hairstyles, which is just plain creepy. With regards to the marriages, most of the characters marry outside of the DigiDestined, and viewers learn almost nothing about their mystery spouses. A lot of viewers were excited to see the relationship between TK and Kari pan out, so the creators' decision to ship them with random newcomers feels like a missed opportunity. 

    Then comes the jobs. Nearly all the women work stereotypically feminine jobs; they're fashion designers, kindergarten teachers, and housewives. To make matters worse, some of the men have totally unbelievable professions. Sorry, but Matt does not have what it takes to be an astronaut, though Davis's decision to run a noodle cart seems oddly fitting. 

    1,430 votes