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The 13 Most Anticlimactic Anime Endings of All Time, Ranked

March 23, 2020 4.3k votes 1.2k voters 58.5k views13 items

Have you ever seen a great anime only to be totally underwhelmed by its ending? Sadly, that happens all too often in the world of anime - it can be hard for a show to really deliver at the final moment. 

Anticlimactic anime endings can happen because the manga outpaced the anime - the creators weren't sure how to end the series, so they made something up that didn't work. At other times, they did have access to the full story, or they were coming up with the story themselves - it just didn't work out for whatever reason. A bad ending doesn't mean the show isn't worth watching, and sometimes anti-climactic finales can even be a good thing depending on your tastes - but they can still be pretty disappointing most of the time.

Which of these shows was the biggest letdown? Let the world know what you think by voting it up. 

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  • Soul Eater ends when Maka defeats Asura with one punch. Other than One Punch Man, most shows are going to struggle to turn that into a satisfying ending, and Soul Eater certainly did. 

    As the ultimate villain, Asura was supposed to be difficult to defeat. The dude was the son of Death himself, and even Death was incapable of fully defeating him. His powers were literally godly. The fact that Maka was able to take him out with one punch seemed ludicrous - especially in a show that emphasized creative weapons and attacks as much as Soul Eater did. Fans were expecting something a lot more elaborate and interesting, but it really seems like the creators just wanted to get it over with.

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    • 'Claymore' Didn't Meet Its Potential
      Photo: Madhouse

      Claymore wrapped up while the manga was still ongoing, which may explain why it ended in such a weird place. After a final showdown between Priscilla and Clare, both combatants revert to their human forms, and Priscilla leaves with Isley. Meanwhile, Clare and her comrades decide to leave the organization and go their separate ways. There's no real indication of what will happen next, and there's nothing especially satisfying or intriguing about the end. Considering how much build-up there was, this was pretty disappointing for fans of the show. 

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      • 'Hellsing's' Final Fight Lacks Substance 
        Photo: Gonzo

        Hellsing was eventually rebooted into a much more widely acclaimed series called Hellsing Ultimate. There are a lot of reasons why the reboot was necessary, and one of those was the first series' anti-climactic ending. The final episode revolved around a lackluster battle between Alucard and an anime-only villain named Incognito. The fight was a well-animated visual spectacle, but it was confusing and lacked substance. Few questions about the series were answered, and the show seemed to consider itself done with the battle's resolution, even though there were lots of loose ends that still needed tying up.

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        • 'Neon Genesis Evangelion' Featured An Infamously Strange Ending
          Photo: Gainax

          Neon Genesis Evangelion is an amazing show, but its ending is controversial to say the least. The final episodes brutally psychoanalyze the protagonists before ending with Shinji in a circle of people who clap for him and congratulate him. While the symbolism is interesting, Shinji's psychological journey is far from most viewers' minds when the all of humanity is about to merge their souls into soup. Evangelion was never going to be a typical mecha series, and it doesn't have to be, but it still needs to resolve its own story.

          The series would later come out with multiple alternative endings, but those don't erase the existence of the TV ending. 

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