Anime Underground

The 13 Most Disappointing Anime of All Time  

Anna Lindwasser
5.7k votes 2k voters 26.2k views 13 items

Have you ever seen an anime that you thought was going to be fantastic, but ended up being kind of terrible? Disappointing anime like this appear in every genre, and they can make you regret investing your time and excitement in them in the first place. The feeling can be especially severe when it's a heavily promoted anime that everyone is excited about before it debuts. 

What are some anime that didn't live up to the hype? One of the most famous examples is Tokyo Ghoul √A, the second season of a popular show that takes the series in an unwanted direction. In a completely different genre, Glasslip takes a cool premise and turns it into utter nonsense. 

This list is entirely subjective. If you see your favorite on here, it's not that it's inherently terrible - it's that there were common expectations for it that weren't met. Vote up the anime that you think could have been much better, and vote down the ones you think are fine the way they are.

Dragon Ball GT is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 13 Most Disappointing Anime of All Time
Photo:  Toei Animation

The Dragon Ball franchise is so well-loved that it's hard to imagine that any part of it could be disappointing - but Dragon Ball GT was definitely that. Rather than waiting for the original manga artist to create additional material, Toei Animation prioritized milking the franchise for all it was worth by creating a non-canon continuation of Goku's adventures.

This didn't have to be a bad thing - just because a series is anime-only doesn't mean it's inherently terrible - but few elements of GT were appealing enough to allow the series to stand on its own. The protagonist, Pan, was a controversial character who some fans found deeply annoying. Even if you liked Pan, you may have found it difficult to accept Goku being transformed into a child and remaining that way for the bulk of the show. GT had some cool elements, but it was far from what most DBZ fans were hoping to see from a continuation of the franchise.

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Berserk is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 13 Most Disappointing Anime of All Time
Photo:  GEMBA

Berserk began as a beloved 1989 manga series that enjoyed a successful 90's adaptation. Because there was so much to the original manga, it's only natural that a reboot or sequel would have appeared at some point. Unfortunately, Studio GEMBA's 2016 effort left a lot of fans totally unsatisfied. The anime made liberal use of 3D animation, also known as CGI. In the right hands, CGI can enhance a series and make it look beautiful. Done incorrectly, it can completely ruin a show. The latter happened to Berserk. 

Much of the terrible CGI was fixed for the Blu-Ray release, but that does nothing to improve the experiences of those who watched the TV version. What's more, there are still issues with storyboarding, editing, and other technical problems

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GLASSLIP is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 13 Most Disappointing Anime of All Time
Photo:  P.A. Works

P.A. Works has a reputation for high-quality anime, which is part of why so many people watched the first episode of Glasslip with high hopes. The advertised storyline sounded adorable - it looked like a slice of life series about a group of friends participating in a glassblowing club, with an added supernatural element - a premonition like experience called "future fragments."

The problem with Glasslip was that it didn't do either of the things that a slice-of-life show is supposed to do. Glasslip doesn't really have a plot. It's okay for this kind of show not to have a particularly involved plot, but if it doesn't have that, it needs to have compelling characters with more than one attribute. Touko can be summed up by her catchphrase, "EHHHH?!!" while Yuki does basically nothing except run the whole time, and Sachi manipulates people. Without compelling characters or a solid plot, a slice-of-life show can succeed on its humor - but Glasslip isn't funny, its needlessly dramatic. 

Also, "future fragments" aren't anything. The supernatural element leads nowhere and seems like window dressing intended to disguise a nonexistent plot.

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Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 13 Most Disappointing Anime of All Time
Photo:  Production I.G.

If you're a Psycho Pass fan who wants to pretend the series ended after the first season, you are well within your rights. The first season was an incredible dystopian tale of a society where people are labeled 'latent criminals' based on a supposedly scientific algorithm that was created by the Sybil System. It raises important questions about human nature, while providing a thrilling story with characters you can't help but root for.

Compared to the first season, Psycho-Pass 2 was a disaster. Rather than seeking to dismantle a corrupt society like the first series' villain, Kamui just wanted to wreck everything around him. Worse, his backstory is rife with logical inconsistencies - how could he possibly have had as many jobs as he claims to have had if scanners couldn't determine his hue or his crime coefficient? The new side characters were equally frustrating. For example, Shimotsuki's insistence on following the rules at all costs was already covered with Ginoza's arc in Season 1 - but unlike Ginoza, Shimotsuki lacks a compelling reason, and doesn't develop beyond that.

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