"WTF" moments are an accepted — and often even anticipated — part of anime. After all, the genre is populated with titles as strange as Reverse Harem or Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, and accepts the feasibility of characters with "naturally" green, blue and pink hair. When watching anime, a certain level of weirdness is part of the appeal.
Despite being implicitly irreverent, WTF bad anime endings are totally unacceptable. After a viewer has invested a lot of time and emotion into a series or franchise, the hope is that the narrative arc will come to a satisfying finish. When that doesn't happen, you know there's going to be trouble.
Inexplicable anime endings are not necessarily bad, particularly if the rest of the story has presented a whole heap of craziness. After all, if an anime is about mystical card games played on motorbikes in the future, how buttoned-up can the ending possibly be?
Even so, weird anime endings can still take people by surprise. Whether the story undergoes a massively unexpected tonal shift, throws a twist in at the very last moment, or just breaks the viewer's hearts into thousands of pieces after convincing them that everything would be just fine, a sloppy ending can sour one's memory of an entire series.
Here's a list of some of the most beloved anime that ended on a weird note.
Evangelion is considered to be one of the greatest anime ever made. It's also considered to be one of the most difficult anime to wrap your head around, and the bizarre ending to the 24-episode series is no exception.
After 23 episodes of convoluted theology, Freudian sexual drama, and smashy-crashy mecha-action, protagonist Shinji finds out that the shady and powerful organization he worked for decided to merge all of humanity into one big soup of souls.
The resulting finale wasn't the climactic conclusion fans had hoped for. Instead, Shinji mopes about in a chair for a few minutes before having an epiphany about his self-worth. When this happens, everyone he knew in life appears to applaud and congratulate him.
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At first glance, School Days seems like your typical, innocuous, slice of life romantic drama. The story revolves around high school student Makoto and his troubled relationships with two girls: Totohona, who he falls head over heels for, and Sekai, who becomes increasingly jealous of the lovebirds she accidentally played matchmaker for.
But none of the rising tension throughout the series could prepare viewers for the explosive and graphic ending. Sekai — suddenly demonically possessed by the "scorned woman" trope — goes all knife-happy on Makoto, killing him. After discovering Makato's body, Totohona then turns the knife on Sekai in order to find out whether or not she fibbed about being pregnant. In the end, her hunch that turns out to be correct. Yay?
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If you love to empty tissue boxes in one sitting then you should definitely binge Clannad. On the other hand, if you enjoy endings that make logical sense then maybe this is one to avoid.
Clannad centers on a young man named Tomoya whose life goes from bad to worse. First, the love of his life dies right after she gives birth to their daughter. Then, after years of depression-fuelled neglect, the daughter dies too.
The collective tragedy compels Tomoya to inexplicably travel back in time to when his wife was still alive. Or maybe he just slips permanently into a trauma-induced dream. Or maybe he wakes up in the real world at the end to discover the whole thing was a nasty dream? We'll never really know for sure.
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Gurren Lagann was produced by Gainax, the same studio who made Evangelion. While this connection doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the show's ability to conclude with an understandable and satisfying ending, Gurren Lagann's last episode is not the crushing disappointment that Evangelion's was.
Unlike Evangelion, Gurren Lagann's finale delivers with mech-fighting on a cosmic level. After securing victory at great cost, the hero Simon is finally free to host his dream wedding. Right after vows are exchanged, his bride Nia — who turns out to be an alien powered by the very entity that Simon heroically blew up — dissolves before his eyes. Apparently, Gainax doesn't want to give Simon a break.
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