Anime has a special place in the hearts of millions of fans worldwide, with its unique art style, immersive storylines, and engaging characters. However, not every anime series manages to stick to the landing when it comes to its ending. Sometimes, despite the amazing buildup and potential, the final episodes can leave viewers feeling disappointed, frustrated, or even angry. In this list, we’ve compiled 20 anime series that had amazing potential but ultimately fell short with their endings. Whether it was a rushed conclusion, an unsatisfying resolution, or a confusing finale, these anime left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans.
Despite their disappointing endings, these anime are still worth watching for their captivating stories, characters, and themes. So without further ado, let’s take a look at 20 amazing anime with the most disappointing endings.
Darling in the Franxx
Darling in the Franxx is a sci-fi/mecha anime that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity lives in cities called Plantations, which are surrounded by giant walls to protect them from the outside world. The story follows a group of teenagers known as Parasites, who are trained to pilot giant robots called Franxx to fight off mysterious lifeforms called Klaxosaurs that threaten humanity’s existence. The main protagonist, a boy named Hiro, was once a prodigy among the Parasites but has lost his ability to pilot a Franxx due to a mysterious incident. One day, while wandering around aimlessly, Hiro encounters a mysterious girl named Zero Two, who is the most powerful Parasite in existence and has a reputation for killing her partners. Despite her fearsome reputation, Hiro feels drawn to Zero Two and volunteers to be her partner, hoping to regain his ability to pilot a Franxx in the process. Together, Hiro and Zero Two embark on a journey to uncover the truth behind their pasts, the origin of the Klaxosaurs, and the secrets of the Plantations. The anime is praised for its unique mecha designs, action sequences, and character development, but its ending has been criticized by many fans for being rushed and unsatisfying.
Charlotte is a supernatural/drama anime that follows the story of Yuu Otosaka, a high school student with the ability to possess anyone’s body for five seconds at a time. Yuu uses his power to cheat on exams and get away with petty crimes, but his life takes a drastic turn when he is caught by a girl named Nao Tomori, who can become invisible to a specific person. Nao is the student council president of a school for students with supernatural abilities, and she recruits Yuu to join her in her mission to protect other students with abilities from being exploited by the government. As the story progresses, Yuu and Nao recruit other students with abilities to join their cause, but they soon discover that there is a sinister organization hunting down students with abilities for their gain. The anime explores themes of friendship, sacrifice, and the consequences of abusing power. While Charlotte received praise for its character development and emotional moments, its ending has been criticized for being rushed and unsatisfying.
Death Note is a psychological thriller anime that follows the story of Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a mysterious notebook that allows him to kill anyone whose name he writes in it. Light sees the Death Note as a means to rid the world of evil and create a utopian society, and he begins a crusade to eliminate all criminals and become the god of a new world. However, Light’s actions attract the attention of a genius detective known only as L, who is determined to catch the mysterious killer known as Kira. Light and L engage in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse, with each trying to outsmart the other and uncover their true identities. The anime is praised for its intricate plot, complex characters, and mind-bending twists, but its ending has been divisive among fans. While some see it as a satisfying conclusion to the story, others feel that it undermines the themes of the show and fails to live up to the earlier episodes.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is a post-apocalyptic action-thriller anime that takes place in a world where humans are under constant threat from Kabane, zombie-like creatures with hearts made of iron. The story follows a young steam smith named Ikoma, who creates a powerful weapon called the Tsuranukizutsu to fight the Kabane. Along with Mumei, a mysterious girl with a unique ability to fight the Kabane, Ikoma sets out on a journey to save humanity from the Kabane threat. They board a train known as the Hayajiro, which serves as a mobile fortress to protect the remaining humans from the Kabane. The anime is full of action and suspense, as Ikoma and Mumei face various challenges while fighting against the Kabane.
Aldnoah.Zero is a mecha anime that takes place in an alternate reality where humanity has colonized Mars. The series follows the conflict between Earth and Mars, after the discovery of an ancient alien hypergate on the planet. The hyper gate provides a passage between Earth and Mars, allowing Martians to colonize Earth. However, after a princess is assassinated, the Martian Empire declares war on Earth. The story revolves around the main protagonist Inaho Kaizuka, a high school student who becomes involved in the conflict between Earth and Mars. Inaho and his friends fight against the Martian Kataphrakts, advanced mecha suits used by the Martian military, and the VERS Empire. The anime is full of political intrigue, action, and suspense as the two sides fight for control.
Tokyo Ghoul is a dark fantasy anime that takes place in a world where humans and ghouls coexist. Ghouls are beings that survive by eating human flesh and are hunted by the Commission of Counter Ghoul (CCG). The story follows the life of a college student named Ken Kaneki, who becomes a half-ghoul after being attacked by one. As a half-ghoul, Kaneki struggles to live in both the human and ghoul worlds. He becomes involved with the Anteiku cafe, a hideout for ghouls. The anime follows Kaneki’s journey as he tries to understand his newfound powers and the ghoul society while fighting against the CCG. Tokyo Ghoul is known for its dark atmosphere, emotional depth, and exploration of moral ambiguity.
Gantz is a sci-fi action anime that follows the story of Kei Kurono, a high school student who dies after saving a homeless man from being hit by a train. He is then transported to a mysterious room along with other people who have recently died. They are forced to participate in a deadly game where they must fight against alien monsters. The game is controlled by a mysterious black sphere known as Gantz. If they survive and complete the game, they are rewarded with points that can be used to purchase items or revive a fallen team member. However, if they fail to complete the mission or their points run out, they will be killed. The anime is known for its violence, gore, and dark themes.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
The story follows the life of high school student Kyon as he gets caught up in the adventures of his classmate Haruhi Suzumiya, who is seeking out mysterious phenomena and supernatural beings. Kyon and a group of students, including an alien, a time traveller, and an esper, form the “SOS Brigade” to assist Haruhi in her search. However, Kyon begins to realize that Haruhi herself may be more than she appears to be and that her power to shape reality could have dangerous consequences.
The story follows Ichigo Kurosaki, a high school student who gains the power of a Soul Reaper, a supernatural being who defends the living world from malevolent spirits and guides the souls of the deceased to the afterlife. Along with his friends, Ichigo battles various spiritual creatures and learns about the complex hierarchy of the afterlife. He also discovers that his newfound power has made him a target for both friendly and hostile entities, including other Soul Reapers and a group of renegade humans with supernatural abilities.
The story takes place in a world where demons are known as Yoma roam the land and threaten the safety of humans. To combat them, an organization creates female warriors known as Claymores who are infused with Yoma blood to gain superhuman strength and regenerative abilities. The main character, Clare, is a Claymore who is searching for a Yoma that killed her mentor. She encounters a young boy named Raki, who becomes her companion and ally as they journey together through a dangerous and dark world filled with powerful foes and hidden secrets.
Sword Art Online
The story is set in a future where virtual reality gaming has become the norm, and players can fully immerse themselves in the game world. The protagonist, Kirito, is one of the players of the first VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) called Sword Art Online (SAO). However, things take a dark turn when the game’s creator traps all the players inside the game world, and they are unable to log out. The only way to escape is to complete all 100 floors of the game, but if a player dies in the game, they will also die in the real world. Kirito, along with a group of other players, embarks on a perilous journey to complete the game and free themselves from their virtual prison.
The story of Guilty Crown takes place in Tokyo in the year 2039 after a catastrophic virus outbreak known as the “Apocalypse Virus” devastated much of the world. The story follows a high school student named Shu Ouma who obtains a special power called the “Power of the Kings” which allows him to draw out powerful weapons from other people. After joining a resistance group called the Funeral Parlor, he becomes involved in a struggle against the oppressive government organization known as the GHQ.
Danganronpa: The Animation
The story of Danganronpa: The Animation follows a group of 15 high school students who are selected to attend the prestigious Hope’s Peak Academy, a school for the most talented individuals in various fields. However, upon arrival, they are trapped inside by a sadistic bear named Monokuma who informs them that the only way to escape is to murder one of their classmates and get away with it. The story follows the students as they try to uncover the truth behind their captivity and find a way to escape.
Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
The story of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt follows two angel sisters, Panty and Stocking, who have been kicked out of Heaven due to their bad behaviour. They are sent to Daten City, a place that lies between Heaven and Hell, where they must battle evil spirits called Ghosts to earn enough Heaven Coins to buy their way back into Heaven. They are joined by a priest named Garterbelt, who provides them with weapons and guidance in their battles against the Ghosts. The series is known for its irreverent humour and over-the-top action sequences.
In the world of Soul Eater, humans and other supernatural beings attend the Death Weapon Meister Academy, where they learn how to become Death Scythes, weapons capable of killing supernatural beings. The story follows Maka Albarn and her partner Soul Eater Evans, a death scythe, as they battle evil souls and collect them to turn Soul into a more powerful weapon. Along the way, they team up with other meisters and weapons, including Black Star and Tsubaki Nakatsukasa, and Death the Kid and the demon pistols Liz and Patty Thompson. Together, they must stop the witch Medusa and her followers from unleashing the Kishin, a being of pure madness and destruction, upon the world.
Blood-C follows Saya Kisaragi, a cheerful and energetic high school girl who lives with her father in a shrine on the outskirts of town. However, Saya is also the last remaining member of her family’s clan, charged with protecting her town from monsters known as the Elder Bairns. With the help of her trusty sword, Saya battles these creatures but soon realizes that there is more to her mission than she thought. As she uncovers the truth about her family and the Elder Bairns, Saya is forced to confront the darkness within herself and fight to protect those she loves.
Blue Exorcist follows Rin Okumura, a teenager with a secret – he is the son of Satan. After the demon king kills Rin’s guardian, Rin discovers his true nature and vows to become an exorcist to fight against his father and protect humanity. Rin enrols in True Cross Academy, a school for exorcists, where he trains with his brother Yukio and other students to master their demon-slaying abilities. However, Rin’s demonic powers make him a target for other demons, and he must fight to keep his true identity hidden while also battling the forces of evil. Along the way, Rin and his friends uncover a dark conspiracy involving the demons and the Vatican and must band together to stop the impending disaster.
Neon Genesis Evangelion:
In the futuristic world of 2015, a catastrophic event known as the Second Impact has wiped out half of humanity, and Tokyo-3 is constantly under attack by monstrous beings known as Angels. The only hope of humanity lies in the hands of a select few teenagers who can pilot giant bio-mechanical mechs known as Evangelions, which are humanity’s only defence against the Angels. The story follows the journey of Shinji Ikari, a young boy who is recruited by his father to pilot one of the Evangelions and fight against the Angels. As he becomes increasingly embroiled in the war against the Angels, Shinji must confront his inner demons and learn to work with his fellow pilots and allies to save humanity from destruction.
Parasyte: The Maxim:
In this sci-fi horror series, Earth is suddenly invaded by a mysterious alien species that takes over the bodies of unsuspecting human hosts. When high school student Shinichi Izumi is attacked by one of these parasites, he can prevent it from taking over his brain, but instead, it has to settle for his right hand. With this new companion, Shinichi must navigate the world of parasites and fight to protect his loved ones and the rest of humanity from their deadly intentions. As he learns more about the parasites, Shinichi also grapples with the question of what makes someone truly human.
Akame ga Kill!:
In a medieval world filled with corruption and injustice, a group of assassins known as Night Raid is working to bring down the corrupt government and restore order to the land. The story centres around Tatsumi, a young man who joins Night Raid after his village is destroyed by the government’s agents. Together, Tatsumi and the members of Night Raid must use their unique skills and talents to take down powerful enemies and topple the government’s corrupt regime. Along the way, they must grapple with the moral complexities of their work and confront their demons.
While some of these shows were well-received for most of their runs, many fans were let down by their endings, which often left unanswered questions or failed to deliver on the expectations built up throughout the series. However, it’s worth noting that opinions on what makes for a satisfying ending can vary widely from viewer to viewer, and what one person might find disappointing, another might see as fitting or even perfect.
And there you have it, plots of some popular anime. Whether you’re a seasoned anime fan or a newcomer to the world of anime, hopefully, this has provided some insight into the vast and varied world of anime storytelling. With so many diverse genres, themes, and characters to explore, there’s always something new to discover. So, go forth and find your next anime adventure, and always remember to keep an open mind and embrace the unexpected twists and turns that anime can offer.