Various factors are taken into account while determining the value of an anime series, and the conclusion just happens to be one of the main requisites. For every piece of fiction or visual art, a definite introduction, middle, and conclusion are crucial. However, it happens that not all anime swear by it, or even if they do follow the format, sometimes the end doesn’t make the cut for the fandom.
Many anime series have a reputation for deviating from the manga plotline and inserting anime-original plot points that fail to appeal to viewers. For example, Neon Genesis Evangelion is disliked by several fans because they think the ending was more representative of Hideki Anno’s philosophical ruminations, which eventually led to the release of a couple of new Evangelion movies with new conclusions. Meanwhile, the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist completely deviates from the manga to offer an anime-original ending. While these are just two examples, the controversy regarding a franchise ruining an anime series’ end is, in fact, quite common.
From Tokyo Ghoul to Kuma Miko: Five anime series that completely botched their own conclusions
The anime adaptation of Sui Ishida’ Tokyo Ghoul had a promising future. Centering around the college student Ken Kaneki, the plot sees a date-gone-wrong in the first episode. Following the protagonist’s fatal accident, Kaneki ends up being a half-ghoul after undergoing surgery. Thus, begins a new journey for the young protagonist that ultimately fails to amaze the viewers after a certain point.
From occasionally following the manga scene-by-scene to completely going off the course to present original scenes that sometimes left information gaps in between, the anime sometimes did not make any sense. While many fans have also complained about the show’s lazy writing, Tokyo Ghoul’s inconsistent pacing is yet another factor for the show’s downfall. However, what all anime fans can agree upon is the horrible ending, a factor that made many abandon the anime in favor of picking up the manga.
The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland set the pace, mood, and action in its first season, but by the next one, it butchered whatever it had established. The series sees three orphans, Emma, Norman, and Ray, discovering the dark mystery surrounding the orphanage, which culminates into an escape plan.
The first season was riveting, there’s no denying that. However, like Tokyo Ghoul, the second season abandoned the manga plotline, leading to an otherwise hasty writing with unexplained plots and unnecessary time skips ahead of the appropriate time. After all the good conquering over evil, the underwhelming conclusion, which showed a slideshow of adventures rather than an exploration of arcs, proves to be a big part of why the anime is still considered one of the worst series in recent times.
Wonder Egg Priority
An anime series that provided a fantastic treatise on handling and overcoming feelings of grief, trauma, hopelessness, etc. Yet, amidst dealing with the mature themes expertly, Ai Ohto’s journey seemed pointless by the end.
If Neiru Aonuma’s revelation of being a robot wasn’t enough, Ai’s fixation with understanding the suicide of Koito Nagase gets completely dismissed in the last episode, making certain points about Koito’s history sound problematic. Many fans claim that episode 12 would have been a good point to end the series. However, the addition of an extra instalment not only complicated the storyline but also rushed into giving answers that would have been better if either left unanswered or explored more in the next season.
Darling in the Franxx
With the right balance of mecha, sci-fi, and romance, Darling in the Franxx started with a step in the right direction. While fans enjoyed the series for its good action sequences, the relationship between the core cast was also one of the major selling points of the story, that is until the finale aired.
Protagonist Hiro and Zero Two might have had complications with their relationship, but the repetitive nature of their reunion and separation robbed the anticipation of their love story. Moreover, the reincarnation trope of the lovers was so unlike a mecha/sci-fi series.
Besides the unexpected introduction of the aliens that made no sense, the anime didn’t explore the stories of the side characters. Eventually, their status as less-significant-then-protagonists made them shallow and uninteresting. Moreover, the finale covered eight years in a stretch with no intriguing battles or events, which then transitioned into centuries later. As such, the slow progress in an otherwise rushed time skip made the anime take a dip in ratings among fans.
Yet another anime of the same caliber as Wonder Egg Priority that made the main protagonist’s journey seem pointless. A feel-good slice-of-life anime that centers around shrine priestess Machi Amayadori and her crippling social anxiety, Kuma Miko provides the perfect example of an anime series that looks fine until the last episode, which quashes whatever expectations fans had.
Long story short, the female protagonist gains the courage to perform in an idol contest in a city but gets overwhelmed, scared, and thinks that the applause that is directed at her is the audience booing. Strangely enough, Machi’s guardian spirit, the talking bear, encourages (and lowkey hopes) that she stays in the countryside, which eventually works out for him.
However, what made the fans angry was that all the progress that the anime had made initially flushed down the drain, as Machi returned to where she was, except with psychological trauma. On top of that, nobody made an effort to rectify her delusion regarding her performance, which is sharply contrasting. The ending was so poorly received that even mangaka of the series, Masume Yoshimoto, expressed their disappointment over it.