Anime series often weave intricate tales that captivate audiences, but not all manage to stick the landing. The conclusion of a story can be as pivotal as its beginning, and a poorly executed finale can tarnish an otherwise stellar series.

Some anime start off on a high note, only to falter at the final hurdle. Even a well-crafted journey can be marred by a lackluster ending, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of its viewers. The anime landscape is littered with shows that have sparked debate due to their divisive conclusions.

A great ending can leave fans feeling fulfilled, craving more, while a terrible one can completely diminish their enthusiasm. Here's a list of anime series that, according to fans, have suffered disappointing finales, impacting the franchise's reputation (listed in no particular order):

Fullmetal Alchemist

  • The original 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist series starts strong but falls victim to the common pitfall of adapting a manga before its completion. Its risky ending diverges from Edward and Alphonse's journey, leading to an unsatisfying conclusion and prompting a later adaptation in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.
    Anime

Tokyo Ghoul Root A

  • The anime adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul has been criticized for its handling of the source material, with Tokyo Ghoul Root A deviating significantly from the manga's intense battles, replacing them with brooding reflections, leaving fans disheartened.
    Anime

Soul Eater

  • Soul Eater captivates with its addictive premise and engaging episodes, but its final installment veers off script in a confusing manner, with a resolution that feels out of place compared to the anime's emphasis on combat strategy and teamwork.
    Anime

Sword Art Online

  • Sword Art Online's foundation is solid, but its haphazard ending disappoints, with characters acting out of established emotional norms, and a villain whose motives remain unclear, undermining the series' earlier strengths.
    Anime

Mirai Nikki

  • Mirai Nikki ties up loose ends but leaves viewers hanging with an unnecessary cliffhanger, only to be addressed years later in Mirai Nikki: Redial, leaving an initial sense of incompletion.
    Anime

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

  • Gurren Lagann's blend of mecha rebellion and unique robot designs is overshadowed by a jarring ending that deviates from the series' tone, leaving a bittersweet taste as a major character's fate is abruptly sealed.

Gintama

  • Gintama's comedic genius is undercut by its meta-finale, which, while fitting the series' tone, may frustrate those desiring a more conventional conclusion.

ERASED

  • ERASED's gripping mystery culminates in a finale that leaves the villain's motivations ambiguous, resulting in a hollow victory for the protagonist and an unsatisfying resolution for the audience.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion's existential mecha narrative concludes with philosophical musings rather than tangible action, prompting additional films to provide alternative endings to the controversial series.

Claymore

  • Claymore's rich world and compelling protagonist are let down by a rushed finale that leaves many questions unanswered, culminating in a cliffhanger that remains unresolved.

Original Writing: ComicBook Resources

Reflecting on these finales, it's clear that the journey is as important as the destination. A well-crafted ending can elevate an entire series, while a disappointing one can leave a lasting stain. As viewers, we invest time and emotion into these stories, and the payoff is crucial to our overall experience. It's a delicate balance that not all anime manage to achieve.

For those who have witnessed these finales, the discussions and debates they spark are a testament to the passion that anime can inspire. Whether satisfying or not, these endings have left an indelible mark on the anime landscape. And for those who have yet to dive into these series, consider this a guide to temper expectations and perhaps appreciate the journey more than the final destination.

Feel free to share your thoughts on these anime endings with friends, and perhaps even spark a debate on what makes a truly great anime finale.

About the Author

Sweety Otaku

One of the best parts of watching anime is how many times a show can surprise you. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. But if the Otaku know one thing, it's that anything is possible.

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