That Was Awful!: Bad Anime Endings

ichigo-wtf-mate

Because every show has the potential to dive off a cliff.

Its happened to all of us – there you are, merrily zipping through a decent (maybe even good) show, and then BANG! Someone laughs maliciously, tosses everything into a blender, and you’re left utterly bewildered and upset, the show having managed to completely degrade in its final twenty minutes. And so all that time you spent watching the show seems to swirl down the toilet bowl of life, leaving you with a miffed feeling. This is an ode to those shows.

air-movie-dvd-cover

AIR Movie

Think the AIR TV series had a sad ending? The movie incarnation of AIR takes away any semblance of hope that came with the close of the TV show, as Yukito sadly trudges around Japan looking for Misuzu’s next incarnation, with no indication that she is any nearer to breaking her tragic cycle of reincarnation and death than she was at the beginning of the movie. Whle the movie itself wasn’t perfect, ultimately the end is its undoing, since nothing has changed at all for our beleaguered heroine. Misuzu’s death also lacked the emotional weight it had in the TV series, probably because it feels like another turn in the perpetual motion device that is her fate. I rage, you rage, we all rage for Misuzu’s fate.

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Digimon 02

Digimon 02 was actually pretty fun, and managed to be more serious (and not in a bad way) than its predecessor. Too bad the ending was epically, ragingly, fantastically stupid. Basically, at the end of Digimon 02, EVERYONE IN THE WORLD GETS A DIGIMON. Um, what? And the Digital World will never everrrr have bad guys again, because the main bad guy of 02 repents of his evil ways, dies, and his spirit forms a shield for the Digital World. And now people can go to it whenever they feel so inclined. Then they skip ahead twenty years to show where everyone is. This was actually somewhat decent, since it was fun to see folks grown up, and mildly amusing to see which Chosen Children ended up hitched to each other. But then it goes and wrecks it by having the guys in cool, significant jobs (astronaut, ambassador, etc.) whereas the girls don’t (housewife, kindergarten teacher, etc.).

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Victorian Romance Emma, season one

I LOVED Victorian Romance Emma. Every tiny little piece of it. I loved the attention to detail it displayed, and the realism it seemed to thrill in. Aaaand then I raged at the end of the first season, when things ended in a very realistic manner with Emma setting off and leaving the upperclass William behind. Yes, this is how things would’ve happened in real life… but it still made me mad! And at the time of my viewing, there wasn’t a second season in the works yet. I was so mad that I deleted the entire series off of my hardrive. Thankfully, a second season came along and made folks like me happy.

h2o~footprints-in-the-sand~

H2O~Footprints in the Sand~

One of the worst/best harem endings ever… ‘best’ because it was so epically crappy. Hayami, the girl our harem lead Takuma chooses, runs in front of a train to save a kid. And then she stops. In front of the train. Crunch. Buuut, not content to leave it at that, we are shown Takuma years later in the village he had been living in during his harem adventures, and he’s bought a windmill. And guess what? Hayami’s been brought back to life! So they can live happily ever after! And all because the girl ghost only Takuma could see during the whole show argued with the Spirit Committee about it! Fail.

InuYasha

Inu-Yasha

“Hey, guys, we’ve been animating this thing for four years, and the plot hasn’t really moved along at all… it also looks like Takashi-san isn’t planning on ever concluding it – why don’t we just stop animating it? I’m pretty bored, and making an ending would take way too long anyway, don’t you think?”*

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Kite Liberator

Kite’s ambigous end worked because it was plausible; Kite Liberator’s end wasn’t even plausible in the slightest… just like the rest of Liberator. Our schoolgirl assassin, Monoka, is walking away from killing a bone monster, having just realized it was her dad. Dear old dad regenerates, and happens to pass her by. Monoka looks at him, and the screen goes black, followed by the credits. Hey, Yasuomi Umetsu, that worked the first time around, but its not really the thing you can pull off twice… especially when it involved a mutated bone monster from space.

mammary-of-oblivion

Melody of Oblivion

JC Staff was hoping lightning could strike twice, since Melody of Oblivion seemed to be striving to be another Revolutionary Girl Utena. It failed completely to do so, and this was obvious with the end. The end trotted out a lot of symbolism and attempts to be esoteric, but flopped for lack of true depth. Of course, it wasn’t helped by the fact that the final three minutes or so indicated that nothing had changed from the hero, Bocca’s, and others’ efforts. Nope, the Monster King is still sending out his minions to merrily chow down on children, which I guess means also that the Melody of Oblivion herself is still chained up in a netherworld. And Bocca and his girlfriend don’t seem to be bothered by this in the slightest, even though they spent the whole show trying to get rid of the Monster Union and trying to save the Melody.

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Sailor Moon SuperS

You are looking at exactly what was wrong with the SuperS ending – instead of being defeated, the villain of the season, Nehelenia, jumps in her mirror and zooms up into the sky. This is something which comes back to bite everyone in the ass next season, when evil glass shards come raining out of the sky, but that’s that season, and the issue here is that SuperS had a crap, inconclusive ending. Smarter shows are allowed inconclusive endings; clear-cut, black and white monster-of-the-week shows are not. (On the plus side, though, SuperS final episode featured a truly badass Sailor Moon – Nehelenia tosses an unconscious Sailor Chibi Moon off her floating platform of evil, then laughs when Sailor Moon looks devastated. Sailor Moon then stands up, gives Nehelenia this purely badass look, then dives headfirst off the edge to rescue Chibi Moon. I never thought Sailor Moon could be badass, but she definitely was here.)

yoake-mae-ruri-iro-na~crescent love~

Yoake Mae Ruri-iro na~Crescent Love~

This show was utterly bland, and probably would’ve been forgotten upon completion instantly had the end not been such a trainwreck. The guy (I forget his name) gets shot and killed after war between Earth and the Moon are averted. Feena, his love interest cries… but, luckily for her, an alien spaceship shoots out a yellow beam which heals the guy and revives him! Then her dad decides to stop opposing their love because Feena’s mom’s voice comes out of her locket talking about how she didn’t regret getting hitched with Feena’s dad even though they came from different worlds. And then they get married. Thank goodness for bad deux ex machinas, right?

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Zombie Loan

Michiru looks about the same way as I feel about the end of Zombie Loan’s anime incarnation.

So, here we are – its episode eleven, and they defeat a minor bad guy, who is part of a larger organization, the members of which we have been seeing snatches of throughout the show. Credits roll, a week passes, and I’m looking for the sub of episode twelve. And I keep looking. And waiting. And then I notice that Animesuki has it listed as only eleven episodes. As does Anime News Network. And half a dozen other places. The show is over. There was no conclusion.

Fast forward to the next year – the final DVD is released with two extra episodes! Maybe things conclude more this time? Wrong – its even worse this time around. Basically, a new arc is started, and everyone is all geared up to fight the enemy… and that’s all. They start looking for him, and the episode ends. This double fake-out leads me to believe that this is the worst ending for an anime, ever – if they were just going to screw the viewer over again, what was the point of wasting money on an additional two episodes? Clearly it was done to try to move more copies of the DVD’s, since viewers were lead to believe that the additional two, unaired episodes gave us a bit more of a conclusive ending. This is probably the only instance where I truly felt like burning down a studio, in this case Xebec. Talk about flipping fans the bird.

* I know, I know – a new season has been announced which will give us an ending… but does anyone actually care at this point?

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21 Responses to That Was Awful!: Bad Anime Endings

  1. Seinime says:

    I heard Inuyasha’s continuing. Thank goodness, the manga ending was ok.

  2. lulu-tan says:

    I’m with you on basically everything covered here, but I have a question: Why the HELL is Clannad After Story not on here? Deus ex machinas are the worst.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      I’m stalled on Clannad~After Story~ at episode twelve (I think), and I’m actually glad that it took the deus ex machina route since I wasn’t very happy that Nagisa just croaks in the movie.

  3. Baka-Raptor says:

    In all fairness, Inu Yasha screwed up way before the ending.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Inu-Yasha is a series I continue to dip in and out of, since its static nature makes it a perfect time killer. I’ve probably watch thirty or forty episodes total, but not in any semblance of order, and I don’t have the slightest inclination to actually slog through the whole thing.

  4. kadian1364 says:

    As long as we all agree to disregard the *Warning! Spoilers Ahead!* sign, I’ll contribute a few.

    Mai-Hime: After the slow, simmering build-up at the beginning and false climax in the first half, we’re rewarded with the second half and the “real” story. All the relationships are torn apart, major players make 180 turns, and as loved ones die and everything comes down in a glorious rain of blood and tears… someone hits the reset button in the last 15 minutes and everyone’s magically brought to life and everyone laughs off their previous malice and murderous actions. Ha ha!

    Mai-Otome: More of a two-to-three episode trainwreck end, a dozen or so previously unseen or unheard of powerful otomes come to the aid our heroes, we get an absurdly underwhelming final boss fight, and we learn that nearly everyone we thought died (like the ordinary maid who was thrown off a cliff, Sergey who was shot between the eyes, or even big bad Nagi who deserved to die the most out of anyone) are inexplicably alive at the end.

    Rozen Maiden Traumend: So the Alice Game comes to a dynamic end, with the remaining dolls gaining the powers of the fallen, until Shinku and Bara-suishou and the last two left standing. The final epic battle ensues, and Shinku loses! But wait, Bara-suishou wasn’t a real candidate to be Alice, so Shinku wins by technicality? The guy in the shadows pulling all the strings kind of laughs it off, and about half the dolls are saved but some are still missing, THE END. WTF?

    Everyone know the imfamous Gainax Ending, typified by episodes 25 and 26 of Eva’s TV run, but there were SO many more (and worse) ones that for a long time people were just expecting it from the studio.

    Kare Kano: An otherwise amazing story about love, emotional honesty, and maturing through adolescence, was blown by a magically disappearing budget and no continuation season. Hey, let’s do 3 recap episodes in a row and then finish with still screens of manga panels with narrator voice over. We don’t need to resolve anything, it’ll be fine.

    Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi: A story about kids running away from the harsh truths of reality, escaping to many alternate realities of different genre aesthetics (like RPG, magical girl, sci-fi, prehistoric, modern war), and realize that they can’t run from reality and be kids forever. Except they do! At the end of the final episode, Satoshi gains super magical powers and reverts the universe to his liking. Dues ex Machina anyone?

    Maharomatic: This one’s just fucked up and retarded. Mahoro is a veteran battle android where her days are literally numbered. So, she decides to live her last days in peace and quiet (and maybe some ecchi comedy) with the son of her former master and his friends. Except she dies in a horrible Cowboy Bebop kind of way. See you Space Cowboy! You’re gonna carry that weight. And then in the FINAL episode, they do a 20-years-later epilogue where the world and characters are fucked up versions of their younger selves (except for the hyper-perverted teacher), and Mahoro is brought back to life my the magical little girl god no one saw until then.

    Whew! There’s some memories I needn’t have relived, but are pretty hilarious in retrospect. In that kind of sick and twisted kind of way.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Oddly enough, I didn’t find the Mai-HiME ending as atrocious as many have; it was more like I felt parts of it were absolute crap as opposed to the whole thing. For instance, everyone gets revived – ok, fine, I’ll assume they all got sealed in those pillars, so they got released after. I can roll with that. However, Sister Yukarino and her boytoy? Um, no – they got crushed by her Child, they’re dead! There’s no way at all to justify that one!

      I ditched Kare Kano around fourteen episodes in because I just couldn’t deal with the buckets of angst. I’m currently watching Mai-Otome. But I must confess I haven’t seen any of the others you mentioned, although the fact that you mentioned them makes me feel that I’ll never check them out =)

  5. ghostlightning says:

    Martian Successor Nadesico: WTF Ending that took advantage of such awesome buildup and general excellence throughout the show. There’s an even worse movie that wrecks it further that I’ve finally found a way to force mechafetish into watching it with me (I have to sit through Toward the Terra again, whose opening emocrap eps made me drop it like a bomb).

    • kadian1364 says:

      “WTF Ending that took advantage of such awesome buildup and general excellence throughout the show. There‚Äôs an even worse movie that wrecks it further”

      You could actually replace Martian Successor Nadesico with Vision of Escaflowne and still have an equally true statement.

      I’ve heard similar complaints about Toward the Terra elsewhere, but I somehow don’t remember it at all underneath the epic space opera storyline or Matrix-like revelations. If there was one complaint I had, it was that they could’ve transitioned the time skips better, but maybe this is a discussion for another forum.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      I would strongly advise you to stomach the opening episodes, since the full series is quite good. While the opening episodes can be a bit heavy-handed on the emo, they do end up being necessary since they set up Jomy to undergo a lot of maturation of the show ensues. At the same time, though, I do think the manga version is superior (and the movie iteration is entirely skippable).

      I’ve only seen about four episodes or so of Martian Successor Nadesico; once upon a time, back when ordering anime from catalogues was normal, my friend and I tried desperately to get the show, only to be continually stymied by back orders. We finally gave up.

      • ghostlightning says:

        I started watching Terra E again, and have survived Jomy to meet the more interesting Keith.

        Also, I finally watched the Nadesico movie. It’s not bad at all. It’s really quite good and had much of what made the TV series so enjoyable.

  6. thekungfukid says:

    Mai-hime had to be the biggest BS ending ever. @kadian1364: Was the end of Kare Kono that bad? I’m glad i saved myself the trouble then and stopped at around 15. It was so apparent that Gainax had no money I was half excpecting the next episode being nothing but Hideki Anno flpping through a notebook with the episode animated on the pages. Shame too. I loved that show

    • adaywithoutme says:

      If I’m not mistaken, Hideaki Anno was pulled from Kare Kano at some point during the first half; either that or Gainax scolded him for his initial approach because fans of the manga itself were upset at the slapstick humor of the early episodes.

    • kadian1364 says:

      I think around episode 18 was where all the quality was used up. It’s a really great series up to there, and then you can pick it up from the manga without missing a step. That’s actually how I choose to remember it anyway, because it really was a superb show up to that point.

  7. glothelegend says:

    I was pissed at the ending of InuYasha too, but they’re now animating the finale, and it should be filler free……of course, the manga itself is kind of one big filler, as it keeps repeating the same thing over and over. Of course, this doesn’t bother me at all since it’s my favorite show ever.

    I assumed that Kite Liberation would have another OVA. Then it didn’t. I’m still very confused.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Kite Liberator was Umetsu’s way of laughing at the audience, jabbing them in the eye, and then flipping us the bird, all because we had the gall to expect that it would give us a conclusion to Kite. I suppose at least we see what happens to Sana, though, even if it dealt with obliquely.

  8. omisyth says:

    Only shows there I’ve seen are H20 and Zombie Loan.

    I don’t understand WTF happened with Zombie Loan since it was CLEARLY supposed to be 2 seasons in length. Great show too.

    H20 was justy LOLWUT MAGIC END. Hilarious. Worth it for the MAGIC.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Zombie Loan was supposed to have two seasons, but the second one got canceled, probably for low ratings on the first season – no surprise there, since Xebec spent maybe $10 on the entire show’s production.

  9. Loan Advice says:

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    rock!
    Loan Advice

  10. ashiiya says:

    Haha I agree about the Digimon ending. I thought it was just too abrupt for it to be an ending. Jumping 20-25 years ahead seemed like a fun idea but when I thought about it, it was just too much xD I was ok with the whole “digiworld will never be in trouble again” – it’s a nice happy ending. But everyone getting a digimon….hmm. What’s the point then? XD

  11. titanioverde says:

    I just finished Zombie Loan, including the OVAs.
    Yes. The worst anime end ever. #deathanddestruction

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