With only 12-13 episodes that air weekly each season, some anime are bound to leave fans disappointed due to many things, such as the endings. For financial and broadcasting reasons, an anime studio usually makes an anime that fits weekly in 3 months' time as it’s more conventional and avoids the risk of making longer anime that may be bound to fail.
With so few episodes to fill an entire storyline, fans have expressed some dissatisfaction with how some anime have ended - because of an abrupt ending due to the plot, the studio’s decisions, or other factors.
Note: This article is based on the author's opinion and contain spoilers for the anime series on the list.
From The Promised Neverland to Mahou Sensou: 10 anime with unsatisfying endings
1) The Promised Neverland
The story of gifted children living in an orphanage, The Promised Neverland presents the unexpected and shocking reality of what they were raised for. While horror genres are not that common in Japanese animation, The Promised Neverland managed to capture it in a creepy and eerie way, complete with brilliant plot and twists.
The first season of the anime was good, following the manga very well and making fans eagerly wait for the next season to come. Unfortunately, it went downhill from there.
With the start of season 2, fans have noticed the very rushed pace of the anime with many skipped arcs that are important for the world-building and development of the characters, leading to the end being a complete mess.
2) Death Note
What would you do if you suddenly find a way to kill any person you want by writing their name in a book? An all-time classic, Death Note tells the story of a young man named Light, a genius with a strong sense of justice, who killed criminals in order to create a better world.
One of the many highlights that make Death Note interesting is the psychological battle between Light and a genius detective, L, who tried to find the culprit of the killing spree.
Yet, many fans have expressed disappointment towards the second half of Death Note. Fans waiting for the showdown between Light and L were left in shock at L. Lawliet's death in the first half of the series. Not to mention, the sudden appearance of an inferior copy of him, Near, who was able to defeat the protagonist, thanks to L’s prior research. It may seem like Near only won because of sheer luck and a mistake on Light’s part, which made many fans dislike him.
An opportunity to change the past and future is what time travel anime is known for. Erased tells the story of Satoru Fujinima, who finds himself sent back to the past before an accident he regretted occurred.
Most of the plot is spent developing the bonds between Satoru and Kayo, a girl who was supposed to die years ago. He ends up sacrificing himself to protect everyone and falls into a coma for 15 years, which is quite disappointing as he finds himself waking up and seeing the girl married to another.
While it was somewhat of a happy ending as Satoru was content that he managed to save Kayo, it still left fans yearning for more.
4) Akame Ga Kill
Akame Ga Kill is an anime revolving around Night Raid, an organization that opposes the government in a corrupt country. The first few minutes may seem like a typical shonen anime, with the pure and energetic protagonist on his way to start a journey, but this show is much more than that.
Akame ga Kill began adapted the manga with an interesting premise and good animation quality, which is totally brutal and gore. While it is not your typical fantasy story, more dark and mature than most shonen anime at that time, Akame ga Kill didn’t hesitate at all to kill its characters, but the deaths aren’t what makes the ending unsatisfying.
In later episodes, it became apparent that the show had rushed through so many things, introducing new characters only to have them die later without any good development and as such, making the viewer unable to feel anything.
An underrated anime full of humor and sparkles, Nanbaka tells the story of daily life in the world's most formidable prison and the criminals who want to escape from it. The animation is definitely splashed with so many colors to make it enjoyable and new, even if the plot is set in a prison with wardens and inmates.
It started out with the usual gag jokes but later started exploring in-depth stories, only for it to end at the halfway point. With the latest season ending in 2017, there is still no news about the continuation of Nanbaka as it ended up leaving more questions than answers.
6) Aldnoah Zero
Many have despaired over Aldnoah Zero as it came to an end. The story is set in a conflict between humans residing on different planets, Mars and Earth. With bad blood between them and the wish to conquer, one of the sides declares war. It is a mecha anime with plenty of drama, action, and a hint of romance, mainly revolving around three different characters - Inaho, Slaine, and Asseylum.
While the first season was good, the second season started pretty well, but then progressed in the direction where you end up hating the characters. While a peaceful ending is not necessarily a bad one, the way the characters don’t have a happy or sad ending leaves a bitter feeling in the viewer - not to mention how the female protagonist ends up marrying a guy that was introduced in the second to last episode.
7) Pandora Hearts
Pandora Hearts is a classic anime that first aired in 2009. It began as an interesting series with many great ideas inspired by fairytales, especially Alice in Wonderland, which follows the story of Oz Versallius and his way to unfolding the secrets of the Abyss.
While it could still save face, the show had already caught up with the manga and ended with massive plot points that were never resolved.
Servamp started with an interesting premise, introducing a unique plot in the vampire troupe. Mahiru, a young boy who greatly likes simple things and despises complicated things, accidentally finds himself in contact with the oldest vampire, Sleepy Ash.
While it held a good chance of becoming great, the show being overly reliant on friendship and positivity premise all the way to the finale made the audience dumbfounded. Moreover, the fact that the antagonist's change of heart came out of nowhere with the power of a hug is something that left fans disappointed.
9) Shokugeki No Soma
The journey of Yukihira Soma, the protagonist, in a cooking school full of all kinds of people and his development to reach his dream is enjoyable and the people around him are unique in their own way, but the last arc comes out of nowhere.
Many fans have expressed disappointment with the BLUE arc of Shokugeki no Soma, as it introduces some antagonists with weird skills, like cooking with a chainsaw and explosives, to make it unique. However, it fails to do so and has become more comical than intimidating or cool.
10) Mahou Sensou
Mahou Sensou or Magical Warfare started with a good idea if not overly used in a typical fantasy anime about magic students and fighting evil. The main character, Takeshi Nanase, is a high school boy who got turned into a magician after saving a girl that collapsed. World-building is fine, yet the way it is executed makes the series fall flat and has little to no character development.
The biggest regret is how Madhouse Studio made the ending more questionable as it ended with a cliffhanger and nothing else.