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What's The Best (And Worst) Anime Ending You've Ever Seen?


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Akamaru_Inu



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 65
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:02 pm Reply with quote
The worst ending I've ever seen was Zankyou No Terror. Absolutely turned the series around from edge-of-your-seat great, to a punchline I still complain about with my other friend who was invested in it while it was airing. It was so out of nowhere and required so much suspension of disbelief.

Best ending I've seen was probably either Kemonozume or Kekkai Sensen. Just very emotionally satisfying endings for both of them.


Last edited by Akamaru_Inu on Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Wingbeats



Joined: 23 Feb 2015
Posts: 272
Location: Boise, Idaho
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:10 pm Reply with quote
Best ending? I'm going to have to think on it....even with favorite anime series I adore, I often feel pretty meh about the ending. Hmmm. The ending of Gurren Lagaan was pretty epic...The Eccentric Family was nice and warm and fuzzy...and almost every other anime I love is still ongoing manga-wise so it's hard for me to call it an ending. I'm bad at this.


As for worst, though, I agree 15920000025765789% with the Digimon 02 epilogue. Even as a kid it felt like a bizarre betrayal. I just...pretend it doesn't exist. It makes zero sense and it never happened, and I hope Tri fixes some things.
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Brutannica



Joined: 18 Mar 2007
Posts: 234
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:18 pm Reply with quote
It's a little unfair to judge Evangelion's ending by the movie version and then to judge Sword Art Online's ending by the first season and not the second.

The second season improves on a lot of the first season's flaws... although the ending spoiler[still has the "emotional catharsis that's really just melodrama" problem.]
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meruru



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 405
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:20 pm Reply with quote
Many good mentions. Cowboy Bebop and Cross Game also particularly stood out for me. They're both such poignant endings. Even Fushigi Yuugi had an ending that outdid the rest of the series. I wish the ending portion took up more of the show, honestly. Also agree with the ending, heck, the whole second half, of Sword Art Online. It took away any hope of Asuna not being just another damsel in distress, and I'm sick of villains being cartoonishly gross just so we have a reason to hate them. =\

As for shows not mentioned, one I think has an amazing ending is Steins;Gate. I've seen a number of time travel stories where time is naturally drawn towards tragedy, but of all of them, Steins;Gate has been the only one where the writers have put in deep thought to their story to give us the ending we really want. How it all ties together is simply some brilliant story telling.

Another one with a wonderful ending is Full Moon wo Sagashite. I love how all the characters grow at the end, and that was the whole point of the anime.

I'd also say Escaflowne has a good ending, except for the last disappointing few minutes where spoiler[Hitomi returns to Earth]. But everything else is just simply amazing. That show cannot be outdone.

One I've seen with a terribad ending is Samurai Deeper Kyo. They ran out of manga source for their period Samurai action show, so why not out of nowhere somehow spoiler[teleport everyone to present day Japan for a final showdown with a monster version of Oda Nobunaga on top of Tokyo Tower]? So yeah, that happened.

I miss anime having actual endings. The endings add so much to making it a satisfying story, and these days, so few shows have them.
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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 2106
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:26 pm Reply with quote
I honestly really liked the final episodes of Evangelion. They are probably my favorite episodes of the whole thing, really. And I also love EoE because it was that and more, and do think it's 'better' than just the TV episodes, but honestly wouldn't have minded if it didn't exist, as I think the final episodes are amazing already. I probably went in circles there didn't I.

Also, I expected Nick to choose Clannad for worst ending. Color me surprised.
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JaggedAuthor



Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Posts: 981
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:26 pm Reply with quote
My personal worst would have to be Kare Kano. (Arata is definitely up there, though, for the reasons Amy mentioned.) I'm hard-pressed to come up with a personal best, but Welcome to the NHK! is among my favorites. They attached the novel's conclusion to the manga's content, and the result was the most satisfying version of the story.

Last edited by JaggedAuthor on Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:28 pm Reply with quote
Best Ending: Angel Beats! A double-whammy of a heartbreak ending and a twist ending all in one, a shocker that makes you want to rethink the show and see if you missed it coming (Kanade has one giveaway line to Otonashi in the infirmary in episode 9, but it's easily overlooked). Is it fair to give top prize for the impact of an ending, rather than how it wraps up and completes the statement the series is making? Is it fair that Jun Maeda has to cheat and make time not count in order for this ending to work? Don't care. You can't see this and not be blown away by it.

Worst Ending: Flowers of Evil, really as a stand-in for every series that ends inconclusively, with dim hopes of a second season, or a nudge to get you to seek out the source LN, VN, manga or what have you. I originally thought of The World Is Still Beautiful for this, as it builds an interesting relationship but clearly needs another 13 episodes to do anything with it, and was denied the chance. But for pure, pathetic capitulation, nothing tops Flowers Of Evil just flashing forward with disconnected snippets of scenes from the later volumes of the manga, throwing up its hands as if to say "if you want more, you're gonna have to read the manga!" Spirits must have been pretty low as they were wrapping up this series to historically poor DVD/Blu-Ray sales, but whether this was a desperate last gasp to get out whatever they could, or a clump of bitterness thrown right at the audience, the lasting impression is "why did I even tough it out this long with this show?"


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residentgrigo



Joined: 23 Dec 2007
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:28 pm Reply with quote
Parasyte has my favorite ending of any manga/comic and Madhouse did it justice in the final episode, the lack of gore made a certain scene too ambiguous though. Bebop is an obvious 2nd.

I have no specific candidate for the bottom of the pack but M. D. Geist (the first time a very young me dared to call an anime "bad") is certainly up there, if i can´t go with hentai. Shudder, School of Darkness, shudder...
I thus submit ALL the unfinished 80s/90s OVAs as a collective shame award but i prefer to have had a glimpse of greatness, than none at all.
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:33 pm Reply with quote
I'm not sure I can narrow it down to a best ending as there have been many with greatly satisfying conclusions where we get to see where everyone ended up after everything was said and done. Kurokami, M3, and Asura Cryin' are lesser known examples.

Now for worst, it should come as no surprise to some people as I've gone on at length about it before: Toradora. Several shows have had similar endings where the main characters are forced into a relationship at the end despite developments to the contrary (Oreimo has the same problem) but Toradora was the first that really pissed me off and ruined the whole show for me.

spoiler[Ryuji and Taiga formed a strong friendship over the course of the series as they helped each other but of course they can't be allowed to just be friends. It's okay in Taiga's case because we see her feelings change gradually over the show, but Ryuji just kept forming a better relationship with Minori. We see no signs of him falling out of love, and he'd been going on about how much he liked her in the episode right before he suddenly decides he likes Taiga instead. No hesitation, no linger feelings for Minori, he's just over her in an instant cold turkey and now wants to marry Taiga.]

For a show that did so well at building relationships to chuck that out the window in order to force a certain outcome is unforgivable.

I know I'm alone in this so don't feel you need to rebut me. You're welcome to if you want but I've heard all the counter arguments already.
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:38 pm Reply with quote
Wow. Really excellent article, ANN. I enjoyed the whole thing, especially Jake's (and not just because his favorite was mine) and Rose's. Well-written, insightful, and entertaining. It's common for people to overlook the strength of the writing in these sorts of articles and burrow yourself into the pure editorial content, but I enjoyed reading about the endings of anime I've only flirted with or heard of, but never intended to finish, as well.

Ah, there are so many different endings I love and loathe. For instance, the ending of Legend of the Galactic Heroes gives us a tragedy and yet hope as well, and a sense that life goes on and the politics of humanity doesn't cease for the loss of its greatest arbiters. Or the end of Gundam 0080, again a sad, but thoughtful conclusion that instead of reveling in its own violence, seeks to understand the impact of even the smallest, unsung tragedy in the war, and how it shapes Al's outlook.

Of course, there are many different kinds of bad ends, like anime endings that gut the momentum built up, as with either season finale of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex or Eden of the East (Kamiyama seems to have trouble with endings), anime that added extraneous episodes after the main narrative's ending, like the original Macross, and non-endings due to no continuation, like the original Bubblegum Crisis (shut up, don't you say "Crash"). Then there's just plain, vanilla awful endings like .hack//SIGN.

Though to be fair, many terrible endings are the result of either anime-only endings of adapted material or just a dead end caused by cancellation for bad ratings. Or sequel hooks that were never picked up.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1814
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:39 pm Reply with quote
I will admit in full disclosure that a lot of this is based off of what I remember feeling when I watched these endings, so they might not be 100% accurate.

In recent memory (because I can't actually remember seeing very many anime with a definitive ending), I'd probably say Madoka is one of my favorites. I felt content that the literal deus ex machina wrapped up all the loose ends, provided a solution to the underlying problem, and still managed to be bittersweet in acknowledging that sacrifices still had to be made (though YYH and Princess Tutu are close contenders, though for wildly different reasons.)

As for worst...probably Princess Nine. I just felt like it was such a weird shift to a downer ending, when the rest of the series had been pretty uplifting overall. And it was so abrupt! I wanted some kind of epilogue, but nope, one and done. The end. :/ I was extremely dissatisfied with that ending.

EDIT: Also, heavily agreed on Digimon 02's ending. Seriously, what?


Last edited by whiskeyii on Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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meruru



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 405
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:41 pm Reply with quote
Oh yeah, I should have mentioned Toradora also. Of course, on rewatches I tend to just stop halfway through the last episode and pretend that other thing didn't happen. There's actually a lot of romance shows that have similar endings. I think it's because Japan likes the trope spoiler[ of the tragically separated lovers that hold out for each other until they are reunited years later. ]. Well, I loathe that trope, and I think Toradora did it particularly clumsily.

As for what Vasaiga said, while I didn't feel that way, I can definitely see where you could. I had a similar reaction to Angel Beats, as much as I liked the show.


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Themaster20000



Joined: 05 Aug 2014
Posts: 733
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:43 pm Reply with quote
Really great piece! Lot of interesting choices.

Either Cowboy Bebop which is just perfection with it's ending or Texnolyze which had one of the ballsiest endings to anything,but it was perfect fit for it's themes.

Worst ending is a tough one since most shows have non-endings due to ongoing source material so am pretty lenient on those,but original shows have no excuse. So I'll go with Ergo Proxy. Show was a mess of ideas and themes,which by the time they had to start raping it up,the show starts jumping ahead and just you everything that happened.All this leading up to a mess of an ending,which made it clear that they had no idea what they wanted to do at all with it.


Last edited by Themaster20000 on Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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varmintx



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 1109
Location: Covington, KY
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:43 pm Reply with quote
Since it's episodic anyway, I don't think it's a cheat to say my favorite anime endings pretty much all come from Kino's Journey. "A Peaceful Land's" uncompromisingly brutal end in-particularly still haunts me, and it could be easily argued the series' finale is even more devastating.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:51 pm Reply with quote
"Best" is probably Simoun.

Theron's review of the final disc does a really great job explaining the ending's appeal in great detail, but long story short, all too often in anime the main character defeats the final bad guy two minutes before the show ends, the credits roll, and then they cobble 30 seconds of "where are they now" material together and send the show on its merry way. In Simoun, the show's main storyline ends in the 22nd episode, followed by four full episodes devoted to wrapping up all the loose plot threads and character arcs. You'd think this would drag on, but there's so much going on in this show that it never becomes a problem.

My least favorite ending is definitely BTOOOM. Imagine if Future Diary ended at episode 13 with spoiler[Yuno feeding a tied-up Yuki] and you'll get some sense of how frustrating this show was for people who don't follow the manga.

whiskeyii wrote:
As for worst...probably Princess Nine. I just felt like it was such a weird shift to a downer ending, when the rest of the series had been pretty uplifting overall. And it was so abrupt! I wanted some kind of epilogue, but nope, one and done. The end. :/ I was extremely dissatisfied with that ending.


That one is hard for me to evaluate because - at least to me - it felt very similar to the ending of Love Live's first season. The difference, of course, is that Love Live had a second season.


Last edited by BodaciousSpacePirate on Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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