We’ve all had that show where were super into. Everything seemed to be leading up to something, but we feel that something isn’t right. We look to see how many episodes are left and we think “Theres no way they can wrap this up in three episodes”. And when we get to that final few minutes of the last episode we realize our suspicions were true. It just ends, with no conclusion.
Now while a conclusion can be subjective when it comes to what you want, that’s not really what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about a very specific kind of anime ending. The endings that hold up a big sign saying “Read the Manga”. This sign is something I think everyone has had waved in their face at least once, and it can be anything but satisfying. So today I’m gonna do a little rant on Anime with “Read the Manga” endings that I hated the most. For this list I’m not going to be counting shows that have come out in the last 3 years. The reason being there are some shows that still have a chance at continuation. The shows I’ll talk about are shows that have had a long enough time to get a sequel and will likely never get a conclusion adapted into anime.
Also I am fully aware that if I really wanted to know the endings of all these shows I could just read the manga, but that’s not how I roll. Besides that’s not what I think a good adaptation does to its viewers anyway. If you’re going to make a show, make a show, not an advertisement for the manga. So with that aside here are the anime “Read the Manga” endings that angered me the most.
One of the older shows on my list, Air Gear ended its run in 2006. Along with that run we were only introduced to about a couple of the AT kings and there was still no direction of Ikki ever becoming the “Sky King”. It just ends with him passing an overly hyped test after literally getting a thousand tries. That might be good enough for a lesson learned mid series, but not something you slap on at the end.
To make matters even more spiteful there were three separate OVA’s released for Air Gear between 2010 and late 2011. These stories are more like one shots of manga stories and don’t really make much sense unless you’ve read the manga, which I didn’t.
Now I know there are many reasons to watch Sekirei other than the story (Mainly giant boobs). But during the second season things were actually heating up in the tournament. There were some back stories that fleshed out the story in a cool and interesting way and a lot less dicking around with harem stuff as opposed to the first season. Ultimately these improvements and cool ideas will probably never be brought to animation. While the second season ends in a more satisfying way than with Air Gear, it promises so much more which makes it a big let down.
This one is more understandable than most on this list just for the fact that, unless they drastically changed the art style, doing a full series of Berserk would be impossible. I mean every panel of Kentaro Miura’s manga is so detailed it would run any animation company bankrupt if they would try to faithfully adapt it. But they just couldn’t resist and adapted the Golden Age arc TWICE. its bad enough to leave someone at basically the threshold of the real story, but to do it twice is just mean. So unless you read the manga you’ll never get the satisfaction of the adventure after the golden age and just be left with a depressing and rape filled ending.
Heavens Lost Property
This one stings me a little more than others just because I, for some reason, like this show more than I should. So they built up the whole story line with “god” and “heaven”, and started to really build on the relationship between Ikarus and Tomoki. So what do the people who licensed it do? They make two movies. Now that would sound good but they instead decide to make one that really has nothing to do with the overarching plot and another that just finishes up the series entirely. The final movie is the biggest slap in the face. It opens in medias res of the final-final arc where the “anime only” viewer wouldn’t know that the hell is going on. It also has the gall to hint at cool ending plot lines to try to coerce you to read the manga. STOP! Don’t try to make me read your manga with your anime adaptation. Why don’t you make the anime good enough to where you make money there?
Spice and Wolf
So to find out what happens in Spice and Wolf you’ll have to read the light novel because there is no manga adaptation, but its the same concept. You spend two whole seasons of getting to watch these two characters grow to love each other. They face trials for their love and grow to know more about each other and we get hints at what will come of their relationship as they go north. Sadly we never will see them go north, or if they end up together. Heck the anime just kinda ends, with the cliché of “we’ll continue on together”. BULLSHIT! Finish your romance or else all the build up is kind of wasted, especially if that’s the focal point of your story. I love Spice and Wolf, but it will never be satisfying because I know it goes nowhere.
For the most part those are the most annoying endings for me personally. Other notable shows with “Read the Manga” endings but don’t hold a special place in my heart are as followed.
Basically ended the show putting the main character back to square one and introduces three new enemies.
Resolve a small part of the main goal and hints at something big in the after credit scene. Will they get off the island? We’ll never know.
High School Of The Dead
Why did they throw that shot of the mall at the end? If not I wouldn’t still be waiting and wanting a sequel.
They decide to make an “anime only” ending and still resolve nothing. Just a gross steroided monster girls brawl. (On second thought that might not be that bad). Still, ends in a draw and nothing gets resolved.
Legend of the Legendary Heroes
The story stalls with the main characters hang ups and nothing having to do with the main objective gets resolved. Also I think it hints at a love triangle in the future. But I already know Keifer would win.
So I don’t like “Read the Manga” endings, but what does it all mean?
I’m almost positive there are more but these are the only ones that I can speak on since I have personally seen. Another things I want to make clear is that I am NOT saying that you shouldn’t watch any of these shows listed because they don’t end properly. I’m just saying its annoying and it really makes me question the intention of anime companies when they take a manga and only adapt a section of it with a “To Be Continued” asterisk at the end.