10 Best Anime Series We’re Glad Are Over

Koro Sensei of Assassination Classroom and Gintoki, Kagura, Shinpachi and Sadaharu from anime Gintama

One of the main reasons anime has succeeded as a form of entertainment is that it contains so many specialized genres that cater to niche interests. In addition, these unique storytelling genres and anime’s versatility in length and pacing have helped various series reach all types of audiences.

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However, it’s always tricky to determine the right time for a popular series to conclude. Some anime are pushed to premature conclusions, while others draw out their narrative to insulting lengths. It’s hard to leave audiences satisfied while also making them want more, yet some rare anime series end at the perfect point.

Updated on May 11th, 2023 by Ajay Aravind: Anime became a globally dominant entertainment medium, starting with shows like Dragon Ball and iconic movies like Akira. While many of these stories end on satisfactory notes, there are a few whose conclusions simply weren’t up to the mark. As such, we’ve revamped this list with some more relevant information.



10 Assassination Classroom

There is no shortage of exciting anime series that pull in audiences with a compelling plot that can’t live up to expectations. The central premise of Assassination Classroom features a deadly “extraterrestrial” who gives the Earth an ultimatum, one that hinges on a group of delinquent students figuring out how to execute their new educator.

It feels like Assassination Classroom will find a way out of its core conflict, whether it’s with a longer timeline or a bigger danger that supplants Koro-sensei. What follows is a well-paced exercise in restraint. The series ends when it makes sense for the story instead of drawing out the narrative just because it’s become so popular.

9 Cowboy Bebop

Shinichiro Watanabe’s Cowboy Bebop is one of the all-time anime greats. The stylized science fiction series is a sublime lesson in unconventional genre storytelling and the importance of music in a series’ identity. This iconic show establishes a strong paradigm for ragtag crews of bounty hunters.

Cowboy Bebop consists of only 26 episodes and a movie, but this brevity contributes to its amazing reputation. It wouldn’t be hard to picture Cowboy Bebop running for multiple seasons or new Cowboy Bebop movies coming out every few years. It’s instead able to exist as an iconic time capsule that’s just as strong several decades later.

8 Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket is one of the most iconic shojo series, and the earnest romance that forms between Tohru Honda and Kyo Soma is one for the ages. There are supernatural fantasy elements that act as obstacles in Fruits Basket, but it’s the realistic character development and relationships where the series truly shines.

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The first anime adaptation of Fruits Basket tries and fails to contain this epic into 26 episodes. 2019’s reboot is the perfect length at 63 episodes, spread across three seasons and wrapped up with a poignant feature film. Any more of this story would tarnish their tender romance.

7 Gintama

Gintama is an absurdist shonen series that recently wrapped up its enviable run of more than 350 episodes with a powerful concluding feature film. Most anime that run this long succumb to extraneous filler material, or at the least, weaker and repetitive storytelling.

Gintama finds strength in its longevity, and it effortlessly combines its over-the-top parodies with suspenseful action sequences and moving emotional catharsis. In all likelihood, Gintama could probably run for another 100 episodes without compromise. That said, there’s no reason to tempt fate, especially when there’s already so much content to consume.

6 Wonder Egg Priority

The past decade has featured some highly subversive anime properties that take well-trodden genre territory, like magical girl stories, and uses them as an allegory for darker ideas. Wonder Egg Priority is one of the more recent melodramatic masterpieces that follows a young girl, Ai, who’s still mourning the loss of her friend who took her own life.

Wonder Egg Priority uses magical powers as a filter for the trauma that Ai and her friends have all experienced. Wonder Egg Priority is incredibly heavy, and 13 episodes are more than enough to prove its points without it feeling needlessly emotionally manipulative.

5 Kill La Kill

Kill la Kill is a whirlwind of sensibilities that combines high school frivolity, tournament battles, magical girl alien mayhem, and Shakespearean family drama. Ryuko Matoi is one of the best seinen heroines of this generation, although her character arc radiates a plethora of shonen stereotypes.

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Kill la Kill is so chaotic and in a league of its own that a second season or a longer episode count could have led to rewarding developments. However, Kill la Kill feels complete when it reaches its finale. Part of the reason that the anime has become such a calling card for Studio TRIGGER is that it doesn’t overstay its welcome and turn into a generic action fan service anime.

4 Devilman Crybaby

Go Nagai is an iconic name in the manga and anime industry. He’s responsible for many franchises, including Devilman, that are still going strong. Devilman is a fairly traditional tale of corruption that pits good against evil.

Masaaki Yuasa effectively updates Nagai’s subject matter in the ten-episode Devilman Crybaby. Devilman Crybaby is easily the most visually ambitious of the Devilman series, but it also covers in ten episodes what other Devilman series do in four times as many episodes. To put it mildly, Devilman Crybaby doesn’t need to explore the same ideas for dozens of episodes.

3 Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Mature and depressing subversions of the bright and optimistic magical girl genre are becoming increasingly popular, but Puella Magi Madoka Magica has become the gold standard in this field. Madoka and the fellow magical girls in the series make use of unbelievable powers, but each of their heroic clashes brings the Earth closer to catastrophe.

An upcoming movie, Walpurgisnacht, will serve as the definitive end to the growing Madoka Magica universe, but even without this concluding piece of the puzzle, there’s still substantial closure to its hauntingly beautiful narrative.

2 Inuyashiki

Inuyashiki is a haunting meditation on power and responsibility that begins when a moody teen and an old man experience the same accident, only to emerge as technologically advanced cyborgs. The contrasting nature of these individuals is fascinating, and it culminates in a tense game of cat and mouse.

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At only 11 episodes, Inuyashiki is content to make its point and leave its audience lost in contemplation rather than completely exhausting every angle of the idea. There’s no need to make this story any longer than it already is, and condensing it into a movie would make it even more effective.

1 Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion has emerged as one of the most celebrated anime series of all time. The psychologically draining and nihilistic take on the mecha genre should be mandatory viewing for anyone who has even a cursory interest in the medium.

Evangelion is a personal project and the reason that the anime has made its mark. Hideaki Anno’s vision and worldview transform the very nature of the series’ storytelling. The anime series, as well as the Rebuild of Evangelion movies, cover everything that’s necessary, and a return to this world would only dilute the anime’s message.

NEXT: 10 Unforgettable Anime Endings That Changed Everything


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