Top 15 Best Anime With WTF EndingsThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Creating the perfect anime ending is honestly a craft that not too many studios or writers can accomplish.
Sure, you get the occasional Code Geass. But most of the time, anime endings are just good, not perfect.
And on the other side of the spectrum you have god-awful, “what am I looking at” endings.
These will be our focus as we count down some anime with truly WTF endings that you should absolutely watch anyway.
15. Akame ga Kill!
Akame ga Kill has been criticized for using shock factor as the main driving force in the series.
And sure, characters do die rather frequently. But to a lot of us that was a plus, as it added some suspense.
But oh man, were we not ready for those final episodes.
Everything from the giant castle mech to Esdeath being able to freeze time, and of course Akame’s power to move in this frozen time was just a blow to the head.
Not to mention that almost everyone dies. Like even Leone, who survived the main fight, just plops dead in the slums by the end. I loved the action, but seriously what was that bloodbath of an ending.
14. The God of High School
Had “God of High School” been a 300 episode shounen, I would have loved the ending to season 1.
But with only 13 episodes it was chaos.
You see, the show starts off as this beautiful fighting shounen where we see different forms of martial arts on display.
And then in just a few episodes we get to a point where a literal god is summoned from the heavens and is trying to destroy a city, and the main character is also some sort of deity, and there’s this magic fox boy… and where the hell did the martial arts go?
13. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Gurren Lagann is, in my opinion, one of the best shows out there.
But man, do the last few episodes throw a lot at us.
Firstly, there’s that problem of escalation once again, to tremendous degrees in fact. It’s like at first they’re just fighting to reclaim the surface, okay.
Then we see a glimpse into the political side of their new society, great!
And then mechs are throwing literal universes at each other, what? But the nail in the coffin was that when Simon finally got the girl, we even see their wedding ceremony, and then she gets Thanos snapped out of existence.
I can’t stress enough how good the show is. But why were we blue-balled this hard?
Like the previous choice, I can’t stress how amazing this show was, prior to the last episode.
Erased was like this perfect psychological thriller where the protagonist has to play 3D chess with a person he can’t even see, in order to save countless lives. In particular the life of a girl.
But then the killer finds him and drowns him in a car. Okay, what now?
My man falls into a coma, wakes up a decade later and loses his memory.
But then he regains his memory in like 5 minutes, the girl he worked so hard to save has moved on, and the killer is obsessed with him and tries to stage his suicide, but falls for the easiest trap ever.
What? Trust me, if you watched the series as it aired, you know the absolute dumbfound-ness that the entire audience felt when that episode dropped.
11. Darling in the FranXX
Darling in the FranXX goes down the same path as Gurren Lagann ending-wise, only it’s somehow ever more confusing.
You see, the plot initially just follows these kids that control mechs and beat up some generic robot-looking bad guys while also developing their character. Great!
But then, in just a few episodes, we get a “whoops, it was actually all aliens and there’s like a secret government and now you have to go to space and the mech is going to be the female lead but giant, and there are like these statues that will transfer your emotions…”
It was an absolute rollercoaster, I will tell you that much.
10. Naruto: Shippuden
Since we’re talking about a 500 episode season, the term “ending” is used very freely here.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Naruto. And did shed a tear when it ended.
However, that last arc left me with some many questions.
To address the elephant in the comment section: where the hell did Kaguya come from? Madara was such a good antagonist, and then out of nowhere he just gets one-shotted by black Zetsu and this female alien shows up and starts warping dimensions?
Plus, she literally falls for the sexy-jutsu?
And Sasuke wants to be Hokage, but also has to fight Naruto? And now they’re all cool, and also they are children of prophecy?
Again, so many questions.
9. Death Note
The first dozen episodes of Death Note are some of the best anime content you can watch. I feel like everyone who has seen the show can agree on that.
The end, however, had a lot of us pulling at our hair.
This is because throughout the show Light is built up like a true super-genius, a villain that can’t be brought down even by the best boy detective L.
But then a reskinned L character appears and defeats Light with little difficulty. How?
He literally uses the most obvious trick in the book and just swaps the death note for a regular notebook.
We all knew Light had to be taken down at some point, but I doubt anyone could have foreseen that his end would be this anti-climactic and odd.
8. Tower of God
I see Tower of God in a similar light to Erased: a wonderful show that just had a very unfortunate ending.
Throughout the series we see the protagonist, Bam, grow to be a pretty decent hero as he fights for the girl he cares for most.
They manage to get through all the hurdles, and Bam and his dear Rachel are on the final stretch towards utter victory. And then she just betrays him completely and pushes him to his death.
That moment had me, and a lot of other people, just scream at the screen. As I doubt anyone could have seen it coming.
They seemed so good together, the opening scene of the show has them being all lovey-dovey for Christ sake. And then she just goes all Judas on him.
If you’re really into symbolism and philosophy then maybe the ending to Monster made complete sense to you. But I think most of us were just confused.
The entire premise of the show is that a doctor, Tenma, saves a boy, Johan, who then goes on to be a mass murderer.
Out of a guilty conscious, Tenma tries to track down Johan, for over 60 episodes mind you.
He finds him, Johan gets shot, Tenma saves him again, and then Johan just escapes the hospital like he did the first time around.
It just had me so confused as to what was the point of the entire cat and mouse act if you weren’t even going to lock the windows this time around?
If you never read a single page of the manga(or at least heard about it) before going into the 1998 Berserk series, you were in for a treat.
The show follows the story of two warriors who form a rag-tag group of bandits and aim for the very top of nobility. But along the way the two main heroes have a falling out. One of them, named Guts, leaves.
The other hero, Griffith, doesn’t take the news very well and manages to get himself mutilated and can no longer fight.
You look at the episode number and see you’re near the end. “Isn’t it kind of sad to just end the series with the second protagonist in this state?”
Nope, it gets ways worse. As suddenly Griffith summons some demons and they proceed to eat all of his friends while Griffith has some non PG-13 action with Guts’ lover. Wild, isn’t it?
5. Devilman Crybaby
This show felt like the most amusing acid trip from the very first episode. And yet it still managed to catch me off guard with how it ended.
As the title would suggest, there are plenty of demons running around. But they usually just eat someone, or alternatively an angry mob chops them up into little pieces.
One of the protagonists is a demon himself. But he doesn’t want to hurt anyone.
The other protagonist starts acting a bit weird and calls for a giant witch hunt on the demons, which is weird considering his best friend is a demon.
And then it turns out that he’s literally Satan. And the two friends have a fight that ends with the world being destroyed. There’s no drug in existence that could have helped me predict that.
4. School Days
Whenever weird anime endings are mentioned, this show is brought up, and for good reason.
The show is a romance where the protagonist doesn’t know what loyalty is, and the females don’t know what laws are.
So once the protagonist gets caught cheating he gets stabbed, and then his body gets decapitated and his killer gets stabbed by a different girl. Now, is it worth watching?
Since you know the ending there’s no point. However, if you have a friend who has never heard of this show try to get them to watch it. Trust me, it’s going to be beyond entertaining when they reach the final episode.
3. Clannad: After Story
There’s no doubt that Clannad is a tear jerker. But even if you knew that going in, nothing could have prepared you for the finale.
For a bit, everything looks fine and dandy. And then all of a sudden Nagisa just kicks the bucket.
Tomoya is pretty shaken up, of course, and mourns over his dead wife. Only to have his daughter drop dead as well not long after!
At this point you’re just wondering if they’re pulling an Akame ga Kill or something. But then, get this: it turns out that it was all just a dream and none of it actually happened.
How am I supposed to feel about this? Should I be happy that Nagisa and Ushio are alive, or absolutely livid that I was ever led to believe otherwise?
2. Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
This show was definitely peculiar.
The art style looked so much like early 2000s Cartoon Network, and yet the humor was way closer to modern shows, aka not PG-13.
But it still followed a basic formula: the superpower girls go out and take care of some demons. Pretty standard, but it was executed well.
And it had a few curve balls thrown in for good measure.
But then the show just throws a Hail Mary at us, as the two girls are walking back home victorious from another battle, and then one of them just chops the other into tiny meaty pieces and goes “It was a prank all along, I’m actually a demon”.
That was truly a memorable experience the first time around.
1. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Fun fact: the studio that made this show has made two others on this list. Coincidence, I think not.
The original 24-episode run of Evangelion had so many people confused. And unlike today, they couldn’t just search for an explanation on YouTube.
After so much action, death, and people being way too deep for my tiny soul to bear, the show just ends on this weird shot of Shinji, the protagonist, just tripping out and re-evaluating his self-worth.
He manages to find a glimmer of hope and that’s about it, the show ends.
No walking into the sunset or heroic speeches. Just a psychology lesson from a show that gave half of its audience depression.
The loose ends get covered in later instalments, so don’t worry: you can definitely get into it now if you haven’t already.