Most fans of anime and manga expect a happy ending. The big bad gets defeated and most if not all of our heroes survive. However, ever once in a while, an anime and manga series will shock us with a downer ending. Of course, many of these series generally have dark tones so those endings shouldn’t be shocking. However, most of us are trained to expect a good ending no matter what. A downer ending ranges from sad to tragic. So what are my top 5 favorite downer endings?
5. Lust contemplates her existence (Fullmetal Alchemist)
In episode 35 of Fullmetal Alchemist (2003 series), ‘Reunion of the Fallen,’ Lust begins to question her existence. Where does she come from and what would happen to her when she dies? She sees a man from her past, Lujon. She taught him alchemy to save his village from a mysterious disease. Turns out that the disease was created by Envy. The Homunculi hope that by giving Lujon a fake philosopher’s stone he will search and make a real one for them to steal. When Lujon admits that he loves Lust, she kills him considering him “worthless.” Without his stone, the villagers all die from the disease and Lujon’s wife dies in his arms.
4. Tokyo Ghouls tragic ending
The Anteiku staff are destroyed by the CCG. Touka and Nishiki are forced to abandon their loved ones. Yoshimura is captured by his daughter Eto and will be used as a “donor” for Dr. Kanou’s experiments. Juuzou and Kuroiwa are maimed, Shinohara is left brain dead. Hide goes missing, Kaneki, Amon, Takizawa, Koma, and Irimi are assumed dead. Tsukiyama is comatose. Kaneki is betrayed by two of his allies, Uta and Itori, who take pleasure in Kaneki’s demise.
3. Battle Royale Continues
Battle Royale takes place in a fascist alternate-timeline Japan. The government random chooses high school classes and sends them to a isolated island. Armed with weapons, and under the treat of death they are forced to kill each other until only one remains. This is called “the Program.”After all the death and mayhem, Shuya and Noriko survive. They escape to America, but all of there friends are dead. They are haunted by memories of the battle royale and their relationship become strained. Finally, despite the failure of this edition of the program, the system remains intact. Meaning that future high school students will continue to go through the program.
2. In Devilman Crybaby humanity becomes extinct
The 2018 adaptation of Devilman by Go Nagai, follows Akira Fudo. He becomes a “devilman,” after he makes the demon Amon’s power his own. With this new power, Akira hopes to protect humanity and his love ones. He fails though. He loses everything. His girlfriend Miki is murdered and brutally dismembered by a mob. His best friend turns out to be Satan (Ryo). Akira is killed. Then God destroys Earth. The entire series is dark, but you did think Akira would win at the end.
1. Griffith becomes Femto (Berserk)
In the Berserk, Griffith betrays his Band of the Hawk and Guts. After a year of torture he’s rescued by Guts. Using the Crimson Behelit he summons the Godhand. Transporting everyone to Hell. Griffith sacrifices the Hawks. Guts and Casca remain. As she is attacked by demon Guts tries to save her, but his arm gets caught in a demon teeth. Reborn as the demon Femto, Griffith sexual assaults Casca in front of Guts. Who then cuts off his own arm to try to save Casca. However, he’s dog-piled by more demons, that claw his right eye out. The anime ends here, while the manga continues. Berserk has one of the most depressing endings.
Do you have any anime or manga endings you think belong on this list?
Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade is the Kickstarter-funded sequel to the acclaimed “Little Witch Academia”, released in 2013. This sequel has proven to be a worthy heir to its predecessor. The story continues to follow the story from the previous movie. Akko Kagari, the nerdy Lotte Yanson and the gothic Sucy Manbavaran, continue their magical education at Luna Nova Magical Academy and appear to be performing inadequately.
They create a monstrosity out of “brownie and a poisonous mushroom”, poisoning their classmates. They are punished (again) for their poor behavior and are tasked with organizing this year’s “Witch Festival”. Joined by thief Amanda O’Neill, Constanze Braunschweig Albrechtsberger manufacturer and seller of illegal high-tech devices and Jasminka Antonenko food thief.
Akko takes Charge
Akko decides that she will take charge and change the narrative of the tradition festival, showing witches in a positive light. She shows that she is immature and self-centered. She ignores the opinions of her friends and alienates them in the process. Feel down and out after a series of setbacks Akko becomes inspired by her idol Chariot. She heads to the library and begins to study magic in preparation of the festival. Akko invites her friends to join her, she along with Amanda use a rod to steal some magic for the festival.
During the festival, things start off well. However, several of the towns boys harass them and steal their magical rod. The stolen rod’s magic awakens a sleeping giant that attacks the townspeople. Ursula, the teacher of Akko uses her magic to distract the townspeople and include the attack into the festival itself. Together the witches come together to subdue the giant and improve the perception of the Witches.
Predictable but well done
Overall, Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade takes what made the previous movie in the series so exceptional, and expands on the world and the characters. Studio Trigger continues to impress with their animation style that made other series like Kill La Kill, Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt stand out Anime. The fluid nature of the animation with the muted color gives a lively feel. The series alludes to the “history” of witches being persecuted.
I think it should have expanded on this aspect of the universe, instead it was glossing over it. Finally, the rules of magic haven’t been explained. The series doesn’t leave the viewer completely ignorant of the magic system, but adding more depth would have been appreciated. While the story was predictable and the characters were formulaic, LWA remains a standard for good anime.
Mob attempts to talk things out with Suzuki. He’s not interested. Threaten, he attacks Mob. Suzuki almost kills Dimple, and tries to incinerate Reigen. Finally, disgusted, Mob enters 100 % rage. Mob levitates the Culture Tower into the sky. To keep up with Mob’s power, Suzuki slowly increases his Power Output. Mob goes through multiple emotion at 100% from, Ecstasy, Shame and Compassion. He constantly tries to reason with Suzuki. He fails. Suzuki increases his Power Output to 80%. Mob reaches 100% Resignation, realizing that he can’t get through to Suzuki.
Mob starts to mangle Suzuki’s body, forcing the later to reach 100 % Power Output. His body increases in size and his head becomes inflamed. He overpowers Mob with his new strength. However, the amount of power Suzuki uses backfires on him. His body begins to self-destruct. Despite Mob trying to save him, Suzuki explodes.
9. Meliodas vs The Ten Commandments
Meliodas is the “Sin of Wrath” of the Seven Deadly Sins, faces off against the Ten Commandments. I’ve heard about the manga Seven Deadly Sins and seen it promoted on Netflix, but I haven’t really decided to pick it up. This fight changed that. The title character Meliodas fights all ten of the commandments. Derieri, Drole, Estarossa, Fraudrin, Gloxinia, Grayroad, Melascula, Monspeet, Zeldris.
Meliodas first fights Drole and Gloxinia. They put up a good fight, but Meliodas takes the upper hand. However, the other Commandments arrive and dynamics of the fight change. Meliodas is ganged up on and is ultimately he is killed by Estarossa.
8. Tanjiro & Nezuko vs Rui
Tanjiro manages to escape terrible damage from Rui’s thread, only getting a scarred on the face. Tanjiro is finally cornered by Rui’s web of threads, Nezuko jumps out of the box. She saves Tanjiro, but is severely wounded. Rui finally reveals that he’s the member of the Twelve Moons. He tethers Nezuko in his threads, cutting into her limbs as punishment. She falls to sleep in order to heal herself. Meanwhile, Tanjiro uses the Final Form of his Water Style. He’s able to cut the threads now and creates a water dragon. Realizing the threat that Tanjiro possess, Rui uses his Blood Art to strengthen his threads.
Tanjiro transforms his water dragon into a fire one. He now able to cut the more enhanced threads. Tanjiro moves closer to Rui, who finally moves into striking range. He accepts that he will likely die from their encounter. Nezuko is awakened by a vision of her mother asking her to save her brother. Nezuko uses her Blood Art: Blood Ignite, burning the blood on the threads. The fire travels along the threads, destroying the webs that Rui created. As Tanjiro says that “the bond between he and Nezuko can’t be severed,” his sword with Nezuko blood on it severs Rui’s head.
7. All Might vs All For One
The finally fight of this list is the epic battle between old enemies, All Might and All for One. My Hero Academia featured many battles that could have ended up on this list but this one had no equal. When the League of Villains kidnap, Katsuki Bakugo, All Might is tasked with finding the taken student. During his rescue attempt he encounters his former nemesis. Backing the future of villainy, All for One aims to help them escape capture. He easily defeats the other top ten heroes, forcing All Might to engage.
All Might is still weaken from their previous battle that left him with permanent damage. Still their fight is able to create massive shock-waves, destroying the surrounding area. All Might even reverts to his skinny form, revealing to the world that he’s not as he once was. Encouraged to fight for the future heroes, All Might gathers what remains of his dwindling strength and hits All for One with a devastatingly powerful move, United States of Smash.
6. Luffy vs Katakuri
Monkey D. Luffy and Charlotte Katakuri face off during the Whole Cake Island Arc in the Mirror World. This fight was a long one and largely saw Katakuri dominate Luffy. This is why the result of the match, Luffy’s win feels strange and unnecessary. One of One Piece’s most distinguish qualities is that the “main character” in this case Luffy doesn’t have to always win. Even in a later “fight” against Kiado, Luffy is easily defeated. So why did he win this fight?
Some fans wrongly suggested that this was typical plot armor, it wasn’t. However, I agree Luffy should have taken the lost on this. Regardless, we see Luffy reach another level as he introduces us to another form, Gear Fourth: Snakeman. The fight might be too repetitive and the victory was the wrong one. Regardless, it’s worth your time.
5. Netero vs Meruem
The Chimera Ant King (Meruem) and Hunter Chairman (Netero) battle underground. As Meruem counters the hands of 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva. As Netero hits Meruem with one of his hands, the Ant King simply gets up and attacks again. This “game” continues as Meruem looks for a slight opening. While, Meruem marvels at the abilities the Netero, he eventually finds that opening, tearing off Netero’s right leg.
Undeterred, Netero continues to attack. This time he loses his left arm. Netero simply prays with his one hand. The 100-type Guanyin Bodhisattva appears behind Meruem as he uses his “zero hand.” After the attack, the underground tomb is destroyed and Netero ages. Meruem is somewhat damaged, but not nearly enough to die. Netero, however, is near death. He sticks two fingers in his chest, activating a nuclear bomb.
4. Midoriya vs Todoroki
The much anticipated battle between Izuku and Shoto begins in episode 10 of Boku no Hero Academia. Titled, Shoto Todoroki: Origin, this episode was wall to wall action and the animation was spectacular. Shoto quickly attacks Izuku with his Half-Cold, Half-Hot quirk, creating pillars of ice, Izuku counters with One for All, using his middle finger. He creates a powerful gust of wind, destroying the ice and breaking his middle finger.
They repeat this pattern several times, then Shoto uses his ice to get closer to Izuku. Engaging in close combat, Shoto gains the upper hand, trapping the foot of Izuku. Left with no choice, Izuku uses his quirk with his entire fist, knocking Shoto backwards. Shoto attacks again, but Izuku destroys the ice once again. He then criticizes Izuku for using only half his powers. Enraged, Shoto runs toward Izuku, but the negative effects of his quirk has caused his body some frostbite. He’s slower and Izuku manages to hit him directly in the stomach.
Izuku continues to challenge Shoto’s resistance to using his fire ability. Shoto flashes back to his traumatic childhood. He recalls being abused and isolated from his siblings and how he came to hate his father. Izuku tells Shoto that, “his fire power belongs to him and only him.” Shoto finally activates his fire powers, his father Endeavor is delighted, both Shoto and Izuku gear up for their clash. Shoto uses a massive wave of ice, while Izuku use his quirk on his leg. Cementoss attempts to intervene to protect them from their attacks. Shoto shots his fire and Izuku causes a powerful shock-wave. As the smoke clears, Izuku has been knocked out of bound, giving Shoto the win.
3. Jiraiya vs Pain
Jiraiya attempts to invade the hidden village of rain without detection. However, he fails and finds that the intruder is Jiraiya. Pain is mysterious character, who he is and what his powers are unknown. Pain changes bodies to feature a longer haired body. Pain summons a crab like creature that uses a bubble, Jiraiya uses a ” Raging Lion’s Mane Technique” and tangles the crab in his hair. The summon disappears and Jiraiya then uses his hair on Pain, who uses substitution jutsu.
Jiraiya summons a toad as Pain summons a chameleon. Jiraiya decides he’s “I’m going into sennin mode”, Pain hides in the mouth of the chameleon which turns invisible. Jiraiya counters with a barrier detection jutsu, Pain response by summoning a Cerberus like animal. Pain continues to use animal summons to conceal his location. Jiraiya wonders why he hasn’t use a technique other than summons. Jiraiya releases his summon and emerges transformed with two toads on his shoulders. The female toad uses her tongue to sniff out the chameleon, and uses acid to kill it.
Pain summons two other humans to the battlefield, each with their own set of Rinnegan eyes. Confused Jiraiya aims to discover the secret to Pains power. One of the Pains attacks Jiraiya and he uses his Frog Karate to counter. He then uses his “Hermit Art: Deep Fryer”, but another Pain absorbs this jutsu. Jiraiya decides to try close combat, he attacks with a massive Rasengan. The Rasengan is also absorbed, a smoke bomb is used to give cover and Jiraiya attempts to attack Pain from behind.
He fails to land a direct hit, he uses a frog summon as an distraction and uses his “Hermit Art: Hair Needle Barrage”. It’s his fast attack and Pain still manages to counter it, with a summon. Jiraiya realizes somethings up and retreats to come up with a plan. Jiraiya concludes that the eyes of the Pains are linked. He and the frogs determine they need to use genjutsu. The genjutsu has it’s effect and Jiraiya kills the three Pains. However, another Pain shows you, he attacks Jiraiya ripping of his arm.
Confused again as all the previously dead Pain are alive. He now has six adversaries to contend with, “The six paths of Pain”. Jiraiya kills one of the Pains and manage to seek refuge inside another toad. Instead of escaping he decides to confront Pain one last time. He realizes that all the Pains are shinobi he’s fought before. At this point Pain crushes Jiraiya’s throat and all six Pains stabs him. Jiraiya uses his last moments leave a message on the back of one of the toads before he drowns.
2. Gohan vs Cell
Goku tells Cell that his son Gohan is a better match for him, at first everyone is skeptical. Gohan powers up stunning everyone with his power level. However, his inexperience and fear of his power leaves him at Cell’s mercy. Cell decides to push Gohan to the limit by hurting his friends with Cell Jr’s.The brutalizing of Gohan’s friends doesn’t push Gohan to his limit, but Android 16 gives Gohan a speech about the meaning of life. When Cell crushes Android 16’s head killing him Gohan finally snaps, unleashing his hidden powers.
After this power boost Gohan strength and speed increases tremendously, he quickly destroy’s the Cell Jr’s. Cell and Gohan begin their fight and it appears that Gohan isn’t even trying, he becomes rather cocky. Cell powers up one more time but it doesn’t matter, Gohan is still stronger. He delivers two devastating punches on Cell, knock him to his knees. Cell becomes enraged at being dominated by a child, Cell uses a series of the Z fighters attacks. He concludes with a massive Kamehameha aim at destroying the earth, Gohan simply reflects it with his own. Cell is damaged by Gohan’s Kamehameha, but Cell heals himself.
Cell increases his size and loses his speed in the process. Gohan continues to damage Cell, resulting in him regurgitating Android 18 and transform back. Cell having lost his power becomes afraid of Gohan and decides to self destruct, Goku uses his instant transition to transport Cell and save the earth. Cell explodes killing Goku, he returns however shooting Trunks through the chest. Vegeta becomes enraged at what Cell did to Trunks, attacking him. Cell is unharmed and try’s to kill Vegeta, who is saved by Gohan. Cell aims to end this fight with a clash of Kamehameha with Gohan. Gohan struggles to get the lead in the conflict, the remaining Z fighters try to help but are useless. However, Vegeta proves to be powerful enough to at least distracting Cell. Gohan takes advantage with one final push, destroying Cell and saving the Earth.
1. White beard Pirates vs Marines
The White beard Pirates with “43 allied crews”, waged a war against over 100,000 Marines and five Shichibukai. Luffy and several criminals from Impel Down show up to save Ace. Many of White Beards crew and allies are killed and injured. Whitebeard is severely injured and later dies at the hands of Black beard’s crew. Luffy takes center stage as he makes his way thorough the Marines and manages to save Ace.
However, the joy is short lived as Akainu kills Ace and severely damages Luffy, who is devastated mentally. Black beard manages to steal White beard devil fruit ability. The war is ceased by Shanks and his crew. There’s more to this battle but this war represents a major change in the series, the death of White beard, Ace and the theft of the White beards devil fruit. Black beard ascends to level of Youkon, and his crew terrorizes the seas.
Izuku fails to make an impression with his unimpressive comedy. Sir Nighteye asks if Izuku means to “make fun of All Might.” Despite the apparent “failing out” between All Might and Nighteye, it’s clear that he remains a fanboy of sorts. This is how Izuku manages to win over the stoic Nighteye. However, everything isn’t fine. Sir Nighteye refuses to stamp Izuku’s paper, claiming that “Izuku brings no benefit to his agency.” Sir Nighteye challenges Izuku to take the stamp from him. He’s gives him three minutes to do so. Izuku quickly activates his Full Cowl, trying to grab the stamp. However, Izuku is not match for Sir Nighteye’s Quirk.
Sir Nighteye verses Izuku Midoriya
Sir Nighteye’s Quirk is Foresight. It’s activated by touching the target and making eye contact. This information is secret. Regardless, he’s able to “accurately predict all of the target’s future moves and actions for an entire hour.” Nighteye feels that Izuku is a disappointing successor to All Might. Now nervous, Izuku begins to panic. However, by remembering that All Might chose him, he regains his confidence. Nighteye continues to berate Izuku. He constantly reminds him that he doesn’t think Midoriya is good enough. Izuku fails to get the stamp. Sir Nighteye calls him clumsy. However, Izuku notes that he was trying to get the stamp, while avoiding all the All Might merchandise.
Sir Nighteye accepts Izuku
When Mirio and Bubble girl return, Nighteye tells them he will take in Izuku. He never intend to reject Izuku in the first place. However, he still doesn’t believe that Midoriya is worthy of One For All. He actually wants Midoriya to give up One For All. Sir Nighteye is harsh. I wonder if he’s always been that way or some tragic event made him like this. Regardless, Izuku stamps the contract. Midoriya returns to the Heights Alliance. He informs his classmates that he was accepted. They’re all impressed, but have failed to get there own work studies. However, they may get work studies from Tamaki and Nejire. While patrolling the streets, Midoriya encounters a young girl, Eri. She clearly frightened, as she runs from the villain Overhaul.
My Hero Academia is still building up. It’s unlikely that Midoriya and Overhaul will battle this soon. However, it’s important to present the stakes. In this arc it’s seems that it will be rescuing Eri. I generally find Nighteye to be rude and mean spirited. However, his stern personality will be helpful to Midoriya, who is often pampered by All Might.
Being the eager person that he is, Midoriya calls Gran Torino. He asks if Torino will be willing to “take him in,” for Hero Work-Studies. Torino calls him a “useless successor.” It’s a little harsh, but Izuku doesn’t seem to upset over it. Torino tells him to contact All Might and ask him to introduce his former sidekick, Sir Nighteye. Meanwhile, Twice brings Overhaul to the abandoned factory for a meeting with the rest of the League of Villains. Overhaul is the young boss of the Shie Hassaikai, a yakuza organization. The yakuza had all but been eradicated during the All Might era. With his retirement and All For One’s imprisonment, Overhaul sees a opportunity to return.
Overhaul criticizes Tomura’s lack of planning. He argues that a “goal with no plan is a delusion.” Overhaul states that Tomura has “wasted” the potential of Stain, Muscular and Moonfish. He asks the League of Villains to join him. However, he lacks the funds to build his own organization. He believes he should be the next leader. Magne attacks him with her magnet pole. Overhaul kills her, after touching her arm with her finger. Magne upper body explodes into a pool of blood. Compress attempts to use his Quirk on Overhaul, but is shot with a bullet that cuts off his Quirk. Overhaul destroys his arm in response. Tomura then attacks. He’s avoids being shot. He uses his Quirk on one of Overhaul’s minions, turning him into dust.
The rest of the Shie Hassaikai burst through the wall. Since both sides have lost a man, Overhaul decides that both sides should stop. Despite Twice and Toga wanting to get revenge, Tomura agrees. Tomura plans to make Overhaul “pay” next time. One thing that makes My Hero Academia special is that the villains are learning to become villains, just like the heroes. Tomura leans on All For One for support the way Izuku leans on All Might. The villains also have a genuine love for one another. This isn’t typical for anime villains, who usually are already grown and barely care for one another. Furthermore, the leader of the villains (All For One) tends to see the lesser villains as being fonder or a means to a end. He’s interested in teaching Tomura how to be an effective villain.
Shota Aizawa informs Class 1-A that they will be allowed to participate in Hero Work Studies. Izuku asks All Might after class to introduce him to Sir Nighteye. All Might refuses, not wanting to talk to him as they didn’t end on good terms. He instead asks Mirio to do it. Mirio tells Midoriya that ” Sir is very strict and he must do his best to try and make him laugh before the end of the day. Sir Nighteye holds humor in high regard and Izuku must impress him on his own without too much of Mirio’s help.” Mirio is an odd guy, he’s more like All Might than Midoriya seems to be. Sir Nighteye on the other hand is a little scary. I have no doubt that he will accept Midoriya, I just wonder how much he tortures him before he accepts.