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Anime

Top Five Downer Endings in Anime & Manga

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?

Top 5 Story-Breaker Powers in Anime or Manga

Lists · Top 20

Top 20 Anime from the 2010’s (Part 1)

I intended to keep this list short at ten, however, I just couldn’t leave out the many top anime from 2010-2019. If the late 80’s and 90’s are known as the greatest era of anime, the 2010’s should be known as the most prolific. With that said, let’s get to the list.


20. Dororo (2019)

Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru clash

Studio: MAPPA | MAL: 8.23 | Genre: Samurai, Historical

Dororo would rank higher if it wasn’t for the dramatic dip in animation quality throughout the series. However, despite that, Dororo remains one of the best anime of the decade. The series focuses on the orphan girl, Dororo and the samurai she befriends Hyakkimaru. The child of the power hungry Lord Daigo Kagemitsu, Hyakkimaru body sacrificed to demons. Born with no limbs, nose, eyes, ears or skin, Hyakkimaru is saved by a doctor. Armed with prosthetic limbs with weapons embedded within them, Dororo and Hyakkimaru, aim to defeat demon to restores his body. Dororo explores whether the sacrifice of the few is ever acceptable if it benefits the many.

Check Out My Review of Dororo Episode 1


19. SSSS.Gridman (2018)

Yuta and the Girdman Alliance
Yuta and the Girdman Alliance

Studio: Trigger | MAL: 7.31 | Genre: Mecha

After the disappointing Darling in the Franxx, I was surprised with SSSS.Gridman. Based on Denkou Choujin Gridman (1993), Gridman follows Yuta Hibiki. A high school freshman who wakes up in the home of his classmate Rikka Takarada. With no memory, Yuta hears a mysterious figure calling to him from an old computer. He’s the only one that can see and hear he figure and the giant Kaiju’s outside. Yuta starts to wonder if he’s going insane. Tasked with the mission giving to him, he merges with Gridman to fight against the Kaiju. SSSS.Gridman is a series with gorgeous animation, an intriguing story and several complex characters. One day I’ll give Darling in the Franxx a second look, but right now of the two SSSS.Gridman is the superior series.

Check Out My Review of SSSS.Gridman Episode 1


18. Tokyo Ghoul (2014)

Ken Kaneki after his surgery

Studio: Pierrot | MAL: 7.93 | Genre: Horror

I rarely watch horror anime, but I heard so much about Tokyo Ghoul I had to give it a try. I wasn’t disappointed. Based on the best-selling manga of the same name, Tokyo Ghoul follows Ken Kaneki as he is forced into the world of ghouls by Rize Kamishiro. Set in an alternate world where ghouls (humanoid beings that eat human flesh) live in secrecy. Half-ghouls can be born or created artificially. They’re usually stronger than pure blooded ghouls. After experimental surgery, Kaneki becomes a hybrid of a ghoul and human. He’s taken in by ghouls that manage the coffee shop “Anteiku”. He must struggle to find out where he fits in a world when the societies of the ghouls and humanity are in conflict.

Check Out My Review of Tokyo Ghoul Episode 1


17. Devilman Crybaby (2018)

Devilman Crybaby, Netflix

Studio: Science SARU | MAL: 7.94 | Genre: Supernatural

If somewhat graphic sex, ultra violence and gore are off putting to you then Devilman Crybaby isn’t for you. However, if you want an anime series that will push your boundaries, Devilman is your best choice. The sensitive Akira Fudou is asked by childhood friend Ryou Asuka to aid him with uncovering devils. To Akira’s shock, Ryou takes him to a Sabbath, a party full of debauchery. During the party, demons possess the party goers including Akira. Merged with the devil Amon, Akira becomes the Devilman.

Check Out My Review of Devilman Crybaby


16. Inuyashiki (2017)

Ichiro Inuyashiki becomes an electromechanical cyborg

Studio: MAPPA | MAL: 7.79 | Genre: Sci-Fi

Generally anime focuses on teenagers as the main protagonists. Inuyashiki takes a departure from this trope focusing on a 58 year old protagonists. Personally, I think that Inuyashiki looks more like an 80 year old. Regardless, he’s going through a tough time. His family doesn’t appreciate him (they seem to hate him), he has back problems and to top things off he learns that he has stomach cancer. With three months left to live, Inuyashiki becomes distraught. While standing in a nearby field he is transformed into a cyborg by mysterious extraterrestrials. Saved from his death sentence, Inuyashiki finds purpose in being a hero, rescuing citizens from the psychopathic Hiro.

Check Out My Review of Inuyashiki Episode 1