Strap in, Kiddies, it’s time to rant.
Picture yourself watching a show that you’ve been glued to for ages. It’s had you gripping the edge of your seat for episode after episode, never let you down before. Then, out of nowhere, a moment happens. The moment is so wrong, so stupid, or just so poorly thought out that you can’t help but feel anger alongside your bitter disappointment.
No no no no no no–!
This post is dedicated to these moments, specifically the ones I felt. These are my let downs, my moments in anime that almost or succeeded in making me give up a show. These are my biggest anime letdown moments, meaning there will be spoilers. This is your only warning.
The point of a post like this is not to say any of these shows are bad, no. The point is to acknowledge that a “perfect” anime show is hard to find, probably impossible. In fact, the higher the pedestal we put it on, the more likely it may be to fall.
Now, onto the spoilers
Near The Copycat
Of all the shows I’ll mention here, Death Note is one of the hardest you could possibly kill. It’s a reverse Sherlock Holmes, where the villain (Light Yagami) must outwit and kill our Sherlock (L Lawliet) over a killer notebook. A battle of two geniuses is always fun to watch, sitting in eager anticipation of the next chess move. This makes the introduction of a new character difficult as you’ve already attached your audience to two important figures.
But Death Note did so anyway, just like the manga, and tried to ingratiate their new character, Near, to the viewing audience.
It might have worked, had Near not been a cheap knockoff of L in almost every aspect. He’s got the same childish behavior, the same crouched posture; he even picks up objects the same way. When Near isn’t copying his mentor, he’s a stale character that doesn’t offer much originality beyond playing with toys and being a little less snarky. Since Near doesn’t have much of the charm L had, he didn’t go over well. He has a tiny following among Death Note fans, but not enough to save him.
Dante’s “Big Plan”
This one actually did kill the show in question for me, though it was already falling apart as it was. Whether it was Mustang killing the Rockbells, or Shou Tucker being allowed to live and continue his experiments, it’s safe to say that I was on my way to abandoning the original Fullmetal Alchemist show. But the kicker that finally made me abandon ship came from the show’s new main villain: the alchemist named Dante, the one without the pink hair in the picture beside. The spurned lover of Ed & Al’s dad, her goal was to use philosopher’s stones to hop from body to body and live forever.
Even someone who hasn’t seen Brotherhood all the way through, or hasn’t read the manga completely, can see that Dante’s plan is a joke. It’s simple and stupid when compare to the big web of intrigue and deception Father weaves in the original story. Arakawa may have given the show permission to go their own way, but I seriously wish they’d put some more thought into it.
Black Butler Season 2
Now I discussed Kuroshitsuji in a previous post as one wickedly successful anime. In short summary, the young Earl Ciel Phantomhive makes a deal with a demon, Sebastian, to track down his parents’ killers in exchange for his soul. It’s a brilliant concept and hilarious show that’s really only guilty of yaoi-baiting the audience. The ending of season one was amazing, tying up all the dangling plot threads and giving the audience closure.
Ah, but the story hadn’t ended in the manga. In fact, it had a widely different storyline. So a second season was slated, despite the fact that the first ending was just perfect.
And I’d be lying if I thought it didn’t have anything to do with more money
One cannot simply call “the end” and “just kidding” in something like this. This big, powerful moment, in the end, is undone in an instant, losing its emotional value and becoming just another step in the time. That kind of bait-and-switch is frustrating and shows the dangers of an anime going too far ahead of the source material.
Fruit’s Basket “Non-Ending”
The last thing I can recall the most disappointment from is rather fitting as it was the last thing I saw of a series. Fruits Basket was my introduction to reverse-harem stories as a whole, along with some pretty heavy subjects. The story, in short, is all about Ms. Tohru Honda, a mildly thick but cute as a button high school student, giving a form of Pollyanna Therapy to the dysfunctional Sohma family. When they aren’t suffering from the family curse that turns them into creatures from the Zodiac, they tend to suffer from abusive relationships, social ostracization, and other problems. It’s thick stuff that’s far more dramatic in the manga. The anime gutted most of the juicy bits, but still had a nice story behind it.
And then… it just stopped.
Is that closure? NOOOO!
Granted, after discovering Kyo’s big secret, and facing off against the terrifying family matriarch/patriarch that caused most of the trauma, there’s not much to do. But the fact that the family curse is never resolved that any lingering feelings between Kyo and Tohru aren’t addressed completely is still are cause for concern. The non-ending of the anime is sad when compared to the manga.
In a way, it illustrates how it feels when we run into these “let downs.” It feels like this great show we were watching has just given up; it dropped the ball and walked away. It’s frustrating, annoying, and here’s to hoping I never have to lengthen this list.
But something tells me I’ll be back
Is there a moment in a show that let you down? Feel free to share in the angst and torment below. And don’t forget to like and follow for more content like this.