The most controversial manga and anime endings
Some anime and manga can be a mess from start to finish, but maybe worse are those who just don’t know how to hold the landing. While still having their supporters, these otherwise acclaimed works arguably crossed the finish line and sparked controversy along the way. From imperialism to instrumentalization, here are some conclusions that never seemed to match perfectly. (Watch out for spoilers from now on.)
Happiness forever did not match the rest of Evangelion
While the Neon Genesis Evangelion The TV series constantly involved character introspection, the complete change in tone in the last two episodes towards a philosophical study of its cast was shocking. Episode 24 introduced Kaworu and then beheaded him for attempting to initiate Third Impact, leaving the show to rush to an epic conclusion.
However, it all came to a halt for the last two episodes of intense psychological assessment as the characters faced off against the Human Instrumentality Project, which would combine all human souls into one. When Shinji smiled among the characters praising his decision to reject instrumentality at the end of Episode 26, it was hard to believe it was evangelization.
It’s no wonder that this simple, vague, happy ending sparked an uproar, and it wasn’t long before The end of Evangelion came to deliver a more action-packed conclusion. Recent reconstruction films leave it up to fans to decide which of the evangelization‘s the endings best suit their tastes.
Erased was too good for its own good
Erased was smart, suspenseful, punchy, and just plain good. In fact, it was too good. With something so well done, the ending of the anime might never have had the same impact as the rest of the series. The conclusion was rushed into two episodes, and a rather offhand wink from Satoru after he foiled his potential murderer made fans feel like it was too much of a loophole.
This ending also led to a feeling of betrayal. Everything Satoru knew had always been exposed, trusting viewers to draw their own conclusions based on his thoughts and experiences. This shattered the formula for Satoru to organize an entire circus to survive falling off a building without ever letting viewers know, changing the very essence of Satoru as the protagonist.
The manga had more time to properly stretch its own ending, and Satoru and Yashiro had a better chance to settle the score and reveal just how complicated their game can get.
Attack on Titan was everywhere
The start of the The attack of the Titans the manga was as promising as it was bloody. This allowed the 104th Team to grow and triumph over the years with roles that every main character would fall into. Each death had meaning, even if it was to show the cruelty of an enemy. There were a few mysteries, but the goal of reaching underground to find answers was tangible and gave the story solid direction.
However, as the manga progressed, a flood of new characters, politicians, Titan lore, and deaths for nothing more than shock value began to plague nearly every update. The quality of the story declined as the number of elements affecting it skyrocketed and issues that should have been treated with care, such as racism and abuse, were ignored. Even after Eren’s death, the story had to continue with a time jump to show just how much conflict was on the horizon. The latest panels of rampant imperialism left a bad aftertaste for many fans.
Why has the promised fantasy land strayed from its course?
The promised imaginary land the anime seemed to have done it, with a full manga series to draw on and a carefully paced Season 1 leaving Emma and the kids on the verge of escaping their fate of monster snacks. Season 2 took all of that potential and threw it out the nearest window, condensing all the rest of the manga into a single season that cut huge chunks of content and even neglected to feature the main villains of the series.
Fan favorite Norman was supposed to take out the evil royals as part of his arc, but instead the anime created new content for him that sent his character spiraling. Isabella’s fate and Emma’s sacrifice have also been altered, with Emma’s fate compiled into a screenshot montage – a huge rejection of her character and story. Many studios had slowed production due to COVID-19 while the show was in the works, but is that really a decent explanation for why The promised imaginary land got so bad or was something else going on behind the scenes?
Some fans are hoping for a reboot, but the title’s negative mark is intense after Season 2 and a reboot would likely be many years away, if ever.
The diary of the end of the future was a mess, and a mess and a mess
Newspaper of the future was riding high on his battle royale for the log holders to become the god of this world. However, just when everything seems to be settled with Yukiteru and Yuno the only remaining suitors, Yukiteru’s refusal to kill Yuno changes everything. Yuno reveals that she actually comes from another timeline where she became God, then traveled that timeline, double-killed her, and took her place to relive her romance with Yukiteru – and will now kill him for start all over again. Confusing enough?
The show was soon juggling three different timelines, and while an OVA helped alleviate some confusion, it was too, too fast. While the time jump was ultimately good for many characters in Timeline Three, it is up to fans to decide whether the happiness of the characters or the integrity of the series is more important. The overall conclusion seems to be that a different ending for Yukiteru and Yuno would have been a lot more satisfying.
It’s a rare ending that is not the source of contention. There will almost always be at least one underdeveloped character, unrealized romantic relationship, or unclear symbolism. However, some endings seem to exist to cause confusion and controversy, with arguments flying all over the place as to how good it was, how bad it was, or how it shouldn’t even exist. While evangelization took two more hits at the end and the The attack of the Titans the end of the anime is yet to come, some manga and anime missed their shot at a satisfying conclusion, leaving only what could have been to linger on.
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