9 Anime Endings That Literally Made Us Say “WTF”


“WTF” moments are an accepted — and often even anticipated — part of anime. After all, the genre is populated with titles as strange as Reverse Harem or Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, and accepts the feasibility of characters with “naturally” green, blue and pink hair. When watching anime, a certain level of weirdness is part of the appeal.

Despite being implicitly irreverent, WTF bad anime endings are totally unacceptable. After a viewer has invested a lot of time and emotion into a series or franchise, the hope is that the narrative arc will come to a satisfying finish. When that doesn’t happen, you know there’s going to be trouble. 

Inexplicable anime endings are not necessarily bad, particularly if the rest of the story has presented a whole heap of craziness. After all, if an anime is about mystical card games played on motorbikes in the future, how buttoned-up can the ending possibly be? 

Even so, weird anime endings can still take people by surprise. Whether the story undergoes a massively unexpected tonal shift, throws a twist in at the very last moment, or just breaks the viewer’s hearts into thousands of pieces after convincing them that everything would be just fine, a sloppy ending can sour one’s memory of an entire series. 

Here’s a list of some of the most beloved anime that ended on a weird note. 

9. Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist

Alchemy, mysticism and philosophy collide in the world of Fullmetal Alchemist. The series is full of WTF moments, from cruel and sudden deaths, to hidden identity revelations, to that chimera scene involving an unfortunate dog, a more unfortunate family, and one very disturbed man.

While the show is no stranger to insanity, it saves its biggest “wait… WHAT?” moment for the very end of the series. After Alphonse sacrifices himself to revive Edward using the philosopher’s stone, Ed repays his brother’s sacrifice with one of his own.

Except, Ed doesn’t die. Instead, he’s transported into a parallel world. Our world, circa World War II, where he’ll spend the next two years attempting to get back to his own universe.

8. Magikano


This seinen series follows a young witch named Ayumi, who is cursed to lose her powers, and Haruo, the only person who can save her from this fate. Ayumi’s mission is to try to awaken Haruo’s magical potential, but first she has to get around his three super-protective sisters, who also happen to secretly be witches.

In the final episode, Haruo’s potential is dramatically revealed to be linked to the evil and powerful Demon King. However, this actually doesn’t matter, because the entire world is stuck in a never-ending Groundhog Day loop with no evidence to suggest that each new reoccurrence will be any different from the last. So, the whole show was pointless then? 

7. Akira


Based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s groundbreaking manga of the same name, the plot and imagery in Akira is absolutely bonkers, and the ending doesn’t leave viewers with any easily decipherable answers.

After Tetsuo — teen motorbike hooligan living in Neo Tokyo in 2019 — is infected by the byproduct of a covert military experiment, his body and mind become monstrous, and he is instilled with godlike powers.

The resulting saga ends with a bang (a Big Bang, in fact). The closing shot of the film sends the audience rushing through a psychedelic tunnel that — though this is not immediately obvious — is actually the start of a whole new universe. Woah.

6. Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt

Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt

With The Powerpuff Girls’s aesthetic and Adult Swim’s sense of raucous humor, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is yet another example of Gainax pushing creative boundaries. It’s also another example of a classic WTF Gainax ending.

Titular sisters Panty and Stocking are angels with super-powered lingerie and a love of sugar. Like most celestial beings, their job involves slaying evil things, with Garterbelt acting as the “Charlie” to their “Angels.”

The show is wonderfully surreal, but nothing could prepare viewers for the curveball it throws in the final episode. As the two sisters are enjoying their “walk off into the sunset” moment, Panty suddenly chops her sister into pieces and reveals that she’s been a demon the whole time. It’s hilariously fitting, but super frustrating in terms of closure. 

5. Berserk

The legendarily gruesome shonen series Beserk follows the medieval warriors Griffith and Guts on their bloody quest for kingly status. Though there’s plenty of political commentary to ground the action, the fantasy elements really crank up to 11 at the end, delivering a truly twisted finale.

After Guts rescues Griffith from wasting away in a torture dungeon, Griffith’s necklace suddenly becomes a horrifying, screaming face, turns the world into a living nightmare, and offers Griffith the chance to become the ruler of Hell. After slaughtering all of his friends to secure the deal (and engaging in an absolutely sickening rape scene) Griffith takes the job, and the series abruptly ends with Guts walking off towards his next adventure.

4. Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann was produced by Gainax, the same studio who made Evangelion. While this connection doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the show’s ability to conclude with an understandable and satisfying ending, Gurren Lagann‘s last episode is not the crushing disappointment that Evangelion‘s was.

Unlike EvangelionGurren Lagann’s finale delivers with mech-fighting on a cosmic level. After securing victory at great cost, the hero Simon is finally free to host his dream wedding. Right after vows are exchanged, his bride Nia — who turns out to be an alien powered by the very entity that Simon heroically blew up — dissolves before his eyes. Apparently, Gainax doesn’t want to give Simon a break. 

3. Clannad

If you love to empty tissue boxes in one sitting then you should definitely binge Clannad. On the other hand, if you enjoy endings that make logical sense then maybe this is one to avoid. 

Clannad centers on a young man named Tomoya whose life goes from bad to worse. First, the love of his life dies right after she gives birth to their daughter. Then, after years of depression-fuelled neglect, the daughter dies too.

The collective tragedy compels Tomoya to inexplicably travel back in time to when his wife was still alive. Or maybe he just slips permanently into a trauma-induced dream. Or maybe he wakes up in the real world at the end to discover the whole thing was a nasty dream? We’ll never really know for sure.

2. School Days

At first glance, School Days seems like your typical, innocuous, slice of life romantic drama. The story revolves around high school student Makoto and his troubled relationships with two girls: Totohona, who he falls head over heels for, and Sekai, who becomes increasingly jealous of the lovebirds she accidentally played matchmaker for.

But none of the rising tension throughout the series could prepare viewers for the explosive and graphic ending. Sekai — suddenly demonically possessed by the “scorned woman” trope — goes all knife-happy on Makoto, killing him. After discovering Makato’s body, Totohona then turns the knife on Sekai in order to find out whether or not she fibbed about being pregnant. In the end, her hunch that turns out to be correct. Yay?

1. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Evangelion is considered to be one of the greatest anime ever made. It’s also considered to be one of the most difficult anime to wrap your head around, and the bizarre ending to the 24-episode series is no exception.

After 23 episodes of convoluted theology, Freudian sexual drama, and smashy-crashy mecha-action, protagonist Shinji finds out that the shady and powerful organization he worked for decided to merge all of humanity into one big soup of souls.

The resulting finale wasn’t the climactic conclusion fans had hoped for. Instead, Shinji mopes about in a chair for a few minutes before having an epiphany about his self-worth. When this happens, everyone he knew in life appears to applaud and congratulate him.