A story without an ending is a tragedy, and nowhere is that more apparent than with anime. You see, the truth of our favorite hobby is that it really is a business. An anime, in many cases, is created to sell more source material, figures, merchandise, or even just to build the fan base. If it fails to create more fans of a series that buy more stuff, it ends up getting cancelled. Of course, that is not the only reason an anime gets cancelled, sometimes they run out of source material to adapt and don’t want to do filler. Sometimes the studio just runs out of money in the budget. Regardless, in many cases, an anime gets labeled as “bad” because it failed to tell the real story that it was meant to because of cancellation.
So what are some anime series that could have been better if they were given a chance to tell their real stories?
There is no arguing that Ranma is a pretty good show to watch, but it has the same problem that all Rumiko Takahashi series have – the source material was loooong. Furthermore, it was material that you could easily fit a few chapters into one episode, thus it caught up to the source manga very quickly. Eventually, they had to settle on a filler ending because they just didn’t have anything else to adapt and the ratings continued to plummet.
Despite being Rumiko Takahashi’s best-selling manga, the anime flailed. The same thing happened to Inuyasha as well. Her series are just too long to become anime series, at least until the source material is wrapped up.
Do you know that the Deadman Wonderland manga is actually pretty good and has a really passionate fan base? The same could not be said of its anime adaption. While it is beautifully animated, that is all the praise it can get. It cut out key characters, key moments, and then spit in everyone’s face by ending the series in a way that would make a second season difficult. They could have at least left it open. Now fans can only hope for a properly reworked series.
In the late 90’s this series was pretty popular among young female anime fans. It seemed doomed to be canceled when it was approaching the source material and the author hurt her wrist, preventing her from continuing. However, she then provided input to a large part of the anime. However, it seems that she didn’t get on well with the director of her series, though. She vowed that as long as Studio DEEN has the animation rights, a second season is never happening. Maybe that’s why the longer the series goes on, the more it deviates from the manga.
Martian Successor Nadesico
This was a pretty popular series way back when, notable as a lighthearted space-faring comedy. However, the series ended, not so much with cancellation, but intending to continue through movies for awhile. Unfortunately, the movie that was released decided to take away everything everyone loved from the series, turning it into a serious and seriously boring story. We may never get to see what happens to those misfits.
Kenshin is actually a pretty popular series, and fans did indeed eat the anime up while it was following the source material. Unfortunately, this series got caught in the common trap of catching up the manga. Without another full arc to adapt, they resorted to filler. Of course, fan interest rapidly deteriorated and the show was eventually canned. Although the show had an okay end through the Reflection OVA, it is still not the same ending that the manga had. The manga actually has a happier ending.
High School of the Dead
This series may not have been officially canceled, but hope for a second season pretty much officially died. Unlike other series that are cancelled for not making enough money, unfortunately for High School of the Dead, the author of the original manga passed away in 2017. This means neither the anime nor the manga is likely to get a conclusion.
Before Hiro Mashima hit it big with his Fairy Tail series, he had the not such a hit with Rave Master. However, that’s not technically true. The Rave Master manga sold pretty well and was actually critically acclaimed, but the same can’t be said for the shitshow that was the anime series. The anime series only adapted a small fraction of the 35-volume manga series before being canned, the reason being is that older anime fans didn’t respond well to the cheesy dub and the relatively basic plot line. Really the dub made it aimed at a much younger fan base than it could or should have been.
Oh, Claymore. You were such a beautiful anime series and pleased fans new and old alike up to a certain point. Unfortunately, this series made some mistakes. It started before the source material was even close to finished, it left much unadapted, and the longer the anime went on, the more it deviated. It was suspected that they ran out of money and the lowering viewership led to the cancellation. Unfortunately, the alternate ending tacked onto the anime also cut ties for hope of a second season.
Stupid Gantz anime. You did such a great job adapting the first three arcs and then stopped dead in your tracks before one of the best arcs of the series. Of course, they didn’t stop because they were cancelled, they literally stopped so they could make a filler arc that would be kind of understandable if they were trying to wrap up the series, but it doesn’t give a very fulfilling conclusion. It does, however, prevent a third season, so there is that. Like with other series, the only hope for Gantz now is a complete remake.
There are a lot of other great series that were cancelled before their time. Did we miss yours? Let us know in the comments section below.
Founder of Recommend Me Anime. Combine 5 years of freelance writing with 15 years of anime fandom, and the result is a site that is (hopefully) more interesting to browse than your average news and episode recap anime site.