Anime watchers always search for the best shows the medium has to offer. With the amount of produced series escalating with every season, the fierce competition forces anime creators to impress fans in the show’s first moments. The infamous “three-episode rule” – a principle many fans use to quickly determine the series’ worthiness in the first three episodes, makes an outstanding launch even more crucial for anime’s success.
However, some shows that manage to hook the audience on first impressions can go downhill rapidly, leaving an already invested audience gravely disappointed. These anime series seemed intriguing based on their premise, first few episodes, or even held a high bar of quality for an entire season. Yet, they all suffered a disastrous setback, destroying their reputation.
10/10 Kabaneri Of The Iron Fortress Couldn’t Make Its Plot Flow
While many argue that Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress had a rough start, often accused of ripping off the much more well-established survival action series, Attack on Titan, the aspects that set Kabaneri apart were enough to hook the fans.
The show’s first few episodes were extremely promising, introducing viewers to a gory, zombie-infested steampunk world, sleek animation, and memorable characters. Unfortunately, the more the show progressed, the less sense its plot made. Becoming more confusing and convoluted with each episode, Kabaneri failed to repeat the massive success of its famous counterpart.
9/10 Kado: The Right Answer Was The Biggest Disappointment For Science Fiction Fans
The emergence of Kado: The Right Answer, a witty and thought-provoking anime about Japanese bureaucrats trying to communicate with an extraterrestrial civilization, was a celebratory occasion for sci-fi buffs.
Kado sparked eager discussions within its fanbase, engaging people in its mature science fiction storyline. Everything about this show started with great promise, yet, it quickly destroyed the audience’s hopes, turning into a trainwreck. Kado seemingly lost confidence in its narrative abilities, ditching the sophisticated sci-fi narrative halfway through and bringing in redundant battle shonen tropes. Expectedly, fans weren’t ecstatic about how the show played out.
8/10 The Detective Is Already Dead Is Not As Interesting As Its Title Suggests
Based on the title and promotional material alone, The Detective Is Already Dead promised potential viewers an intriguing detective drama with a sophisticated plotline and inventive characters. However, everyone who has decided to give The Detective Is Already Dead a shot quickly learned not to judge the book by its cover.
The show lowers the audience’s expectations by revealing its true nature early on. Behind a clever, intriguing facade of a gorgeous mystery series hides a raunchy, sleep-inducing comedy full of awkward fanservice. Disappointing as it is, The Detective Is Already Dead left most fans infuriated.
7/10 Charlotte Didn’t Have Enough Time To Explore Its Interesting Premise
An intriguing premise is not enough to make an anime series great, as the idea is worthless without proper execution. Charlotte is one of anime’s most notorious examples of an incredible premise that fell apart quickly, leaving the viewers disappointed.
The series tried to give it all to its hungry viewers, luring them into a world of mysterious people with superpowers. Unfortunately, the series bit off more than it could chew. It spent the first half seemingly establishing the story’s plot and characters through episodic anecdotes and failing to cram the entire convoluted plot in the remaining half.
6/10 Babylon Aimed Too High And Failed To Meet The Fans’ Expectations
The political mystery series Babylon gripped the audience with its profound first few episodes, earning countless praises for its magnificent cinematography and clever, investing plot. The show’s first half continues to build up the viewers’ expectations.
Beyond a few low points, Babylon remains a mature and thematically dense sociopolitical mystery. However, all of its greatness turns into absurdity in the second half. After a short break in broadcasting, Babylon returns as a prosaic and nonsensical political thriller, with people in power turning into madmen and all characters losing any sense of relatability.
5/10 The Promised Neverland’s Second Season Was A Notorious Disaster
The first season of the psychological mystery shonen The Promised Neverland took the anime community by storm. The suspenseful, dramatic story of a group of orphans uncovering twisted, cruel secrets in their seemingly harmless facility was gripping and showed great promise.
Manga fans only confirmed the anime watchers’ high expectations, promising even more excitement to come in season two. Unfortunately, The Promised Neverland’s second season left everyone disappointed. It turned into a disaster, cutting out some of the most beloved parts of the manga and rushing the plot.
4/10 Bleach Became Too Comfortable With Repetition
Once considered one of Shonen Jump’s “big three”, Bleach started extremely strong, introducing fans to inventive power systems, incredible, relatable characters, and intricate world-building. The famed Soul Society arc is, to this day, considered one of the best story arcs in battle shonen history, and fans still reminisce about its greatness.
Nevertheless, Bleach’s fame was short-lived compared to its counterparts, One Piece and Naruto. Many fans started to notice the plot’s redundancy after the Soul Society arc, pointing out the story’s lack of creativity. Over time, Bleach sank into oblivion, doomed by its gradual decrease in quality.
3/10 Wonder Egg Priority’s Progression Made Viewers Uncomfortable
Wonder Egg Priority was considered a brilliant hidden gem at the beginning of the Winter 2021 season. Gorgeous in its art style and thought-provoking themes, this show promised to be the next dark magical girl phenomenon, even darker and more complex than its predecessors.
Unfortunately, the promise of greatness was never fulfilled, as Wonder Egg Priority’s demise lay in its inability to treat its heavy themes with nuance and subtlety. Soon, the viewers stopped understanding what the series was trying to say. The way it handled such difficult subjects as suicide, self-harm, and abuse became uncomfortably insensitive.
2/10 The Rolling Girls Shifted Gears From Greatness To Disappointment
The Rolling Girls’ first episodes were an explosion of vivid color and endless enthusiasm, luring the audience with a promise of even more exciting things to come. The series follows four girls on their journey through a dystopian post-war Japan, which was broken into ten different criminal-led nations.
The intrigue of The Rolling Girls’ premise is short-lived as episode three shifts the focus to completely different characters and ultimately shatters the fans’ dreams of clever worldbuilding and vibrant adventures. As the show’s energy dies down, it becomes a disappointing letdown.
1/10 Guilty Crown Had A Lot Of Wasted Potential
Guilty Crown was capable of hooking the viewers within its first moments, as the audience could not turn their eyes away from the majestic action blossoming on-screen. This series had the production resources to become the next acclaimed masterpiece.
Guitly Crown brought together some of the industry’s most talented animators, composers, and writers to create something truly special. Nevertheless, Guilty Crown’s messy character writing and nonsensical mecha plotline ruined its chance for greatness. Remembered as a massive disappointment, this series turned out to be bland eye candy with no real substance.
NEXT: 10 Terrible Mecha Anime Fans Grew To Love