Poll: Ten Anime And Manga With The Most Unhappy Endings Ever 

Poll: Ten Anime And Manga With The Most Unhappy Endings Ever 
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Not everything turns out like you hope it does. Not life, not manga, and certainly not anime.

[Images via GirlsChannel | raymiyatake | Amazon]

Goo Ranking conducted this poll last month, asking 500 people in Japan (a 50/50 split between men and women) to list anime with “miserably” bad endings. Below you can see the top 10.

This article doesn’t have spoilers, but folks in the comments might chime in as to why they think these were selected.

10. Death Note

(Image via GirlsChannel)

[Image via GirlsChannel]

8. School Days*

(Image via lucky7sutar)

[Image via lucky7sutar]

*School Days and the entry below received the same number of votes, hence the two number eights.

8. Space Warrior Baldios

(Image via chesirecat0512)

[Image via chesirecat0512]

7. A Dog of Flanders

(Image via buzz-plus)

[Image via buzz-plus]

6. Fullmetal Alchemist

(Image via Naver Matome)

[Image via Naver Matome]

5. Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato

(Image via Middle Edge)

[Image via Middle Edge]

4. Phoenix

(Image via akichu16)

[Image via akichu16]

3. The Rose of Versailles

(Image via shinomae)

[Image via shinomae]

2. Space Runaway Ideon

(image via anisonx)

1. Grave of the Fireflies

(Image via kahorisajp)

[Image via kahorisajp]

Of course Grave of the Fireflies is first. Of course! It’s one of the saddest movies ever made. But you’ll be interested to know that the number two choice, Space Runaway Ideon, lost by only six votes.


  • Ah School Days, such a good anime.

    First anime I saw where being indecisive in a harem genre had horrible, horrible consequences.

    • Sad?
      More like “This is so horrifying, I think I’ll step into the path of a moving bus to wake myself up from this dream. It’s just a dream, right? RIGHT?”

  • Unhappy Endings…

    No mention of Plastic Memories, or Anohana, or Death Parade… Well I guess to each their own.

    Does the original FMA count when the OVA movie rectified the sad ending?

    • Damn, i loved Clannad!
      Yes it had a very very brutal chapter in the story but the ending itself wasnt unhappy.
      Good pick though

  • Death Note has a sad ending? How? The ending’s straight out of Greek Tragedy (antagonist is undone by his own hubris and pays the ultimate price).

    Apparently 500 people in Japan never saw Air or Clannad either.

    • Air fucking ruined me, as my first exposure to ‘sad ending’ anime.
      I still refuse to watch Clannad, as I hear it’s even worse. I also noped right the fuck out of Plastic Memories after the first episode and I could see exactly where that was going to fucking go.

  • Can’t argue that “Grave of Fireflies” is also my top 1. I would put “Shigatsu wa kimi no uso” (Your lie in april) in second though. :,)

  • How does Full Metal Alchemist make this list. Everything is fine and Dandy at the end, sure you lose a few side characters along the way but that’s part of a good story. I don’t get this at all.

    • Which one are you talking about though panther? The first anime series, or brotherhood which follows the original manga? They have very different endings :B Also the ending of the first anime series without the OVA is relatively sad considering the brothers get split up.

        • Gotcha. So Brotherhood, best ending imo. In the original series when they Maes Hughes story finishes *cough*, the story splits as the manga wasn’t finished at that point. So the original anime series ends very very differently. Like… I can’t sum it up because it takes a totally different line than brotherhood 😛 Suffice to say Edward ends up in 1930s Germany in a parallel world, and Alphonse gets his body back, there’s no father just another evil person… it’s all a bit crazy 😛

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