Many anime series have a dark ending, but few compare to the sheer darkness of some Japanese animation. Here are 15 great examples of these darker endings that will make you think twice about what’s happening on screen.
The “best dark action anime” is a list of 15 anime that have an intense and dark ending. Each one of these shows has a different take on how the story ends, making each one unique.
Let’s imagine you’re watching your new favorite anime and everything is fine until it abruptly ends in a manner that shakes you to your core; either it’s distressing, frightening, or both!
I’m sure we’ve all been in this predicament before.
We’re looking at the darkest anime endings spanning the gamut of both film and television series to commemorate that dreadful sensation (for some reason).
Sometimes an ending can surprise us by being considerably more ominous in tone than the whole of the anime, while other times things will start off gloomy and just become worse.
So be ready because we’ve got it all!
Note: Because we’re talking about anime endings, I’ll try to stay as far away from spoilers as possible. However, in certain cases, it may be impossible to avoid, therefore I’ve included a spoiler notice in the title.
Magikano (number 15)
When you stop and think about it, the conclusion of Magikano has some extremely worrisome repercussions for an anime that is centered around being a comedy, and a harem-based comedy at that.
I won’t give anything away about the finale, but for those who haven’t seen it, time loops are annoying, and one that means you’re trapped repeating the same errors again and over is much worse.
That’s the kind of terror that sneaks up on you on the second thought.
And for those of you who have seen it, I’m sure you felt the same growing dread I did once you realized what it meant for everyone involved.
14. Death Note (warning: there are spoilers ahead!)
I don’t mind giving small spoilers since this anime is so well-known, but if you’ve been living under a rock for a decade and haven’t seen Death Note for some reason, turn away now to prevent spoilers!
See, no matter which side of the coin you backed during the length of the program, the series’ conclusion provides two bleak options.
Things didn’t go so well if you were pulling for Light in his goal to create a clean world at whatever cost, did they?
And what if you believed in the power of good? Let’s just say there are a lot of bored Shinigami out there seeking for an excuse to watch a human drama once again…
Persona 4: The Golden Animation (Persona 4: The Golden Animation) (Persona 4:
While the mainstream anime version of Persona 4 does not quite strike the gloomy tones as strongly, the OVA in question absolutely flips the script on everything you’d anticipate to happen.
In fact, given the circumstances, I’m not convinced things could have gone much worse for Inaba and everyone else there.
When the last person you’d ever expect to betray your trust does so, you know there’s a finale on the way that will sap all of the pleasure you’ve connected with Persona 4.
Chrono Crusade is the 12th installment of the Chrono Crusade series.
When you’re seeing a situation play out and you know precisely what you don’t want to happen is going to happen, you get a strange sense of powerlessness.
However, there is nothing you can do about it.
Chrono Crusade, which is normally lighthearted and entertaining, accomplishes just that, taking us on an exhilarating journey right up to the last moments, when we are pelted with a ton of bricks with a sad face written on them.
Before the inevitable comes, we receive one final huge win, which helps to ease the pain.
However, there’s no disputing that this conclusion tarnishes the feel-good anime that preceded it.
11. Magnitude 8.0 in Tokyo
Get your handkerchiefs ready for this one, because it’s going to be a wild ride.
There will be tears if you have any kind of human feeling in you!
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 takes us on a dark and heartbreaking journey, dealing with the aftermath of an earthquake that has completely wrecked Japan – and the hardships and tribulations of a young brother and sister attempting to navigate their way through it.
But, approximately three episodes from the conclusion, something doesn’t feel quite right.
And when the puzzle pieces come into place, you might be excused for feeling completely depressed in your living room.
I’m not going to give anything away about this one since you have to see it for yourself!
If you’ve just read Gantz’s manga, you may be wondering what I’m talking about when I’m gushing about how grim the ending’s ramifications are.
Those courageous anime-only watchers, on the other hand, get me, and they get me well.
While the play has diverged significantly from the original material (and occasionally in a negative manner), the most significant – and frightening – modification is the finale.
For the die-hard fan of the series, the trip through the changes in the program may not be worth it. But trust me when I tell that if you read the manga and expected it to finish in the same manner, you’re in for a shock.
Rurouni Kenshin (Rurouni Kenshin) (Rurouni Kens
The story of former assassin Kenshin’s attempt to atone for the crimes of his dark and sometimes murderous past is a significant part of why “Rurouni Kenshin” is widely recognized as one of the finest shonen anime ever produced.
But, far before the finish, the story takes a dramatic turn with a significant revelation about the character – and a follow-up incident you couldn’t possibly see coming that throws about seventy spanners into the works.
It’s depressing and devastating, and it makes you feel both glad for the trip thus far and sorry for how it all turned out.
This one is deepest & darkest shades of black on the darkness scale, so be warned.
It’s one thing for a series to finish in a totally unexpected manner.
It’s quite another to have all of that series’ events made completely worthless along the road.
Therein lies the double whammy of Blood-conclusion; C’s a pretty conventional and 100 percent absolutely designed for adult audiences adventure frolic with more than a little bit of blood spilt and a whole bunch of “oh no, oh no” endings.
Actually, there’s only one ending that makes you do it.
But, in terms of endings, one is more than enough!
(Spoilers!) 7. Angel Beats!
What makes Angel Beats’ finale so special! You may wonder why things are so dismal.
Well, I’ll tell you, but be warned: there will be spoilers ahead, since I can’t think of a single way to express this without them – so please accept my apologies in advance!
The series was already depressing enough, what with everyone being dead.
However, at the conclusion of the last episode, the main character Otonashi, who had been charged with assisting individuals in the hereafter in avoiding misery and anguish, chooses to forego all of that in order to remain with another character.
Then what? That character vanishes.
Otonashi is last seen alone and sobbing before disappearing, leaving us with the understanding that everyone he was intended to rescue is now alone and suffering, just as he was. Depressing, to say the least.
6. Berserk mode
There are two things that made Berserk’s original run’s finale so harrowing.
The first reason is Griffith’s treatment and the extent to which his captors go to make him suffer, and I mean REALLY suffer.
We see everything in great detail as well.
But that’s not all there is to it.
Griffith, on the other hand, must make a decision.
And he takes a decision that changes the finale from dark to “I can hardly see my hand in front of my face, figuratively, because this is so goddamn dark,” as he puts it.
The ramifications are once again horrifyingly detailed.
And this transforms what might have been a bleak conclusion into one that leaves no room for debate.
5. The Ideon of Space Runaway
When a large-scale combat occurs in any media, there is usually some form of settlement – and then everyone can go on and reflect on the horrors of the war they experienced at the time.
With Space Runaway Ideon, it’s a little different.
The large-scale issue has been settled, but not in a manner that many people are happy with.
In fact, without giving anything away, I’d say that all ends up quite grim for everyone involved.
And the anime begins with such a bang, almost as if it would be free of the unavoidably disappointing conclusion.
No, sir, this one does not hold any punches when it comes to making spectators suffer.
Evangelion (Neon Genesis Evangelion) (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Nothing is ever straightforward for Shinji, in fact, nothing is ever simple for him.
As much as he grumbled about it, being a mech suit pilot was arguably the pinnacle of his whole life compared to what was to come.
In fact, when it comes to the show’s conclusion, Shinji arguably didn’t even deserve that small piece of glory!
Yes, it becomes quite dark very quickly. But, almost as suddenly, things start to become odd. I’m talking inexplicable at times, when you truly have to see the complete thing to understand how un-gettable it is.
The finale of Neon Genesis Evangelion is highly strange and leaves a lot of room for interpretation.
And each of those interpretations is as bleak as they come.
3. Days at School
I’m sure there are a few of you who read this and said to yourselves, “Nope, that conclusion was wonderful.” It’s a fantastic example of karma going full circle – and I’m also a psychopath!”
Aside from my stereotyping of readers, you’re true that the conclusion does, in one manner, provide a lot of pleasure.
In every other way, it is the most grim & overkill ending possible to cram onto the end of what started as (let’s not forget) a romance anime.
School Days starts out slow and then picks up steam in the middle. But, if you really want your socks to be blown off by how black it gets, I’d suggest hanging around till the finish.
2. Be Invoked: The Ideon
Yes, this movie-length sequel to Space Runaway Ideon is the answer to the question “how could it possibly get any worse?” You’ve probably seen the word “ideon” here and realized it looks familiar – yes, this movie-length sequel to Space Runaway Ideon is the answer to the question “how could it possibly get any worse?”
And it just gets worse from there.
It grows worse graphically – the use of a film budget extends to make all the deaths as horrible as possible – and it also manages to go worse in terms of despair.
Even yet, for one more hurrah, it turns up the volume on the finale of Space Ideon Runaway to 11, ensuring that no one is left unscathed.
I would avoid this like the plague if you don’t appreciate the universe’s destiny being very dismal.
1. The Fireflies’ Grave
Please don’t make me go into the reasons why Grave of the Fireflies is regarded as one of the darkest anime endings ever.
I honestly don’t think my small heart could handle it.
The story begins with two homeless orphans, both of whom were orphaned as a result of World War II firebombing, battling to live and slowly starving in different Japanese locations.
The last few scenes then begin. And it’s as if you’ve had all the good in the world plucked from your heart.
For a variety of reasons, Grave of the Fireflies is one of my all-time favorite flicks.
But you can bet I’ve considered skipping the conclusion so I don’t have to weep myself to sleep on several occasions.
The “top ten darkest anime endings” is a list that ranks the 10 best and most shocking anime endings. The list includes titles such as Death Note, Psycho-Pass, and Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the darkest anime ending?
A: That is difficult to answer. Many people have different opinions on what the darkest anime would be. Some say Death Note, others say Neon Genesis Evangelion, and still others might say Hunter X Hunter or Berserk.
What is the most darkest anime?
A: The most darkest anime is Black Lagoon.
What anime has the worst ending?
A: This is a hard question to answer, there are many different factors such as the studio that made it and what kind of genre it falls under. I would recommend watching the series until you get to the ending then deciding if it was worthy or not based on your personal opinion.
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