Sometimes, anime can be a mistake. Despite good intentions, these worst anime damaged the reputations of their directors, studios, and genres. Some of these series even killed a few careers.
Yes, these worst anime were mistakes.
Yutaka Yamamoto was once considered the future face of anime. He exploded onto the scene due to choreographing the dance sequence for the ending theme to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The hit dance landed him a job at Kyoto Animation to direct Lucky Star. He was fired after 4 episodes.
Bitter from the experience, Yamamoto went to work on an original series called Fractale. He told the press that it would kill the moe genre, usher in a new era for anime, and make KyoAni regret firing him. Armed with big words and backing from A-1 Pictures, Fractale would air on the popular Noitamina block.
However, Fractale was failure. The series is still the least watched anime in Noitamina history. Yamamoto tried passing the low numbers on account of the 2011 Touhoku earthquake, but viewership was low before the tragic event. Even worst anime, the series only managed to sell 705 copies.
The failure was a severe blow to Yamamoto’s reputation. He managed a small comeback with 2014’s Wake Up Girls!, but he has since left the anime industry.
Blood-C has a cult following in the international community for being a campy, unintentional comedy of a “horror” series. In Japan, it is considered CLAMP’s greatest failure.
Blood-C has the distinction of being CLAMP’s first and last original anime work. From the start, the series was blasted for having a nonsensical plot and relying on gore to be edgy. As a result, the anime only sold 1,588 copies in 2011.
CLAMP tried to salvage Blood-C with a theatrical movie, but it was bomb in the box office. The group disappeared from the anime scene, and drastically cut back on their manga output. However, the return of Cardcaptor Sakura could revive their careers.
3. Martian Successor Nadesico: The Prince of Darkness
Let’s take a trip back to 1996. Fans remember Neon Genesis Evangelion for deconstructing the mecha genre, but Martian Successor Nadesico was equally as popular for celebrating the mecha genre.
Nadesico was a close rival to Evangelion in terms of viewership, character popularity, and sales. However, the momentum died with 1998’s Prince of Darkness theatrical movie.
What was billed as the first movie of a trilogy ended up killing Nadesico and its popularity. Xebec decided to tone down the humor and up the drama in an attempt to ape Evangelion. Fan backlash was so strong, that the future two movies were canceled, and Nadesico is rarely mentioned by Xebec.
To give modern fans an idea of how much of disaster the movie was, image Attack on Titan being canceled because of the live-action movies.
Do you know how hard it is to kill an entire genre? Because that is exactly what Himegoto did.
The otokonoko genre is one that focuses on a male crossdresser who either gets the attention of girls or other guys due to their feminine looks. The community refers to them as “Anime traps” and the genre is aimed at guys.
Back to Himegoto, the series was considered to be highly homophobic and transphobic by Japanese standards, which has killed any attempts to create worst anime in the genre. We still find characters that fit the mold though.
Cosprayers is infamous for being a terrible a series due to awkward pacing, a nonsensical story, and terrible animation. Cosprayers was considered to be an embarrassment for the lead script writer, who asked to have their name removed from the series.
6. Magical Warfare
Need an easy topic for a successful anime? Make a romance series set in a magic high school, and you’re pretty gold. Unless you happen to make Magical Warfare.
Madhouse’s adaptation of the semi-popular light novel was one of the worst anime of 2014. Magical Warfare had low viewership numbers, even by Madhouse standards, and only sold 422 copies.
In fact, the light novel creator went as far to call the anime “a terrible mistake” and wished that he put up a stronger fight against the adaptation of his work.
7. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood was a mistake. Studio A.P.P.P. adapted the manga into a movie in 2007 to celebrate Hirohiko Araki’s 25th year of being a manga author.
Boy, did Araki hate the movie. To date, the Phantom Blood movie has never been released on home video, and only partial footage can be found on the internet. One rumor is that Araki has done everything in has power to prevent the movie from being released after the initial screening.
Talk about the worst anime anniversary gift ever.
8. D. Gray-man
Katsura Hoshino hated the job TMS Entertainment did adapting D.Gray-man. From the filler to changing character personalties, she has been fairly vocal about her disapproval of the anime.
TMS Entertainment had to practically beg to get Hallow approved for 2016, but Hoshino was adamant that she got final say on every episode.
9. Warriors of the Wind (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind)
New World Pictures was the first movie studio to localize one of Studio Ghibli’s movies into English. In 1985, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was edited and re-worked into Warriors of the Wind, which was billed as a children’s adventure movie.
Hayao Miyazaki was angered to the point that he refused to allow any of Studio Ghibli’s movies to be localized. It took Disney, and multiple contractual agreements, to reverse Miyazaki’s opinion. Now, every Studio Ghibli movie has a “no cut” clause, stating that the movie has to be faithful with no re-worked scenes.