Japan is a country rife with a unique culture of its own that people from all over the world have become highly invested in, and for good reason. After all, the fact of the matter is that this culture that we speak of has leaked out in a manner that is nothing short of amazing, allowing millions to embrace what is one of the most unique yet engrossing experiences that the Land of the Rising Sun churns out on a constant basis.
However, the fact of the matter is that there are simply way too many things to consider in this regard when it comes to speaking about the absolute bevy of experiences that we've mentioned before, so instead, we're going to focus on one particular export of this country that has seen immense levels of success over the past few decades. It shouldn't come as a surprise at this point — especially if you've read the title — that the thing we're talking about is anime.
Do we really need to tell you just how popular anime really is? I mean, if you've clicked on this list, then it's pretty obvious that you — at the very least — know what anime is all about. However, don't lull yourself into a false state and think that every form and type of anime is good — if anything, there are some REALLY bad apples in the mix that you should avoid at all costs. So, without further ado, here's 15 of the worst anime series coupled with 10 of the best.
25 Best: One-Punch Man
One-Punch Man has solidified its place as one of the best anime series of all time, and for good reason. After all, the source material itself is nothing short of extraordinary, and this — coupled with the fact that Madhouse is excellent with its animation — means that the series is destined for success.
However, fans are worried about the second season.
We say this mainly because of the fact that Toei Animation has taken the rights for this season, which strongly indicates towards the fact that the animation quality might not be as great since that's not Toei's strongest suit.
24 Worst: Berserk (2016)
How? How did this happen? Why was one of the best dark fantasy manga of all time adapted so horribly in 2016 — especially when one looks at the fact that the first proper adaption was actually quite excellent!
2016's Berserk was one of the biggest letdowns in anime history.
The best way this line can be encompassed in a single word is as such — animation. The fact of the matter is that Berserk was a horrible anime to look at, with drab visuals and horrible direction to boot.
23 Best: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
When the anime adaptation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was finally announced, fans were left with two takeaways. Firstly, this was an announcement that was a long time coming. Secondly, the first arc of this anime would be horrible.
Thankfully, the quality of this anime never failed us.
In fact, it must be said that JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is one of the most beautiful anime's to look at, simply because of the exaggerated nature of its animation and a story that is epic in every sense of the word.
22 Worst: Musashi Gundoh
Whoo boy. Let us give you an exercise — try searching for the worst anime series of all time and peruse multiple lists for the same. We can bet that this show will definitely be the cream of the crop in this regard.
After all, the fact of the matter is that nothing can redeem the horror show that is Musashi Gundoh. Horrible animation, unlikable characters, an uninteresting story — you name all the bad elements of an anime, and Musashi Gundoh definitely sports all of them!
21 Best: Attack On Titan
Attack On Titan took over the entire world by storm with its impactful and gut-wrenching first episode. Ever since then, this show has never looked back, adopting a relatively strong source material and transforming it into a visual spectacle for the ages.
The stories of Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and the rest of the characters is something that is nothing short of absolutely enthralling, allowing us to enjoy this post-apocalyptic premise that is actually not wearing us down, surprisingly enough.
20 Worst: Government Crime Investigation Agent Zaizen Jotaro
However, you know what wears us down? Overly long titles with little to no substance that does nothing to explain what the show is all about. This is perhaps the first problem when it comes to the awful anime that is — and be prepared to take a deep breath now — Government Crime Investigation Agent Zaizen Jotaro.
Well, we'll never mention this title again now, and for good reason. After all, the fact of the matter is that this show checks off all the cliches on the list, and doesn't even manage to execute even a single one of these cliches properly.
If that isn't a red flag, I don't know what is.
19 Worst: Ice
You'd think that a show with just three episodes might not be all that bad, right? Well, feast your eyes upon the disaster that is Ice — isn't that an incredibly unique name — and you'll figure out exactly how bad a show can be even with three meager episodes.
The setting might be somewhat interesting — humanity is on the verge of extinction as all males and most females have been wiped out — but the show does nothing to justify its premise, instead featuring a number of uninteresting storylines that accomplish little to nothing in the grand scheme of things.
18 Best: Death Note
Do we really need to state why Death Note is one of the best anime series of all time? After all, the fact of the matter is that most people got into anime in the first place because of this brilliant series that makes the most of its interesting premise — unlike the show we've discussed before.
The story of Light Yagami as he becomes Kira and gets into a duel with the infamous L is a tale that needs to be seen to be appreciated.
If you haven't seen this show and call yourself an anime fan... well, shame on you.
17 Worst: Honoka
At a first glance, trying to make an entire anime series in flash is an effort that should ideally be commended. After all, when Newgrounds was at the very top, flash animation was one of the hottest topics.
However, not all good ideas are executed properly, and Honoka was an "anime" — if one can even call it that — that simply wasn't executed well. We say this mainly because of the fact that the flash animation is absolutely awful to watch.
16 Worst: Superior Defender Gundam Force
The Gundam series is — without a shadow of a doubt — one of the most well-known mecha anime series around, and you'd think that the 25th anniversary of this series would bring to light a new show around the same that would be a treat to watch. However, if that's what you truly believed, then your expectations were set rather horribly.
We say this mainly because of the fact that the show that was eventually released — Superior Defender Gundam Force — was a cel-shaded travesty geared solely towards kids.
What a slap in the fact of hardcore Gundam fans.
15 Best: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the greatest shonen anime series of all time — and no, we're not exaggerating. The intriguing system of alchemy, coupled with a colorful cast of characters and an excellent story, make for some of the most engrossing experiences in anime history.
The simple fact that there are two anime adaptations of the manga — both of which happen to be great in their own right — should speak volumes when it comes to the pedigree of the source material that's been adapted.
14 Worst: Mars Of Destruction
Honestly, a part of us feels kinda bad to place this anime in the worst category. After all Mars Of Destruction is put in the same category as Troll and The Room — an anime so bad that it's actually quite entertaining to watch.
Humanity's fighting a bunch of aliens called "Ancients," but no one knows who or what these creatures are in the first place. The characters seem like competent beings until the anime sheds its skin and uncovers them for the buffoons that they actually are.
It's a wild ride — just don't expect poetry in motion.
13 Worst: Generation Of Chaos
An anime based off of a video game doesn't necessarily need to be bad. One might understand why people hold this unjust perception — most forms of entertainment inspired by video games tend to simply be nothing more than insipid pieces of drivel. However, with notable exceptions like Castlevania, there's bound to be some kind of expectations set anyway.
Generation Of Chaos takes a look at those expectations, gives off a highly inconsistent and awkward laugh — somewhat like the anime itself — and offers viewers with one of the most laughably bad viewing experiences they'll ever witness.
12 Best: Parasyte -The Maxim-
The story of Parasyte -the maxim- is not for the faint of heart (and the stomach), but boy is it highly entertaining once you get over this hurdle. The story of Shinichi and Migi as they both transform into steadfast friends is a treat to witness in every sense of the word.
The show has its fair share of tragedies, and the action scenes are definitely worth mentioning when one talks about this series. All in all, it's an excellent anime that was a long time coming — after all, the manga itself ended its run more than two decades ago.
11 Worst: Hand Shakers
Quick question — do you want to give yourself a possible migraine by looking at one of the worst visuals in anime history? If your answer to this question is no, then congratulations — you're one of the sensible people who didn't work on Hand Shakers.
From a horrible premise in which people hold hand and form a pact — which is why they're ingeniously called Hand Shakers — all the way to a horrible rip-off of much better anime series such as Fate and Future Diary, there's virtually no reason why you'd want to watch this horrible travesty.
10 Best: Future Diary
Since we're already mentioned its name, why not talk about an anime series that's far better than its cheap imitation that has already been discussed above? Future Diary — or Mirai Nikki if you're a weeaboo — is a great show that doesn't overstay its welcome while simultaneously providing us with a tale for the ages.
Focusing on Yukiteru and Yuno — the latter of which happens to be one of the best yandere characters in anime history — the story is a wild ride that will take you into a zone that you simply won't be able to get out of.
9 Worst: Pupa
Whoo boy. Talking about Pupa is going to be a wide ride indeed, simply because we have no clue where to begin. Just let us state beforehand that you if have some highly unusual and unethical fantasies, then Pupa is right up your alley... but we still won't recommend it nevertheless.
Utsutsu — what an annoying name — and his little sister Yume are the focus of this particular tale, with both of them being infected by the Pupa virus. However, since "plot" is but a word, the virus has different effects on both of them. Utsutsu gains regenerative powers, while Yume reaches the verge of infection and has to feed on her brother to survive.
We told you it was weird.
8 BEST: Steins;Gate
Remember when we said how anime based on video games can be good? Well, Steins;Gate is a shining example of that. In the veins of Future Diary, this show centers around the theme of time manipulation with a premise that is nothing short of exhilarating.
Gaining the ability to send text messages into the past, the main characters attain the ability to change the present as they know it. This creates an interesting dynamic is an absolute treat to witness.
7 Worst: Ghost Stories
You know an anime is absolutely horrible when the localization team itself gives up on the entire affair and decides to have some fun by dubbing absolute nonsense instead of the literal translation.
That's just how bad Ghost Stories actually is — there's simply no logic attached to the notion of this series, with a plot that is barely there and characters who have absolutely no intellect whatsoever. Thankfully, the dubbing team decided to have some fun and wrote over the lines with their own comedic ones, making for some excellent television.
6 Worst: Skelter Heaven
This time, let's talk about an anime from a video game that isn't even remotely close to emulating the brilliance discussed in the previous entry. Skelter Heaven is an absolute travesty to watch, and definitely not worth anyone's time.
To illustrate just how bad this show actually is, just know that the same studio behind this travesty made Mars Of Destruction. Thankfully enough, Skelter Heaven is not as bad as Mars Of Destruction... but it's still quite rotten nevertheless.
5 Best: Code Geass
It's understandable if you might not be a massive fan of mecha anime, but the fact of the matter is that Code Geass is an anime that you absolutely need to watch nevertheless. The caliber of the story itself is nothing short of staggering, making it a treat to witness.
The story focuses on the disgraced prince Lelouch as he fights for his right to rule Britannia is his own way. He's one of the most complex characters in anime, which — coupled with his amazing Geass power — makes for some highly interesting viewing.
4 Worst: The Cosmopolitan Prayers
Eight episodes — that's all it took for people to realize what a piece of garbage The Cosmopolitan Prayers actually was. It's also a stark contrast to Code Geass, which is actually a good mecha anime, unlike this.
There's absolutely no rhyme or reason to the events of the show, juggling between genres until you have no clue what is going on. It's a headache to watch, understand, and analyze, so we highly recommend that you give this one a pass.
3 Worst: Vampire Holmes
Do you have absolutely nothing better to do in life other than to watch what is objectively the worst anime series of all time?
Well, look no further than Vampire Holmes.
There's literally no good element to this show. The characters, story, art, atmosphere, direction, fun factor — everything goes for a toss as the creators decided to create something that will remain in the sewers of history as a blemish to the glorious name of both Sherlock Holmes and anime as a whole.
2 Best: Cowboy Bebop
Time to take a look at the other side of the spectrum and talk about what most people consider to be one of the best anime series of all time without a shadow of a doubt.
Cowboy Bebop is a legendary anime series for a reason.
A show that has its major plot contained in episodes might not seem like a great idea, but the fact of the matter is that Cowboy Bebop manages to excel with this format. It also features a tear-jerking ending that would be an absolute crime to spoil.
1 Worst: Sword Art Online
You knew this anime was making the list in some way or the other. While some people might argue that Sword Art Online isn't all that bad as people make it out to be, there are major flaws with this show that need to be corrected nevertheless.
It's just a highly boring anime to watch, at the end of the day.
One must wonder exactly why this show managed to receive the praise it does, especially when taken into account that the main character is one of the most mundane one-dimensional characters of all time.