1. Bubblegum Crisis
Oh, Bubblegum Crisis. No anime series is more ’80s than you are. With it’s obvious influences of Blade Runner, The Terminator, and Streets of Fire, the series is everything you loved from the ’80s.
Cyberpunk, neo-noir, and rock were combined to make an interesting story, but it was cut short due to internal politics between the two companies that were producing the series. 8 of the planned 13 episodes were created, and it just ends after the Knight Sabers get upgraded power suits.
Bubblegum Crisis © AIC / Artmic / Youmex via Tumblr
2. Ranma ½
Rumiko Takahashi has created some of the most beloved manga series in history. It’s only natural that her works would be adapted into anime, but unfortunately many of them are cut short due to their massive length.
Ranma ½ is Rumiko’s best selling manga series, but Studio Deen had to settle on a filler ending after working on 143 episodes. This doesn’t stop Ranma ½ from being a fun anime, but it’s a shame the whole story wasn’t adapted.
Ranma ½ © Studio Deen / Shogakukan
3. Slam Dunk
Slam Dunk was one of the most popular series in Asia and Europe throughout the ’90s. The slam jamming action and character driven moments were all very entertaining. However, Toei Animation ended the anime at 101 episodes, right before the Nationals arc. They did work on four movies, but they were largely original material.
Slam Dunk © Toei Animation / Shueisha
4. Fruits Basket
Fruits Basket was the unfortunate victim of creative differences between manga creator Natsuki Takaya and Studio Deen.
Natsuki oversaw the majority of the anime adaptation, since she was hurt with a wrist injury that prevented her from working on manga. Reportedly she would butt heads with the anime director, and vowed that a second season would never be made as long as Studio Deen has the animation rights to the series.
Fruits Basket © Studio Deen / Hakusensha
5. Deadman Wonderland
Oh man, talk about a bad adaptation. The series was rushed many plot points and removed important characters from the story. Manglobe did a decent enough job animating the bloody action in Deadman Wonderland, but that’s all the praise it can get. That cliffhanger ending just stings even more.
Deadman Wonderland © Manglobe / Kadokawa Shoten via Tumblr
CLAMP are the masters of creating unique worlds, but never actually finishing them. X/1999 was planned to be a 21 volume story, but CLAMP stopped at volume 18 on a massive cliffhanger. It has been 13 years since volume 18 was released, we want closure CLAMP!
X/1999 © Madhouse / CLAMP
7. Vampire Knight
Vampires and love stories aren’t exactly new, but Vampire Knight did it better than most. The characters had their own motivations, the comedy was funny, and Hanabusa Aido is one cool dude.
The manga was completed in 2013, but fans of the anime were stuck in the cold after the adaptation ended in 26 episodes in 2008. It is doubtful that any more material will be animated, but we’ll hold out hope for a remake.
Vampire Knight © Studio Deen / Hakusensha
What is there not to love about Baccano!? The eccentric cast, entertaining story, and fresh Prohibition setting will always make Baccano! a fan favorite.
Unfortunately, the anime was planned to go on longer than 16 episodes. Maybe Japanese viewers didn’t like the out-of-sequence story telling, or couldn’t get into the setting, but the series was canceled with some plot lines dangling. It is still worth a watch, but don’t forget to continue the story by reading the light novels.
Baccano! © Brain’s Base / Dengeki Bunko
9. Martian Successor Nadesico
How did one of the hottest shows from 1998 get canceled? With one very bad movie, that’s how!
The TV series of Martian Successor Nadesico has an open ending, and the story was set to be continued with a trilogy of movies. This wasn’t a terrible idea in itself. However, Martian Successor Nadesico was more on the lighthearted scale, but the movie took the series to dark and brooding territory. This didn’t sit well with fans, and it was a massive flop which killed the series.
Martian Successor Nadesico © Xebec
Berserk is an epic, dark fantasy story filled with great characters and intense action. The 1997 anime series is one of the more graphic and depressing series. We see Guts rise through the ranks of the Band of Hawks and experience a great betrayal from is former friend Griffith. However, the series just ends after setting up the next arc.
One of Japan’s darkest series will probably never see a full adaptation thanks to Japan’s TV censorship laws and Kentaro Miura’s constant hiatuses.
Berserk © OLM, Inc / Hakusensha via Tumblr
Dark, disturbing, and surprisingly witty. Gantz maybe focused on gore and nudity, but it dives into the human mind. Gonzo manages to do a decent job animating the first three arcs, but had to include a rushed filler final arc due to the manga’s slow release schedule.
Gantz © Gonzo / Shueisha
12. Rave Master
Before Hiro Mashima made it big with Fairy Tail, he had Rave Master. Now, the manga is great and lasted for 35 volumes, but the anime adaptation was a mess.
Studio Deen (notice a pattern here?) butchered the storyline and characters, and the adaptation was canceled after 51 episodes due to low viewers and low disc sales.
Rave Master © Studio Deen / Kodansha
13. Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo was actually a well received anime adaptation in Japan and the West. The bizarre sense of humor, random characters, and nose-hair fighting powers were very unique. The English adaptation was also well liked. While it maintained the spirt of Bobobo-bo, it had many of it’s own jokes due to cultural differences.
Sadly, Japanese parents were not fond of the series. Citing the main hero’s harsh treatment of his sidekicks and eccentric humor, they petitioned to have the series canceled. That’s right, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo was too weird for Japan to handle.
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo © Toei Animation / Shueisha
What are some of your favorite series that were cut short?