Imagine, if you will, sitting cozily in front of a large flat screen television with a large bowl of popcorn sitting on the coffee table, favorite anime is screening across the television. The story is humming along at a quick pace and everything is fine and dandy. Suddenly, the images across the screen don’t match the mood portrayed just seconds prior. A major character has died suddenly with no hints prior to warn those watching. Popcorn flies across the room as scream can be heard for miles.
Directors love to mess with their audiences making them some of the biggest trolls in the world. They tug at the heartstrings of millions only to leave their adoring fans high and dry. The utter shock can drive a person mad, yet everyone continues to come back for more. Why do we keep punishing ourselves when we know we’ll only get hurt?
*WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS*
10. Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Mami’s Death)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 7, 2011 – April 21, 2011
Madoka Kaname lives a simple life whose only problems revolve around the small group of friends she maintains, but when a new transfer student arrives in town; her world is flipped upside down. Strange creatures called witches begin to appear and Madoka is faced with a decision that will change her life forever. Will she join the ranks of the Magical Girls and fight off the witches to protect her lovely city or will she decline and remain blissfully unaware. Depending on her choice, she might end up losing more than she bargained for.
There is nothing normal about Madoka Magica in any sense and especially in comparison to other magical girl anime currently circulating. But what is MOST enraging is how the series lulls the viewer into a false sense of comfort during the first two episodes only to have that feeling come crashing down. After a heartfelt moment between Mami and Madoka agreeing to support each other as magical girls, the air is full of hope. Mami has been redeemed and is fully rejuvenated.
Unfortunately this causes her to become careless and her head becomes a casualty in the brutal war of the witches. No one even suspected that she would be offed in only the third episode, but the graphic violence portrayed in episode three is there for all eyes to see.
9. Kimi ni Todoke (Love misunderstanding)
- Episodes: 38
- Aired: October 6, 2009 – March 30, 2011
Poor Sawako. She can’t catch a break. Her appearance and name are too similar to that of Sadako, the main character of the Japanese horror film Ringu and therefore her more creative classmates have decided to spread scary rumors about her throughout the school. As a result, she lacks a good group of friends and is often left alone. Luckily a fateful encounter with a lost male classmate begins to push her in the right direction and soon Sawako learns to express herself more clearly, attracting friends and admirers alike. Too bad Sawako is utterly clueless.
Kimi ni Todoke in its entirety is a taste of patience, but there are several scenes that are absolutely cringe worthy. When Kazehaya finally reveals his feelings for Sawako, she is overcome by happiness…at first. She then begins to overthink and responds likewise. Unfortunately, both characters are emotionally dense and believe the other one is expressing feelings of friendship instead of love.
The result is the most uneasy feeling anyone can imagine which continues to permeate throughout the rest of the series and up to the final episodes. It’s enough to make someone scream into their pillow repeatedly.
8. Chihayafuru (ending)
- Episodes: Two Seasons (25 ep each)
- Aired: October 4, 2011 – March 27, 2012 / January 11, 2013 – June 28, 2013
A young woman decides to start a Karuta club at her new high school and sets about recruiting members. Upon her search, she finds an old childhood friend has chosen the same high school as her and so she muscles him into the club as well. Together they set out to win the national championships, but for Chihaya there is something more important on the line. The tournament to become Queen of the Karuta world. Will she reach her ultimate goal? What about the third person in her karuta trio as a child?
This series is really good and makes competitive Karuta really interested for those who have no understanding of the sport. The only problem, is the ending of the series. Or, well, a lack of ending. The series just stops after two seasons. Taichi had finally come to the decision that he would fight for Chihaya’s affections before she realizes her true feelings for Arata, the dark knight of the competitive karuta world and their mutual childhood friend.
The last episode shows Chihaya in the hospital after her finger surgery and just before the team sets off for a competitive camp hosted by a rival school. The rest of the team decides to stay behind, leaving Taichi and Chihaya time to be alone. Then the credits roll and there is nothing more. NOTHING. Nothing but tears forever.
7. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Kamina’s Death)
- Episodes: 27
- Aired: April 1, 2007 – September 30, 2007
After being forced to live underground for generations, the human race has become a shadow of its former self. Life underground is harsh and the frequent earthquakes threaten their daily lives, but one man and his best friend decide to challenge the status quo. Aided by a strange spiral shaped necklace, Kamina and Simon reach for the surface where a whole, new world lies before them. They didn’t count of there being beast men though.
Another tragic death that blindsided everyone, Kamina’s death felt like a punch in the gut. Kamina was special in that he not only motivated Simon, but everyone watching him. He was crazy, but utterly reliable regardless of the means; so watching Kamina die in an epic battle didn’t quite feel real until the characters themselves began to mourn and in turn so did those watching. The first stage of grief is anger.
6. Beserk: The Golden Age Arc (Griffith’s Betrayal)
- Episodes: 3 Movies
- Aired: February 4, 2012 / June 23, 2012 / February 1, 2013
A young man name Guts roams the land as a mercenary until he crosses swords with the infamous leader of The Band of the Hawk, a well renowned group of mercenaries for hire. Their leader, Griffith, defeats Guts in one on one combat and convinces Guts to join their group. While adjusting to working with a large group, Guts becomes a prominent leader within the band and most notably their female captain Casca.
After fighting side by side through several battles Guts begins to develop feelings for her, but what of her feelings for Griffith? The group is then charged with protecting a king and are made knights, but all is ruined when Griffith goes on to romance the young princess.
Throughout the first two movies the bond between the mercenaries and particularly between Guts and Griffith are bonds of brotherhood, though Griffith’s may stray more towards affection. His jealously of Casca for capturing Guts’ affections lead him into a spiraling descent. He knew the princess was interested in him and so he decided to drown his feelings out by using the Princess as a distraction.
Unfortunately this landed him in hell and so he was tortured and everything he previously had; his looks, swordplay, and strength were taken from him.
Upon being rescued, he overhears Casca and Guts speak of running away together and this throws him off the deep end. His response is to use the Egg of the King and basically ruin Casca for Guts. The scenes are so shocking and graphic that they aren’t suitable for sensitive audiences. No words can describe the cruelty of Griffith after Guts tried so hard to rescue him. The only solution is a stiff drink.
5. Fushigi Yugi (Miaka running away)
- Episodes: 52
- Aired: April 6, 1995 – March 28 1996
While studying in the national library for their high school exams, Miaka and Yui discover a mysterious book written in ancient Chinese that transports them to another world. They are immediately saved by a lone boy in search of money for his family and Yui is strangely sent back, leaving Miaka behind in a foreign land. After wandering the streets by herself, Miaka is once again saved by the strange boy named Tamahome and they agree to go to the capital in search of answers.
Fushigi Yugi as a whole should be placed on this list, but ultimately the only problem with the series is the main character Miaka. Miaka manages to get herself into some sticky situations due to her lack of situational awareness causing her to run away and leave clean up duty to someone else in her party. She even manages to run away from the only people who are trying to protect her because all she does is “cause problems”. If only she would just stop back-talking for ten seconds, she could easily avoid half of the problems she’s caused. In fact, by running away from her guardians she’s only leaving herself wide open for the enemy attack thus causing MORE problems. This girl needs to be locked in a cage and gagged for the entire series.
4. Macross Frontier: Sayonara no Tsubasa (ending)
- Episodes: Movie
- Aired: February 26, 2011
In the near future, humans have begun living in giant space colonies protected by transforming fighter jets. Alto, a student at one of the local flying academies, hopes to someday breach the fake sky above and fly freely through the vast openness of space. His wish becomes all too real when he is thrust into the midst of a battle and pilots one of the valkyrie whose operator had expired. He is enlisted into the ranks of the military and is sent to fight an alien race known to respond to the sound of music resonating from pop singer Sheryl Nome, known as the Galactic Nymph, and one more name Ranka Lee.
The end of the second movie, Sayonara no Tsubasa, had been building over the course of a television series and two movies. Tensions are high between Sheryl, Ranka, and Alto. Both women have proclaimed their love for the pirate, but he has given answers to neither and at the climax of the last battle Alto decides to give his answer just before his untimely death. He lets Ranka down gently and then upon turning to Sheryl he begins to speak, but is cut off by the massive explosions blowing him apart. Sheryl collapses in Ranka’s arms and those watching are screaming in agony wondering whether or not Alto chose Sheryl or not.
3. One Piece (Ace and Whitebeard’s Death)
- Episodes: Unknown
- Aired: October 20, 1999 - ongoing
A young man sets off on an adventure in hopes of becoming the King of the Pirates. Along the way he befriends strange characters to which he invites them to join his crew as they set sail through the oceans of the world in search of the most famous treasure, the One Piece. Along the way they encounter numerous islands and have many adventures, saving humans and kingdoms alike. Pirates can’t all be bad.
One of the most heartbreaking and unexpected deaths of the series, Ace and Whitebeard left a hole in Luffy and those who had grown with him. Up until this point, Luffy had managed to fight his way out of tough situations and always bounces back to successfully overcome his enemies. There had been no casualties up until this point, so there was no indication that the battle at Marineford would be any different than his previous jaunts throughout the world especially when he was aided by the Yonko Whitebeard himself.
Everyone misjudged the power of Akainu and just when Ace was set free and it seemed everything would turn out in Luffy’s favor, sudden silence. Akainu went straight for Luffy forcing Ace to take the blow in Luffy’s stead. Akainu’s arm ran straight through Ace. There was no going back and tears and anger began to form in everyone’s stomachs. The worst part is that Whitebeard died not long after trying to defend what remained of his sons.
2. End of Evangelion (the whole movie)
- Episodes: Movie
- Aired: July 19, 1997
Following the events of the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series, End of Evangelion was meant to quell the rage of fans who were not satisfied with the series ending. Little did they know that Hideki had other plans? The entire movie is one big troll. Everyone dies in this movie. Asuka dies in a brutal battle against the mass production EVA units. Misato dies attempting to get Shinji into the cockpit of EVA unit 01. Ritsuko dies attempting to overthrow Gendo’s plan to incite Third Impact.
Despite Rei’s efforts to reject Gendo’s merging with Adam, Third Impact is imminent and Shinji decides to kill everyone. For a flittering moment though, he changes his mind and Lilith explodes to reveal Asuka and him lying on a beach with Lilith’s giant head in the background. No happy ending. Humanities souls are left to rot forever in the giant sea of blood. No one can be sure if this ending was better or worse than the original last two episodes of the series, but it for certain brings grown men to tears with frustration.
1.Revolutionary Girl Utena (Anthy’s Betrayal)
- Episodes: 39
- Aired: April 2, 1997 – December 24, 1997
Utena is in search of her childhood prince who left behind a precious rose encrusted ring, the only clue to his whereabouts. Through the ring, she is led to Ohtori Academy whose emblem bears a striking resemblance to the one emblazoned on her ring. As a student she stands out for her gallant attitude and men’s attire for she was so impressed with her prince that she has decided to become one herself. One day, she is thrust into a duel in attempts to ward of Saionji’s abusive behavior towards her new roommate Anthy. Little does she know the duel is for real and perhaps may even lead to her old prince, but will he be the same man she remembers him as?
During the entire series, Utena has become Anthy’s champion. Utena’s only wish is to set Anthy free from the chains of the Rose Bride and even casts aside the chance to live happily ever after with her prince inside the castle in the sky. So when Anthy runs the sword of Dios through Utena from behind everyone’s collective jaw drops. She then proceeds to hand the sword over to her brother and when asked for an explanation for her betrayal she simply replies, “I could never accept a girl.”
Cold. Absolutely cold. After all Utena had been through and all the hardships she faced, Anthy still had the nerve to choose her manipulative brother over the one person who actually cared for her.
The only way to diffuse the symptoms of fan rage involve profusely injuring anything in the general vicinity of the viewer. Rage makes people violent and only when the feeling has passed can those who have succumbed move on and accept what has happened to their beloved characters. But most rage is good as it means that the series has truly been able to evoke emotion in its viewers so bear with the director. There is usually a good reason these feelings have been incited. Usually. Fushigi Yugi has no excuses.
What are some of your rage moments in anime? Let us know in the comments below!