We all know which manga are the most popular, and for good reason. Whether it’s the character development, an engaging story, or the right type of tone, the most popular manga always find a way to keep you reading. However, as in everything, there are plenty of examples in manga that do the complete opposite, making the reader want to stop reading completely due to how disappointing it turned out to be.
There are multiple reasons why a manga ends up disappointing the reader. Some disappointing manga were unfortunately canceled during their run, resulting in endings that didn’t make sense, were rushed, or ultimately failed to live up to what had already been built by the author. Others ended up disappointing readers by making a vast change in style near the end that either didn’t make sense or undid everything the characters had worked towards. Whatever the reason may be, here are the Top 10 Disappointing Manga. (WARNING: SPOILERS)
10. B Reaction (B Reaction)
- Mangaka: Tsuruta, Hirohisa
- Genre: Action, Comedy, Ecchi, Martial Arts, Romance, School, Seinen
- Volumes: 2
- Published Date: 2003 - 2004
Onodera Kensaku is a self-taught martial artist with some solid skills. That is until he’s defeated in a fight by the unlikeliest of opponents: his home room teacher, Asato Nanae. Realizing that he still needs to improve, Onodera begins spending more time with Asato in the hopes of becoming strong enough to defeat her…
There’s no secret to the fate of this manga considering how short it is. Yet despite its length, fans got to see a high quality art style as well as the unique take on the male student/female teacher relationship in terms of fighting. Not to mention the humor that’s used. As a result, many fans were very disappointed that the series was canceled as well as how it ended, leaving a lot of potential as to what could have been.
9. Cage of Eden (Eden no Ori)
- Mangaka: Yamada, Yoshinobu
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Ecchi, Fantasy, Shounen
- Volumes: 8
- Published Date: 2008 – 2013
A plane filled with young children suddenly crash lands on a dangerous island. With danger at every turn, kids dying as they make their escape, and others turning on each other in order to survive, it’s anybody’s guess as to how Akira and his friends will survive, let alone escape…
An interesting take on the adventure genre, Cage of Eden does a lot of building up with its mysteries, especially in a world where no one is safe. Unfortunately, Cage of Eden was cancelled in its run, which resulted in an ending that not only made little sense, but also left many questions unanswered. With the fates of certain characters unknown, connections between characters that were never explained, or the fact there may be more than one location involved, Cage of Eden deserved to have a better ending to tie up all the mysteries.
8. Togari (Togari)
- Mangaka: Natsume, Yoshinori
- Genre: Adventure, Psychological, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 8
- Published Date: 2001 - 2002
Tobei was just a punk struggling to survive in feudal Japan when he was damned to Hell. 300 years later, he still hasn’t repented for his crimes and is still struggling for a chance to escape. So when Tobei is given a wooden stick named Togari and is offered a second chance under certain conditions, he takes it. But will Tobei be able to vanquish the 108 malevolent spirits in 108 days as well as cope with how much the world has changed?
Togari is a great read in the sense that there is little to no filler in regards to its story as well as its unique take on the concept of fighting evil. Togari ended up ending its run by leaving its conclusion open-ended, suggesting that possibly there will be a solid ending one day. Unfortunately, the series was canceled, so while there may still be hope since it didn’t end abruptly, it seems doubtful that the story will be properly finished.
7. Kirai (Kirai)
- Mangaka: Miura, Noriko
- Genre: Drama, Romance, Shoujo
- Volumes: 10
- Published Date: 1998 – 2016
Saying that Hanada Shintarou is a scumbag is putting it mildly. A womanizer that enjoys seducing girls from their boyfriends only to dump them afterwards, Hanada has no concerns about being in a relationship, preferring only one night stands. Despite his playboy behavior, however, Hanada is pretty well known and liked by many people. That is, until he meets a girl who feels the complete opposite way and wants nothing to do with him. Oddly enough, Hanada feels different about this girl…
Staring back in 1998, Kirai is a pretty standard shoujo in the sense that Matsumoto Sakura, the independent lively female lead, over time helps reform Hanada’s playboy behavior. However, Sakura ends up leaving to go study abroad in order to escape how protective Hanada has become of her. As a result, Hanada becomes very bitter and jealous, and when Sakura returns, their reunion is one full of hypocrisy and drama as opposed to one of happiness. Many fans found this ending disappointing, as it unfortunately undoes everything that had made Kirai stand out in the shoujo genre. For a story that ran as long as it did, Kirai shouldn’t have ended with unnecessary drama that resulted because of poor communication.
6. Alive - The Final Evolution (Araibu - Saishu Shinkateki Shonen)
- Mangaka: Kawashima, Tadashi (Story), Adachitoka (Art)
- Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 21
- Published Date: 2003 - 2010
Taisuke Kanou is just an average 16-year-old student in class when he is hit by something mysterious that causes him to see a vision of the universe for a brief instant. As he's walking home from school, he suddenly sees a girl fall and die in front of him, resulting in a strange feeling. Taisuke soon finds out that whatever happened to him is spreading throughout Japan. Those who are struck either commit suicide or "evolve," and those that evolve seem to have bad intentions planned…
This is one of the few manga on the list that actually does not have a terribly bad ending, and is overall very good, especially with the seamless transition between multiple characters. In this instance, the author ended up dying before the manga ended, resulting in an ending that was different than planned. While the ending was alright, it’s disappointing that the author was not able to see the story through to a longer road to the end.
5. Zombiepowder (ZOMBIEPOWDER)
- Mangaka: Kubo, Tite
- Genre: Action, Comedy, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 4
- Published Date: 1999 - 2000
Somewhere in the desert there exists an extraordinary substance that can bring back the dead and grant eternal life known as Zombie Powder. As a result, many people are looking for it, from lunatics to killers. But one special team, led by a metal-armed man named Gamma Akutabi, might just have what it takes to find the Zombie Powder…
Created by Tite Kubo, the author who wrote Bleach, Zombie Powder is an early example of that type of work. With a balanced amount of action, character development, and humor, Zombie Powder would seem to be popular now due to how insanely popular Bleach is. Unfortunately, at the time of its writing, Zombie Powder was canceled due to its poor response, and as a result, Kubo decided to try to wrap things up while saving his big ideas for what would eventually become Bleach. While it’s disappointing that Zombiepowder didn’t get to last long, one has to wonder whether it was a blessing in disguise, as Bleach would never have existed had it not been canceled.
4. Double Arts (Double Arts)
- Mangaka: Komi, Naoshi
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Romance, Shounen
- Volumes: 3
- Published Date: Mar 2008 –Sep 2008
In the land known as "Troy," a disease is spreading without any resistance, claiming victims every day as they succumb to their seizures. The only people that can slow this disease for a short amount of time are known as the Sisters, who possess a high resistance. However, they are searching for anyone who is truly immune so that a cure can be found. Sister Elraine is infected and at the brink of death, but when she touches a young boy named Kiri, her seizures suddenly stop…
A truly unique concept; not many manga can say that their main characters have to constantly hold hands in order to survive. With Elraine and Kiri being very likable and a small cast of characters that draw you in, it’s no wonder that this manga got off to a good start. Unfortunately, this one ended due to the author working on 2 stories at once and choosing to work on the other story, leaving an abrupt ending, no closure whatsoever, and many fans disappointed. While there are rumors of a sequel of some sorts, there doesn’t seem to be any confirmation of that. However, were there to be any manga that should be given a proper ending, Double Arts would certainly be up there.
3. Shaman King (Shaman Kingu)
- Mangaka: Takei, Hiroyuki
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Shounen, Supernatural, Super Power
- Volumes: 32
- Published Date: 1998 - 2004
Yoh Asakura is a laid-back kid who only wants to listen to his music and live his life carefree. He is also one of the select few in the world that is a shaman, or someone that can communicate with ghosts. Every 500 years, shamans from all across the world compete in a tournament where the winner will be crowned the Shaman King and have their wish granted by the Great Spirit. With the help of his fiancé Anna, his best friend Manta, and his ghost partner Amidamaru, will Yoh be able to become the Shaman King?
Shaman King is one of the few entries on this list to have a vast amount of volumes yet was still canceled, and at the most inopportune time. As a result, the buildup to the final showdown between Yoh and Hao that was years in the making came to an unsatisfying and disappointing conclusion due to an insufficient amount of time to properly end the story. Luckily an alternate was released later as well as a sequel, Shaman King: Flowers. However, it’s still disappointing to say the least that a story that far along would still get the ax.
2. M×0 (Emu × Zero)
- Mangaka: Toriyama, Akira
- Genre: Action, Comedy, Magic, School, Shounention, Adventure, Comedy, Martial Arts, Sci-Fi, Shounen, Super Power
- Volumes: 10
- Published Date: 2006 - 2008
Kuzumi Taiga is a prospective student interviewing to attend Seinagi Private High School. However, when randomly asked what he would do if he could use magic, Kuzumi replies that he would take over the world, resulting in an outburst of laughter from an attractive girl and ultimately his application being rejected. Although Kuzumi recalls nothing about this experience, he does remember the girl, and tries to enter the school on his own. As luck would have it, a teacher mistakes Kuzumi for a student ditching class, and pulls Kuzumi into the school through the barrier…
M×0 is special in the sense that despite the usual tropes associated these particular genres, it does a great job at taking you along for the ride and building up the characters, especially Kuzumi, a trickster who somehow has to use his wits since he has no magical skill at all. The standard go-to manga for something that should be finished were it ever to be resumed, M×0 was truly a standout in the “magic school” genre. Very disappointing that a manga of this caliber was canceled.
1. Bleach (BLEACH)
- Mangaka: Kubo, Tite
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Shounen, Super Power, Supernatural
- Volumes: 74
- Published Date: 2001 - 2016
Despite being able to see ghosts, Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able live a normal life. That soon changes when he meets Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper and a member of the Soul Society. While fighting an evil spirit known as a Hollow, Rukia attempts to lend Ichigo some of her powers so that he can use it to save his family. However, Ichigo somehow absorbs all of her energy. Now a Soul Reaper himself, Ichigo soon learns that the world is full of more than just Hollows, and it's now his job to protect the innocent as well as help the spirits themselves…
It’s very unfortunate that one of the big 3 manga that has been published for more than a decade had to end in the way that it did. Many fans were excited as to what was to come in terms of the finale, only to be truly let down. There are so many things that left fans disappointed: inconsistencies in the plot in the final arc, the final antagonist being incredibly overpowered to where it was ridiculous, a letdown regarding the captains and their Bankais that fans had really been looking forward to, a formula for certain fights between a Shinigami and a Quincy…the list goes on and on. Why the publishing company would want to force this manga to end is beyond comprehension, but the ending to Bleach is by far the truest definition of “disappointing”, as the ending, if properly done, could have gone down as one of the greatest.
No one really wants to dwell on disappointing manga, as many of them are not necessarily the fault of the author. However, sometimes good things come from the bad. Look at Bleach; that never would have existed had Zombiepowder not been canceled. It’s unfortunate that great manga don’t get the time they deserve, but there’s no sense dwelling on things that are outside if your control. All you can really do is enjoy what was able to come to fruition, come to terms with it, and move on to another story. Here are the Top 10 Disappointing Manga. What are your guys’ thoughts? Do you agree with the #1 choice? Should D. Gray-man have made this list? Is there another manga you would have liked to see included? Let us know in the comments!