Top 10 Worst Anime of 2016 [Best Recommendations]

We love praising good anime on our website, but do you know what we enjoy even more? Criticizing bad ones, of course!

That’s right, after spending most of our time in 2016 praising the best shows out there we also want to take a look at the other side of the spectrum. Namely, all the shows that have disappointed, frustrated or simply upset us with their low quality. Be aware that this might be a sensitive topic and you might not agree with all our choices. But hear us out and then tell us what you think at the end of today’s list.

Not all anime are created equal and some really make us wonder why they were ever produced. Let’s talk about them in our Top 10 worst anime of 2016!

10. Taboo Tattoo

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2016 - September 2016

First up on our list is Taboo Tattoo from the Summer season 2016.

Teenager Seigi is a middle school student with an extraordinary savior’s complex. His interest in martial arts drives him to protect those around him who cannot protect themselves. One day, after protecting a homeless man from a group of punks Seigi receives a mysterious tattoo on his hand in return. Turns out that it’s not a simple tattoo after all, but a secret weapon Seigi has to use in the fight between America and the Serinistan Kingdom.

If you’re scratching your head at this point, we cannot judge you. Taboo Tattoo combines a lot of different things into one: martial arts, superpowers, action, mystery, and the list goes on. However, even with that premise, it could have turned into a decent Shounen/Action show if only everything else would have worked out fine. But it didn’t. The story seemed poorly planned and progressed way too quickly while the main cast was full of stereotypes and not worth remembering. To top it off, the producers decided to sprinkle unnecessary fanservice on top of everything, leaving us with the first disappointing anime on our list.


9. Rewrite

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 2016 – September 2016

Taboo Tattoo wasn’t the only sub-par anime of Summer 2016; the action comedy Rewrite, too, didn’t leave a positive impression on us.

Kotarou Tennouji is an arrogant high schooler who likes getting himself involved in other people’s business. What makes him special though is his ability to rewrite any part of his body to grant himself supernatural abilities. Together with a group of unlikely girls, he revives the Occult Club at his local high school and from then on stumbles into one adventure after the other.

In case you don’t know, Rewrite is based on a visual novel by Key and as such was fairly hyped up before its release. But what seemed to work in the original game did not make it into the anime adaptation. The key elements of the story are still there, but what the anime lacks are multilayered characters and the ability to draw the audience in. Every episode felt generic, uninspired and was lacking any real passion. Fans of the visual novel were especially let down and that is why Rewrite makes the ninth spot on our list.


8. Divine Gate

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2016 - March 2016

Action, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi are go-to genres that usually work out, right? Not really, since Divine Gate is here to prove you wrong.

A Divine Gate has opened and connected the world we all know with heaven and hell. Only with the help of a newly formed World Council could the gate be closed and peace be restored. Now, promising boys and girls are gathered by the World Council to reach the gate and understand its mysteries. What secrets does the Gate hold?

Divine Gate is based on a smartphone game that features lots of background details, endless characters, and numerous worlds – can you guess where I’m going with this? In their anime adaptation, Studio Pierrot tried to cram too many components into mere 12 episodes. The storyline does not have a clear direction but jumps from the present to random flashbacks only to then shift between the POV of numerous characters as well. While the action and animation were promising and could have become an interesting Sci-Fi adventure, we were presented with a confusing clash of a myriad of different elements. You can do better, Pierrot.


7. Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 2016 – November 2016

Moving on, next up is a show that thinks combining cute girls with mecha fights is a foolproof plan. Spoiler alert: it’s not.

Our story is set in the country of Rimguard that after an eventful past now lives in peace. But this is about to change when the mysteries of the past are slowly being uncovered. In the middle of it, all are two sisters, Yui and Rena, who are getting caught up in a fight between old rivals and modern technology.

If the story already confuses you now, let us tell you that it won’t get any better while watching the show. With each episode, more and more questions crept into our minds and the vast majority of them were never resolved. On top of that, most characters never got enough screen time for decent character development to occur, but instead only whined about their feelings and duties. The mecha fight scenes might not have been too bad, but that is not enough to save the show from our criticizing eyes.


6. Bloodivores

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2016 – December 2016

After giant robots, we are moving on to another oh-so popular element of modern shows: vampires.

The birth of vampires in this anime tells an unusual story: human population was struck by an unexplainable case of mass insomnia which kept people awake while slowly driving them mad. A newly developed drug was supposed to end their misery but ended up turning them into vampires instead. A war between humans and vampires commenced and all hope is on Mi Liu, the child of a human and a vampire, to establish peace between the two races.

Once again we were slapped in the face with a storyline that was impossible to follow. If you zoom in on individual parts of the story, they are promising and actually interesting, but the moment you take a step back and look at the bigger picture you are left with an incomprehensible dumpster of different ideas. Over 12 episodes you get way too many story ideas, but no character development or meaningful dialogues. Maybe Bloodivores could have been different if the producers had focused and developed only a handful of elements, but as it stands right now, Bloodivores is nothing more than a confusing story featuring vampires.


5. 3-Nen D-Gumi Glass no Kamen (The Glass Mask Year 3 Class D)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: October 2016 – December 2016

There are shows that look promising at first, only to turn out to be bad in the end. And then there are shows like 3-Nen D-Gumi Glass no Kamen that are already bad from the first time we look at them.

This anime is a re-imagination of the Glass Mask manga that started in the 1970s and is now one of the best-selling shoujo manga in Japan. This little gem is not a simple adaptation of the original story (that would have been too predictable, right?), but a new interpretation that puts the original characters into a school gag comedy. Oh, and did we mention that everything is in 3D?

To be quite honest, there is not much we can say about this creation. We can only wonder why someone thought it would be a good idea to spend actual money on the production of such a show. We are aware that kids might have been the target audience in mind, but we cannot imagine people of any age to really enjoy this gag comedy. The animation is stiff and unnatural and the only thing the characters gave us were nightmares. We can honestly say that 3-Nen D-Gumi Glass no Kamen is something we haven’t seen before.


4. Nazotokine

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2016 - December 2016

Next up we have another anime based on a game that similarly didn’t quite make the jump onto the screen.

Our heroine is Tokine Amino, an upbeat girl who works as a secretary for an advertising agency. One day she suddenly finds herself trapped inside one of the office rooms and meets a mysterious creature called Hacchin. Hacchin seems to be obsessed with puzzles and tells Tokine she can only escape if she solves his challenges. Can the young girl succeed?

Nazotokine is … unique, let’s put it like that. It literally is the anime version of a puzzle-solving game and as such doesn't have much storyline or character development. What makes this show so bad in our eyes is that it’s simply boring. Imagine watching someone play a puzzle-solving game without ever being allowed to put your own hands on it. That’s exactly how watching Nazotokine feels like. Maybe if the producers had created an interesting story around all those puzzles (à la No Game No Life) it would have been a refreshing new show. As things are, however, Nazotokine simply didn’t leave an impression on us.


3. Endride

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 2016 – September 2016

We are entering our Top 3 and what show would be more suitable to start with than Endride?

Shun Asanaga has always been a nosy boy and this habit turns out to be the beginning of the biggest adventure of his life. While looking through the office of his father, Shun finds a mysterious crystal that teleports him into the mythical world of Endra. There, Shun meets prince Emilio who wants nothing more in life than making it on the throne. The two boys team up to get Emilio’s revenge and bring Shun back to his own world, but will the two succeed?

Endride might not look as bad at first glance as some other choices on this list, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t disappoint not only us, but many other viewers as well. The story feels like an imitation of other (better) Fantasy stories while adding nothing new to the mix. Even worse, it takes one fantasy cliché after the other, combines them with boring and stereotypical characters and doesn’t offer anything to make the story consistent. Endride made us cringe more than just a few times so we simply had to include it on today’s list.


2. Big Order

  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: April 2016 – June 2016

Endride isn’t the only show full of stereotypes and clichés on our list; Big Order, too, couldn’t knock our socks off.

When Eiji was a little boy he was visited by a fairy who granted him one wish. Turns out that his wish was a fatal mistake and caused an event that is now known as the “Great Destruction”. The world fell apart, people died, but Eiji cannot remember what he wished for. Years later – Eiji is now a high school student - his past is still haunting him. People are on the hunt for him to get revenge for all the innocent souls lost during the Great Destruction, while his sister falls sick and needs help. Will Eiji ever find out what his one and only wish was?

Wow, what a storyline. Don’t get us wrong, this more than unique premise got us at least hooked enough to give Big Order a try. But it only goes downhill from there and we’re still trying to understand what Big Order was trying to be. After all, we have action, super powers, assassination attempts, and a magical fairy who grants wishes – just what is going on? Once again, way too many ideas were combined in one show without any thoughts wasted on a stringent storyline or proper character development. Big Order is not only boring but of questionable taste and we would not recommend anyone to give it a try.


1. Mayoiga (The Lost Village)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2016 – June 2016

Last but not least on our list we have an anime that is not as bad as it is simply disappointing.

The premise of Mayoiga is interesting enough: a group of different people, each one eccentric in his or her own way, makes its way towards Nanaki Village. This place is surrounded by mysterious legends and our heroes were promised a new life away from the problems of their past. However, one obstacle after the other starts to emerge: the village is abandoned, people start disappearing and something (or someone?) leaves bloody claw marks around their new home. What is the truth behind Nanaki Village?

Many viewers – us included – started this show expecting a thrilling mystery horror only to be rewarded with a show that cannot hold its promises. Let us start with the main cast that is simply a group of stereotypes thrown together. The “adventure” that they encounter is a mixture of unoriginal plot twists, lots of unnecessary dialogue and absurd scenarios. What made this show worthy to be included on this list is probably the fact that it seemed so promising at the beginning, only to have nothing to deliver in the end.


Final Thoughts

These were our personal Worst Anime of 2016! Anyone offended, yet?

Jokes aside, we do want to stress that today’s list are mostly personal opinions mixed with the general sentiment we could find in the community. Many of today’s shows were not bad per se, but simply got our hopes up only to let us down in the end. We are sure that there are many more shows out there you guys were disappointed by, so now is the time to blow off some steam.

What were your personal worst anime of 2016 and what made them so bad in your eyes? Argue away in the comment section below!

Cornelia Wagner

Writer

Author: Cornelia Wagner

Coffee enthusiast, world traveler and writer at heart. Left Europe to live and study in the insanity called Tokyo.

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