Shocking fans can be easy if you depend on being random and out of nowhere, but the best shocking endings are those that are built up. They make sense, but still end up making you gasp. Maybe you expected it, but not like how it is shown or you missed the signs and did not see the ending coming at all. Endings that shock us tend to stay with us. After all, endings are the final message of a story. It is what you ultimately take away. That is why an ending can easily make or break a story.
Anime has had it share of shocking endings. Here are ten of them that still affect their fans to this day. Be warned, as there are major spoilers ahead.
10 School Days
Veteran anime fans know not to judge a book by its cover, and that is especially the case for School Days. What looks like a school life show is actually a story full of unlikable characters who are all sleeping with the most hated character of them all. It is a story of how a high school boy with a little crush on one girl just ends up sleeping with every girl at his school.
By the end though, it comes to more than high school drama. It ends in murder with one girl killing him out of jealousy and the other killing her out of vengeance.
Blood-C is another one of those shows that look like a school life show at first. The main character, Saya, takes care of a local shrine and kills monsters on the side. She enjoys hanging out with her friends and drinking at a local coffee shop.
At the end, we find out that almost everything Saya knows is a like. She is actually a monster herself, and she is part of an experiment to see if she can be tamed to fight monsters for the humans. Her friends do not actually like her, and the man who works at the coffee shop has actually been drugging her this entire time.
Technically, Berserk has not yet ended. The manga is still going on and at a snail's pace. Big fans would argue that the shocking ending from the anime is just the beginning of the story, but we are going to focus on the anime and not the manga for this list.
The end of the anime is all about betrayal as a trade for power. The main character, Guts, and the Band of the Hawk mercenary company recently saved their leader, Griffith, from being tortured in a dungeon. However, Griffith snaps and makes a deal to sacrifice all his friends so he can become a powerful being. Guts and Casca are the only survivors and Casca lost her mind. Until this ending, Griffith was pretty mysterious. He was definitely not inherently good, but it is hard to watch him just murder everyone who trusts him.
7 Puella Magi Madoka Magica Rebellion
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a magical girl show that is famous for its shocking content and twists. It takes the magical girl genre and changes it to a dark tale of obsession and death for the greater good. People went into the recent movie prepared for anything, but still had a pretty decent shock when Homura became the main villain and de-throned Godoka.
There have been video essays and the like as to why Homura's fall from grace makes sense. She was never a good person, but she is obsessed with Madoka and that is her motivation in all things.
6 Code Geass
This shocking ending also ranks as one of the most sad in anime. It has spectacular build-up though to the point where you know Lelouch is planning something but cannot quite predict what.
Perhaps what is most shocking is the manner in which is plan is taken. You see him get stabbed through the chest and witness his sister crying over him as she discovers the truth of what he has done. As the audience, you know that he is a hero who has done bad things and it is easy to feel a mix of emotion at his death. People cheer for his death, not knowing that he is Zero and this assassination was planned from the beginning.
5 Revolutionary Girl Utena
Utena is very interesting from the a philosophical point of view. It deconstructs fairytale ideals and deeply explores its aspects of sexism. The main protagonist was saved by a prince as a little girl, and decides to become a prince herself so that she can save princesses. Immediately, you can see the deconstruction of fairytales. However, the ending is pretty crazy.
She eventually reunites with the prince to find out he actually is not a decent guy anymore and is in fact the main antagonist. His sister, Anthy, is also cursed witch and turns out to be somewhat deceitful to Utena. To be honest, the ending is difficult to understand when seen for the first time. It is best to see it for yourself and see what you think.
4 Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion's ending is one of its biggest claims to fame. Technically, there are two endings: the one for the series and the alternate film ending. Both are widely discussed though for being shocking, controversial, and leaving a big legacy in the anime world. The story is very psychological and both endings are filled with different interpretations by fans. Some felt pretty offended by the endings, feeling like the story was incomplete.
It would take a while to explain what happens at the end of both the show and film, so it is best to check it out for yourself.
3 Wolf's Rain
Wolf's Rain, as a whole, is a little hard to follow. A group of wolves and humans are both fighting each other in order to reach a place called paradise. As to what paradise is though, we are never quite sure. There is also a girl who is also a flower who is the key to paradise, so there is a lot of fighting over her.
By the end, everyone dies by fighting each other. Just when you think its going to end though, the earth freezes over and the story starts over from the beginning. Why? A lot of fans wonder the same thing and have written essays about making sense of this ending.
2 Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt
The studio that created this show, Gainax, is pretty well known for its crazy endings. However, this one takes the cake for most unexpected. There was absolutely no foreshadowing.
It turns out that Stocking was a demon all along and she kills Panty. There is absolutely no build-up and it happens very quickly. If there is any ending to a show that feels like a "troll" then it is this one.
1 Devilman Crybaby
This is another one of those endings where fans have to decipher a hidden meaning. The ending is pretty dark, with Earth being destroyed and the main character losing all of his loved ones. The only one left alive is Satan. So everyone dies except the villain. As nihilistic as it seems, Satan does cry for the protagonist so that is kind of sweet. Some fans were devastated while others loved the ending. Those who liked the ending believe that Satan crying is a symbol that love still exist and wins over death and destruction.