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5 Worst Anime of All-Time

Gravitation DVD cover art

Oh, the artistic heights anime can achieve! The artistry and visuals of CLAMP! The philosophical questions behind such luminaries as Akira or Grave of the Fireflies! The sweet purity of Cardcaptor Sakura!

And then there’s the other side of the yen…. Anime so horrible that even that most die-hard otaku or the lowest IQ child has to struggle to complete a single episode or OAV, much less an entire series. Anime that doesn’t make you appreciate the good ones all the more, but instead make you dead inside and incapable of ever trusting, much less loving, again.

So why am I playing fast and loose with your sanity and with the good name of anime by subjecting you to the memory of these titles? Because it’s good for you. And because if we protest the really bad ones, maybe, just maybe, they’ll keep bringing us the good ones and write new good ones. Refuse to put up with schlock!

Keep in mind, de gustibus non est disputandum. For example, I enjoyed the Gasaraki series and found it thoughtful and deep, instead of boring and lame. I can, however, see why others might find it so flawed as to be shattered.

How did we choose? There are so many gawd-awful (or criminally mediocre) anime series and OAVs out there: Pilot Candidate, Hammerboy, Reign, Devilman, Pokemon (if I hear “Team Rocket, blasting off again” one more time, I will not be responsible for the Godzilla-like destruction I cause–even the kawaii factor can’t make up for that bloody Team Rocket intrusion in every episode), Ultimate Muscle, Dragonball GT, FLCL (I’m sorry, fanboys, but nonsensical does not = art), Puni Puni Poemy … but in the end, there can be only five, and these are the ones that broke our heart the most, leaving only a dark, frigid cold too empty to ever be filled with love again.

5. Gravitation. Sometimes cliché isn’t, in itself, a bad thing. But when the paradigm turns on you and swallows you up with its great throat of suck, and you just want to crawl under the covers with a book where there are no big-eyed idiot boys, it is a very bad thing indeed. The manga version of this series is a good, if at times mediocre, tale of shonen ai and rock music, with plenty of angst, comedy, and teen drama to soothe even the most savage teenager’s breast. But the anime, ah the anime, is a horse of an entirely different color–actually, more of an unrepentant oni than a horse: there’s no love in their romance, no funny in their comedy, and no harmony in their music. There’s only a howling void where plot, characterization, and drama should be, and you can’t even blame the art and voice acting here. It’s still hackneyed, dull, poorly voiced, and simply stuffed to the gills with annoying boy-toys who couldn’t form a successful military unit to save their lives, much less something challenging like a boy band. I’ve seen hentai with more depth of plot, and I hate hentai with a passion. All of the series on this list are so bad as to resist the MST3K treatment, with the exception of this one, which is why it eases us into the list, but don’t let it’s spot as a mild #5 fool you: this anime still comes with a Needcoffee Warning for Extreme Apathy, meaning that you will not only be incapable of caring about any of the main characters, the world, or the plot, but you will actually become numb to all emotion in your own life, causing friends and family to desert you, leaving you alone and a shell of your former self. You have been warned.

Legend of Crystania

4. .Legend of Crystania. What do you get when you combine a stupid, suicidal horse with attempted comedy and top it off with incompetent heroes and bad character design? You get crap, that’s right! And what crap is this… oh, a veritable king in the crap world! Villains that frighten perhaps only sheltered two-year-olds, and heroes that can’t seem to actually protect anything are just the beginning. Oh, yes. There’s more. We can’t hate or love any of the characters, because they seem to lack souls, personalities, and expressions—the suicidal horse actually has the most emotion of anyone here. Of course it suffers from comparison to its “prequel,” Record of the Lodoss War, an extraordinarily good series, but it also suffers from comparison to K-Mart commercials, so make of it what you will. Do not watch this, or you might start believing that anime is of the devil, for what else can make you feel so bad? I suggest you make compost of it. Wait, no–that might cause diseased eggplants.

Crying Freeman

3. Crying Freeman. I know there are fans for this out there, but there are also women who sent marriage proposals to Jeffrey Dahmer. Doesn’t make it right, ok? Some complain about the radically shameful use of women in the series, and there is that to bitch about, but I was more offended by the boredom I was forced to endure in the name of “art” and “action.” It wasn’t action–it was shyte. It wasn’t erotic–it was painfully, deathlessly, soul-killingly dull: boring, repetitive, a pale shadow of assassin tales we all know and love. The tortured hero is a perennial favorite, even if he’s overly emo like this one is—but come on, you cry after every killing? Turn state’s evidence then, or better yet, go back for your MBA, you wussy moron–you’re in the wrong line of work. And you’ve drug your wife Emo–um, I mean Emu–into it. What a dick.


2. Beyblade. Now, really. Tops?!? Tops are your secret weapon and the focus for your tense, dramatic moments? Gentile dreidels? No. I’m sorry–no. Forget the bad acting, the worse art, and the asinine plot. We know you want to rip-off the success of Yu-Gi-Oh!, but you could have at least tried to think. Paid a kid to tell you if it sucked first, before you made a zillion episodes and shipped it everywhere to sucker naïve, but good-hearted parents who just want to give their kid a nice present. You should be ashamed. If you viewers absolutely must inspire yourself with the wish to poke out your own eyes, choose Digimon instead. It’s abysmally bad enough to make you do the necessary self-damage, but you might survive to love anime again.

Strange Dawn

1. Strange Dawn. Oh my god, kill it with a hammer. Kill ME with a hammer. Just kill something, please. This anime has to be a terrorist plot to take over America, it really does. Nothing else would justify the violence that this… thing… does to the viewer’s psyche. Just the thought of this anime makes me want to weep myself to death. It has it all: poor art and design, an insipid story that manages to combine saccharine stupidity with boring, wildly irritating characters, and danger that frightens no one but the viewer’s therapist (she has to pick up the pieces after all). Deserves a special award for “worst voice acting EVAR,” too.


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  • Ha! Yet another angst little spittle about how everyone must hate at least one show that certain people find interesting. If only this had any back up whatsoever. I wouldn’t even have to say this. I only kind of like one of the animes, but, ficking god, do you even have to judge? Seriously, you should be aloud to write opinions and hate speaches, but, unless this was intended to be as such, you don’t have to be posting stupid, ill written crap on things that you, and you alone don’t find interesting. You don’t have to make a big deal out of a few Tv shows and Mangas.

  • Fen: I can only hope you appreciate the irony in your own comment. Maybe you should read it “allowed” and see if you catch it. That being said, anyone who equates a post about anime that a single person doesn’t like to “hate speaches” is probably 12, and thus shouldn’t be running around this site without a guardian. The ushers will see you out.

  • What the heck kinda show is Beyblade anyway? I totally agree but it should be one.

  • Hey Fen, you’re the only one getting worked up–I hope you realize that. Please, read that over and realize what an idiotic statement that was. Apparently it’s not okay to post your opinion [which you obviously were]…? I’m sure there are animes you don’t like. Is it illegal to say you don’t like them? If that was so, it would be illegal to say you did.

    I really didn’t appreciate the 12 year old comment, either, Widge. Why must everyone slide things in like that in a good comment? -headdesk-

  • Aequilo: I’m not quite sure I follow. It’s perfectly okay for Fen to post their comment. Just like it’s perfectly okay for you to post yours. Just as it’s perfectly okay for me to post mine. None of the comments violate our comments policy.

    And people can post really dumb comments worthy of a 12-year-old on this page all day long as far as I’m concerned. But they–or anyone else, really–shouldn’t be surprised when the person who owns the page–or anyone else, really–calls them on it. If I walked into your house and started talking some serious nonsense, I’m fairly certain you’d call me on it/ask me to leave and not sit there and stoically take it, would you?

    Regardless, thanks for your comment. Hope you didn’t hurt your head.

  • GRAVITATION is not one of the five worst animes . Is the best yaoi anime of all time . you wanna know what could take its place Wedding Peach..

  • Seriously, “!!”? You think Beyblade is the best ever? I pity you. From the depths of my otaku soul, I pity you.

  • To love Ru is also kinda crappy, but not as so so bad as Yugi Oh and beyblade… and i cant think of any other one at the moment, im lucky that i’ve liked almost every anime i’ve seen so far.

  • I never heard of 2 or 3 of these animes but Gravitation is an awesome anime. I love it. Even though its only 13 episodes or so. Megaman is not a great anime at all. Beyblade was one of the animes I got bored of.

  • Woah hold on Number 7. I definitely wouldn’t say that Beyblade is anywhere near the best anime ever, but I’m with you in saying ‘screw the losers, because Beyblade was an alright show with a hell of a baddass toyline to back it up.’
    Dats right. Probably THE best toy I’ve ever invested my money in, and yes I am undoubtedly the Best Battler/Customizer to EVER touch a Beyblade Top. Yes. THE BEST. Flash Leopard and I.
    R.I.P. Beyblade.
    (The Best uncontinued Anime-Toy Combination Ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  • Oh Yeah. Carly ‘Post Number 3’. Kick Rocks!!!!!!!! If I Still had my tops I’d Launch Drigger into your eye.

  • I know this post is a year old, but you haven’t seen the worst if you think crying freeman is that bad… dragonauts is the most horrible anime i’ve seen, even with all the pretty faces and gigantic boobs… it is absolutely horrible.

    beyblade… while i admit i have not watched it, it’s targeted to the 5-6yr old, and if you watched the whole series to justify your answer… god help you.

  • oh… forgot to mention, even the fansubbers who finished dragonauts thinks it is a trainwreck.

  • Here’s my Top 5:
    Soul Hunter
    Crayon Shin-chan
    Ping-Pong Club
    I forget what it’s called, but every girl in it has ENORMOUS boobs
    School Days

  • BTW, School Days is one of my top 5 worst animes not just because of the ending…..the plot is loathsome and none of the characters are likable, least of all Makoto Itou. He got what he deserved, though.

  • Am I the only one upset that he dissed FLCL. Sure it’s goofy on the outside but so is Jim Carey. Have you ever seen “Man on the Moon”? That is some really good Jim Carey ooh ooh there’s also “The Majestic” that was good serious stuff too! What I’m trying to say is that just looking at an anime from one angle doesn’t do much. I’ve written essays on it’s symbolism and how great a Bildungsroman FLCL is. It’s all about the drinks dude next time you give it a shot if you ever do. Take a good long look at the drinks he chooses throughout the story. I wouldn’t say FLCL is a great form of visual art I mean the animation is pretty average. I just find it to be a form of literary art. sorry for the rant I just had to get that off my chest.

  • Do you even know just how popular Gravitation is among girls? I’m not saying I like it, but it’s REALLY popular. And also Beyblade is totally not a rip off. Rip offs would be things like “Duel Masters” or “Beadamon” or whatever it’s called. Don’t diss classics that were made when we were children. The original Pokemon, Digimon, and even Beyblade are not made for (however old you are)-year-olds. They’re for kids, and us teens and adults who still have laughs through them and enjoy them as childhood classics.

  • I actually like Beyblade, you know, in the way that you would like Pokemon. It’s nostalgic, I remember when I was a kid with my little cheap plastic beyblade that got smashed to bits on far too many occasions by my big brothers, and the oh so cheesey you laugh at them jokes.

  • This guy clearly doesn’t get that FLCL was supposed to parody animes like gundam and neon genesis evangelion. Anyway, his choice of gravitation makes up for that. I love yaoi, yet I hate gravitation. It’s bad as an anime. It’s bad as a yaoi too. I gave up on it after 3 episodes without regret.

  • It doesn’t really annoy me that I specifically state “hey, this is just my opinion and I know it’s subjective” and yet people get cranky. What really annoys me is that people assume I’m a guy.

    Is that wrong? :p

    Thanks all for voicing your opinions! It’s sometimes a lot of fun to watch “bad” anime… especially when you find out that you LIKE it! Happens to me all the time, and there’s no shame in it. Good on ya for liking what other people don’t and admitting you aren’t trendy.

    Oh, but I assure you that I did “get” FLCL. You can get something and STILL NOT LIKE IT. I just think it was badly made and failed in its intent. *shrug* YMMV, etc. ^_^ You are, as Widge states, allowed to disagree and encouraged to express WHY. Hey, I can learn and change my mind! I admit it when I’m wrong, which I all too often am.

  • Here’s another… ALL of Miyazaki’s films. I mean c’mon: Japan’s answer to Walt Disney? Hell no! That title respectively belongs to Mr. Tezuka. No anime or manga will ever, and I mean EVER, top Tezuka’s works for all times.

  • I really love FLCL, but I can agree it gets bad at times. This article was an opinion, and it should be interpreted as such. Just because Dindrane said it doesn’t mean it is true for everybody. Rational discussions are okay, but going all crazy fanboy doesn’t strengthen your argument.

    I would enjoy seeing a post of your top five animes, Dindrane.

    I shall step off my soapbox now. Who the hell do I think I am?

  • According to the name field, you think you’re Robert. Don’t sweat it, I’m never quite sure who I think I am either. :-)

  • This is where freedom of speech reaches its limits! DON’T HATE ON BEYBLADE! IT CAN’T BE CAPS-LOCKED ENOUGH!
    I must admit, it’s pretty stupid-ish, when you watch it in the English version where such parts as “alcoholic fathers beating up their children” (yes it’s official), and “Near death experiences” ‘n some actually funny scenes (not the ones mentioned above), gets replaced with utterly “unfunnyness”, but even with that… nevermind.

  • I can’t really comment on the rest of them, but I disagree about Gravitation. Sure, it’s not the best anime out there, but one of the top 5 worst anime of all time? I don’t think so, not even close. I’d vote Weiss Kreuz (or Animation Runner Kuromi 2) for one of those spots before I’d even come close to considering Gravitation. I thought it was kind of amusing, though, that you thought the manga was better than the anime – I generally think of it as being the other way around, since the anime reigned Murakami’s crazy in a bit to create a somewhat tighter story (no giant robotic pandas, for one thing).

  • It varies. Some anime are made for older people who wants more and understands more and needs more and vice versa. You wont like the anime thats not in your criteria obviously because it wasn’t meant for you. so thats how it varies depending on your genre & era.

  • First off. Beyblade? -_- are you fucking kidding me. Excuse my pissed off language. This really caught my attention and who ever wrote this has alot of time on their hands degrading one of the best anime for the young generation ever! What does it have to do with Yu-gi-oh? Nothing. Beyblade is in its own world. Just like any other anime, it gives the imagination of simple things a larger view. Maybe to you its just a spinning top, but to those kids in their eyes it was something fun and exciting.. making them believe anything was possible with some practice. Making them believe in adventures, hard work and Friendship. Everyone has great ideas, just because you find it similar to another series doesn’t mean the idea wasn’t thought of themselves. Yu-gi-oh was supposedly based on real monsters from the past that become part of the present. Beyblade bit-beast were spiritual. Like a god of some sort.. only being able to witness its sacred power with your hope and belief. There is a difference.

  • Shalaya: Thanks for your comment. To answer the only question you actually asked I think I can speak for Din when I say that no, she isn’t fucking kidding you. Thanks again.

  • How about Mischa. It was Anime that was animated in 1980 by Nippon Animation to commemorate the 1980 Summer Olympic Games that was held in Moscow USSR NOW Russia even though it never aired in the USA (Due to US lead boycott) that “stinker” of a show aired in the rest of the world aa well as “Food Fighters” ,Bobbity Boo, and peter pan the Animated series

  • On beyblade: i do agree thats its a rip off of yugioh a very succesful series, but why would you make a rip-off of another horrible anime?(yugioh sucks)and i hate animes like beyblade(except digimon)
    and digimon is the way to go, i thought it was da bomb when i was little, and i still do, and speaking of what you said about pokemon, its not that bad, and the movies are pretty darn good.

  • i still dont see how beyblade copied yugioh. beyblade was meant 2 be a kid show not supposed 2 be watched by 15 year olds,and how the fuck is yugioh successful it was dubbed by 4kids

  • Gravitation is one of the finest animes all time. its a shonen ai, which not all people are interested in but for those who are then Gravitation would be see as a all time favorite and a great starter to those “boys love” lovers.

    Beyblade on the other is a childrens show. for a show like that it has a very good story line and something that kids can really get into. when i was younger i watched beyblade and i enjoyed it. Now having gotten older and moved on and deeper into my passion for anime i can say that Beyblade was an oldie but goodie.

    Too each his own i suppose

  • Worst anime of all time? Sailor and the Seven Balls. I know it’s just a movie (and a hentai one, a that), but crap, for someone to think crossing Sailor Moon with Dragonball Z was a good idea, AND making it into a disgusting hentai, is probably the most repulsive, wretched thing ever.

    Know what’s worse? There’s a sequel. THERE’S A SEQUEL.

  • I thought this list was spot-on with these, so I went and watched Strange Dawn. I’ve honestly got to say that it was much better than I expected, though of course, the English version was marketed for children (As opposed to the Japanese, which was marketed for adults.).

    The girls in the show are supposed to be bored, unwilling to help, and generally annoying. The little people are supposed to be fucking weird.

    The show is actually difficult to watch, but if you get past the first 2-3 episodes (a feat, I know) it turns into a deep political show, dealing with racism, war and a truly ALIEN people (honestly, there is one scene where they try to FOOTRAPE this girl).

  • I loved Beyblade as a kid and I usually don’t judge kid shows too much, especially when it was something I loved as a kid.
    I haven’t seen gravitation in a while and never finished it but I remember enjoying the show.
    To your comment about FLCL, the crazyness makes it fun and interesting to the ‘fanboys’. There are a lot of ways to look at FLCL and different ways to interpret it.

  • Ummm, Why is Shiki not in the list? It is complete bullshit with shitty storyline.

  • this list is great. I really hate beyblade with a heated passion, yet i do really like yu-gi-oh and digimon, pokemon because the creatures either are cute or are bad ass. I mean, really? Tops?
    hold on, not enough caps.
    i get it is supposed to be for kids and all but REALLY?
    anyways, i love this list.
    i like FLCL because of the annoyingly funny humor and the horrible plot. not to mention the panty shots in every episode. The perverted side of the show did provide some humor for me.

  • I dislike most “Mons” styled anime with a passion. Call me a Dragon Ball purist or whatever, but if two characters insist on fighting, don’t freakin’ use TOYS or magical balls with monsters inside them or cards… It got old after Yugioh.
    I guess Pokemon’s alright as well as Yugioh… But it gets old after that. Nowadays, it feels like toy companies make Mons anime just to advertise their product.
    That’s my rant on Mons shows.

  • Oh, by way. Sonic X? Another cream of the crap that was crapped out by the most fucked up minds out there for the sole sake of makin’ a quick yen? What’s worse- the abysmal budget that half-assed show had COULD have been used to improve the Sonic games of that generation. That means it could have generated MORE money by *not existing*. Yes. An anime would have been MORE PROFITABLE had it NOT EXISTED. GET THAT ONE. Instead, we were given horrible voice acting, horrible dialogue, horrible jokes, art and animation so bad it mocks the human race, and plots and logic so twisted beyond human comprehension that aliens 5,000,000 years from now will look upon it and ask “Where art thou human sanity!” Sonic X, you infected swine! You son of a rejected motherless raped fuckbucket goat, Sega! 4kids! TMS!! My favorite franchise, ruined by possibly one of the WORST ANIME EVER MADE?! You have to see this anime just to comprehend how bad it- no. You can’t comprehend. There’s nothing to comprehend.

    I found one review that summarizes- SUMMARIZES- my feelings for this greasebox wood goblin transaster they tried to call an epic anime.

    Agh… I need to watch more seinen…

    PS- If the language got too out of control just censor it.