Jonathan's 20 Worst Anime: 20-11

Well, you all waited long enough. No more stalling. It's time to talk about the twenty worst anime I have ever seen in my entire life! I've split this list into two parts, so I can really dig into just how awful all of these are, and this is also where most of the seasonal stuff ended up. As I said, I have seen some shit. There's a few things I've rated not too terribly in the past on here as well, and that's because time lets you realize bad things may be worse than you first thought sometimes. I also took into account the flavors of bad and my own personal feelings on each show, and I feel this order is a great ordering of bad to scream inducing.

Also, I may end up talking about sexual assault because bad anime sure loves that, so you have been warned if you're sensitive to that.

Now, onto out first entry, and the first anime I reviewed for this site ...11eyes.

Ah yes, I still remember 11eyes. People warned me about this random watch and I didn't listen. I don't regret this, though. I was immensely entertained while also being horribly confused by nearly every single decision. 11eyes is utterly fascinating once you look up info on the source material and realize just how badly this was butchered. This is seriously one of the worst adaptations I have ever seen that still managed to stay in the ballpark of the concept, mainly because every single change made is goddamn insane.

The worst come from they very limited episode run. The major antagonists, the black knights, get absolutely no definition or development beyond “bad,” while major supporting characters get their own stories cut or watered down so much that they don't feel much like characters at all. The worst of this is the main love interest, who goes from terrified girl with powers that went out of control and lead to all her friends killing each other, to Yuno level yandere who tries to fucking murder someone with a razor blade in the tea because she's interested in her childhood friend. Also, she walks around outside in her underwear at one point. I can't make this shit up. Oh, and she wins the main character in the end, despite being the cause of almost every horrible thing in the series. Because the writing staff have some serious issues they need to work out.

What's even more baffling and downright inexcusable is that there's an entirely pointless episode here. I don't mean character focused filler or comedy break, I mean actually pointless because it's a non-canon what-if right before the last, incredibly lame episode that basically shows a bad ending instead of the good one. Now, granted, that bad ending is the most amazing thing I have ever seen, but the fact that's not the actual ending and the staff didn't have the balls to give the entire audience the middle finger actually pisses me off even more. 11eyes is a confusing train wreck as it goes on, and there's something to that. This is good bad movie bad here, genuinely terrible and inept, but there was a scene where a girl dressed only in her underwear went out into a garden and rubbed against her childhood friend, whom only reacted with “what.” That counts for something.

Still garbage, though.

Now here's some bad you can hate! Dimension W was one of the most promising anime of the year, gifted with beautiful animation, interesting ideas, a lovely color pallet, and a fantastic score. I was betting that this would be one of the best of the year at one point.

I'm sorry for recommending this to some of you, by the way.

Dimension W's problems come entirely from the source material, which somehow pretends to be the next Cowboy Bebop, when it's actually some 90s dark age comics garbage. The problems here don't come from structure, presentation, or ideas, but entirely from the characters and politics. See, this high minded sci-fi series is not actually about the cool ideas of energy from another dimension changing the very concept of time, but one unlikable, emotionless asshole guy being mad that technology killed his girlfriend.

No really. That is his back story. His girlfriend died because there was an accident with a new technology so all of this new technology is bad and that's why he keeps hitting the cute robot girl over and over while also emotionally abusing her. Because MY GIRLFRIEND IS DEAD. I can't make this shit up. Someone thought this was a good idea.

The lead, Kyouma, is a terrible person and portrayed as someone we should root for. He's cold to everyone around him, never emotes, and did I mention emotionally and physically abuses the cute robot girl who has self-awareness and is more human than machine? He is where nearly every problem centers, and also an example of its gross, misogynistic worldview. Women are constantly victimized and fridged, heroine Mira mainly exists to be the subject of the creator's sadistic fetishes (DESPITE HAVING SUPERHUMAN STRENGTH AND AGILITY), and they aren't allowed their own stories but to be stops on the arcs of the male characters. This series honestly makes me want to vomit sometimes.

And hey, there's nothing wrong with having a BDSM fetish. But there's a time and place to have a cute robot girl tortured with chains or an African dictator showing off his bizarre control powers on his servant/slave girl, and that's not in A GOD DAMN SCI-FI STORY ABOUT TECHNOLOGY THAT WARPS TIME AND SPACE. HOLY SHIT.

I hope you like light novel anime because you're going to see a lot of them on this list. You're going to see a LOT of them. Rating them was hard, but Anti-Magic Academy ended up being the least terrible of the placers, which is impressive because this one pissed me off a good deal. It's a series about fascism and terrorism, showing the horrors that both of these extremes cause, except it keeps failing to engage with those concepts because if we don't have the personality devoid main guy getting his dick chased by a bunch of obnoxious anime girls, then the audience won't be able to self-insert. Also, everyone is a goddamn cartoon with no depth or complexity, outside two exceptions.

Usagi and Ikaruga are actually likable, have good concepts in their back stories, and should probably just leave this series forever and go be gay together. But even they don't get off well, as Usagi's arc involves an abusive boyfriend and an attempted rape, while Ikaruga's personality is a bit lacking definition because the writer can't decide if she's really emotionally stunted or just repressed. The rest of the series is either obnoxiously unfunny, or terribly boring, filled with the failure of making use of interesting ideas. It also pulls out a lot of tired cliches, mainly the poorly defined villains. None of their plans make sense, not a damn one. Why do they even keep that crazy flower guy around if all he does is ruin every goddamn plan!?

That said, the last arc is so mind-numbingly awful in the BEST WAY. It pissed me off when I first saw it, but looking back, I adore how bad this arc is. Every single decision is terrible, especially the eldrich monster little sister that definitely wants to fuck her brother's brains out, but it manages to fail so spectacularly that it becomes shocking and hilarious. And kudos for that one guy who decides to be the bad guy just because. His character becomes evil laughter and “fuck it” at just pure random, even looking at the audience directly as he questions why he's not doing something horrible right now. That saves it a little in my eyes. But don't watch it. Everything else is fucking awful and I hate it.

Dragon Crisis is a complete failure on every conceivable level. Absolutely nothing about it is good or does anything right. It's only low on this list because it's not particularly offensive or terrible, but that's still not a compliment. Dragon Crisis is like an endless humming noise you can't find the origin of. You can live with it, but it will drive you into constant frustration. From episode one, it's a disaster that creates a world hopping, treasure hunting concept that never gets used so we can unfunny high school antics with a loli dragon and a spineless loser main character. Every single arc has at least one good idea, but it is instantly undercut so the main character can pull out a deus ex machina power with the loli dragon to instantly solve the problem. Action scenes have no tension, there's barely any actual animation, the music is awful, and the comedy could be used to punish small children.

Even worse than that is how the entire series revolves around the awful generic light novel lead, including one episode that could have been used for character development for the entire major female cast, only for it to become a seven minute long scene where they all massage the little twerp's ego. It is astounding how little their own struggles or desires matter because it all ends up being focused on the main character, who has no actual desires or significant arc beyond “i find the loli dragon hot.” He's not a main character, he's a lamp. I've seen hentai manga self-insert leads with more personality than this deformed Shinji clone. And I mean Shinji clone because, yes, he has mommy issues! Mommy wasn't there enough so everything is bad! Hold me back before I start screeching in tongues.

It's not a particularly terrible thing, though. This isn't going to stay in my brain beyond the last arc's conflict revolving around the loli dragon almost dying because she hits puberty and really wants to fuck the main character (that is the literal, actual last arc conflict). Dragon Crisis just pathetic mostly, and a lot of it has already left my brain. I had to look up what happened in the wolf girl's arc, and I saw this only a few months ago. I hope it gets wiped from the collective human memory forever.

I'm still not sure how this series even came into existence. It defies all logic. It's something that NEEDS to be experienced. This is grade-A bad anime right here. Day Break Illusion is basically Pretty Cure mixed with Madoka Magica and Magical Girl Ai. Do not search that last one, trust me on this. What I'm saying is that this show is somehow trying to aim at the audiences of little girls, older audiences, and disgusting perverts into tentacle torture all at the same time.

This series was backed by Square-Enix and Aniplex. This was supposed to be the start of a huge franchise to rival Pretty Cure as its darker counter-part. To say they failed would be like saying the reaction to the newest Happy Madison project was met with less than stellar reviews. Day Break Illusion is the most tonally confused show I have EVER seen. It has absolutely no idea what it's supposed to be or what it wants to do, and it keeps jumping around from girls growing up and becoming friends to horrific monster murders and psychological horror from the monsters being corrupted human beings that can only be killed and put out of their misery to save other people. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, in this series works or fits together, and the sloppy world building does not help.

They outright take old magical girl archetypes and then attach bizarre dark drama to it, like complexes over failing to save a good friend (and flashback portrayed like something out of Evil Dead) or becoming an evil magical werewolf with dangling tits because of a gay crush. I have to stress with this list that these insane things I describe actually happened. The designs are like an edgy take on Pretty Cure, so they have all the terrible business with none of the charm. Supporting characters look like side characters from an episode of Pokemon, yet exist in stories with horrific murders and psychological breaks. Hell, the bad guy's big plan is to make the main character fuck him and give birth to some sort of evil god.

I stress, none of this is made up.

But the execution is even weirder, because it's either played straight, or the writers know how stupid all this is and make jokes, and it's never clear what is what. For every scene you have with children happily singing as a demonic murder train is charging towards them, there's a genuine attempt at emotional resonance. Then you have confusingly amazing moments, like when the bad guy has some business guy who has no point in being here convince the towns people that the magic school the girls go to is run by witches and they form an angry mob with pitchforks and torches within minutes.

This series takes place in the modern day.

This series needs to be seen to be believed. You will never see so many baffling decisions piled up so heavily in the modern age of anime.

Remember, despite how good Rage of Bahamut was, most all videogame anime is garbage. Take Bakumatsu Rock, one of the laziest things Studio DEEN has ever put out (which is saying a lot). The idea of this series is so stupid that there should be some face value entertainment to be had. A bunch of hot guys in a poorly defined time period want to play music, which will start a revolution because it destroys the stifling idol industry the government uses to control the populace. They get shirtless a lot. I'm fine with that part, the problem is everything else. For a comedy, Bakumatsu Rock has a shocking lack of jokes, and the ones that are there suck pretty hard.

It's all very tired filler episode premises strung together, and the jokes in them rarely make sense or feel fleshed out. A comically inept female idol group that can't sing worth a damn aren't nearly as terrible as the reaction to their music says they are in one episode, while another goes a long way for a penis gag where the joke is that the guy's dick isn't small but big. Wow. How wacky. That certainly isn't a joke that I haven't seen in every single low brow comedy ever made. It's almost always boringly predictable or confusingly told, but the actual story of the series fairs even worse.

There are massive structure issues here. At one point, an episode opens forgetting the character development that happened in the previous episode so it can have it in this episode again in a more dramatic scene. The idol industry conflict is poorly built up, and it goes on and on to get to the damn point. The story goes nowhere for most of the run-time, and when it does, it does it in the most melodramatic way. That could be entertaining, but the complete lack of quality animation and constantly repeated songs drain all life out of every scene. Our villain also gets no real definition for most of the series, a common hallmark or poorly planned out cash-ins and bad comedies. I can't really give a description justice to show just how bad this series is, but it is truly one of the most amateur anime I have ever seen. Nobody making this clearly gave a shit.

Except for the animation where the pretty guys are shirtless and playing their instruments at the same time. They cared a lot about that, bless them. But that's, like, one sequence that gets repeated over and over. I demand more shirtless hot guy scenes.

I despise this franchise so, so much. When I first reviewed this, I gave it a fairly average score, but as I look back at it more and more, I just get angrier and angrier this series exists. Fantasista Doll is a thankfully dead magical girl/card collection series that wanted to hit up that ever popular young girls market by combining two concepts that practically print money. The reason it never took off is that it's insulting trash. Say what you will about Day Break Illusion, at least it tried to empower its cast of little girls (which may be the only thing it managed to do with any success at all). This heavily marketed garbage, however, only manages to be a checklist of sexist bullshit.

I'm serious, this is ungodly gross once you stop and think about it. The premise is that a normal girl gets magical/sci-fi (fuck if the series can decide) cards that can summon five different magical girl warriors, plus give them boosts or cast spells and traps. She becomes involved in a tournament with a free wish as the prize, but she has no agency or desire and mostly just farts around every episode, helping other characters get what they really need or want without magical wishing. All fine and good. But then you look at the cast and they are all kind of the worst thing.

While our main doesn't really have a personality beyond “really does not want to be here right now,” the dolls are all gross cliches with a creepy amount of loyalty that basically paints them as really happy slaves. They all have stock personalities (the child, the tough one, the cold one, ect), but their desires and wants make them out to be closer to pets than human beings. They have no desire than to have a loving master and yeah that sounds REALLY fucked up. But for the target audience, the real problem is that these characters have no real journeys that human beings would go through, making them objects more than characters. Does not help here is an entire episode where this gets flipped around in a really creepy way with a little girl that sees her dolls as her “masters.” But that episode also has one of the most bullshit endings ever, because this show can't let itself have actual stakes. And don't even get me started at that running gag where the dolls want snacks all the time. Nothing in this show works or has personality, you can see every coldly calculated move, and then see the bizarre fetish stuff. This is what happens when a bunch of guys have no idea how to make a show for little girls.

Note that this is not the worst of the light novel shows. Only the second worst. You all probably figured out what the first was if you've been following me for awhile, but make no mistake that Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle is absolute fucking trash dump. For the get go, the character names are a massive, flashing warning light. The main character is a twink named Lux. It can only get worse from there.

This series is so openly and constantly gross that it's almost impressive. Like Anti-Magic, we do have two characters here worth saving from this show, Krulcifer and Phi (MY DOUGHNUT EATING DAUGHTER), but everything else is so horrible that it almost doesn't matter. These two shows have similar sins in that they're both boring and forget to explore their own themes and ideas so every single girl can pine after the main character's dick (or in Krulcifer's case, pine to step on Lux's face). But this one here goes several steps further into gross territory. Anti-Magic did do an awful job with Usagi's back story, but I can't really say the same with everyone else. Their conflicts made sense and actually avoided a lot of grosser stuff. But not this series! It always comes back to the threat of rape, a symbolic act that was basically rape, or a misogynistic ass of a villain that really wants to rape someone. Exceptions are made to the ninja girl and head knight character, but the ninja is barely in the show, while the head knight is built up as a lesbian who hates men when she turns out to really love men and is just awkward around them. I'm serious. Also, the girl that was hinted to be her girlfriend was also a bad guy the whole time.

Please stop light novel writers.

What's worse is that this series is so aggressively BOOOOOOOOOOOOOORING. Anti-Magic at least had moments of lunacy, or comedy so bad that it actually transcended into hilarious at times (there's a scene where every girl in the series gets drunk and it's kind of the best thing), Bahamut Chronicles remains lifeless and stock the whole way through. The only good bits come from Krulcifer occasionally reminding us she's totally into femdom or Phi just eating a donut as something stupid is occurring, and even those jokes are very been done. The worst offender is Lisha, the main heroine who thinks you make babies by kissing. I hate her. I hate her so, so much. If the series isn't making me mad, it's making me sleepy, usually the latter. The villains are all just so terrible, the kind of bad guys you'd see as the starting baddie to get owned and forgotten, and they keep coming back to major twists and revelations. The main conflict is also hilarious inept, because it's so bloody simple, yet treated as some complex political drama. The series has so many interesting themes relating to the right of rule, responsibility of those with power, might and emotional connection, and so, so much more, but not a single idea is used or explored properly. The end result is an absolute waste of a show that should only be remembered for the one ballbuster girl and Phi, who is a universal good.

Holy shit fuck this show. Hard sci-fi is a difficult genre to pull off. It can be very dry and uninteresting to an audience that doesn't really get what its talking about, but trying to please an audience too much leads to something very stupid and insulting to those who do get the ideas at play. Divergence Eve is dead smack in the center of those two extremes, and is somehow even worse for it. I'm not even sure why this is a show that exists. The series released at a time where sci-fi was all the rage in the anime scene, especially sci-fi that explored psychological issues. EVA's influence could still be felt quite a bit, and bless it if we didn't get a few interesting works out of it. But then you have Divergence Eve, an absolute disaster that had the exact wrong staff for the exact wrong show.

The idea here is that the series explores memory, time, and alternate realities, as our cast are apart of an experiment relating to reality warping phenomenons. It has a slow burn pacing slowly revealing everything and leading to a bizarre conclusion. That's all fine and good, but the characters we have to invest in are either assholes (fuck that reporter) or poorly defined characters that are meant to be normal, but come out as undeveloped. I can describe each character's personality roughly the same as the last, outside the villain and that fucking reporter, making it really hard to be invested in anything that happens to them. It does not help the science the series explores is theoretical, and it doesn't really explore it as well as it could. The weird reality warping stuff mostly just leads to zombie robot pilots, which is the most boring idea you can come up with for a show like this. Noien explored the exact same ideas and did it worlds better, with a wide cast of diverse characters, complex drama with no easy answers, and interesting discussions on memory and alternate realities that remembered to have a human element. This series does not.

The biggest problem, though, are the character designs and directing staff. The team they got for this series worked together on a Burn Up OVA, and their resumes show them taking charge in works of fluff and titty shots. These were not the right people for this show. Toshinari Yamashita's character designs are pretty samey and poorly structured to begin with, but their presence here only distracts further, especially with all the focus on boobs and ass. Hiroshi Negishi also isn't a bad director by any means, but he works best with action and cheesecake, leading to a series with lifeless shots because he has no idea what to do with dialog scenes, the large majority of the show. Worse yet, he's working with early CG for the mech scenes, which have aged just so, so horribly. This series did have talent, but it was the wrong talent, and that made all the difference. I wonder what this could have been with a proper staff.

The Sci-Fi channel introduced me to a lot of garbage. The worst of it I could stand to finish (I had to tap out of Vampire Wars) was Virus Buster Serge, a truly idiotic, poorly thought out mess. It was another one of those deep and meaningful sci-fi shows from the era, and by deep and meaningful, I mean as shallow as an average pop star's personality and as simplistic as ...well, an average pop star's personality. It's partly an excuse to have a bunch of “”””””hot”””””” guys do things, but also a cyberpunk thriller about a virus that controls people, dealing with questions of individuality and the nature of being human. In other words, it fancied itself Ghost in the Shell.

It was not.

This show is really frustrating to explain, because a lot happens in it, yet it feels like nothing happens at all. This is partly because our main character, Serge, is a character who knows nothing about himself and slowly pieces it together over time. Except not really, because the show loves to slather itself in pretentious symbols and imagery when not showing off the ridiculous outfits on the main characters. This show has a lot of fujoshi in its blood, which I'm normally okay with (they gave us Free and all), but the costume designs are some of the worst I have ever witnessed. These outfits are less hot stripper gear and more slapped together objects on a slab of man meat, which just distracts from all the man meat because you're wondering what the fuck all these random things they're wearing are supposed to do. The character designs are also hideous in general, with weird eyes and scratchy blush marks. The character designer was the same one for Angel Blade, and while that OVA looked awful, that guy trying to make hot guys is somehow even worse.

And fuck if I can explain what this show is even about. I mean, it's about Serge finding himself and tying that into the virus plot, but the show takes heavily from EVA's playbook of mixing in a lot of obtuse imagery in place of sensible scenes. The issue is that EVA's bizarre storytelling had a point to it, while this is trying to make a style out of something lacking style. By the end, nothing is properly explained, and nothing relating to the themes of the show gets explored in any meaningful way. The end result is a weird, empty, boring, and ultimately confused series that wants to be about three different things, and does not get why any of those three things work. I'm kind of glad the late 90s, early 2000s boom of hard sci-fi anime ended, because for every Serial Experiments Lain or Ghost in the Shell, we also got about ten Virus Buster Serges.

The top ten comes next installment, so strap in and prepare yourselves for the highest level crap. Trust me, it can get much, much worse.


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