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Aborted Arc / Anime & Manga

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  • Bleach is just filled with these.
    • Early on, it seemed like Tatsuki Arisawa, a friend of Ichigo and Orihime, was being built up to eventually become a companion who would fight alongside the core group. However, she became Out of Focus and Locked Out of the Loop once the Soul Society arc got going.
    • When the series ended, it left enough plot lines aborted to fill a cemetery, including those introduced a mere twenty chapters before the ending. The biggest is everything learned about the Soul King after his death,, and his relation to the Quincy and Yhwach, his son.
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  • Bokura no Hentai hinted that Akane is either gender dysphoric or that she has complex issues with hitting puberty and growing up. There's no resolution to this. Akane was Demoted to Extra in the latter part of the manga and all of her issues disappear after she gains her first crush on Tamura.
  • Code Geass:
    • The series lost a couple of important story elements thanks to the time slot shift for the second season and the Retool intended to prevent a Continuity Lockout on new fans. This includes an explanation for Suzaku's superhuman abilities (and any possible connection to the Geass) and the possibility of finally revealing C.C.'s name.
    • There's one in the first season with Shirley after Lelouch erased her memories. Shirley ends up finding a page of her missing diary that she threw away earlier which reminds her about Lelouch being Zero. It never comes into play later probably because of the retooled second season where everyone's memory was erased. Something similar to this does happen in the second season but the diary isn't used this time and isn't even mentioned.
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    • Season one heavily hinted on a return, or at least a relevant arc, surrounding Kallen's dead brother. Season two however, dropped this build-up completely.
  • Digimon Adventure 02 had the infamous "His Master's Voice" (aka "Call of Dagomon") episode. A tribute to the works of H. P. Lovecraft, the episode ended with Dagomon (a horrifying Cthulhu clone) rising up from the sea in silhouette, with the Find Out Next Time narration promising a future appearance from the beast. Dagomon never appeared again. His role was originally going to be expanded, but meddling from Bandai and disputes amongst the show's staff led to the arc being aborted, creating headaches for Digimon fans for years to come. Not even his actual appearance in Xros Wars' final arc has cured it (though that was likely because it was a different individual of the same species in an alternate universe). Time will only tell if the new Sequel Series will get this squid-shaped monkey off everyone's backs...which it didn't!
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Androids 19 and 20 are introduced as the perpetrators of a Bad Future, with Trunks specifically referring to those two numbers, their entrance setting them up as dangerous threats, and their creator Doctor Gero being Android 20 himself. Then when Akira Toriyama's former editor expressed dissatisfaction with the pair, they were swiftly destroyed to make way for Androids 17 and 18 (now retconned to be the real villains).
    • While Android 18 activates Android 16, Doctor Gero protests that he's defective, dangerous, and would destroy them all, heavily suggesting 16 was intended to be the arc's Final Boss. However, nothing ever comes of Gero's warnings, with only a retcon years after the fact to suggest he was bluffing.
    • Though Androids 17 and 18 hunt down Goku to kill him simply because they have nothing better to do, as soon as Cell (via more former-editorial influence) enters the picture and overshadows their menace, they simply drop their desire to kill for little apparent reason.
  • The manga based on the Galaxy Angel gameverse starts up a Mint storyline... but then drops it to focus on Ranpha and Milfie, not even ending Mint's plot.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! was going to have a brief sub-arc during Mahorafest featuring Zazie and the Nightmare Circus event, but it was cut because Mahorafest was getting really long as it was (at the time, roughly half the manga). It's implied that Negi did go to the circus, but we never actually get to see it, thus making the series' most enigmatic character even more enigmatic.
  • The animated adaptation of Mahou Sensou. Plot twists will be suddenly thrown at the viewer as though setting up an impending story arc, only to be forgotten about as quickly as they'd appeared. One of the most blatant examples is when Ida's sister is supposedly kidnapped by the magical equivalent of the FBI: it seems as though the heroes are going to pull off a daring rescue, but instead the kidnapping is never brought up again and the series ends with the viewer clueless as to what ultimately happened to her.
  • Happened a few times in the Pokémon anime:
    • The GS Ball was a MacGuffin that loosely guided the overall plot for about a season and a half, spanning 60 episodes. A Poké Ball that nobody could open, Ash was supposed to give the GS ball to Kurt, the leading Pokéball expert, in order to discover whatever secrets the ball held. After giving the ball to Kurt, however, neither the GS Ball nor its contents were ever brought up again. The GS Ball was supposed to hold Celebi, a legendary Nature Spirit Pokémon, that would be the focus of the next arc, but the writers later decided to give Celebi a starring role in a movie, hoping that viewers would eventually forget about the GS Ball. They didn't, and haven't.
    • Early on in the Orange Islands saga, Misty's Togepi had begun surreptitiously using Metronome to help out Ash and the others with them being none the wiser about Togepi having learned an attack. By the time Misty had given away Togepi — now a Togetic — to help protect the Mirage Kingdom at the end of her return episodes in Hoenn, they still hadn't figured out what Togepi had been doing.
    • In the Best Wishes saga, we have a case of an aborted conclusion to a near-finished arc. The subplot with Team Rocket and the "Meteonite", a space rock with special destructive powers, is built up for several episodes and just as the epic two-part conclusion to this subplot is about to air, an earthquake devastates Japan and the episodes are pulled from rotation and never referenced again. Various trailers and a synopsis based on leaked information show that it went pretty much how one would expect it to go - with Team Plasma stealing the Meteonite from Team Rocket, the two teams fighting over it, and Ash intervening and having Pikachu destroy it to end the conflict. Though even if they did air, the announcement of sequel games as opposed to the usual Updated Re-release third version caused such a shakeup that the rest of the Plasma plotline was excised from the main story, completely separating it from the whole Badge quest and Tournament Arc.
    • Half of The Birth Of Mewtwo radio drama, meant to go with Pokémon: The First Movie and later animated (though excluding the first portion), revolves around Jessie's Missing Mom Miyamoto and how she's been searching for Mew for twenty years. Outside of the drama nothing has referenced Miyamoto. She has yet to be reunited with Jessie.
  • Psycho-Pass had a storyline about Rina, Yayoi's former friend and a guitarist who is secretly building a La Résistance against the Sibyl System. She was never caught and Season 2 and the movie never mentioned her again.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica ends with Madoka essentially becoming God with her wish and rewriting the rules of the universe so that in this new setting the enemies aren't Witches any more, but tall, robed creatures named Wraiths. The plot of the series is continued and concluded in the third movie, Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion. This time, however, the enemies are new creatures called Nightmares except not really, because it's all part of a fake reality which is Homura's witch barrier and the Wraiths are nowhere to be seen again, outside of that very brief and unexplained scene at the very end of the original series.
  • In Ranma ½, Ranma's attempts to conceal his curse are quietly dropped in the middle of the "Full-body Cat's Tongue" arc and the story goes from no-one at school knowing about his curse to everyone (except Kuno) knowing about it with hardly a ripple or comment from anybody, signaling a general shift from dramatic arcs to episodic comedy.
  • The penultimate chapter of School Rumble throws both major shipping factions a bone by having Harima suddenly get (pretend) engaged to Eri but move in with Yakumo. The final chapter mentions none of this, instead going with a time skip and an infamous "pie end" that resets what little development Harima had managed to obtain.
  • Shinzo: The first season sets up an arc where the heroes have to confront the so-called Seven Enterran Generals who started the war that wiped out humanity and ending with their leader, who is of course the most powerful one. This quest is cut short when the third General on the list reveals that she had already killed the remaining ones to absorb their power, then herself is killed by a time-displaced version of the Big Bad. Killing him then causes a Temporal Paradox that changes the entire history of the show.
  • In Sonic X, it's revealed that Eggman comes from Earth, which is in a separate universe from Sonic's world. Aside from that one scene this is never referenced again. How Eggman got to Sonic's planet and why he can't remember how he got there is never clarified.
  • In To Love-Ru the plot regarding attacks by Lala's suitors is slowly dropped during the story. The last reference is the return of Lacospo and no other suitor appears after this.
  • Wandering Son:
    • Mako comes out as transgender to her mother, but nothing ever comes out of that afterwards.
    • In high school the series foreshadows that Anna will be outed as Nitori's girlfriend and that this will affect her career. Aside from a few close calls, the manga ends with them still being in a Secret Relationship.
  • The Yakitate 25 arc in Yakitate!! Japan suddenly came to an abrupt end partway through when Kirisaki cancelled the competition after he had turned into a half-bread monster, which is rather jarring when two matches ago, Pantasia suddenly found themselves on the verge of defeat and struggling to stay afloat. The fact that the arc had quickly succumbed to becoming Strictly Formula might have something to do with it.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Yusei at one point duels and defeats a Sadist Teacher to prevent him from expelling Rua, Ruka, and their classmates. The final scene of the episode shows one of their classmates, Sly, staring at Yusei and vowing to acquire his Stardust Dragon, implying he would try to steal it. It's never brought up again.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, Jonouchi's quest for a better Duel Disk goes nowhere.


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