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Bad Future / Anime & Manga

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  • The entirety of After War Gundam X is one to the original Mobile Suit Gundam, sort of. It's a different universe with different people and Mobile Suit designs, but events pretty much play out exactly the same way right up until the point things get pear-shaped and all the space colonies fall on Earth.
    • Similarly, Bakunetsumaru's home universe in SD Gundam Force is implied to take place in a version of the Future Century where the Devil Gundam won. The SD Gundams there are all made from Nano Machines not unlike the DG Cells and are all based on G Gundam designs. Humans are said to have once lived there but they have long since gone extinct.
  • In the 2001 series of Cyborg 009, it turns out that the Psychic Assassins come from one of these... where Black Ghost has taken over the world. When Joe/009 lands in it with Leena and she tells him what's going on, he suffers a severe Heroic BSoD.
  • The Future Trunks timeline from Dragon Ball Z was this type of future, where humanity is struggling to survive and the Androids have wiped out just about all the heroes in existence. The Future Badass's reason for going back in time is NOT to prevent the timeline from ever coming to pass (since his paradox-resistant time travel creates tangent universes that unfold independently of the original timeline).note  During a flashback, he informs the others that Bulma, the mastermind behind his trip, had two objectives:
    1) She wanted Trunks to fight and explore the past with Son Goku and co. in order to learn about the Androids and find as many weaknesses as possible.
    2) If objective number one proved to not be enough, Trunks wanted to have Goku come to the future with him so Goku could defeat the androids for them.
    Fortunately, with the power boost he gained from training in the past, Trunks is finally able to destroy the androids... and even Cell, who without the androids can't reach his perfect form.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, we go back into Future Trunks timeline and the future got even worse than when the Androids wreck havoc on Earth. An evil doppelganger of Goku, who Bulma dubbed Goku Black, appeared out of nowhere and began killing all the remaining humans. By the time the arc begins, Trunks has been fighting him for about a year with little success, numerous cities are reduced to rubble, and barely anyone is left. Trunks is forced to go back to the past to ask for the heroes' help once again. As the arc progresses, it turns out that things are far worse: Goku Black and his ally/Alternate Self, Future Zamasu, had killed all the Kais of the multiverse, in turn killing all the Gods of Destruction, and they had already purged numerous planets before coming to Earth. In the end, with a merged Zamasu becoming an Eldritch Abomination and threatening to consume the multiverse, the only option is to have Zeno obliterate the entire timeline. The only survivors, Future Trunks and Future Mai, go back to an earlier point in the future, to warn Future Beerus about everything and thus prevent it from happening again.
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  • In Eureka Seven Ao, the Scub Burst created by the Secrets and Scub Coral have eventually ended the human civilization by the year 12021 at the end of episode 22. It is unknown if this ruined future is the same world as the original TV series or AO's world, and is not known whether Ao firing the final shot of the Quartz cannon averted this future from happening.
  • Fairy Tail
    • Erza attempts to perform a Heroic Sacrifice in order to save all her friends. While doing so, however, she gets a brief glimpse of her own funeral where everyone is tearfully mourning for her, and Natsu, who witnesses her sacrifice, refusing to accept her death and having to be restrained when he flips out—naturally, this is far from the future Erza intended. Natsu averts this future by saving Erza before she can carry out her sacrifice.
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    • Narrative flash forwards during the Grand Magic Games arc suggest one's looming on the horizon where something really bad will go down after the Games' conclusion, resulting in at least the destruction of Fiore's royal castle and the death of several guild members.
    • Later on in the arc, it is revealed that there are two - both involving humanity being driven to near-extinction by Dragons. The first (and the one the flash forwards were pointing towards) has 10,000 dragons emerge from Eclipse, destroying everything in their path (Future Lucy's future). The second has the gate being shut/prevented from opening, but the Dragon King Acnologia conquers the world (Future Rogue's future). The first one was averted with Eclipse's destruction and the resulting paradox. As for the second, the first signs of its aversion were the avoidance of Frosch's death by Gray's hands (which sent Future Rogue spiraling into villainy in the first place) before it was fully averted with Acnologia's death at the end of the manga.
  • Rare inverted example in Future Diary, where a parallel dimension is created, and through a series of events, the survival game is prevented, and everyone's bad future is prevented. Reisuke's parents are still alive and happy together, Tsubaki has two loving parents who are still alive and the Religion of Evil is actually a benevolent group, Yuno is a completely normal girl with friends, and Yuki doesn't even know her, having his own girlfriend as well.
  • It's more of an immediate future than most, but Kira's Bites The Dust ability in Part 4 of Jojos Bizarre Adventure ends up causing one where the entire main cast dies, while the one inadvertently causing it to go off and getting stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop as a result has to find a way to stop it before the ability is canceled and the Bad Future is made permanent.
  • Katekyō Hitman Reborn!: Roughly half of the cast is dead or about to be exterminated, 10 years from the "present". The 9 previous years were apparently peaceful and prosperous, though.
    • Subverted that this is actually the best future out of 8 trillion. The guardians are still alive, the world has yet to be conquered by the Big Bad, the invention of the Vongola Boxes and Vongola Decimo is still alive!
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Negi and his team are sent forward a week by a time-trap, arriving in a world where the mastermind succeeded in busting the masquerade wide open. Naturally, this doesn't stop Negi, who finds a way back to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. Quite arguably (and this was a source of much angst for Negi), this was actually a Good Future (for the world as a whole, at least; less so for the main cast).
    • Wherever/whenever Chao came from counts as well. She and her compatriots never mentioned it, downplaying it as something relatively trivial. Chapter 298 reveals that it's far from trivial: a horrible, century-long war between Earth-born and Mars-born humans, brought about by Mundus Magicus' collapse.
    • Near the end, Asuna wakes up in an unhappy but not necessarily bad future when she essentially oversleeps in her magical coma and misses over a century's worth of events. She goes back in time to be with her friends again. A major reveal in UQ Holder! is that it takes place in this particular future, just a couple decades before Asuna finally woke up. A number of terrible events occurred that wouldn't occur in the Negima timeline thanks to Asuna's intervention.
  • The future of the Mazinger Z universe is shown being bleak in Shin Mazinger Zero. The premise of that spin-off is the world and the entire mankind have been burnt to ashes by a Mazinger-Z turned Eldritch Abomination in the future, and Robot Girl Minerva-X sends Kouji Kabuto back in time to save everybody. However they are locked into a Groundhog Peggy Sue loop since Kouji has failed every time so far, and Minerva keeps sending him back because she can trust no one else. They have repeated the same cycle almost three thousand times when the series starts, so it seems not matter what Kouji does, the world is doomed.
  • In Murasakiiro no Qualia, Hatou dies young and in not-so-nice ways in many of the parallel worlds.
    • Ultimately, despite having characteristics that could make one consider it as a "good life", any future that doesn't have her achieving her goal of finding Alice is considered bad and a rejected possibility.
  • Parodied, like everything else, in My Monster Secret: In Rin's future, the Charismatic Pervert II has taken over the world, ushering in a Free-Love Future of sluts and perverts. A small resistance remains, comprised of the 10% of men who are not masochists, and 30% of women. And there are spaceships and magical dragons, for some reason.
    • However, later story arcs show that this isn't all Played for Laughs: The spaceships are there because Nagisa Aizawa's home planet invaded Earth after being unable to peacefully coexist with humanity; Nagisa blames herself for being unable to mediate between the two worlds. Even later it's revealed that the reason nobody from the future talks about Youko is because her vampiric powers went out of control just before graduation and she ran away, never to be seen again. Thus, both Future Nagisa and Rin begin working with Asahi to avert this disaster.
  • Noein has two bad futures. Shangri'la, an empty world created solely to bring about the convergence of all other time spaces, and La'Cryma, a battered world that is under assaulted by Shangri'la.
    • There is a possible future shown wherein Haruka is dead/gone/something?/out-of-picture, Yuu is away at school, Ai loses use of one leg and nearly commits suicide, Isami loses his parent(s) and becomes a delinquent then loses an eye and is about to commit murder in revenge, and Miho has gone insane and is also on the verge of suicide. The murder is prevented by sending (Young) Yuu to Isami, to remind Isami of who he really is, and tell him that Ai needs him. Isami then comes running to the roof of the hospital to stop Ai. Miho is brought back by Atori, of all people. By Shangrila's space-time power, and Haruka's power as the Dragon Torque, it is HIGHLY LIKELY that if they'd died in this alternate future vision, they would be dead. Permanently. Half the main cast was almost wiped out. It is also somewhat implied that this future is similar to Lachryma's past.
    • Additionally, Big Bad Noein is Yuu / Karasu from an alternate future where every other main character was wiped out in a car crash. Even their TEACHER.
  • It's not exactly clear what happened to the world between the present day and the distant future of Psyren.... But seeing as how the end result was an uninhabitable wasteland swarming with horrific monsters, it can't have been anything good.
  • In Sailor Moon Chibi-usa comes back to the present to get help in order to save her own time. The Senshi end up travelling forward with her and fighting the evil force which has invaded Future!Earth. Becomes a bit of a Timey-Wimey Ball since there is a lot of travel between the present and the future, both by heroes and by villains, and Present!Mamoru and Usagi learn things which ought to help them avert the Bad Future in the first place, but apparently they don't because they need to go forward in order to learn them.
  • The intro to the first episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. It was possibly initially intended to be a flash-forward to later events in the series, but with the direction the series eventually took it instead appears to show one of these: Namely, one in which Simon failed to heed the Anti-Spirals and continued to abuse Spiral Energy, triggering a war between dimensions.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: During the 4th season, Syrus, Chazz and Alexis were trapped in this type of situation. Nighshroud later showed Jaden that this would be the result of humans that gave into the darkness within their hearts.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: This is what the antagonists of the Infinity Arc were trying prevent. About 200 years after the protagonist's time, the human race had made considerable technological progress thanks to Momentum (a perpetual energy machine that uses Planetary Particles which respond to people's hearts), however they grew greedy, apathetic and conceited. This coupled with the overuse of Synchro Summons eventually caused the Momentum network to go out of control and self-destruct, recreating Zero Reverse on a much larger scale.
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time never outright states it, but it's implied by Chiaki that the future isn't a great place: the painting that he wanted to see ends up destroyed, there's no baseball, he mentions how there's "so many people around," and that it was the first time he was even able to see the sky.
  • Hugtto! Pretty Cure deals with this as Harry and Hugtan travel from the future to help prevent the Criasu Corporation from freezing the present day in time, similarly to what they had done in their time. In a case of For Want of a Nail, it turns out that this future had already been altered as our main heroine, Hana, had opted to change schools and awkwardly cut her hair, where she didn't in that timeline.
  • The Gintama movie Be Forever Yorozuya has this as its plot. Gintoki is sent five years into the future to find Edo in ruins due to a Synthetic Plague and must learn not only its origins and how to stop it, but must try to figure out his future self's mysterious disappearance and how it affected his friends. The plot was a Thanatos Gambit created by Future!Gintoki due to the reveal that Gintoki had been infected/possessed by the creators of the disease for ten years since the Joui War, becoming the originator of an improved plague. The only way to stop it was to send his present self to the past and kill his past self after getting infected, causing Gintoki to cease existing. Present!Gintoki was in the future to also kill his future self, who was now consumed with guilt and despair and unable to control much of his body due to the creators taking over. The plan actually succeeds and the timeline is altered. But his True Companions refuse to not live without him and so send themselves back to the past to both save Gintoki and destroy the creators once and for all, succeeding.

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