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Horrible / Anime & Manga

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"I could go on, but the point is this: Psychic Wars is bad. It is very, very bad. Looking for good anime? You probably turned back at the sight of the cover, and kudos to you for being smart enough to do that. It is sometimes smart to judge by outward appearances, which only goes to show that no proverb applies in every single case. On the other hand, if you are looking for melodramatic drivel to bash, MST3K-style, this will be the perfect match for you."
Nicoletta Christina Browne, T.H.E.M Anime

Ignore for a few moments the great Subbing Versus Dubbing debate among the anime fandom. There are certain shows or works in that medium that fail on their own merits and prove that being So Bad, It's Horrible is not exclusive to any one side of the Pacific. You know it's bad when even fans looking for a Quirky Work exclaim "WTF?!?!?" after viewing.

Important Notes:

  1. Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not enough to justify a work as So Bad It's Horrible. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there is a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify as this.

  2. An anime isn't horrible just because Anime America, Bennett the Sage, Professor Otaku, Don East, Doggy D. Dachshund and Conroy Cat, Black Critic Guy, Mother's Basement, or any other Caustic Critic reviewed it. There needs to be independent evidence, such as actual professional pannings, to list it. Once it is listed, those critics can provide the detailed review(s).

  3. This page is not for horrible episodes of otherwise good shows. For those, see DethroningMoment.Anime And Manga and Seasonal Rot.

Examples (more-or-less in alphabetical order):

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    Repeat Offenders 
  • Crunchyroll, under its Crunchyroll Originals brand, has funded the production of anime since 2020, and while they may be responsible for several beloved series, these two anime are widely considered to be the worst they ever had a hand in:
    • The ostensibly all-CGI anime adaptation of EX-ARM proves once and for all why having a staff and production team with zero experience in the anime industry note  is a detriment instead of a selling point. The story, which is a compressed and Bowdlerized adaptation of a comparatively much better manga about a boy named Akira whose brain is transferred to a superweapon by a policewoman, is mediocre at best, but what pushes the series into Horrible territory is its borderline unwatchable animation. Characters emote in unsettling and strange ways, and the backgrounds are bereft of any detail while the otherwise competent action sequences are marred by cheap smoke filters and a sense of slippery weightlessness. Infamously, a kiss scene between two female characters has their lips covered by an inexplicable flash of light—not for censorship reasons (though one can see why it might be that way at first), but to poorly disguise the fact that the models' lips can't pucker (and that their noses are clipping through their faces). A good number of characters don't even have CGI models, instead being traditionally animated by hand, and not very well at that. The end result has received unfavorable comparisons to cheap mobile game ads, and it plummeted to the bottom of My Anime List with a 2.26/10 rating as soon as it premiered. It has since beaten out all-time "greats" like Pupa and Gibiate as the lowest-rated TV anime on the site. Watch Lost Pause tear it apart here, and read Anime News Network's autopsy of the show's disastrous reveal trailer here. Mother's Basement also tore into it as his #1 choice for the worst anime of 2021 here.
    • Gibiate, despite possessing an all-star production team including the likes of Yoshitaka Amano, Yuzo Koshiro, and The Yoshida Brothers, utterly fails to live up to the reputation of its creators. Intended to be a throwback to the days of ultraviolent 90s anime, it instead winds up embodying everything that was wrong with the anime of that decade. While the premise is utterly ridiculous (a samurai, a ninja and a monk being sent forward in time into a post-apocalyptic world), it at least had the potential to be entertaining — unfortunately, the anime's piss-poor animation and consistently Off-Model character designs make the action scenes dull and the characterization scenes unappealing. The characters have all the depth of an inflatable kiddie pool, and the story is a blatant collection of post-apocalyptic cliches crossed with a plot that mostly revolves around characters dying easily avoidable deaths from all the Idiot Balls flying around. What the show assumes passes for Character Development is characters monologuing directly into the camera, framed like Reality Show segments. The climax of the show features an intelligence-insulting Ass Pull that renders the main characters' journey All for Nothing — and bafflingly, the anime tries to sell it as an optimistic ending despite the fact that all but two of the characters are dead. The end result is an utter failure that does nothing but tarnish its creators' reputations.note  Trash Tier Waifu tears it apart here, and in the list of the worst anime of 2020, Mother's Basement places it squarely in the bottom of the barrel.
  • Not even a juggernaut of a studio like J.C. Staff is immune to falling into this trap once in a while:
    • The 1996 three-episode OVA Garzey's Wing has gained some fame for two things: being based upon the Byston Wells novels by Yoshiyuki Tominonote  and a scene in which a bird carries off a man's soul. Yet it has bottom-tier animation that looks far older than its release year suggests and a story that is such a Compressed Adaptation that most of the dialogue is hurried exposition and it still fails to explain anything. It feels both confusing and generic, despite featuring a man with glowing wings and soldiers riding dinosaurs. And on top of that comes the amazingly awful English dub, which has the voice actors simply read from the (incredibly literal) subtitle script... and it's evident that they were only given one take, resulting in dialogue so wooden it must be heard to be believed. That kind of thing was actually noted by Emer Prevost of Reaction & Review here. Sage and Spoony are willing to share their review with you, with the former referring to it as "the Battlefield Earth of Anime". A reviewer on Anime News Network also referred to it as "the Battlefield Earth of Anime", additionally comparing the dub to an Ed Wood production. The review from the Gundamn! podcast agreed that it was the worst thing Tomino was ever involved with.
    • The Kyō, Koi o Hajimemasu OVA, similar to Honey X Honey Drops by the same producersnote , suffers immensely from the same issues at that title did. Including flat animation and voice acting, unlikeable and/or bland characters, a cliché and uninteresting plot, sexism, and zero attempt to make sense to viewers who haven't read the manga.
  • Seven (no relation to Seven Arcs) has tried to make attempts to break free from their earlier output of Hentai titles. How well have they succeeded in that? They usually fall into the mediocre or forgettable tier of anime, but some of their earlier efforts aren't as lucky:
    • While the Deadly Game genre is loaded with contentious titles, King's Game The Animation is an easy contender for the worst. As adaptations go, it had a lot to live up to; the film version is still a Cult Classic among Exploitation Film fans. But while that (and the manga) just stuck with the original, the anime covered that and the sequel — in the opposite order, with stop-and-start flashback sequences that have no sense of timing. The result is an utter nightmare of a plot — what portion of it can still be followed builds up to a long-Foregone Conclusion — made all the more confusing by terrible pacing. They also had to hack down the material considerably to fit in the format; perplexingly, this means certain plot twists appear minus the setups provided in the original. That, and almost every character, including the leads, is pared down to one or two traits; even the deuteragonist is no more than a Satellite Love Interest. What's left of the setting is far too dark to be taken seriously, and the portion of the plot that is shown depends upon all of the characters being braindead. All that aside, the story adds inane, nonsensical plot points (writing whole classes out via mass suicide, for one), badly-executed, pointless sexual content, and one last Ass Pull that diminishes its potential to be mocked. The animation and soundtrack budget both clearly went in full to the opening and ending sequences.
    • The manga Nobunaga-sensei's Child Bride and the anime adaptation of its first half. If the title didn't already give a vague idea of what watchers were in for, what little plot there is revolves around a dorky schoolteacher who is the descendant of Oda Nobunaga. He has the ability to resurrect certain members of his ancestor's harem by touching objects they once owned, as well as temporarily awaken the spirits of others through physical contact with their human hosts. All of them, be they resurrected or possessed, want to marry him and are fourteen at the oldest. This leads to twelve deeply uncomfortable episodes of barely-teenage girls trying to seduce an adult man. And for those few who can get past that, the hideous art style, atrocious animation, and obsession with the horribly-animated nipples of the only adult female in the cast that render everything the least sexy it can possibly be will certainly turn you off. Add to that a wholly disgusting scene where the (straight) male protagonist is gaslit into almost having sex with a male student, as well as bigoted claims about transgender people and transvestism (in short, it flat-out states that such people don't exist outside of straight male fantasies), and you have a Fetish Retardant garbage fire of an anime. Perhaps the only saving grace of this anime is the fact that the episodes are only nine minutes long. Ki no Shirayuki of Das Sporking takes a spork to it episode-by-episode here and pan2000 gives a more concise review here.
  • Studio Kyotoma (not to be confused with Kyoto Animation) was an obscure 3D animation studio that was active in the middle part of The New '10s. These two execrable anime should give you a good idea of exactly why they're no longer around today:
    • JK-Meshi! is a Three-Girl Ensemble four-minute anime about cooking airing in the Fall 2015 Anime Season. Sounds promising, but it's gained a fair bit of infamy from just how low the production values are: the series is animated in horrible CG (seriously, better-looking character designs can be made in MikuMikuDance), and for a series about cooking, the budget is too cheap to show the characters actually doing what the show is supposed to be about. While the animation is bad enough, the "plot" condemns the show entirely - most of the episode is taken up by unfunny, forced, and stilted "comedy" consisting of the girls complaining about school, and all of their voice actors sound bored out of their minds. It got so bad the actors announced they would not be returning to the series after the fourth episode, and an episode late in the series features the characters admitting that the anime is the worst-produced and worst-received of the year, followed by begging for the audience's sympathy. Just as an example of how poorly-received this series was, on MyAnimeList, anything with a community rating of below 5 is widely considered to be awful. What did JK-Meshi score? A 4.67, placing it on the same tier as some other luminaries mentioned here.
    • And if that wasn't enough, the next season brought with it Bishoujo Unit Senshi Crane Game Girls, straight from the creative team behind JK-Meshi! and just as bad. While the animation could be said to be of slightly better quality, the show is still beset with the dullness and phoned-in voice acting of its predecessor, and the comedy somehow manages to be even less funny. Despite all this, it managed to get a second season, which was worse still since a large part of the episodes consisted of tedious dragged-out ads for the Internet crane game company they managed to lure into sponsoring the show.
      • To compare, the internationally beloved Kemono Friends was made under the exact same circumstances as low-budget shows like these.
  • Transformers is an extensive Long Runner with a fanbase who perpetually argue over the quality of every new piece of media in the franchise. These two series, however, are what the fans unilaterally agree on being the franchise's lowest points:
    • While Transformers: Armada got off to a bad start, the show did improve as it went on and eventually became fairly decent by the end. The same can not be said for Transformers: Energon, which was (and to some extent, still is) widely considered the worst show the franchise has had, though The Transformers: Combiner Wars is a viable contender for that dishonor. The story itself is fraught with Padding, plot points are introduced and immediately dropped, and an unlikable jerk leads the main storyline. Animation for the robots is done almost entirely with CGI, albeit very badly and with all the emotional range of a potato (though they do become hand-drawn in particularly intense scenes where emotional range is required). All this is topped off by an incredibly rushed production schedule, resulting in English scripts full of mistranslations and lines that don't fit the onscreen action, making the already confusing story nigh-incomprehensible. The voice actors almost unanimously turn in incredibly uninspired performances, despite the fact that many of them had long proven their vocal abilities in past series like Beast Wars. Even though the series does have one or two So Bad, It's Good moments, trying to watch the whole thing to find them is considered an act of torture. This is all summed up by what Alpha Q said in the finale:
      "Something cool finally happened!" note 
      • To give a better idea on how bad this thing is, provides an extremely-critical look at the series, complete with sections in the episode articles dedicated to how badly the dub fails.
    • When Transformers Kiss Players was announced, most American fans generally chuckled at the concept of girls kissing Transformers to bond with them and power them up... but then the manga scans showed up, depicting characters being swallowed whole and alive, blatantly suggestive scenes (such as the Legions' infamous "penis-tongues" and the endless stream of implied-rape imagery), the invokedsexist overtone-plagued antics of Atari Hitotonari (along with the Ethnic Scrappy Shaoshao, and Marissa Fairborne, a character dating back to Season 3 of the original series), and late teenagers/young adults appearing to be eight years old (no, this isn't an art style quirk, they're intentionally drawn that way). On top of this, the radio drama (the other major piece of Kiss Players media) suffers from many of the same problems. Series creator Yuki Ohshima openly admitted to making the series this way for no reason other than shock value. The second half of the series attempted what can only be damage control by shifting gears and becoming a Continuity Porn series which happened to star cute girls, but by then it was too late - American fans were left disgusted, and Japanese fans feared this would set a very poor example for the perception of anime in the West. As a result, most fans tuned out. Even with the heavily-fractured nature of the franchise's fanbase, it's one of the few Transformers series that's universally hated (joined by Energon and Combiner Wars), which is a real accomplishment. ComicTropes delves further into how awful it is here, while Chris McFeely gives a basic overview here.
  • Yoshiteru Satou is a director who gained the nickname of "the Ed Wood of anime" among the English-speaking anime community. These two anime he directed show exactly how he got that reputation:
    • The OVA Mars of Destruction is clearly a pathetic attempt at being dark and edgy in the style of Neon Genesis Evangelion, only the plot is non-existent, and the characters don't ever get any development and end up completely forgettable. The animation and fight scenes aren't any better, either. It's as if the animators weren't even trying to make an anime. And the title has nothing to do with planetary explosions, which would've been far more interesting. MasakoX of Team Four Star reviews it here. You can also watch it in its entirety here if you really want to. To assess how bad this series is, both the OVA and game have overwhelmingly negative reception. It holds the absolute worst rating on, a 2.2, AniList gives it a pitiful 19%, and IMDb clobbers it with a 1.8. Google users have for the game or OVA, with only 16% liking them.
    • There's another Idea Factory anime with the same director, Tenkuu Danzai Skelter+Heaven, which is a very similar failure to Mars of Destruction, except with much better visuals. Not that is saying much when the bad CGI used for the squid and mechs don't even try to blend in with the hand-drawn animation, which is so cheap that the Limited Animation opening (which admittedly has a pretty good song) looks more like something out of a visual novel than an anime. The plot can hardly be called one for the same reasons as Mars of Destruction, and there is blatant Padding with an overly-long establishing shot of the Earth followed by the same exposition being repeated several times before the opening has even played. It's no wonder why Idea Factory stopped producing anime and instead focused on video games, and Yoshiteru Satou didn't get the rights for directing the Hyperdimension Neptunia anime. Watch the Black Critic Guy review it here, and the anime itself can be watched here.

  • Abunai Sisters: Koko & Mika is an anime made to promote Kyoko and Mika Kano, two real-life Japanese celebrities, that landed a spot on many "worst" lists shortly after release. The animation (all CGI) is about on par with a PS1 CG cutscene, despite the show being released in 2009 (and made by Production I.G), the voice acting is incredibly annoying (and is in broken English for some reason), and there's little if any plot. It tries to be a comedy, but in a critical flaw for a comedy, it's not even slightly funny (once the shock of "Oh God, this thing exists" has worn off). With no jokes and no plotting, the only thing the show has left to rely on is its fanservice, with an uncanny number of scenes focusing on the central characters' breasts. Unfortunately, the characters (who were designed by famed manga artist Susumu Matsushita) resemble bobbleheads (and the Big Bad suspiciously resembles Yubaba), and their vaunted cleavage looks like they've shoved basketballs down their shirts — which, when coupled with the awful animation, renders any attempt at fanservice utterly unappealing. The result is something with one hell of an Uncertain Audience, as the show is too sexual for children, but its simplistic slapstick is too childish for grown-ups. Only two episodes were ever aired, with the eight remaining ones only being released on DVD, where the voice acting was pitched up for some reason, making it unbearably grating to listen to for extended periods of time (which is only alleviated by the show's short runtime of three minutes per episode). If you have any doubts, allow Demolition D+ to relieve them.
  • The anime adaptation of Amnesia (no relation to Amnesia: The Dark Descent) is often used as a shining example of why anime of otome games are usually awful. It has a convoluted plot that tries to be intriguing but instead comes across as confusing and pretentious; ugly, garish character designs; characters who are either extremely bland or completely unlikeable (including a nameless Too Dumb to Live Flat Character as the main protagonist); one of the worst handled yanderes in anime history; and oodles of sexism. When Sentai Filmworks announced both an English dub and a Blu-ray release, there was actual outrage from anime fan communities as to why it deserved such treatment (it was allegedly to promote a possible English release of the original visual novel).
  • The anime adaptation of Art of Fighting often ends up on a lot of "Worst Anime Ever" lists, and for good reason, too. The art direction is duller than dirt, the character design is inconsistent at best, and Adaptational Dye-Job at worst; and the anime's Idiot Plot (the main characters, who come across as dumbasses here, don't even learn about the MacGuffin until halfway through the anime), while less than 45 minutes, still feels padded (at one point, the anime repeats exposition that was given not five minutes earlier), and without stakes. But worst of all are the "fight scenes", as the characters seem to have no weight, and they're boarded in a bland and uninspired manner. Compounding matters is the editing, which makes the choreography (such as it is) hard to follow. Kyoto Video tears it apart here, while Bennett the Sage snarks at it here.
  • Aselia the Eternal - The Spirit of Eternity Sword is a great visual novel, but its OVA adaptation... not so much. The plot is nothing like that of the game, the pacing is horrible, the animation is below average, the background music is copypasted from the game, and the characters have almost no resemblance to their video game counterparts. It's as if the staff made this on a lunch break. Thankfully, it's only two episodes long. This was the last anime directed by Naoto Hashimoto, who doesn't have a lot of anime directorial credits to his name (only helming the first 13 episodes of Pygmailo, one of the Touch Movies, and the Guyver II OVA).
  • Blue Flames is a deservedly obscure 45-minute OVA from 1989. Its production values are very lacking for an OVA (which usually have higher budgets than TV series), with bland designs, art and animation of the lowest quality, sluggish pace, lackluster voice acting, and an unsuited soundtrack. But what makes it awful is its protagonist, a stoic social climber named Ryuichi Kaizu who wants to enter Tokyo University. He abuses his family and a string of women he seduces, driving one to attempt suicide, in order to fulfill his goals. In one of the worst examples of misogynistic wish-fulfillment in OVAs of the time, when one woman confronts him, he rapes her and she submits to him. He never faces punishment for any of this. It is little talked about but reviews can be found here and here, though be warned of disturbing sex scenes.
  • The broken English in the title of Cosprayers (short for The Cosmopolitan Prayers) is the least of the show's problems. The characters are incredibly idiotic, inconsistent, and one-dimensional. The girl who loves the male lead makes out with the main (female) protagonist, and the other girl also likes the guy, and there is no motivation for the Love Triangle. There is random, unnecessary Fanservice alongside loads of rape imagery, which makes anything potentially titillating just plain creepy. There are no transitions — one minute, everyone's chained up in a cave; the next, they're on a pier fighting with tennis rackets (a power upgrade, by the way). It has a plot that must have been thrown together between rounds, and the conflict and characters never give the audience any reason to care. It heavily rips off Super Sentai and is much less entertaining. It culminates in an extremely lazy Gainax Ending with singing and rainbows. The whole thing was created by the company MOE (Masters of Entertainment), but they don't show their mastery here. To add insult to injury, there's two shows (Hit wo Nerae and Love Love?) made in the same year, by most of the same staff, set in the present day which portray Cosprayers as a bad anime in-universe in the Recursive Canon, to the point where in Love Love?, the second series, it turns out the identity of Cosprayers's writer is kept secret.
  • The yaoi manga Dog Catalogue has ridiculously flat characters who receive absolutely no attempts at development, a frightfully generic storyline, and some of the worst art put to paper. Every page is an artist's nightmare — the characters look like someone partially deflated their heads and used the air to inflate their hands. A perfect example of how deep in the Uncanny Valley the stereotypical yaoi art style can go.
  • Genma Wars, the 2002 anime adaptation of Shotaro Ishinomori's 1979 manga Genma Taisen: Shinwa Zenya no Shou. It tried to be a self-standing adaptation, itself questionable given the source's place in the Genma Taisen franchise, and it did so by keeping or eliminating things from the manga very arbitrarily. These included elements of lore that tied the source back to the rest of the franchise, and gave it its identity and depth — most notably, its trademark Downer Endings. Even more went unexplored, making the story even more confusing to newcomers. They also tacked on gratuitous amounts of violence and nudity (which were censored, pretty clumsily, in the English localization), screwing with the tone and alienating the old guard. And yet, none of these changes actually did anything to update the manga, by this point more than 20 years old and very obviously so. Anything that could be salvaged from all this is done in by the awful, cheap-as-chips animation and incredibly lazy art direction — especially inexcusable considering the source was visually one of Ishinomori's most ambitious works. MercuryFalcon, who is a big fan of Ishinomori's work, takes a look at it here.
  • Hand Shakers became notorious almost instantly after it began airing due to its horrendous animation style full of janky frames, poor color mixing, awkward movement, abundance of poorly-integrated CG, and a number of other issues which has led to many labeling the anime unwatchable (to the point that it's even caused migraines and motion sickness in some viewers). Those who try to watch the anime for the plot aren't going to get anything out of it either, with bland characters, a non-existent plot driven by stupidity, terrible pacing (with very little in the way of plot happening over more than half the anime) and a heaping amount of off-putting Incest Subtext. The anime especially became notorious on Anime News Network, where its fourth episode ended up being one of the very few anime episodes to ever get an "F" ranking, with the rest of the series almost never raising above a pathetic "D". This led to many watching out of pure Bile Fascination. Watch Mother's Basement tear it apart here.
  • Honey X Honey Drops, a two-part OVA adaptation of the shoujo manga of the same name. Unlikable and flat characters, underwhelming art and animation, and a very degrading and sexist premise that's about a high school that encourages its students to enslave each other and a teenage girl forced into that system. Nearly every review on My Anime List is a warning to avoid it.
  • The two-episode OVA of Hourglass of Summer is a prime example on how not to do a Compressed Adaptation. It tries to squeeze a 10-hour character route (Kaho's true ending route, to be precise) into a 45-minute anime. There's a distinct lack of explanation of many major plot points (the time-traveling aspect, most notably), some things no longer make sense (again, time-traveling), and the pacing seems to suffer due to being so tightly crammed into such a short runtime. Making things worse are a ton of Off-Model animation, and many unwanted and unneeded fanservice moments, despite the original visual novel being clean.
  • Ijime ("Bullying"), a short anime OVA released for free in an issue of Ciao (which should tell you a lot). It has amateurish voice acting, flat animation, a hideous art style so deep in the Uncanny Valley it hurts, and incompetent handling of serious subject matter (childhood bullying). There's also a scene that plays out like a gang rape. It's very telling that it's the only Ciao Ciao TV short so far that never became a mini-series. Watch The Cartoon Hero review it here.
  • The Island of Giant Insects The Movie was one of the first anime to release in The New '20s — and what an inopportune start it was, as it most likely will go down as one of the decade's worst. The movie manages to make the characters even more stupid and unlikable than they were in the manga, as most of them apart from the main character seem to be sharing one collective brain cell, not to mention their frequent bullying of her, who is the only one shown to have any sort of competence. In addition, the movie completely cuts out significant chunks of the manga's storyline to fit in more off-putting Fanservice. But what truly renders this movie Horrible is the insane cheapness of the animation and art: the titular giant bugs are rendered in low-poly CGI that makes them scary in the wrong way, the only moving parts in most frames of the characters are their mouths, and a scene that is supposed to represent bugs dropping from trees is clearly done by moving a still frame back and forth over the background. The crowning example of the laziness and cheapness of the movie is a scene that is meant to make the main character seem like a badass but is instead two minutes of the same looped footage of her walking down a hall, set to music that is both incredibly generic and incredibly unfitting. But don't just take our word for it — take that of Theron Martin of Anime News Network, who considers this movie too cheap and poorly made to even be entertainingly bad. When a Kickstarter for a dub was announced, it was only given support because they plan on making a Gag Dub, much like Ghost Stories.
  • The anime adaptation of Koi Koi 7 does everything one should not do when adapting from a manga. The animation quality is shockingly bad, and the designs of the mechs and characters are blatantly ripped off from far superior shows (the mechs from Gundam, for example). As if the technical shortcomings aren't bad enough, the plot is compressed to the point of being bland and leaving virtually no sign of character development nor meaningful action whatsoever. Above all, it's crystal clear that the actors and music composer phoned in their performances, as the voice acting and soundtrack are bland and utterly terrible to listen to.
  • Ladyspo is not so much an anime as it's a barely animated slideshow, and since this title is about sports, it just makes the action and dialogues hard to follow. The animation that does exist is as lazy as it gets dialogues are depicted as static character faces mouth flapping in tiny bubbles in the corners of the screen. The plot is generic — teams of Ms. Fanservice women competing in sports in outer space — and delivered by a cast of bland characters. Last but not least, there's inexplicable and out-of-place Toilet Humour, used to open the show no less. Audience is not kind.

  • The anime adaptation of Magical Warfare is widely hated, even by the original writer of the light novels. It suffers from a boring Cliché Storm of a plot that's full of Plot Holes, unlikeable characters, flat and Off-Model animation (needless to say, this was made when the great animation studio Madhouse was struggling with much of its original staff gone), and a Gainax Ending that resolves nothing.
  • Mahou Shoujo? Naria Girls is a three-minute all-CGI short which makes Abunai Sisters and JK-Meshi! look like Studio Ghibli productions by comparison. As a bit of background information, the studio behind the short, gdgd, had released a series called gdgdFairies which had very low-quality CGI models and no plot to speak of, but was saved by the characters' top-tier voice actresses adlibbing and doing what amounted to improv comedy, and it developed a small cult following. gdgd had the bright idea to repeat the formula for their next series, but this time outright told the voice actresses to go out there and adlib; unfortunately they weren't nearly as high quality as the previous series, and it showed. The plot and jokes are nigh-incomprehensible (trust us, "magical girl" is about all the information you're going to pick up from it). The CGI for the characters is even worse than fairies, featuring models that jerk and twitch every second like marionettes being controlled by someone having a seizure, and the audio quality is terrible; the voice actresses sound like they're recording through wool socks, which makes it impossible to even tell if a joke was going to be there since you can't understand what they're saying at all. Apart from the characters, the budget was so cheap that there were only a couple (hand-drawn as opposed to CGI) backgrounds used throughout the series. Even worse, beginning at the seventh episode, the studio couldn't even afford to use the CGI models and had to use pans of still images with the voice actresses talking over them. Somehow the still images managed to be considered better quality than the CGI, mainly because they were actually competently drawn and didn't shake and spaz all the time. Anime Randoms takes a look at it here, but doesn't have many kind words to say on the matter.
  • The short promotional OVA adaptation of Shoujo manga Marimo no Hana has awful voice acting (Masaru, a preteen boy has the voice of a screechy little girl, among other examples), terrible pacing, stupid characterization, and a vague, borderline nonsensical plot filled with Mood Whiplash (it's about a young girl with a badass Split Personality, thanks to the awakening of her Power Tattoo. But sadly the lore behind her power only appears in the manga, so good luck figuring that out for those who don't read the manga). Its only saving grace is that it's actually decently animated, but sadly not enough to make it worth watching.
  • The In Name Only anime adaptation of Toshio Maeda's Hentai manga Nightmare Campus heavily rips off almost everything from Go Nagai's Devilman, including the plot, the characters, and the art style (to the point where it can be assumed that the production was most likely doing it to try and fool the audience into thinking they're watching a Go Nagai creation). The sex scenes are largely Fetish Retardant, take up most of the plot, and seem to go on forever. And when the plot doesn't focus on the gratuitous sex, it shoves in incredibly gross and equally gratuitous gorn seemingly only for shock value.
  • Ninja Collection is a spin-off of Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories that does nothing except for tarnishing the reputation of it. It's allegedly about a group of teenage Ninja fighting monsters in Tokyo, but good luck at figuring that out from the show itself. For starters, the title characters get only a few seconds of screentime each episode, if they're lucky; each episode instead revolves around a different generic and often nameless everyman or woman. Each episode is a collection of bizarre non-sequiturs, stilted dialogue, horror cliches, and ridiculous Jump Scares, and either end with the generic character either being saved in a contrived manner, or suddenly dying in an equally contrived way. In fact, more information is given about what is going on in the trailer for the show than the show itself, including the fact that it's even a spinoff of Yami Shibai at all — but it's not like it makes the show any less of a confusing mess to try to make sense of. As for the animation, calling it limited would be generous; it's more akin to a slideshow running at a maximum of one frame per second, with not even the characters' mouths moving with the dialogue. And unlike Yami Shibai, where it was justified by the kamishibai stylization, here it's just done for the hell of it. The only saving grace of this shitshow is that the ending song is pretty nice. Watch KHANTEHNT eviscerate it here.
  • The four-part OVA adaptation of the yaoi manga Okane ga Nai. The animation and anatomy are awful, none of the characters are likable (and it suffers from some of the worst Protagonist-Centered Morality in all of anime), it manages to feel deeply homophobic despite being a yaoi series, the sexual content is very brutal and rape-y, there are attempts to be "deep and dark and edgy" that just come off as horribly immature, and the story doesn't even make much sense. This is even believed to be the basis of the genre's most negative stereotypes. To top it off, because it's so infamous in the field of male/male romance, it often overshadows several Similarly Named Works, including a 90s J-Drama that has been taught in universities.
  • Omae wa Mada Gunma o Shiranai (You Don't Know Gunma Yet) is a short 3-minute anime mini-series that's a blatant ad for tourism in Gunma Prefecture, but the only thing it succeeds at is driving people away from ever wanting to visit there. It's presented as a comedy, and many of its "jokes" come from acting like Gunma is a Place Worse Than Death, as a bit of Self-Deprecation, but there's never any attempt to show why that perception is wrong or even any punchlines at all. You're more likely to learn random facts like that people from Gunma drown the most out of any prefecture in Japan (yes, really) more than you are any reason why you should come for a visit. The art doesn't help, as it could have been taken straight out of a cheap 1990s OVA when the series was made in 2018. Instead of presenting Gunma as a misunderstood but nice place (which the creators were obviously aiming for but seriously botched), this anime will probably convince anyone viewing that the only things that the prefecture has are residents who hate outsiders and terrible weather, and to only take a trip there as a last resort.
  • Pilot Candidate, a.k.a. Candidate For Goddess, has horribly-integrated CGI even for its era, plot holes practically from the start (it's stated early that only men can become Goddess pilots, except the best pilot on the protagonist's squad is a woman), and an aggressively unlikable protagonist in Zero Enna (who can best be described as a mashup of Ash Ketchum, Amuro Ray, and Taichi Kamiya note , but with none of their redeeming qualities). The greatest failing, however, is that every piece of the story is incomplete. Several characters and concepts are introduced but never explored, each battle is an unfollowable mess with key points missing, and while the focus on cadets should make for an interesting angle, the main characters are barely involved with the plot. And to top it all off, even though the story is too thin and weak to support twelve episodes, it still has a Gecko Ending. Watch Bennett the Sage make fun of it along with Blue Gender (which, while mediocre, is nowhere near as bad as this anime) for his "[adult swim] Month" feature, and watch The Cartoon Hero tear it apart here.
    • Interestingly, the series is based on a longer manga by Yukiru Sugisaki, the author of D.N.Angel, but its failure made her very hesitant to allow D.N.Angel to get an anime adaptation. Eventually, XEBEC would learn from their mistakes from Pilot Candidate and make a competent adaptation.
    • [adult swim] aired the anime once, when the block was still finding its legs... and we do mean once - this is one of very few shows that [as] never showed again after its initial airing. A commercial bumper over five years later said, to paraphrase, "Pilot Candidate: Never Again."
      • What's worse is that it was originally going to be on Toonami (back when Toonami was a daytime action cartoon lineup) and was edited down to Toonami standards, making it more incoherent. When Adult Swim decided to air it, it was the Toonami-edited version.
    • Locomotion, a (now defunct) Latin-American animation channel, dubbed the whole series into Spanish, and in the period before they changed hands, they repeated it daily since it was one of their few anime left. Not even the (surprisingly good) dub could save this series.
    • The one positive critics and fans alike agree on is that its soundtrack is absolutely amazing. Many, including Bennett the Sage in his review, have been utterly baffled on how a show this bad managed to get such a high-quality score.
  • Psychic Wars, a 1990s OVA that suffers from a nonsensical plot, boring characters, flying plot leaps, and bad pacing. It was originally going to be a three-episode miniseries; unsurprisingly, only one episode was made due to its low budget. Bennett the Sage dedicated his very first Anime Abandon review to it.
  • The anime adaptation of Pupa. Fans of the horror genre had high hopes for it due to the lack of good-quality horror anime, but then it was postponed from its original Fall 2013 lineup and pushed back to the Winter 2014 lineup, where it was revealed the episodes would only be four minutes long (its only saving grace, according to viewers). It has been universally panned for horrid writing and piss-poor pacing (including a subplot that gets dropped the moment it's introduced), uninteresting characters, mishandling of the manga's disturbing material, inconsistent censorship as it was airing, simultaneously disgusting and dull "scares", and a final episode that does nothing to wrap up the plot. Special mention goes to the infamous Episode 6 (and Episode 8 when it comes to censorship). Not only is it one of the lowest-ranked TV anime series on My Anime List, it also broke Anime News Network's rating scale in its Shelf Life review, earning the column's first "Flushable" score in over a year. Anime Viking also has a few words to say regarding the matter.
  • Rusted Armors is the first, and probably only, anime based on a 2.5D mixed-media project for the foreseeable future. Based on a stage play that obviously appealed to someone considering it ran for three years, it features the stage actors reprising their roles as both the voice and motion capture actors for the 3D characters. However, just like EX-ARM and Tesla Note, the animation design serves as another example of why 3D animated characters don't mix with 2D backgrounds. Impressive fight choreography on the stage just looks dull in animation, as the character models don't take advantage of all that animation has to offer to make exciting fights, instead just clunkily swinging swords at each other. It's not an exaggeration to say that the character models are the only things that move in the anime apart from cheap steam and fire filters—the backgrounds are obviously flat and the juxtaposition of the characters on them makes it look like a cheap Unity game. It's not like the backgrounds themselves are particularly impressive, either—they look like photos that have had the cel-shading effect spammed on them in Apple Photo Editor. The plot of the anime, already painfully generic (a group of handsome samurai warriors using superpowered guns and swords to fight an In Name Only version of the colonial Spanish army), is obviously dragged out to feature-length through copious amounts of flashbacks, unfunny comedic skits, a two-episode Training from Hell arc, and attempted Fanservice for the Yaoi Fangirl crowd that fails because of how cheap and clunky the characters' models are. The characters range from bland to offensive stereotypes, and what little time is spent advancing the plot bizarrely attempts to make viewers feel sympathetic for the Ax-Crazy, mass-murdering villain. Even the sound direction is bland, with the music being generic and most of the cast save Toshiki Masuda (playing Saburou) phoning it in. Both Trumann and Mother's Basement declared it to be terrible.
  • The 13-episode anime adaptation of Samurai Gun. Low-budget animation, uniformly one-note and unlikeable characters, repetitive story beats, sub-par voice acting (at least for the dub) and a script "punched up" with gratuitous profanity all combine to derail an interesting concept (elite secret agents in an anachronistic feudal Japan). What would've been below average and forgettable is pulled firmly into SBIH territory by the show's rampant, hateful misogyny: Every Villain of the Week plot seems to involve the gratuitous and brutal abuse and deaths of random big-breasted women. And the show seems to relish showing women being slaughtered more than showing the good guys kicking ass. See what Animerica had to say about it here and here.
  • The "plot" of Shojo Shikkaku is about a class of young schoolgirls being forced to participate in a Deadly Game where they're paired up and forced to kill each other. The pacing is terrible; absolute nil for the first half, then breakneck speed throughout the second. Characterization is virtually non-existent, with many characters appearing just to die and be forgotten. The plot is hopelessly inconsistent, and features, among other things: 12-14 year-olds who use weapons perfectly with no training, chains which at once do and do not poison the duos attached at the slightest tug, a degree of government involvement which never comes up again, a romantic subplot which hardly comes up and abruptly ends when the leads turn out to be sisters without foreshadowing, and an Esoteric Happy Ending, in which the Big Bad get everything she wanted without consequence and nothing else is resolved.
  • Tesla Note is the living proof that the anime industry learned nothing from the debacle that was EX-ARM. Just like the latter, this show consists of poorly-integrated 3D CGI models on two-dimensional backgrounds, with the characters occasionally themselves switching into 2D animation for reasons unknown; said character models consistently squirm and move during scenes, presumably in an attempt to make them look more lifelike, but instead it just comes across as looking wrong (the series looking the worst in Episode 6, where even the camera moves around wildly like it's drunk). Even disregarding the animation problems, the writing is bad on its own merits. Even though an international espionage thriller about a group of ninja secret agents fighting another organization of evil secret agents to gather a set of MacGuffins may sound like it will be entertaining at the very least, all the charm of that premise is drained by a host of questionable writing choices that make the show a chore to watch. The protagonists are unlikeable and incompetent, the plot is constantly derailed by random facts and asides that add little to the story, the villains are generic, the morals have absolutely nothing to do with the story of the anime, and the tone attempts to combine Saturday-morning cartoon-style characters and action with serious plots about such weighty topics as discrimination, childhood bullying, and the morality of taking life. When Mother's Basement talked about this anime in his video about the worst anime of the Fall 2021 season, the only praise he could give it was that it was more competent than EX-ARM, and that the voice actors seemed to enjoy their roles. It currently sits at a 4.72/10 on MyAnimeList and a 39/100 on AniList.
  • The anime adaptation of Togainu no Chi was panned by fans of the original game for good reason. Admittedly, given the nature of the game and its multi-route system, some elements had to be removed to placate the censors, but it still doesn't excuse the fact that so many things were removed from the story that people being introduced to the series for the first time didn't know what the hell was going on. Terrible animation (to the point that Episode 12 nearly completely consists of Stock Footage), constant deviation from character models, and a mediocre script combine to make a fairly celebrated BL game into an animated train wreck. There are even rumors that the anime's staff deliberately sabotaged it (the reason why is currently unknown).
  • Touhou Project Side Story: Memories of Stars was among the first animated adaptations of the Touhou Project franchise. It was created by SOUND HOLIC, one of the biggest names in Touhou fan music. Sadly, it is plain to see that outside of music videos, animation was not SOUND HOLIC's forte. Ambitious though this OVA was, its plot was incredibly slow and plodding (in addition to contradicting canon), the original characters were not compelling in the slightest, the animation was painfully limited, the special effects were archaic, and the fight scenes (what few there were) fail to impress.
  • Vampire Holmes is a short 12-episode anime adaptation of a mobile video game of the same name. Despite being based on a Room Escape Game, most of the anime's runtime is dedicated to annoying, unfunny humor between the main characters rather than mystery-solving. The major contributing factor to this lack of content is likely the episodes' extremely short runtime; each is only about 3 minutes. It also fails as good Sherlock Holmes media, as the titular character is written as an unlikable Lazy Bum who spends most of the series never showing any of his inspiration's detective skills. To add insult to injury, the animation is painfully awkward, lazy and amateurish. It doesn't even have vampires in it! Audience reception is almost uniformly negative; Leo Hashee talks about it here.
  • Wonder Momo was an anime adaptation of the obscure Japan-only Namco arcade game of the same name created by ShiftyLook (though actual production of the show was mostly handled by Graphinica, whose non-post-production work is usually more contentious than outright horrible). Released in 2010 and taking place after the arcade game, it was a 5-episode ONA (Original Net Animation, meaning it went directly to the internet) as part of Bandai-Namco's attempt to turn the game into a full-blown franchise, works in this effort being a comic also produced by ShiftyLook (with this anime reusing character designs from the comic) and a tie-in game to the comic Wonder Momo: Typhoon Booster by WayForward. This is considered to be the worst work of the bunch, the worst thing to come out of ShiftyLook (Compare that to the Mappy and Bravoman adaptations, which were reasonably well-liked), and one of the worst anime of all time. Reasons being for its nonsensical story that tries to tell too much in the short timeframe it's given and has the audacity to end on a cliffhanger that is never followed up on (possibly due to the closure of ShiftyLook), the flat, uninteresting characters, choppy animation, and bad voice acting, special mention going to the main character herself Momoko, who sounds nothing like an actual teenager and more like a woman well into her 30s. Being a parody of old tokusatsu shows, it accomplishes this by playing all of the tropes of the genre completely straight. The only redeeming qualities are its intro theme by Area 11 and the fact that each episode is mercifully short clocking in at 7 minutes each. It's in the top 50 lowest-rated anime of MyAnimeList and has made the site's 10 of the Worst Anime of All Time list.
  • World War Blue, also known as Aoi Sekai No Chuushin De or The Center of the Blue World, a three-episode OVA adapting the first story arc of the comparatively much better manga of the same name. While the concept (an action series heavily based on the Console Wars between Nintendo and Sega) is interesting, it's ruined by bland characterization, poor pacing, very few actual fights despite being purportedly an action series, a large amount of gratuitous fanservice, phoned-in audio and, most glaringly, a complete lack of any kind of budget, giving the series an incredibly cheap feeling (both the opening and closing consist largely of still images). Whatever the manga's like, it was done an incredible disservice by this OVA. Watch ConnerTheWaffle rip into it here.
  • The Wounded Man OVA, based on a comparatively decent manga by Kazuo Koike (Yes, THAT Kazuo Koike.) is one of the worst examples in the already shlocky genre of the ultra-violent exploitation OVAs of the 80s. The hero rapes the female lead six minutes into the first episode (and again in the fourth), and to make matters worse, she joins him because the sex was really good. As for the other women in this series, they either have the personality of a brick or are Stuffed in the Fridge as quickly as possible. Add in a bizarre plot involving a pornographic studio (God's Pornographic Films, or GPX for short) funded by the FBI that turns out to have gone bust years ago, making the plot all for nothing, skips in time that make no sense, and trying to make the hero look like a Jerk with a Heart of Gold despite his rapist status, and you've got yourself an OVA with very bad writing. And don't think the animation will save it, because it's as shoddy as it comes, abusing speed lines and Postcard Memories to hide a clear lack of budget. Compare this to Mad Bull 34, another OVA based on a Kazuo Koike work by the same studio, which is seen as merely So Bad, It's Good. Kyoto Video reviews it here.

Alternative Title(s): Anime