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May 12th 2018 at 10:23:36 AM •••

Why is it that every ending that's at least a little ambiguous gets branded a Gainax Ending? Are people really this dull?

Sep 10th 2017 at 3:56:38 PM •••

can something have a gainax ending if it does not have a plot?

I am thinking about adding as examples two animated films that have no plot, but consist entirely of animated music videos. I think that they may count as examples because in each of them, the last song is the weirdest.

Jun 11th 2016 at 5:10:18 PM •••

I don't think the ending of Mahoromatic's really that enigmatic. Sugaru's very much alive at the end - badly injured but still quite alive by dint of his cyborg augmentation. Mahoro was always part of Matthew's collective consciousness, along with all the Saints and Saint-type androids - including Vesper's androids. Vesper's just a bunch of Saint splitters working an angle with humans after all, and Mahoro's Saint technology. Her identity was preserved in Matthew despite the destruction of her original body. When the Saints decide to break off and check out Far, Far Away, Matthew (feeling sentimental) pulls Mahoro's consciousness out of long-term storage, dumps it into a new body and sends her to Sugaru to take him home - presumably via the nearest hospital.

Edited by Krokodil
Feb 6th 2015 at 10:18:57 AM •••

I don't think Local Hero is confusing at all. Mac has realized why Murdo Mac Pherson "never got away", and that he will never get away either.... presumably followed by "Operator, get me Ferness!")

Dec 4th 2014 at 9:57:24 AM •••

Wolf's Rain probably is this. I'm going in to rewatch the series soon, so I'll write more then.

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Jun 21st 2014 at 4:20:54 PM •••

I'm trying to add an example (The Nostalgia Critic review of "The Garbage Pail Kids Movie"), but it's not showing up on either the page or in the history. Can someone please explain what's going on?

Edited by
Oct 24th 2013 at 7:33:35 AM •••

Chobits is actually explained in plot(in the anime, if someone is removing the part that explains what they ignored, I am removing the parts that says nothing is explained.

Aug 26th 2013 at 8:09:11 AM •••

The way I have understood it, the ending from Castle Crashers would count here.

Jul 17th 2013 at 10:29:55 AM •••

Is it just me, or do a lot of the examples on the main page sound more like Complaining About Endings You Don't Like? I just removed examples from Bio Shock Infinite, Indigo Prophecy, Eternal Darkness, Inception, and Mass Effect 3 because not one of those illustrates the "deliberately confusing" definition stated in the Laconic; those are all endings that either 1.) introduced a new twist moments before the ending or 2.) left some minor plot thread(s) unresolved, and I'm seeing numerous other examples that are doing that.

Edited by Hide/Show Replies
Aug 1st 2013 at 3:50:38 PM •••

I've been seeing some examples on work pages that don't fit either. I think people are starting to use it to say any ending that is weird or vaguely ambiguous. Someone put it in The Killing Joke because Batman and Joker shared a laugh at the end after the latter told a joke.

I haven't seen enough to know if it's being misused enough for the Square Peg, Round Trope page, though. Personally I think the trope might need some repair in its description or name, like making a list of conditions an ending would have to fulfill in order to qualify, but I'm still relatively new to the site so maybe I'm missing something.

Edited by
Mar 11th 2014 at 8:54:21 AM •••

Comment removed.

Edited by
Apr 8th 2014 at 12:23:00 PM •••

"A Gainax Ending is an ending that doesn't make any sense, or does make sense but is hidden under enough Mind Screw to not have an easy explanation."

"This is usually a deliberate form of Mind Screw"

Note the usually. That doesn't mean those endings don't count, because they all have enough of a Mind Screw element to fit the bill. The Laconic completely misses the point of the main definition. Furthermore, discussing things after you remove them is a bit rude, you should be discussing whether things fit the bill prior to taking action instead of hacking them off and then asking for validation.

Edited by
Apr 28th 2014 at 8:59:23 PM •••

"Discussing things after you remove them is a bit rude, you should be discussing whether things fit the bill prior to taking action instead of hacking them off and then asking for validation."

Touche. I guess my way just seemed more efficient considering how few people bother with Discussion pages, and the fact that someone is only now commenting on my error, almost a year later, all but proves my point.

Edited by
Mar 31st 2013 at 2:22:13 AM •••

Removed Dragon's Dogma, as it is not a Gainax Ending. I'll put up the old example here, along with an explanation of why it doesn't belong.

Also, I apologize in advance if this seems unduly mean. I have a tendency to be very blunt about things. Please don't take any of this as an attack on anyone - that's not how it's meant.

Old Example:

  • The bulk of the story for Dragons Dogma is pretty straightforward; the Dragon has returned and you have to kill it. You do that, rescue your Love Interest in the process, regain your heart and mortality, and return victoriously back to Cassardis. But then a huge chunk of Gran Soren falls into the earth, the sky darkens, and even worse monsters start to appear all over Gransys. And then it turns out that the Everfall, the hole where the common area for Gran Soren used to be, is the location of a rift that connects to every world in The Multiverse, and the coming of the Dragon is all part of a never-ending cycle on the part of the Seneschal, who lords over the world. Turns out the whole game was just him creating a gauntlet of trials that would test an individual's will to survive and make him/her the next Seneschal. Your Arisen ultimately doesn't go through with it and instead kills him/herself. The main Pawn then becomes human, assumes the Player Character's form, and attains its own "will to live." The end.


(Warning: Contains major plot spoilers. As such, I've elected to spoiler out the entire thing.)

One of the major elements of a Gainax Ending is that it comes completely out of nowhere. Dragon's Dogma's ending was weird, sure, but it was not "out of nowhere." Remember what happens at the very beginning of the game? The dragon attacks your hometown, you fight it, and then when it has you at its mercy it specifically chooses not to kill you, instead turning you into a badass immortal superhero called The Arisen, spouting off some philosophical stuff, and then challenging you to "fulfill your destiny?" For that matter, remember the assassins who left a note when defeated saying that you fulfilling your destiny would wreck the world? Remember when the dragon wiped out the Salvation cult and told you point blank that this is about you and your destiny, and not about itself? Yeah. At no point in the game were you ever, even a little bit, led to believe that the plot was "evil dragon, boo, go kill it."

But what about the massive plot twist where slaying the red dragon turns all the Arisens mortal again, wrecks Gran Soren, and unleashes super-monsters on the world? Okay, that was weird and unexpected, but that's hardly a Gainax Ending. At best it's just a crazy plot twist. "Gainax Ending" is not, I repeat NOT just a fancy way of saying "plot twist". It should also be noted that this Gainax Ending is actually the last 1/4 or so of the game rather than, you know, the ending.

And what about the fact that your main character kill himself after becoming The Seneschal? Simple. The Seneschal cycle is what causes so much pain and suffering in the world, thanks to all the monsters involved, selfish people gaining godlike power as Arisen, etc. Your character took the only logical choice and ended the cycle by ending himself. That seemed obvious to me, at least. Even if not, it should be noted that you don't strictly have to kill yourself. Also, it was somewhat foreshadowed as well. Remember Selene's questline?

TL;DR and/or "I don't want to be spoiled" version: Being weird and having a plot twist does not on its own a Gainax Ending make. It has to be out of nowhere, which this ending was not. Just because you weren't paying attention to all the foreshadowing doesn't make it a Gainax Ending.

Edited by Knight9910
Feb 20th 2013 at 11:23:49 PM •••

Changeof the name "Gainax Ending" to "Transcendent Ending" suggested. The ending is beyond normal audience's comprehension - beyond the usual "happy" or "sad" categories.

Jan 8th 2013 at 12:01:35 PM •••

Venture Brothers Season 1 has a few moments foreshadowing that Hank & Dean have died before.

Dec 30th 2012 at 9:32:04 PM •••

Uh, the one for The Day The Earth Caught Fire is only ambiguous, not Gainax...

Feb 23rd 2012 at 4:46:36 PM •••

Would the ending to the Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 anime count?

Edited by VanHohenheimOfXerxes
Oct 26th 2011 at 7:04:23 PM •••

Yes or no on this trope: The ending to Final Fantasy Unlimited.

Sep 10th 2011 at 3:20:36 PM •••

Where did the Webcomics folder go? I know it was there beacause I remember seeing the very well lampshaded [[Adventurers!]] example, but it seems to have disappeared.

Jul 24th 2011 at 1:28:05 AM •••

Can we please tone down the whole 'No one knows what happened in the last two episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion'? It's a notable example and while it suits the trope, Tropes Are Not Good. It is not 'utterly incomprehensible' at all.

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Nov 11th 2011 at 8:15:32 AM •••

It can be comprehended.... but only by walking through a forest of Epileptic Trees for a week or two.

Apr 11th 2011 at 7:17:29 PM •••

The last episode of Aeon Flux wasn't a Gainax Ending, it was a Stable Time Loop.

Jan 7th 2011 at 6:47:59 PM •••

Does the Courage the cowardly dog episode "dome of doom" count? I've only heard about it on the nightmare fuel page and have yet to know enough about it.

Jan 6th 2011 at 6:52:49 AM •••

TRS discussion renaming discussion that retained Gainax Ending as the name.

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Apr 1st 2015 at 1:10:00 PM •••

can we change "A Gainax Ending frequently involves bizarre and nonsensical Genre Shifts, Fauxlosophic Narration, and/or Faux Symbolism, and may very well cause Ending Aversion." to "An ending that is trying to make an attempt at a Gainax Ending but falling on its face may involve bizarre and seemingly nonsensical Genre Shifts, Fauxlosophic Narration, Faux Symbolism, and may very well cause Ending Aversion." also I think it behooves us to put in that it is difficult to say in every case with absolute certainty what endings exactly are legitimate and which are not. see

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