Anime and manga sometimes get a free pass; it’s cheating when it rewrites an ending.
One thing that really stands out in the anime/manga industry is the flexibility to change an unpopular ending. This is huge because you can potentially save a popular series if for some reason the original ending wasn’t well received. And it’s not all that uncommon either. The great news is people will still forgive a bad ending if you can fix the ending to be one more in line with the readers/viewers expectations. The audience seems to be willing to forgive a bad ending and pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s something that at first I assumed was cheating. What is the real ending? And how can I trust the ending? What ending is the one I really want?
Does this mean that there is no conclusive ending? It’s hard for me to say because people are so willing to forgive an ending that is better and pretend an original one doesn’t exist. I often will be told to skip certain anime, certain endings, and other content because the ending is bad. I always wondered why that ending was chosen in the first place.
One of the first places I found myself on the front-lines in a bad ending scenario is Akame ga Kill. I personally didn’t mind the ending for the anime, it wasn’t amazing but it did leave elements that I wanted to have fulfilled that weren’t. Do unfulfilled elements make it bad? I didn’t think so, and it didn’t bother me as much but other fans were howling at the ending. Granted the manga ending for Akame ga Kill was better, and that is the one I prefer but I dislike the notion of completely forgetting an ending. I don’t want to disparage the ending of something I thought was OK, because I feel like that is borderline childish. We had everything we wanted in an anime or manga and because the ending was bad doesn’t mean that I will then go and trash the whole series.
Did you get the ending you wanted? That really depends. Everyone interacts with content differently. I have always been on the more forgiving side when it comes to a “bad” ending. Generally I don’t really mind as much, I live for the moment and if the anime gives me the moments I want I don’t need the ending to be perfect. Just as long as it’s something that makes sense even if others may not want it.
One perfect video game example I can think of was Mass Effect 3. Phenomenal Series, and I enjoyed it alot. The only problem with Mass Effect 3 was the ending. Essentially for those who haven’t played there are three endings you could choose in the original ending. Each ending had a different outcome and some required the sacrifice of the hero you had grown to love. Even when you didn’t have to sacrifice the hero, you would fundamentally change the hero into the villian. It was so bad, in some players’ eyes, people wanted their money refunded after paying good money to play the game. For me I applauded the ending and thought it fit well within the series’s narrative. If the ending was so bad that it warranted such a negative emotional response it speaks volumes to the quality story-telling of the game and its content. The developers ended up making tweaks to the ending but never could rebuild the broken trust between itself and the player base that felt betrayed.
And how many endings are we going to get for Evangelion? Minority Opinion, the first ending was just fine. Ok maybe I just want to see the world burn with a minority opinion like that, but you could say the same of my Mass Effect 3 ending feelings.
Thankfully we are getting different endings and content to please fans. All these different endings give a writer or a studio another shot to get it right. And even if they don’t they are still generating some kind of profit from it, otherwise why rewrite an ending when the first ending should have been enough.
I could go on and on about the list of endings that have been changed and re-written but it really wouldn’t change the point. Are you cheating when you rewrite an ending? Absolutely, but at the same time I don’t mind really. At the end of the day I get more content of something that I loved, and gives credence to the idea of what if something had been different? I wouldn’t mind seeing 100 different outcomes of my favorite anime series. After all, writing is the work of the imagination, and if you already got me to the end of your series I am always going to love it regardless of how it ends.
Agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!
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