Are you cheating if you rewrite the Anime or Manga ending?

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!

Is there anything you would like me to cover? Do you want to know my thoughts on anything? Have something I should know? If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, comment below!

7 thoughts on “Are you cheating if you rewrite the Anime or Manga ending?

  1. I love a good ending. It can turn a mediocre series into something far greater that it probably deserved to be. I don’t think a bad ending has exactly the opposite effect however. It can make me adjust my opinion, but not too severely unless it really was awful.

    I actually like when you get variations in the adaptations as it gives you two worlds to enjoy. With Akame ga Kill I enjoyed the anime ending and the manga ending although I feel like some sort of combination of the two would have been best.

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    1. Agreed a good ending can actually save the series or even make it amazing. I generally have a rule about how far I am willing to go in a series. It has to spark interest whether that is an awesome character, plot or witty banter.

      I am sure there are great things I have missed because of this.

      Yeah I preferred the manga ending way more, but the anime ending was still a fun watch. Just curious what would you have like to have seen for an ending for Akame ga Kill if you could mix and match endings?

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      1. It’s possible that I’ll get which happened in which mixed up so I’ll just lay out the bits that I thought worked best.

        Obviously, the whole Wild Hunt arc was far better in the manga and lead into the final arc far better than the anime which clearly had no idea what was about to happen.

        The rebel assault of the capital was better in the manga and seem much more like a full scale war, which it was.

        I liked that the manga used the alchemist from Wild Hunt to mess with the Emperor’s Supreme Teigu and made it more believable for him to lose control like that.

        I also liked that Wave returned to the capital to help Tatsumi. Now, he’s the big kick for me. Tatsumi dying was the right decision for me. He’d done his part, saved his village, defeated the Emperor. His death was heroic, if not a little stupid in the anime, but I think he should have died.

        I read books 1 -14 first, then watched the anime, and then finally read book 15. I went into the anime fully expecting everyone to die and they mostly did. Leonie’s death was probably the hardest to take. They were a band of murderers and wouldn’t have a place in this new world. I think they all new that and the series built up to that. So, when I saw in the anime that Tatsumi survived, all be it a dragon, I was a little disappointed. If the manga had delivered a better way for Tatsumi to die rather than saving him, it would have been perfect for me.

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      2. Yeah, I was fine with Tatsumi and Mine getting together. If anything that seemed like the most realistic pairing. I don’t know why but there’s always something that much more impactful to me when the hero makes the ultimate sacrifice like in Gladiator.

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  2. I often enjoy it when an adaptation takes the material in a bit of a different direction, as it can lead to some interesting places. If that also results in a more satisfying conclusion then the original, so much the better.
    I also don’t mind the ending to the original Evangelion anime, by the way, and actually prefer it to the movie ending, but I think the manga adaptation has the best conclusion of all… so far anyway.

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    1. I actually haven’t read the manga ending. I will have to give that a look.

      Sometimes the adaptation can take you somewhere completely unexpected. And I agree that if the conclusion is more satisfying than I am also a happy reader/viewer.

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