Nothing stings quite so much as falling in love with an anime, watching the whole first season and the big cliffhanger ending only to learn 3 months later that it will never, ever air again. No season 2. No OVAs. No movies.
Or maybe the show is so good it gets a couple of seasons. Maybe even an abrupt and unsatisfying ending. Who wants their favorite show to end? (Especially if the end was forced due to lack of funds.)
Though well over half of all anime produced these days will leave out some part of the manga, these adaptations left off midway (or earlier). Whether it was because of illness, disagreements, death, or just lack of funds you may never know what really happens (unless you read the manga.)
Below you can find a list of 15 anime that ended before their full story was told as well as where to pick it up in the manga or light novel.
Originally 13 episodes, Baccano! was created by the same author as the ever popular (and still airing) Durarara. Baccano! follows a large cast of characters in a jazz-infused mystery-action-mafia type anime with a dash of alchemy thrown in. The bulk of the story takes place on a train with just about the worst name ever.
The anime was criticized for its tendency to skip from one character story to the next and back again, not following any particular timeline. By the end of the series, very few of the questions it posed were answered, only a few plots were wrapped up.
3 additional episodes were produced, but they serve as more of a bridge into the continued world of the light novels rather than trying to answer any lingering questions.
The Baccano anime leaves off completely at light novel 5. However, if you want to know the whole story you should start from the beginning as the anime leaves out quite a lot.
This anime spans just 12 episodes. The protagonist, Ganta, is an everyday kind of student until one day he is framed for the murder of his entire class. Soon after he is sentenced to life (or a relatively quick death) in a prison/amusement park. The very same park he and his class were planning to take a school trip.
Ganta must survive until he can somehow prove his innocence. In the meantime, he must live through a series of deadly “games” or be slowly poisoned to death should he refuse. However, he soon comes to learn that there is much more to his imprisonment than meets the eye.
Manga, Vol. 5 Chapter 21. Rereading recommended as the anime adaption left out a number of subplots and characters that may be important later in the story. There are 13 volumes in all.
A surrealist comedy/adventure anime that follows the adventures Minami “Ikki” Itsuki and friends as they attempt to master the use of “Air Treck”, a type of motorized rollerblades. The anime introduces the cast of characters and shows Ikki beginning to master the sport. It then leaves off in the middle of an important battle. No attempt to wrap up any loose ends.
You can pick up where the anime left off in manga chapter 104. 358 chapters have been released and a potential spin-off is in the works. The anime stays pretty faithful to the manga. Rereading is only necessary if you want more backstory on the main characters. 37 volumes in all.
Kare Kano is a darker slice-of-life meets high school romance. The plot revolves around two classmates who strive to be the best and their reasons for doing so. As it progresses the two attempt to be more or less of their “true selves”, gain and lose friends, then eventually develop a romance.
The anime adapted volumes 1-7 of the manga. There are 21 volumes in all.
Rurouni Kenshin is a very well done historical action series for the first half. Taking place in Meiji era Japan, this anime follows the life and adventures of a wandering swordsman as he makes friends, deals with his past, and falls in love.
Manga Vol. 18, chapter 152. This is where the anime started adding “original content” and deviating from the manga’s storyline.
Spice and Wolf is a “slow burn” romance with plenty of adventure and political intrigue. Kraft Lawrence, a traveling merchant, has a dream of one day settling down and opening up a shop. One day he meets Holo, a wise-wolf who looks like a young girl with large, wolf ears and a tail. Holo makes a bargain to travel with Lawrence and use her wisdom to increase his profits as long as he takes her to Yoitsu, her homeland.
The anime adaptation covers up to volume 5 of the light novel. There are 16 main books as well as an epilogue and several spin-off stories.
Gantz is a bit of a gore-fest dressed up as a sci-fi action/horror show. It’s an older anime and if you can stomach the gore has been called a classic in spite of a tacked-on ending.
Two humans die in a train accident and become part of a team sent to hunt and kill aliens living on Earth. This is structured as a sort of game where “points” can even be spent to revive fallen teammates.
Though the anime had an “ending” it was added to tie up the show in a way that would leave the fans somewhat satisfied. If you want to keep reading from where the anime left after right before the “end” (eps 22-16) you can start at chapter 90 of the manga. There are currently 37 volumes.
A drama and, later, a romance. Fruits Basket follows Tohru Honda after the loss of her mother and her move into a tent. Not long after a series of accidents leads her to discover the secret of a prominent family: when hugged by members of the opposite sex they can turn into animals of the zodiac. It’s a curse that only Tohru is allowed to know about and only if she can prove that she will keep their secret.
In order to prove she can keep that secret Tohru is allowed to live with members of the Sohma family. To earn her keep she cooks and cleans for them.
Over the course of the story, all 12 animals of the zodiac are revealed as well as the leader of the family, Akito. A secret even greater than the transformations is that of the 13th animal: the cat. The anime ends before all 12 get an introduction and just as Tohru is learning what the curse really means.
The anime ends somewhat abruptly after only 26 episodes due to creative differences between its creator and the animation studio.
The anime ends at chapter 34 of the manga. There are 136 chapters (26 volumes) in total.
Rave Master was canceled after 2 seasons and 51 episodes. Compared to nearly every other title on this list it had a long run. A good vs. evil hero’s quest.
Haru Glory must collect all of the rave stones in order to defeat an evil faction that uses Demon/Shadow Stones to terrorize the land. His allies are a gambling addict with amnesia and a silversmith as well as a small creature named Plue.
Volume 13, chapters 98-99. There are 35 volumes in total.
The original version ran for 103 episodes. This action/adventure anime follows Allen Walker, an Exorcist, with the help of other members of his organization attempt to defeat an army of Akuma (which are sort of a mechanical/demon hybrid). The Exorcists must also seek out pieces of Innocence, the substance that allows them to fight the Akuma.
Allen is valuable to both sides as he is half-Akuma himself.
Though a “continuation” has recently been announced (and we’re all waiting to see how long that lasts) you can pick up from where the original series ended around chapter 156-157 of the manga. 24 volumes in all.
A comedy anime with a tiny bit of romance throughout. Sunako is a horror fanatic. Her aunt allows a group of four handsome high schoolers to live in her extravagant mansion, with Sunako, rent free. As long as they can turn Sunako into a proper lady.
For her part, Sunako would rather live in a dark room surrounded by her macabre collections. Every time she sees one of her housemates directly she ends up with a gushing nosebleed. This leads to a number of hilarious situations.
Depends on who you ask. The last few episodes skip around from chapters 36 to 44. To be on the safe side you may want to start with volume 10 but if you don’t want to repeat anything: Volume 11, chapter 44. There are 36 volumes in total.
A very rare drama type anime. Nana is comprised of 47 episodes in total. Two very different girls with the same first name become roommates. The anime (and manga) follow the two girls as they follow their dreams and hit just about every bump along the way.
Nana Osaki is a punk singer with aspirations to make it big with her band, The Black Stones (BLAST). Nana “Hachi” Komatsu is a hopeless romantic. The story follows them as their lives intertwine and they learn how to deal with fame, ambition and unrequited love.
You can pick up right where the anime left off at Volume 12, chapter 42. There are 21 volumes.
A group of half-human, half-Yoma(demon) warriors are created to defeat the Yoma on behalf of humanity. They are called “Claymores” because of the large, claymore swords they carry. They are tolerated by the humans they serve as a necessary evil.
The story revolves around the relationship of Raki, a young human boy, and Clare, an ambitious Claymore.
Another show with an often poorly rated “original ending”. You can pick up where the anime and manga deviated around manga chapter 50 if you want all the details or chapters 60-61 if you don’t want any repeat information. There are 27 volumes.
Kyoko Mogami is in love with her childhood friend Shoutarou Fuwa, a rising pop-star. That is, until the day she overhears him call her boring and plain during a conversation with his manager. She had spent her days supporting him and looking after his every whim. All he did was take her for granted.
Suddenly, Kyoko vows to become more famous than Shou. She changes her look and leaps headfirst into the world of entertainment.
Pick up reading from Volume 12, chapter 68. There are currently 39 volumes. (Ongoing.)
12 episodes. Ritsuka, a seemingly normal 12-year-old boy witnesses his older brother’s murder and loses his memory due to the shock. 2 years later he starts back to school and meets a friend of his brothers, Soubi.
Soubi unveils a world his brother was a part of where battles are waged between pairs using the power of the spoken word. Ritsuka believes that Soubi might know something about why his brother died and insists on becoming part of that world.
You can pick up the story at volume 4 chapter 9. A lot is glossed over in the anime but it doesn’t justify a reread in most cases. There are currently 12 volumes and a light novel. Ongoing.
New series are popping up all the time and these days it seems like getting to see more than a single season (of only 12 episodes rather than the older standard of 24) is going to become increasingly common. As noted above you can keep up with your favorite characters through their respective manga in just about any case. If you hold out long enough, maybe, just maybe your favorite will get a remake (or a new season) in the (near) future.