With so many groundbreaking fan-favourite anime series circulating online, it has left the objectively bad long forgotten. While this is perhaps for the best and should remain untouched, Ranker unearthed these substandard classics and fans voted for which anime series they thought was truly the worst of the worst.
While these anime series may not be suitable for a serious viewing, they are perfect to hate-watch with friends. Failed visions, wasted opportunities, terrible storylines and more, these anime series have it all.
Note: Ranker lists are live and continue to accrue votes, so some rankings may have changed after this publishing.
*Warning: List contains reference to sexual assault*
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The first non-comedy anime series to be made entirely with Adobe Flash animation, which really says enough as it is, Hanoka was a military sci-fi series that followed a girl who was made into the ultimate weapon to fight on a planet where human beings and Star Races are at war.
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With terrible audience ratings all around, this 2006 series was criticized for its rushed and inexcusable animation, settings, and characters that ripped off more popular anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion, and numerous plot holes. While it did manage to pave the way for other TV animations directed and produced by one of its animators, it failed in its execution.
9 The Cosmopolitan Prayers
Actually receiving generally more favourable ratings than the previous series, voters on Ranker still voted this 2004 action fantasy series highly as one of the worst anime series. Unknowingly sealing away a Sun Goddess, protagonist Koto must fight her way through monsters to return the world to normal.
While some viewers were pleasantly surprised by some aspects of the show such as the art style, most were disappointed by the confusing yet cliche storyline and flat, underdeveloped characters.
8 Generation Of Chaos
An OVA that never manages to live up to its name, Generation Of Chaos is often considered one of the most boring anime series of all time. Set in a world called Neverland where humans and monsters live alongside each other, the series follows two heroes.
Reminiscent of Pokemon in its story mechanics, this 2001 anime series does not live up to that comparison. Audiences reported that they felt no attachment to the characters and that the story was confusingly bad. Interestingly, despite this, the anime seemed to have spawned a number of games of the same name over the next decade after its release.
Taking place in the centre of Tokyo, the story follows a world where the population has decreased until only women remain. While the premise could have been an interesting and promising foundation for this 2007 OVA, the series failed to deliver.
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Once again this series’ major failing is its characters which the audience fails to care about, with many viewers complaining that despite being the focus of the anime, they offered nothing of importance to the plot. Other issues with the series included a lack of story, despite the promising premise and not particularly enjoyable animation.
6 Psychic Wars
A 1991 OVA film, Psychic Wars is the story of a surgeon who treats a mysterious woman with cancer until it turns out that the growth is actually a messenger who brings along a demonic invasion.
An anime that makes the audience question just about everything, this ridiculous series may sound like a comedy but it takes itself very seriously. Overall, this anime is noted for being laughable without meaning to be, with stiff dialogue and comical fight scenes.
5 Garzey’s Wing
Another OVA film, this 1996 fantasy is only acceptable as a bad movie night watch. While failing his college entrance exams well into his twenties, Chris is transported to another world where he becomes a legendary holy warrior. The English dub of this particular anime gets a lot of attention for its campness comparable to The Room.
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Considered to be so bad that it’s good, the story offers little explanation of the complex fantasy world of its setting and the character’s reactions are unrealistic, to say the least. What is most surprising is that it was directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, the director of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.
4 Mars Of Destruction
This 2005 Sci-Fi Horror anime has been often considered a masterpiece for how awful it really is. A probe returning from Mars brings along a wave of Ancients who can only be killed by the use of a suit piloted by a few with specific DNA.
Meant to be a brutal, violent anime, many fans found themselves unable to contain their laughter at many of these gory action sequences. A lot of the characters have very similar designs making them almost indistinguishable and despite the threat of invasion, audiences were frustrated at the lack of plot.
3 Wounded Man
Wounded Man, a 1986 OVA, follows a journalist sent to Brazil to report on the gold rush phenomenon. In an unnecessary addition to the storyline and a move that totally alienates the audience, the anime tries to allow its protagonist to remain sympathetic after assaulting a female character.
Full of nudity and violence, it has been described by viewers as an incomprehensible mess, where the main character is unlikeable and the action animation laughable. Overall, one of the worst animes ever made.
2 Skelter Heaven
With some of the lowest ratings of any anime ever, it is no surprise that this 2004 OVA made an appearance as one of the worst anime of all time. Skelter Heaven’s story follows an all-female battle unit taking down an extrastriatal threat.
Full of terrible animation, and lacklustre voice acting, the episode only seems to remember that it needs a plot at the end. From the same minds as Mars Of Destruction, the show is only one 19 minute episode and still manages to be considered one of the worst things anime has ever produced.
1 Dark Cat
Voted by anime fans as the worst anime series of all time is the obscure singular episode OVA from 1991, Dark Cat. This supernatural horror anime follows two brothers with the power to take the form of cats who must unravel the mystery of a tentacle demon.
Viewers considered the dialogue to be inconsistent and hard to make sense of and the characters and story to be unoriginal. While some of the other bad anime series on the list are still considered to have their own enjoyable charm, reviewers banded together and agreed that this anime did not, making it universally one of the worst anime series of all time.
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