Anime adaptations that completely changed the ending of the manga

Anime adaptations that completely changed the ending of the manga

There are few things that tend to irk a manga fanbase more than the beloved manga receiving an anime adaptation that takes creative liberties with the original’s plot. Fans are particularly critical of a change in the conclusion, understandably so given that a story’s ending often ends up defining the narrative as a whole.


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There are several reasons why adaptations use unique endings. Many production teams are simply adapting manga that don’t yet have an ending to be faithful to, and don’t want to settle for their co-creation being stuck in the middle of a plotline. Others believe their vision should have the opportunity to materialize, given that the original story already had its time in the spotlight. Whatever the reasoning, here are four anime adaptations that completely changed the manga’s ending.

Warning: spoilers ahead!

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4/4 The Elf Lied

This notoriously gory series takes its title from a German poem that translates to “Elven Song”. In the manga, Lucy’s alter-ego Nyu is taught the song by an aspiring singer, and Lucy later sings the song herself in the manga’s final chapters as she makes the fatal choice, against her killer instincts, to save Kouta, the human boy she has always loved, instead of destroying the world, which has constantly inflicted cruelty upon her as she attempted to co-exist with humans as a Diclonius. This inability to exist in the human world is reflected in the poem, with its titular elf chastised for his attempt to peer into human life. Kouta kills Lucy soon after in an act of mercy as the process of reviving him has left her irreparably damaged and in pain. Years later, fulfilling the promise he made to Lucy to visit the place they first met on the anniversary of their meeting, Kouta and his daughter meet a pair of twin girls who look almost identical to Lucy when she was young.

Unlike the manga, the titular poem plays essentially no role in the anime and is replaced by “Lilium”, an original song created for the series that is featured in the opening and serves as the melody for Kouta’s music box, a recurring motif in the series. performance. Since the anime ended before the manga did, the adaptation had to develop its own original ending which finally shows Lucy facing those who imprisoned her at the start of the series and losing her horns. Although the viewer is not entirely sure of her fate, the final moments of the anime depict someone appearing at Kouta’s door, causing his music box to pause its tune.

3/4 Soul Eater

The anime adaptation of the Soul Eater garnered much criticism for its original ending, particularly for Maka’s bravery-fueled Power Punch defeating the series’ primary antagonist, Asura. An ending that many thought was an unoriginal and somewhat banal climax to the anime. In defense of the adaptation’s finale, the manga would continue for several years before unveiling its own canon conclusion.

Related: Soul Eater: Every Protagonist’s Age, Height, and Birthday

Taking the spotlight in the final moments of the manga, Crona sacrifices herself (and the happy ending they got in the anime) to seal Asura within the world’s iconic moon, trapping herself in the process. Maka vows to find a way to free them eventually, but Crona’s ultimate fate is left up in the air.

Full metal alchemist is probably the most famous instance of an anime adaptation with a manga-divergent ending. It was necessary for the series to develop its own finale if it didn’t just want to end with the wrap-up of a plot arc as the manga was years away from completion, and was actually requested by the mangaka himself. Although it was agreed to take the show in a different direction, few fans could have predicted that the series would conclude with one of the main characters being pulled out of the fictional world of the story and stranded on Earth. Unexpected, more than a little bizarre, and arguably inferior to the manga’s conclusion, but undeniably memorable.

The manga would eventually receive a second anime adaptation, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood who faithfully animated their final chapters just months after they were done.

1/4 paradise kiss

One of the creations of highly regarded mangaka Ai Yazawa, paradise kiss is more of an honorable mention in this list as the end of the anime adaptation follows the same basic storylines as the manga’s finale (as opposed to the eventual live-action film). But in a way that brings to mind the phrase “the devil is in the details,” the seemingly small changes implemented in the anime end up effectively neutering Yazawa’s heartbreaking manga ending. Not naming or showing Yukari’s fiance, nor portraying Yukari laughing happily with said fiance, makes the similar scenes feel much more hopeless and melancholic than the original, which strikes the perfect balance between accepting harsh realities and achieving dreams theirs.

In the unforgettable epitome of a bittersweet ending, the manga illustrates that while Yukari may not truly be over George, hence her final words stating that she’s going to cry at the sight of his clothes, it still injects the feeling that Yukari has into it the youngest has moved on with life and dreams for the future. She does not entertain the idea of ​​reconciling her relationship with George, and finding happiness with another man even though the soon-to-be newlyweds still carry torches for their first loves in their hearts.

MORE: Anime endings people still debate today

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