If you are one of those anime fans who think that all anime is good or bad, anime is Guilty Crown and My Future Diary, then you are in for a rude awakening. Compared to what we are about to show you, these look like some of the best anime series ever made. This list will be looking at a lot of terrible anime, some of which are the lowest-rated shows on sites like MyAnimeList. So, forget about the popular anime with an average score because the last few seasons sucked (we are looking at you, Tokyo Ghoul). And while there are all sorts of anime with good animation, voice acting, a good story, good fight scenes, and some great character development, there are some that just…should not exist.
The anime industry constantly develops good ideas and excellent manga series to serve as source material for a fantastic anime adaptation. And honestly, it feels wrong to refer to any anime show as ‘bad’ or ‘terrible’, but there are some truly inexcusable series out there. In fact, they give anime a bad name despite some being so bad they are actually good (for example, the English dub of Ghost Stories). But then there are entire series that are just a waste of time. We will look at the worst anime of all time, judging it by its low rating, voice actors, whether it’s worth watching, and whether it has terrible animation or not. The list will also be in order from best to absolute worst, so without further ado, here are some of the worst anime series of all time.
Let’s start easy with something that won’t break your brain just yet. This anime was very popular when it first dropped back in 2021. Many fans raved about the revenge plot and how epic it was. The story follows Keyaru, a healing magician sexually abused by everyone around him. He uses his power to go back in time and get revenge on the people who hurt him. And while this sounds like a great plot with some fantastic action, all we get is disappointment. Yes, the torture he endures is terrible, but everything after that is underwhelming. It makes the show feel more like a soft hentai series than anything else. In addition, the animation is just…bad. Not as bad as what is to come, but still pretty bad for a 2021 anime.
19. Dracula – Sovereign of the Damned (1983)
So yes, some films will be included on this list, and this is one of those so-bad-its-good classics. If you have ever wanted to see Dracula eat a hamburger in a modern Boston setting, then this is the film you are looking for. It takes the Marvel comic Tomb of Dracula and gives us a Japanese anime film where the vampire falls in love with a woman named Delores. He then kidnaps her from a Satanic cult that planned to use her as their sacrifice, and they settle down and have a child named Janus (not kidding at all). A while later, some vampire hunters come after him, but he no longer has his powers (because Satan took them, apparently), and he tries to find another vampire to turn him so he can avenge his son’s death. Judging from the plot alone, you can see why it’s on this list.
This anime came out of nowhere in 2000, and Japan absolutely hated it. In fact, everyone hated it. Not only did it come from an unknown studio, but it sported some bad-quality animation and offensive Christian references. But then, the English dub arrived, and the anime suddenly had a cult following. Unfortunately, the English dub did not make it any better, instead, it turned the anime into a joke (in a good way). The series went from being scary and eerie to making sexist and racist jokes back and forth. However, this is another one of those shows where it’s so bad that you actually begin to enjoy it after a while.
17. Psychic Wars (1991)
This 2001 one-hour OVA film has stretched the bounds of generic, nonsensical anime. The narrative follows Ukyo Retsu, an (apparently) brilliant surgeon who is informed by the cancer growing on a woman that he needs to fight for humanity. Honestly, the plot is very confusing, but there is time travel involved and terrible strange sex scenes thrown at you. And finally, there are the awkward fight scenes and clunky animation. At some point, it is evident that Retsu’s arms are disproportionate to his body. Whoever made this abomination must have been pranking anime fans everywhere.
16. Garzey’s Wing (1996)
And we have yet another anime film for this list. While the animation of this anime is actually decent in comparison to some of the other entries (also considering is a 90s anime), everything else is…not okay. Although the plot is a bit hard to explain, it’s basically an isekai where our main character, Chris, gets thrown into another world and fights to free enslaved people. And he can make large wings of light come out of his ankles called the ‘Garzey’s Wing’. Now, the voice acting for both the English and Japanese dubs is insane. The voice actors did not necessarily do a bad job, but whoever did the editing for the sound design and acting was not happy about it. However, this makes the anime unintentionally funny despite its other bad aspects.
Technically a two-episode OVA series instead of a film, Wounded Man is a complete mess. Honestly, this film should be placed lower down, but there are ones worse than this. The plot follows Japanese journalist Yuko Kusaka as she heads to Brazil to cover a story. Upon arriving, she is raped by the person who is supposed to be our protagonist, Rio Baraki. And by the law of Stockholm Syndrome, Yuko falls in love with Rio. Plot aside, the animation is terrible and awkward, there are way too many things said that feel racist, and the voice acting is so unenthusiastic. The characters do not seem up to the role, even in the more intense sequences. There are no redeeming qualities in this film, and it is not worth a watch.
If you want to see the absolute worst of the worst when it comes to sports anime, then you are in the right place. Basically, a complete Rocky rip-off, the film follows Ken Riyuji (yes, that’s what they named the main character of this boxing anime), who moves to America to pursue boxing. That’s it; that is literally the plot save for a few fight scenes. Unfortunately, the animation was so bad that the creators decided to use real-life photos of New York and draw some trees over it. And wait, it gets worse. The characters’ proportions are ridiculous, and the frame rates are incredibly slow. And the person who wrote this plot cannot be found because they used a pen name. But then again, who wouldn’t be embarrassed to be associated with this series that someone is trying to market as legitimate anime?
13. Panzer Dragoon The Anime (1996)
If you are ever looking to promote your game by releasing an OVA film, this is not the way to go about it. It is baffling how SEGA thought promoting their Panzer Dragoon game franchise with something this atrocious was smart. Set in a fantasy world, the protagonist, Kyle, discovers dragons are real when his love interest, Alita, gets stolen by one. He then must team up with a blue dragon to rescue her. While the plot seems pretty straightforward, the animation is just…nightmare fuel. Somehow, it looks like there is a mix of 3D animation and 2D animation meshed together in whatever this turned out to be. Remember, the people who worked on this are the same people who gave us My Hero Academia, Hellsing Ultimate, Another, and Trigun. So, the confusion is tangible with this one.
12. Generation of Chaos
Again, this is not the way to promote a video game, yet these studios keep thinking it’s a great idea. This OVA follows the adventures of Chiffon and Roze, two heroes from Neverland. Chiffon battles monsters, and Roze is a demon who comes home to her house on fire. And guess what? Despite this information quite literally taking up space in the synopsis, nothing chaotic happens at all. There is just a lot of nothing happening on screen. However, there is a lot of silence (awkward, awkward silence), terribly animated action sequences, and too many long, unsettling pauses. As the video game series prologue, the studios could have done a better job in every aspect.
First of all, props to Fanworks for being able to do all this on Adobe Flash. And while in theory, one can see what they were going for, the animation is still pure nightmare fuel. However, the voice acting is actually quite good, with the only problem being the disaster animation and action sequences. The plot follows Majin no.7, a girl with great power who is freed from prison to fight against aliens known as Citizens of the Stars. Set on the planet of Tokinea, these beings threaten to devastate humanity, with Majin as their only hope. After defeating them, she heads on a journey with a boy named Yuuri. While the plot is not the worst, it still has its flaws. And if you are interested in seeing how bad the animation style is, then some of the episodes are available on YouTube.
10. Kokuhaku (2015)
Now, let’s kick off the top ten worst anime of all time with this fun little OVA known as Kokuhaku. The plot surrounds a shy girl standing next to a building. Someone approaches her in first person, and she reaches behind her back with a smile. She proceeds to stab them in the neck, and that’s the end. Confused? Well, the OVA is 40 seconds of your life you will never get back. Yes, you read correctly; the anime is less than a minute long but is somehow still on MyAnimeList. In addition, the 3D animation style is questionable. Whoever thought animating in that style to scare people is a genius. However, it certainly was not scaring people in the way they were hoping for.
9. Abunai Sisters: Koko & Mika
Since we are already on the topic of 3D animation and why it should not be used in anime, let’s touch on the 10-episode-long atrocity—as a means to promote tabloid celebrities, Kyoko and Mika Kano, Production I.G, decided to create a series of gag shorts wherein the two star as red-head agents. The two women are just walking fan service, going on mundane missions and fighting against an old lady and a pervert. If you have seen any Bratz! film, then this is the quality you are looking at in Abunai Sisters: Koko & Mika, but somehow, it’s worse. With no plot and awkward animation, this show should not be a real thing.
This 12-episode body horror nightmare might have been good in another universe. However, this is the version we got which follows siblings Utsutsu and Yume Hasegawa after their parents have abandoned them. A mysterious virus known as Pupa emerges, and they fall victim to its cannibalistic effects. Yume transforms into a hideous monster, but Utsutsu doesn’t succumb to the full effects. Now, when it comes to this anime, what makes it so bad is the fact that it is full-blown cannibal ASMR with loads of foul imagery. This is in addition to the body horror the characters endure and, finally, the incestuous relationship you can see coming from the first episode. However, it would not be this far up the list if it didn’t have some questionable animation and plot choices. Horror fans might be able to sit through this, but it is advised to just skip this cannibal ASMR experience.
Outside of the cringe-worthy OP to the show, this is another one of those anime that is unintentionally funny. On top of that, more action occurs in the OP than in the entire series. We are presented with our main character, Holmes, a genius detective hired by the Metropolitan Police of London. Along with his partner, Hudson, the two must investigate vampires. First, they, in fact, do not investigate anything at all and just sit around in a room all day. Second, they sit in the same room because it seems the animation studio did not have the money to give us a more striking background. Third, the animation is just terrible. There is no other way to put it. Fourth, Holmes is the most obnoxious main character ever. And finally, despite speaking about many things in this anime, Holmes being a vampire is not addressed once, even though it is the show’s premise.
6. Dark Cat (1991)
Okay, so the plot of this OVA is one that is a bit mind-boggling. The synopsis on MyAnimeList explains the plot surrounds two brothers, Hyoi and Ryoi, who can transform into cats. And they must stop a demon plague from ravishing their school and classmates. After watching for yourself, it becomes clear that whoever wrote the synopsis was trying their best to comprehend the insanity. And this is outside the lousy animation and weird sound effects. Don’t forget the weird scenes between the teachers and students in this short film, nor will we forget the insanely cringe-worthy things said. Imagine confidently yelling, “Dark Cats Unite!” when your only partner is beside you. Not to mention, both brothers are the weakest main characters we have seen in a while. Please, no. Let’s just move on.
5. Mars of Destruction
You are probably surprised that the worst-rated anime of all time has only made it to number five on this list. Well, you will soon find out why. As a desperate Neon Genesis Evangelion rip-off, this anime follows a group of special police force agents known as the AAST and a random kid in the powerful MARS suit. They take on a group of aliens wreaking havoc across Earth known as the ‘Ancients’. Now, prepare yourself for the insane M. Night Shyamalan twist as the aliens reveal that the humans are the actual invaders (audible gasps). So now we have a terrible plot, and then the creators decided to throw in some of the worst audio editing ever. The sound effects are awful, the acting is terrible, and so is the animation. Someone needs to explain where and why this was made and who they were torturing with it.
This OVA film is what happens when you allow a video game creator to make an anime. There is no point in explaining the plot further than saying it’s a sci-fi harem anime where a guy takes his group of girls to fight aliens in Tokyo. Somehow, the creators of this anime managed to make something worse than Mars of Destruction. Speaking of which, you are surely annoyed that the plot was glossed over in this entry. However, you may be even more annoyed to find that this is exactly how the plot is dealt with in the film. Then, we get strange RPG-style animation (so long, awkward pauses and ridiculous camera angles) and lacklustre voice acting. No, really, it sounds like the actors were bored out of their minds while recording. Is this anime even bad-funny? No, it is not. Do not watch this unless you seek to lose your soul to an infinite void.
3. Superior Defender Gundam Force
Okay, so this anime series fully disrespects the entire Mobile Suit Gundam universe. Made to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series, they decided to give us a fever dream with sentient robots instead. So, first, they change the animation and made it cutesy and 3D. Second, they defeat the whole point of the plot by giving us a sentient robot instead of a mobile suit to gear up in. Third, there is absolutely no effort made with the animation, making the following point scarier. Fourth, it’s directed at children! Seriously, just Google the little boy from the series and you are sure to have nightmares for the next couple of days. Finally, despite being a Japanese anime, it was aired on Cartoon Network, further insulting the decades-old Mobile Suit Gundam masterpiece. This is not even suitable for kids to watch, honestly.
2. Chargeman Ken!
Trying to explain the plot of anything in this series will result in a migraine for all parties involved. However, the basic premise sees some aliens invading Earth. They are known as the Juralians. Ken Izumi, our main character and hero, is the only one that can stop them from harvesting Earth’s resources. Now, if you thought animation could not get any worse than what you have seen on this list, prepare yourself. The series is basically moving pictures of the characters in various positions. And the plot…oof, that’s a bit of a tough one because there is no plot! Imagine watching all 60 episodes of this atrocity that people label an anime and still not knowing what is going on by the end! In fact, each episode is about five minutes long, and you go in knowing nothing and come out knowing nothing.
Deciding whether this or Chargeman Ken! should be in the number one spot was challenging. However, one little detail in this one-hour-long OVA has won the anime the spot of worst anime of all time. But first, the plot. We see Nora, a bounty hunter, on vacation at a “Holiday Inn” space station. Keep in mind, Nora has all kinds of superhuman abilities (including freezing time and teleportation), so naturally, when the artificial gravity fails at the station, she offers to help. So, now, what earned this anime the number-one spot on this list? Well, even though the film is shot at two frames per second in addition to its terribly animated characters, the creators paid no attention to detail. Just taking a quick look at some of the signs on the building will expose the fact that none of the creators could speak English. Funnily enough, they did not check with an English speaker either to double-check it for them. How hard would it have been to double-check the spelling of ‘departure’ and ‘lobby ‘? Instead, we get ‘depurture’ and ‘robby’!
Jesse Jacobs is a talented writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. With a deep interest in anime and gaming, Jesse brings a fresh perspective to her work as an entertainment journalist.
Her passion for all things tech and media-related is evident in her writing, which is always informed and insightful. Jesse's dedication to her craft is matched only by her love of language and history, which she studied in her Bachelor's degree in Ancient Cultures and Applied English Studies.
With her diverse interests and expertise, Jesse is a valuable contributor to FortressofSolitude.co.za. Her articles on anime, gaming, and other topics are always informative and engaging, and her love of language and history brings a unique perspective to her writing.
Whether she's breaking down the latest anime releases or offering her thoughts on the newest games, Jesse's writing is always engaging and thought-provoking. Her passion for her work is infectious, and her contributions to Fortress of Solitude are sure to entertain and enlighten readers.