We, The Animasochists, in order to remind everyone that Anime Was A Mistake, angrily throw popcorn, trigger gag reflexes, provide for the public depression, call out shitty work, and secure the curses of godawful anime to ourselves and our readers, do ordain and establish this article for The Animasochists.

TRICK OR TREAT, MOTHERFUCKERS. Just kidding, it’s all tricks, because these shows fucking sucked. 2017 was, from our perspective, probably the worst year overall for anime since back in 2014 - which is not to say that it didn’t have great shows, but rather that there was an enormous glut of utterly terrible ones. We had quite a few more categories with MASSIVE numbers of serious contenders to pare down, to the point where several truly atrocious things just didn’t make the cut for lack of space.

And yes, let’s address the elephant in the room: this is HELLA LATE. We would like to point out that although the ongoing Worst Anime Ever, otherwise known as Real Life, has kept us from writing the article for this long, rest assured that it did not prevent us from watching all this horrible shit.

***SPOILER ALERT***

***NON-SERIOUS POST ALERT***

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Loser-est: Fuuka - What the truck? Probably 70% of the manga readers watching this had recommended it to a friend out of schadenfreude, only to have it all amount to a big wet fart as The Big Event never happened. Instead of actually dying like she should have, the series’ namesake just gets sidelined out of a relationship. Perhaps it’s true that musicians are only truly appreciated after they’re dead?

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Loser-er: Berserk 2 - Yes, even after Berserk 2016, we are still disappointed. If last year was shockingly terribly bad in every aspect, 2017 manages to get worse. The gifs alone of awful, janky animation that you wouldn’t expect from a beginner. The CLANNNGGGs. Japan, please, for the love of god, either find a way to make Berserk presentable or just don’t animate it at all.

Loser: Clockwork Planet - What the actual fuck. The studio here somehow took a well liked and perfectly competent manga, chopped it up, ate it, then shit this “adaptation” onto the screen, possibly as an act of spite. The characters are lame, the plot is incoherent, the animation mostly sucks and occasionally falls apart entirely. Throw in some half-assed fanservice and way too much sassy android and you have a recipe for anime shit pie, a dish so foul even Raitzeno wouldn’t make it.

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(THIS IS NOT A CHALLENGE, RAITZENO.)

Dishonorable Mentions:

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World End: What Do You Do at the End of the World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us? - It’s always interesting to those of us who read LNs regularly, when a new adaption is announced. Light Novels are usually where forthcoming trends can be spotted most early, which is why some of us saw Isekai coming quite a long way out (and we have our bets on what the next one will be too), but also where unique stories that stand entirely on their own sometimes appear. World End could be considered one such case. It was infamous in the LN community for being one of the most tragic stories on offer - one where the prospect of a happy ending is discarded almost from the very start, and then things gets worse for everyone. When the anime was announced, interest was quite high, as there was the prospect for a really significant experience. And, also, the enjoyment of seeing the unsuspecting get traumatised, which is always amusing.

Anyway, the anime started reasonably well. Excellent music choice, a flash-forward to the end of the third novel (where things really hit the fan) to establish right away that all the cute girls with bright hair are not actually the harbingers of moeblob inanity. The absence of an important scene was a little alarming, but not condemning so early on... but as things progressed it became obvious that the lack of that scene was, in fact, a profound omission. The light novels rely on a very particular blend of horror and awareness to function. The reader knows things the cast does not, and seeing them make sound and rational decisions based on their own knowledge that the reader meanwhile is aware can only end badly draws you in to the fate of the characters. Being aware of realities which undermine what happiness the characters do find, and knowing that it will all crumble when they find out, gives a sense of suspense independent from the actual events - which themselves are not irrelevant fluff (most of the time). So when the anime decides to not bother with the strengths of the plot, you’re left once again to wonder why someone bothered picking the story to adapt.

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But the disappointment does not restrict itself to just this. Not content with divesting the plot of its critical features, the same could be said of the cast itself to a certain degree. In the LNs, Willem was good-natured even in combat, very intellectual and analytical and not prone to extremes of emotion... in the past. In the present he finds himself in, the trauma of his situation manifests as a deep nihilism and obvious brittleness, as though his mental state could break at any moment. Chtholly is hot-headed and tsundere, but with a sharp wit and pragmatism. In general, the cast of the light novels are all a little more prone to act with a given rationality even when they’re being emotional. The anime dumbs them all down to generic anime stereotypes who act out generic emotional archetypes, not to mention forcing a romance between the two main characters which never came to fruition in the source material, in part because both parties realised it was simply an emotional crutch which would quickly become unhealthy - and because one of them died with two novels still to go.

Much like with Fuuka, if you’re picked a story to bring to a new medium, there are certain expectations that the source material will be somewhat recognisable. Otherwise, why are you bothering to use the name? Imagine if Spice and Wolf had received an anime, but instead of Kraft and Holo travelling together providing a view into historical economics, Kraft decides to settle down and run a small shop in that first town, refuses to side with Holo against the villagers and then it ends with her eating everyone. It’s not Spice and Wolf, people who like Spice and Wolf who came looking for Spice and Wolf would not find it and they would inevitably wonder why the fuck someone thought this was a valid approach to take with something that presumably only got picked up to be made into an anime because it was already popular and therefore had an existing audience. SukaSuka was gutted. It left out critical parts of the plot and what it did include, it dumbed down to be generic anime tat. A stunning, and disappointing, example of something unique being watered down to mediocrity.

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Seiren - Oh, Seiren. You wrote a flowery love letter promising to be the next Amagami SS, and then we discovered you had signed it with steaming feces instead of ink. Each of your three story arcs (versus the 4 that each season of Amagami gave us) was worse than the last, with the main character being an absolute doormat at best and a horny little schmuck at worst, a set of love interests who range from a forgettable nobody to a horrendous bitch, with a supporting cast nearly as bad. Why did you have to break our hearts like that? All we wanted was a decent new omnibus romance series. Amagami redefined the romance genre for the better, and this show redefined it for the worse. So much worse.

Youkai Apartment - While not exactly a hype machine before it started, this one consistently failed to deliver on its own promises. He has awesome telekinetic and/or healing powers! He does nothing with them. His awesome swordswoman housemate (voiced by Sawashiro, who deserves better) offers to train him! And they never even confirm whether she follows through with this, let alone show it. He has all sorts of cool youkai housemates! They focus on his normal-bormal classmates instead. There’s an actual cool plot thread that could make him unable to ever come back to the apartment, a choice with actual consequences! Nope, deus ex machina, everything is back to normal within half an episode, back to shitty teen drama. It had all these amazing factors and just did absolutely nothing with any of them. What the hell happened?! (We are henceforth calling this phenomenon Glasslip Syndrome. You’re welcome.)

King’s Game: The bar for horror anime isn’t exactly a high one to begin with, but series like this and Chaos;Child showed that studios are really happy to go out of their way to make a series bad enough to fall so, so far below that bar they they probably ruin the genre for the next decade.

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New Game!! - Why the hell wasn’t this called New Game Plus!, you idiots?! It was right there!

Loser: Berserk 2 - Tell me what, tell me what, tell me what you said ...  

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Berserk 2016 was already abysmal, how could it get any worse? Well, the animation quality from last year that was already being discussed as some of the worst ever somehow got even worse. Jokes about MS Paint being used last year became less joking and more serious when sequences like the one above here aired. There are almost a hundred other gifs we could have included to demonstrate just the utter depth of horrors these people foisted upon us, but at the request of my fellow authors, you’ll have to make due with the few here. Sure, the story remained OK - because Berserk at its very worst is still a seminal piece in manga history - but when it’s paired with some of the worst sound design/mixing and even more grievously, the worst art and animation in recent anime history, not even the best of stories can shine through this shit.

Dishonorable Mentions:

Chaos;Child - When you’re making a sequel to a visual novel which received a poor anime adaptation, you really shouldn’t mess it up twice, right? The problem with Chaos;Head is that it doesn’t make any sense until around episode 9, and by then it’s already dug itself into the dirt. Chaos;Child conversely almost tricks you into thinking it’s going to be a cool and interesting mystery series, but alas, the entire show crashes and burns by the halfway point with several botched plot twists. Apparently trying to stuff a 50+ hour visual novel into a blender and expecting a well-made 12-episode anime leaves you with a bloody unpleasant mess regardless.

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UQ Holder - How do you make a great sequel? Well, you sure as hell don’t start after the manga ending of a show that 4+ attempts at animating never reached. You probably shouldn’t give it an obnoxious, perverted new protagonist. And you most definitely shouldn’t vaguely allude to the previous protagonist having made babies with one of his >30 harem members, never tell the audience which one it was, and then have it turn out it was none of them because the dude’s a goddamned clone. You would think these are pretty basic instructions…

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Also, don’t outsource monsters to the team behind the latest Berserk.

Hell Girl 4 - So you’re a cult classic series with an established formula; 26 Episodes of mostly standalone stories for a plot slowly developing over the course of the each series. Granted, in recent years a 2-cour show is becoming rarer, so cutting the series down to 12 episodes should be expected right? EXCEPT 6 OF THE EPISODES ARE DEDICATED TO A RANDOM SELECTION OF EPISODES FROM PREVIOUS SEASONS. This leaves a wonderful 6 episodes to haphazardly squeeze in a new original plot. Why would you even do this? WHO would do thi-

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Of course it is.

Rewrite 2 - Wait, I thought everyone turned into trees in 1? There’s a sequel? Does it retcon the greatest worst ending of all time with alternate universes, timeskips, and unnecessarily complicated technobabble that means nothing? It does, and it continues to attempt multiple routes and destroy the concept of pacing. The VN might be coherent, but the anime is total nonsense.

New Game!! - “Hey, remember how we added a whole bunch of creepshots last time?” “Yeah, everyone hated that.” “Nah, we just didn’t do them creepy enough. Let’s double down on it.” “Yeah okay, sure.” FUCK OFF.

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Loser:.UQ Holder - How do you stop an all-powerful mage who is a previous protagonist possessed by the evil ghost of an offscreen final boss? Get the (naked) ghosts of his harem - including of people who are still alive! - to show up via complete asspull Deus Ex Machina, then have them smother him into submission with their phantasmal tits.

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Dishonorable Mentions:

Symphogear AXZ - From the phoned-in villain plot, to the redemption-by-self-sacrifice of the prior villains, to the obvious sequel hook (already greenlit before they started this season!), to the post-credits reveal of how any of this shit happened, this was a pretty terrible ending by any standard. And yet somehow, they managed to make it worse than last season’s ending. A large part of it is probably just how uninspired the final fight scene was; the villain turns out to be an even dumber proto-Doctor Ver who went full monster long ago and has been magically hiding it, and rather than powering up EVERYONE and letting them combine their powers in an epic clash, they just let Hibiki turn gold and use everyone else’s power to curbstomp it all on her own. No, seriously, check out her OP Protagonist section, it’s as dumb as it sounds.

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Anime-gataris - The ending of this show provides solid proof that Anime Was A Mistake. The show starts as a tropey anime club slice-of-life, but completely flies off the rails in its final third... with the real-life world being invaded by anime tropes. As it turns out, one of the main characters is an actual anime character that has reverse-isekai’d his way into the “real world.” So why does he do all this? What possesses Senpai to do such a thing? He wants the director of the anime he is from to give him a less shitty name. Seriously, he pulls apart the fourth wall and leaves it in tatters, and his entire motivation is that? Sadly, even though the story is full of references, the show’s ending decides to use Samurai Flamenco and Evangelion’s endings as its frame of reference, crawling so far up it’s own arse that it might have broken the fifth wall.

King’s Game - After killing 80% of the cast with an eclectic mix of rocks-to-heads, chainsawing limbs off, bleeding out, and throwing people off literal cliffs, three characters remain: the protagonist Nobuaki, his girlfriend Riona, and the yandere antagonist, Natsuko. Deciding to briefly stop the slaughter to try and work out a non-violent solution, they discover that the only way for them to end the game is for no one to survive. Natsuko, being the bitch she is, decides that she would rather condemn the world and let the game continue, and thus commits to murdering the final two members of the cast.

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While she is strangling Nobuaki to death, Riona slashes through her spinal cord with the chainsaw Natsuko decided to drop earlier. The final pair wonder what to do next, and with the show’s major antagonist lying dead next to them, they decide to share a kiss… without checking on Natsuko’s “body,” which stands up. As one last middle finger to the audience, she slashes Nobuaki’s throat with the same chainsaw before professing her love for him, all while bleeding out. Riona, after being told by a dying Nobuaki to survive for him, drags his corpse to a beach and promptly drowns herself.

Even after all of this, the at least the King’s Game is over now, right? No one will have to suffer this again? Of course, not because after the credits roll, they slap a big fat “TO BE CONTINUED…” on the end. WHAT THE FUCK?

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Infini-T Force - Emi is a 17 year old high school girl with enormous bad luck, to the point where her father has used a magical artifact called the “Case” to travel between dimensions multiple times all to find one where his daughter will not die. This artifact is used to manipulate dimensions, which allows the show to be a crossover featuring several characters from Tatsunoko properties. By the end of the show Emi finds herself fighting against her father in order to free herself of the dimensional prison he constructed for her to keep her safe. She succeeds, and in the show’s final moments she sends her Tatsunoko friends back to their dimensions, and the “Case” vanishes with them. One would assume that, since the “Case” is no more, there can be no more dimensional shenanigans, right?

WRONG! After the credits, Infini-T Force decides to throw any logic it had left out the window at the last minute. As she’s walking across the street, she sees a girl about to get Truck-kun’d, and quickly uses the “Case” that SHOULDN’T EVEN BE THERE to lift a manhole cover and knock the truck away from the girl. This causes her bad luck to kick in and the truck then heads straight for her instead. She falls, the “Case” falls out of her hand and is then DESTROYED by the truck headed straight for her, and STILL she is able to isekai herself by screaming “I DON’T WANT TO DIE YET!” through sheer Deus Ex force of will. The “Case” is then inexplicably in her hand and fully intact despite being destroyed mere seconds earlier, the show sets itself up for the possibility of a second season, and we’re left here trying to make sense out of whatever the fuck we just watched. Good God.

Love & Lies - The entire premise of this show centers around a complex question that the main character has to deal with: Should he love the girl he’s had a childhood crush on for forever, or should he love the girl that the state in this universe chooses for him based on nebulous criteria? At first, he loves his crush and tolerates the state-chosen girl, but by spending time with the latter, his feelings end up becoming more and more complicated. Maybe she was the right girl for him all along?

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So what happens? Does he pick the childhood crush and prove to himself that love conquers all? Does he pick the new girl and show that love comes at you from all different directions? FUCK NO! Instead of actually picking one, he ends up choosing polygamy! He’ll marry both girls! WTF. This was a cop-out to end all cop-outs.

Gamers! - After peaking at the end of episode 6, piling on more pointless misunderstandings in the 6 episodes since then, and NEVER ACTUALLY RESOLVING ANYTHING, the 13th and final episode is all of them sitting around in an inn room in yukatas having a 20-minute philosophical debate about Ethics In Journalism Ethics of DLC. What the hell was that even doing there?

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Loser: Berserk 2 - I don’t know why, don’t know why, don’t know why you afraid. I mean look at the quality of art in the manga! And there are hundreds if not thousands of equally detailed pages in Miura’s epic:

And look back at the gifs in this post! What the hell! WHY?! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!

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Dishonorable Mentions:

Fuuka - Kouji Seo, infamous for trolling his fanbase with his various manga, has gone on record that he thought that the anime not killing Fuuka would be a “pleasant surprise for people that were sad that Fuuka died so early on”. The director of the anime also thought he’d rather give Fuuka a happy ending instead of following the source material fully knowing that this would piss off a large group of people. Of course, this both destroys any possibility of a sequel due to flying off the rails hard and makes anyone that liked the anime and wanting to continue reading the rest of the story have a mental breakdown. We state again: what the truck?

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World End: Fuck You. We’re Not Writing That Title Again. Not Even With Copy and Paste. - SukaSuka (as it’s mercifully shortened to) was known among readers of Light Novels as one of the most tragic stories the genre had to offer. Having a shit life is actually a source of power in this setting, and one character even rejects choosing to be with the man she loves because finding happiness would weaken her and thus put him in more danger. Not that you’d know this if you onlwatch the anime, because she gets sidelined along with most of the other people from our main character’s background - including someone who becomes vital in a dramatic twist at the end of the first book and the climax of the fourth. But who cares? The anime won’t reach the fourth book, so let’s just not bother with anything past the third. Girl who appears to be the primary heroine dies? We’re not going to adapt the bit where she’s no longer around, let’s instead focus on a romance that never really existed. The story is about lost lives, failed aspirations, futile heroics and a dying world? Naaah, we can leave all that out for the most part. And while we’re at it, let’s dumb down all the characters we are bothering to include, just to be more stereotypical. Viewers like generic, right?

Much like with Fuuka, if you’re not going to bother including the main point of the plot, why are you bothering with any of it?

King’s Game - When adapting a piece of media, you’d usually think the beginning is a good place to start. To it’s credit the first episode of King’s Game does start at the beginning. The beginning of the second book, that is. This creates a problem with a the main character being the only survivor of the first book. But maybe the first book doesn’t matter, right? Does the second book stand on its own? No it doesn’t, and to hammer that point home, the first book is told throughout the first half of the series with flashbacks to events from the previous game, explaining plot points that your audience should know. The entire premise of King’s Game is a Final Destination-style parade of characters being brutally killed off in the titular Games, and the botched execution of the first half of the anime 1) removes any semblance of tension as you know that everyone in the first class is going to die, and 2) rushes through the material at such a comical pace that any attempt at being serious is spoiled.

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In Another World With My Smartphone - The slime castle. Why the fuck did they think adapting the stupid slime castle was a good idea? It was a shitty extra chapter they added in the light novel because “Wait, we have an artist? Great, let’s do fanservice.” Get bent. That kicked so many people out of the show, especially that early. Also, the scene where he x-rays through the wall to see Linze changing? That was a throwaway line or two in written form. They spent entirely too long on that creepshot in the anime, and there’s absolutely no other possible value to it. (This sort of thing continued all throughout the series, but by then it was already panned as “yet another boring fanservicey loli-harem isekai.”) When you only have an episode or three at best to grab people’s attention because your genre is oversaturated, you do NOT want to waste it on the goddamned slime castle.

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My Girlfriend Is Shobitch - How the fuck did they come up with that name?! They translated every other part of it and left the worst part intact. We can understand leaving words with deep, complex, and often untranslatable meanings, or even puns, but this was a dead simple portmanteau. It had no business being left in the translated name. They didn’t even use grammar! It’s not even “My Girlfriend Is A Shobitch”, it’s My Girlfriend Is Shobitch. This is the worst title fuckup since Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?, and it turned off most of the audience that might have tuned in out of curiosity. The show itself is a slice-of-life with mildly raunchy humor, no worse than Seitokai Yakuindomo or Shimoneta. The title is a massive disservice to the series, and the author should be on the warpath. (Note: Japanese slang uses “bitch” the way English uses “slut” so the literal translation of the title would be something like “My Girlfriend Is A Virgin Who Takes Being A Slut Too Seriously”)

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Loser-est: Tsugumomo - Normally we hesitate to put fanservice-focused shows in this category because it’s kind of the point, but hooooooly shit. Tsugumomo takes it to 11, continues pushing, and blasts off into the stratosphere of bad fanservice. Most of the women involved either are or look underage, and the male lead is also a minor, which people tend to forget in shows like this. This usually isn’t an issue because the male leads tend to not get any actual action, but Tsugumomo’s protagonist regularly gets his manhood manhandled by the ghost of his mom’s belt. (We can’t believe we had to write that.) It’s worth noting that one of the stated goals of the mangaka is that whenever any female character is named for the first time, she WILL be fully naked before the end of the volume. When you take into account the sheer number of underage and/or eternally-young girls in the series, it’s pretty damn cringey. And then there’s Taguri...

Loser-er: Eromanga Sensei - It’s difficult to say which is worse: that the fanservice shots in this show are almost exclusively of girls 13 years of age or so, or that most of the male gaze is from a brother to his little sister. Oh, but they’re not blood related! And it’s ok because she likes to draw hentai! Fuck you, show.

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Loser: In Another World With My Smartphone - The slime castle. The Linze stockings creepshot scene. Every damn time the girls get their clothes burned, melted, shredded, whatever - ESPECIALLY Yumina. SHE’S TWELVE.

Dishonorable Mentions:

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UQ Holder - As will be further discussed in Worst Male, Touta’s a skeevy little pervert. He’s a harassment engine, deliberate and constant about it. (The above shot is after the camera follows his eyes, which slide down Evangeline’s back and then hover on her ass for a while as she walks, while the title drops.) However, for all his faults in this department, he generally only harasses one girl at a time. You see, Touta is only half the skeeviness of the show, really.

The other issue is his legendary ‘grandfather’. Yes, Negi shows back up in the latter half of the series, as powerful as ever and then some, with all his trademark ‘accidental discharges’ in full bloom. While it tends to censor out specific bits with that even pervier little ermine - who thankfully is long dead or at least not present for this story - it has no problem using vast swaths of fleshtones for the entire crowds of people he sneezes naked at once.

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His first official public appearance in something like a decade and a half involves landing in an Olympic stadium, sneezing during his self-introduction, and blowing the clothes off literally the entire crowd, right through the barrier meant to prevent spells from leaking out into the stands. Akamatsu (the series author) is up to all his usual tricks, and he hasn’t really gotten any more clever about them.

Schoolgirl Strikers - The anime of a mobile game which involves sending girls out to fight monsters (from another dimension), while equipped with powers that give them different costumes (also from another dimension, but not the monster one). With these clothes-based powers naturally being an excuse for cosplay, different teams (all of which are named after a random mashup of desserts and astronomy) are seen with different visual aesthetics. We have a Maid team, a Goth-Loli team etc etc. Our main characters (Team Altair Torte) are what one could consider ‘nondescript Magical Girls’, and at the end of the first episode they - being rookies - find themselves in a difficult situation. But fear not, one of the most powerful teams, Coconut Vega, appears to save them. And the theme of this group of awe-inspiring veterans?

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WELL GOD DAMN.

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Sure, if you discount the five colour-coded women in tacticool pantyhose.

Tenshi no 3P - The good news is, the fanservice and attempted ‘seduction’ involving single-digit-age girls is always a fakeout, as he has no interest in them in such a way, and there’s an actual love interest his own age. The bad news is that they attempt this fakeout multiple times over the course of the show, they successfully convince several people in-universe that either he or they are perverts, and each of these attempts is a MASSIVE cringefest for the viewers.

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A Little Sister’s All You Need - All you really need to know about this series is in the first 2 minutes or so, when the protagonist has a fantasy sequence about using his sisters bra as a towel, drinking her bathwater, and then eating her panties for breakfast. Which he then does, and we mean with a fork and knife. There’s a lot more bland, typical fanservice in the show but it likes to ramp it up to Level Gross every couple of episodes. Truly, art for art’s sake.

Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor - Leaving aside the fact the main character is a perverted twonk who lifts the skirts of his students in the middle of the street, leaving aside the generic locker room underwear yuri groping walk-in scene… Actually, let’s not leave that out. It deserves to be specifically shat on.

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[cough]

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No, the real reason this makes the list is because of the school uniforms. What kind of reputable educational facility has the female uniform be a microskirt? Let alone one replete with midriff-exposing crop top and not only garter belts but also abdominal suspenders as well, just to properly frame the bare navel area. The only aspect missing from this hooker ensemble is that they all appear to wear boots and not fucking clear heels.

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Loser-est: Shinji Itou (Chaos;Child) - We sometimes have to ask ourselves, “Is a character that is under mind control when he does something truly horrible still a valid entry to this list?”. This time, the answer is an unequivocal “Yes.” Shinji spends most of the show as a minor protagonist and best friend of our main character, Takuru. He is always a presence in the show but never making enough of an impact to leave an impression… until he gets mindraped into oblivion at the halfway point and tortures and dismembers Takura’s adopted sister in an act of revenge.

If he had more of a presence in the show other than this single horrific moment, he might seem like more of a sympathetic character, but his act of revenge is entirely implanted in his head - and in a cruel twist it turns out the girl that he is trying to avenge was alive the whole time. Then, to make matters worse, after this episode he spends the entire rest of the series in a psychosis-induced coma, making way for the true villains of the show to make an entrance. It’s like he served his purpose as a villain and then got tossed aside without anyone giving enough of a damn to give him a chance at redemption, so he’s forever just “that wacky dismemberer.”

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Loser-er: Minoru Kobayakawa (My First Girlfriend Is A Gal) [The Pedophile]

AHAHAHA He’s super into little girls! No, its funny see, because he keeps bringing up how attractive he finds small children! Oh LOOK he has a map of where all the attractive little kids live! ISN’T THAT AMUSING. This show keeps going back to this joke and seems to never be aware of how ridiculously cringe-inducing it is. Did we mention he gets a summer job at a daycare? Yeeeeeaaaahhh.

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Loser: Itsuki Hashima (A Little Sister’s All You Need) - What makes Itsuki-san suck so much? It’s not the ridiculous sister complex, though that’s not nearly as funny as the show thinks it is. It’s not even that he’s so amazingly dense he doesn’t notice his step-”brother” is actually a girl, who has been forced to crossdress to avoid his ravenous desire for imoutos. Its that he rejects the advances and affections of a very attractive girl who’s smitten with him BECAUSE SHE’S A BETTER WRITER THAN HIM. He’s so unable to handle her artistic superiority that he won’t date her. That, friends, is an asshole of tremendous proportions.

Dishonorable Mentions:

Masamune Makabe (Masamune-kun’s Revenge) - This dirtbag got embarrassed by a little rich girl when he was little and has worked to get his titular revenge on her ever since. What’s his big plan? Get her to confess her love to him so he can reject her and get a cheap laugh, naturally. He’s a scumbag that wants to have his cake and eat it too, except he starts to fall in love with his cake too and yet will never admit it. Is he constantly surrounded by lots of other girls who fall in love with him in the meantime? Of course he is, this is a shitty anime, get your head in the game. Does he reject all these girls in the absolute worst ways for reasons because then the story would be over? Now you’re thinking like a failing mangaka!

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Keita Amano & Tasuku Uehara (Gamers!) - Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber need to step off and stop trying to “fix” each other’s love lives. The only reason both of them still HAVE love lives is because they’re both too incompetent to successfully sabotage the other, though not for lack of trying. Technically they’re each trying to help the other, but they’ve each fundamentally misunderstood the nature of ALL of the other’s relationships, so in trying to fix things they’re fucking things up far worse. (If you’re actually bros the way you think you are, FUCKING TRUST YOUR BRO ONCE IN A WHILE, GOD DAMN.)

Masamune Izumi (Eromanga Sensei) - Ol’ Masa here is, in many ways, your typical worthless, hopelessly dense harem protagonist who constantly misinterprets or flat out ignores the feelings of the girls around him. What makes Izumi stand out from the pack (but not stand completely alone, sadly) is that his main focus is trying to find a way to have a nice sweet romance WITH HIS LITTLE SISTER. Step-sibling excuses be damned, she’s still his sister and like, 12. It makes the whole show - which looooves being lolicon-bait - extremely squicky.

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Touta Konoe (UQ Holder) - The little bastard (literally) is a willful molester, a deliberate voyeur, all-around skeezy, and COMPLETELY FULL OF SHIT. He absolutely IS into older women, and by the time he claims otherwise he’s already proposed to her at least three times on camera, and several dozen offscreen.

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The person on the left (same person in the far left on the top spread) is from a race that are genderless until they choose otherwise, but Touta assumes this person is male, and then constantly attempts to be naked together despite loud and blatant evidence, both verbal and via body language, that he’s making this person uncomfortable. Meanwhile, he hits on three other women pretty much every time he sees them, even when the others are present.

Also, he makes terrible decisions regularly, nearly gets the team permanently killed on half a dozen occasions, and generally proves incapable of learning or even listening to any goddamn sense. He’s an awful little shitbag and the entire rest of the cast and world would have been much more interesting without him.

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Shouichi Kamita (Seiren) - A serious contender for the worst protagonist of a slice of life show ever, Shoichi is the Grand High Poobah of beta males - to the degree where he is actually called out on this multiple times. To his credit, each arc has him experience a completely different variety of nuanced character gro-HAHAHAHA NO HE FUCKING DOESN’T. He’s just a different kind of useless shitbag every time. He exhibits all of his failures in all three arcs, only the focus is different; he goes from the ultimate doormat to the stereotypical Creepy Gamer Otaku to an effeminate crossdresser playing an eternal game of gay chicken.

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He goes out of his way to make himself unlikable to everyone around, especially the viewer. The only reason he ends up with ANY of these girls is pure narrative chicanery; he gets them because that’s the point of the show. It’s an absolute travesty, and he has set a new low bar for romance protagonists.

Minoru Mineta (My Hero Academia 2) - Shifty-eyed, constantly horny, sticky purple pussy eater. Why does this horrible little shit even exist? He sucked just as badly in the first season, but he didn’t make the cut for the category in 2016. We’re not letting him escape justice twice though!

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Loser-est: Natsuko Honda (King’s Game) - As the effective antagonist of the show, Natsuko has a laundry list of appalling actions that she takes throughout the series. She begins the show pretending to be innocent and sweet, before whiplashing into a yandere and card carrying villain.

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After causing the entire class to turn on Nobuaki and label him a bad guy, her next action is to attempt to rape a guy in front of her entire class due to her current order being to sleep with him. She then proceeds to mock anyone that sides with Nobuaki and somehow causes the whole class to trust her (even while acting like a psycho).

After this she manages to steal all of the class’s cellphones, effectively holding the king’s orders and the entire class hostage. She then drags her classmate Teruaki to a room and rapes him, and whilst basking in the afterglow calls up Nobuaki to mock his friends that have just died.

The next day this comes back to bite her in the arse, when the entire class turns against her and Teruaki breaks all of his fingers to basically guarantee her death - but giving her a chance to redeem herself by also putting her best friend in danger. Not only does she not attempt to save her friend, causing her only ally to turn against her, she then proceeds to break every finger on her hand herself to save her own skin. And to rub even more salt in the wound, after being blackmailed to give back the class’s phones, she blocks Teruaki’s number, leading to his death.

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In the final set of games, with no allies left, she enters overdrive and manages to cause the deaths (directly or indirectly) of the rest of her class even with the knowledge that survival means that she is doomed to play the game forever.

Loser-er: Taguri Kinzan (Tsugumomo) - An immortal lesbian paedophile goddess with a thousand-plus-year stockpile of lewd board/card games and archaic sex toys, Taguri tries to hide behind the twin veils of yuri and sex-comedy, and manages to give both a bad name. She’s a double-predatory loan shark who happily hands out money to destitute girls and goddesses with (g-)strings attached, and demands on-the-spot payment with their bodies. The horrendous little game she pulled out of her closet to torment young girls (or young-looking, which is just as bad) is legitimately one of the worst things we’ve ever seen; it outstrips at least 80% of hentai props for sheer terribleness.

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Loser: Nayuta Kani (A Sister’s All You Need) - Nayuta is the worst kind of example of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope. She’s beautiful and talented, and of course crazy in love with our MC, for no real defensible reason. The fact he constantly rejects her- because he’s a jealous prick threatened by her skill as an author- does not deter her, because why would someone constantly telling you to go away make you, you know, go away?

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All that we could forgive, but the creators decided to imbue our friend with ADORABLE IDIOSYNCRASIES! Like having to be naked all the time to do her work, or keeping up an unending stream of dirty jokes and bawdy language in every conversation. Isn’t that just endearing?? No. No, it’s not. It’s just lame. YOU’RE lame, Nayuta. You’re a poor excuse for nudity and a transparent attempt to sell hug pillows.

Dishonorable Mentions:

Akane Minagawa (Scum’s Wish) - The entire premise of the show looks at the uncomfortable subject of teenage sex and unrequited love. Narumi Kanai is loved by his student and our main character, Hanabi, while he instead loves Akane. The problem is, Akane is a sociopath that does not love at all Narumi. Her entire end goal is to bang random guys that other girls like while trying to turn said girls into pieces of shit just like her. She is a catalyst for all the problems the cast face throughout the show, and in the end she pulls a complete 180 and falls in love with Narumi. She also gets away with being a huge bitch to one of her students the whole series.

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Chiaki Hoshinomori (Gamers!) - We were initially going to rag on all the girls in Gamers! at once, but Seiren deserves that treatment a lot more, and in all seriousness, the other two end up significantly less awful than Chiaki. She’s the only one that isn’t interested enough in anyone to go out and attempt to get them. Unfortunately, she does the opposite, by sabotaging everyone else’s relationships, mostly by accident, while sabotaging any chance she has at getting into a relationship on her own, completely on purpose out of embarrassment. While each other girl thinks their boyfriend is cheating with her, she herself goes out of her way to lie her ass off in order to prevent Keita from finding out who she is. She even drags her otherwise completely innocent little sister into the mess, further complicating the web of misunderstandings and completely throwing her under the bus for nothing. You’re a shitty fifth wheel, Chiaki. Go away.

All The Girls (Seiren) - Normally when we assign “all the girls” in a show as the Worst, we mean the female leads. Not so in Seiren. We mean EVERY girl. Every single female in Seiren is an awful person in one way or another. The leading ladies consist of: a horrendous bitch with no respect for anyone else’s feelings, reputation, time, or personal space, let alone the truth; a Perfect Gamer Princess who is good at everything except getting along with non-creeps and finding the zipper on her raunchy costume; and a childhood friend who (justifiably) has trouble thinking of Shouichi as a man, instead sinking deep into Girl Talk with him, generally discussing some combination of either his big sister’s panties, his questionable friendships, or his penchant for crossdressing.

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Then you have the supporting girls, which could easily have a paragraph with pictures each, highlighting how awful they all are. In the interest of brevity, we’ve cut this down significantly.

  • Shouichi’s big sister: a popular model, a complete airhead, and master of TMI.
  • Thot 1, A maneater with no taste unsuccessfully pursuing after a furry.
  • Thot 2, A boxing nudist who idolizes porn artists.
  • A blackmailing tightwad senior with a stick up her ass.
  • A girl whose only character traits are tits and timidity.
  • A jealous bitch who buys used socks and undies to turn them into christmas ornaments.
  • A chuuni magic otaku and attempted scammer.
  • Two girls from another school who share personality traits of “studious” and “sexually frustrated”. They might possibly constitute a boring, one-note character between them.
  • A cosplay fanatic who made her best friend attend Comiket for the first time in a mostly-skintight military bunny outfit with a cottontail, skintight pants, and a fluffy crotch, all made from used clothing bought off female students.

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What a tremendous group.

Tiki and the Alchemists [new band name acquired] (Symphogear AXZ) - Aside from sounding like a shitty metal band, Tiki and the Alchemists are terrible characters, at least as bad collectively as Carol was last season. Tiki is a masochistic robot who desperately, single-mindedly wants to bone the main villain, despite the very real possibility that she’s actually not physically equipped for the task. She’s also an interdimensional conduit that can be used to usurp some god or piece thereof, so Adam keeps her around despite being grossed out by her broken but vaguely humanlike attempts at romance.

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The Alchemists, on the other hand, are a trio of centuries-old suckers, who aren’t nearly as smart as they really should be in order to understand how their powers work in the first place. Also, from left to right: one is a taciturn genius loli, one is a disgraced female-knight archetype with a guilty conscience who swears up and down she’s killed tens of thousand of people (she keeps exact count) for All The Right Reasons, and one is a slutty transgender homunculus reveling in their now “perfect” artificial female body. Between the tropey assortment of traits and the even-dumber-than-usual magical girl outfits, which they are all WAY too old for, they make for some fuckawful pandering in a series that usually panders much more gracefully - or at least usually keeps it more badass.

Also, the show goes to the trouble of fakeout-killing Cagliostro (the ho) and Prelati (the loli), only to have them show up just in time to prevent Saint-Germain (the knight(?)) from performing a heroic sacrifice after finding out Adam was duping them all. Cagliostro proceeds to explain how she’s known for a long fucking time that Adam was full of shit, she just didn’t bother telling anyone. Then they all proceed to sacrifice themselves ANYWAY in order to stop a nuke. Yes, an actual nuclear missile; we’ll get to the stupidity of that one in Worst Writing, cause god DAMN.

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Loser: Anime Strike - In late 2016 the world of anime was blessed with the holy union of the anime streaming services Crunchyroll and Funimation. All fans rejoiced as these became the two primary methods to watch anime, between which people could finally watch all the seasonal anime they desired. But the peace did not last, for Amazon was hiding in the shadows ready to… Strike.

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Of course a large company like Amazon, seeing the growing popularity of anime in the west, were bound to compete eventually, but their method of competing was anti-consumer at best and actively damaging at the worst. Basically, Amazon strike was a separate service from their Amazon Video, which automatically came to anyone with an Amazon Prime account. You read that correctly: they locked all of their anime content behind a double paywall.

Not content with just charging more than their competition, they also bought entire blocks of anime, such as the popular noitaminA block, and locked them into full exclusivity. (We’re actually surprised they didn’t ask for your blood or first born children every week.) Fortunately, in January of 2018 they axed the service after a full year of giving the middle finger to the anime community, and now you can watch any of their shows with just a Prime account which begs the question: Why didn’t they just do this in the first place?

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Real Loser: Adam (Symphogear AXZ) - This motherfucker. It’s not bad enough he’s actually literally Adam Weishaupt, the actual founder of the Illuminati IRL. He’s also a fallen angel, a nudist, an alchemist, a playboy, an amalgamation of demons, a narcissist, a mass murderer, a manipulative cockwad, a Lucifer expy… and an ultimately worthless piece of shit who is only the latest in a long line of dumb fucks that got punched in the face by Hibiki. With Season 5 already greenlit, he’s not even the last one in that particular list, or at least he won’t be for long.

As usual for Symphogear villains, his motivations are inconsistent and stupid. He was supposedly around during the creation of the world, which may or may not be artificial to begin with. He was a servant of what he calls the Custodians, godlike beings that he also claims are coming back soon to wipe the slate clean. He used to be an angel, but he challenged the Custodians and got his dumb ass handed to him on a silver platter. Disfigured and disgraced, he set about a plan over the course of a few millenia to take back what he believed was his rightful place. This apparently involved founding the Bavarian Illuminati, recruiting several alchemists, homunculi, and robots to said organization, and forcing them to commit horrific crimes for a “grand cause” while he sipped martinis in a heated pool, buck naked.

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He tells most of the cast that he’s trying to protect humanity from the cruelty of the Custodians, but as is par for the course in anime villainy, his plans would make humanity even worse off. Most of the key pieces of his plan have no idea that his plan is both NOT AT ALL what he’s telling them and also 100% fatal to them. He strings Tiki along (romantically and possibly sexually) while absolutely despising her, to the point of “accidentally” dropping her into an icecap for a few centuries. (Technically it was Fine’s fault but he didn’t exactly try hard to save her, big surprise; he was happy to get Tiki out of his hair for a while cause he got sick of her trying to bang him.) He pushes the Alchemists into mass murder, reveling in their grief. He casually turns an entire government research facility full of both top-notch scientists and miscellaneous supporting staff members into a handful of energy jewels, leaving nothing but a massive crater. (He did this not to eliminate their research, but just to delay the result, because he didn’t bother taking out several other sources they eventually cobbled it together with.)

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Though he’s been committing atrocities throughout multiple flashbacks from various perspectives, when it comes to the present storyline, his plans all get fucking stuffed in preventable and/or stupid ways. He’s got the same “totally became a monster long ago” bit going on as Dr. Ver, only FAR less entertaining - Dr. Ver is actually a contender for best character in the entire fucking series. In comparison, for all his attempts at being a smart, sexy, cruel, and/or powerful villain, Adam just falls flat on every level.

Also, he has a really stupid hat.

Dishonorable Mentions:

Pure Imagination (Chaos;Child) - The three villains in Chaos;Child are all terrible people but the one that absolutely takes the cake is Serika Onoe, the apparent childhood friend of the series protagonist. Of course it isn’t that simple! She’s actually an imaginary friend that his super psychic powers have brought into reality to fulfill his inner most desires. His current desire is to solve a murder mystery, so she takes this to the logical extreme by going on a killing spree, aided by his teacher and his adoptive father who are manipulating him for shits and giggles.

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Computer Virus (King’s Game) - The King’s Game featured throughout the anime must be followed by each player or they will receive a punishment. The punishments featured throughout the show include: bleeding out, decapitation, dismemberment and spontaneous combustion.

Ria seen here being set on fire by a fucking computer

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So with all these deaths that happen as soon as they fail their game, you’d assume it’s some kind of supernatural horror, right? Instead, a major twist halfway through the show says that all these deaths and punishments are all the work of… a hyper advanced computer virus. What?

Go look at that gif at the top of this section again and remember: that is caused by a computer virus according to the show. Then once you have wrapped your brain around that, in case you thought that wasn’t stupid enough, it’s also revealed that said computer virus was originally a normal virus that did the exact same thing.

Also, it spreads through word of mouth, so the only reason it continues to exist is because people believe in it. So when the entire cast die at the end of the series the virus is gone, right? If you think so, either you skipped past the Worst Endings section above, or your brain has completely shut down due to the sheer stupidity of this show. Our money’s on the latter.

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Furias (Granblue Fantasy) - Furias is an insufferable little shit out to prove once and for all that children are the most evil part of humanity. He’s gleefully working for the big bad evil Empire because they let him use soldiers and enemies that piss him off as sacrifices for evil soylent engines and dark sorcerous rituals.

Daichi Nagaoka (Hand Shakers) - Daichi is the end boss of Hand Shakers, and like any good rival, he turns up with the twin sister of the female protagonist that he has kidnapped and drugged to be his partner. This is already a shitty thing to do, but he sweetens the proverbial pot by separating the twins Mayumi and Koyori, which actively endangers both their lives, since they will die unless they are holding hands. Then, in the final battle of the series, he is revealed to be fighting to kill god to save the two girls (yeah, we’ll get to that). He does this by spamming Mayumi’s power and nearly killing her in the process. Oh also, If Koyori loses a battle, she flat out dies - so he could effectively kill 3 birds with one stone if he actually fucking succeeded in his plan.

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Loser: Hibiki Tachibana (Symphogear AXZ) - Hibiki has three extremely stupid facets of OP this time around. One of them, her actual Symphogear Relic’s ability, will be covered in Worst Writing, because it’s stupidity on a global civilization level. The other two stem from the same root cause, which was an event all the way back in Season 2 that they completely retconned and repurposed.

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We’re skipping over the fact that she can kill gods. Yes, Hibiki can kill gods, and the OP-ness of that isn’t her fault. We’ll get to that later. More importantly, in the latter half of the series, Hibiki actually interfaces with a refrigerated chunk of a dead god, turning her into a massive cocoon which eventually ‘hatches’ into a vaguely Hibiki-shaped kaiju. (Yes, really.) Why can she fuse with the piece of god? According to Adam, no human should be capable of it. But that’s not all! In the very final fight with Adam, after Miku sings a laser at Hibikaiju - and yes, this is the second time Miku has sung a massive laser at her - Hibiki spontaneously develops the ability to use everyone else’s powers. And we don’t just mean her teammates, fuck no, that’s not nearly stupid enough.

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She gets to use the powers of the Autoscorers and the Alchemists and even goddamned Adam himself, which of course is visually signified by her Symphogear suit becoming a Saint Seiya Gold Cloth. (Why? Fuck if we know. Supposedly the gold is from some high-energy alchemical reaction horseshit. TECHNOBABBLE!) This is not only impossible but a multifaceted impossibility, as no human can A) handle that many powers at once, B) utilize alchemist powers with an unmodified body, or C) pull any of Adam’s bullshit whatsoever. So why can Hibiki do all this bullshit no human can? Well, it’s Miku’s fault.

See, back in Season 2, Hibiki’s girlfriend, Miku, got captured by the evil Professor John Wayne Vercingetorix. (Yes, really.) Normally when you capture the hero’s girlfriend, you hold them hostage, right? Not Dr. “I’m Supposed To Be The Hero” Ver., as he thinks of himself, oh no. See, damsels in distress only work when they’re... helpless. Instead, he just handed her the keys to the first half of his doomsday plan, turned off her inhibitions, and let her go do her own thing. Miku goes full murderous Yandere, complete with possibly the creepiest song in the series to date, blasting Hibiki with a magical sun mirror death ray of purity for the crime of making her worry too much. (Yes, REALLY.) This ended up being a positive effect, erasing the corruption of Gungnir - which was embedded in what was left of Hibiki’s heart and keeping her alive, but also slowly creeping its way through the rest of her body and killing her. What nobody realized at the time - mostly because it’s fucking bullshit and they just thought of it - is that, according to Elfnein during the post-credits scene at the end of this season, that little hatefuck session that ended in Miku climaxing a laser beam of tough love in Hibiki’s face actually cleansed Hibiki of Original Sin, thus making her ‘perfect’ (or enough so to become a god) as well as ridding her of Babel’s Curse of Tongues (which allows her to use everyone else’s powers, because that’s totally how that works).

So yes, you heard it here first, folks: the path to godhood and salvation from sin is through the purifying power of angry yuri sex. Also, just for that extra bit of “fuck anything making sense ever,” the fact that Miku has actually gained the same potential benefits is left as a cliffhanger footnote.

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Dishonorable Mentions:

Touya Mochizuki (Smartphone) - When God himself kills Touya by accident, how does he make up for it? By warping him into an isekai, turning his cellphone into a fully self-sufficient magic item, giving him access to literally every magic spell in existence, and oh yeah, making him a demigod just because, as a cherry on top. (Let’s not even get into how a loli genius professor from 5000 years ago predicted his arrival and left him a dozen sky fortresses and a secondary harem of deliberately-tropey android girls to tide him over until he found her cryostasis capsule so she could jump his bones herself.)

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Touta Konoe (UQ Holder) - How do you make the improved-clone grandson of a legendary hero even more powerful? By randomly having his genes react strangely to his family’s pet sex slave vampire, thereby making him one of the strongest and most resilient immortals in a mercenary guild where everyone is immortal through completely different unique processes. Lose his head? Not a problem, stick it back on. Five finger heart exploding death palm? Meh, gimme a minute to pick all the pieces out of the sand and I’ll put it all back together. Hey, remember grandpa’s ridiculous unique magic technique? Yeah, mine’s better. What a crock of shit.

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Ernesti Echavalier (Knight’s & Magic) - A computer programmer is reincarnated as a genius pretty boy in world where giant robots are controlled by magical formulae written in an eldritch programming language. He proceeds to not only revolutionize warfare - with designs that in many cases make G Gundam look sane and completely changing the framework of how these robots are operated - but also to reach new heights of personal combat bullshittery that in many cases make the robots almost unnecessary. Imagine if Fei from Xenogears could jump into a Gear he’s just punched into malfunctioning, and hotwire the controls by manually overwriting all the variables by magic, all in his brain, in real-time. Now imagine he was still a minor when he did this. (And yes, that picture is him, a boy. Several characters have issues with this.)

Fudo Nomura (Armed Girls Machiavellianism) - Fudo-kun here is forced to attend a school ruled over by 5 girls who are armed with various bladed weapons and are highly trained in their art. He resists them and is of course immediately cut down - HAHAHA OF COURSE NOT. No, he defeats these highly capable, sword-wielding maidens with his most dangerous weapons: GLOVES. Yes, not only does Nomura take on several women wielding extremely sharp weapons - and a bear in one case - with what is essentially HIS HANDS, he also wins every fight. Against expert swordswomen. And a sumo match against the aforementioned bear. With gloves. Yeah.

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Willem Kmetsch (World End) - Now, most entries under this category are the type of character who easily has abilities and resources to deal with any situation they might encounter, rendering the majority of conflicts free of tension or requiring plot-bullshit to avert the same. Then it goes further, to such completely unnecessary levels that any other character becomes nothing more than an accessory in any given situation. That shall not be the case with Willem here.

See, Willem is your archetypal Jack of all Trades, in terms of this story’s combat mechanics. Put simply, he’s useless by typical considerations. In a setting where power is directly tied to how crap your life and origin story is, he’s an average guy who is reasonably content with his life. What a wuss. But he still wants to be a warrior, fighting to protect his loved ones. So he learns everything. Techniques he can’t really control properly, fighting styles from anyone he meets, the basic principles of the magic weapons which are Humanity’s trump cards - and the speciality methods of maintaining them… stuff that anyone who is actually good at something would decry as unnecessary or a distraction. But as the saying goes, “oft times better than a master of one,” as he can combine all these little disparate minutiae to punch far above his weight. From one perspective, we would offer that this would count as being OP, but it wouldn’t get him on this list. Those who are actually powerful in his world still far outdo him… but then, this story doesn’t take place in his world.

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It takes place after his world has been destroyed, and all those with more or better knowledge than he are long dead. Now, he is the only person who knows any of his expansive skillset or knowledge base. The combat techniques are lost, the weapons ill-maintained and sputtering. Even basic health maintenance to avoid backlash from the supernatural source all fighters use is now something unique to him. So, when he finds himself assigned as a caretaker for a group of young girls who go forth to fight and die, completely lacking basic combat skills and with the equivalent of blunted, rusty swords, does he immediately institute a rigorous training regime to pass on everything he knows, that these girls get the best chance possible to survive their battles?

Does he shite.

He passes on a small part of everything he knows to the one girl he takes a shine to, and otherwise spends his time making desserts. He is indeed OP by the standards of the main cast, and the fact that he is is fucking pointless.

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Loser: Seiren - Seiren isn’t just the worst romance of 2017, it’s one of the worst romance anime of all time. It takes a special kind of fucked up to make the audience actively wish unhappiness on every relationship shown on screen. Our current working theory is that they looked at the success of Amagami and decided that it wasn’t enough for the character to be a goofball, he needed to be so useless, directionless, and flavorless that all the worst herbivores of Japan could relate to him, and somehow draw hope from the fact that such a loser could potentially bag his choice of three attractive(?) women. (This may or may not be part of the Please Make Babies Initiative, which may or may not be a real behind-the-scenes policy driving the creation of many anime across several genres in recent years.) The fact that his “success” in each arc has arguably nothing to do with his own actions is perhaps the most appalling part - indeed, it can be argued that he didn’t successfully woo anyone, they simply made the worst decision of their respective lives in spite of a massive deluge of evidence that they were choosing poorly. Pretty much nothing positive he does, across three mostly-distinct timelines over the course of 12 episodes, comes close to making up for the dire shitstain he comes across as during the other 90% of his screentime. When a slice-of-life romance anime has you screaming YOU ARE RUINING YOUR LIFE at each route’s ending, something has gone horribly wrong.

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Dishonorable Mentions:

Gamers! - This one is such an odd duck. It starts with one relationship established and a completely separate love triangle. It has both members of the relationship get accused of cheating with EACH of the triangle members, regardless of gender. It then hooks up two of the triangle, mostly by accident, with both of them having very public freudian slips in what ends up being the high point of the entire series. It then spends the entire rest of the show mired in more misunderstandings and false accusations of cheating, culminating in absolutely nothing getting resolved in the penultimate episode, then ending in a nonsequitur wet fart of a discussion spanning the entire last episode. This show had no idea where it was going with any relationships and didn’t really have the balls to deliver on any of the possible conflicts it hamfistedly tried to set up. It’s possibly the least romantic romance show ever. Even motherfucking Seiren at least tried to tie its shit up at the end of each route. This didn’t even have the grace to do that.

Love & Lies - The whole point of this was for him to pick one of the two girls! And then he doesn’t even pick either one! The ending shot of the show is literally him in a wedding tux standing between both girls in wedding dresses. None of this excuses all the typical anime romance nonsense that came before. But that ending is absolute garbage and completely counteracts all of the dramatic tension, themes, and struggles throughout the entire show. Good riddance.

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Anonymous Noise - To keep things simple we’ll just lay out the relationship in this brief little breakdown: Yoshino Haruno (The Senpai) likes Miou Suguri who brushes off his advances as a joke because she loves the bratty Kanada Yuzuriha who is so obsessed with the protagonist Nino Arisugawa that he dedicates his entire music career to her even though he knew her for like a week 6 years previously. If you have got this then add to the fact that Nino is madly in love with her childhood friend Momo Sakaki to the point of having been singing on the same beach for 6 fucking years hoping he’ll come and see her sing. Momo is similar obsessively in love with Nino so the problem of that entire love train above shouldn’t even matter right? Well of course not! because he tells her he doesn’t even like her because he wrote songs for people that weren’t her and thinks he is unworthy of her affection… GOD DAMN IT.

Adding to the confusion, with some details that didn’t fit in that cluster fuck above, is that Momo lives with his female manager who is actively trying to get him to man the fuck up and take himself less seriously. On top of that, Nino gets kissed by Kanade around the halfway point, and when she freaks out about this, he plays at off as “It was a kiss of friendship!” and being an the intelligent young lady she is she actually buys it. Well, that’s about as simple as it gets…

My First Girlfriend Is A Gal - Making a romance work in a ecchi series can be a tough task. Sadly, it is a task the creative staff here was not quite up for. The ‘romance’ of the main characters here tries occasionally to be a sweet tale of looking past surfaces to find love with the person within. Instead it mostly succeeds in being an incredibly shallow tale of how bad high school losers want to lose their virginity, also featuring an obvious pedophile. There’s nothing inherently wrong with deriving humor from teen sexuality, but you probably want to do it with more nuance than the writing on the bathroom wall of a frat house. The male lead never really seems to figure out that his girl isn’t really into sex, even being a gyaru, despite events constantly attempting to hammer that into his Infinite Stratos-level denseness. It’s a shame, really; they could’ve done something fun here, but instead went with HAHA BEWBS.

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Scum’s Wish - So as mentioned earlier the entire premise on this show is built on shitty relationships so you could make a case for all the bad romance being the point of the show. But let us remind you that the main catalyst and piece of shit human being Akane...

...gets a happy ending with with a guy that loves her because she decides to stop being a complete villain - while every other character gets shafted.

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Loser-est: Tsugumomo - The squickiest relationship in a show with a proud, predatory pedophile doesn’t involve her. Read that again, because Jesus tap-dancing Christ, this is the world we live in now. The main character is sleeping with his mother’s belt, which takes the form of a young girl (but is actually hundreds of years old, and is thus also a pedophile). She frequently punishes him for minor or imagined infractions by way of grabbing his testes and squeezing until he either passes out or soils himself. Even without this predatory corporal punishment, she sexually assaults him casually on a daily basis, then pushes him onto (and sometimes into) other girls of wildly varying ages against THEIR will, primarily for fun but also sometimes out of spite, for either or both of them. It’s all treated as comedy, but it’s visceral enough often enough that we just can’t laugh at it.

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Loser-er: In Another World With My Smartphone - We can put up with harems, even when you’re pushing two digits, but that’s just the start with this show. The good news is, the MC refuses to actually marry any of them until he is legally an adult back home (2.x years), and even refuses to sleep with them until then, despite several of their parents actively kibbitzing them to have grandkids. The bad news is, he’s put no such stipulations about THEIR ages, so he ends up in sticky situations with them. The ugly news is that his harem not only includes a 12 year old and her 10 year old cousin, but the 12 year old is going to be the Legal Wife. Perhaps the worst part of all is that God himself has basically rolled over, picked his nose, and gone “yeah whatever sounds like a blast” when asked about it. Who writes this garbage? (And that’s before you start talking about the subharem made entirely of fetish android girls, run by a bisexual homunculus.)

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Loser: Eromanga Sensei - So, you’re a high school age boy, and your single parent remarries and then swiftly dies, leaving you with a stepsibling who’s a shy, emotionally traumatized young girl. Do you A) attempt to bond with her as siblings and therefore forge a new kind of family, allowing you to rely on each other going forward? Or do you B) do everything you can to get her to draw naughty pictures for your light novels on the road to getting into her preteen pants? Eromanga Sensei’s protagonist chose Option B, and went all in on it. You can toss in all the caveats about no blood relation and what not, but the truth still remains he’s pursuing a romance with his 12 year old sister, and the truth remains that pursuing a romance with your 12 year old sister is problematic, at best. This show is not at all at best. Burn it down and send it to hell.

Dishonorable Mentions:

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King’s Game - Several demands of the King throughout the series are sexual in nature, which obviously leads to it being mentioned here. Special mention goes to two instances of female on male rape to fit these demands:

1) After Nobuaki’s best friend gets an order 5 minutes before midnight to have sex or spontaneously combust, he knocks out said best friend and asks his own girlfriend, Chiemi Honda, to fuck his buddy’s unconscious body. (Maybe he just didn’t want his house set on fire, or he is really into NTR.)

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And 2) After going into full villian mode, Natsuko Honda (yes, they are sisters) rapes a male classmate and then boasts about it to Nobuaki because he didn’t want to stick his dick in her crazy. Lovely!

UQ Holder - Evangeline, we get that you have a tragic backstory - which is really only fully covered much later in the UQ holder manga - but holy shit your love life is awful. Let’s review:

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  • Evangeline is turned into an immortal vampire in early teens back in medieval Europe. She is ostracized from society. Eva cries a lot.
  • (TIME TRAVEL SHENANIGANS involving Touta centuries before he was ever born, beyond the scope of this season. There is much crying involved.)
  • A few hundred years later, Nagi Springfield assaults her for being a vampire (true) and a serial killer (false). After getting beaten within an inch of her life, she begins following him around like a horny puppy, trying to hump his leg.
  • Nagi magically binds Evangeline to the Mahora Academy grounds (possibly after playing around with her; she’s an unreliable narrator) and leaves her there to rot. Eva cries a lot.
  • Nagi, in no particular order: rescues, marries, bones, and has babies with a princess. He then sacrifices himself to seal her and her powers away, leaving their infant son Negi in some shithole village in England and/or Mars. (Which one’s worse?) Eva cries a lot.
  • Nagi’s son Negi appears as a teacher, accidentally(?) unseals Eva, and becomes her disciple. She falls hopelessly in love with him, knowing full well he’s her dead lover’s son.
  • Negi saves the world multiple times, etc, alongside Asuna who may or may not be his mom or the reincarnation thereof. He also may or may not have bedded any number of his 31 students, as well as any or all of another half-dozen other women, except Eva. She probably cries a lot.
  • Negi fucks off afterward to fight The King Of The End, knowing full well he probably won’t win. Eva cries a lot.
  • Eva starts a secret organization of immortals in order to… do oddjobs and charity work. Okay? Sure, Evangeline. You do you.
  • Some shitbag magi-scientists create clones of Negi, few of which survive and even fewer of which are useful. One of the abandoned ones gets picked up by Eva in a super creepy Reverse Hikaru Genji Project. She masquerades as an adult from the start of this relationship.
  • Touta, the supposedly useless clone, falls hard for Evangeline, who rebuffs his advances despite admitting to everyone but him that she’s in love with him. Again, she was in love with his “grandfather” and “great-grandpa.”
  • She continues to deliberately entice him while also purposely setting him up with potential harem members. Eva, stop. Eva, no. What are you doing, Evangeline? (Funny story: She’s still crying a lot. Over all three of them.)

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Seiren - While every “romantic” relationship in this show is squicky to some degree due to the main character being an awful little skeeve, there’s two that really stand out. For starters, the protagonist and his sister are a little… okay, a lot, okay WAAAYYY too close, way too often.

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There’s a bit of TMI in previous arcs, but this particular bit of squick really hits the fan in Arc 3, which might as well be called the Panties Arc for all its focus. A show without actual incest shouldn’t spend anywhere near this amount of time with the MC discussing his sister’s panties, nor should he be talking about them with this many people. Oh, and before we forget, he used to STEAL AND WEAR them (underneath an also-stolen magical girl outfit).

But that’s all fun and games, played for comedy, and doesn’t really go anywhere. It’s made clear that he doesn’t actually lust after his sister. No, the real squick is the constant, in-your-face mentions of his friend’s fetish. You see, as the show reminds you over and over and over and over again, Araki-senpai is a furry. Is this a problem in and of itself? It doesn’t seem like it when it first pops up. But everyone else in the show treats him like the scum of the earth, and the show goes out of its way to make him extra creepy about it.

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Then we find out he’s not just into 2D furries. He’s actually straight-up lusting after the bunnies the school keeps on campus in the rabbit hutch, and Araki gets dumped (and subsequently abused, both physically and verbally) because he’s more interested in ACTUAL ANIMALS than human women. Fetishes that are only possible in fiction and cosplay are one thing, but actual, serious bestiality is pretty goddamned fucked up.

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My First Girlfriend Is A Gal - Hi. This entry is just here as a reminder, in case you didn’t catch it earlier, that this show features a full-on pedophile who’s predilection for young children is played for laughs. Oh haha, he wants to fuck children, how amusing. He even has a fascination for one of the MC’s harem, because as a big-boobed loli she appears, to him at least, to be a child. He’s wrong of course, but I guess when you’re a hammer everything vaguely nail-like looks nailable.

Hand Shakers - Riri (Pictured above) really loves her battle partner. So much so that she is fighting in order ask God to let her marry her partner Masaru. Of course, if you’re looking at this category, you can guess where this was going.

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If you guessed he was underage or her very much blood-related brother, congratulations! He’s both.

We can only assume that the creators of the show saw that Eromanga Sensei was being released a season after this, and wanted to cash in on the incest money before it could.

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Clockwork Planet / Knight’s & Magic / Symphogear AXZ (/ Smartphone) -

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Loser-est: Fuuka - This series is a fucking hackjob from start to finish. In the manga, Fuuka’s death prompts Yuu (the protag) to go into a depressive spiral, then eventually rise out of it with his bandmates’ help, determined to honor her memory with amazing songs, some of which she co-wrote. This time none of that happens, she doesn’t die - but in an even dumber move, she’s literally Put On A Bus, and then a plane, as she goes overseas. So he does a bunch of the same shit, only without the actual, serious impetus, and everyone reacts to it and him the same way. This just makes everyone look like FUCKING MORONS. The cast didn’t really gel together even in the original, and trying to rejigger the events without changing the results is majorly not helping.

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Loser-er: King’s Game - In chronological order of shittiness committed by cast:

  • Tasaki Daisuke: Ordering his classmate to kill himself after said classmate slept with his girlfriend under orders.
  • Ueda Kana: Trying to rig a popularity contest to make sure she doesn’t lose, knowing fully well the loser will be punished, and when she loses she jumps out of the classroom window, meaning her punishment gets forced onto the guy she tried to beat.
  • Kaori Maruoka: Kidnapping Nobuaki and blaming him for the death of her boyfriend, and crying/dying 5 minutes later even knowing that if she cries she’s going to drop dead.
  • Toshiyuki Abe: Holding the protagonist’s girlfriend hostage, giving her a wound which leads to her death, and dying like a bitch anyway
  • Nobuaki Kanazawa: Our protagonist chooses to continue the game into his next school rather than dying, which sparks the entire second game... in which, after receiving his first order, he decides to just try and die to let the rest of this class suffer a second game.
  • Satou Yuuichi: Kicking the shit out of Nobuaki after the main villain of the show turned the entire class against him.
  • Akamatsu Kenta: Giving his power to command anyone in the class to basically kill himself.
  • Ryou Sugisawa: Knocking out Nobuaki and then killing himself by attempting to dismember himself with a chainsaw.

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To make matters worse, several other class members come down with severe cases of Sudden Backstabbing Syndrome in a race to the death across the last few episodes, actively harming other class members. A race that has no consequences for coming in last, only for not getting to the destination in time, so why did they suddenly decide everyone else is an enemy after having teamed up in the previous episode? Because ???? ???? ????, clearly.

(Editor’s Note: Sudden Backstabbing Syndrome is a serious disease among anime characters, second only to Generic Anime Cough in terms of total fatalities. If you, your best friend, or any of your romantic interests show symptoms of Sudden Backstabbing Syndrome, please visit the school infirmary immediately, preferably in a large group with multiple responsible adults.)

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Loser: Seiren - Let’s see here… we talked about Shouichi, we talked about each of the girls, we talked about the romantic relationships… oh, right! Everyone in this series is a fucking terrible friend. EVERYONE. For a bunch of people that are supposed to be in various tight-knit groups, each of these circles has people that use and abuse the others.

Ikuo drags Shouichi to a summer study camp primarily as part of a plan to bag his childhood crush - a plan that ultimately fails, and in the process either ruins Shouichi’s life or just completely shits on his resolution to get his shit together, depending on which arc’s timeline you’re talking about. Shouichi attempts to maneuver behind the scenes to set Araki up with any of several possible women over the summer, disregarding his friend’s tastes on every level and fucking his life up in several ways too.

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Tsuneki’s best friend, who we “affectionately” refer to as Thot 1, ratted out Tsuneki’s side job to both the school and her parents, deliberately sabotaging her on multiple levels, because she was afraid Tsuneki might land Araki and she wasn’t about to leave it up to chance. The former Home Ec Club president is a creepy little manipulator who exploits everyone from her own club members to her best friends, and makes cosplay outfits out of used underwear bought from high school girls to sell them on the internet.

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For that matter, the entire Home Ec Club is a bunch of degenerates that can’t separate club funds from personal funds, and the Disciplinary Committee Chairwoman blackmails the shit out of them over it. All of this is completely avoidable and ultimately pointless all around, so why was any of it shown with such focus? Who knows? Who cares? Everyone in this series is terrible, both in general and to each other.

Dishonorable Mentions:

elDLIVE - There are two major problems with the cast of elDLIVE, and one of them solves the other to a degree… in the same way a guillotine solves the common cold. See, the mangaka knew the cast was terrible (problem 1), so he killed 80% of them with a virus (problem 2). This leaves us with a brand new Problem 3, because the anime had a Read The Manga ending immediately before the virus happens in the manga - so if, heaven forbid, someone watched the entire anime, actually liked it, and wanted to see what happens next, wellllll… (In the meantime, the anime viewers get all of the annoyance of these characters with none of the catharsis of seeing them die.)

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Anonymous Noise - Double love triangle aside, the cast surely won’t let that ruin a beautiful thing like music and artistic endeavours… Who are we kidding? The primary band the show focuses on was formed by Yuzu due to his obsession with Nino (even going as far to dress up as her when they film music videos). So when Nino turns up and jumps up on stage singing with the band, this causes their previous singer Miou - who is objectively a better singer - to quit the band due to not feeling needed, because she knows this band exists because of his obsession.

Nino joining the band, while being a bad singer and prone to having breakdown on stages due to her obsession with Momo, now has to actually get lessons from Miou to suck less (but still breaks down on stage on the flip of a dime). Meanwhile, Nino and Miou addition for a new group which is ran by Momo, and after Nino majorly fucks it up with her off key singing, Miou joins Momo’s new band which he explicitly made to compete with Yuzu’s band.

So, to break that down: Miou joins a band that Momo made to spite the guy she loves, while unbeknownst to him, the girl he loves is the lead singer in said guy’s band. Even though he is obsessed with her singing voice, he didn’t even notice that she was the singer in Yuzu’s band.

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Anime-gataris - Following the hijinx of a school anime club and their struggle to not be shut down by the student council on a per-episode basis, you’d think our ‘lovable’ cast would be able to band together and stop giving them reasons to shut them down. However, apart from making Minoa (the newbie) lead, the entire club cannot agree on anything without her intervention and avoid the dreaded closing of their club.

Our plucky heroes include: Arise, the rich girl who spends all the club’s budget on blu-ray; Miko, who believes in true (boys’) love and thinks the light novel was better; Kai Kai, a guy that got hit so hard with the chuuni bat he should have been called Isekaikai instead; Erika, the second most sane and an avid cosplaying fan; and finally Kouki Nakano, the senpai and idol addict - and if you skipped reading other sections, he’s definitely absolutely nothing else.

They barely function as a group, and only solve all the tasks that the student council give them due to various lucky breaks and the power of anime. Oh also, the only reason the student council has enough power to keep giving the club Missions Impossible every other episode is that the principal of their school hates anime (more on that a bit later).

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Gamers! - We’ve never seen a group backstab and sabotage either other this often and this successfully without actually trying to be malicious before (for a given definition of “successfully”; everyone is trying to prevent each other from cheating when nobody is actually cheating). Unfortunately, this means that everyone is stupid and incompetent.

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Loser-est: King’s Game - … Didn’t we already mention that a virus that has the power to make heads and limbs fly off in bloody geysers of blood became a computer virus which did the same thing with nanomachines? Didn’t we mention that every character backstabs each other to the point of self destruction? And of course there’s also the fact that even after killing everyone that knows about this word of mouth virus they have the balls to drop a sequel hook, even though by the show’s own rules it should be over!

King’s Game is an achievement in terrible writing and we have written about it enough in categories above to fill a post on its own. We won’t bore you, as we’re running out of steam and the show is running out of high pressure blood.

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Loser-er: Anime-gataris - Alright, by later we meant RIGHT FUCKING NOW. The principal hates anime because an anime he directed got shut down for being so shit that we almost want it to be real. This anime is also the catalyst for the entire plot due to Minoa forming the anime club to discover what the show is.

So, does the anime club get to stay together after they soften up the principal? Is everything solved? Perhaps we get a stupid but coherent ending? Of course not, because as you read above, it turns out that the anime club being constantly shut down was the only thing that stopped the universe unraveling due to anime literally demolishing all 4 walls of reality.

But even before this, in what appears to be a relatively normal slice of life show, a talking cat has been staying behind a door in the anime club room that is a portal to the realm of anime. This cat starts the entire crazy bullshit off in episode one because he heard cute girls talking in the room next door and unlocked the reality warping portal just to perv on some high schoolers.

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Loser: Symphogear AXZ - Ugggggh, there’s so much bullshit here. Symphogear’s writing is nonsensical at the best of times, and this season definitely wasn’t the best of times.

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Let’s start by finishing up with Hibiki. So the third thing Hibiki does, which actually shows up BEFORE A) using everyone else’s powers and B) becoming a demigod, is that she can just straight-up MURDER GODS. The enemies have discovered a way to produce unkillable supermonsters by partially deifying them. Whenever they would take damage, they apparently just shunt it off to one of their alternate selves in a parallel universe. So how do you kill an unkillable infinity of god-beasts? Simple: HIBIKI JUST FUCKING PUNCHES THEM IN THE FACE. Yes, really. There’s a visual effect of all those parallel world mirror images just shattering, which may very well mean she’s pulled a So Long And Thanks For All The Fish by killing them in every parallel universe simultaneously. They don’t even bother technobabbling this away because IT’S FUCKING BULLSHIT.

No, the thing they DO eventually explain is that Hibiki’s ability to kill gods comes from the fact that PEOPLE ARE FUCKING STUPID. Like, humanity as a whole is just goddamned dumb. As Genjuurou explains to the team, it turns out that enough people conflated Gungnir (Odin’s never-missing spear, which is more his power than its) with the Lance of Longinus (the spear the Roman soldiers used to kill Jesus while he was crucified). This cultural melding, which is total crap, has given Gungnir the godslaying properties of Longinus through some sort of collective-unconscious-based conceptual overlap. Again, Hibiki’s FIST - not a damn spear at all - can kill gods because enough people confuse a weapon in one of the most widely-believed religions in the world with a vaguely similarly-shaped weapon from a religion that has widely passed into “cool story, bro” territory rather than anyone’s serious gospel. People are stupid. (People are not that stupid, holy shit. As cynical as we are after all this shitty anime, that’s still a massive stretch even to us.) (Oh, not all of us. I’m quite willing to believe people are that stupid...) (People in anime absolutely are that stupid.)

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Next up on the list is the nuke. Why was there a nuke? Because Hibiki was in a massive cocoon evolving into a god. The cockamamie plan to have Miku sing her awake and hopefully back into sanity was too goddamn stupid for America to tolerate on their planet, so the President fired a nuke remotely, WITH THE LITTLE RED BUTTON IN HIS GOLF CART. Tsubasa’s ultra conservative, Divine Right of Kings throwback grandpa almost stepped out to deal with it himself because Another Nuke Is Not Okay. Genjuurou had to pacify him while Miku shut Hibiki down (again) because supposedly whatever the fuck Emperor Grampa Jingohito was gonna do was apparently worse. So the nuke flies over the Pacific unopposed, because ?????, and the Alchemists decide that, having just decided against killing themselves to prevent Adam’s magical foofaraw from summoning Nietzsche’s Missing Godcat, now is a perfect time to instead sacrifice themselves to…. somehow… seal away a nuclear missile in another dimension… or something. While it has already begun to detonate. GREAT JOB, LADIES.

Speaking of the alchemists, their shit doesn’t make any fucking sense, AGAIN. Ignoring the entire retcon of “the Bavarian Illuminati was hiding from Finé, but still managed to fund Season 2’s villains and teach Season 3’s villain everything she knows,” they piggyback off that latter bit to claim that the Dainsleif mid-season upgrade from Season 3 is completely fucking ineffective against the Alchemists, by design. They then proceed to die like fucking chumps in the face of the amazing power of… musical duets, which A) basically amount to “the same supposedly ineffective tech, in stereo,” B) have been used in battle previously, and C) absolutely should already have been accounted for. (The fact that they faked their deaths in those fights doesn’t make it any less stupid.)

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All in all, Hibiki wasn’t even really necessary to defeat any of the villains, she just got OP as a “get out of plot holes free” card for when the plot twisted itself into a shitty Klein bottle somewhere inside its own asshole. (And one last reminder: Hibiki became a demigod thanks to the purifying power of her yandere girlfriend cumming on her face. SYMPHOGEAR, FOLKS!)

Dishonorable Mentions:

Chaos;Child - We have an idea: let’s torture children into having psychic powers in our secret underground hospital! What do you mean ‘that’s a bad idea’? This anime proves that if you’re a member of a secret science cult you can get away with it as well as framing one of the kids you tortured into taking the blame for it. Also, all the people in the story got said powers following a bad ending to the original Chaos;Head that of course wasn’t adapted in the anime version.

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Seiren - Okay, so we’ve covered Seiren’s awful characters, shitty romance, and trainwreck fetishes. The fact that the main character gets a ‘good ending’ with ANY girl is bogus writing anyway. But we’re done talking about that. We’re going to focus on a more egregious problem, something much deeper and more insidious, a problem inherent to the setting itself. Namely, the fact that Seiren has THE ABSOLUTE WORST FAKE VIDEO GAMES ANY ANIME EVER MADE HOLY FUCKING SHIT.

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It starts with “Deer Love” which takes Monster Hunter, Dragon Quest, Girls’ Frontline, Monster Rancher, and a Barry White porno shoot setup, and throws them all in a blender. Next it shows off a (shitty even in-universe) coop multiplayer MonHun knockoff featuring furries and a naked bear (don’t ask). Then it moves on to “GusGal”, an unholy lovechild of VirtualOn, Gundam Breaker, and the worst team-based shooter you can think of; it features two-on-two robot battles with garbage balance, friendly fire, and extreme griefing. You would think the mashup of Desert Bus and Cruisin’ USA mashup would be a calm chaser to wash it down with, but apparently A) it has nationwide records for getting to actual bus stops, and B) Shouichi spends so much time in that shitbox that he ends up as an actual bus driver in the arc’s epilogue. We’re not kidding.

Youkai Apartment - They just dropped the ball on absolutely every plot line that seemed even remotely interesting. Why even bother setting up such a fantastical setting full of esoteric characters if you’re just going to tell a shitty high school slice-of-life non-story about a boring nobody? We like SoL, it’s a great genre with many amazing shows. But why bother setting all this up just to ignore it for that?

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Masamune’s Revenge - Revenge fantasies are popular for a reason because they appeal to the lizard side of our brains. But this garbage fails fucking miserably by additionally throwing every other female that’s plausibly in the story to also fall for the generic male insert, who is too stupid to see a good thing and let go of his dumb shit revenge. His revenge is solely based on one girl calling him a pig when he was little! Why?!

Of course, because mangaka have to eat, Masamune rejects all these other girls that fall in love with him because anime reasons so the shitty story can continue. AND THEN, as if that isn’t enough, they throw out a doppelganger in the last quarter of the story! Why? You guessed it. THE SHOW MUST GO ON. There can not be a satisfying end, not when there’s more volumes to sell. The bullshit must continue forever more!

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Hand Shakers - If you could construct the most cookie cutter power fantasy possible, you’d probably end up really close to this abomination. People have suddenly developed powers. Why? Who knows! But pairs of guys and girls have to fight against each other using their powers. Are these powers ill defined? You bet. Are the consequences of winning or losing these battles completely arbitrary and have no bearing from fight to fights? Of course! Do the absolutely atrocious main duo of Generic Male Insert #13524534 and Mute Girl Fetish-Bait #2540692 have to hold hands throughout this whole deal because ??? Death despite no one else having this condition? Yes sir! Does that condition mysteriously disappear after 3 episodes for no explicit reason because narrative convenience? Yes! Does it all wrap up in an absolutely idiotic science nonsense technojargon that is supposed to sound good more than it’s supposed to make sense? Does it involve her surrogate father and Mute Girl Fetish-Bait’s twin sister, Not-Mute Girl Fetish-Bait! And also Mute Girl Fetish-Bait learns to talk? You’re starting to catch on. All of this has been done before and yet none of these have been done quite so bad and in such quick succession one after another. This is an abysmal piece of fan fiction that wouldn’t pass muster in a middle school creative writing contest. But who cares, because weebs like you will still buy into it, right? Multimedia franchise ho!

There were 5 shows made in China in 2017 that were all absolute turds, but nobody watched enough of any of them for a full writeup, for a wide variety of reasons. They get to sit here with the tumbleweeds where they belong.

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Chronos Ruler

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EVIL OR LIVE

The King’s Avatar

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Reikenzan 2

Xiang Ling Ji

Note that these range from “aggressively mediocre” (The King’s Avatar) to “so bad they gave the only Animasochist who attempted it a screaming mental breakdown” (EVIL OR LIVE). For their safety and yours, we’re not going into detail. Avoid these like the plague.

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5) Tie: Eromanga Sensei / A Little Sister’s All You Need - These two shows are indicative of a race to the bottom, a race to adapt LNs with the shittiest appeals to the lowest common denominator and the sadly growing subgenre of “little sisters are the best!” Someday we’ll look back on this period of time in the industry and weep for the species.

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4) Seiren - A show that sets a new bar for horrendous slice-of-life romance. Seiren has it all - terrible people, terrible relationships, terrible writing, and even a terrible setting. Anime in general is worse for its existence.

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3) Berserk 2 - We hope you keep walking and never come back, Berserk. (Note: They “fixed” this specific scene in the bluray release. It still looks fuckawful. Even the mystical powers of blurays and postprocessing can’t save it.) Goddamnit. Fans have been clamoring for more Berserk since at least the CG films redid the series we already watched back in the 1990s. When its return was announced, fans across the world were forced to google whether 4 hours was too long before consulting a doctor. And this is what we got. Last year had almost everyone off the bandwagon. This year had even the deepest and most depraved masochists wondering whether this was worth it. We will leave you with a quote from the director of the recent Netflix Castlevania series that just about sums it up: “I used the classic Berserk as an example of what to do and the CGI reboot as an example of what not to do.”

2) King’s Game - This is the worst horror anime since Pupa aired back in 2014. Not only did it manage to ruin one story, it managed to ruin 3 different King’s Game stories just by existing. Seriously, you ruined a genre and a franchise, what could be worse than this?

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1) Hand Shakers - Oh. That’s what can be worse than King’s Game. Thus is hubris punished, always. Hand Shakers was rarely the absolute worst in any particular category, but somehow it elicited BY FAR the most visceral hatred from the Animasochists who watched it each week. It’s constant 3D CG and panning and zooms were so nauseating that some Animasochists felt noticeably sick after seeing just one episode. That plus the brain dead writing all comes together as an enormous toxic turd, so much stinkier than the sum of its parts. It’s kind of a microcosm of anime, and possibly the universe, as a whole this year: myriad problems all whirling around, none obscenely egregious taken in their own right, but they all combine into a perfect shitstorm that simultaneously enrages and depresses us. Hand Shakers stands as a historical monument, a memorial for the fallen, suggesting that perhaps all that we sacrifice for what we love is in vain - because in the end, maybe Anime Was A Mistake after all.

Look, we know we usually expound a lot more on the Bottom 5, but this year we’re late and tired and just devastated by how fucking bad these series have been. We’ve dissected all of them in multiple sections and we just can’t muster any more fire, we’re all burned out.

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BUT FEAR NOT,

For like bile rising from the pit of your stomach when you watch horrible shakycam animation,

Like your blood pressure rising as multiple entire genres explode in a blaze of stupidity,

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Like a massive phoenix made of shitfumes rising from the toilet after the world’s nastiest dump,

The Slaines will rise again next year!

Until then, please please PLEASE stay away from godawful anime. Leave it to the experts.

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—Love, The Animasochists