Top 10 Best Anime Endings of 2018 [Best Recommendations]

When we follow an anime all the way through to the end, we want the last few episodes to have an impact. Rather than just petering out or leaving important details for a sequel that may never come, the best shows leave viewers with a resolution that satisfies them on a deep, emotional level.

Today, we’re taking a look at ten anime from the past year that really pulled out all of the stops for their endings. These finales were so impactful that they stayed on our minds long after their runtime was over. Let’s check out the Top 10 Best Anime Endings of 2018!

-- Spoilers Ahead! --


10. Hataraku Saibou (Cells at Work!)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 2018 – September 2018

This anime about the daily lives of cells in a body doesn’t usually take itself too seriously, but the last few episodes take a dramatic turn when the body suffers a traumatic head injury and starts losing blood faster than it can recover. Soon, Red Blood Cell and her kouhai are the only ones left in the frozen wasteland that their home has become.

Mustering up every ounce of courage that she’s gained over the course of the series, Red Blood Cell pushes the box of oxygen through the snow until she collapses from exhaustion. It’s such a big difference from when she was a shy, unconfident cell that we can’t help but feel proud of her. Luckily, at the very last moment, a blood transfusion delivers hundreds of new workers to get things back to normal and both of the original blood cells survive!


9. Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 (Attack on Titan Season 3)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2018 – October 2018

To put it simply, Attack on Titan fans were not pleased when season 3 got split in half. The second cour, which will now air in Spring 2019, is a vitally important arc in the manga and marks a major turning point for the series. But, to make it up to us, WIT Studio ended the first cour with one of the most brilliant cliffhangers we’ve ever seen.

The ED song seems to glitch out partway through, flashing mysterious images and disturbing voices until it cuts to a scene of Eren, Mikasa, and Levi having a tense standoff in the ruins of Shiganshina. Why is Levi so angry at them? Why did Mikasa tackle him to the ground and why is she crying? Holy crap, is that Reiner and Bertolt at the very end? Come back in April and find out!


8. Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: October 2017 – March 2018

One of 2017’s best shows went out on an unusual, but satisfying note last spring. The last arc of the series focuses on Cartaphilus trying to steal Chise’s body parts to replace his own decaying ones, tearing her away from the comforting company of Elias and her other friends.

Chise was so depressed at the beginning of the series that she sold herself into slavery, but when Cartaphilus forces her into a similar situation at the end, we get to see how much she’s changed for the better. Instead of fighting him or giving in to his demands, she acts kindly towards the immortal villain and pacifies him with love. Her final “wedding” with Elias in the forest afterward shows us that Chise’s journey through the magical world has brightened her life and brought out the best in her.


7. Zombieland Saga

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2018 – December 2018

Being an anime original series, nobody knew how Zombieland Saga would end. Would the girls be revealed as zombies to their scores of adoring fans? Would we find out who Kotaro really is? Would Tae finally wake up? Despite the silliness of the premise, we were fully invested in what would happen to these characters we’d grown to love.

What actually happened was that the girls performed a stunning concert, using their zombie resilience to keep dancing even after the stage and roof collapsed on top of them. We got a small but vital hint about Kotaro’s identity and the very last scene showed detectives starting to connect the dots between these girls and the dead pop stars they eerily resemble. The ending works perfectly well on its own, but the intriguing extra details have us hyped for season 2!


6. Steins;Gate 0

  • Episodes: 23
  • Aired: April 2018 – September 2018

Okabe has spent most of this spinoff in a deep mire of depression, purposefully living in a timeline where he didn’t save Kurisu to punish himself. But with the help of his friends, he’s found his confidence again and decides to use his time-traveling ability to set things right in both the past and future.

He records an instructional video for his past self (from the original Steins;Gate) to save Kurisu, and then heads off in his experimental time machine to bring back the stranded Suzuha and Mayuri. His badass entrance when he finally finds them, complete with light streaming in behind him and the soundtrack slaying in the background, is the perfect triumphant conclusion to his story.



5. Grancrest Senki (Record of Grancrest War)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: January 2018 – June 2018

A grand fantasy epic deserves a grand fantasy ending, wouldn’t you say? After so much fighting and death for the sake of their homeland, Theo and Siluca finally defeat the last of their enemies and take control of the throne to begin an era of peace.

Three years later, they get married in a double ceremony with Alexis and Marrine (because they deserve two weddings after all they’ve been through) and Theo banishes Chaos from the world. This eliminates all monsters and demons, but also the supernatural powers that our favorite characters have been using all along. Hopefully they won’t need them in this new reality, but we can tell from their expressions that it was a heavy price to pay.


4. Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai (Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: October 2018 – December 2018

Bunny Girl Senpai’s story is structured in arcs of a few episodes each, so each one has its own ending of sorts. Mai’s ending had us tearing up in record time, with her goodbye message to a sleeping Sakuta making us reach for the tissues in just episode 3. But the actual ending to the series, which takes place in Kaede’s arc, is perhaps the most impactful of all.

Sakuta’s little sister Kaede turns out to be an amnesiac, meaning that the personality we’ve known this whole time was created after she lost her memories. Her family’s silent sadness around this “new” Kaede makes more sense now, but we and the characters in the show have grown to love her anyway. However, when her memories start to come back, the new personality realizes that she’s going to disappear. This bittersweet ending was inevitable, leaving us with a complicated tangle of emotions that we still can’t quite resolve.


3. Devilman Crybaby

  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: January 2018

Devilman takes a sharp turn around episode 6 from a dark, but grounded thriller to an apocalyptic tale about how xenophobia can literally destroy the world from the inside out. Ryo reveals himself as the fallen angel Satan and kills every living thing on the planet just to keep Akira all to himself.

But, in his manic rage, he accidentally kills Akira during their final battle. Everything that both of them cared about and worked for is gone, and Ryo is left alone with his sorrow. Except... God has a punishment for him. He’s sent back in time to relive his life with Akira, but he’ll always be doomed to lose him in the end. It’s an unbelievably sad fate for both of them, but it’s an amazing way to end this uniquely bleak anime.


2. Banana Fish

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: July 2018 – December 2018

Speaking of shows that drink tears for breakfast, Banana Fish ended its two-cour series with a quiet moment that let us truly understand Ash Lynx at his core. He had spent the entire series fighting for his life against people who wanted to drag him back into the mafia world, with Eiji as his only source of compassion and happiness.

But, to protect his friend’s life, he’s forced to send Eiji back to Japan. Distracted by the loss of his closest companion, Ash is stabbed in the street by a minor character who still holds a grudge against him. The invincible Ash accepts his fate and stumbles into his favorite place in the library, reading Eiji’s goodbye letter as he bleeds out and dies. We’ll never be able to look at the New York Public Library again without crying!


1. Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (A Place Further Than the Universe)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: January 2018 – March 2018

These four teenage girls have accomplished the impossible; they’ve traveled to the very bottom of the world, Antarctica, to search for Shirase’s missing mother. She’s nowhere to be found at the research station, but the girls do manage to dig out her laptop computer and present it to Shirase as proof that her mother really was there.

Back at home, Shirase opens the laptop. Throughout the series, she’s sent daily emails to her mom in hopes that she’ll be able to read them wherever she is. But when Shirase starts the email client, all of her messages from years ago start pouring in all at once and she cries. Her mother has been dead for a long time and was never able to read a single letter from her daughter. She might’ve even known this all along and not accepted it until now, but we feel her pain just as if it were our own.


Final Thoughts

A great ending doesn’t have to be happy—after all, the top four entries on this list were all sad or bittersweet conclusions to their stories. The most important thing is a sense of closure, with anticipation of what’s to come if the show has a sequel down the pipeline. So, even if we never hear from any of these anime again, we’ll be happy with where they left us in 2018.

What did you think of our list? What was your favorite anime ending of 2018? Are there any that you disliked? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!

SteinsGate-0-Wallpaper-1-700x368 Top 10 Best Anime Endings of 2018 [Best Recommendations]

Writer

Author: Mary Lee Sauder

After the hard-hitting East Coast lifestyle hit me a bit too hard, I started pursuing my passion as a writer in my cozy home state of Ohio. Aside from that, I spend my time cooking, cosplaying, collecting anime merch, and being an improv comedy actor. I also love sneaking alliterations and stupid puns into my writing, so be on the lookout for them! 😉

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