When we talk about rushed endings, most people immediately conjure manga with bad endings in their mind. That is actually incorrect. More often than not, manga with rushed endings actually provide a decent ending for the series. The problem is simply it all happened too fast. Adding a couple more chapters would make it perfect. So what is a rushed ending in manga? It is an ending that makes you go, "Wait, what? That's it?"
To be fair, a manga that is getting canceled by the publisher may not have the luxury of telling the ending as the author wants it to be, so a rushed ending is the only thing the readers will get. On the other hand, there are also cases where the author simply decided to end the story right there and then, and ruined an otherwise great story. And on that note, here are ten great manga that have rushed endings.
-Major Spoilers Ahead!-
- Authors: Kubo, Tite
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Supernatural, Shounen
- Volumes: 74
- Published: Jul 2004- Oct 2018
Let's start this list with one of the most popular and obvious choices for this topic, Bleach. The adventure of Ichigo Kurosaki as he takes on the mantle of a shinigami is fun, exciting, thrilling, and also quite emotional.
In Bleach's last story arc, Ichigo has to face the king of the Quincy, a race that has been at war with the shinigami for thousands of years. The enemy is easily the strongest being in the series thus far and Ichigo has to dig deep into himself and get help from lots of people in order to muster a new kind of power that nobody has ever wielded before.
And just when Ichigo is about to unleash his most powerful technique, he is defeated. And then several people from a smaller arc that happened a couple hundred chapters earlier show up and help defeat the legendary king of the Quincy. And that's it. To be fair, the ending itself is not that bad, but if only we had had at least five more chapters to truly flesh out those final fights, then it would've been such a perfect end to an iconic series.
9. Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon)
- Authors: Arakawa, Hiromu
- Genres: Comedy, Drama, School Life, Shounen
- Volumes: 15
- Published: Feb 2018 - Sep 2020
Fresh after creating one of the best shounen manga ever made, Hiromu Arakawa came up with Silver Spoon, an inspiring coming of age story of a city boy named Hachiken who enters an agriculture high school. This is a story that is filled to the brim with valuable lessons, heartwarming moments, and it is incredibly funny as well.
The story of Silver Spoon focuses deeply on Hachiken's time in high school, but after his graduation, the story somehow still progresses neatly into his college entrance exam. It leads most readers to think that we will be spoiled with another interesting time for Hachiken. But after spending quite a few chapters truly fleshing out every aspect of the college entrance exam, we enter a time skip and then the story ends.
To be fair, Hiromu Arakawa managed to end her series in a rather graceful way. It is our expectation of a new story arc after the elaborate collage exam arc that ultimately leads to disappointment when the series ends two chapters later.
8. Runway de Waratte (Smile Down the Runway)
- Authors: Inoya, Kotoba
- Genres: School Life, Romance, Drama, Shounen
- Volumes: 22
- Published: Sep 2019 - Mar 2022
Some manga decide to present the conditions for their ending early on in the series. We have Naruto who wants to be a Hokage in Naruto, Tanjiro who wants to turn his sister back to human in Demon Slayer, and Chiyuki and Ikuto who promise to headline the prestigious Paris Fashion Week together in Smile Down the Runway. In doing so, the readers expect that the series will go on until that objective is fulfilled. And if it ends before that, it will leave a bad aftertaste to those who've been following the story thus far.
Unfortunately, that is precisely what happens to Smile Down the Runway. After telling such an elaborate story for the Tokyo Fashion Week arc, we naturally expect that Paris will be next. But no, one chapter later, we get a time skip and a summary of what had happened to the characters in the past ten years that had apparently passed since the last chapter, including one panel about their time in the Paris Fashion Week. And that is the end.
7. Hinomaru Zumou (Hinomaru Sumo)
- Authors: Kawada
- Genres: Action, Sports, Martial Arts, Shounen
- Volumes: 28
- Published: Jan 2019 - Oct 2019
Another entry into the list of manga with unfulfilled promise is Hinomaru Sumo. Hinomaru is a short guy who thrives in a sport that favors people with huge bodies, which is sumo. But Hinomaru's dream is actually not just to become a sumo wrestler - he wants to be a Yokozuna, the highest ranked sumo wrestler in the nation. The manga tells the story of his humble beginnings in his high school's sumo club, all the way to his life as a professional sumo wrestler.
Similar to how Naruto wants to be a Hokage, Hinomaru's ambition to be a Yokozuna is pretty much the main driving force behind his story. However, right after he manages to defeat the current Yokozuna in a tournament, the story ends. His rank is still at Maegashira at the time, which is four ranks below Yokozuna.
Sure, the story ends with a big win for him and he also gets to marry his girlfriend, but it is odd how the story always pushes the narrative of Hinomaru wanting to be a Yokozuna despite his physical limitations and then suddenly decides to stop when he is still so far away from his dream. Hopefully there will be a sequel in the future.
6. Shokugeki no Soma (Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma)
- Authors: Tsukuda, Yuuto (Author); Saeki, Shun (Artist)
- Genres: Comedy, School Life, Ecchi, Shounen
- Volumes: 36
- Published: Aug 2014 - Jun 2020
To be honest, most people who followed the Food Wars! manga week after week could tell that the story had lost some of its charm by the time the last arc began. But at the very least, most readers expected to see Yukihira finally find the one person who he can dedicate his cooking to, which is Erina, just like how the story had been insinuating all this time. Not only that, but Yukihira beating his dad with his dish was also another important objective laid out right from the beginning of the series.
However, none of these promises are fulfilled. The story ends with Yukihira's defeat in the latest cooking tournament, Erina still refuses to acknowledge his cooking, and he never gets to compete with his dad again. The story just stops before completing any of its important objectives. Thankfully, there are a couple chapters of epilogue that address some of these issues and sort of tie everything together. But even that still leaves a lot to be desired.
5. Eden no Ori (Cage of Eden)
- Authors: Yamada, Yoshinobu
- Genres: Action, Mystery, Horror, Shounen
- Volumes: 21
- Published: Jul 2013 - May 2017
Cage of Eden is a story about how an airplane full of students and regular people crash on a mysterious island filled with animals that are supposed to be extinct, such as the Smilodon and Basilosaurus. So the whole series is all about how the students, led by a boy named Akira Sengoku, try to survive in such an absurdly dangerous situation while trying to piece together the puzzle of what happened to them and where they actually are.
Cage of Eden is filled with zany situations, thrilling moments, and confusing mysteries. As we progress throughout the story, little pieces of the puzzle are presented to us to help us solve the mystery of the island. And that is how a good story should be. After all, show, don't tell, right?
Well, as it turns out, not really. 20+ volumes of build up is solved in just a couple of chapters of flashbacks, and it ends with the all too familiar time skip. Granted, the author did his best considering the series was getting canceled and he only had a couple of chapters to wrap things up.
- Authors: Tezuka, Osamu
- Genres: Action, Horror, Supernatural, Shounen
- Volumes: 1
- Published: Mar 2012
Now we enter the "just stop" category. These are the manga that, for one reason or another, simply stop without completing the character's journey or answer some of the most important questions. Let's start with Dororo by the godfather of manga, Osamu Tezuka. By the way, the original manga takes a different path than its anime adaptation, especially the recent 2019 anime.
The overall story is pretty much the same, except for some key details, such as the fact that in the original story, Hyakkimaru's father made a pact with 48 demons, instead of just 12 like in the anime. Another noteworthy difference is the ending.
Rather than defeating all of the demons and regaining all of his body parts like in the anime, the manga ends with Hyakkimaru deciding to part ways with Dororo and continuing his journey of finding more than half of his body parts alone. Yes, for some reason, Tezuka decided to end his story before completing the one objective that he gave to his main character at the beginning.
3. I Am Hero
- Authors: Hanazawa, Kengo
- Genres: Action, Horror, Psychological, Seinen
- Volumes: 11
- Published: Apr 2016 - Oct 2019
There are countless people who consider I Am Hero as one of the best, if not the best, zombie manga ever made. After all, for a zombie story, I Am Hero is absolutely grounded in reality with every character making believable decisions without the author having to turn his main character, Hideo Suzuki, into some sort of savior for humanity. He is just a man who tries his best to survive by utilizing whatever cards he currently holds in his hands.
I Am Hero has a uniquely natural progression to its story that makes it so the readers can't help but be sucked into the world within the pages. But along the way, it begins to lose its steam and starts to head into odd places. More questions are raised in the last arc than all of the other story arcs combined, and just when you think the story couldn't get more confusing, it suddenly ends.
There is quite a lengthy epilogue that the author published months after the last chapter. However, rather than answering some of our burning questions, such as why the zombies decided to turn into a giant creature that can make an old woman young again, we are stuck with more questions instead.
2. Yakitate!! Japan
- Authors: Hashiguchi, Takashi
- Genres: Comedy, Drama, Supernatural, Shounen
- Volumes: 26
- Published: Sep 2006 - Apr 2011
Yakitate!! Japan started as a wholesome and funny manga about a boy named Azuma who loves to bake bread and always experimented with all sorts of ways to make it unique and delicious. To make things more interesting, the people who tasted his bread let out bizarre and over-the-top reactions. In a way, it is a predecessor to Food Wars!!
However, somewhere along the way, the story began to steer in a strange direction and we ended up with the main character having to save the world from Global Warming with his bread. It is so absurd that we as readers keep on hoping that it will soon get back on track and return to its wholesome roots.
But no, instead of getting better, the story just stops there. Azuma's dream to popularize his original bread is never realized, the hinted romance subplot is thrown out of the window, and several key characters simply become unrecognizable. All we get is some panels explaining what happens after Azuma's bread saves the world, and that’s it. Everything is wrapped up in one chapter.
1. Kangoku Gakuen (Prison School)
- Authors: Hiramoto, Akira
- Genres: Comedy, Romance, Ecchi, Seinen
- Volumes: 28
- Published: Jul 2015 - Oct 2019
Talking about a series that had been going downhill for a while and suddenly decided to end everything without properly tying up any loose ends, there is no better candidate than Prison School. It started with an incredibly funny and vulgar story about five boys who enrolled in an all-girl school. It was an absurd, wacky ecchi, and just full of one hilarious situation after the next. There's simply nothing like it.
But just like other manga on this list, the story was dragged through the mud with lots of chapters who failed to provide any kind of progression whatsoever. And similar to Yakitate Japan! before it, Prison School suddenly decided to stop the story altogether. The characters who we had come to love and support turned into shells of their former selves. At that point, the concepts of the “rushed ending” and the “bad ending” seem to have finally collided and become the final chapter of Prison School.
Every title on this list has different reasons as to why their ending feels so rushed. But while some of them could truly benefit from some additional chapters, with others, it would only make things worse. One thing is for sure, though - they all had their time to shine in the spotlight, and now they have received their endings as well. All we can do is accept them, whether they had a satisfying end or not.
Have you read any of the manga on this list? Which one of them do you think has the best ending? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.