No matter how hard they try, the good guys don’t always win. In this anime, the villain is finally victorious, despite the heroes’ best efforts.
Most people want good to triumph over evil in fiction. The hero rescues the kidnapped prince. The spy defuses the bomb before it destroys the city. The superheroes drive the alien invaders off the earth once and for all. The battle can be very close and there may be casualties, but in the end, the good guys are victorious.
In these anime, however, this is not the case. Sometimes the reason the villain is monologue is because his evil plan is already in motion and the heroes have already lost. Other times, the good may win, but at such tremendous cost that it may also have lost. If it weren’t for those stories, the end of each series would feel predestined. Only the genuine threat of loss keeps the tension alive.
Don’t werewolves deserve happiness too? The characters of wolf rain they are looking for a sanctuary where they can finally settle down and have peace, which is one of the purest goals a lycanthrope can have. However, they don’t actually get the sanctuary they’re looking for, because Darcia ruined it.
Like Sword art online and similar anime, some interpretation is necessary here. The rain begins to fall and hope is born for a new way forward, but for the moment there is no doubt that the home that the heroes fought for is gone. It’s melancholic and the feeling stays.
Higurashi: When they cry
Multiple endings complicate things, as is the case with Higurashi: When they cry. To be fair, some of these endings are happy. Higurashi: When they cry is a suspense anime about a series of murders tied to a village festival in a small town, and the bad endings are pretty bad. It may look like it could have been a real life anime, but it doesn’t work as one.
It is not enough for the villain to get away with it without consequences. It is not even enough for heroes to die. In some endings, the heroes are stuffed or even sterilized. It’s a world of horror that most anime doesn’t touch on, and it more than makes up for endings where things go well.
yu yu Hakusho
Many villains have clear victories. If the villain wants to burn an enchanted forest and does so, he wins. On Yu yu Hakusho, however, it is not that simple. The demons Sensui invites to earth through the Demon Portal don’t kill everyone, an obvious victory for the good guys, but it turns out that what Sensui really wanted was to find someone strong enough to finally kill him.
Since Yusuke did exactly that, Sensui won. Although the villain’s “victory” meant his death and a safer world for heroes, he technically achieved his goal. Even Yusuke admits that Sensui got what she wanted in the end. This show may look like a children’s anime, but it doesn’t end as one.
When mass murderous vampires aren’t even the most sinister villain in a horror anime, things are going to go wrong. The Major, the supreme commander of the Millennium, is a fascist who wants a war with massive casualties, and that is exactly what he gets. His side loses the war, but manages to cause a large number of innocent deaths. His catchphrase, after all, is “I love war.”
Because that’s what happens in Hellsing Ultimate, It is difficult to turn the eventual success of the heroes into a defeat for the Major. Much of his work could be undone later, but that doesn’t help those who died along the way much.
Maddened it’s so gloomy and violent that it’s emotionally draining just to talk, never mind watching. His singular focus is the representation of hopeless characters in a hopeless world; therefore, it should come as no surprise that it ends badly.
Griffith wants to rule the world and rule the world that he makes. At what price? The death of almost everyone around him. The 1997 anime adaptation ends with Griffith becoming the fifth member of Godhand, sacrificing all of his friends and his humanity in exchange for power. Maddened is a textbook example of an anime in which a bad person does bad things to achieve a bad ending, and good people simply have no power to stop them.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans keeps the Mobile suit tradition of a complicated political plot that serves as a backdrop for his astonishing mecha action. What matters is that at the end of the second season, the series antagonist Rustal Elion has become the boss of Gjallarhorn, securing a new fame and power. Heroes are strong, but they die anyway. If that’s not enough, Rustal takes out Tekkadan and destroys McGillis’s fleet.
Gjallarhorn could be reestablished as a democracy, but with Rustal dominating, it’s a win for the villain anyway. It’s not the most outright villain victory in anime history, but it’s crushing.
De Trigun Vash the Stampede is the deadliest gunman in the west, which is the exact opposite of what he wants to be. After a lifetime of killing, Vash just wants to live in peace. Unfortunately, Knives and Legato have set out to force Vash back onto the path of violence.
Even though Vash does everything in his power to avoid reverting to his old ways, in the end, the choice is made for him. Vash will do anything to protect the people he loves, and Legato makes it clear that if Vash doesn’t shoot him, Milly and Meryl will pay, leaving the gunman with no choice. Legato dies triumphant.
Teaming up with the devil is part of the beginning, but that’s exactly what the protagonist of Devilman Crybaby does to try to save the world from a demonic invasion. That works? No, the villains are too strong. The hero dies, humanity is destroyed, Satan takes power, and God finally eradicates the earth to clean up the mess.
With a name like Weeping devilman, the series was inauspicious from the start, but few would have guessed that its ending would be such an utter loss to the bright side. On the plus side, the series at least handles this catastrophe wonderfully, so it’s worth watching as it all spins down the drain.
On Velocity plotter, The villain of the Suitengu series wins in the most complete way imaginable. He wants the Roppongi Club to die, Saiga to suffer, and the economy to collapse. To accomplish this, he collects all the yen in Japan in a building containing him and the Roppongi Club, then detonates a bomb, destroys all the money, and kills everyone.
In the final showdown, Saiga survives but is permanently blinded. No clever antihero saves the world, and it is not consequential for Suitengu to die: by detonating the bomb, Suitengu makes all the villainous dreams he ever had come true. The economy is destroyed and the heroes lose.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Mecha fans are used to their heroes winning. Some skyscrapers might get knocked down in the process, some wicks might explode, a trusted friend might have to make the ultimate sacrifice to make sure the protagonist succeeds, but in the end, it’s all worth it, because the good guys win.
Neon Genesis Evangelion, however, he spits in the face of that tradition when Seele’s puppeteers activate the Human Instrumentality Project. The few heroes left alive are trapped in a dead world, with nothing they can do to restore it, which is perhaps even worse than if they had all died together.