5 Unfinished Anime

5 Unfinished Anime

Lately, I’ve been thinking (and chatting with Curtis at Iridium Eye Reviews) about the idea of ‘Top’ Lists and why I hesitate to do them.

Basically, I’ve decided it’s because I tend to chicken out before posting, even if I get so far as to think a few of them through and sometimes even write up a couple of notes. And today, that trend toward steering clear of the word ‘Top’ or ‘Best’ will continue 😀

Instead, I’ll just use a number.

And so here’s 5 Unfinished Anime that I wish had been finished a little more. (I use the word ‘finished’ with varying degrees of accuracy here too). I’ve actually reviewed most of the entries but I’ll try not to rehash too much.

All right, let’s go chronologically!

Battle Angel (1993)

With only two episodes produced in this OVA the main storylines were barely touched and so it leaves so much to the manga… but I was enjoying the production and wanted to see it continue 😀

Battle Angel has great character conflict and designs, along with a classic conspiracy aspect to the plot. It also presents an engaging post-apocalyptic/cyberpunk setting with a reasonably gritty visual style that maybe could have been refined even further had the series continued? Obviously, the team also had a decent amount of source material to continue on with.

One thing the OVA included that I liked was the Chiren plot line, where she and Ido have a past. I would have liked to see that explored somehow, along with the aftermath of events in the final episode as per their effect on Gally. Author Yukito Kishiro was happy for this short series to drive viewers to the manga and a recent James Cameron adaptation also makes it clear this won’t be continued.

Legend of Basara (1998)

This is a longer series, with thirteen episodes produced but once again – it never gets the chance to explore the full scope of the source material, and there’s a lot left and a huge story that could be adapted.

Legend of Basara is classic 1990s shoujo with a mix of action, historical elements and romance. It has a fun, almost Shakespearean premise and there’s some hidden identity stuff that really worked for me.

I’d say Sarasa’s story has zero chance of being continued as an anime, as KSS had other priorities in the form of Naruto and have now folded in any event.

Claymore (2007)

Here’s another one with plenty of source material that could allow the bigger story to be completed, the grim but gripping Claymore.

The first twenty episodes had a grand build up with impressive rising tension – and then everything got rushed and compressed, leaving many plot threads simply abandoned. The climax to this story about vengeance is pretty flat too and maybe if it had been given a chance at even a second season, some key things could have been concluded.

Could this be picked up again? Maybe. Beserk actually got a bit of a continuation a few years ago and many folks consider Beserk and Claymore to be similar enough that perhaps there’s an audience there.

Moribito (2007)

Staying in 2007 for Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit now, and this is a complete story with a satisfying conclusion.

And so to tweak what I mean by ‘unfinished’ here, this time it’s not just that I know the light novels continue Balsa’s story, it’s because the end of season 1 so perfectly sets up the idea that she is about to set out on a homecoming-kinda quest to confront aspects of her past.

Since she’s such a compelling character I often think about tracking down the English version of the novel, but I don’t remember how many of the series have been translated. Whether Production IG will continue this… I don’t know, probably not since the series is not shonen or isekai, which seems to be what the market is seeking at the moment.

Dreaming Machine (2010)

A little different from the others – as it’s a film but also because it’s literally unfinished.

Before director Satoshi Kon’s death he was working on Dreaming Machine and had described it as a ‘road movie for robots’ and as an adventure film. It sounded like it would have been a bit of an ‘all-ages’ thing which would have been fascinating to see him do, since his other works have generally been darker.

Around a third of the film’s shots had been animated, and while Masao Maruyama did pledge that Madhouse would continue and finish the film, over the years he has pulled away from that and eventually said that it wouldn’t be right for someone else to finish the movie:

Instead, we should take only Kon’s “original concept”, and let somebody turn it into a feature film. By doing so, the completed piece could 100% be that person’s work, and I’m OK with that.

Since then he’s expressed even less belief in the likelihood of the work being completed, despite suggesting that it would “not be impossible” to restart with a talented foreign director.

I believe there is a chance this film could be completed one day… more so than some of the other titles I mentioned in this post, just not any time soon, perhaps.


And there we go!

I’ll try to come up with another ‘Not a Top 5’ style post one day but I’m not sure when that’ll be just yet. Still, I had fun with this one though.

16 thoughts on “5 Unfinished Anime

  1. Very good list and thanks for the shout out! I definitely agree with Battle Angel. This should’ve been so much longer. Some anime projects that should have been finished in my opinion…

    Angel Densetsu
    Shinesman (I really like that OVA, but there should’ve been some more episodes)
    Children of the Whales

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! My pleasure 🙂

      And ‘Shinesman’! I think I remember that one, cool. More to add to my list too. And even though I’m not 100% whether I’ll watch another ‘Children of the Whales’ I was left feeling very curious about a lot of unanswered things, yeah.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re certainly welcome, Ashley!

        You remember Shinesman? That’s awesome! I barely know anyone who knows about that little OVA. The dub is way better than the Japanese version and is still funny to watch to this day. It’s sort of like Power Rangers meets The Office, but that’s still selling it short.

        I get you about Children of the Whales. I would like to see more of the story animated, but parts of the story that were already there did come off as questionable, but you know my thoughts on it.


        1. I think so! It’s quite familiar – like maybe I came across it as a teen?

          It sounds like something that had been taped off TV and lent out between me and my friends, but since VHS had such limited space I don’t think I had both episodes. I suspect someone added it on the end of a Neon Genesis tape… or maybe someone’s older sibling had found it some other way.

          I might try and find out as I’ve been increasingly curious as to what our broadcasters used to screen. It was usually late night on the non-commercial channels, of course.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Gotcha. I discovered it as a teen after reading a review from THEM Anime who gave it a full 5 stars mainly because of the dub. Okay, I don’t think it’s perfect, but the dub is phenomenal and extremely funny. One of the best insults I’ve ever heard in an anime is calling someone “one OVA short of a series” which is what Shinesman Sepia says. Hahahaha!

            That is interesting. Did it get syndication where you’re from? It would be awesome if Shinesman did. That would cause whiplash if it was after EVA, but at least it would be one that would end in laughter.

            Sure. Let me know if it was the case. But in all seriousness, that is one of the best comedy anime projects most people don’t know about.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Looking forward to it 😀

            I don’t think so – in Australia there were only two channels that screened any kinda animation for a long while, and they stuck (mostly) with younger shows for decades. In the 90s we had to trade tapes with folks who were lucky enough to catch a broadcast – since we couldn’t afford to import VHS 😀

            (Though I believe the UK really helped our market out around then, yeah.)

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Sweet!

            That’s a bummer. I heard about tape trading, but I wasn’t a part of it and I wasn’t into anime as much besides whatever was on basic TV (I didn’t have cable until high school when my family moved).

            Maybe the UK anime fan scene is pretty strong over there?

            Liked by 1 person

          4. I think so, yeah. And it certainly was a key player in developing things down here 🙂

            I wish I still had some of those tapes, they’d be interesting to see again. Generally, they were taped over and passed along pretty quickly. (What I’m also a little curious about is seeing some of the old advertising in between episodes too).

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Claymore was awesome. I wish they would have animated more stories. Oh well, at least the manga is easy to find. What really sucks is when a good show ends on a cliffhanger and the source material hasn’t been translated.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I read the manga after watching the anime. I loved the series, even with the lazy ending, but the manga is amazing and goes so much further than the series. It would be amazing to finally get that second season, but I doubt they’ll ever go there unless it gets a big reboot.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂

        I think you’re right about it being a really slim chance, yeah. I hold out hope… but I think I should one day go with what you and other folks have recommended, and grab the manga if I want any kind of resolution, huh?

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.