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Top 10 Anime that Bombed Hard

VO: Dan Paradis
Written by Mark Sammut If only One Piece could share 5% of its popularity. No? How about 0.1% instead? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime That Surprisingly Bombed Hard. For this list, we are looking at highly rated shows that crashed and burned. The focus will be on the actual sales figures, and not the quality of the anime. Special thanks to our user Ashjbow for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Anime that Bombed Hard


If only One Piece could share 5% of its popularity. No? How about 0.1% instead? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime That Surprisingly Bombed Hard.


For this list, we are looking at highly rated shows that crashed and burned. The focus will be on the actual sales figures, and not the quality of the anime.

#10: “Neuro: Supernatural Detective” (2007-08)

Murder, mystery, and Madhouse? Of-course it failed. Desperate to catch her father’s murderer, high school detective Yako Katsuragi forms a pact with Neuro, a demon who loves nothing more than to Sherlock his way through a case. Each episode presented a new mystery for the duo to solve, while a larger narrative played out in the background. Admittedly, the individual cases were too obvious to be interesting, but once Neuro started focusing on the entertaining main story, it really managed to pick up some tension. Then it ended with less than half the manga covered. Well, at least we have season 300 of Case Closed to look forward to.

#9: “Thermae Romae” (2012)

Some series were simply not designed to be successful. An adaptation of the hit manga by Mari Yamazaki, Thermae Romae ran for three episodes in January 2012. Unlike some other shows, this time traveling comedy about a Roman architect was not cut short due to a poor reception but was only created to fill up space until Black Rock Shooter started its eight episode run. Although the Blu Ray did include an unaired episode, the anime was overshadowed by the release of a live action adaptation a few months later, which ended up being the second highest-grossing domestic film in Japan for the year.

#8: “The World Only God Knows” (2010-13)

With three seasons, it might seem strange to consider this harem a failure. Yet, here it is. Keima Katsuragi is the “God of Conquest”, and there isn’t a single 2D girl that can resist his charm and sophistication. After he accidentally makes a deal with a devil in a dress, Keima must learn to use his mad skills to capture the hearts of real girls. Despite improving with each season, The World Only God Knows plummeted in sales; with the third season making less than half the numbers that the first managed. As a result, the final arc of the manga never made it to screens.

#7: “C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control” (2011)

Series like Cowboy Bebop and Code Geass showed that it’s possible to make a successful anime that isn’t based on a manga or novel. On the other hand, C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control could have used a little help. Inspired by the aftermath of 2008’s Great Rescission, C combines battle anime cliches with complex themes dealing with financial insecurity and the economic state of Japan. At just 11 episodes, the few interesting concepts introduced were not given enough time to be fleshed out properly and a lot of questions remained unanswered. Despite re-releases, C sold less than 2000 copies.

#6: “WataMote: No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Unpopular!” (2013)

Well, yeah, we can’t really argue with the title. If there’s one culture that anime loves to talk about it’s the Otaku lifestyle. Based on a successful and ongoing manga, WataMote follows a socially anxious girl in her quest for high school popularity. Although the anime received a generally positive feedback, some critics took offense at the mean spirited humiliations that were constantly thrown at the socially inept protagonist. Even a near perfect opening song couldn’t boost the poor DVD sales, so it is unlikely that Tomoko will ever be back for a season two.

#5: “Paranoia Agent” (2004)

After writing and directing Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress, and Tokyo Godfathers, legendary anime director Satoshi Kon found himself with a few leftover ideas and no movie to call home. Thus Paranoia Agent was born. Remaining the late Kon’s only TV series, this surreal tale about a slew of seemingly random attacks perpetrated by a bat wielding roller skating elementary school boy initially sold less than 1000 copies in Japan. Thanks to a run on Adult Swim, Paranoia agent gained a small cult following and earned itself a re-release – which, unfortunately, only performed slightly better.

#4: “Future Diary” (2011-12)

What, really? How did a show that practically combines the likes of Death Note and Fate/Zero somehow not make a lot of money? Yukiteru Amano is a loner who cannot get enough of his cell phone and is friends with the God of Space and Time. After his phone is given the ability to predict the future, Yuki ends up in a death game with other diary holders, with the winner becoming God. Despite the incredible amount of awesomeness in the concept, Future Diary failed to set the anime landscape on fire, selling less than 2000 copies. In comparison, Death Note sold 15,000 and Fate/Zero moved over 50,000 copies.

#3: “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” (2014)

Maybe this seemed too Japanese for mainstream audiences? Produced by the legendary Studio Ghibli, The Tale of Princess Kaguya earned a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and even received an Oscar nod for Best Animated feature before losing out to Big Hero 6. The gorgeous hand drawn visuals brought to life Japan’s famous folk tale about a girl born from a bamboo stick and performed well enough in Japan. Unfortunately, Princess Kaguya managed less than $2 million in its limited international release, making it one of the worst performing Studio Ghibli movies of all time.

#2: “The Big O” (1999-2003)

Like all of the best robot shows, Sunrise’s classic anime blossomed from a single dream – to sell ton of toys. Initially, The Big O was set to have a 26 episode run but ended up being cut by half after largely being ignored in Japan. Ending with a cliffhanger and seemingly destined to leave fans screaming in frustration for eternity, this Batman inspired detective series found a new lease of life on Cartoon Network’s Toonami and earned a second season a few years later on the very same channel’s Adult Swim block.

#1: “Baccano!” (2007)

A groundbreaking anime, Baccano! had the odds stacked against it in Japan. Airing on a pay-per-view channel late at night, the story mostly takes place during the Prohibition Era in the US, which is a rarity for the industry. The entertaining but non-linear story works fantastically as a whole but would have been considerably harder to follow on a weekly basis. With poor ratings, only 16 episodes were ever made. Although the author, Ryōgo Narita, managed to get a cross over hit with Durarara!!, we’re still waiting for the anime adaptation of the remaining 15 Baccano! novels.
Do you agree with our list? Which anime do you believe deserved better? For more entertaining Top 10s published every single daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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