Top 10 Anime That Didn't Age Well



Top 10 Anime That Didn't Age Well

VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman
Time has not been kind to these lot. Join Ashley as we look over the anime that have lost their luster as the years have gone on, including the likes of “Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan”, "Fate/stay night", "Kanon" and more!
Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean

Top 10 Anime That Didn’t Age Well

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime That Didn’t Age Well.

For this list, we’re going over the anime that, either due to a decrease in quality, a change in the otaku zeitgeist, or other extraneous circumstances, have become ultimately irrelevant. Do any of these series still hold a place in your heart? Let us know in the comments!

#10: “Thermae Romae” (2012)

So, you know that one Netflix series about Ancient Rome you’ve flicked past a dozen times? Yeah, that’s actually the second iteration. It’s also not about soldiers, or slavery, or war, or any aspects of the Roman Empire you might be accustomed to hearing about – this one is all about how a Roman architect keeps finding himself in a Japanese bath house, which in turn inspires him to make wonders. Given how there’s a version bathing in all that Netflix money, best make like the dogs of war and give the old one the slip.

#9: “Persona: Trinity Soul” (2008)

While we wouldn’t call the anime adaptations of the Persona video game franchise masterpieces, they can be fun, even if they dilute and compress the lengthy narrative of the games. The problems started when the anime began spitting out side-stories in a bid to capitalize on the property and expand the lore in their own way. Not only is Trinity Soul painfully boring and downright ugly to look at, titles like Persona 4 Arena and other legitimate spin offs have completely de-canonised it!

#8: “Air” (2005)

We can’t call this anime terrible, it’s just very much a product of its time. And by that we mean a soft hearted, supernatural, slice of life, featuring girls with sparkly eyes. But that’s also our biggest criticism. The sparkly eye thing had its time. What was once innocent now comes across as derpy. The story still holds up quite well for what it is, but these girls are in dire need of a makeover! Emote with actions, not peak anime eyes!

#7: “Vampire Knight” (2008)

It’s okay fangirls, you can admit your shame, you’re among friends. For a time, this was “the” vampire anime, the one that balanced bloodsucking with forbidden relationships, gothic pretty boys, and a lot of brooding. Needless to say, Zero had legions of fans, all wanting to be the one to satisfy his cravings. But like all first loves, people move on, and what was once seen as dark and stimulating is now…kind of cheap? Cheesy? Slightly embarrassing? Explains why so many took their horniness for dracu-bros over to Vanitas.

#6: “Kanon” (2002)

Don’t worry, we aren’t shitting on the pride and joy of Kyoto Animation. While it too bears the burden of having an abundance of female characters with impossibly shiny eyes doing impossibly cute things, it’s one of the better examples in its subgenre. And as a result, makes the version Toei released four years prior completely pointless. Seriously, it offers up nothing new, other than shoddier animation quality, especially when it comes to the derp faces. Best stick with its more celebrated successor.

#5: “Fate/stay night” (2006)

Sometimes you stumble at the first hurdle, and other times you fall flat on your face. Before the likes of UFOtable came along and endeavored to adapt the majority of the Fate-verses’ multitude of stories, Studio DEEN took a stab at it, and the results were…not good. Sure, it introduced Saber and is to date the only adaptation of the Fate route, but the quality has severely degraded over time. The CGI Dragon, a lack of canonical threesomes - we demand a do-over!

#4: “Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan” (1993)

While fans will always have a soft spot for the flick that introduced Broly, this particular incarnation has since been rendered obsolete thanks to his re-introduction into the canon via Dragon Ball Super, which turned a mindless rage monster into a layered character. Plus, the animation was fire. We can’t exactly say the same for the original, which just paints Broly as another hulking villain for Goku to overcome, along with a much sillier origin. Go Super or go home.

#3: “Duel Masters” (2002-06)

While there’s certainly enough room for multiple card game anime, looking back, this one didn’t exactly raise the bar, especially in the shadow of the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise. It’s not even the overabundance of CGI or paper characters that we have a problem with, rather it's the now infamous dub. It might have been funny way back when, but these days all anime fans remember about this series is annoying fourth wall breaks and cringey jokes that come at the expense of whatever story was left.

#2: “Speed Racer” (1967-68)

Nostalgia can only do so much, and unfortunately, Speed Racer’s dated animation is way too far in the rear-view mirror for us to recommend. While we’re sure it did wonders to bring more attention to the medium, the eternal meme-status of its dub along with the borderline painful quality of its animation takes a lot of the shine off any potential enjoyment. We would say this should get another shot at a reboot, but the last time that happened, Hollywood did it’s thing and everyone paid the price.

#1: “Elfen Lied” (2004)

While it undoubtedly has some of the bloodiest content and most disturbing deaths of any anime of its generation, there’s just one thing that holds Lucy and here vendetta back from being regarded as one of the all-time greats – the whole thing is saturated in melodrama, with enough edginess to cut yourself on. Along with an anime original ending that left Lucy’s ultimate fate up in the air, the way the series lathers itself with so much forced trauma is borderline exhausting.