It’s sometimes easier to get into anime with a reasonable number of episodes, but finding one that knows how to conclude its story correctly is another matter: here is a list of 10 series with the perfect ending.
The term “perfect ending” might disturb some, but in reality has several meanings: already, that of a true ending capable of closing a story, but also of answering the questions asked throughout the story. The conclusion does not necessarily have to be satisfying for its viewers, and sometimes the most heartbreaking ones are also the most coherent.
Getting into anime can sometimes be complicated, especially if we consider the biggest franchises which have countless episodes under their belt – for example, we salute One Piece which has far exceeded a thousand installments! But it also happens that series choose a shorter format, of one or two seasons, to end definitively in the last episode.
For viewers looking for productions that won’t take several years of their life to conclude, here is a list of 10 excellent short anime, with the perfect ending.
10 – The Piano in the Forest
24 episodes (2 seasons)
The Piano in the Forest is a short Japanese animation series adapting the award-winning manga by Makoto Isshiki. The story follows two boys from different backgrounds but sharing the same passion for the noble keyboard. Kai Ichinose grew up in a bad neighborhood, alongside his mother who worked there as a prostitute.
Somehow, Kai manages to play an abandoned piano in the forest. On the other hand, Shuuhei Amamiya, from a wealthy family, dreams of becoming a renowned pianist like his father.
9 – Carole & Tuesday
24 episodes (2 parts)
Carole & Tuesday is a sci-fi musical animated series focusing on two girls who meet through serendipity. Realizing their same passion for music, they begin to live together and team up to make a name for themselves.
However, their dream seems almost impossible to achieve since they live in a world where AI produces 99% of the music. But all hope does not seem lost: the two girls attract the attention of an unknown manager.
8 – Time Shadows
Time Shadows takes you on a thrilling journey of mystery, supernatural beings and tragedy. The pretext for the story is a time loop supposed to allow certain tragedies to be avoided. The protagonist, Shinpei Ajiro, returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood sweetheart, Ushio Kofune. But he suddenly starts traveling through time.
As for her supposedly deceased friend, Ushio, she reappears. After learning of the “shadows” and the impending tragedy that could strike the island, Shunpei must join forces with her to defeat the threat.
7 – Erased
Erased is a bit like Tokyo Revengers but a slasher version: Satoru Fukinuma discovers the power to go back in time every time he sees a blue butterfly, which allows him to save his present.
But one day, a serious incident occurs and he goes back a little too far: Satoru finds himself 18 years in the past, in the skin of the kid he was then. And it is precisely at this same time that a serial killer unleashes a reign of terror… Will he succeed in saving his former classmates from the assassin?
6 – Steins;Gate
24 episodes, 1 OAV, 1 film
Steins;Gate follows a slightly mad scientist, Okabe, who goes back in time to save a loved one from death.
In Steins;Gate, Okabe creates his own time machine, which he uses to right and undo his own actions. The atmosphere is a little crazy, a little funny, but above all breathtaking and often even tragic.
5 – Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
11 episodes and 1 film
Anohana depicts a tragic story of friendship, addressing the issue of regret and resilience as time runs its course. This wonderful series progresses at its own pace, delivering an ending that is as surprising as it is powerful. We are introduced to Meiko Henmo, a young girl unable to leave the living world, even years after her unfortunate death.
The plot revolves around Jinta Yadomi and his friends, who are scattered after Meiko’s death. Jinta lives alone, devoting all his time to his video games. And even though Meiko begs him to grant his wish, Jinta keeps pushing her away, convinced that she is just an illusion. When he realizes that she is indeed the spirit of his missing comrade, Jinta gathers his friends to help the little girl find peace.
4 – Kids on the Slope
Kids on the Slope is the captivating story of three students with very different personalities and backgrounds. Perfect narration, characters with whom we easily identify and perfectly rhythmic moments of music: spectators have every reason to appreciate this ageless gem.
The story follows Kaoru Nishimi as he arrives in Kyushu for his first year of high school. The young man has always had difficulty making friends, following his father and his regular transfers. But his habits are disrupted when he meets Sentarou Kawabuchi and Ritsuko Mukae. Little by little, Kaoru comes out of his shell and rediscovers his passion for music.
3 – Your Lie in April
Kosei Arima shines on the piano and wins all the prizes in his category. Considered a true prodigy of the instrument, the boy stopped playing it when his severe and strict mother died. Two years later, his meeting with Kaori Miyazono will offer him a new perspective on music, and make him want to play again.
Your Lie in April is about music, yes, but also about passion, friendship, love, mourning and resilience: lulled by Chopin’s Nocturnes, the spectator lets himself be carried away in a whirlwind of emotions, including the climax is reached in a denouement as beautiful as it is moving.
2 – Sonny Boy
A seemingly endless summer vacation will suddenly take a decisive turn for a handful of people: on August 16, Nagara, Mizuho, Asakaze and others find themselves in an alternate dimension. To survive, they will have to rely on strange powers obtained in the process.
Sonny Boy is an original creation from a renowned studio: Madhouse, a historic house behind a countless number of famous and renowned series (Monster, Claymore, Hunter x Hunter, etc.). Leading the project is Shingo Natsume (One Punch Man, Space Dandy), who takes his characters to a gripping conclusion.
1 – Cowboy Bebop
Man left the Earth, which had become uninhabitable following an incident on the Moon. The conquest of space has become a priority, and other planets have been colonized, humans trying to find a semblance of normality when the worst scoundrels take advantage of the mess to become space pirates. A blessing for bounty hunters Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, traveling from star to star aboard the Bebop.
Before being a failed live-action series on Netflix, Cowboy Bebop is a classic of Japanese animation. And its reputation is not usurped: created by Shin’ichirô Watanabe, the series benefits from a solid narration, breathtaking action scenes, an uninhibited tone which in no way overshadows the tragedy of certain story intrigues, and a jazzy soundtrack perfect for the space opera genre. The only flaw we could find in its ending is that it puts an end to a great anime.