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Huge Anime Moments That Outraged Fans

Like any artistic medium, anime is filled with highs and lows. The legions of anime fans who happily devour entire shows are evidence enough that the format can elicit joy. But in equal measure, it also has the capacity to elicit sadness, anxiety, and anger — though there are always right and wrong ways to accomplish this. Even if art is intended to make the viewer feel a negative emotion, it can still be done in a positive way. Watching your favorite character die, for instance, certainly isn't a good feeling, but if it happens in a way that feels important to the narrative then even the most depressed fan will have to admit that it comes with a certain satisfaction.

Still, there is no shortage of anime that try and fail at this, instead only angering its fanbase. Alternatively, even if an anime succeeds at eliciting a negative emotion in a way that bears artistic merit, that emotion itself may override a fans' desire to continue watching the series. Here are some of the hugest anime moments that outraged fans.

Ash fails at conquering a Pokémon League once again

It's one thing to see the main character fail at their dreams, and it's another thing to watch them fail again and again for the better part of two decades. Since it first debuted, "Pokémon" protagonist Ash has been striving to conquer a Pokémon League. No matter the region, however, the eternal 10-year-old has always come up short of a League victory.

While seeing Ash lose after struggling so hard for each region's championship was always disappointing, that feeling was also offset by his consistent improvements. From barely placing in the top 16 at the Indigo League Championship, to making it all the way to the Quarterfinals in the Unova League, Ash always managed to do a little better each time.

In "Pokemon: XYZ," however, Ash finally managed to fight his way to the Grand Finals of the Kalos League Conference, only for him to fail in the final round to Alain's Mega-Evolved Charizard. Needless to say, after almost 20 years of seeing Ash try and fail, fans were fed up.

"I still firmly believe that they animated him winning but were told no by the higher ups at the last minute," wrote Redditor u/RedHeadGearHead in a post about frustrating anime moments.

"Just let him win for once, please. We've been waiting for 20 years," responded u/S4mmzie.

Thankfully, a few years later Ash finally did secure his first League Championship in the first-ever Alola League in 2019 (per ComicBook). 

Griffith does the unspeakable in Berserk

This is one of those examples where, while the moment itself accomplishes some artistic end, it is still (understandably) too much for many fans. The world of late manga author Kentaro Miura's "Berserk" is one of unflinching brutality and horror. From the get-go, graphic depictions of violence and rape are the standard as Miura subjects his characters to the absolute worst. And while there is a message in there about choosing to continue living in spite of mankind's suffering, it is not a series for the faint of heart.

These themes truly come to a head midway through the series. After a life of hardship, protagonist Guts finally finds a family in joining the Band of the Hawk, a mercenary group led by the enigmatic Griffith. But, when Griffith sacrifices the group and rapes Guts' love interest, Casca, in exchange for godlike powers, the series takes a darker turn than ever. There is more to Griffith's betrayal than meets the eye, but the act itself is still horrific and left many fans understandably upset.

A Twitter user named @Beauty21K wrote about watching the brutal scene for the first time: "OMG the end was messed up, there was no reason why Griffith did that with Casca I was so upset...Idk if I can watch the shows after all that."

Sakura's false confession in Naruto

You only have to watch "Naruto" for about five seconds to learn that our orange-clad protagonist has the hots for his brainy team member, Sakura Haruno. For much of the series, the youthful love triangle between Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke served as the foundation for their relationship. When Sasuke betrays his village and friends in the name of power, Sakura's unrequited love for him motivates her to make Naruto promise to bring him back.

Years later, however, the ninjas of the Leaf Village collectively decide that Sasuke is too far gone, and must be killed. Sakura then seeks out Naruto, who is still in the midst of hunting his friend, to tell him this. Rather than give him the truth, however, she tries to convince him to stop by "confessing" her love for him. For Naruto, this should have been the moment he had been waiting his entire life to hear. Unfortunately for Sakura, not even Naruto is dumb enough to believe her.

This moment, along with several other instances throughout Naruto's story, forms the basis for why many fans simply don't like Sakura (via Quora). Despite being one of the anime's main characters, Sakura has a divisive reputation among fans, and it is in no small part thanks to her emotionally manipulative behavior.

The death of L marks a downturn for Death Note

For many fans, "Death Note" was at its best when it was a duel of the minds, specifically between the minds of protagonist Light Yagami and his rival, L. In the latter's bid to find the mysterious killer, Kira (who is secretly Light using his Death Note), the two embark on a mental cat-and-mouse game that defines the first half of the series. Both men are near-unparalleled geniuses, and the mental gymnastics both undertake in order to catch the other make for an entertaining story.

That is, until L finally kicks the bucket at the anime's midway point. From then on, the race to catch Kira becomes much less fun as fans felt that L's replacements, Near and Mello, couldn't quite hold a candle to everybody's favorite police consultant.

"Is it just me or did the series take a hit when L died? I mean it's still an awesome anime and Near is pretty kick ass too...but he's no L," wrote user Syrina-ish on a Myanimelist forum post entitled "Let's all vent about L's death." "WHY DID HE HAVE TO DIE?? lol....[whose] bright idea was it to kill off one of the best made anime characters that ever lived?"

"L's death ruined the show for me. I had to force myself to finish the last ten episodes or so," replied user Padron86. "I did not like the ending."

Goku gives medicine to a genocidal bug man

Nowadays, you'll hear no shortage of reasons why Goku from "Dragon Ball" is either a bad father, a bad husband, or a bad person — and when you look at the absolute worst things Goku has done throughout the series, it's not hard to understand why. As a Saiyan warrior, he puts fighting above everything else, and if that means literally risking the safety of the entire universe, then so be it. One moment that really soured many fans on Goku, however, was during the Android Saga in "Dragon Ball Z," in which Goku purposefully surrenders to Cell, the maniacal bug-android hell-bent on killing him and wiping out the planet. Even worse, he then heals Cell's wounds using a Senzu bean, and then volunteers his 12-year-old son to take on Cell solo.

Thankfully, Gohan manages to beat Cell in the end, but a lot of people almost died because Goku wanted to see his son save the world, even though Gohan personally despised fighting. Granted, Goku also sacrificed himself when it looked like Cell might blow up the planet in response to losing. Even so, fans still consider him allowing an opportunity for Cell to win a prime example of how he's a dangerous and irresponsible person. The fan-ranking site Ranker even lists it as the number one reason why Goku is the worst part of "Dragonball Z."