Everyone loves anime these days. Whether it’s the courageous heroes, the dazzling animations, or the lovable characters, anime simply can't lose — supposedly. With all the hype, it's easy to think the most popular anime franchises can do no wrong. Unfortunately, it appears that, as a series' fan base grows, so do its shameless corporate cash-grabs and spin-offs.
Making a spin-off can be a risky move. The creators are essentially taking a formula that works and then straying off the tried-and-true path. As a result, spin-offs have been the source of some of the most refreshing and interesting moments in anime history. At the same time, for every high point, there's an accompanying low. Some of the best franchises have the absolute worst spin-offs.
10 Dragon Ball GT Is The Sequel That Never Was
Dragon Ball GT is a sequel to Akira Toriyama's enormously popular and influential Dragon Ball Z. The series takes place directly after the events of the last World Tournament and commences with Goku still training Uub. The series was created in order to promote a Dragon Ball video game, Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout, which was released the same year.
Though this series has some entertaining moments, the overwhelming majority of fans were disappointed with the outcome. There are some cool character designs (one of the few aspects of the show created by Toriyama), as well as the introduction of the Super Saiyan 4 transformation — but that’s pretty much all this outing of the beloved franchise had to offer.
9 Naruto Loves Boruto But Fans Feel Otherwise
Naruto is one of the most celebrated anime franchises of all time. The combination of likable characters, intense fight scenes, and compelling, well-written storylines made it an instant classic. It's only natural that, following the unprecedented success of Shippuden, another sequel would follow. Maybe it shouldn't have.
Boruto is sort of like Naruto's much less cool son and a child who will always live in his dad's shadow. Though the anime does have some pretty cool fight scenes and animation, the overall plot leaves much to be desired. Boruto simply can't fill his father's shoes.
8 The Emiya Family Serves Up A Main Course That's Far From Filling
Today's Menu for The Emiya Family is a spin-off from the hit Fate series developed by Type-Moon. Fate itself is essentially a bunch of spin-offs that often don't have much in common other than the main characters and their battle for the Grail. What makes Today's Menu different from other installations is that it's not really focused on any kind of battle at all. Rather, it's a slice-of-life comedy.
The story takes place after the Grail Wars have finally ended and follows the main character, Shirou Emiya, who enjoys cooking for his family and friends. And that's it. No life or death conflict, no struggle between right and wrong, just cooking. Fate has nothing to do with it.
7 Yashahime Makes Inuyasha Fans Long For A Distant Past
Inuyasha is a classic fairytale story: teen girl, Kagome, falls into a well and is transported back in time when she falls in love with a half-demon, Inuyasha, and lives happily ever after. Yashahime is a spin-off of Inuyasha which follows Moroha, the daughter of Inuyasha and Kagome, as she adventures with Sesshomaru and Rin's twin daughters Higurashi and Setsuna.
Though the plot provides insight for fans into the lives of their favorite characters after the conclusion of the original, there's not much else to be desired. Yashahime was met with critical reviews and even received backlash over the relationship between Sesshomaru and Rin. If Inuyasha fans want to watch a good anime series, they'll have to dive into a well in hopes of traveling to the past.
6 There's Not Much In The Cards For Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal
When it comes to weird anime hair, no one does it better — or weirder —, than Yu-Gi-Oh!. However, the hairdos were taken to the next level in the fourth installment of the series, Yu-gi-oh! Zexal. The biggest complaint anime fans have about Zexal is its poor character development.
Many of the characters seem like they have interesting backstories and motivations, but it all ends up a bit shallow. On a positive note, the "Number" monsters that were introduced in Zexal still remain some of the most effective cards in the Yu-gi-oh! trading card game.
5 Knights Of The Zodiac Remake Doesn't Do The Classic Justice
Saint Seiya is a classic anime created in 1986 by Masami Kurumada. The influence of Saint Seiya was vast. Legendary classics such as Gundam and Bleach were heavily inspired by Kurumada's art, according to their creators.
If there's one thing to take away from the new Netflix remake of Knights of Zodiac, it's this: anime production studios have a strange obsession with taking classic animes and turning them into CGI. Whatever the reasoning, fans can only hope that one day these companies realize that anime and CGI only work when conducted with a very nuanced approach.
4 Gundam Was Never Supposed To Be Cute
Gundam is a powerhouse anime franchise with over 50 TV series and the most popular plastic model characters in Japan. The popular show is a mecha anime based on giant military robots named mobile suit Gundam.
With the series' popularity and the adult themes that series creator Yoshiyuki "Kill 'em all" Tomino is known for, it was only a matter of time before a more kid-friendly spin-off was commissioned. Enter Superior Defender Gundam Force: armed with CGI visuals, chibi-style character designs, and enough cringe-worthy elements to keep traditional Gundam fans very far away.
3 Soul Eater Not! Is Soul Eater... But Not
Soul Eater Not! is set in the same world as the original series and features cameos of the main characters of Soul Eater, but other than that, it's completely different. In fact, this show is essentially an entirely different genre than Soul Eater. Whereas Soul Eater was full of exciting action with the occasional comedic element, Soul Eater Not! is a comedy with some action sprinkled in.
The story follows three freshman girls attending the Death Weapon Meister Academy. Instead of hunting for souls as in the original series, the protagonists this time around are hunting for friends. Anyone watching Soul Eater Not! expecting a direct ancestor to the original will be sorely disappointed.
2 Crystal Sails Off Into The Sunset
Sailor Moon Crystal is a revamp of the highly successful original Sailor Moon anime released in the 1990s. Crystal sported updated visuals, CGI sequences, and more mature-looking characters. Unfortunately, it didn't make as much of an impact as its original.
One of the interesting things about Crystal is that it actually follows the story from the manga much more closely. This seems to have been a non-factor for most fans of the series who still held onto the nostalgic feel of the '90s original. In fact, for many fans, the changes made in the original anime were actually improvements.
1 Berserk 2016's CGI Drives Fans Berserk
A cult classic, Berserk is often hailed by fans as one of the greatest manga ever made due to its dark tone and beautifully composed artwork. The anime adaption released in 1997 did not disappoint in converting the manga's eerie atmosphere and violent slash-em-up action to the screen.
Because of the franchise's strong history, fans met the release of its 2016 remake with high hopes and even higher expectations. Unfortunately, it was a huge mess. The CGI visuals in the remake did nothing to preserve the art style that fans had come to associate with the series. This is just another example of when a good series would have been better off left alone.
NEXT: 10 Terrible Shonen Anime Fans Grew To Love