I’ve been reading manga for about 12 months now, and in that time I’ve noticed that sometimes a series I was enjoying will end super abruptly or will simply stop updating, and it’ll be months before I remember it and wonder what happened. Through idle curiosity, I’m learning about the manga industry and how things can just go away on a publisher’s whim.
It’s been an interesting experience, and one that’s given me insight into the community’s pain over losing series. And as someone who still feels relatively new to the game of anime/manga and writing about it, I thought I’d list a bunch of series I was enjoying that ended in ways I felt were kind of abrupt.
And you’ll most likely notice that I seem to gravitate towards a totally different kind of manga than I do when it comes to anime. I don’t know why this is, but please don’t judge me. I guess I’m a hopeless romantic deep down or something.
Dignified Asleep Saeki
Pure fluff and wholesome hijinks. This series follows Saeki and her never ending quest to sleep as often as possible while not getting found out, accompanied by her enabler Tokimiya. The manga is bright, cute and doesn’t get bogged down by any drama, it’s just chapter after chapter of Saeki coming up with weirder ways of getting away with sleeping during school and Tokimiya’s efforts to prevent her from getting caught by anyone.
Outside of the super cute artwork, the series just bright and wholesome. The romance aspect of the series is more subtext than the focus, although it still took me by surprise when the final chapter came out and ended the series in a status quo re-establishing mirroring of the first chapter.
From what I understand, the mangaka was given a deadline to finish the manga, but the ending still kind of felt like it came out of nowhere. It’s 49 chapters of great art, maximum cuteness all with a silly, low-key premise. The only thing I do lament is that the romance aspect of it never really get off the ground, but maybe that was never the point.
One’s an anti-social bookworm posing as a delinquent, while the other is a delinquent trying to be an honour student, and they manage to discover one another’s secret on the first day of High School. This was a fun one, with a cute art style. Mostly following Rokujo and his obsessive desire to be left alone by everyone. He choses to do this by dressing up as a delinquent to scare people away.
Unluckily for him, he manages to reveal himself to the very delinquent he based his look off of, now Motoki (who is doing a terrible job of being a bookworm type herself) and won’t leave him alone and he’s dragged into the very thing he was trying to avoid: social interaction.
I liked this silly manga quite a bit to be honest, the simplistic, minimal art-style worked for it and Motoki’s perpetual enthusiasm stopped Rokuji’s gloom from dragging it down. Sadly, the series only lasted 20 chapters before getting axed. While the series did get a two chapter ending, it felt super abrupt, outing the pair to the other two major side characters introduced before giving it a status quo reestablishing final page.
One in which we get the equivalent of Rokuji shrugging and thinking, this ain’t so bad. Consequently, there was never any time for the characters to really go and change in the chapters we got. I would have liked to see a slow build to both characters growing and becoming more rounded people, finding a middle ground between the two extremes of their original personalities and what they were masquerading as, but sadly, it was never meant to be.
Shaakuna kanojo no ryouiki (Territory of a Shark Girl)
I feel like I’ve seen this exact plot show up in at least three other manga besides this one. A unassuming high school guy encounters an intimidating female classmate, only to quickly learn that they’re a sweet and caring person under the surface, awkward high school romance ensues.
Samejima is typical of this archetype to a see, although doesn’t seem to be a delinquent herself, the tough life she leads as the mother figure to her siblings leaves her tired, irritable and no-nonsense to most situations. So most chapters are a combination of misunderstandings and the protag going from feeling scared of her to being in love with her. I would not be shocked if you’ve also read at least two or three manga with this same plot.
I guess publishers felt the same way because this one only made it through eight chapters before it was straight up cancelled, ending before it could really get any momentum. These types of stores I’ve read in the past have a tendency to spin their wheels and end up losing the premise that got them going in the first place. And there’s no guarantee that this would have just happened this manga also.
But I’ll guess we’ll never know now. And really, the only reason I like it so much was Samejima’s very striking design that made her look like a cross between a shark and anime Morticia Addams. A cool/cute female main character can only take a series so far, but the potential for not knowing where it would have gone can sometimes feel worse than a series dragging its feet endlessly with no progress.
I’m looking at you Amino megumi wa suki Darake
Omaera Zenin Mendokusai! (You’re all annoying!)
I’ve got mixed feelings on the student/teacher romance manga out there. They range from incredibly cute to downright creepy. But the more I think about this manga, the more I come to realise that the harem all falling in love with the same teacher wasn’t really the point of it by the time it ended.
The point was Kazumiya; the weird labcoat wearing, pigtailed girl putting herself out there and making friends after starting the series as a total loner with an obsession with her sensei. Literally, her line in the first chapter being “until I make some friends, be my friend sensei”. For the most part, the manga is light, fluffy and harmless, and when it did end at 50 chapters, I can’t help but feel like it snuck up on me, realising it ended only when I went back to see if there had been any updates.
The romance aspect of the story never fully resolves, except for the teacher admitting he’s developed feelings for Kazumiya, but then never acting on them because that would be weird and illegal. However, the final page does imply that they may get together when they reconnect years later.
For how much of an emphasis there was put on the romance harem aspect of the his series, how it ended felt rather abrupt, especially considering it didn’t conclude the romance subplots that were doing most of the heavy lifting throughout the narrative. Once again though, the focus may have really been about Kazumiya connecting to girls her own age and getting more out of her school days.
Himari no Mawari
This one grabbed me right away for being incredibly cute, unfortunately, it was just as equally shallow. Himari and Haruki are two high schoolers thrown to live together when their single parents get married and bugger off overseas without them. Haruki is a dullard whose motto is all about being as efficient as possible, while Himari is a little bundle of adorable energy.
While there is some romantic tension between the siblings in the beginning, that’s not really what this one was about, like the previous entry, it was more about Himari being a lonely girl who moves to a new place and makes a bunch of connections. There were a bunch of plot threads that started to get rolling; a yuri plotline between Himari and Haruki’s childhood friend and a romance between Haruki himself and one of his classmates. In the end though, it was all pretty uninspired.
I couldn’t help but enjoy it for the art alone though.
If not for the incredibly cute character designs, surely this would have fallen off my radar before it even got going. But in the end, the series ends abruptly with yet another status-quo reestablishing chapter, summing up all the character’s and their relationships with one another before saying bye. In the end Himari was happy because she made some friends.
Yeah, there is a real pattern with the manga here. But what can I say, I tend to go to manga as something to counterbalance the hell house that is reading Twitter. Something I can look at to make me smile and forget everything else for a few minutes.
I liked all of these manga quite a lot, it’s too bad they all got cut short when they did. A lack of a conclusive ending to a story can be really frustrating for readers. There’s a lot of debate about how important endings are to a story, especially considering that they’re only a very small part of the overall experience. I find myself leaning more in the direction of an ending needing to be satisfying, as it’s the parting shot that’ll determine a decent portion of how you’re feeling towards a story when you walk away from it.
All of these series ended sooner than they were probably intended, thus it’s difficult to blame anyone for them leaving themselves open ended and without a satisfying resolution in most cases. A lot of the time, we confuse romantic resolution with character resolution, just because two characters don’t end up together doesn’t always mean that was the point of the story.