I recently finished the Imagawa-directed 2004 anime adaptation of Tetsujin 28, and knowing that Imagawa played around with a lot of the existing material the source manga by Yokoyama had to offer, I began to wonder just how the original manga ended. I could not find any information on how Tetsujin 28‘s manga ended. So I thought, hey, I’ll start researching on Japanese sites, but then I stopped myself for a second and had to ask, why is it that there is so little information on how Tetsujin 28 ends? Or for that matter, something like Tetsuwan Atom?
I do know that Tezuka tried to end Atom a number of times and was forced to bring his most famous character back every time, and that Tetsujin‘s original manga isn’t exactly the most serious and serial of stories. And it’s one thing if something said, “This story never ended,” or “This story just kind of tapers off,” or even, “This story has a non-ending.” But there isn’t even that little. And I’m not condemning anime fans or anime researchers for ignoring this. It’s just that I find it incredibly odd that, despite Tezuka and Yokoyama being such big deals, somehow this information is not common knowledge, especially in this age where it’s difficult to go down two websites without tripping over ending spoilers.
Anyway, once I’ve found out this information, I’ll be glad to share it.
Ever since Shin Mazinger, I’ve noticed that it’s been getting harder and harder to find anime openings and endings on Youtube. Oddly enough however, the song uploads themselves on Youtube go relatively unchecked.
What gives? I mean, I know the anime companies are getting more concerned about protecting their properties and preventing piracy, but I feel like having the openings on Youtube were some of the best ways to get people to notice shows both new and old. Why can’t fans keep their minute and thirty seconds of Durarara! opening from getting removed? It’s not like they’re entire episodes or even clips from the actual episodes themselves! There, I could see their point of contention, but I feel like this is different. I just want to show someone how cool an opening is without having them load the stream for an entire episode on Crunchyroll. Heck, they even do it for some decades-old shows! I’m tiring of this ham-fisted approach.
Basically, if companies are taking openings off of Youtube, I at the very least would like them to upload it themselves so that we may continue to enjoy it and they can continue to send copyright violation letters.
In a previous post I made here on Ogiue Maniax, I talked about how as a child I was amazed when cartoons I watched had actual endings or resolutions or at least something resembling a good stopping point, and I specified Conan the Adventurer as one such show. Then, I found out that another show I loved as a kid, Dino-Riders, also had an “ending” of sorts, and then I found out both of these final episodes are on Youtube!
Conan the Adventurer: A Serpent Coils the Earth
Dino-Riders: One to Lead Us
Now I know for many anime watchers, having an ending is not that special. Most anime and manga end at some point, and even the ones that run forever try to come up with some kind of conclusion. Take a look at To Love-Ru, which just ended rather abruptly recently. Even it had a chance to squeeze out a final chapter to give the story a tiny bit of closure. But with cartoons like the ones above, most would just stop running and that was it.
I’m not going to say those cartoons were perfect in any way, but I appreciate that they got the opportunity to do something at the end, to go out with a bang.
Looking back at the anime that concluded in Winter of 2009, I have to say that I was quite satisfied with how all of the shows I watched had finished. I did not watch every anime that came out, but out of those I did, I felt there was a general trend of decent to great endings.
A funny thing about anime is that it has the reputation of giving the viewer incredibly good endings and incredibly bad ones, and often times fans can’t even agree on which endings are which. I could come up with a variety of hypotheses as to why people so vehemently disagree on the quality of certain conclusions (or lack thereof), but it really all comes down to personal experience, personal experience that says, for example, whether wrapping everything up by the end is a Good Thing, or if it would be better to leave some things open or to the imagination.
I think the mixed reputation for Anime Endings has very much to do with anime shows actually ending in the first place. I’m not saying this is a good or bad thing, but one of the oft-touted qualities of anime that got fans choosing it over cartoons and TV shows in their own countries was that anime tended to have endings which built upon events which occurred in previous episodes. Of course, as the general level of writing in TV shows has improved over the years there’s less of a discrepancy, but anime seems to rarely get canned outright with no warning to the writers and staff the way American TV shows do. The trend instead seems to be that if a show is getting canceled, the anime staff is told in advance so that they may try to cobble together something to finish the series off with, be it a cliffhanger ending or even the Ideon TV series’ Narrator Exposition Ending (it has to be seen to truly be experienced).
What makes a good ending? Something that says your viewing experience was worthwhile.