Crafting a good ending is extremely difficult. You need to tie everything together to give the audience something that feels satisfying, or if it’s not meant to be satisfying, at least something that impacts them and makes them think. As a writer, it’s hard to juggle all those different plot threads and thematic elements you’ve been building up and make a conclusion out of them. You need an ending that readers will anticipate and look forward to on a rewatch and an an ending that will make them feel something, even if that something is sadness.
Some sci-fi and fantasy animated works fall short. Some do it so spectacularly that it taints the rest of the story. But some show up how endings should be done. Some give us all the feelings and can be remembered as something that just worked for the series. Let’s talk about some of these endings.
Obviously, this is a pretty subjective list. These are endings of shows that I found to be memorable and solid for reasons I’ll outline. If I missed an ending, it’s because I felt it fell a little (or a lot) short- not necessarily because I thought it was terrible. Or it’s because I haven’t seen the series.
I’m also doing endings that both felt and were meant to be conclusive. Even if a series ended on a great episode, if it wasn’t clearly intended to be “the finale” and didn’t feel like a stopping place, it’s not going to be on the list. But that still leaves plenty of endings, so let’s get down to business! There be spoilers ahead, obviously, so proceed with caution.