The most popular comic book characters have existed for decades, but their actual comic titles get revamped often. Manga series tend to run much longer. Some would argue that manga series run too long. Fan service, publisher intervention, or the inability to top previous arcs off can lead to longer-running series. Sometimes creators just succumb to hubris and extend a title long after all the quality narratives have dried up.
This issue can apply to many series, across the entire spectrum of manga. Even the most successful mangas like Dragon Ball or Tokyo Ghoul are not immune to unnecessary longevity. Sometimes less really is more, and shorter series can have a much more lasting impact than series that fans would say “ran for too long.” While it is an artistic medium, the manga industry is also a business that will continue to produce products as long as there are sales to be made.
10 Dragon Ball Should Have Stopped After Freiza
A lot of issues with Dragon Ball, post-Namek, involved ridiculous power-scaling, and characters began to lose value as the scales grew. Power escalation is problematic, and while Dragon Ball Super has been remedying some of this, a lot of it still sits as issues Dragon Ball has to acknowledge.
The only real bright side to post-Namek Dragon Ball is the shining moments that the Cell Saga and Buu Saga. Vegeta and Gohan experienced tremendous character arcs in those stories while Goku’s character hasn’t grown in years. Despite positive moments and memorable characters, the “DBZ” chapters of Dragon Ball feel extremely different from the world Toriyama originally built.
9 The Promised Neverland Peaked At The Farm Arc
The Promised Neverland had its issues towards the latter half of the series. The ending of the series was a bit disappointing. The issues began after the Farm Arc. The Farm Arc of Promised Neverland is brought up as one of the best opening arcs to a manga, as it truly is amazing.
The tension, the plot progression, and the twists make it an incredibly engaging and tense rollercoaster of an arc that is hard to not appreciate. However, as we stray further from the Farm and go beyond Goldy Pond, the series spirals into typical shounen clichés. The smart, tense battles of wit soon degrade into friendship-fueled battles with demons.
8 Beastars Had Nowhere To Go After The Mystery
Beastars felt like a series that didn’t have much to do when the central plot point concluded. Instead of refocusing on a singular plot, it seemed to stray a bit in several unfinished paths. The series and Legoshi seem to share the same confusion as the manga goes on.
The romance was the only thing Beastars did try to touch on, and even that was lackluster. There wasn’t much to say about its themes beyond “people are different.” There was hardly any focus on the actual Beastar concept as well. A series with a strong start like this one had so much wasted potential.
7 Boruto Is Just Naruto Fanfiction
Boruto, a direct follow-up to Naruto, cashed in on fanfiction ideas and nostalgia. The manga industry can sometimes be more focused on making money rather than making good narratives, and no magazine does that better than Weekly Shounen Jump.
Jump is by far the biggest name in manga, but it has had a history of pushing things on for profits. So, what does Jump do when one of their biggest series ends after 15 years, but the IP is still selling like wildfire in the forest of nostalgia? They create a follow-up series. Boruto continues Naruto’s legacy, but it’s incredibly unnecessary. Naruto’s journey was already so perfectly captured in his original series.
6 Terra Formars Has Been Serialized For A Decade
Many series have started and finished their stories in the last decade. But there is one manga that doesn’t want to wrap things up. Terra Formars was that big hit series in the mid 2010s about the humanoid cockroaches that lived on Mars. The first arc focused on the first team to encounter the roaches.
The second arc was about stopping the roaches. The basis for these two major arcs was simple, but then the roaches came down to Earth, started making babies with humans, and it kept going downhill from there. Terra Formars had some neat ideas, but the interesting premise ran out of steam once the series entered its later arcs.
5 Uzumaki Was Obnoxious For Many Readers
Uzumaki has a strong first volume. This seems to be the case for a few of Junji Ito’s stories, but they never seem like they needed to be prolonged. Uzumaki is an example of that, as the series just keeps repeating the same point, not adding to the narrative, but getting slightly more disturbing with its content.
And while the appeal can be nice for some, Uzumaki‘s gimmick starts to wear off as the story becomes more of a parody, especially with how the tone becomes more comical. The novelty wears off fairly quickly after the first few experiences with the spirals. Uzumaki was fine, but it suffers from Junji Ito’s format, which is unique but often busy and sporadic.
4 Billy Bat Had Nowhere To Go After Kevin Yamagata
Naoki Urasawa is one of manga’s most acclaimed names and for many good reasons. The love letter that is Pluto presents many extraordinary ideas and concepts, series like Monster are acclaimed as groundbreaking for the industry, and even Billy Bat was a golden egg in the first half of its run.
However, Billy Bat ran too long. Once the mystery was solved, the main arc was done, and the story got a new main character with a new plot, it came off as underwhelming compared to what was originally presented. It lost a lot of its footing in an attempt to wrap up a narrative that was completed several volumes earlier.
3 Btooom! Blew Itself Up Into Mediocrity
Btooom! was the typical survival battle royale manga. For many, it was the first experience one had to the genre, and it was solid in the beginning. Btooom!‘s story becomes more contrived as the story reaches its end.
For a monthly manga, the wait feels antagonizing, as the series just doesn’t want to end. The goal post is constantly moving, constantly tossing in more twists and elements, and refusing to properly conclude itself. Btooom!‘s premise was interesting, but nothing frustrates readers more than needlessly drawn out plot threads.
2 UQ Holder Shouldn’t Have Been A Negima Sequel
Mahou Sensei Negima is a nostalgic series for many, especially considering the boom of the internet and manga in the early 2010s. Despite the disjointed anime adaptation, fans of the manga stood by the series. Ken Akamatsu’s proved his ability to write a competent battle series with the harem trope in mind as well.
UQ Holder shouldn’t have been a sequel. UQ Holder could have easily been a love letter to Negima, taking place in the same universe, but having its own uniqueness and personality, which it had for the first half. The second half shoehorned as many Negima characters in as it could while fumbling the plot and disregarding most of the UQ Holder cast.
1 Tokyo Ghoul:re Was An Unnecessary Sequel
Tokyo Ghoul not only ended perfectly, but the series as a whole is considered one of the best manga of all time. Tokyo Ghoul:re released with a lot of promise and many interesting ideas. The Quinque Team was a logical evolution, and they had a lot of charm and character.
Issues began to pile up following the events of the Coachella Arc. The Quinque became less relevant to the plot, several dozen new characters were shoved in the audience’s face every new arc, and the plot became too contrived. Tokyo Ghoul may be considered a legendary manga, but its sequel had big shoes to fill and didn’t deliver.
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