Anime often features intricately woven stories filled with character detail and backstory. The complexities of these shows make it hard to forgive anime plot holes, which feel like glaring snags in delicately detailed stories. On rare occasions, series can be incredible enough to overlook any plot holes, but most of the time no misstep is excusable.
While it’s sometimes painful to notice continuity errors and loose ends, it’s also nice to know you’re not the only one who had questions about why Mitsuha and Taki didn’t ever see anything with a date on it in Your Name, or why there were no consequences after the moon was destroyed in Assassination Classroom.
If a child’s body houses a volatile monster capable of destroying villages – and almost did with one – wouldn’t it make sense to take extra special care of that child? If the child has a named, living godfather, wouldn’t it make sense for him to have guardians?
Apparently not! Inexplicably, Naruto grows up in total isolation. Jiraiya acts like his promise to Minato and Kushina didn’t exist, and the government sets baby Naruto up in an apartment. The secret service occasionally checks in on him, which is deemed enough supervision for a potentially deadly child.
This kind of extreme isolation would cause more than just sadness – it would severely damage Naruto’s development. It is developmentally impossible for a child to grow up in complete isolation and turn out as socially cognizant as Naruto.
In Assassination Classroom, a massive monster resembling an octopus destroys the moon, which many view as a sign of impending doom for Earth. But the world would have bigger issues than dealing with Korosensei’s promise to destroy the planet.
If something obliterated 75% of the moon, chances are good all that loose Moon mass would find its way to Earth in a fiery manner.
Even if all the pieces remained in space, the orbiting chunks, especially larger ones, would cause massive tsunamis and life-altering shifts in our day/night cycle and tides. Thousands of species would go extinct, eradicating major food sources and putting a giant kink in nearly every ecological food chain.
Mitsuha and Taki spend a large chunk of Your Name switching bodies, trying to maintain each other’s lives until they get back to their own. Audiences later discover Mitsuha’s timeline takes place three years before Taki’s; Mitsuha died when a meteor struck her town.
While this is an inventive premise, it falls apart when you realize there’s no way Mitsuha and Taki could possibly have gone all that time without realizing they were in the wrong year.
Both of them had cell phones that display the date. Both had access to the internet and TV. They both attended school, and there is no way they didn’t have to write the date on at least one assignment or see it on the board.
Taki had a job, which means he had to deal with a schedule and most likely received paychecks on a biweekly basis. There’s absolutely no way this glaring detail escaped both of them.
Yu-Gi-Oh! is known for its plot holes (often an indirect consequence of dubbing), but this particular one is egregious. In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, a large group of high school students goes missing with no explanation. Among them is Fubuki Tenjōin, known in the dub as Atticus Rhodes. Even though her brother is still actively missing, Fubuki’s younger sister Asuka (Alexis) begins attending school.
Why on Earth would the Tenjōins send their remaining child to the school that lost their son? It could make sense if Asuka were there to find Fubuki, but she’s just there to learn stuff.
Also, why is this whole missing kids thing new to all the students, including Shou (Syrus), whose brother was close friends with Fubuki? Expecting logic from Yu-Gi-Oh! is like expecting it to snow in the dead of summer, but this is especially confusing.
Early in Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, Jinta is the only one able to see the ghost Menma. This is a huge conflict, but it has hundreds of simple solutions.
Menma could write something, take a bite of food, or do anything in the physical world to call attention to her presence. Menma is a child, so it’s sort of understandable why she didn’t think of this resolution, but how it never occurs to Jinta (or anyone else) is confusing at best.
The end of Angel Beats left audiences stunned when they learned Kanade received Otonashi’s donated heart after he died in an accident. It’s easy to get swept up in the sentimental moment, but once the emotional ride is over, viewers realized it didn’t make any sense. Kanade makes it to the Afterlife before Otonashi, which implies she died before him.
Kanade is also a teenager in a realm inhabited solely by people who passed away as adolescents. This makes her claim about how Otonashi returned her youth even more confusing. Even if the timing of their deaths were chronologically correct, this gift still wouldn’t make sense.
Humans can only see a Shinigami if they’ve touched the notebook belonging to that particular Shinigami; this is why Light’s able to initially see Ryuk but not Rem.
But Light still shouldn’t be able to see Ryuk. Ryuk may have dropped the notebook Light picked up, but the notebook never belonged to Ryuk in the first place—it was Shidoh’s. Audiences learn this when Mellow touches the notebook and is then able to see Sidoh. This means Light shouldn’t be able to interact with Ryuk in any capacity.
This story flub feels easy to overlook because by the time viewers learn about Sidoh, Ryuk and Light’s dynamic is already well-established. It’s hard to keep track of all the balls this complicated show throws up in the air, but this one feels like a fairly obvious slip.
When Raditz and Goku first meet, Raditz says a meteor blew up Planet Vegeta three years prior. While it’s understandable Raditz doesn’t know it was actually Frieza who destroyed his home planet, it’s not clear why he is off by so many years.
Frieza obliterated Planet Vegeta the day Goku crash-landed on Earth, and since he’s a married adult with a four-year-old son when he meets Raditz, he’s definitely a lot older than three. How did Raditz get the timing so incredibly wrong? It’s a mystery Dragon Ball’s creators never resolved.
In Fruits Basket, the zodiac curse lifts after Akito realizes they don’t have to stay by their family’s side constantly. Once Akito shakes off the toxic emotional shackles of their past, the isolating curse dissipates. As beautiful as this is thematically, there’s a big problem: the curse has existed for multiple generations.
There’s no reason for everyone born into the god position to prevent their family from leading normal lives. If a person in the god position could simply vanquish the curse, why didn’t they do so earlier?
Why wouldn’t the first generation squash this before the curse created a toxic familial pattern? If nothing else, why didn’t Akito’s father, a known god supposedly adored by his family, do it?
It makes no sense that all Akito had to do was will away the curse. It makes the finale a lot less emotionally resonant than it could have been
Orange is a touching story of a young girl named Naho who receives letters from her future self that give her advice on how to prevent her friend Kakeru from committing suicide. Naho saves Kakeru from himself and it’s all very sweet until viewers notice the flagrant time-traveling faux pas.
In the future where Kakeru lives, Naho pursues a romantic relationship with him. In the future where Kakeru dies, Naho marries her other close friend Suwa, and they have a baby.
While the series spends some time on adult Naho lamenting the loss of her potential relationship with Suwa, she doesn’t consider the fact that her infant child – who is probably among the most important parts of her current life – will cease to exist if she sends these letters in an attempt to change the past.
Teenage Naho might not care about this – she’s never met this future baby, and she’s building her future from the ground up – but for adult Naho, sending out letters that will erase the baby she’s holding in her arms is a huge deal; far too big not one that the series to reasonably ignore.
This particular plot hole doesn’t have a huge impact on the overall story, but it’s still hard to ignore. At one point during the series, Vegeta claims full-blooded Saiyans stop growing hair when they reach maturity.
Somehow, Goku and Vegeta sport beards and mustaches later on. Goku also cuts off pieces of his hair that grow back. Either Vegeta was telling a really weird lie for no reason, or the creators forgot this hairy detail.
When the children first meet their partner Digimon, the creatures have been waiting on File Island for quite a long time. They were hanging out in their defenseless baby forms, which they can’t evolve past without the help of their human counterparts.
But File Island is rife with danger. Within a few minutes of meeting the kids, the group is attacked by multiple monsters. There are also far more nefarious forces who likely know where these Digimon are, and logically, they would have taken the opportunity to off the baby Digimon before they grew strong enough to defeat them.
The fact the baby Digimon survived long enough to meet their human partners is a miracle—an inexplicable one at that.
The plot of Puella Magi Madoka Magica revolves around a trickster monster called Kyuubey. He grants girls’ wishes, and in exchange, they sign contracts to become Puella Magi, or witch hunters.
The weird thing is Kyuubey doesn’t have to bother with the whole wishes thing. Canon repeatedly emphasizes how little Kyuubey cares about morality or human life, so why bother getting the girls to agree to becoming magical girls instead of just forcing them to do it? He has the strength to do so, but instead opts to make the girls jump through contractual hoops.