Anime is a platform that has enabled some of the greatest stories in history to be told, but it also has been the platform that gave birth to some of the worst stories imaginable.
The title of “worst anime ever” is something that is often thrown around as hyperbole when describing a bad anime, but thanks to anime rating websites like My Anime List one can easily find out what is currently the worst anime series in history.
Objectively the lowest ranking anime series that is currently out is Mori no Yousei Kinoko no Musume having a score of 3.27 out of 10.
The anime is an educational, slice of life, completely CGI anime about fairies and it is chocked full of issues that confirm its place as the worst anime ever.
The biggest problems with the series lie within the plot/characters and the overwhelmingly poor production quality, which from the first to the last episode are even worse than one can imagine.
The biggest issue with Mori no Yousei Kinoko no Musume’s story is that it has little to no plot leaving the viewer watching a show with no real point to it.
The anime follows a group of fairies called “anime-chans” as they explore Japanese customs and traditions, but also get into wacky situations within the fairy realm.
The concept of having characters teach the audience things by having them learn stuff themselves is not all that different from other educational anime like that of Yuru Camp, but the show’s execution is extremely flawed.
A host is there explaining everything to the fairies and the viewers is supposed to just sit there and listen, this makes the anime feel more like a school lesson rather than a piece of entertainment.
When other characters do get a chance to speak the dialogue is written in an almost improvised way with characters saying random lines for the sake of just saying something.
In one episode, the fairies gather around and play a round of charades and the dialogue so random that it makes it seem like the producers let the voice actors say whatever they wanted.
The lack of a clear direction makes for terrible lazy dialogue that does nothing to progress what little story the anime has.
The characters also do not add anything to the story and are devoid of any real personality which is ironic considering the first episode has the narrator literally state their personality traits.
All of the characters are fairies living in the realm and each have their own powers which sounds interesting, but in actuality, they hardly acknowledge their powers and use them for what the show believes to be “comedic effect”.
Even when new characters were introduced, they did little to help the show oftentimes they weren’t even seen after the episode they were introduced in.
The first half of the series is complete madness with no overarching plot and random storylines ranging from the fairies playing a game of rock paper scissors to one of them turning into curry and having the other fairies compete in a curry eating competition to turn her back to normal.
At least the latter half of the series follows a plot of some kind with the fairies reenacting old Japanese folktales.
With the series having no real plot being utilized until the 14th episode it just goes to show how poor the direction was.
If terrible plot and characters weren’t enough, Mori no Yousei Kinoko no Musume’s production quality is extremely poor and makes it seem like it was created by a team of amateurs for fun, rather than it being something that was broadcasted to millions across Japan.
The anime is fully CGI and incorporates a chibi style to most of its characters, the mixture of the two makes the series seem like it was created out of premade assets from a failed video game.
The animation aspect of the show is atrocious as characters barely move at all with only maybe 1- or 2-characters max moving in a scene. When characters do move, they do it in choppy motions, that make no sense like a character moving their head to the left when they are talking or bending their body and arms awkwardly to look down.
The overall look of the series is incredibly inconsistent, at times everything fits the chibi fairy aesthetic with bright colors, and then towards the end of the series when they are reenacting folktales, they use realistic models of animals and boats which severely contrast the chibi aesthetic.
Conflicting art styles and terrible animation are not the only production issues since for most of the series the audio was horrendous, at times it seemed like the voice actors were recording from their own closets.
A clear example of the audio problems can be heard within the very first episode as all the fairies have this slight echo to their voice.
The sound effects used for the series are way too loud compared to anything else and seem to be generic sound effects they purchased online.
The music used carried a generic J-pop sound making it seem like they got it from a music library instead of having it be composed for the show.
The overall production quality of the show makes it feel like it had the budget of a fan creation rather than it being a full-fledged anime produced by not one but two established anime producers Tokyo Mx and Showgate.
Is it worth watching?
The saying “It’s so bad its good” is something that does not fit Mori no Yousei Kinoko no Musume’s at all this anime is poor in every aspect one can think of, but should you give it a chance?
The anime was created with a target audience of children which explains a lot of its faults including the lack of a coherent story.
A lot of young children have a terrible attention span and thus having deep plot lines would go right over their heads but being a children’s show does not excuse the anime from all of its glaring flaws.
The use of bright colors and the chibi art style is meant to distract children from the terrible animation quality, but these aspects are so poor that even children would notice how low quality the show is.
The quality of the series does pick up in the latter half and fixies some of the major issues like the terrible sound quality but other issues like the poor animation are never resolved.
The lowest-ranked anime in history is something that completely deserves its ranking and is something one should only really watch if they want to say that they officially watched the worst anime ever.