Hey dudes, dudettes, and non-conforming dudes! It’s that time of the month again (no, not that time of the month). It’s the time of the month where I realize nothing has been posted in a while because my colleagues are lazy. So even though I have mounds of work on my plate for the next 10 days due to my impending graduation, I still feel the need to fill the void that we keep managing to leave. With that, let’s get to it.
Every anime season certain shows tend to garner more attention than others. I feel like that statement is fairly obvious, but it’s true nonetheless. Sometimes it’s due to good advertising, sometimes it’s due to good production value, sometimes it’s due to certain personnel having to do with the series in question, and other times shows gain popularity just because they look to be a solid concept. Now, this is by no means a bad thing. I love how the added publicity of some shows get fans excited and pumped for upcoming seasons and it keeps us invested in our favorite entertainment medium. However, while some shows end up being more than deserving of the immense praise that they acquire (e.g. One Punch Man and Death Parade), some either do not deserve as much praise as they have received or gain such obnoxious amounts of publicity that it’s suffocating. Some may even say that these series are overrated.
So if you haven’t guessed by now, this will be a list of the top 10 anime series that I believe to be the most overrated, either because I don’t believe that they live up to the pedestal that others seem to put them on or because I believe that they garnered so much attention that they overshadowed literally every other series for a while. Keep in mind that these shows are only from the shows that I have currently finished. I can’t properly say a series is overrated solely based on the opinions of others. Also, just because a series is on this list doesn’t mean I didn’t think it was good. Actually, I think more than half of the shows on this list are good and should be watched by most people. However, that doesn’t stop me from thinking that they’re heavily over-praised. Last but not least, this is my own list. I know a lot of people will adamantly disagree with me which is perfectly fine. I would love to see which shows you think are overrated and which shows you think I have that don’t belong on this list. Now let’s get going!
10.) Attack on Titan
What a way to start this list off. Some of you may want to claw out my throat, but hear me out. AoT is not a bad series by any stretch of the imagination. To be honest, I enjoyed this series immensely and I believe it was executed remarkably well. However, this was one of the shows I was referencing when I said that some shows absorbed so much attention and mainstream success that it basically dominated the entire anime market. Now while I love the idea of anime getting mainstream attention, I hated the fact that almost the rest of anime was put into a back seat. All that anybody could talk about was AoT and it seemed like everyone forgot that any other series existed. As much as I enjoyed AoT and as much as I believe that it deserved a substantial portion of the fame it gained, I didn’t like how it monopolized the industry for a couple years and that’s why it makes it on this list.
9.) Sword Art Online
Remember when I said I liked AoT and a majority of the shows on this list. Well…SAO isn’t one of them. While the series looked spectacular, the soundtrack was beautiful, and the romance was actually handled fairly well all things considered, I felt there was so much more wrong with the series. In my opinion, the side characters were completely mishandled, Kirito is an atrocious main hero, there were too many ass-pulls that defied my suspension of disbelief, and the entire second half was poorly written, made no sense in the grand scheme of things, was unnecessary, and served no real purpose other than to make me angry. In spite of all of these issues that I perceived, the series in question was praised to Heaven and back and I just couldn’t get behind the hype at all. Was it enjoyable at some points? Yeah. But did it deserve the dominance and influence it had over the industry and the unfathomable popularity it gained? No fuckin’ way. This series would probably make it even higher on my list if it wasn’t for the fact that it receives almost equal amounts of hate nowadays. Luckily for all you SAO fans out there, I dislike the next series even more.
8.) Guilty Crown
Guilty Crown had so much potential. Actually, the first 8 episodes or so were surprisingly well done. But it just fell flat on its face from thereon out. To repeat what I said in the last paragraph, it looked gorgeous and the soundtrack is one of the best anime soundtracks I’ve heard up until now. The plot was also pretty interesting. However, the plot got so caught up in trying to keep the audience guessing by throwing curve ball after curve ball that it stopped making coherent sense by the middle. This led to me thinking that the ending seemed rushed and only served to give Inori an actual purpose for being in the series. The worst thing about the series was Shu. You will find Shu planted firmly at the top of my “most hated anime characters” list once I get around to making it. Now, I’ve seen residents of the internet praise this series for being a complex mind game with innovative writing and having an epic and climactic ending. As glad as I am to see that some people liked this series, I personally think all of that is a load of horse shit and that Guilty Crown has made its way onto one too many “best anime” lists.
7.) Fairy Tail
Let me get this out the way first: I really love Fairy Tail. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine and I believe it to be my bastard child because it’s the first anime series I ever finished on my own. As much as I hate to rag on my own child, some shit has to be said. Fairy Tail is pretty damn overrated in my book, as I believe all long-running shounen shows to be. Although the characters are well fleshed-out, the side cast is enjoyable, some of the arcs are great, and it has the single best overall soundtrack in anime (fight me), there is a lot wrong with it. Like other shounen, it likes to forget relevant plot points from previous arcs, some arcs are way weaker than others, there is a gratuitous amount of fanservice and filler episodes, and I believe the art style got worse with the 2014 version. That and everyone knows that Natsu will win in the end (probably through some stupid means), no matter how opposing the adversary. Regardless, this anime has gathered a considerable fan base that likes to lift it above everything else just because it’s their favorite shounen and somehow are able to ignore all of its shortcomings. Even though I adore this show, I have to be able to point out its flaws. And to cap things off, I feel that all long-running shounen are overrated in general, no matter how beloved they are. But I can’t just put an entire genre on this list.
Why is this series praised so much by people? Sure, the art is fuckin’ phenomenal with some of the best death scenes ever conceived, the hysteria was well portrayed, and the ending successfully threw me for a loop. However, the plot tended to run dry at times while also not being adequately explained, the characters were bland and awful and couldn’t keep me interested, and they even managed to work in an awkward dance number and a beach episode into a 13-episode horror series. Moreover, I know people say how great of a character Mei Misaki is, but the emotionless characters aren’t my cup of tea so even she couldn’t save the series for me. I’ve seen this series stated as being the best horror anime ever on numerous occasions and how it’s plot is mysterious and keeps you guessing. If you want a horror series with a plot that keeps you guessing, watch Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni. In my book, that series is Another with a more intriguing plot line, mush stronger characters, and storytelling that is 100 times better. As much as others seem to praise this series for being the best horror anime around, I just have to disagree.
From here on out, know that I like all of the shows that I will be critiquing.
This series is one that I can’t completely put my finger on why I think it’s overrated. Believe me when I say that this series was one Hell of a fun ride. The animation is stellar, it has one of the best English dubs in anime, the action sequences are dope as Hell, and it has one of the best villains in anime with Montana Max (AKA The Major). Even though it has all of this, I just couldn’t get behind it in its entirety. I could only stomach about two episodes a day because I got bored with it. This may be because, while badass, the characters are all undeniably one-dimensional and lack a lot of depth. The plot is also painfully linear and shallow. Now this doesn’t automatically spell out disaster for a series…I mean, look at JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. That series is also painfully linear and comes paired with a ridiculous plot. But I think it’s the fact that Hellsing lacks a lot of the charm and self-awareness that shows like JoJo have. While friends of mine and denizens of the internet like to claim how amazing this series in based on Alucard and the action alone, I just can’t do the same.
4.) Monogatari Series
This is arguably the most controversial title on this list and for several reasons. Besides the fact that I know it has a huge fan base that will probably kill me, I’m also putting an entire franchise at this spot rather than a singular series. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Monogatari series is an extremely innovative, original, and enjoyable series with some of the most beautiful and unique art that I’ve seen in anime. The dialogue is also masterfully written at most points. But to me, the Monogatari series is the anime equivalent of your friend bringing you to their favorite restaurant: They hype it up to high heaven and when you start eating the food, you just can’t get as hyped as your friend. Sure, it’s really good…but it’s not the best thing in the world. Along with some friends (specifically Addmanrcace), I’ve seen a plethora of anime fans on the internet heralding this franchise as the best anime franchise ever and while I do think it’s very good, I don’t think it’s that good. Maybe it’s because I think there’s an excessive amount of fan-pandering or maybe it’s because the installments can be a slow burn at times. I’m not 100% sure what I dislike about this franchise as a whole. All I know is that I don’t think it’s the crown jewel of the anime world.
3.) No Game No Life
Unlike the last two shows, I can actually tell you why I’m not the biggest fan of No Game No Life. The concept of entering a fantasy video game world was even a little tired by the time this series aired and I was a little fed up with seeing it done again even it did put its own spin on things. The fanservice was not only excessive in my perspective, but completely unnecessary. The open ending was also a gigantic turn-off. Don’t get me wrong, this series was pretty good. Following the logic jumps of the two main characters was a great source of entertainment that resembled if Death Note met Log Horizon and the characters, while being archetypal, somehow worked and still managed to be enjoyable. Plus, the world-building was pretty stellar. However, this show just wasn’t as enjoyable to me as all of the hype surrounding it in 2014 had led me to believe. It was good, but it wasn’t amazing.
2.) Angel Beats!
I won’t lie. Angel Beats! was one of my favorite shows at one point. I understand why that was, too. The comedic portions of the series are nailed perfectly and the concept is an interesting one. Some of the character stories are genuinely heart-wrenching and superbly written and make for an enjoyable experience. This series also has a 5-star OP and some very emotional pieces in its soundtrack. However, I have to disagree with the many that I have seen claiming that this is one of the best-executed tear-jerkers in anime. While the story had endless potential, the execution was not very good to me. The pacing is some of the worst I’ve seen in anime and while some may like the suddenness of the tonal shift halfway through, I found it jarring. While the ending still ended up drawing some emotional tug from me, it was such a mess that I almost couldn’t completely understand why I was feeling bad. The side characters also get next to no development and end up disappearing one by one with no proper sendoff. In spite of all this criticism, this series is very close to my heart. However, that doesn’t stop me from feeling that it is overrated.
1.) Kill La Kill
Ready the guns, men!
Ok, let me state this first: I like Kill La Kill. It’s a fun series with some great animation, a bomb-ass soundtrack, some of the most lovable characters in anime, and a great conclusion. But did Kill La Kill truly save anime? No. Did anime need to be saved? That’s debatable, but it’s not like a singular show could save an entire industry in the first place. To be brutal, I thought that Kill La Kill had a lot of padding in the middle disguised as episodes and I thought the series was trying way to hard. It’s a goofy show with a serious plot line and I believe that’s where it screwed up a bit. I think it was wanting to be Gurren Lagann* 2.0 and only partially succeeded. I know this has been said before, but I really think that Kill La Kill should’ve been a 13-episode series because it honestly lost my attention with all of the nonsense in the middle that had barely anything to do with the overarching plot. I wanted so desperately for this series to be the greatest thing ever conceived. But unlike a lot of the community, I just didn’t think it lived up to the near-unobtainable bar that it set for itself. Kill La Kill is a fun ride with some seriously positive assets, but it is not the best anime in existence like so many others claim it to be.
That’s the end of this list of my top 10 overrated anime series! I know that a large potion of people most likely disagreed with me to some extent and that I straight-up pissed off some others. So feel free to post which anime shows you think I got wrong or which shows you believe to be most overrated in the comments below. And with that…
Keep watching anime!