Well, it’s time to completely sabotage my reputation. I’ve been wanting to write this post for quite some time now, but y’know, nerves and all. There’s always this fleeting feeling that someone might label me a hypocrite, a filthy plebeian, or worse yet, a hater. Yeah, sorry fellas, but I just couldn’t get into these anime. However, don’t get your knickers in a bunch. These are just opinions after all. And opinions, much like body mass, are different for every individual. I mean imagine a world where everybody had to conform to the same viewpoints. It’d be extremely dull and would defeat the whole idea of having an opinion, wouldn’t it? If you like these shows, good, more power to you. I just particularly couldn’t understand the sheer level of hype behind them.
Anyways, let’s get down to business shall we. Here are 10 anime that I think are fucking overrated!
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable.
I swear, this anime has a subtitle that sounds vaguely familiar to that of a Bond film. Diamond is Unbreakable… That’s like one step away from being “Diamonds are forever.” Anyways, JoJo suffers from the notion that it has no grasp of the concept known as “subtlety.” Characters blurt and point out things we as viewers already know about, monologues are performed every single minute, and folks react in overdramatic ways to even the most trivial of issues. The show is also unnecessarily violent and brutal at times, almost to the point of being classified as torture porn. There’s one moment early on, where a serial killer bites off the face of somebody’s dog and throws up all its blood into the owner’s mouth like a hose. Yeah, what the fuck? The show also has a knack for introducing batshit insane episodic villains, only to completely have them pull a 180 in terms of personality later as a futile attempt to redeem themselves. In one episode, a character would be shown gouging somebody’s eyes out, and in the next episode he’d then turn out to be best buds with the main protagonists. Err… as one of the main heroes, I wouldn’t feel comfortable having a former psychopathic killer as a friend. Asspulls are also overabundant in the JoJo series, but I feel it rears it ugly head even more in this part. There’s a scene where a character gets impaled through the chest and still manages to survive! Josuke’s stand power is a plot device in it of itself, pretty much in the sense that it can heal even the most severe of injuries. So technically someone can get his arm ripped off and have Crazy Diamond arrive just in time to repair it. It lessens a lot of the tension in the series, knowing that a lot of characters could be on the verge of death and still end up surviving. And don’t get me started on Bites the Dust.
Strangely enough, I was alright with this in the first few parts. Part 3 is quite possibly my favourite of the lot, but its also the most exploitative, violent, raunchy and dramatic. I’m guessing it has more to do with the notion that part 3 more or less dials all of these to 11, so it feels as if its parodying these elements instead of just playing them straight. That, and also, I view it as a complete parody of Fist of the North Star. Diamond just doesn’t have enough Oraoraora suffice it to say. Plus, characters in part 3 were written to be evil rather than just misunderstood, and the anime makes in clear that anyone, even the main heroes, could die at any unpredictable moment. There were almost no plot devices to challenge that belief, so I was on the edge of my seat the entire time during the final arc.
I was also going to add Kaiji to the list too, since it suffers from similar issues. However, I’ve barely even made it through six episodes of that crap, so it just feels kind of prejudicial and two-faced of me to just flat out trash it.
Bakemonogatari (and Nisemonogatari for that matter)
I can sorta get why people love this series to death, but I’ll admit it’s not for me. There’s too much fetishizing and obnoxious wordplay for me to enjoy even a snippet of the series. Also, apparently all the females in this series just want to suck Araragi’s dick, even though he technically already is in a romantic relationship with one of the characters. Speaking of Araragi, that guy is a complete creep. He’s obviously a paedophile, given his attraction towards Mayoi and his twin sisters. Plus, he’s also sexist, treating women like Hanekawa like objects and fawning over them simply because they have gigantic knockers. I don’t honestly see how people can consider him a good character or even relatable for that manner. That’s not how you use a toothbrush for fuck’s sake.
Also, waifu wars. Seriously, the waifu wars. I can’t fathom why people would do battle over hand drawn caricatures, pitting certain members of the cast against one another and labelling each as either “trash” or “pure.” All the characters I’ve been introduced to so far have been entirely one note, defined mostly by their quirks than any sort of personality. Senjouhara is basically the generic dark haired borderline emotionless chick that’s voiced by Chiwa Saito, Nadeko is a typical kuudere archetype, Mayoi is a stereotypical loli that creepy otakus would fawn over, Hanekawa is just there because she has massive tracks of land, and Karen and Tsubaki are incest bait. The only character that is even remotely different to me, is Kanbaru, whose outgoing, tomboyish persona lends a lot of humour to some of the situations. Plus, I just have a thing for lesbians in general. Sure, a lot of the weird, awkward scenarios are plain simple irony that aren’t meant to be taken seriously, but they just feel irritating and unfunny to me on a personal level. If you want to see a unique and well written Shaft anime, how about I recommend the show 3gatsu no Lion instead? It’s a ground-breaking character study of a troubled youth who is constantly at odds with himself due to his obsessiveness over shogi (and I guess Madoka Magica is decent enough to warrant my recommendation). Or you can just check out Katanagatari, which was written by the same person. It has similar issues, but at least there’s no creepy paedophilic tendencies and underaged lolis in that one.
Made in Abyss
Okay, for realsies now, Made in Abyss isn’t a bad show, far from it in fact. It showcases some of the best artwork, animation, setting and atmosphere I’ve seen in an anime to date. The staff members did a phenomenal job at bringing to world to life and contrasting the abyss itself as a place you’d not want to venture down into. The quaint city of Orth brims to life as the production team renders every little detail of its architecture and natural environment, showing clearly how its society manages to cope with living around a gigantic bottomless pit.
My biggest problem with Made in Abyss stem from three things: the pacing, the humour and its use of tonal shifts. The pacing in Made in Abyss is excruciatingly sloooooooowwwww. There’s a couple of episodes where the characters spend some time at a White Whistle’s dwelling, that appears to drag on for long periods of time. It becomes dull to the point where I was just putting this on as white noise for a while. Barely anything of note happens in the series until episode 10, but by then it’s a little too late don’t you see? As for tone, well… One moment you’d have a character gushing blood from all orifices like a piñata, and the next moment a character would start cracking a perverted joke out of nowhere. It’s also exceptionally jarring to see characters drawn with such a cutesy artstyle, getting brutalized as if they’re in a horror movie. I would be okay with it had they taken the Madoka Magica approach and made it dark almost all the way through, but nope, we still gotta shoehorn in some pedo humour in there. I don’t know what the true intentions of the mangaka were, but I could swear some characters here were solely created to appeal to certain niche audiences. Nanachi looks like she’s made to pander towards furries, whereas Maruik would probably have fans of animated traps throw their arms up in unison. Who knows… the mangaka probably could have created Reg and Riko for the sole purpose of catering towards creeps. I mean, dick jokes are funny and all, but it becomes more depraved, tone-deaf and shameful when you realize they’re underaged. Like- excuse me, someone’s knocking on the door. Yes, who’s the fucks out there? The FBI? OH FUUUUCCC-
Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Me and Kyoto Animation have been getting along well despite originally dismissing them as this “moeblob” studio. Hibike Euphonium was an awesome drama series, and while it is technically a watered-down version of Whiplash, it still manages to convey the hardships and struggles of being in a high school band. A Silent Voice was a poignant and heartfelt redemption tale that takes a grounded and realistic approach in its portrayal of bullying in Japanese schools. And from what I’ve seen of the zaniness that is Nichijou, I’ve quite liked. So, I was expecting quite a lot from Dragon Maid. Fun fact: I watched this show as a part of a challenge on the anime website known as kitsu (it’s kind of like twitter but solely for anime fans). It was a secret santa event, where everybody was paired up with some random kitsu user and given the goal of watching a favourite show of theirs that they haven’t been exposed to yet. By the end of its duration, these participants were to post their thoughts of said series on their secret santa’s profile. I went with Dragon Maid because, like I said, Kyoani had yet to disappoint me. But disappoint me, they did. It ain’t all bad though, y’know. Kobayashi is an awesome heroine, I’m not even kidding here. Through her character, I saw a perfect reflection of the common working-class adult and the struggles they must endure with regards to work, relationships and daily mundane activities. Its partly why I was able to relate to her. Plus, I love the show’s lighthearted and sincere approach to the importance of family and kinship. What a nice break from all the nihilistic and bleak portrayals of humanity.
But alas, Dragon Maid also succumbs to the pitfalls that plague modern anime. Like what I’ve said with Made in Abyss and Monogatari, there’s too much creepy, awkward, fetishized fanservice in this show. There’s a young girl in Kanna’s class who has a crush on her and appears to have an orgasm every time she shows affection towards her. Tooru’s feelings for Kobayashi end up being borderline obsessive at times and I was getting worried she was going to turn full yandere and start killing everyone close to her. Quetzalcoatl seems to have developed a fondness for fondling her master with her breasts. I don’t know if this is a Japanese thing or something, but as a westerner, it’s just too perverse for my tastes. There’s also a lot of sexualized camera shots of the dragon’s bodies, often shown in a manner that’s meant to arouse the show’s viewers. Stuff like low angled perspective shots, close-up shots of character’s breasts, and so on. It gets to the point where it just becomes uncomfortable to watch. The story in Dragon Maid is another aspect I didn’t like. It’s quite uneventful and underwhelming to say the least. There’s a skirmish towards the end that just culminates with a brief chat between two characters, barely feeling as if the events preceding it had led to anything. There are also story threads that just flat out make no sense, like how Elma was able to instantly get a job at Kobayashi’s company without any working coding knowledge. I mean seriously, did her boss just hire her because of her curvy stature? As a person who’s been through multiple interviews and several rejections, this just pisses me off.
Wait… more gunshots? Oh fuck, they’re at it again. I told you guys I’m not into that kind of shit!!!
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans
Oh boy, this anime is like the equivalent of a Call of Duty game. It’s like its written some 12-year-old “pro gamer” after reading Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games. Apparently, I’m supposed to believe that some random kid who’s spent his entire life as a worker, is somehow able to defeat clusters of well trained and professional mecha pilots. And no, don’t give me that excuse that its because he was a more powerful mecha. It doesn’t matter how high tech your technology is, if you suck at using it, then there’s no way you’d win with it.
The character designs are some of the worse I’ve seen in Gundam history. They all have these pointy ends to their faces and gigantic eyes, like they’re Yugioh knockoffs than anything else. Its even worse when you see their characters thrown into the midst of the bloody carnage that the Gundam series is well known for. I dunno, seeing almost cutesy characters getting brutalized in an unforgiving and serious manner just feels out of place to me. The animation also dips to a considerable degree later in the series, to the point where off-model shots are a common occurrence. The characters themselves are also very bland to the point of being forgettable. Especially Mikazuki, seriously this guy is just every alpha male protagonist out there. He’s cold, relentless, gets the ladies hooked onto his figure, and he’s basically a carbon copy of protagonists Heero Yuy and Setsuna from Wing and 00 respectively. Oh, and let’s discuss how all the villains in this show are just one-dimensional and one note in terms of character. Their motivations simply boil down to “I want to be cruel because I got power,” and it just lends this one-sided approach to the opposite faction. See, in UC Gundam, Zeon and The Earth Federation are pitted as morally grey allegiances, but in Iron Blooded Orphans its made clear that Gjallarhorn just consists of evil authority figures that would harm children for the sake of their goals.
What a fucking joke! Avoid this at all costs, if you take it from me. Watch any of the Universal Century era Gundams instead.
You know, I kind of liked Erased when the first few episodes premiered. The premise was intriguing, and the first episode did a great job of setting things up. The atmosphere in the 1990s setting was mesmerizing, haunting, and downright beautiful. But then episode 5 got released, and the show just consistently went downhill from then on out. Characters constantly making stupid decisions, deus ex machinas being utilized almost everywhere, the idea of Satoru’s time travel abilities not being given any consistent rules, the utter incompetence of the series villain, the forced victimization of certain characters for the sake of instilling shock value, child abuse shown through an exploitative light, Kaya’s mother, and the less I say about the actual ending the better.
Erased is an absolute mess of a show, writing wise. The entire mystery the show appears to lead up to is the reveal of the killer’s identity. Any competent mystery flick would have tried to keep it a complete secret, but in Erased its unravelled within a certain frame in the opening. Even without watching the intro, I knew the killer’s identity by the time episode 2 came along. It was just so bloody obvious. What could have been a compelling murder mystery ends up being a complete joke by its final episode. I was so disappointed, I committed seppuku, but the anime gods wouldn’t relieve me of my suffering, so they brought me back to life.
Attack on Titan
Argh zombies. Why does it have to be zombies? Yes, Titans are pretty much gigantic versions of your typical Hollywoodized undead, the type you see all over the place in media like The Walking Dead and so on. They’re just so overused at this point, like sheesh.
Attack on Titan is just too loud and overdramatic. Characters monologue every damn second like they’re in a Shakespeare play, there are so many forceful attempts at making each member of the cast have some sort of dark and tragic backstory, the dialogues are cliché shonen tripe, and everyone just screams too damn much. I’M GONNA KILL EVERY TITAN IN EXISTENCE!!! I’M GONNA BE HUMANITY’S GREATEST SOLDIER!!! THERE ONCE WAS A MAN NAMED GOLD ROGER, AND HE WAS KING OF THE PIRATES!!! Like cmon, I know its war and all, but chill out. I mean imagine watching the siege of Normandy occur in a serious war drama, and suddenly a character blurts out “I’M GONNA KICK HITLER’S ASS!!!” Kinda ruins the mood doesn’t it? The strangest thing is that Attack on Titan feels like a seinen anime in terms of its tone. I mean the literal premise is that giant naked people are gobbling up human beings just for the fun of it in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. But its presentation is in the same vein as a typical shonen anime with lots of loud motivational speeches and so on.
The story and characters are also a massive problem. The story promises viewers with a mystery of who the titans are, where they originate from, what’s in Eren’s basement etc. But all it amounts to is just a simple mystery box for getting viewers interested. The show has lasted for three seasons now and we still don’t know what lies within the Jaeger family’s basement; hell, we might as well assume that Eren has probably forgotten about all this at this point. As for the characters, they’re all generic shonen anime fodder. Eren is your typical hot-blooded, relentless, pent-up-with-rage shonen protagonist you’ve seen many times before. Think Rin Okumura and Natsu with a lack of bloody obnoxious friendship speeches. Mikasa is some clingy, flawless, badass mary sue whose main motivation basically amounts to her thinking Eren is hot and who can pretty much decimate massive swaths of titans and humans alike simply because she’s apparently just that good. Armin is some whiny brat who bears resemblance to Thorfinn from Vinland Saga, Jean is just some arrogant prick who’s just there to set up a rivalry between him and Eren, Sasha is just there for laughs, Levi is a gary stu, urgh… The whole cast is just extremely vapid, and it doesn’t help do any favours that these are the guys I’m supposed to be rooting for.
Season 3 looks kinda interesting though.
Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (Ufotable version)
Fate Zero was pretty dope I’ll admit. It’s a pessimistic outlook on idealism and morality, questioning the length humans would go towards achieving their aims while cruelly subverting their expectations. An anime that provides a clear warning of the damage that hubris can do. As a highly nihilistic edgelord myself, it hit all the right notes just perfectly. So, when I heard Ufotable were adapting a new Fate show, I was stoked for it. Only to be met with utter disappointment…
Unlimited Blade Works is complete garbage outside of the animation department. None of the flashy fights, jaw dropping visual effects and bombastic soundtrack, can make up for its dismal story, cliché visual novel archetypes and rules that are broken as an example of poor writing and inconsistent worldbuilding. Rin Tohsaka is a generic tsundere who flips personalities as if she has a switch integrated into her body. Sakura is just lifeless and submissive, like every emotionless dependant character out there. Her brother Shinji is just some crazed lunatic, who’s like what would happen if one of the bullies from Elfen Lied (you know, the ones that beat up Lucy’s puppy) survived and grew up. Even Saber has gotten shafted. No longer is she the strong, determined, chivalrous knight who just wants to do what’s best for Camelot. Now, she’s reduced to a simple visual novel waifu, existing so Shirou can put his wiener into her. Oh, and let’s not forget about turning Gilgamesh from some arrogant ruler into some batshit insane, evil, moustache twirling villain. And somehow the Grail turning him into human form still means he has powers? Wow, OP much?
When I was new to the anime scene, I was obsessed with Durarara. I even wrote a moderately successful fanfiction for it, where I took the characters and forced them into the Harry Potter Universe, eager to see how they faced off against one another. I did go overboard at one point and turned Izaya into a borderline gary-stu who could cast nonverbal spells just by staring at people. But after a couple of years of reflecting over it, and after watching that god awful second season, I concluded that I only liked it because of Izaya and Shizuo’s rivalry. I mean, there’s a reason why the second ova is my favourite episode in the whole franchise; their rivalry was the main draw for me.
The problem with Durarara, that isn’t present in Baccano, is that it starts to pinpoint its focus on a select group of characters in its last 12 or so episodes. These characters are none other than three high school friends who all turn out to be gang leaders. Lame! This isn’t nearly as interesting as watching Shizuo flinging vending machines at Izaya like they’re just light cardboard boxes, or Celty evading cops at high speeds on her motorcycle, or Simon trying and failing to attract people with his poor knowledge of Japanese. I’m sorry to say this, but Mikado, Kida and Anri just aren’t interesting characters. In fact, they’re the least interesting members of the cast. They’re just typical high school students who just happen to be gang members. I mean you have a cast that consists of a creature literally descended from Irish mythology, an underground doctor that has fallen in love with her, a superhuman who’s essentially this universe’s version of One Punch Man, a sly informat who outright trolls people, a sushi chef with connections to the Russian military, and all you decide to focus on are three obnoxious high school kids? What a waste of potential…
Ao No Exorcist
Much like Durarara!!!, I was obsessed with the Blue Exorcist manga back in high school. I’m a huge sucker for the whole “school of adventure” trope that’s highly prevalent in young adult fiction. So, I got invested because it reminded of two franchises I was a major big fan of in the past: Supernatural and Harry Potter. Blue Exorcist was as if somebody took Sam and Dean Winchester and shoved them into a Hogwarts-like setting filled with mysteries, uniquely drawn creatures and wizardry (or in this case, religious prayers).
I’ll admit, I really loved the show during its first story arc. Probably because it was closest thing that reminded me of the Harry Potter franchise. Plus, borrowing a lot from Buddhism, Christianity and Shinto, gave the series some unique flavour to it. After the show veered away from its source material and delved into anime-only territory (and after the Impure King arc had ended in the manga), I started to notice huge flaws that ruined my enjoyment of it. For one, this series relies so much on Shonen clichés and power of friendship speeches to an irritating degree. Characters constantly brag about how they fight for the sake of their companions and how comradery is the sole reason they strive to live in this crapsack world. I swear at points it gets so excessive that it starts to turn into some weird Fairy Tail rip-off. Another issue, and possible the biggest of them all, is that the plot barely moves anywhere. The main plot of Blue Exorcist is supposed to revolve around Rin Okumura’s training as an exorcist, so he’d be able to wield his demonic powers to kill his biological father, Satan. But, after over 100 chapters, there’s been barely any progress in trying to achieve that. Instead we’re stuck with crappy religious groups like The Illuminate and The Vatican Church, badly written subplots meant to flesh out pointless side characters, and random school hijinks that ensue for comedic purposes. This series is literally turning into Supernatural at this point, shoving out as many chapters as possible and dragging its plot on for what seems like an eternity. If you guys want closure to a series such as this, just read Soul Eater instead.
Oh, and Sheimi Moriyama is the most useless anime character in existence. Her familiar basically does all the work for her, she does fuck all.
Anyways, those are my two cents. Now, what show do you guys completely loathe that have either been critically acclaimed or considered masterpieces by a sizable number of anime fans? Do you share my sentiments, or do you disagree with them? Feel free to comment below and get this discussion going.
Oh, wait a second, someone’s knocking on my door.
Walks down the hallway and forces the front door open.
Holy fuck! Charles Manson???