With anime being a popular category regarding animation here in the west, we are bound to see new titles whether they air on TV at night or broadcast online. The art style, animation, and storytelling take us on an unforgettable experience brought to us by Japan. No matter what generation you were born into, you are bound to see some anime even for a second when changing the channel.
When it comes to what anime is the best, that depends on the person, but they would have to see the flaws in order to fully love it no matter what. Chances are they might say that one anime is their favorite, and it happens to be very popular. Sometimes there are some fans who appreciate anime that are great but do not get the recognition it deserves. There are a majority of anime that are talked about too much and get all the praise when they actually have some glaring problems that can annoy those who do not like said anime. Depending on the anime, it can be popular for the wrong reasons, and those that are insanely popular should be looked at more in a critical mindset than just gush over how “perfect” it is.
Is it a crime to like an overrated anime? Absolutely not, but there are more anime to enjoy that probably have the same formula but done better. We have picked out some anime that are severely overrated and a handful that are criminally underrated.
25 Overrated: Are They Still Catching Them All?
Now sometimes, overrated anime is needed to show how people got into anime. Pokémon is a huge anime that introduced many kids in the 90s into other anime, and if it weren’t for it, then anime in the west would not have a big influence. Pokémon is overrated for the right reason, but when it comes to a well-constructed anime, there are way better titles to pick from. The formulaic plot is repetitive, and even though Ash was memorable for kids, he is not a good protagonist since he is static and never changes.
Not to mention, he still is ten years old!
Pokémon will always be an important anime, but just know that there are more anime that tell a better story, have stronger characters, and so much more.
24 Overrated: Playing Deity Too Much
Kyoto Animation has brought a lot of fantastic anime for us to enjoy, such as Full Metal Panic!, Lucky Star, K-On!, and Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. If there is one particular KyoAni show that happens to be the most popular, it is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. For starters, it is a decent anime, but sometimes Haruhi can be a demanding and rude character.
At least the ending song is very catchy with a memorable dance.
While the show has an interesting plot than the previous entry, you find out that the same events happen over and over again, making the show repetitive and tiring. Do you really want to see an episode where Haruhi and the others do the same thing every day? While it is a decent anime, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is a bit overrated.
23 Overrated: Just Another Fantasy World
When you think about it, Re:Zero is not that special of an anime. Subaru is not that smart as a main character and sometimes he can be incredibly annoying to deal with for those who are getting into the show. He is just a typical shonen protagonist and there is nothing special about him. There are some saving graces in the show, that being the twin demon maids Rem and Ram, the former being an amazing character.
Plus, why is Subaru with Emilia and not Rem?
While Re:Zero is a disappointing anime, it honestly could have been worse. The animation and music are well done and are pleasing to watch and hear. However, there are better titles to watch with stronger characters and a better story.
22 Underrated: An Adaptation Shakespeare Would Be Proud Of
In rare occasions, there are some anime that are based on the classic works in literature. For example, Romeo x Juliet is a surprising adaptation based on Shakespeare’s most famous play Romeo and Juliet. This anime takes on a fantasy twist and has Juliet be the last of the Capulets, thanks to Romeo’s father creating a coup to rid all of the Capulets.
This love story is perhaps a bit darker than the original play.
The two leads are interesting in their own way and still deal with being star-crossed lovers due to their upbringings. Juliet is a strong and brave woman, but also has times where she questions whether her actions are right or not. Romeo is unlike his father, who is kind, humble, and cares for the people of Neo Verona. Check out this anime if you like to see an interesting adaptation of a well-known play!
21 Overrated: Overstayed Its Welcome
Bleach had one thing going for as a shonen anime and it is the interesting concept and setting. Unfortunately, like other shonen shows that will appear, Bleach is seen as an overrated anime. If we were to be honest, the series should have ended after the Soul Society arc since the tension and buildup was fantastic. The ending to it was perfect and felt complete.
Later on, the story arcs tend to get inferior as time goes on, and when Bleach finally ended, it just did not feel right. Is it as overrated as other shonen shows? Probably not, but its stay was longer than it needed to be. Bleach started off really strong but then declined severely, losing its relevance the more it went on.
20 Underrated: Suspenseful Cyberpunk World
Lack any suspense shows? Then Ergo Proxy is highly recommended! This anime is severely underrated and not a lot of people talk about it. Well, that is what we will do here! Ergo Proxy is a cyberpunk anime with a mixture of science fiction and mystery. The amazing visuals and themes Ergo Proxy bring makes it one of the best anime to ever come out in the 2000s.
There are also some interesting cultural references the show has brought.
When you look at the main protagonist Re-l’s face, does it remind you of a certain album cover? There are also some movie and history references, making it a great hunt whenever you recognize something. It may look dreary and post-apocalyptic, but in the end, this show is worth the watch.
19 Overrated: Just Too Much
Elfen Lied is that one anime that is pretty controversial, and if you have seen it, then you know what we mean. The amount of violence in the anime feels like it is there for shock value and no substance. It is too over-the-top and does not add anything to what the show is trying to display. If anything, if we were to pick an anime world to live in, don’t expect a lot of people saying Elfen Lied.
It is also a romance anime, which just does not blend well with the horror elements presented in the show. And get a load of this: The Duffer Brothers, known for creating the show Stranger Things, actually commented that this anime helped inspired the show. That’s a huge benefactor even though that show is better than Elfen Lied could ever be.
18 Underrated: Fun With The Chinese Zodiac
Need a romance with a likable lead and an interesting plot? Fruits Basket is a nice one to watch through! Tohru Honda is a high school student who lost her mom in a car accident and lives in a tent while trying to earn money to get by in school. While walking to school, she saw a shrine for the Sohma family that has the Chinese Zodiac and it changed her life completely.
Tohru is a sweet and strong girl who still kept going even though her parents are gone, and along the way, she managed to find love where she least expected it. Not to mention, her love interest transforms into a cat when she hugs him. The reason behind that is because there is a curse in his family. Intrigued? Go and check the anime out!
17 Overrated: Playing With Your Heart
Have you ever come across an anime that is so emotionally manipulative that it just felt wrong? If Clannad is that one anime, then there you go. But to be fair, the anime is just not a good adaptation of the original source, that being the visual novel. The anime instead relies on playing with your emotions in order to make you feel for the characters in ridiculous situations.
The ending is truly a cop out.
While Tomoya is a fantastic character, Nagisa has nothing special about her other than being nice. When a certain moment happens to her later on, not only was it tear-jerking, but it gets worse from there. Let’s just say that Tomoya deserves so much better than going through a very tough time like that.
16 Underrated: Hip-Hop Meets Samurai
Seeing that title might make you scratch your heads in confusion. That’s understandable since hip-hop and samurai are two different nouns, but this show makes it work so well that it is worth the watch. Samurai Champloo is brought to you by the same person who also brought us Cowboy Bebop, that being Shinichiro Watanabe.
Blending in two unlikely genres can make the most epic show ever.
The setting is that of feudal Japan but has a hip-hop influence added. The three main characters Mugen, Jin, and Fuu are dynamic and amazing characters that compliment each other despite their differences. Like Cowboy Bebop, this show deserves the praise it gets, but unlike the former, this show is a bit underrated. Go ahead and give this a try to see for yourself.
15 Overrated: Overhyped No Jutsu!
Like a couple other anime that will appear on this list, there are certain ones that get talked about a lot thanks to a lot of exposure and intense fanbases. Naruto is a perfect example of this situation. It is insanely popular that it ticked off a lot of people who could not stand the show. There are some good elements in Naruto such as some of the characters and fight scenes, but the story can drag especially if you watch the anime.
The show heavily relies on flashbacks, plot armor, and lack of character development to some that do not get enough screen time. There are some subjects the show and manga touch upon like friendship and bonds, but it seems that Naruto is becoming the next One Piece due to a spin-off still being made to this day.
14 Underrated: Time Traveling Escapades
Ask yourself this: is there an anime that happens to be a great adaptation based on a visual novel or video game? Be relieved because the answer is yes. The anime Steins;Gate does the source material justice with its interesting plot and amazing characters. Sure, the first half can drag a bit, but once you get to the second half, then you will be amazed by the show’s presentation.
In fact, there is a sequel called Steins;Gate 0, so catching up would be mandatory if you are curious about this show since it is currently in progress. The show might have received praise, there has not been a lot of people talking about it when the anime first aired a few years ago. Hopefully, the sequel series will bring in a lot of attention.
13 Overrated: Singing Girls, But What Else?
Anime has everything you can think of when it comes to genres. There are the typical action, drama, romance, and comedy shows, but the idol genre has been on the rise in the 2010s. Does the name Love Live! ring any bells? Like Clannad and Steins;Gate, Love Live! is based on other types of media other than manga. But like the former, this show can get a bit overrated.
Love Live! follows a generic plot and features cutesy girls who can sing and whatnot while having other goals in life. Sure, some of them are likable, but what else there to adapt from a type of media revolving singing idols? If it is your cup of tea to like idol anime, that’s fine, but there are better anime titles out there that go somewhere.
12 Underrated: Wonderful Loud Noise
It is one thing to have a show that is beloved by many, only to be neglected later on for many years later. The anime Baccano! is more underrated since the show could have dive into more arcs. While Durarara!! is more successful, Baccano! started the story with multiple point of views first. The music, characters, animation, and plot are strong and should receive just as much attention as Durarara!!.
Will there be a season two? Or will we have to resort to the light novels and manga? Depending on what fate will bring, the anime managed to capture our attention and we cannot be more thankful. There is just so much you can get out of this anime that it will leave you begging for more, and that is what we are doing right now to this day.
11 Overrated: The Power Of Friendship Is Everything!
Shonen is a very popular genre in the anime community. As a matter of fact, the majority of anime that are overrated tend to be shonen shows. To no one’s surprise, Fairy Tail is just as overrated as the next shonen. Unlike others, however, the series knew when to end and managed to send a farewell ending to the fans.
The problems from the anime cannot be overlooked though. Fairy Tail is very guilty of using the concept of the power of friendship. It has been done so much to the point of making each arc predictable. The characters do make up for it since they are intriguing and entertaining. This shonen show is flawed but has provided some fun despite being a bit glorified.
10 Underrated: A Sweet But Underlooked Romance
There are so many things that needed to be said about Spice and Wolf, and it is a shame at how cruelly underappreciated it is. This show is one of the best romances ever and the two main leads work out as a team despite having disputes from time to time. Spice and Wolf takes place in a fictionalized European setting where Lawrence travels as a merchant who comes across the wolf goddess Holo, who later accompanies him.
Lawrence and Holo are just adorable whenever they are on screen!
The historical setting also makes the show fascinating. Instead of focusing on medieval subjects like witchcraft and knights, we are treated to an economic and trading perspective. It is done in a way where it is not boring. Now, do yourself a huge favor and check out this wonderful hidden gem of an anime.
9 Overrated: Tear-Jerking At Its Worst
There are certain anime that tend to make us bawl our eyes out, and while Angel Beats does that, a lot of people have considered it the saddest anime of all time. After all, it takes place at a high school disguised as purgatory, and once the students accepted their fates, they are gone for good.
Even though it is a sad anime, there are way more anime that can get sadder than Angel Beats. You name it like Wolf’s Rain, Anohana, and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. Even though Angel Beats is pretty overrated, it is not a terrible one, to say the least. The characters are likable and it is sad whenever they move on to the next life, but whenever people say that Angel Beats is the saddest anime, it tends to get a bit too much.
8 Underrated: Strange Yet Engaging
Horror anime is mostly underrated since they are scarier than your average horror movie. They do not only just focus on the violent aspect, but also psychological too. For this specific anime, think of it like the movie Groundhog’s Day, except more terrifying. This anime is called Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, or When They Cry.
It centers around a boy named Keiichi who moves to Hinamizawa and befriends four girls named Rena, Mion, Rika, and Satako. The village Hinamizawa is known for having a curse where every year, someone passes away and another goes missing. Without saying much, there is more to that than what is said about this show. If you can handle the scary and violent parts, then this anime is a must watch at all costs.
7 Overrated: Get In The Eva, Shinji!
First off, Neon Genesis Evangelion is a fantastic anime. So why is it in the overrated category? It is because the ending is still talked about to the point that it spoils it for everyone who has not seen the show. Without spoiling it, the animation studio Gainax ran out of money and had to resort to recycled animation in order to complete the story.
Can we just move on from this show?
It has been over twenty years since the show ended, and it is crazy how an ending can affect the fans. When the movie The End of Evangelion came out, people were still not satisfied with how the show came to its conclusion. If it is how the writers envision the ending, then let it be and get over it.
6 Underrated: Too Funny To Pass Up
Ghost Stories is the one anime whose English dub makes the series all the more worth it to watch. In fact, the show itself was a huge failure in Japan! Since it did not do well in its home country, when America got to localize it, the producers of the show told ADV Films to do whatever just as long as the characters’ names and storyline remain the same.
Bless the English dub and its hilarity.
Even though it has been known throughout the anime community because of the crude humor and outlandish dialogue, it is still underrated when it comes to the amount of recognition it gets. If you need an anime to make you laugh while giving you a Halloween aesthetic, then Ghost Stories is the perfect anime to sit through.
5 Overrated: How Long Has This Been Retold?
Overrated anime is mostly what got us into anime as a whole, and it is honestly a good thing. One of the first anime to ever be shown to the west thanks to Toonami was Dragon Ball Z. It became a huge cultural phenomenon and delve its way into pop culture. As much as we are thankful to have this anime introduce us to others, Dragon Ball Z can get a bit too much at times.
Essentially, this anime has been retold several times and it is time for a change. Dragon Ball Super is apparently doing it, but we already know the characters too well. While some of the characters are well-written, the show is mostly consisting of fight scenes that last over more than five episodes and the dialogue would contain a huge amount of yelling. Other than that, Dragon Ball Z is very important to anime fans.
4 Underrated: An Amazing Sci-Fi Getaway
Usually, anime from the 90s get a lot of hype and love since they did make us into anime fans. However, there is one that usually is left out and that anime title is Trigun. Those that are fans of Cowboy Bebop would enjoy this anime, if not equally. In fact, if it weren’t for this anime, we would not have one of the pinnacle voice actors in English dubbing, and that man is Johnny Yong Bosch, who voices the main character Vash the Stampede.
This anime has great action, fun comedy, and bittersweet moments that balance each other out. While there are fans of this show, it is underrated compared to the juggernauts that came alongside Trigun. If you are into anime with science fiction, then be sure to watch this classic title. You will not be disappointed in the slightest!
3 Overrated: Just Where Is That Treasure?
What is that one anime that has been going on for so long that it does not know when to end? There is Pokémon, but the one other anime that never seems to end is One Piece. While there is nothing particularly wrong with the series overall, it just feels like it has been going on for too long. It has been over twenty years since the first chapter of the manga came out, and the anime series is nearly twenty years old!
It’s been over 800 episodes and it’s still going?
It just sounds very exhausting for the series to keep going, only to never end. Just when will Luffy and his crew members find the special treasure they are looking for? Or are they going to just keep traveling for many more agonizing years to come?
2 Overrated: A Different Kind Of Adventure
This anime was an obvious choice since Sword Art Online became a huge hit due to the promising story and situation the characters have to go through. The first episode was going in the right direction, but then the next episodes came. It is crazy how an anime like Sword Art Online can create a divisive fanbase due to the fans either loving it or hating it passionately.
The main character Kirito is a joke. He is pretty much a no-can-do-wrong protagonist who does not change and is completely overpowered. What else is there to like about him other than how he fights on the battlefield? Unfortunately, nothing really. While Sword Art Online is a huge letdown, it at least got people who never experienced anime into it. The next anime, however, boy do people not know how to just stop talking about it.
1 Overrated: We Have Had Enough With These Titans!
The year was 2013, and the anime that came out that year became huge, and what other anime would it be than Attack on Titan? The attention spread like wildfire and everyone was talking about it, and because of that, people who have never watched an anime seemed to get into Attack on Titan. Some even claim that it is the best anime ever.
Hate to break it to you, but Attack on Titan is not the best anime.
There are a ton of problems that make loyal fans ignore because they love their precious anime too much. Eren, while a slightly better protagonist than say Kirito, does not change since he is determined to eliminate all Titans, but he himself is one! If you like Attack on Titan, more power to you, but don’t go saying it is the greatest anime of all time when it is clearly far from it.