Anime fans have distinct tastes and may not love every show, but there are some series that attract a lot of unwarranted hate. Often, these despised shows are also some of the most popular anime—franchises like Sword Art Online and Attack on Titan have seemingly equal groups of devotees and haters.
A lot of anime don't deserve all the hate they get. These shows are by no means perfect – many of them have serious flaws – but they're better than their critics give them credit for.
Fairy Tail might be popular, but there are a lot of anime fans who see it as mediocre or downright terrible. Every hater has their reasons, whether its the amount of time spent on Lucy and Natsu or how hard it is to root for a Guild that inflicts so much property damage.
Criticisms aside, it's actually an entertaining show. Most characters get an impressive backstory, including side characters who might otherwise be ignored. Unlike many shonen series, it doesn't linger too long on any one fight scene - the pace is brisk and keeps viewers on their toes.
The female characters are strong and well-rounded, and the plot is creative and fun. If you've run out of fantasy action to watch, give Fairy Tail a shot.
If you consider yourself a '90s kid, Attack on Titan might have been your gateway anime. It's one of the most beloved shows in anime history, and it's often written off as being terrible for that reason. This is unfair; popularity only equates to poor quality if you have a misanthropic outlook.
There are plenty of legitimate reasons to dislike the show – ranging from nitpicks about the animation to evidence suggesting it might be imperialist propaganda – but as long as you're watching with a critical eye, the series can be enjoyable.
The mystery behind the Titans is compelling, and the genuine danger the characters face keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Despite being an action-heavy show with little time for romance, it has canon LGBTQ+ representation in the form of Krista and Ymir. Also, Levi is in it. No show with Levi in it can be completely terrible.
Don't listen to the haters, if you're not watching Black Clover, you're missing out. Some people dislike Asta's shrill, piercing voice and his played out shonen hero personality. Others find the battle sequences uninspiring and badly animated, or write it off as a redux of older, more successful shows like Naruto and Bleach.
But Black Clover has redeeming qualities. Asta might be loud, but his goals are clear and his drive and enthusiasm are charming. His world is a cruel and elitist one, but he's determined to beat the odds anyway—a kind of story always worth telling.
Tokyo Ghoul is a favorite to many anime fans, but plenty of people don't understand why it's so beloved. It relies on shock value. Kaneki is a "useless" protagonist. The show's plot rests on formulaic shonen tropes.
While Tokyo Ghoul is certainly shocking, the violence doesn't feel gratuitous in context, and the characters respond appropriately.
It's not the world's most nuanced take, but it makes sense why Kaneki feels ill-equipped when he is thrust into the world as a flesh-eating being. His transition from human to ghoul feels natural, and the intense brutality he exhibits later is a rational response to the violence he must endure.
The questions that arise about the morality of killing for survival are interesting ones worth exploring. Tokyo Ghoul might not be the greatest vehicle for these questions, but it doesn't deserve the rancor it often receives.