Anime Underground 14 Anime You Either Love Or Hate  

Anna Lindwasser
882 votes 184 voters 2.3k views 14 items

List Rules Vote up the polarizing anime no one can feel indifferent about.

The anime community can more or less agree on some topics. One would be hard pressed to find a Fullmetal Alchemist fan who genuinely thinks Shou Tucker is a great dad, or who didn't cry during Maes Hughes's funeral. However, not every topic is so cut and dry, and many series garner massive fan bases and haters in equal measure. 

Some – like Naruto and Sword Art Online – have both inarguable flaws and obvious strengths, and it's up to the viewer to decide whether the good outweighs the bad.

In other cases, fans are split down the middle as to whether a concept is brilliant or awful. People who hate absurdist humor probably won't like Pop Team Epic, but if someone loves irreverent comedy, it might become one of their favorite shows.

Love it or hate it anime can spark seriously heated discussions online. This includes historically controversial anime, programs people name among their favorite shows, and series most wish they'd never seen. Occasionally, a single anime fits all three of these descriptors. 

1 84 VOTES

Kill La Kill


Kill la Kill is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 14 Anime You Either Love Or Hate
Photo:  Kill La Kill/Studio Trigger

If someone has seen Kill La Kill, they probably feel passionately about it one way or the other. A viewer's feelings likely depend on their tolerance to fan service and their willingness to consider the deeper meaning behind seemingly pandering moments. 

Some fans straight up love the show's fan service. Others are willing to overlook the fan service due to the energetic art and an engaging story. Some people even see the fan service as sly commentary on female empowerment. 

However, not everyone is willing to overlook the gratuitous boob shots, genital outlines, and blatent nudity, especially since the body parts on display belong to minors. These viewers interpret the fan service as objectifying and misogynistic, and aren't willing to overlook sexism because of a mildly inventive story.

Also Ranked

#53 on The Best Anime Series of All Time

#36 on The Best Action Anime of All Time

#45 on The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time

#36 on The Best Anime on Crunchyroll

77 7
Is this anime divisive?
see more on Kill la Kill
2 119 VOTES

Sword Art Online


Sword Art Online is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 14 Anime You Either Love Or Hate
Photo:  Sword Art Online/A-1 Pictures

Fans of Sword Art Online love the unique virtual reality setting, consider Kirito and Asuna relatable and interesting badasses, and admire the gorgeous animation.

Those who hate it think Kirito is a boring, wish-fulfillment character who girls flock to for no reason. They also feel many of the plot developments are coincidental or hackneyed, and think the gratuitous incest subplot and Sugou's behavior towards Asuna are too gross to be enjoyable.

Also Ranked

#8 on The Best Anime Series of All Time

#48 on The 100+ Best Anime Intros of All Time

#22 on 25+ Anime With Great Rewatch Value

#5 on Which Anime Universe Would You Want To Live In?

93 26
Is this anime divisive?
see more on Sword Art Online
3 78 VOTES

Dragon Ball Z


Dragon Ball Z is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 14 Anime You Either Love Or Hate
Photo:  Dragon Ball Z/Toei Animation

Dragon Ball Z is a gateway anime for many Otaku, which means tons of anime fans have a huge soft spot for it. However, like most anime, there's plenty of valid criticism as well.

The characters lack depth and rarely learn anything from their experiences other than how to be better at fighting. The battles are boring, every character uses the same attacks, and they drag on far longer than necessary. Adding to that, the plot often lacks logical coherence and is loaded down with filler.

On the other hand, some people genuinely love the show for reasons other than nostalgia. They find the characters charming and the fight scenes engaging. The filler episodes can provide much needed breaks from the action and are used to thoughtfully develop the characters. The villains are threatening and difficult to defeat.

Where you stand on this largely depends on your personal preference and interpretation, but it's fair to say DBZ has made a major impact on anime fandom for better or worse. 

Also Ranked

#4 on Anime You Wish Was Streaming on Netflix

#30 on The Best Cartoons of All Time

#18 on The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

#6 on The Best Anime Series of All Time

62 16
Is this anime divisive?
see more on Dragon Ball Z
4 74 VOTES

One Piece


One Piece (JP) is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 14 Anime You Either Love Or Hate
Photo:  One Piece /Studio Pierrot

With over 800 episodes under its belt, a lot of people clearly adore One Piece. If no one was watching, the episodes wouldn't keep coming out. At the same time, the massive time commitment One Piece requires is an automatic turnoff for some viewers, and even among Otaku who watched a good chunk of it, there are still mixed feelings. 

Some think it's an engaging tale of adventure that features unforgettable characters and sincere heart. They praise the inventive backstories, the creative powers that never go overboard, and the genuine friendship on display in the Straw Hat Crew.

However, others think Luffy's a lackluster main character who puts little effort into his accomplishments and only gets by through sheer luck. Additionally, the art style is often critiqued, especially since nearly all the female characters are stick-thin with huge breasts. Some feel the female characters are weaker than their male counterparts and are relegated to support roles even when they're interesting characters.

Also Ranked

#1 on Anime You Wish Was Streaming on Netflix

#5 on The Best Action Anime of All Time

#13 on The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time

#3 on The Best Adventure Anime of All Time

57 17
Is this anime divisive?
see more on One Piece (JP)