Anime Underground

14 Anime You Either Love Or Hate  

Anna Lindwasser
8.8k votes 1.8k voters 28k 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. 

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One Piece is listed (or ranked) 5 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.

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Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 14 Anime You Either Love Or Hate
Photo:  Neon Genesis Evangelion/Gainax

Though touted as a classic, not everyone who watches Neon Genesis Evangelion looks back on their viewing experience fondly. Those who love the series praise its innovative take on the mecha genre and its ability to dive deep into its characters' psyches, resulting in philosophical and psychological questions and revelations. Though not always likeable, the characters are believable, fully-developed human beings. 

However, some viewers aren't impressed. To them, Evangelion comes across as a pretentious, fake-deep show that uses meaningless imagery for the sake of looking cool. It can be confusing, boring, and generally unpleasant, regardless of its place in the anime canon.

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WataMote is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 14 Anime You Either Love Or Hate
Photo:  No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Unpopular!/Silver Link

Not everyone enjoys cringe humor, so it's understandable why No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Unpopular! didn't strike a chord with every viewer.

Some love it for its unflinching and relatable depiction of severe social anxiety and its satirization of nerd culture. Others find it too embarrassing to watch, or feel the series doesn't empathize with Tomoko and instead just mocks her (and viewers who relate to her) relentlessly and cruelly. 

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Dragon Ball Z is listed (or ranked) 8 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. 

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