Anime Underground

14 Anime You Either Love Or Hate 

Anna Lindwasser
Updated July 27, 2018 11k votes 2.3k voters 36.8k 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. 

Sword Art Online is listed (or ranked) 1 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.

Is this anime divisive?

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Kill la Kill is listed (or ranked) 2 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.

Is this anime divisive?

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Naruto is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 14 Anime You Either Love Or Hate
Photo:  Naruto/Studio Pierrot

Like all massive, long-running shonen series, Naruto has moments where it truly shines, but also more than a few mediocre or outright bad scenes. Depending on your tolerance for uneven quality, you may come away from Naruto thinking it's a masterpiece, but you could also think it's overrated dreck.

For better or worse, the story is so overloaded with filler and flashbacks that it's often difficult to follow. Some find the characters to be irritating, underdeveloped with regards to personality, and overdeveloped in terms of excessive powers. 

Despite these criticism, the show enjoys a huge fan base. Some find the characters' powers add excitement to the fights and depth to the universe and see deep character development where others cannot. While few people claim to love filler, there are filler arcs worth watching that don't detract from the overarching narrative. 

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Attack on Titan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 14 Anime You Either Love Or Hate
Photo:  Attack On Titan/Wit Studio

Attack on Titan may be one of the most popular anime of all time, but that doesn't mean everyone enjoys it.

For those who love the show, it's a thrilling action series that combines nuanced characters with gorgeous art, creatively horrifying monsters, and political intrigue. It also features strong female characters like Mikasa, who routinely saves her male comrades from danger.

People who don't like Attack on Titan cite the show's uneven pacing and failure to develop most of its characters in a believable way. It doesn't depict life in a war zone realistically, and it can be read as Japanese imperialist propaganda through a certain lens. 

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