Given how expansive the medium is, there's bound to be some anime out there that get way too much credit. Their charm and drama among otaku propel their rise to mainstream popularity, sure, but there's no overlooking their glaring flaws when thrust out into the limelight. After all, if an anime is deserving enough to have its own clothing line at Hot Topic, it'd best be prepared to face some intense scrutiny.
From the interesting yet repetitive premise of Sword Art Online to the dramatic yet generic plot of Attack on Titan, the following is a compilation of popular anime that are really just mediocre. Though each serves as a great introduction to newcomers, fans should definitely try looking for titles that aren't on this list, especially if they're willing to find out what the anime industry truly has to offer.
Vote up the most overrated anime, and when you're done, check out this list of underrated anime to help bring you back to your senses.
'90s kids have a soft spot for Pokémon, and by all accounts, this series has been a great ambassador for anime in the west. Unlike the franchise's successful video game titles, however, the anime has failed to evolve alongside its fan base.
Hundreds of episodes have come and gone, recycling the same handful of storylines, and despite being episodic, the series doesn't even have real arcs. Seeing as how the protagonist is eternally 10 years old, there is no character development to speak of either. As a result, audiences are trapped between repetitive episodes and uninteresting characters for countless adventures.
Pokémon is perhaps a decent kids show, but as many of its (still loyal) fans are now all grown up, it would seem as though the studio is targeting the wrong audience.
#21 on The Best Fantasy Worlds
Sword Art Online fans may claim that the show breaks the mold when it comes to adventure anime – but does it really? Taking place in a virtual reality world, a premise touched upon numerous times before in anime like Log Horizon and .hack, this show really doesn't offer much in the vein of novelty.
Though the production quality is great, what lies underneath is a sloppy narrative that resorts overly sexualized female characters and so much deus ex machina that it's hard to keep track. Sword Art Online feels significantly mismanaged as a consequence, thereby questioning its rise to fame in the first place.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is an anime that thinks its good. Playing off the typical comedy cliché where a mostly normal teenage boy is thrust into inconvenient circumstances thanks to befriending an energetic yet eccentric girl, this is a show that ends up being less than the sum of its parts.
It's true, the characters play off one another well and some pretty funny moments occasionally arise, but there's no justification for the claim that Haruhi is pushing the medium forward in any way. One-dimensional characters don't exactly help its case, and the irregular airing order is more annoying than it is artistic.
#72 on The Best Supernatural Anime
The biggest barrier to entry on this list belongs to One Piece, an overrated anime that's over 800 episodes long and not even halfway complete. It diverges into haphazard directions, leaving nothing accomplished, and the pacing is perhaps the slowest and most inconsequential in the entire industry.
Character development is inconsistent and boring at times, and story arcs are formulaic to the point of repetition. Episodes feel as though they're an excuse to explore One Piece's world further, and though the setting is the show's greatest feature, it alone doesn't justify watching it.