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The 14 Most Fantastically Mediocre Anime Ever Created

Updated June 14, 2019 5.7k votes 1.8k voters 100.5k views14 items

List RulesVote up the most average, middle-of-the-road anime you still kind of like.

You know how you sometimes want McDonald's instead of Shake Shack? Sometimes you don't feel like watching an anime masterpiece. While plenty of acclaimed series appear on every anime fan's bucket list, those often require intense concentration and time you do not have at the moment. Even the most intelligent people aren't always in the mood for the greats. Sometimes, when you're tired or distracted, the best salve comes in the form of mediocre anime.

Average anime demands little of you, both in time and attention. It presents characters who might be pleasant or amusing, but never particularly nuanced. Its premise may start out with promise, only to derail itself before the series ever reaches its potential. Extremely okay anime rely on hackneyed tropes, but hey, those tropes exist because people enjoy them. They're not bad shows - they're just not amazing.

There's no shame in kicking back with an anime that's just okay. It's good background noise for all the chores you've put off.

  • 5

    No-Rin

    No-Rin is another example of an anime with an interesting premise that fails to fulfill its promise. When the famous idol worshipped by protagonist Kousaku Hata mysteriously retires, Kousaku becomes so devastated that he stops going to school. When he finally returns, he discovers his idol has transferred to his school.

    This might have offered a deconstruction of idol culture or even a straightforward romance between the two main characters. Instead, No-Rin becomes a series of random adventures that never add up to a coherent plot. If you don't mind that the opening concept goes nowhere, this anime gives you a totally okay experience.

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  • Omamori Himari
    Photo: Zexcs

    Other than a few notable exceptions, like the Monogatari series, harem anime tend to be formulaic. Omamori Himari is not one of those exceptions. A teenage boy named Yuto finds out he descends from a clan of demon slayers after a cat-samurai demon named Himari shows up, promising to protect him from demons out for his blood. Said demons all turn out to be hot girls who express some attraction to him.

    Though largely the same as every other anime in the harem genre, Omamori Himari comes up short in one aspect: developing characters. Yuto's primary trait is being allergic to cats, which doesn't qualify as a personality.

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  • 7

    Clean Freak! Aoyama-Kun

    Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun provides a strange amalgamation of sports anime and slice-of-life series, all centered around a soccer prodigy named Aoyama whose game is hindered by his pathological fear of contamination. Not much happens in this show; one episode follows a cooking competition, another is about Aoyama's teammates sniffing his towel because it's just so cleanand another involves a character's traumatic past of being bullied for playing soccer with his butt.

    Nevertheless, the characters are charming, and it feels refreshing to see everyone love and accept Aoyama despite and even because of his preoccupations.

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  • 8

    Riddle Story Of Devil

    Riddle Story Of Devil
    Photo: Diomedea

    A group of assassins competes to eliminate the same target, a good-natured girl named Haru Ichinose. The prize for success: having your deepest wish granted. One of the assassins, Tokaku Azuma, feels enthusiastic at first, but ends up switching sides and trying to protect Haru instead. Cool premise, right?

    Unfortunately, the series never makes good use of it. The outcome is obvious from the start, which drains the assassination attempts of their tension. What's more, the series takes an episodic approach, attempting to develop each member of a massive cast in 20 minutes or less. While certain anime pull this off successfully, Riddle Story of Devil struggles. It's not a bad show, but it's not the showstopping, character-driven thriller it looked poised to be.

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