Anime and opinions go hand-in-hand! Sometimes this can lead to some rifts in the community, since people can feel strongly about certain shows.
Binbō-gami ga! © Sunrise / Shueisha
Whether bad or good, you’ll find people picking sides for some of the more divisive shows. Both point of views are perfectly valid, depending on how you watch anime. Here are some of the more hot button series:
1. Sword Art Online
© A-1 Pictures / Dengeki Bunko
The Lovers: A fun, virtual reality based series. The combination of the action and harem genres works really well. While the story is a little shaky sometimes, it does a good enough job at being entertaining. Plus, there are the cool character designs and well animated fight scenes!
The Haters: A train wreck of a series. The first arc was good, though a bit melodramatic. It went down hill when the harem elements were added and the in-game, real-world death element was taken out. Instead of tense battles, it became a generic Kirito festival.
2. Neon Genesis Evangelion
The Lovers: A true masterpiece. The characters are deeply written, all with internal problems that we can relate to. When Evangelion isn’t being a character study, it’s an awesome mecha series with well staged and tense battles. Let’s not forget the animation, which holds up to this very day.
The Haters: A “deep” show that people like to watch to look pretentious. While it’s true that the characters have psychological issues, that doesn’t make it deep. And the symbolism? Most of it just follows the rule of cool. And what is up with that rushed ending?
3. Kill la Kill
The Lovers: A quirky sense of humor, kick ass action scenes, and a sense of self awareness makes Kill la Kill stand out. Many people misread the fanservice scenes, but they ignore how Kill la Kill has a cast of strong female characters. Plus, it can be argued that the central theme is not be ashamed of your body, and that you are in control of it.
The Haters: A standard ecchi series that tries to position itself as something more. It can be argued that any theme of self acceptance is made moot with all the ass and boob shots that take up half the screen.
4. Attack on Titan
© Wit Studio
The Lovers: A breath of fresh air. Instead of an ecchi or moe series, Attack on Titan is a fairly serious action show. Humanity on the verge of extinction at the face of an unbeatable enemy? It’s pretty intense. Plus, the cast of characters are incredibly likeable, especially the badass Levi!
The Haters: A generic, “edgy” shonen series that only kills off unnamed side characters to provide false tension. The action is decent enough, but the pacing is so slow and filled with jargon that you’ll just skip the talking scenes. Plus, fans forget that Attack on Titan is not the first of it’s kind, which makes the series even more annoying.
5. Elfen Lied
© Arms / Shueisha
The Lovers: A gleeful bloodfest! But don’t think Elfen Lied is just gore porn, it has themes of social discrimination and how people hate others that are different. Lucy is the product of being isolated by a hateful society, and it’s cathartic for anyone that has been rejected by “social norms.”
The Haters: It’s just a bloodfest. If that’s your thing, then cool, but don’t try to argue that the series is more than something it’s not. While it tries to touch on discrimination and social isolation, it is very flimsy at it and filled with plot holes.
6. Angel Beats!
© P.A. Works
The Lovers: One of the best series ever. Angel Beats! can balance humor, action, and emotions better than most other anime. Seeing the character’s pasts and interaction with each other leads to some thought provoking and heartbreaking story arcs.
The Haters: It’s overhyped, and was in desperate need of 12 more episodes. The series starts out well enough, but rushes towards the end. Angel Beats! may look nice, but is filled with plot holes and dropped storylines that ruin the experience.
7. Mirai Nikki
© Asread / Kadokawa Shoten
The Lovers: One fun thrill ride. Yuno Gasai is one of the more interesting characters, and the atmosphere behind her is tense. No one is going to say it has the best story ever, but Mirai Nikki is such a fun ride, you won’t even care!
The Haters: The only character that is “interesting” is a psycho yandere. While Yuno is fun to watch, all the other characters are so stupid, that it hurts. Many of the plot points are contrived, many of the fights lack true impact, and the villains are truly laughable.
8. Akame ga Kill!
© White Fox / Square Enix
The Lovers: One of the more intense shonen series. You just never know who is going to die, which adds an air of intensity that many anime lack. What makes it more painful is that some of the characters are really likeable. It’s a fun show about people killing each other, and it doesn’t try to be more than that.
The Haters: The very definition of “edgy.” While the show delivers on it’s promise that named characters will die, it lacks emotional impact. “Main characters” are killed before they are built up, but we are told we should feel sad. It just doesn’t happen because everyone is written like a side character.
9. Clannad: After Story
© Kyoto Animation / Key Visual
The Lovers: An emotional rollercoaster! You’ll laugh and cry as you see Tomoya struggle with personal demons and learns what it means to be father.
The Haters: A sappy, melodramatic series. Many of sad moments don’t matter, since the ending is so cheap.
10. Sailor Moon
The Lovers: The original shojo that inspired a revolution of new-age magical girls. It has fancy transformations, forward thinking ideals (women are strong, girls can love girls, gender fluidity), and has a special place in the hearts of millions of young women.
The Haters: For a show about women and girl power it spends a lot of time focusing on short skirts, naked shiny transformations, and underage girls. Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s a good role model for young girls.
11. Dragon Ball Series
The Lovers: This show follows Goku from being a child to having a few generations of kids. You can really dive deep into this world of action, strength, and going beyond your limits. And let’s be honest, who here has never tried going Super Saiyan?
The Haters: How do you have a series that repeatedly takes up half the episode with recaps and is still called a masterpiece? You don’t. It’s been running so long because it takes 5 episodes and many monologues to get anywhere. The characters are flat and have the same tropes (Yamcha is dead, Roshi is a pervert, Goku is dead but he’ll come back to life soon) so just watch one arc and save yourself a year of your time by skipping the rest.
What are some other series that split the community in two?
Sword Art Online © A-1 Pictures / Dengeki Bunko
And yes, feel free to argue your stance on the series listed above. Let’s break more friendships today!