Not every anime is a live changing masterpiece that redefines the medium. Likewise, not every anime is a raging pile of fecal matter spit out of Satan’s anus. No, most anime are average pieces of entertainment that you will forget about by the time next season rolls around.
But there are some anime that, despite their roughness, can be considered diamonds to some fans. These anime are too good to be average, but not good enough to be great. They seem to have an equal amount of fans and haters. They are rough cut shows that are worth watching, and you may love them if you can accept their flaws.
1The Future Diary (Mirai Nikki)
A crazy, high-octane action series that follows a mentally unstable girl and a wet napkin. The Future Diary was never known for having a gripping story or well-developed characters, but the action and crazy twists are more than enough to entertain you for 26 episodes.
Danganronpa 3 was a misfire for two reasons: 1) it’s a sequel to a visual novel that not many have played and 2) there are two, separate Danganronpa 3 anime.
Not only was the presentation wonky, but so was the story. Danganronpa 3: Future Arc follows the surviving cast of the first Danganronpa, and it’s supposed to wrap up the trilogy. The personalized “forbidden acts” was a cool idea…but they gimmick falls to pieces under closer scrutiny (why would you forbid someone from viewing violence in a death game other than to serve as a plot point?). If you turn you brain off though, Future does serve as a tense and twisty finale.
Despair Arc serves as a prequel to the entire series. You know that “Biggest, Most Awful, Most Tragic Event in Human History” characters kept talking about in Danganronpa 1? This is it. Despair Arc is the better of the two series, despite having a more unlikable cast.
Charlotte is the poster child for flawed anime. Jun Maeda and P.A. Works teamed up for the project, which centers around superpowered teens. The twist was that each power came with a flaw and that some sort of group was hunting down the teens.
Charlotte used a mix of drama, comedy, and moe moments…which is a combination that international viewers tend to be critical. Another problem is that people were expecting an action series, but it’s more of a coming-of-age story centered around Yuu. If you want to see a narcissist go through emotional trauma and learning about self-sacrifice, then Charlotte will be worthwhile.
Hey, it’s the first collaboration between Jun Maeda and P.A. Works! Angel Beats! takes every genre (plus the kitchen sink) to create a pretty emotional story. The only problem is that Angel Beats! tells 26 episodes worth of story in 13.
Characters are forgotten, subplots are dropped, and the final arc is insanely rushed. Angel Beats! is a coin-flip for most viewers, but it gets bonus points for ambition.
Guilty Crown has gone so many love and hate cycles that it’s tough to get the community’s pulse on it. On one hand, Guilty Crown has a great soundtrack, fantastic animation, and really cool ideas. On the other hand, the characters are bland and the story gets jumbled during the last half.
If you don’t mind a weak story, then you’ll enjoy the audiovisual feast that is Guilty Crown.
Tonal consistency, foreshadowing, deconstruction, and “dynamic” characters things Western critics love in their anime. An obsession with adherence to these principles can cause people to miss out on experimental shows like Samurai Flamenco.
Samurai Flamenco plays with drama, comedy, and romance. It foreshadows while subverting your expectations. It simultaneously deconstructs and parodies “super sentai” shows and hero culture. The characters are crazy. Samurai Flamenco is literally a rollercoaster of ideas, but the message is clear – being a hero sucks.
7The Flowers of Evil (Aku no Hana)
The Flowers of Evil has a dubious place in anime. It uses a rotoscoping, which is a style that some fans argue doesn’t make it “real” anime. The cast is also made up of terrible people blackmailing and stalk each other. There is no traditional hero, but that makes the psychological elements of the story more gripping.
It may be a vocal minority, but there is a segment of anime fans that feel a great story will make up for any artistic shortcoming. Now is your chance to prove yourself.
Berserk does have a very solid story as it adapts The Conviction Arc and half of Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc. Guts, Casca, and Farnese take center stage as themes mental anguish, religious fanaticism, and love play out in poorly animated scenes.
What are your favorite flawed anime?