10 More (Allegedly) Unpopular Anime Opinions

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I’ve been meaning to get around to writing a part two to the original post for some time now, which I wrote back in 2014, but kept putting it off for other blog ideas. I guess the title is fairly self-explanatory; the ‘allegedly’ is there because, while I’m fairly confident that plenty of anime viewers would argue with many of the below statements, there are probably also plenty out there who wouldn’t. I don’t claim to have carried out any kind of survey on the matter.

Obligatory disclaimer: As the title suggests, these are purely my own opinions. If you happen to disagree, good for you. In fact, that’s basically the point. That said, I’m not actually looking for a fight. Just take it as my right to be loudmouthed and obnoxious on my own blog from time to time.

1. I don’t care for Shinbo Akiyuki or even Shaft as a whole. I can count the number of titles I’ve truly enjoyed from either the director or the studio on one hand. Less, in fact.

2. Despite the amount of people still raving about it, I think Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan is a decidedly average show in nearly every way. Both seasons.

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3. Guilty Crown is likewise a completely average show, despite the sheer number of people acting as though it’s one of the worst anime ever created.

4. The Hellsing Ultimate OVA series is okay, but technical upgrades aside is nowhere near as good as the original show.

5. Conversely, the undeservedly popular Rurouni Kenshin TV series is nowhere near as good as the later and far lesser watched Trust & Betrayal OVAs.

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6. The original Dragon Ball is a decent show with some actual substance to it – unlike any of its successors, which are definitely entertaining but also utter trash.

7. The first half of the Steins;Gate anime just isn’t that good. Sure, it’s important as far as establishing the cast goes, but on its own is way too slow and pretty obnoxious to boot.

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8. Hyouka, followed by Free!, are still KyoAni’s best anime titles to date. I don’t mean that ironically – and no, I’m not forgetting about either Nichijou or Sound! Euphonium.

9. I’m still waiting on a single Type-Moon anime adaption to be good enough for me to sit through the entire thing.

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10. Princess Mononoke is an excellent film and a total classic. Even so, it’s just not as good story-wise as either Totoro or Spirited Away.

Question of the post: Got one or two unpopular anime opinions of your own you’d like to share? Sing out in the comments. (Or better yet, if you’re a fellow anime blogger, make your own post so we can see what other potentially unpopular opinions end up coming out.)

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47 thoughts on “10 More (Allegedly) Unpopular Anime Opinions

    • I’ll admit that I haven’t watched Fireworks yet (and given that it’s Shaft, probably never will). With a couple of rare exceptions, their shows give me more than enough indication of their general style, which just clearly isn’t for me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting. I did try watching GT back when it first started airing, and basically hated it. That said, I’ll readily admit that I only watched the first couple of episodes, so perhaps it gets better as it goes along?

      Liked by 1 person

      • It really does for me at least!
        Just keep ‘Dragon Balls’ in mind as you watch the series. It was much less of the characters screaming in high testosterone levels. They just quickly power up and finish fights sooner than it took Goku to go super saiyan 3.

        And damn, who can forget its opening theme, in which the melodies of that song was partly copied and used in Kai?
        ED’s are dope too. Discography in GT is easily my favorite of all.
        (R.I.P. Izumi Sakai of Zard and her great composition skills — contributions to GT).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Fair enough. I’m not a Macross fan (or a mecha fan in general), so it’s not hard for me to disagree with the first one. As for Katanagatari, I thought it was good but not great. I wasn’t aware it was especially popular – back when it aired, it seemed like most anime bloggers I followed found it pretty boring.

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  1. I honestly hated Attack on Titan. It just seems way too dramatic and sensationalist. Its like the anime version of Game of Thrones but worse.

    I also really love Dragonball. Its so much better than any of the new seasons. Bulma and Chi Chi actually get to do things!

    Great post! I’ll have to consider on for myself.

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    • I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I hated Attack on Titan, but I did think it was almost hilariously overrated. And yeah, calling it the anime version of Game of Thrones wouldn’t be too far off the mark – lots of sensationalist content so that it could come off as ‘dark’ and ‘edgy’.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Only thing the old Hellsing has over the reboot is some dope fucking music and a better use of color (I especially like the striking use or bright reds and dark blacks on Alucard). The story was pretty damn nonexistent and forgettable. All it built up to was Alucard mopping the floor with some hideous jobber and the rest of the story resolving offscreen. Nothing as epic as clash between the Hellsing Organization The Vatican and undead Nazis.

    I attempted to rewatch Guilty Crown to see if it really was as dumb as I’d remembered or if the hate culture got to me. I got up to the episode that revealed the whole reason behind a potential world ending epidemic was the main character not fucking his older sister and called it quits immediately.

    I think you for sure hit the nail on the head with Dragon Ball, but pretty much everyone I’ve spoke to about the original series says it’s better than anything else so I don’t think your skirting new grounds here. I still think the Saiyan and Freeza arcs were solid fare, pacing non-withstanding

    As for Rurouni Kenshin. Those OVAs took some good chapters of the manga and turned them into something really transcendent. The series is clearly less grounded in reality and has a lighter tone, which is fine, but the filler is a real drag if you want to look at it as a whole.

    I don’t have a problem with Shaft really since I love Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru. It’s just that they keep tossing their time and money at an author whose works I find impenetrable (asides from Katanagatari).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The earlier adaptation just had better direction (especially the storyboarding and framing). It actually managed to strike a unique and menacing tone, and you sometimes didn’t really know who was on top of the situation at a given time, even if you knew that Alucard would win somehow. I never got that impression from the manga/later OVAs.

      But it’s ultimately just a different kind of beast than the manga was gunning to be. I figure it only disappoints on the story front because it raises your expectations high enough for them to be disappointed. The manga is just goofy pulp trash, while the original series was trying to be more macabre pulp trash.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I tried watching Hellsing Ultimate and just got really confused with what it was going for in terms of tone. It felt like I was getting whiplash every couple of minutes. As for Guilty Crown, I don’t think it’s a good show (excellent soundtrack aside), or even an above average show. But I also didn’t get the people who were going around saying it was the worst anime in the history of the medium. Clearly those viewers hadn’t been subjected to that much actual trash.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These are frankly the perspectives of someone with an adult mindset who also has plenty of experience with the medium. Popularity is just a child’s sport. You might as well also say “Hunter x Hunter’s original adaptation was a much stronger adaptation than the more recent one, despite a few episodes of filler. Sure, Greed Island was awful, but it was the nadir of the manga and other adaptation as well.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Speaking of Free!, My (maybe unpopular) opinion is that it’s not bad, but after comparing it to Yuri on Ice I wonder if Free should focus some more on the sports aspect compared to the character drama. Especially when Yuri had the advantage of showcasing enough of its sport until professional figure skaters could count among the fandom, while Free! hasn’t even registered among professional swimmers.

    Btw, did you get to watch any of the 3 Free! movies this year? Plot summaries I’ve read say they reintroduce some (aged-up) characters from Starting Days, which seem to hint at their possible debut for the upcoming S3 of Free! this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You definitely won’t see me complaining if more sports anime actually came across as a semi-realistic portrayal of whatever sport is being highlighted. I’m not particularly surprised that Free! hasn’t registered among professional swimmers; swimming isn’t exactly a super exciting or popular spectator sport, whereas professional figure skating has a HUGE fandom among people who otherwise have zero professional knowledge about the subject. Speaking as an ex-professional swimmer myself though, I was fairly impressed by most of what I saw in Free! (and will readily admit that this is part of the reason I enjoyed the show so much).

      No, I haven’t watched any of the Free! movies yet. They’re on my (very long and ever-increasing) to-watch list.

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  5. Regarding steins gate I totally agree with you, the pacing was too slow even if it was for plot building. If I had stuck to the 3 episodes rule I would have probably dropped it then.
    A reboot ? meh ! Probably not gonna go through it again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same here, I doubt I would’ve made it past those first few episodes if I hadn’t been watching with friends who were stubborn enough to keep going. I only got hooked at around the halfway mark – which, at something like 4 hours of solid watch time, is quite a ways in.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooh, fun.

    1. I’m not shaft’s biggest fan, but I like them generally. Shinbou has rather annoying mannerisms, and when they take over the show can become unwatchable. A lot of his stuff both appeals to and annoys me. I especially like Madoka, Denpa Onna (until the launching of the bottle rockets, ep7 I think), Zetsubou Sensei, and ef – A Tale of Memories. Monogatari has gotten out of hand.

    2./3. Pretty much. Attack on Titan I actually find entertaining when it’s not all sound and fury. I forgot I was watching Guilty Crown at around the 7-episode mark, so I’d say AoT wins out.

    4. Can’t comment. I haven’t seen all of the original Hellsing and none of Ultimate. Not my thing.

    5. Haven’t seen any Rurorin Kenshin.

    6. Haven’t watched much Dragon Ball. What I watched was… okay?

    7. I love the first half of Steins;Gate, and frankly I feel in the minority here. The Steins;Gate hype really didn’t take off until the second half, and until today i keep hearing “stick with it, it gets better”. I feel that’s not an unpopular opinion at all.

    8. Hyouka is great; I dropped Free! after the cliffhanger by the sea.

    9. Hit and miss with me.

    10. I have no clear opinion on that. I’m not watching Miyazaki for story anyway. Here’s a probably unpopular opinion: Takahata is by far the better part of Ghibli (more versatile, a better eye for how people actually behave).

    ***

    Unpopular Opinion: Rolling Girls is the best anime of 2015, and the writing (while not perfect) isn’t bad and knows what it’s doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m definitely not saying Shaft’s never done anything good, but out of… what, 40 plus TV shows now, the fact that I can think of maybe 4 or 5 that I actually enjoyed from start to finish isn’t exactly a rousing endorsement.

      I don’t know about most people liking only the second half of Steins;Gate. Granted, it’s not as though I’m following every anime blog in the universe (and I sure as heck do my best to steer clear of most anime message boards these days), but whenever I see viewers praising the show, it’s in the “all hail the best anime in the universe, savior of the medium, long live Steins;Gate” kind of vein. You’re certainly right that “stick with it, it gets better” isn’t an unpopular opinion for basically any anime or TV show, but if anything (and despite my own respect for the second half of Steins;Gate), I’m arguing that people probably shouldn’t stick with it. I’m basically a firm believer in the “if you don’t like it at first, it’s stupid to try and slog though it just to get the alleged good stuff” kind of mindset.

      I don’t have a strong opinion one way or another about Rolling Girls since I haven’t seen any of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was starting to discover online fansubs around 2009. I was watching more and more shows as they air through 2010, and 2011 was basically the first year I registered for a dedicated anime forum. This means that Steins;Gate falls for me into my most active community phase (initial enthusiasm). I remember watching Steins;Gate as it aired very well. The show had a small cadre of fans, me among them, but a lot of people were curious but thought the show wasted time. Some dropped out, then came back. The hype didn’t explode until, IIRC, near the last third of the first cour, and then practically all the recommendations I heard were “it’s a bit slow at first, but it really pays off” or things like that. I tend to agree with you. If the show had bored me, then there’s no way I spend almost an entire cour waiting for it to pick up. What’s the point? (It’s never happened for me anyway; sure, shows have gotten surprisingly better, or grown on me, but never shows that bored me. It’s a framing thing: something that initially bores me just doesn’t get the attention necessary to draw me in later. The bias is set.)

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I cringed while reading a couple of these—which I guess means you did a good job with your list haha. I would say that #5 is actually a popular opinion. Trust and Betrayal is generally far better regarded than the TV series (personally I view it as about as perfect of an anime as there is, though that’s in context of all the background established through the first two arcs of the show), though you’re right, it isn’t as well-known. I would also say that the TV series has NOT aged well—I can’t watch it anymore, though the manga remains as good as ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I dunno, there are some pretty die-hard Rurouni Kenshin TV fans out there, and they’re definitely not shy about it. That said, I do get the appeal of nostalgia, and that Kenshin was probably one of those defining anime for a lot of people who discovered the medium in the 90s. I’ve never read the manga myself, so I can’t really comment on how that compares to the series.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It certainly was for me, and at the time, it was very good (though never as good as Trust and Betrayal). I was talking to a friend yesterday about watching shows now that we had nostalgia about and how so many don’t live up to what to the image we built—other than loveable characters, Kenshin doesn’t hold up in almost any way. :/

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with Attack on Titan being just okay. I think it did some good things and had some great ideas, but the more I watch it/read the manga, it seems like a poor man’s FMA Brotherhood. Ever-expanding mystery, humanism, dead mom and enigmatic dad, girlfriend/sister-type, but the longer it goes on, the worse AOT seems to handle those elements while FMAB juggled them spectacularly in my opinion. I’ve also read almost all of the manga and it never seems to go anywhere. Every step forward shows two more on the horizon. Every answer turns into more questions while infrequently connecting anything. Add in some BS death avoidance and waaaaaay too many flashbacks/scene-draggers, I’m just done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never really thought to compare the two shows, but that might be a good point. Mostly my ambivalence towards AoT stems from the fact that I think it tries way too hard to be cool by way of a lot of screaming and IN YOUR FACE violence, which ends up just feeling a bit cheap and sensationalist to me. When death occurs in FMA, on the other hand, it feels genuinely powerful and emotional, and not just there for shock value.

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  9. Pingback: Anime Blog Posts That Caught My Eye This Week: February 2, 2018 | Lesley's Anime and Manga Corner

  10. I’m with you on #1. My favorite Shaft series is Rec, which is one of the least Shaft-like series they’ve ever made. One of the marks of my attachment to an anime is how much time I spend re-watching it, and Rec is literally the only show of theirs I’ve ever re-watched in full. Even with Madoka I’ve tried more than once to re-watch it, and always ended up drifting away by mid-series. I do like some of Shinbo’s pre-Shaft stuff, but honestly even the one season of Nanoha that he did I’d rate as the second-worst of the franchise’s five TV seasons (only ahead of Vivid).

    Wow, I think I just crammed at least three unpopular opinions into one paragraph!

    #5 is absolutely true. Coming from someone who loves the manga, Trust & Betrayal and the live action movies are head, shoulders, and Sanosuke’s zanbato above every other Kenshin adaptation out there. That said, I’d still take the TV series over New Kyoto Arc or Reflection. I thought the TV series was decent when it was actually following the manga – the problem is that most of the filler episodes (and there are a lot of them) are atrociously bad even by filler standards.

    #8 Kanon, Haruhi, Eupho S1, and Hyouka are all among my top 11 favorite anime ever, but I do think that in terms of the total package of overall quality (story, characters, animation, etc.) Hyouka was the best of those, even if Kanon for personal reasons remains my favorite. I haven’t seen Free.

    #9 Yeah, if I hadn’t played the VN first, I doubt I’d be a fraction of the Fate fan that I am. I do like Zero, but I hated the second half of UBW, I found KnK a bit overrated, and the less said about the rest the better (even among the most ardent Type Moon fans there’s a running joke of pretending the Tsukihime anime doesn’t exist). However, I will say that the first Heaven’s Feel movie was easily my favorite Type Moon anime thus far, probably because for a change it kept the rambling, pretentious, pseudo-philosophical monologues to a minimum, though the tradeoff is that it’s totally inaccessible if you haven’t already seen the other Fate anime (or the VN).

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    • I do quite like Madoka, but it took me a couple of tries to get into it and I don’t think it’s Shaft’s best series – I’d probably give that award to 3-gatsu no Lion. The only other Shaft series I can think of that I enjoyed the whole way through is Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, and I totally get that that’s not for everyone.

      I’ll readily admit that one of the big reasons I like Free! so much is because I’m a competitive swimmer myself, and was overjoyed to finally get an anime about the sport. Also, when it comes to the water, main character Haru is basically my spirit animal, so the bias is definitely real.

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  11. That was an interesting list and it certainly was brave of you. I tend to have unpopular opinions on my Iridium Eye blog even though I cover obscure media with anime, documentaries, short films, indie movies, etc. Here are my thoughts on some of your opinions where I have some knowledge about what you’re talking about…

    1. THANK YOU! I gave a Shinbo work a 1/10 on my review blog and I even called out fans who think that everything he does is star-spangled awesome. Watch Debutante Detective Corps and I dare anyone to tell me it was good.

    2. I’ve avoided that series because of all the hype leading up to it.

    4. I’m not a hardcore Hellsing fan, but I can definitely see where you’re coming from with that.

    5. I did like the Trust and Betrayal OVAs more than the TV series, but I can’t stand the Kenshin series because of what Watsuki did recently. Ugh…

    6. YES! I think so many people fail to realize what the DB franchise was before DBZ was a thing. Sure, I don’t think it’s a masterpiece, but it has more depth than people give it credit for.

    10. Personally, my favorite Ghibli film was Grave of the Fireflies, but I do agree Princess Mononoke wasn’t their best film.

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    • This might also be an unpopular opinion, not really sure, but my favourite part of the entire Kenshin franchise to date is actually the live action films – or more specifically, the first live action film released in 2012. I found it immensely enjoyable, both loyal to the original series where it mattered while still being very much its own thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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