One of the best things about anime is the diversity of content it provides. Many shows strike such a cord with fans that these stories become almost overnight sensations. There’s something about these stories that strike anime fans as special or that these shows are meant to be a part of the anime community in a way that some might say “You have to watch this show to be a fan of anime”.
Or you could be like me and when you look at these shows you say, “I don’t get it”.
To clarify, I am by no means calling these shows bad. Some of these shows are quite good and I have even enjoyed a few of them in the past. However, that doesn’t mean that I understand why these have had the kind of stay power that makes them resonate with fans the way they do. That being said, here is my list of the top ten anime that I do not understand the hype for.
I’m ranking this one a little lower on the list because of the fact that many of the fans have become aware how the story seemed to derail. But, when Bleach first began, there were soul reaper cosplayers at every convention you went to. I even had a kid in my Japanese class who dressed up as Ichigo in his bankai robes for Halloween. This was one of the most talked about shounen manga and fans for it were everywhere. I watched the Soul Society Arc and enjoyed myself, but to me the characters seemed pretty run of the mill and the story did nothing to hold any real tension or interest. I quickly moved on to other shows while many fans stayed loyal even to the very last chapter. As to why they stayed, I will never know.
This is one of the few entries on this list that is a fantastic story that I loved when I watched it years ago. The characters were powerful and the plot was engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, I feel like Deathnote is a product of its time. It did a lot to develop and mature the taste of anime fans, but there wasn’t much to keep me coming back to the series after I watched it once. Some fans would consider it the best show they’ve ever seen, but I think there have been other shows that have taken what Deathnote did and made it better.
8) Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
I was so excited for this show to come out. The updated animation got me interested and the story that followed the manga was the perfect sell for the series that seemed like it didn’t have anywhere else to go. But, when it came out, it really seemed like there wasn’t anywhere for the show to go. The first ten episodes were so rushed and even out of order, so right away it’s already straying from the original story which the studio said they would follow. Still, fans were thrilled to see the show and even called it better than the original. To me, there was nothing about this remake to keep me invested in the different story.
7) JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
This one is probably more of a matter of taste than anything else. I understand that JoJo is meant to be an out there story and the characters are meant to be over the top. I’m aware that there’s more to those characters than just being cooky and quirky. But I just don’t see the staying power. With several seasons, I don’t know what keeps fans coming back and I don’t think I ever will.
Another series that I can recognize as good, but I don’t know what it is about this show that made fans wait so many years for another anime or for new chapters of the manga. For me, the biggest turn off about the show is the Blackswordsman himself. I enjoy characters that I can relate to and I just don’t relate to Gutz and his journey. Because of that, I can’t be invested in the story even if it is really good.
And now we’re going to start getting into the shows that might earn me a few notches off my anime belt. I didn’t watch this show when I was a kid and I only watched a few movies. To me, shows like Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh were always substantially more interesting. Even now with all the new games and seasons coming out, I don’t see what’s different from the original series especially when it comes to the anime. The pokemon are cute creatures and some of them are really interesting, but nothing to keep the franchise as alive as it has been.
4) Sailor Moon
This is a show that has definitely not aged well. Many people have tried to get me into this show. It was until the reboot with Sailor Moon Crystal that I could even think about giving the show a try. The original, on the other hand, was a chore to try and watch. The animation is not great and the lead was such an unlikeable character that even most of her teammates couldn’t stand her. Yet somehow, this show has carried on with fans and even moved into the new generation of anime lovers. There has to be something I’m missing here because I honestly do not understand.
3) One Piece
Now, I will one hundred percent admit that this is a story that would be incredibly interesting and the characters can have some interesting personalities. If this was done in a littler more moderation that is. There is such a thing as too quirky, as I think I’ve talked about with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and One Piece takes the quirk to a whole new level. From the animation style to the story that has expanded into way too many episodes and chapters, One Piece shows no signs of slowing down even if maybe that’s something it needs to do.
2) Axis Powers Hetalia
Talk about a fan-splosion. This is a show that focuses on countries during the second world war, gives them stereotypical personalities, and lets the hilarity insure. And the fans adored it. They were constantly cosplaying or shipping the characters and coming up with new and different head cannons for the relationships between each countries. The crazy thing is that this is still happening. Hetalia is still considered one of the biggest fandoms at conventions even though there is very little new content coming out. Fans are still very vocal and very present at conventions. I’m not sure what has made this show stick, but the fans are die hard about their countries.
1) Dragon Ball Z
Here is a show that I have never understood why it is still as popular as it is. To me, it is literally the exact same thing for every single arc. Big baddie comes in, they fight the big baddie and get their butts kicked, they train and become better fighters, but Goku is still the best fighter no matter what so he’s the one that ultimately saves the day. i watched this show from the Freeza Arc to the Cell Saga and I still have no idea what is that keeps fans coming back to this series after over twenty years. The only thing that seems to be a common theme is nostalgia, and that to me is not enough to over look what could be considered a rather flawed series. Fans will love this series for years to come, however I will fail to understand the hype behind this series.
Thanks for your patience with me while I dive into what are probably some very beloved series. Please, let me know if there are any shows that you don’t see the hype over or let me know if there are any shows on this list that you enjoy!