Inquiring Minds Want To Know #39: Most Overrated Anime

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I do believe this week’s question is going to get me into trouble, and I so carefully avoided answering this on Twitter, though at some point I was going to make a top 5 post about this so I guess now is as good a time as any to wade into this one. Thanks Tommy for the question and remember if you want to ask me anything please just complete the survey below or use the link in the sidebar.

Question: What is the most overrated anime? From Tommy

Your Name anime movie

Generally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of calling things overrated. If people like them, they like them, whether I agree or not is another story. I am aware my tastes don’t match everyone’s and some things I like are pretty weird and some thing I don’t like are actually quite good. That said, I know that when I was first asked this question on Twitter the answer that immediately sprang to mind was ‘Your Name’.

Kimi no na wa is ranked second on MAL and has a score of 9.16. Now, I will agree that this movie is really beautiful. Like gorgeous. Just look at the sky. It is dazzling. But everything else about the movie is… well, ordinary. The characters don’t get fleshed out anywhere near enough, the overall plot is pretty basic, and there seems to be a lot of scenes in there just because rather than because they advance either the plot or the characters.


I remember how excited I was when I found out Your Name was going to be on Anime Lab to view for members for a short period. I’d heard so many amazing reviews about it and there was this endless hype about how it was the best movie ever (at least best anime movie) and I remember watching it and just kind of feeling unmoved. I didn’t hated it. My review  did point out that this movie was fine but that I didn’t really click with either of the lead characters and didn’t really like some of the plot devices, but that it was a movie worth watching. And it is – a movie worth watching. Should it actually be ranked second on MAL though?

Well, clearly the MAL users who have rated it believe so. So while I disagree and feel it might be a little bit over-inflated and potentially overrated, I don’t really have an issue with this one sitting so high up. Then again, I feel a lot of shows when they come out get a wave of praise that gradually dilutes as time passes and there are plenty of popular shows that I just don’t really get the appeal of. Also plenty of popular shows I love.

Okay, at some point I will get around to that top 5 list of overrated anime and I’ll limit myself to anime series rather than movies, but for now, I think Your Name is probably the anime that I feel most captures the idea of being overrated.


Right, would you like to make me think? Have a question you’d like discussed? Be sure to fill in the survey below. In the meantime though, I’d love to know your thoughts on the question this week so drop me a comment.

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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26 thoughts on “Inquiring Minds Want To Know #39: Most Overrated Anime

  1. I saw Your Name and A Silent Voice fairly close together, so those two movies are kind of linked together in my mind, even though they aren’t really that similar. But I bring that up because I was initially sky as a kite on Your Name and a little more “meh” on Silent Voice (though I still thought it was very good), but as I’ve had more time to come down off those initial highs and reflect on them (and in Your Name’s case rewatch it a few more times), I’ve come down off Your Name a bit, at the same time that my estimation of A Silent Voice has gone up. I don’t like calling anything “overrated” because taste is so subjective and what one person calls overrated another person is just as liable to call underappreciated, but if somebody wants to argue that Your Name doesn’t hold up quite as well when you aren’t so swept up in the emotions of it, I can definitely understand that point of view. I kind of felt that way about Your Lie in April, to be honest. Like I enjoyed it just fine, but it’s a top 20 series on MAL and I’ve heard so many people talk about how they were bawling their eyes out at the end of it, when I just didn’t feel it that deeply. I’m not a cold-hearted bastard by any means, there are plenty of anime with scenes that have moved me to tears (including Liz and the Blue Bird just last night), but I wasn’t the biggest Kaori fan to begin with, and her illness was so predictable I saw it coming almost right from the start of the series, so between those two things I was never able to get fully emotionally invested in her story. I was much more engaged with Tsubaki, Hiroko, and even Emi’s arcs among the female cast.

    1. And that’s really important to remember that is incredibly subjective. Even if you don’t personally like something, if a lot of other people do that’s fine. It doesn’t necessarily make it overrated, it just means it didn’t work for you (which is also fine).
      Though, hype bubbles definitely happen where even the people initially talking something up over time start to tone down their praise.

  2. Same here. Heard many great things about it, but when I sat down to see it with my bro. We both thought it was decent, and nowhere near as good was we thought it was going to be. The characterization had contribute to that, but we were both also bothered by the other gimmick it used. The body switching parts we felt were fine, but as soon as they introduce time traveling it opened a whole can of worms, and created a lot more plot holes. Also didn’t help we also saw another movie that did something similar, Interstellar, so the effect was lost to us when it got to that point.

    I don’t like using the word overrated either. It gets overused too much I feel, and devalues it a bit I feel. Not without it merits, but with the hype around it, hard to get disappointed by it when held in such high regards.

    1. I still just want to know how in the whole time he was swapping bodies with her he never paid attention to the name of the school or town. It had to be written somewhere as he went about his day.

  3. Overrated is such a loaded word, I tend to drift towards animes that are “overly praised” or “bad parts are ignored”

    But…gun to my head…I’d say Gurren Lagann is very much “overhyped.” Great show, great cast, but people seem to hold it up as some golden moment in anime, and i’m like…yeah it’s good, not that good though.

    1. The over the top lavish praise this movie got made it really hard to hold up. Shame, because it isn’t bad by any means. It suffers from not being as good as the hype.

  4. In some ways, I think Naruto is greatly overrated. It’s not bad but it isn’t the be all and end all some believe it to be for me. When NEO mag here in the UK kept giving it 5 star reviews and what have you, I kept wondering what I was missing; having watched 90% of it (including Shippuden) for my reviews I am still wondering.

    It’s had some great moments and good stories but nothing I can honestly say is game changing or memorable enough to warrant the praise it gets for me. :-/

    Also, the Monogatari series is too highly praised for what is a load of pretentious, impenetrable pseudo-intellectual pish. There, I said it! >:(

  5. You’re right, calling something ”overrated’ is problematic, since different people like different things. Usually, when I’m disappointed by a show that has good ratings from others, it could be because the genre isn’t something I like.

    On a side note, I understand where you’re coming from for ‘Your Name’. I loved it – the animation and surprises – but there were a couple of plotholes that never made sense and they did fall in love really quickly. This could have worked better as a series, where the characters could be developed further and their relationship could have been stronger.

    1. I usually try and stay out of the which show is overrated argument, because I know that while something may not work for me, there’s no reason others may not like it.

  6. I find this with Makoto Shinkai’s work generally. I wanted to like Your Name a lot more than I did but… meh. I’ve tended to like his shorter stuff more so maybe he really needs a good script editor tightening up his movies.

    1. Then again, plenty of people lived it so maybe we are just not the audience for it. But, my preference would have been either a tighter script or using the time to really flesh out the characters.

  7. I saw this one at animecon this year, and I bought a deluxe dvd box before I actually saw the movie itself. I had that much confidence in it. Then I saw the movie for the first time and I was….well..underwhelmed by it. Really? That was it? I was thinking at the time. I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t feel like the film was worthy of the hype.
    And then…I watched it a second time, and it just clicked. For some reason this is a film that I think gets better with multiple views. I haven’t yet written a post for it….I have promised it to a few people already, but I plan on watching it one final time, to really grasp it, and get my final thoughts on this one together.
    As for the anime that I think was overrated it’s Ergo Proxy. I really ended up not liking that one. But well…it always goes to show that everyone’s opinions on things always differ from each other 😊

    1. I was also not a fan of Ergo Proxy. It wasn’t an anime I ever clicked with.
      As for multiple views, some stories do get better the more times you watch them through but I don’t think I am going to be in a rush to watch Your Name again.

  8. Oh yeah you’re totally right with Kiki no na wa. It’s way too overhyped. I remember even watching this on theater because almost everyone talked about how “good” it was… to my disappointment I came out of there feeling like I’ve rewatched Sandra Bullock’s Lakehouse movie lol I couldn’t really get into the characters and the story was not something that deserve all that praise. I love the aesthetics tho but it was a let down to expect that much in a movie and have you going home feeling like “really that was it?”… :((

    1. I also kind of got a The Lakehouse kind of vibe from the central concept (though to be fair it wasn’t an original idea in that movie either).
      “Really that was it?” kind of sums it up when something has that much hype connected to it. I think if I’d seen it without any expectation I’d have been pleasantly surprised by how beautiful it was and I would have found the story good enough. However, instead while I found it beautiful I ended up thinking the story was just a little lacking and the characters didn’t do anywhere near enough for me to fill the gap.

  9. That’s the joy of the medium, I think. One person’s so-so will be another’s gold. For me, it was Gurren Lagann. It’s so well loved, but I couldn’t even finish the first half of the thing.

    1. I really enjoyed Gurren Lagann but I kind of feel the heights to which it is talked up sometimes really just set up people to not like it. For as much fun as it is, the plot and the pacing of the show are riddled with real issues and they are desperately hoping that the characters will carry you through those moments. I ended up having a lot of fun with it, but fully understand why it wouldn’t work for everyone.

      1. Yeah, pacing was definitely an issue for me. In a siilar way to you with Your Name, I just didn’t connect with any of the characters either, so the fun of the first episode jsut didn’t carry over for me.

        1. At first I liked Simon and found Kamina kind of annoying. By the time we got to the mid-season and ‘that’ moment, somehow Kamina had become completely loveable in his own whacky way. But he isn’t a character type I would normally connect with. It was a bit of an odd ball moment for me.

          1. I know of ‘that’ moment, but didn’t get that far. See, I found Simon dull. Kamina was fun in episode one, but I found that he got more annoying as he went along. The hot springs episode actually killed the series for me. The thing is though, Kamina was the only one who was getting a reaction out of me, even if it was negative, so going beyond the aforementioned moment would have left me in a bit of a bind. It’s a shame, because with all the hype, I was expecting so much more.

    1. Definitely. And that’s why the same, or very similar story, can be told so many times. If we just look at romantic comedies in movies, they are all pretty much the same. What makes one shine over another, other than decent production, is the quality of the script and the characters. The plot itself is almost entirely formulaic and viewers like it that way. But it means one romantic comedy will click for someone where someone else will find it pretty average but they’ll love something else just because those characters connect for them.

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